FreeBSD Foundation funded projects (Jail, DTrace)

One of the ways the FreeBSD Foundation supports FreeBSD, is by funding FreeBSD development (e.g. the Jail based virtualisation project). The Foundation has agreed to fund two more projects:

I Resource Containers Project

This project will be undertaken by Edward Tomasz Napierala. “Unlike Solaris zones, the current implementation of FreeBSD Jails does not provide per-jail resource limits. As a result, users are often forced to replace jails with other virtualization mechanisms. The goal of this project is to create a single, unified framework for controlling resource utilisation, and to use that framework to implement per-jail resource limits. In the future, the same framework might be used to implement more sophisticated resource controls, such as Hierarchical Resource Limits, or to implement mechanisms similar to AIX WLM. It could also be used to provide precise resource usage accounting for administrative or billing purposes.”

“It’s great that the Foundation decided to fund this project. It will make jail-based virtualization a much better choice in many scenarios, for example for Virtual Private Server providers.”

Edward noted.

II DTrace Userland Project

Rui Paulo has been awarded a grant to add DTrace userland support to FreeBSD.

DTrace is a general purpose and lightweight tracing framework that allows administrators, developers and users to investigate causes of system failure or performance bottlenecks. The FreeBSD operating system has had support for kernel-only DTrace since FreeBSD 8.0, but DTrace userland support was missing. Having userland support in DTrace allows inspection of userland software itself and its correlation with the kernel, thus allowing a much better picture of what exactly is going on behind the scenes.

This project will first concentrate on adding libproc support for symbol to address mapping, address to symbol mapping, breakpoint setup and the rtld interactions with DTrace. Next it will focus on DTrace process control, importing the pid provider and adapting it to FreeBSD and porting the userland statically defined probe provider (usdt). Finally it will bring in the plockstat provider.

“By having userland DTrace support, companies can make their products perform much better on FreeBSD due to the fact that they now have access to this amazing tool. When we mix the userland support with the kernel side DTrace support, we can also make FreeBSD a better operating system because we can investigate performance bottlenecks much easier.”

said FreeBSD developer Rui Paul

Well done to Rui and Edward. We’re looking forward to testing the results of their work at the end of the year. If you wish to see more of these sort of projects, you can donate to the FreeBSD Foundation.

FreeBSD quick news and links (28/06/2010)

PC-BSD Installer

The new PC-BSD installer (available as GUI and text installer), which is also able to install plain FreeBSD, has now been committed to the FreeBSD source tree. This video goes into the details of the installer.

Kris Moore: PC-SYSINSTALL – A new system installer backend for PC-BSD and FreeBSD

BSD Certification

The BSD Certification Group needs reviewers for the BSDA exam objectives.

BSDA Certification Exam can be taken at MeetBSD 2010, Cracow, Poland: BSDA Certification, Cracow

Help test ZFS v15

ZFS v15 brings in user and group quotas and help is needed to test, before it’s imported.

I would like to do a call for testing for my ZFS v15 patch.

As the user/group quotas feature is too much attractive for my needs, I couldn’t resist and have created (and debugged + tested) a ZFS v15 patch for head (applies cleanly against stable/8 as well).

It is a backport of several onnv-revisions, always consulting pjd’s p4 tree and includes four post-9396 related user/groupquota bugfixes. The bootcode (zfsimpl.h) is properly updated to support v15 as well, the python part is modified (paths, smb support, ioctls).  Continues

Nvidia Releases a Much Improved Video Driver

Nvidia announced on June 22nd the final and stable version of the 256.x proprietary driver for Nvidia graphics cards. Nvidia 256.35 incorporates lots of fixes and improvements, over previous releases. Unofficial GLX support was also added for a few OpenGL extensions, as well as Thermal Settings reporting improvements, Compiz fixes, many VDPAU improvements, and many more. Without further introduction, let’s take a look at some of the most important changes brought by the Nvidia 256.35 video driver (via)

Press Release

FreeBSD Developer position

iXsystems is looking for a Senior Software Engineer:

SR. SOFTWARE ENGINEER in San Jose, CA. FreeBSD driver & kernel dev; prog in C/C++, PHP, SQL/x86 assembly lang; eng group; tools/env & tech writing skills; Reqs: BSCS + 5 yrs. exp. (source)

iXsystems is the all-around FreeBSD company that builds FreeBSD certified servers and storage solutions, runs the FreeBSD Mall, and is the corporate sponsor of PC-BSD and FreeNAS.

New FreeBSD Committers

The following people have been awarded commit privileges in recent weeks:

  • Andrey V. Elsukov (source)
  • Matthew Fleming (source)
  • Ashish Shukla (ports)
  • Brendan Fabeny (ports)

BSD Can sponsored trip reports

The FreeBSD Foundation kindly sponsored a number of FreeBSD developers to attend BSDCan 2010 (videos here). These are links to some of the reports:

And one NetBSD link:

Testing NetBSD: Easy Does It

In a software project as large as NetBSD the interactions between different software components are not always immediately obvious to even the most skilled programmers. Tests help ensure that the system functions according to the desired criteria. Periodic automated runs of these tests with results visible on the web ensures both that tests are run in a regular fashion and that the results are available to all interested parties.

This short article explains the NetBSD test strategies and provides a brief overview of the enabling technologies. It also details how effortless it is to run the test suite and why doing so is in every developer’s, patch submitter’s and system administrator’s best interest. The intended audience is people with a keen interest in testing and quality assurance, and a desire to reduce personal headache. The article is written against NetBSD-current as of June 2010 and applies to what will eventually become NetBSD 6.

Read more: Automated Testing Framework (ATF)

CrossOver Office and Games for FreeBSD / PC-BSD

Tom Wickline has written a short introduction on CrossOver Office for FreeBSD / PC-BSD.

Codeweavers, the company behind CrossOver, is according to their website, the leading corporate backer of the Wine Project. Wine is an open source software initiative that is systematically re-implementing the Win32 API under Unix. Wine makes it possible for PCs running Unix-based operating systems (like OS X and Linux) to run Windows application as if natively.  CrossOver is comparible to Bordeaux.

Tom writes:

CrossOver for FreeBSD is a commercial variant of Wine released by  CodeWeavers with (currently) limited support for many of today’s most popular office application and games. CrossOver Office and Games for FreeBSD is tested for performance and stability with many of todays most popular games such as Guild Wars, Eve Online, and Steam games like Half-Life 2 and Portal. As well as many of todays most popular Office application such as Microsoft Office 97 to 2007, Quicken, Quickbooks, Photoshop, Internet Explorer and many other not mentioned applications.

Read Tom’s full review here:  An introduction to CrossOver Office and Games for FreeBSD

Links:

Bordeaux | Codeweavers

Thanks, Tom, for emailing me about your review.

FreeBSD Foundation sponsors BSNMP enhancements

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that Shteryana Shopova has been awarded a grant to make improvements to Bsnmp (snmp category).

This project includes several enhancements to the existing FreeBSD SNMP framework, including SNMPv3-compliant user authentication, packet encryption and view-based access control. In addition, the project also includes a new module that will allow full SNMP management and monitoring of the FreeBSD wireless networking stack. When the
project is completed, FreeBSD should be the OS of choice when building open source-based embedded wireless appliances due to the advanced capabilities of its wireless network stack, and the light-weight, secure and complete management solution that bsnmpd(1) will provide out of the box. Existing FreeBSD installations that use bsnmpd(1) for
monitoring will also benefit from the added security and finer-grained access-control to SNMP data.

“SNMP is the defacto standard for network monitoring,”

said Shteryana Shopova, FreeBSD developer. She also added,

“SNMP is used everywhere – in network servers, switches, routers, firewalls, workstations, ip phones, printers, UPSs, all sorts of embedded appliances. I am happy to have the opportunity to work on several additions to bsnmpd(1) that have been requested by the FreeBSD community.”

This project will be completed in October 2010.

Source: Bsnmp enhancements announcement (FreeBSD Announcement List)

Versiera 3.2 (FreeBSD) Released

NetCraft Communications Inc.,  global leader in infrastructure management Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, has released Versiera 3.2, bringing extended management capabilities including host user account, process and service/daemon management to all supported platforms including FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD.

Versiera is a web-based Internet technology for management and monitoring of computer and network equipment from the smallest SHO networks to enterprise-class data centres and the largest of cloud environments. Versiera rivals the best enterprise management systems costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Organizations needing to incorporate the latest in management technologies, looking to cut operational costs, or consolidate management platforms can choose between the free full-featured Internet hosting services or purchase the enterprise-class Versiera appliances for their businesses. Versiera appliance scalability enables management and monitoring of infrastructures with tens of thousands of network devices.

“The landscape is shifting with enterprises and government organizations embracing the overwhelming potential Cloud Services are able to offer. Versiera is the only infrastructure management system designed to securely manage and monitor both cloud environments and enterprises designed to extend beyond the traditional boundaries of bricks and mortar”,

says Frank Pikelner, CTO of NetCraft Communications.

“With the latest release of Versiera we have focused to broaden its management capabilities and enabled such things as user account synchronization without the need for directory services”

he noted.

Here are a few highlights from the list of major improvements and new features in this release:

  • Remote Host User Account Management
  • Remote Host Process Management
  • Remote Host Service/Process Management
  • Host and Connection Maps now scale to 20,000 nodes (HTML5)
  • User Sessions across the Enterprise
  • Host Job Chaining
  • Monitoring of Secure Websites (HTTPS)
  • Host Maintenance Modes
  • Broader support of embedded platforms including Netgear, Cisco/Linksys, Asus, EnGenius

“Whether it’s for the enterprise or for the Internet, Versiera continues to innovative and challenge the competition with its unmatched list of features,” said NetCraft CEO, Ed Aarntzen.

Versiera offers the following compelling Systems Management and Monitoring Features:

  • Distributed Jobs/Scheduling: Versiera enables uniform job management across all support platforms including management of processes, user accounts, services/daemons, software distributions/removal.
  • Cross-platform: Versiera can monitor a wide range of open source and commercial platforms including Windows, OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, OS X and Solaris. Embedded platform support includes OpenWRT and DD-WRT.
  • Automated Documentation: automatically generate formal documents for one or more systems in PDF, RTF or HTML formats.
  • Infrastructure service/asset monitoring: DNS, DHCP, SMTP, HTTP, HTTPS and digital certificates.
  • Helpdesk: integrated ticketing system for workflow incident management.
  • Compliance: ability to generate enterprise standards models and track deviations.
  • Security: Versiera uses strong SSL encryption to protect all communications and to authenticate all connections between hosts and Versiera management systems.
  • Openness: Versiera uses industry standard protocols for communication and representing data. Versiera’s database is accessible to external tools and database schema is provided with the Enterprise product.
  • Accessibility: Versiera is available from scalable appliances for small to medium size businesses to full enterprise architecture solutions, as well as, a no cost Internet service directly from NetCraft Communications.

Source: NetCraft Communications Announces Availability of Versiera 3.2

Frank Pillner contacted me about this product release. If you sell/release FreeBSD related products, you can let me know too, and I’ll mention your product, service, etc etc here.

FreeBSD OpenSVC clustered service manager available

OpenSVC is now available for FreeBSD.

OpenSVC is a GPLv2 project automating the low-level operations needed 1/ to bring up system resources (virtual machine container, ip, disk groups, filesystem mounts, application launchers) on a node and 2/ to replicate data to secondary nodes (in local or remote sites). OpenSVC can be coupled to a tiers heartbeat daemon to form a full failover clustering stack.

OpenSVC offers a simple service start/stop/status/sync* command line interface.

OpenSVC can be deployed to drive all types of service on all major operating systems, and drive best-of-breed replication strategies available on users’ sites : rsync+snap, zfs, netapp, emc, drbd.

Generalized usage of OpenSVC brings easy group-actions in an heterogeneous datacenter, like those needed for disaster recovery plan activation, or a more localized outage.

Source: FreeBSD OpenSVC clustered service manager available