May 4, 2023

I am happy to report my recent attendance at the DevSummit and AsiaBSDCon 2023. The FreeBSD Foundation generously sponsored the trip, and I am grateful for the opportunity to attend. At the DevSummit I had the opportunity to present a talk on the status of the OpenStack on FreeBSD project. I was excited to share our progress with the community and discuss some of the challenges we faced along the way. The presentation was well received, and I received valuable feedback and suggestions from other attendees, which will help us improve the project further. Overall, it was a great experience to be able to share our work and collaborate with others in the community.

In the Q&A session of my presentation, Richard Yao provided some tips to investigate the nested virtualization issue of bhyve that I encountered. This advice was beneficial and will save us time and
resources as we proceed with this project.

One of the significant challenges we faced when working on the project was that there were no Linux bridges and network namespaces that the OpenStack Neutron heavily used in the FreeBSD world. I got a chance to discuss this with Kristof Provost. I gained more confidence about the next move in the network porting part by asking and discussing with him. We aim to solve this with the counterpart solutions in the FreeBSD world: pf for iptables, vnet for Linux namespace, and epair for veth. This conversation was invaluable and will help us to make progress on this critical aspect of the project.

I also had the opportunity to meet with a speaker from the UPB who undertook the OpenStack Nova porting task. During our conversation, I learned precious experiences about what could be the obstacle in front of the project. This informative conversation will help us anticipate potential challenges and develop solutions.

Day 1 of the paper session started with a great talk by Mike Chu. I’ve been in the cloud industry for years, mainly working in the Linux world. I’m interested in similar tools, solutions, and even ecosystems in the BSD world. Mike’s talk showed us the missing puzzle of the container ecosystem in FreeBSD, i.e., the capability of building, managing, and distributing FreeBSD containers. After the presentation, we had a chance to have lunch together and discussed the philosophy of FreeBSD jails and Linux containers. It was a fruitful debate.

There were a lot of bhyve sessions on day 1, and I attended most of them. It’s nice to see bhyve has such rich feature sets. It also reminded me that the current implementation of the OpenStack on FreeBSD project only integrated the essential functions of bhyve. There is still a lot to be done in the future.

On the last day of the AsiaBSDCon 2023, I attended two different sessions hosted by my fellow students from university talking about VT-IME and wtap(4). Both showed incredible potential to contribute to
FreeBSD, and I was astonished by their solid knowledge of kernel development. I had the privilege to discuss their impressive works face-to-face to learn how they got to where they are today. It’s interesting to know the non-tech background of the developers.

Overall, my attendance at the AsiaBSDCon 2023 was a valuable experience. I was able to present the current status of the OpenStack on FreeBSD project, learn from other experts in the field, and gain valuable insights that will help us to make progress on this important project.

Contributed by: Chih-Hsin Chang