FreeBSD Foundation Newsletter, August 5, 2013
In this Edition:
Welcome to the FreeBSD Foundation's Semi-Annual newsletter!
We are always striving to improve our communication with the
FreeBSD community on what we have done to support you over the
year. One of our jobs is to be stewards of the funding we
receive, from people like you, to help improve and build the
FreeBSD operating system and community. This is our opportunity
to highlight how we've spent some of those funds.
In this newsletter you will find articles on the recent
development projects we have funded to continue making
FreeBSD the leader in providing a high-performance,
secure, and stable operating system. We sponsored many
conferences and summits this year and the organizers
have written articles telling you how these events
benefit FreeBSD. We love sharing how companies are
using FreeBSD and we were honored to receive a testimonial
from WhatsApp who is using FreeBSD in their product.
We continue to work hard on raising funds to support FreeBSD.
We included a fundraising update to tell you how we've improved
our fundraising strategy, and the positive results we've received
so far. To continue our transparency, we have provided our Q1-Q2
I'm always impressed, inspired, and humbled by the dedication, passion, and
commitment of the FreeBSD developers and volunteers. This
newsletter is dedicated to them. Please consider making a
so we can continue making this the best operating system out
Now, sit back and enjoy our newsletter!
Birthdays are always a good time for reflection. FreeBSD marking
two decades as a highly successful open source project provides
a perfect opportunity to learn from our past and plan for the future.
Looking back through 20 years of FreeBSD development we find amazing
pieces of innovation. The FreeBSD ports system inspired a whole
generation of third-party software management systems. FreeBSD
Jails introduced the world to the benefits of light weight
virtualization. From tightly integrated security features like
Capsicum and Mandatory Access Controls, to advanced networking
concepts such as Netgraph and pluggable TCP congestion control
algorithms, listing all of FreeBSD's technical achievements would
easily overflow our newsletter. But perhaps the most impressive
aspect of FreeBSD's 20 year history is the health and growth of our
community. While thousands of other open source projects have
failed to survive the test of time, FreeBSD's community has thrived,
ready to take on each new challenge. We have much to be proud of.
But just as most "twenty-somethings" can't sit long before seeking
out a new adventure, FreeBSD must grow beyond its past in order to
extend its legacy. Much has changed since FreeBSD's youth. The
combination of ubiquitous networking and commodity high performance
CPUs has spawned "The Cloud." Power efficiency and miniaturization
has placed desktop level compute power in our cell phones and allowed
operating systems like FreeBSD to be used in embedded applications.
The combination of these two trends with a third, social networking,
has yielded a society where we access, create, and publish information
in fundamentally different ways than even 10 years ago. To remain
relevant for the next 20 years, we must accept that as the world
changes so must FreeBSD.
Even the most well positioned commercial entities have difficulty
dealing with change on this scale. The successful ones combine a
vigilant watch for new trends with continuous strategic planning.
All plans must be flexible and adapt as the future unfolds, but
only with a plan can the response to change be coherent and understood
by the full organization. If there was only one thing that I could
hope for as FreeBSD continues to mature, it would be for our community
to engage in more strategic planning.
The FreeBSD Foundation won't provide or control FreeBSD's strategic
plan. FreeBSD's destiny has always been in the hands of its
community. But, I will give three examples of things a strategic
plan for FreeBSD might contain. As you'll see, the type of strategic
plan I'm advocating for is a set of guiding principles for our
future innovation, not some complex master plan that will never
achieve consensus or match reality.
Unify our User Experience
Since its inception, FreeBSD has been a complete platform, managed
in a single revision control system by one community. But, as with
all UNIX-like systems, FreeBSD is a melting pot: a bushel of CSRG,
a shrinking helping of GNU, a dash of System-V, and the occasional
garnish from Linux, OpenSolaris/Illumos, and our fellow BSDs.
Incorporating the best of other systems has made FreeBSD a better
system. The tricky part is managing this diversity while providing
a consistent user experience - a FreeBSD user experience.
By refining the FreeBSD user experience we can ensure that knowledge
gained mastering one task translates to the next. Terminology we
use in our utilities and documentation must be easy to understand
and applied universally. The components of FreeBSD should integrate
into the system using well defined interfaces, have consistent
command line options, and use common mechanisms for configuration.
The UNIX tradition has given us the shell and its amazing power
to combine simple commands to express complex ideas. This can work
well even without taking the time to unify our user experience.
But, if we do pay attention to consistency, not only will FreeBSD
be easier to use, it will be easier to learn. Changes to
the existing system may upset us old timers who have command line
options burned into our muscle memory. But, to bring the next
generation to FreeBSD, it is a change we need.
Design for Human and Programmatic Use
Twenty years ago, an installation of two hundred machines was
considered a large deployment. Today, two hundred machines fit in
a handful of 19" racks, and thousands of machines can make up a
scalable cloud service. Things have changed elsewhere in the usage
spectrum too. Desktop users expect to be able to administrate their
installation without ever having to use the shell. Manufacturers
of embedded appliances also strive to abstract away the complexities
of system configuration and management in order to make their
products simple to use. In these and many other environments, the
tools we provide for status reporting, configuration, and control
of FreeBSD just do not scale or fail to provide the desired user
In the pages of the Foundation's newsletter, we often talk about
FreeBSD success stories in these same environments. How is this
possible given the current state of affairs? Custom management
frameworks. From PCBSD to my employer Spectra Logic's appliances,
the successful user experience is provided by code layered on top
of FreeBSD. There is nothing wrong with this strategy, but because
programmatic use is not designed into FreeBSD, it is difficult to
create a simple or robust management framework.
Even when these management frameworks work well 99% of the time,
it is often impossible for a human that understands the base system
to make a simple change. This problem isn't unique to FreeBSD, as
a recent experience I had with Ubuntu clearly showed. For some
reason Ubuntu wasn't picking up the DNS servers advertised by my
DHCP server. DNS worked in general, but hosts only known to the
local server couldn't be resolved. A quick edit of /etc/resolv.conf
should fix things up! "WARNING! GENERATED FILE! DO NOT MODIFY!"
After a tour through the documentation for the dhcp client, resolvconf
utility, dnsmaskq, and the network manager, seeing similar warning
messages in all their configuration files, I finally gave up.
The FreeBSD of tomorrow needs to give programmability and human
interaction equal weighting as requirements. We should design the
system so that both types of access are intuitive and can occur
simultaneously. The addition of stable programmatic interfaces and
bindings for commonly used management languages (e.g. Ruby, Python,
and Lua) would also simplify the task of writing comprehensive
system and integration tests for FreeBSD.
Embrace New Ways to Document FreeBSD
FreeBSD has an amazing amount of documentation. From man pages,
to the handbook, and the many white papers in between, there is
well written information available on almost any FreeBSD related
topic. If you know where to look. Unfortunately, the current
format of our documentation isn't easy to navigate when the primary
tool for research these days is a query typed into an Internet
To respond, FreeBSD should leverage the same strategies that have
proven successful on the Internet. Include more examples or a
"Getting Started" section to satisfy those lacking the attention
span to fully digest a complicated man page. Upgrade our infrastructure
to allow consumers of our online documentation to easily leave
comments so "crowd sourcing" helps us improve what we publish. Ask
for permission and link to external content (blogs, "How-To" guides,
testimonials) that highlight how to use our system. And finally,
upgrade the cross-referencing and search tools built into FreeBSD,
so FreeBSD, not an Internet search engine, is the best place to
learn about FreeBSD.
FreeBSD is well positioned for its next 20 years. No one can say
what types of changes or challenges we'll meet in the future, but
I'm confident in FreeBSD's success. With our heritage to guide us,
a strong and growing community, and perhaps a bit of planning,
there's no limit to what we can achieve.
Justin T. Gibbs
President and Founder
The FreeBSD Foundation
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Starting on a historic note, the official FreeBSD calendar.birthday
file states that the FreeBSD project was "born" on 19 June 1993
which means that it has just turned 20 years old. Even the FreeBSD
Foundation has become a teenager having turned thirteen on 28 March
of this year.
In past years the Foundation has tended to do nearly all of its
fund raising in the last six weeks of the year. This year we changed
our fundraising strategy, and added more fundraising efforts throughout
the year. Our first fundraising campaign was a Spring
fund raiser in April and May surrounding BSDCan (the largest BSD
We also plan to have a Fall fund raiser in August and September
surrounding the EuroBSD conference (in Malta this year), and of
course our traditional year-end fund raiser.
Setting out to raise money in the Spring (which we are told is a
tough time to raise money) proved to be very successful. Last year
when we were far less focussed on fund raising, we had raised $56,196
by the end of May. By contrast this year we had raised $365,291
by the end of May.
During our Spring Fundraising Campaign, April 17 - May 31, we
raised a total of $219,806. It broke down as $205,973 from 12
organizations and $13,833 from 365 individual donors. In the same
period last year we raised a total of $23,422 broken down as $10,566
from 2 organizations and $12,856 from 53 individuals. We were quite
pleased by the early and enthusiastic response of our community to
While the bulk of the money comes from organizations, our individual
donors are important to us. Most importantly it highlights the level
of community support for FreeBSD. It also helps us meet our U.S.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) public support test. To be considered
a public charity an organization must show that it is of benefit
to the general public and is not just a tax-dodge for large
corporations. While we show this by sponsoring conferences and
supporting the release of FreeBSD, it also helps to show that we
have a large number of individual contributors.
So, it is great that we are reaching our fund raising goals. But
equally important is keeping everyone informed on what we are doing
with the money that we have raised.
We are currently funding or have recently funded these projects to improve FreeBSD:
- Capsicum security-component framework
- Transparent superpages support of the FreeBSD/ARM architecture
- Expanded and faster IPv6
- Native in-kernel iSCSI stack
- Five New TCP Congestion Control Algorithms
- Direct mapped I/O to avoid extra memory copies
- Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot environment
- Porting FreeBSD to the Genesi Efika MX SmartBook laptop (ARM-based)
- NAND Flash filesystem and storage stack
For the first time we have hired technical staff members to help
us work directly with improving and adding these features to FreeBSD,
as well as provide support for the Release Engineering and Security
The funding also helps us continue to sponsor events like:
- Vendor summits
- Developer summits (often in conjunction with the conferences)
We also help fund developer's travel to these events.
Finally, we have been able to increase our marketing efforts to
help promote and advocate for FreeBSD. We designed and produced a
high-quality FreeBSD 9 brochure to hand out at conferences. We
also designed another brochure that educates the novice on what
FreeBSD is about. Lastly, we just contracted someone to write
FreeBSD-related white papers.
Over the past eighteen months we are seeing a large increase in the
number of companies that are developing products using FreeBSD.
With its adoption by Netflix to run their servers, it now is
responsible for serving up more than 25% of the Internet traffic.
At twenty years, FreeBSD is really beginning to take its place in
contributed by Kirk McKusick
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You can help us raise funds by just changing your search engine
to goodsearch.com. We are going to blog about this soon. But, in
the mean time, you can start using this now to help us earn one
penny per search.
For those of you using Safari, you'll have to
install the Glims plugin
in order to configure GoodSearch.com
as your search engine. The proper search URL to configure should be:
As stated in our December 2012 newsletter, the Foundation is ramping up
our investment in all of the ways we support FreeBSD, and we're starting
to see the result in our funded development projects. Since the last
newsletter we've finished projects for Unmapped I/O, a port to the Efika
SmartBook ARM-based laptop, foundational UEFI support, improvements to
capability sandboxing in Capsicum, and modernization of the documentation
infrastructure. We have a number of projects in progress (with individual
updates below) and exciting new projects to announce shortly.
As the Foundation now has permanent technical staff, we're able to broaden
our focus beyond individual projects introducing new functionality. Since
our last newsletter Konstantin Belousov has committed over 50 FreeBSD bug
fixes to improve reliability and stability.
We hope you enjoy reading about these projects, and look forward to
sharing additional projects and our development roadmap.
contributed by Ed Maste
Intel's "VT-d" is a set of extensions originally designed to allow
virtualizing devices. It allows safe access to physical devices from
virtual machines and can also be used for better isolation and increased
performance. The new VT-d driver is undergoing final testing, and will be
committed to FreeBSD shortly.
contributed by Konstantin Belousov
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This project was jointly sponsored with Google.
Capsicum is a novel hybrid capability model that first appeared in FreeBSD 9.0,
targeted at application compartmentalization: thie mitigation of security
vulnerabilities through decomposition of complex and risky applications
into isolated components.
In the big picture, Capsicum provides a tight sandboxing mechanism where access
to all global name spaces is restricted, and also allows actions that can be
performed on file descriptors (representing capabilities) to be limited.
This project achieved a number of goals in both supporting infrastructure and
application sandboxing. Capsicum kernel changes have been merged to FreeBSD
10-CURRENT, including backwards compatibility between current FreeBSD and new
Capsicum capability rights.
A key outcome of the project is the Capsicum service daemon, Casper.
The project implemented many Casper services, including ones for DNS,
password and group information, random number generation, file system,
socket and sysctl access.
A corresponding libcapsicum library has been developed for managing application
capabilities provided by Casper.
Sandboxing has been improved or implemented for
auditdistd, HAST, tcpdump, dhclient, kdump and libmagic.
contributed by Pawel Jakub Dawidek
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Significant progress has been made on the native in-kernel iSCSI target
and initiator project. The primary focus was iSER (iSCSI over RDMA)
support, and the common infrastructure for the target and initiator has
now been completed. Ongoing work will build on this foundation to provide
the actual implementation in the target and initiator.
Once the iSER support is stable, the work will focus on performance
optimisations. The plan is to commit both the new initiator and target
in August, to be ready to ship in the FreeBSD 10.0 release. The project
will continue after that, implementing support for a software iWARP stack
(for testing and development purposes), SCSI passthrough, and various other
contributed by Edward Napierała
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The ARM architecture is becoming more and more prevalent, with increasing
usage beyond traditional strength in the mobile and embedded space.
Among the more interesting industry trends emerging in recent months is
the concept of the "ARM server." Some top-tier companies such as Dell and
HP have already started developing such systems. Key to the success of
FreeBSD in these new areas is support for sophisticated features of the
platform, such as superpages.
The objective of this project is to enable FreeBSD/arm to utilize superpages
which allow the efficient use of TLB translations (by enlarging TLB coverage),
leading to improved performance and scalability. This is intended to work on
ARMv7-based processors while maintaining compatibility with ARMv6.
The project is now nearing completion, with additional testing and benchmarking
to be completed prior to integration into FreeBSD.
contributed by Zbigniew Bodek, Semihalf
The FreeBSD Documentation Project has been using old versions of
markup standards until recently, when we switched to a real XML
toolchain and DocBook 4.5. However, we still depend on obsolete
technologies - DSSSL and Jade. DocBook 5.0 provides cleaner markup and
some nice new features.
The objective of this project is to upgrade the documentation set to
DocBook 5.0 and to properly render our sources without using DSSSL,
since the DSSSL stylesheets are discontinued and cannot render DocBook
5.0. The documentation sources have already been successfully
transformed to DocBook 5.0 and updates to the rendering process are
Apache FOP is an open-source XSL renderer that is often used with XML-based
publishing solutions to render print output. Apache FOP has been integrated
into the FreeBSD documentation rendering toolchain and it is able to
generate high-quality output for all languages that FreeBSD documentation is
translated to. Formatting may still need some minor customizations but FOP
will make it possible to generate print quality PDF for the upcoming print
edition of FreeBSD Handbook. At the same time, dblatex has been evaluated as
an alternative tool so that documentation can be generated in a Java-free
environment, for example, when building release notes as part of the release
building process. It has been found that dblatex is more difficult to
customize and has some limitations but will likely prove sufficient
for release notes.
The development effort on this project is complete, with final
integration expected shortly.
contributed by Gabor Kovesdan
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Shortly after BSDCan this year the foundation contracted with Joseph
Kong, author of Designing BSD Rootkits: An Introduction to Kernel
Hacking and FreeBSD Device Drivers, to write a series of
white papers about the use of FreeBSD in commercial enterprises. The
current work calls for four white papers to be written over the coming
weeks, and the resulting papers will be published by the FreeBSD
Foundation for use by the community. White Papers are an important
tool when working with management and can help make your case when
you're advocating for the use of FreeBSD in a business.
contributed by George Neville-Neil
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A key differentiator for the FreeBSD project is the level
of research that is done with FreeBSD itself. All of the major
areas of system and language research are well represented in the
papers that are accepted for publications by various journals and
conferences each year. Below is a sampling of the research
carried out on FreeBSD in the last year.
- William R. Harris (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Somesh Jha
(University of Wisconsin, Madison), Thomas Reps (University of
Wisconsin, Madison), Jonathan Anderson (University of Cambridge), and
Robert N. M. Watson (University of
Temporal, and Practical Programming with Capabilities, IEEE
Symposium on Security and Privacy ("Oakland"), May, 2013.
- M. Strobl, T. Waas, M. Moolenaar, A. Schingale and N. Balbierer, ,
Nov. 2012, 10
Bit Error Rate Testing Serial Communication Equipment using
Pseudo-Random Bit Sequences in Proc. Third IEEE Germany Student
Conference (IEEE GSC 2012)
- Robert N. M. Watson, Steven J. Murdoch, Khilan Gudka, Jonathan
Anderson, Peter G. Neumann, and Ben
a theory of application compartmentalisation. Security Protocols
Workshop, March, 2013.
N. M. Watson. A
decade of OS access-control extensibilityCommunications of the ACM
56(2), February 2013.
N. M. Watson. A
decade of OS access-control extensibility. ACM Queue 11(1),
January 2013. (Open access, extended version of CACM article.)
contributed by George Neville-Neil
FreeBSD Foundation was a Platinum sponsor of AsiaBSDCon 2013 which was
held in March.
- What is AsiaBSDCon?
AsiaBSDCon is an international conference for users and developers on
BSD-derived operating systems. This conference started in 2004 and
has been held in Japan every year since 2007. It is a 4-day
conference including tutorials, paper session, small meetings and a
banquet. The primary goal of this conference is to collect the best
technical papers and presentations available to ensure that the latest
developments in our open source community are shared with the widest
AsiaBSDCon 2013 was the 8th conference held in
central Tokyo in March, 2013. The number of attendees was 114, and
the number of tutorials and papers were 4 and 15, respectively. For this
conference, a talk has a paper corresponding to it and all the papers are
printed and distributed before the conference. This is a common practice in academia
to help people understand the topics. The official language in the oral
sessions and the papers is English.
This conference has roughly been recognized as "an annual BSD
conference in Japan" and a good place to mingle with such Asian
developers. Tokyo is also attractive as a tourism destination; good
Japanese food, high-speed Internet access, Akihabara Electric Town for
digital gadget geeks---mixture of Eastern traditional culture and
- How does FreeBSD benefit from AsiaBSDCon?
A lot of FreeBSD developers have attended AsiaBSDCon and actively
discussed their on-going projects. In 10 years, more than 80
technical papers on FreeBSD and/or by active FreeBSD developers were
presented. The papers in PDF and videos of them can be found at the
official web site.
Although we already have several long-established BSD conferences
including BSDCan in Canada and EuroBSDCon in European region, few
people living in Asian countries attend them because of the
distance, cost, and language issue. While many developers in the Asian
region are not so visible for this reason, they have worked on
interesting problems due to unique characteristics in terms of
information technology such as internationalization and IPv6 by using
FreeBSD. Over 60 *BSD developers from Asia, Europe, and North America
attend every year. One of the goals of AsiaBSDCon is to provide an
opportunity for face-to-face communication among such people, and it has
worked successfully so far.
- Sponsorship from FreeBSD Foundation
The AsiaBSDCon organizing committee has been supported by sponsorships
from several organizations. The FreeBSD Foundation has been one of the
primary sponsors of AsiaBSDCon for years. These sponsorships allow us
to invite developers from various regions far from Japan such as
Europe and US. We, the committee would like to extend our
appreciation to The FreeBSD Foundation for supporting us.
- Future Conferences
The Japanese people have almost recovered from the big earthquake in 2011
and the situation of Japan is getting much better for foreign people.
The next conference, AsiaBSDCon 2014, is planned in March 2014 and the
preparation is in progress. Please consider submitting your paper and
coming to Japan. Language would not be a problem if you can read
these English sentences because Japan is filled with English signage
and the organizing staff is willing to help you. You are sure to be
satisfied with the experiences there.
Official web site: http://asiabsdcon.org/
contributed by Hiroki Sato
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BSDCan 2013 was a great success. This was our tenth year and
we had many new people attending for their first time. In
total, we had 220 people from 22 countries.
We had a great line up of talks and social events. BSDCan
continues to be a conference where both developers and
end-users meet to learn and work together. Every year,
people come to Ottawa to meet and discuss their mutual
interests. Great working relationships are created and
long-lasting friendships are started. In many instances,
BSDCan is the only chance for collaborators to meet in person.
Sponsorship is key to the operation of BSDCan. Without the
contributions of sponsors, such as The FreeBSD Foundation,
BSDCan would be a vastly different event. Sponsorship allows
us to bring in speakers who would otherwise be unable to attend.
Our thanks to our sponsors, speakers, and attendees. Planning
has already started for BSDCan 2014. See you in May.
contributed by Dan Langille
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A FreeBSD Developers Summit was held May 15th, 16th, and 17th in
Ottawa, Canada alongside the BSDCan 2013 conference. Seventy-three
FreeBSD developers and fifty-one guests attended the summit making it
the largest summit to date. Breakout sessions were held on a wide
range of topics including Documentation, UEFI, Network Receive
Performance, Ports and Packages, Virtualization, and VM and I/O
Concurrency on the first two days of the summit. Scott Long and
Alistair Crooks talked about how Netflix uses FreeBSD, and Erwin
Lansing, Simon Nielsen, and Peter Wemm gave an overview of the
security incident on the FreeBSD.org cluster last November. Several
developers presented talks during a developers summit track open to
all BSDCan attendees on May 17th.
Attendees networked at a casual, summit-wide dinner on Thursday
evening, the 16th and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning
each day hacking code, discussing ideas, and swapping stories in the
Hacking Lounge. The hacking, discussions, and networking continued
during the BSDCan conference.
The developers summit would not have been possible without generous
support from sponsors including The FreeBSD Foundation and BSDCan.
All of the developers and guests who chaired and participated in
breakout sessions and gave talks also contributed greatly to the
contributed by John Baldwin
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In May of 2013 we held our latest Vendor Summit during the FreeBSD
Developer Summit in Ottawa, Canada. The BSDCan Vendor Summit is now
an annual occurrence, and along with the Silicon Valley Vendor Summit,
draws a broad collection of both vendors and developers.
For each Vendor Summit we have a theme and this time it was was about
what user space features we are missing in FreeBSD and how we can make
sure that we have the software and systems in place that make it easy
to use FreeBSD for vendors who are building products that have
significant code above the user/kernel boundary. A great deal of what
we talked about showed that we need to have better support for Java on
FreeBSD, and to that end the Foundation is looking into what can be
done to make it so that FreeBSD is an easy choice for Java developers
and vendors that depend on Java for their systems. That being said,
it wasn't all Java, there is plenty of work here that's outside of
Some of the things we need we already have in our ports system, such
as Zookeeper, Ganglia and Jenkins, which are all popular tools for
vendors running large scale infrastructure.
The ability to now cross build our ports on top of generic, Intel
hardware will allow our vendors to deliver packaged software for ARM
and MIPS architectures without having to build that code on slower,
Areas that were talked about to address over the next six months to a
year included better support for Java, as well as Eclipse, both of
which work on FreeBSD, but which both require constant maintenance to
keep up with performance and security fixes. Virtualization came up
several time in our discussions, with Amazon EC, Azure and VMWare all
being virtualization platforms that we want to support as first class
citizens. Being able to hand a pre-made VM image to a developer to
try FreeBSD is one of the goals that drew a good deal of discussion.
The next Silicon Valley Vendor summit is currently being planned, and
will take place on November 7th 2013.
contributed by George Neville-Neil
The purpose of the BSD-Day is
to summon Central European developers and
users of open-source BSD systems, popularize their work and let them
meet in person. The event therefore welcomes BSD developers and
enthusiasts to present their work, chat with their fellows, or even
reach out to their potential future partners.
This event is an excellent opportunity for every participant --
independently of being a speaker or a casual visitor -- to share his or
her thoughts and meet and socialize with other like-minded people from
the region. To initiate some discussion, we have invited speakers to
give a brief talk on what they are doing in the BSD world. The goal is
to motivate everybody, especially university students to see the
benefits of our approach and take a chance on working with BSD systems,
learning more about it directly from the practitioners themselves.
There was a detour this year to visit the beautiful city of Naples of
Italy, the home of pizza, on the weekend of April 6, 2013. We again had
The FreeBSD Foundation as one of main sponsors, together with the EMC
Corporation, but there were many others who generously decided to
support the organization of the event. All of these contributions
enabled us to cover all the incurring costs, including the travel and
accommodations for all of our invited speakers. We are really grateful
Similarly to the previous years, the whole event started with a dinner
in the downtown of Naples on Friday which suddenly turned into a
do-it-yourself-pizza-fest. There we brought our speakers and met some
of our visitors and had a great chance to try all the different types of
pastas available, having a lot of fun.
On Saturday, we started with a BSDA exam right in the morning with
Attilio Rao, a well-known Italian FreeBSD developer, as proctor. The
place of the exam and the succeeding event was provided by the Institute
of Biostructures and Bioimaging, where we shared a cosy room for both.
We had a surprisingly large number of candidates who took the challenge
and had their BSD skills tested at the exam. Once their time was up, we
could then move on to the presentations from people working with
FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD. The following topics were touched: moving
MCLinker into the BSD world, organization and culture of the FreeBSD
Project, the new callout(9) framework, building and testing ports with
Poudriere and Ports Tinderbox, FreeBSD in the embedded space, and
implementing reliable VPN solutions with OpenBSD. You can watch all the
YouTube, and there is also an event photo album available
pictures. This time each of our speakers were presented with a
fine South-Italian lemon liquor, called Limoncello, and a Certificate of
Appreciation. As this year is important for both the NetBSD and FreeBSD
projects due to their 20th anniversaries, we topped this with serving a
special (and rather tasty) pasteria cake to our audience.
For closing, Paul Schenkeveld (on behalf of the EuroBSDcon Foundation)
gave a brief call for the participants to consider submitting proposals
for this year's EuroBSDcon.
It is going to be held in Malta, only a
few hundred kilometers away from Naples. The event finally concluded
with another dinner at Pony Express, a local Italian restaurant, with the
invited developers, speakers, and their significant others.
We believe that the funds the Foundation has been investing into this
enterprise pays off gradually -- the more users we can motivate the
more donors we bring to the Foundation and hence for the FreeBSD
community. We also believe that by providing this local event, we can
provide the support needed to bring previously active contributors back
on track. Contributors ccan again get in touch with their audiences in their home country,
and make BSD systems an appealing alternative to local companies.
We promoted our event in the BSD Magazine (as usual), and our advertisement
appeared at some local news sites as well. We still believe that the
multi-project nature of the event works well, and made it possible for
the representatives of the featured BSD flavors to get to know each
other better. Meeting others you know from the Internet for a long time
always makes a difference in the real life. This helps with tightening
the connection between parties and makes you feel that you are part of a
great and caring family, with many friends around.
We are hoping to continue with tradition next year too, somewhere
in another Central European country. We have not yet decided which is
going to be the next, so if you would like to have a similar event in
your neighborhoods sometime in next April, do not hesitate to contact us
and apply. Or you can just donate The FreeBSD Foundation so it can keep
us helping in organizing these events!
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The FreeBSD Foundation will again be sponsoring the now-annual
FreeBSD Developer Summit Cambridge, taking place in Cambridge, England.
Topics of discussion for the three-day event will include package building,
cluster administration, Capsicum, Clang/LLVM, build systems, and virtualisation.
The FreeBSD Foundation is a Platinum Sponsor for the upcoming
EuroBSDCon 2013 Conference in St. Julian's Malta, September 28-29. We
are also sponsoring the Developer Summit that takes place the two
days before the conference. Many of our board members will be
there, so make sure you stop by our table to say hi and make a
donation for our Fall Fundraising Campaign!
We are pleased to be a Gold Sponsor for the first biennial
vBSDCon conference, organized and hosted by Verisign. It will be
held in Dulles, Virginia, October 25-27. Many people from
our industry will be attending this conference, so make sure
you don't miss out on this great opportunity to learn from and socialize
with some great FreeBSD people.
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Every year we sponsor FreeBSD related conferences and travel to
these events for FreeBSD contributors. We believe that BSD-centered
and FreeBSD-specific conferences play the dual roles of expanding
the FreeBSD user community and supporting collaborative development.
The FreeBSD Foundation's travel grant program helps to reduce
financial roadblocks to participation in these events.
Our grant recipients often send us amazing tales of their experiences,
proving the value of this program to the FreeBSD community. You can find
these stories and trip reports on our
To find out how to apply for a travel grant, please visit
get information on how to apply for a grant, please visit
Here is a list of projects, developers, and conferences we have
sponsored for 2013.
2013 Conference Grant Recipients:
- AsiaBSDCon 2013 Conference
- BSDCan 2013 Conference
- Ottawa 2013 Developer Summit
- Ottawa 2013 Vendor Summit
- BSDDay 2013
- EuroBSDCon 2013
- vBSDCon 2013
- Developer Summit Cambridge
- Bay Area Vendor Summit
2013 Project Grant Recipients:
- Semihalf - FreeBSD/ARM support
- Edward Napierala - iSCSI Target project
- Pawel Jakub Dawidek - Capsicum Component Framework
- Edward Napierala - Growing Filesystmes Online
- Semihalf - NAND Flash Support
- Aleksandr Rybalko - Porting FreeBSD to Efika ARM platform
2013 Travel Grant Recipients:
BSDCan - Eitan Adler, Renato Botelho do Couto, Florian Smeets, Warren Block, Dirk Engling, Gavin Atkinson
- Open Help - Warren Block
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At WhatsApp we leverage FreeBSD and Erlang to provide industry record
uptime. The ability to scale linearly on commodity hardware has
allowed WhatsApp to keep our serving costs low. These days we run
anywhere between 2 million and 3 million concurrent TCP connections on
a single FreeBSD server as we documented in our
WhatsApp is the leading global mobile messaging service. WhatsApp
Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to
exchange messages without having to pay for SMS and is available for
Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Phone and Nokia! Because
WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for
email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch
with your friends.
- Jan Koum, CEO aka Sr. Tweet Manager,
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2013 Q1-Q2 Profit/Loss
2013 Q1-Q2 Balance Sheet
are posted on our website.
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