2019 in Review: Software Development Projects

12/18/2019

2019 draws to a close with another year of increased Foundation-sponsored FreeBSD software development. As I write this there have been 1276 commits this year tagged as sponsored by the Foundation. That represents about 17% of all commits over the year, and about 45% of commits that identify a sponsor.

Projects completed under development grants include Alan Somers’ FUSE filestem update, Mateusz Guzik’s scalability improvements, and Bjoern Zeeb’s WiFi and SDIO infrastructure updates. Continuing projects include Edward Napierała’s Linuxulator improvements to test and diagnostic tools, and Matt Ahrens’ online RAID-Z expansion.

Foundation staff have continued and increased software development efforts across many different areas of FreeBSD. A growing focus on security improvements is apparent in the integration of fuzzing tools, vulnerability mitigations, and assisting with the release of security advisories and errata notices.

In addition to working on CPU and software vulnerability mitigations, Konstantin Belousov continued his focus on improvements to many Intel x86 machine-dependent components, the userland threading library, runtime linker, tmpfs filesystem, and many others. Konstantin also spent a significant amount of time on code reviews from across the FreeBSD community.

Mark Johnston worked on integrating the Syzkaller code coverage-guided system call fuzzer, including fixing many issues found by the tool. Mark also collaborated on fixes for a number of reported security vulnerabilities. Mark integrated Capsicum into a number of tools in the base system, collaborated on RISC-V and NUMA improvements, and worked on improving hardware support for contemporary laptops.

Glen Barber completed his tenure with the Foundation overseeing the FreeBSD 11.3 release, as well as improving support for Google Cloud Platform and other platforms.

Li-Wen Hsu continued to support and improve FreeBSD’s continuous integration infrastructure. Li-Wen’s effort to triage failures and notify committers has taken us from a roughly 50% test failure rate at the beginning of the year to 95%+ passing at the end. This greatly increases the value of the test suite in identifying regressions.

Finally, I spent much of this year assisting with security updates, tool chain improvements including integration of LLVM’s lld linker, arm64 support, Capsicum integration, and countless small fixes across many functional areas.

— contributed by Ed Maste

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