New FreeBSD Foundation Funded Project: FreeBSD/ARM Architecture Superpages Support

FreeBSD foundation logoFollowing the successful 2012 Year-End Fundraising Campaign the FreeBSD Foundation has announced that Semihalf, an embedded solutions company, has been awarded a grant to develop transparent superpages support for the FreeBSD/ARM architecture. Semihalf is co-sponsoring the project with the Foundation.

The ARM architecture is already common in the mobile and embedded markets, and is becoming more prevalent in the server market. Among the more interesting industry trends emerging recently is the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, which is an “ARM server” concept. Many top tier companies have started developing systems or are announcing products with this architecture.

One of the features needed for FreeBSD to be successful in this area is transparent super pages.  This provides improved performance and scalability by allowing TLB translations to dynamically cover large physical memory regions.

As you will remember, Semihalf has been involved in FreeBSD Foundation funded projects before. They worked on the flattened device tree (2009) and NAND flash support (2012).

The project is expected to complete in mid July 2013.

Introducing fbsdmon (fbsdmon.org)

There are some websites that keep track of new FreeBSD ports, such as the FreeBSD ports page or Freshports, and some that track (Free)BSD installations, such as bsdstats.

I was not aware, but there’s also fbsdmon that measures ports popularity and lets you submit statistics of your system (if you have installed the fbsdmon port). The website, maintained by FreeBSD developer Grzegorz Blach,  also shows links to the FreeBSD RSS feeds.

Does anybody use fbsdmon.org? If you have any feedback, feel free to contact Grzegorz.

Thanks Grzegorz for contacting me and making me aware. If you have a FreeBSD related product, service or website that you want featuring, let me know.

 

*BSD Event in Naples (April 2013)

Watch out, another BSD-Day is rising: next April in Naples where BSD people of Italy and Central Europe meet up! This event is an excellent opportunity for BSD developers and enthusiasts to present their work to larger audiences, share their thoughts with their fellows and reach out for their potential partners.

Traditionally, the event tries to avoid formalities as it does not require the speakers to submit papers or the attendees to register or pay an entry fee. However, the invited folks are encouraged to a give a brief talk on their favourite BSD topic. The goal is to motivate everybody, especially university students to see the benefits of our approach and take a chance on working with BSD systems.

For more info, visit http://bsdday.eu/2013

Thanks Giovanni for the heads up. If you have anything FreeBSD related to announce, let me know.

2012: a BSD year in retrospective

FreeBSD is by far the most active BSD when it comes to sheer numbers, having the largest user and developer base (roughly 80% of the whole BSD community). In 2012, a new minor version of FreeBSD 8 (8.3-RELEASE in April) was released, as well as a new major version (9.0-RELEASE in January) and its first minor release (9.1-RELEASE in December).

With 9.0-RELEASE, there came a long list of changes.

Read the whole post here on the many exciting changes that found their way into FreeBSD 9.1: 2012: a BSD year in retrospective (osnews.com)

Defile of Eden – Kickstarter project (a game for FreeBSD)

Inspired by the theoretical offspring between Tank Jr and a ten year olds colouring book, Defile of Eden 2 is a game of fast paced 2D action where teams protect their bases whilst devising offenses to their opponents defences. A light hearted and humorous team death-match game, requiring skill and team play to achieve certain game objectives, within a hand drawn world.

Check the Kickstarter page and the announcement on the FreeBSD forums.