FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report (Oct – Dec 2009)

The FreeBSD’s quarterly status report for 2009 Q4 is now available:

This report covers FreeBSD related projects between October and December 2009. This is the last of the four reports covering 2009, which has shown to be a very important year for the FreeBSD Project. Besides other notable things, a new major version of FreeBSD, 8.0-RELEASE, has been released, while the release process for 7.3-RELEASE is soon to begin.

Table of Contents

Google Summer of Code

  • BSD-licensed iconv


  • 3G USB support
  • Clang replacing GCC in the base system
  • FreeBSD TDM Framework
  • HAST — Highly Available Storage
  • Intel XScale hwpmc(9) support
  • POSIX utmpx for FreeBSD
  • SUJ — Journaled SoftUpdates
  • The webcamd deamon

FreeBSD Team Reports

  • FreeBSD Bugbusting Team
  • FreeBSD Release Engineering
  • The FreeBSD Foundation Status Report

Network Infrastructure

  • bwn(4) — Broadcom Wireless driver
  • IP Payload Compression Protocol support
  • Ralink wireless RT2700U/2800U/3000U run(4) USB driver
  • Syncing pf(4) with OpenBSD 4.5
  • Wireless mesh networking


  • CAM-based ATA implementation
  • Group Limit Increase
  • NFSv4 ACL support
  • V4L support in Linux emulator


  • The FreeBSD German Documentation Project
  • The FreeBSD Hungarian Documentation Project
  • The FreeBSD Spanish Documentation Project


  • Flattened Device Tree for embedded FreeBSD
  • FreeBSD/ia64
  • FreeBSD/mips
  • FreeBSD/sparc64


  • Chromium web browser
  • Ports Collection
  • VirtualBox on FreeBSD

Vendor / 3rd Party Software

  • DAHDI (Zaptel) support for FreeBSD
  • NVIDIA amd64 driver


  • AsiaBSDCon 2010 — The BSD Conference
  • BSDCan 2010 — The BSD Conference
  • meetBSD 2010 — The BSD Conference
  • The FreeBSD Forums

Userland utilities

  • BSD-licensed text processing tools

Read the report

Quick news and links

Security Advisories

The FreeBSD Security issued 3 security advisories

FreeBSD Errata Notice

Since FreeBSD 8.0 was released, several stability and performance problems have been identified. This Errata Notice describes several fixes judged to be of particular importance, but low risk, to users with specific workloads or using specific features that trigger these problems.

Areas where problems are addressed include NFS, ZFS, Multicast networking, SCTP as well as the rename(2) syscall.


Adopt a FreeBSD Port

There are currently 4726 ports without maintainer, which means that no one is actively maintaining them. Out of these ports, 243 (roughly 5.00%) are out of date. Can you help?

Android SDK

Android SDK on FreeBSD is now available for FreeBSD 8

ZFS Patches on FreeBSD 7

Alexander has made a lot of ZFS patches for FreeBSD 7

FreeBSD Snapshots

The first batch of FreeBSD snapshot releases for 2010 are now available:

PBI Builder 2.5

A newer version of the PC-BSD PBI Builder (package builder) has been released

FreeBSD 6.3 EoL – 31 Jan 2010

eol-end-of-lifeOn January 31st, FreeBSD 6.3 will reach its End of Life and will no longer be supported by the FreeBSD Security Team. Users of this release are strongly encouraged to upgrade to a newer release before that date — more conservative users will probably wish to upgrade to FreeBSD 6.4 or FreeBSD 7.1 (which are both extended-support branches), while others will probably wish to upgrade to FreeBSD 7.2 or FreeBSD 8.0.

The freebsd-update(8) utility can be used to upgrade i386 and amd64 systems from 6.3-RELEASE (or 6.3-RELEASE-pX for some X) to 6.4-RELEASE using binary updates (i.e., without compiling from source) as described in the 6.4-RELEASE
announcement; given an adequate internet connection, this process usually takes 15 minutes or less.


Miscelaneous FreeBSD Links (Updated)

FreeBSD 8: an evolutionary release of the unknown giant

FreeBSD 8.0 is a major release of the free UNIX descendant. Support for ZFS, jails and USB have been improved, but the release also adds new features, such as NFSv4 and Xen DomU support and some new kernel-related tools. The release notes detail these and other changes that appear in the latest FreeBSD.
Continues here

VirtualBox 3.1.2 for FreeBSD

Call for testers. and here take #2

Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in December 2009
FreeBSD again at number 1

In the final month of 2009, Swishmail, iWeb Technologies and WestHost had the most reliable hosting company sites. All three sites responded to all but one of Netcraft’s requests throughout December.

This is Swishmail’s second consecutive appearance at the top; last month, it shared the glory with Verio. Swishmail’s website is served by nginx on FreeBSD. This New York based company specialises in business email hosting, but also offers several web hosting plans, all of which include access to a webmail client and shared calendars.

Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit 2009
Brooks Davis recently reported on his trip to the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit 2009.

KOffice2 for FreeBSD available

The KDE FreeBSD team is proud to announce the release of KOffice2 suite for FreeBSD.


Install Zabix (howto)

Zabbix is an enterprise-class open source distributed monitoring solution. Installation instructions can be found here (translated with Google Translate)

How the FreeBSD Project’s Processes help companies build products

George Neville-NeilGeorge Neville-Neil has written the lead article for the January 2010 issue of the Open Source Business Resource (OSBR) and the FreeBSD Foundation is the sponsor for this month’s issue. The entire issue is available as a PDF and George’s article is also available in HTML.

From the article’s abstract:

The processes that open source projects use to produce new work and maintain the quality of their code base is a subject that comes up infrequently in discussions of open source. One reason for this is that engineers and programmers are usually loathe to deal with issues that are not directly related to the piece of code or technology that they are working on.

Successful businesses know that good processes lead to continued success. The attributes that attract a business to an open source project are stability, reliability, and longevity. Stability gives a business the confidence to invest time into developing products on the project’s platform, safe in the knowledge that the next incremental step in development won’t be torpedoed by some unforeseen change. Reliability is often not associated with open source and many projects are perceived as being too cutting edge for a business to build upon. Longevity is of value as many businesses are inherently conservative in their approaches, attempting to reduce the risks of adopting any technique or technology. One way to reduce risk is to work with an open source project that has a proven track record of delivering quality products, on schedule.

This article attempts to dispel the myth of the perceived tension between a formally run business and the apparently less formally run open source projects with which a business interacts. We describe how one particular open source project has developed processes which provide its users, customers, and partners with a product that is stable, reliable, and long lived.

Read George’s articlle in full

Re: Why BSDs got no love

Remember that we linked to a post called “Why BSDs got no love” by Jack Wallen on TechRepublic? That article has provoked a lot of comments and feedback.

If you’re interested in reading them, check the comments on Jack’s blog and the discussion on the FreeBSD Advocacy mailinglist.

Chad Perrin has now published an article called “Why security gets no love“. GUI’s decrease security…

Happy New Year

I wish you all, regular readers and visitors of this website, a happy and prosperous 2010.

Hopefully, we will be seeing a stronger and bigger open source software c0mmunity in general this year and an increase in the use and adoption of FreeBSD. I’m looking forward to PC-BSD 8.0 with KDE 4.4 as well (going beta very soon).

Let’s see how FreeBSD 9 is shaping up at the end of the year. Ivan Voras has started a new page with all the new stuff finding its way into FreeBSD 9 (just like he did with FreeBSD 7 and 8): What’s cooking for FreeBSD 9.

FreeBSD fund raising drive – final plea

The FreeBSD Foundation has not reached its fund raising goal for 2009 yet ($46,000 short of their $300,000 goal). The Foundation is hoping to to double spending on development in 2010 and needs our help:

Why make a donation? Right now we’re putting together our 2010 budget. Our goal for next year is to double our project development spending, continue sponsoring BSD-related conferences, sponsor more developers to travel to these conferences, and spend more on needed equipment for the project.

I’ve made my donation this year.  You can too. You may donate to the Foundation here

Read the final plea here

The Foundation announced earlier this week it’s receiving a cheque for $500 from the Bad Code Offsets project. I’ve never heard of this project:

The project is a way to undo the bad code other people have written without actually replacing the bad code. Much like carbon offsets, money used to buy Bad Code Offsets goes towards open-source projects which not only produce good code, but produce software that helps developers build good software

Read the announcement