FreeBSD Foundation Newsletter, December 23, 2006
In this Edition:
Improve. Nurture. Protect. These three words succinctly describe
the guiding principles of the FreeBSD Foundation. As we close out
our sixth year, reflect on our accomplishments, and plan for the
year ahead, we renew our dedication to improving the FreeBSD operating
system, and nurturing and protecting the FreeBSD community. This
newsletter chronicles some of our recent achievements.
Along with an update on Java support for FreeBSD,
we are pleased to announce the first of what is hoped to be many
collaborative development projects (see
Network Stack Virtualization Project).
Partnerships with educational institutions, non-profits, and businesses
have the potential to increase the scope and number of development projects
we can fund annually. As always, we invite individuals as well as
potential partners to contact us with their ideas for future projects.
Sponsoring development projects is only part of the FreeBSD Foundation's
mission. This year we have again increased our investments in
FreeBSD related conferences and our
conference travel grant program. Conferences play
a crucial role in promoting FreeBSD. They also provide an unrivaled
opportunity for our community to present its work and collaborate. Through
these and other programs, the FreeBSD Foundation is constantly working
to support the FreeBSD community.
While our development projects and grant programs are perhaps the most
visible signs of our activity, it is our commitment to protecting the
FreeBSD project and its ideas that is the FreeBSD Foundation's most
important mission. From the DMCA to patent issues, the laws that impact
our community are complex and changing. For this reason, the FreeBSD
Foundation has always provided the FreeBSD core team with access to legal
counsel. Our status as a 501(c)3 charity further enables us to serve
as a trusted steward of the FreeBSD project's trademarks and
to negotiate contracts on the project's behalf. For 2007, we will continue
to protect FreeBSD in the ways that only a legally recognized entity can.
2006 has been a year of tremendous growth for the FreeBSD Foundation.
I want to thank all of our donors for their generous support. As a
100% donor supported organization, we could not exist without you!
Looking forward, we have yet to meet our funding target needed
to support our programs for early 2007. If you are not already a donor,
I encourage you to learn more about the FreeBSD Foundation through this
newsletter and our website.
I hope you'll reach the same conclusions as our large rank of existing
by participating in our End of Year Fundraising
Justin T. Gibbs
We are in the final week of our
2006 End of Year Fundraiser. Though
we haven't reached our goal of $200,000 yet, the response has been
overwhelming. As of this publication, we have raised around $87,000, plus
we have another $45,000 in donation commitments from three companies.
We are asking the community to help us continue our support of the
FreeBSD project and community by making a donation to the foundation now.
We can't say it enough, the success of this effort will have a large
impact on our budget for next year. We have spent around $180,000 this
year covering such things as:
Sponsoring major FreeBSD-related conferences, like EuroBSDCon,
AsiaBSDCon, and BSDCan.
Sponsoring several FreeBSD Developer summits associated with these
Supporting developer travel to a variety of conferences and developer
Supporting Java development and certification on the FreeBSD
Platform, as well as associated trademark and OEM licensing for
Supporting storage, network stack, and multiprocessor development
work, including building a multiprocessor test cluster to provide a
remote "check out" high speed network test environment for network
Legal support, including trademark work, license review, and other
areas of legal involvement and protection for the project.
Acquiring hardware for developers, acquiring everything from ARM
embedded development hardware for volunteers to coordinating the
donations of major pieces of hardware, including NetApp filers
and 10gbps switches for the FreeBSD.org cluster systems.
To recognize our generous donors, we have added a
donors page to our
website. Though some have requested to remain anonymous, we wanted to
give a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. We did
add a note field on the PayPal page to allow contributors to indicate if
they wish to remain anonymous. Some people have taken it upon themselves
to leave special notes for us in this field. From messages like "FreeBSD
Rocks!" to "Thanks for your work!", we appreciate all of the comments.
The work of the foundation is entirely supported by donations. We are
a 501(c)(3) corporation, based in Colorado, and your donation may be
The FreeBSD Foundation has negotiated a joint technology development
agreement with NLNet and the University of Zagreb to develop virtualized
network stack support for FreeBSD. With the generous sponsorship of
NLNet, the FreeBSD Foundation has contracted Marko Zec at the University
of Zagreb with the goal of producing a prototype implementation on
FreeBSD 7-CURRENT in early 2007. Network stack virtualization allows
complete networking independence between jails on a system, including
giving each jail their own firewall, virtual network interfaces, rate
limiting, routing tables, and IPSEC configurations. This powerful tool
extends jails toward full operating system virtualization and addresses
many of the known limitations of jails.
Network stack virtualization offers great value to production hosting
environments, promising FreeBSD system virtualization at a far
lower performance cost than full hardware virtualization, as well as
supporting strong isolation for overlay networks and complex virtual
network topologies. This will also be a powerful tool in network
research environments allowing virtual networks and systems to be
created dynamically at low cost and overhead. The FreeBSD Foundation and
University of Zagreb are collaborating to produce an early prototype in
the FreeBSD Perforce repository; while an initial prototype is now up
and running, significant work lies ahead. We hope to bring this work
to the larger FreeBSD development community in 2007.
The FreeBSD Foundation continues to bring the latest Java technology to
the FreeBSD community. With a new year approaching Sun has again renewed
our license for Java technology and support. With the volunteer work of
Greg Lewis, we released new binaries in September supporting the latest
security fixes from Sun. We are now in the process of testing the latest
updates from Sun with FreeBSD 6.2. These binaries should be available
soon after 6.2 is available. We are also looking into adding support
for Java™ SE 6 JDK 6.
Last July the foundation assisted the project with a donation of 2 Sun
T1000 servers from Sun. Since then, the port to the sun4v architecture has
been going well. FreeBSD 7.0 is running multi-user with full hardware
support and a number of test users. There are two T1000 machines in the
FreeBSD cluster. There is a boot/install ISO image freely available
(online), and John Birrell is working on a DVD that will boot into a
running system and that contains a large number of ports pre-built for use
on sun4v machines. In addition to John, Kip Macy continues to be actively
involved in the project; he plans on adding machine-dependent support for
Alan Cox's forthcoming transparent superpages support in the near term.
The FreeBSD Foundation was the leading sponsor for EuroBSDCon
2006, which took place in Milan, Italy in November.
The two-day conference featured a variety of BSD and FreeBSD-related
presentations, including tutorials:
- VoIP and FreeBSD (Massimiliano Stucchi)
- Firewalling with PF (Peter Hansteen)
- Building Clusters with FreeBSD (FreeBSD Core Team member Brooks Davis)
and conference presentations such as:
- Writing User-land File-systems for the BSDs (FreeBSD Foundation
travel grant recipient Kristaps Johnson)
- Third-Party Software Management under BSD (FreeBSD Developer, Google
Summer of Code Student Andrew Pantyukhin)
- How the FreeBSD Ports Collection Works (FreeBSD Port Manager Team member
- Adding IPv6 Support for IPFW2 Firewall and DUMMYNET Traffic Shaper
(Raffaele De Lorenzo, FreeBSD Developer Luigi Rizzo, Mariano Tortoriello)
- Building and Running an Open-Source Community: The FreeBSD Project
(FreeBSD Developer Kirk McKusick)
- How the FreeBSD Project Works (FreeBSD Core Team member Robert Watson)
- The Kylin Operating System (Qingbo Wu)
- Interrupt Filtering (FreeBSD Developer, Google Summer of Code Student
- CAPP-Compliant Security Event Audit System for Mac OS X and FreeBSD
(FreeBSD Core Team member Robert Watson)
The conference was preceded by a two-day FreeBSD developer summit attended
by over two dozen FreeBSD developers, largely from Europe.
The developer summit involved detailed technical discussions and
presentations on an array of topics, including:
- Network and full system virtualization
- Wear-leveling file systems for compact flash
- In-kernel IPFW libalias and NAT support
- gcc4 security features
- The future of revision control systems on FreeBSD
- The PR system
- Live demonstration of Sun's ZFS file system on FreeBSD 7
- GJournal UFS journaling
- TrustedBSD audit and privilege framework
- Interrupt filters
Especially impressive were the demonstrations by Pawel Dawidekof of his
ZFS and gjournal filesystem projects running on FreeBSD 7.0. Pawel made
extensive use of the FreeBSD Foundation's netperf test cluster during
his development and testing. The FreeBSD Foundation was also able to
financially help several non-developer FreeBSD advocates who spoke at
the conference, as well as Google Summer of Code students, attend the
The FreeBSD Foundation is proudly sponsoring AsiaBSDCon in Tokyo, Japan, in March 2007. It's been two years since the
last BSD conference in Asia. The organizers believe there is a need to have a BSD conference in Asia to fill in the gap between
BSDCan in Canada, and EuroBSD in Europe.
"Japan is one of the largest per capita users of BSD operating systems,
and is one place where BSD is on par, or even ahead, of Linux in usage
by individuals and companies. Several consumer electric companies are
using BSD in their products, including a well known series of printers,"
said George Neville-Neil, AsiaBSDCon program committee chair.
One goal of the conference is to make the cost of attending low, to ensure
a large number of people can attend from the developing nations of Asia.
The foundation will be providing a few travel grants to FreeBSD
developers to attend this conference. An announcement will
be sent out after January 1 with the dates for submitting travel grant
A large portion of our budget is allocated to sponsoring FreeBSD
related conferences and financially helping developers attend these
conferences. We believe that BSD-centered and FreeBSD-specific conferences
play critical roles in expanding the FreeBSD user community and supporting
collaborative development. This year we sponsored some individuals to
attend new conferences to represent the FreeBSD Project. Soon we will be
adding a grants page so we can let the community know who we have chosen
to fund as well as include trip reports for travel grant recipients.
2006 Grant Recipients:
- BSDCan 2006 Conference
- FreeBSD Developer Summit at BSDCan
- EuroBSDCon 2006 Conference
- AsiaBSDCon 2007 Conference
- BSD Certification Group
Travel Grant recipients for this year were:
- LinuxWorld - Dru Lavigne
- UKUUG - David Malone
- BSDCan - Peter Hansteen, Jason Evans, Attilio Rao, Max Laier,
Poul-Henning Kamp, Colin Percival, Murray Stokely, Ruslan Ermilov
- EuroBSDCon - Peter Hansteen, Brooks Davis, Kristaps Johnson,
Salvatore Albanese, Mark Linimon, Robert Watson
In June we worked with Netgate to provide ARM-based development boards
at a reduced cost. This was done to accelerate development of FreeBSD
support for the ARM architecture and to set forth at least one board as
a reference platform for ARM support. This worked well with a dozen
developers receiving Gateworks Avila 2348 boards that have an XScale
processor, dual-port Ethernet, an IDE compact flash slot, and flash
memory. FreeBSD is now running multi-user on these boards and being
evaluated by several companies for deploying products. Gateworks has
also joined in supporting this work providing additional boards to
developers to enable support for more board configurations.
The FreeBSD project has a development environment for doing network
testing and performance analysis. This testbed is hosted by Sentex Corp
in Ontario, Canada and has been setup using Gigabit Ethernet adapters.
The Foundation is working to upgrade this environment with 10Gigabit
interconnects through donations by vendors. We have received network
adapters from Myricom, Neterion, and Intel, and Cisco has generously
donated a 10Gigabit switch to connect the various adapters.
Adapters from other vendors are being solicited so that we can do
interoperability testing in addition to the driver development and
network performance tuning already being done.
Our 2006 YTD Profit/Loss
and Balance Sheet are
now posted on our website.