In May of 2017, we were invited to give a talk about FreeBSD at COPU’s (China Open Source Promotional Unit) Open Source China, Open Source World Summit, which took place June 21-22, in Beijing. This was a tremendous opportunity to talk about the advantages of FreeBSD to the open source leaders and organizations interested in open source. I was honored to represent the Project and Foundation and give the presentation “FreeBSD Advantages and Applications”.
Over the decades, FreeBSD development and coordination has shifted from being purely on-line to involving more and more in-person coordination and cooperation. The FreeBSD Foundation sponsors a devsummit right before BSDCan, EuroBSDCon, and AsiaBSDCon, so that developers traveling to the con can leverage their airfare and hammer out some problems. Yes, the Internet is great for coordination, but nothing beats a group of developers spending ten minutes together to sketch on a whiteboard and figuring out exactly how to make something bulletproof.
This month we’ll look at some projects undertaken by the Foundation’s co-op student employees. Back in May, I introduced Guangyuan (Charlie) Yang and Siva Mahadevan. They’ve worked on a variety of FreeBSD projects over the summer, and each has shared some information on a recent project in a blog post.
As an co-op student at the FreeBSD Foundation, I have the unique opportunity of being encouraged to contribute to other open source projects that help make progress on FreeBSD and its components. One such project that I worked on in July is an analysis of the Capsicum test suite. This test suite targets the Capsicum capability and sandbox framework, which is included in FreeBSD since version 10.0. As described on the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory website, “Capsicum extends the POSIX API, providing several new OS primitives to support object-capability security on UNIX-like operating systems”. Furthermore, the test suite was initially created by David Drysdale at Google while porting FreeBSD’s reference implementation of the Capsicum framework to Linux.
The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team released FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE on July 26, which is the second release from the stable/11 branch, building upon the stability and reliability of 11.0-RELEASE. For more information on what has happened since 11.0-RELEASE, please visit
On the weekend of the G20 summit in Hamburg, a different and more peaceful meeting happened in the Linuxhotel in Essen, Germany. For the third time now, FreeBSD developers, users, and enthusiasts spend the weekend to hack on the operating system and exchange ideas.
In the morning of the first day of the Devsummit, I arrived early to collect my name badge and find a place to sit. Gordon Tetlow greeted me and helped me find my badge. I recognized Dru Lavigne so I walked over to introduce myself. Dru introduced me to Warren who gave me a FreeBSD dog food sticker as a reward for eating my own dog food by running FreeBSD on my laptop. I introduced myself to Allan Jude, Benedict Reuschling, Sean Webb, and Kirk McKusick.
I’m excited to announce our new FreeBSD Foundation Partnership Program! Our work is supported 100% by donations from individuals and organizations.
One of the ways the Foundation supports FreeBSD is by providing development grants for work on individual projects. These allow developers to propose projects they would like to undertake to improve FreeBSD, and request funding to perform that work. The Foundation is always willing to receive proposals, but will occasionally issue a call for proposals to highlight specific areas of focus and to be able to collect and evaluate a group of proposals.
One of our initiatives is to assist in providing face-to-face knowledge sharing and development opportunities around the world. One way we do this is by sponsoring BSD-related conferences and FreeBSD Developer and Vendor Summits. We recently sponsored both BSDCan 2017 and the FreeBSD Developer and Vendor Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, which took place June 7-10, 2017. Many of our board and staff members attended the summit and conference to run tutorials, give presentations, lead sessions, work with developers, give demos, and share knowledge.