FreeBSD Foundation to spend $1,000,000 on FreeBSD development and promotions

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced it will invest $1,000,000 this year to fund FreeBSD development and the promotion of it.

FreeBSD foundation logo

FreeBSD is internationally recognized as an innovative leader in providing a high-performance, secure, and stable operating system. Our mission is to continue and increase our support and funding to keep FreeBSD at the forefront of operating system technology. But, we can’t do this without your help!

Last year with your generosity, we raised over $770,000. This allowed us to not only achieve our goal, but to exceed it by over $250,000.

This year, with your help, we will do more.
This year we will double the amount we spend.
This year we will invest $1,000,000 to support and promote FreeBSD.

What will the Foundation accomplish with your donation in 2013?

  • Spend almost $600,000 on software development projects for FreeBSD.
  • Support the Release Engineering and Security teams with paid staff time.
  • Grow to five technical staff members by year-end.
  • Support BSD conferences around the globe, in Europe, Japan, Canada, and the USA.
  • Spend over $130,000 on hardware to maintain and improve FreeBSD project infrastructure.
  • Grow the FreeBSD community through marketing and outreach to users and businesses.
  • Protect the FreeBSD trademarks and provide the project with access to legal counsel.

We have kicked off the new year with 3 newly funded projects, and are actively soliciting additional project proposals now. We’ve added one new technical staff member and are in the process of adding more.

Please support the Foundation during our Spring Fundraising Drive, and help us raise $100,000 from 1000 donors between April 16th and May 30th.

We can’t do this without you!  Just go to http://www.freebsdfoundation.org/donate to make your donation.  Then talk to your employer to either match your gift or to make their own donation.

Thank you for your support!

FreeBSD Foundation Announces Capsicum Framework Project

The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that Pawel Jakub Dawidek has been awarded a development grant to further improve the Capsicum framework. The grant is jointly funded by Google’s Open Source Programs Office.

The project includes the integration of previous work, implementation of new programmer-friendly capability system calls, improvements to the Casper Capsicum service daemon, and sandboxing various security-sensitive applications.

“My previous Capsicum work focused on improving the framework itself to make it a better fit for real world applications. This new project will make use of the improved Capsicum to secure sensitive programs and libraries found in FreeBSD. The project will also produce many examples for others to follow, allowing them to take advantage of Capsicum to improve the security of their programs,”

said Pawel.

Ben Laurie, of Google’s security team, added that

“traditional operating system security is based on Access Control Lists (ACLs). Decades of experience has made it quite clear this is the wrong model – but how can we move to a better way without having to rebuild everything? Capsicum shows that it is possible to migrate gradually from the broken ACL world to a more robust capability based world. We are pleased to be involved in the next step of its evolution.”

The project is expected to be completed by June 2013.

Source: FreeBSD Announce Mailinglist

FreeBSD Foundation is soliciting submission of project proposals (2013)

freebsd_foundation 100.x100The FreeBSD Foundation annually (200920102011, 2012) asks the FreeBSD (developers) community for any project proposals that they’d like to work on, and, this is the interesting part, get funding for from the Foundation.

The Foundation has invited the Community again this year:

The FreeBSD Foundation is soliciting the submission of project
proposals for funded development grants. Proposals may be related to any of the major subsystems or infrastructure within the FreeBSD operating system, and will be evaluated based on desirability, technical merit, and cost-effectiveness.

Key dates for this proposal solicitation:

  • Call for proposals: 27th March 2013
  • Deadline for submissions: 26th April 2013
  • Notifcation of accepted proposals: 17th May 2013

Proposals must include the following:

* A detailed description of what is being proposed, how it will
benefit the FreeBSD Project, and why the work is needed.
* A timeline and costing for the project.
* One or more people that will act as technical reviewers for the work.

Proposals are open to all developers, including non-FreeBSD
committers, but developers without access to commit to the source tree must provide details about how the completion guidelines will be achieved. (source)

All details on the proposal submission process can be found on the Project Proposal Procedures page.

There are many projects and loose ends to pick up, so if you’re interested, have al look at the FreeBSDD ideas page or hang out on the FreeBSD Forums.

iXsystems debuts exclusive ZFS Encryption Feature in FreeNAS 8.3.1

ixsystems logo

Following the release of FreeNAS 8.3.1, iXsystems has released the following announcement:

iXsystems continues to lead the way for free and open source software with the release of FreeNAS Version 8.3.1. With this update, FreeNAS becomes the first open source storage platform to offer encryption for the advanced Zettabyte File System (ZFS). This is the first point release of the 8.3 branch, including updates to several components for security and stability.

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoFreeNAS makes powerful features easy to use and accessible to everyone; until now, encryption for ZFS has been inaccessible to the general public. Thanks to ZFS encryption, security-conscious users will be able to prevent their data from being read if the disks are disconnected from their system.

The ZFS encryption module runs as fast as unencrypted volumes on processors that support the AES-NI instruction set. AES-NI instructions are available on many Intel and AMD processors.

The encryption key management has been made user friendly with options for automatically restarting the volume, or requiring an operator to manually enter in a key depending on the user’s required level of security. In addition encryption allows for confidence when retiring and recycling hard drives because the drives no longer need to be wiped provided the keys are obliterated.

In the future, iXsystems will be able to bring features and improvements from FreeBSD, the enterprise open source operating system, to the FreeNAS community faster. This is a result of the FreeNAS codebase moving to FreeBSD 9. Alfred Perlstein, VP of Software Engineering at iXsystems, says,

“With the FreeNAS and the FreeBSD code bases closer together, both userbases will benefit from testing and development done on the entire platform.”

FreeNAS 8.3.1 also updates many of the services and components of FreeNAS, providing upgraded hardware support, bug fixes, and performance enhancements. FreeNAS 8.3.0 has been the most popular FreeNAS release to date with over 500,000 downloads. iXsystems is looking forward to the continued growth of the FreeNAS community with the release of version 8.3.1, and to more opportunities to make powerful technology accessible for FreeNAS users.

About FreeNAS® 
FreeNAS is a free and open source Network Attached Storage operating system based on FreeBSD. The goal of the project is to design a lightweight, BSD-based software package that acts as a full featured NAS server, complete with a Django-based web user interface, full ZFS implementation, and the ability to interface with existing networks – regardless of operating system or protocol. The encryption system introduced in Version 8.3.1 makes FreeNAS the only Free and Open Source ZFS encryption offering in the world.

About iXsystems: 
iXsystems builds rock solid enterprise-class server and storage solutions. All of our products are assembled, tested, and shipped from our company headquarters in Silicon Valley. Technical support is provided in-house by the same engineers that build the systems. Thousands of companies, universities, and U.S. Government departments have come to rely on iXsystems’ customer-first commitment to excellence. iXsystems champions the cause of Open Source technology by dedicating extensive resources to several FreeBSD community projects: FreeNAS, PC-BSD, FreeBSD, and TrueOS.

Porting FreeBSD to Efika Platforms Project Completed

freebsd_foundation 100.x100The FreeBSD Foundation announced in November 2012 that Aleksandr Rybalko had been awarded a grant to port FreeBSD to the Genesi Efika MX SmartBook laptop and SmartTop nettop devices.

The Foundation updated its blog today to say the project is now completed.

You’ve already seen or at least heard about ARM systems running FreeBSD. In most cases it’s routers, firewalls, network storage, etc. Why doesn’t anyone use FreeBSD on an ARM based desktop or laptop? It is because no one had implemented Xorg support for boards supported by FreeBSD. Now you have a way to do just that!

I’m glad to introduce an Xorg driver for ARM, and not only ARM but for syscons framebuffer devices. It’s called xf86-video-scfb. The driver is very simple, and has been tested and works on the Efika MX and Raspberry Pi devices. I hope it w ll work with other devices, including those not based on ARM.

FreeBSD Efika Project completed