October 6, 2021

Here are some highlights of what we did to help FreeBSD last quarter:

Fundraising Efforts

Fundraising last quarter wasn’t as spectacular as we were hoping. But, then again, people tend to take vacations during the summer months, which makes it that more difficult for our funding requests to go through the management chain for approvals.

So far this year we’ve raised $180,000 towards our $2,000,000 spending budget. Why do we need so much money? Well, last year we decided to make more significant software contributions to FreeBSD. In order to do that, we had to grow our team. We developed a technology roadmap based on input we were receiving from commercial users as well as market trends. Based on the roadmap, we identified positions we needed to fill.

This year we’ve hired three full-time software developers, one full-time ARM kernel developer, and one project manager. We also are funding wifi work full-time and some other projects to help with FreeBSD on the desktop. You can read about this effort to attract new users and contributors to the Project in individual entries elsewhere in this status report.

Our growth wasn’t just in our technology team, but in our advocacy team too. Here we hired a marketing coordinator and technical writer to provide more educational and informational content. You’ll see in the Advocacy and Education section below all the work we did to promote FreeBSD, provide community engagement, education opportunities, and informative content to help pave the path to getting started with FreeBSD.

You’ll find out how we used your donations here and in individual entries throughout this status report.

We’re passionate about supporting you, the FreeBSD community, but we can’t do it without your financial support.

Please consider making a donation to help us continue and increase our support for FreeBSD in 2021: https://www.FreeBSDfoundation.org/donate/.

We also have the Partnership Program, to provide more benefits for our larger commercial donors. Find out more information at https://www.FreeBSDfoundation.org/FreeBSD-foundation-partnership-program/ and share with your companies!

OS Improvements

During the third quarter, Foundation staff and grant recipients committed 420 src tree changes, 24 ports tree changes, and 11 doc tree changes. This represents 38%, 48%, and 16% of src, port, and doc commits which identify a sponsor.

You can read about Foundation-sponsored projects in individual quarterly report entries:

  • Base System OpenSSH Update
  • Fixes for msdosfs_rename VOP
  • Hole Punching
  • Improved amd64 UEFI boot
  • Intel Wireless driver support
  • LLDB Debugger Improvements
  • Microchip LAN743x mgb(4) Device Driver
  • OpenZFS RAIDZ Expansion update
  • Using OCF in WireGuard
  • syzkaller on FreeBSD

Foundation-sponsored arm64 work:

  • Support for booting FreeBSD on the Arm Armv8-A AEM simulator
  • sha256 instruction support to libmd(4) on arm64
  • Initial work to support RAS, PAC and BTI on arm64

Continuous Integration and Quality Assurance

The Foundation provides a full-time staff member and funds projects to improve continuous integration, automated testing, and overall quality assurance efforts for the FreeBSD project.

See the separate Continuous Integration entry for details.

Supporting FreeBSD Infrastructure

The Foundation provides hardware and support for the Project. Last quarter, we continued supporting the test cluster at Sentex, purchased a few needed drives and spam filtering software for project email. We also set up a new and more efficient hardware request/purchase process for clusteradm to use.

Partnerships and Commercial User Support

We met virtually with corporate users and started travelling again in late Q3 for some in-person meetings. The goals of the meetings are to facilitate collaboration between commercial users and FreeBSD developers. We also met with companies to discuss their needs and share that information with the Project.

FreeBSD Advocacy and Education

Much of our effort is dedicated to Project advocacy. This may involve highlighting interesting FreeBSD work, producing literature, attending events, or giving presentations. The goal of the literature we produce is to teach people FreeBSD basics and help make their path to adoption or contribution easier. Other than attending and presenting at events, we encourage and help community members run their own FreeBSD events, give presentations, or staff FreeBSD tables.

The FreeBSD Foundation sponsors many conferences, events, and summits around the globe. These events can be BSD-related, open source, or technology events geared towards underrepresented groups. We support the FreeBSD-focused events to help provide a venue for sharing knowledge, working together on projects, and facilitating collaboration between developers and commercial users. This all helps provide a healthy ecosystem. We support the non-FreeBSD events to promote and raise awareness of FreeBSD, to increase the use of FreeBSD in different applications, and to recruit more contributors to the Project. We finally made it back to our first in-person meeting with the Open Source Summit in late September. We are also continuing to attend virtual events. In addition to attending and planning virtual events, we are continually working on new training initiatives and updating our selection of how-to guides to facilitate getting more folks to try out FreeBSD.

Check out some of the advocacy and education work we did last quarter:

We help educate the world about FreeBSD by publishing the professionally produced FreeBSD Journal. As we mentioned previously, the FreeBSD Journal is now a free publication. Find out more and access the latest issues at https://www.FreeBSDfoundation.org/journal/.

You can find out more about events we attended and upcoming events at https://www.FreeBSDfoundation.org/news-and-events/.

Legal/FreeBSD IP

The Foundation owns the FreeBSD trademarks, and it is our responsibility to protect them. We also provide legal support for the core team to investigate questions that arise.

Go to https://www.FreeBSDfoundation.org to find more about how we support FreeBSD and how we can help you!