July 31, 2017

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.

The Foundation is working with Intel to add support for Nonvolatile DIMM support (NVDIMM) to FreeBSD, and Charlie contributed a patch to the userland acpidump tool to report ACPI NVDIMM information in a user-friendly manner. This will allow other developers and end-users to confirm that NVDIMMs are correctly recognized, for both emulated and physical hardware devices. Charlie describes the procedure to build a recent QEMU emulator with NVDIMM support in order to test out the new functionality here.

The Capsicum sandboxing framework extends the POSIX API to introduce practical capability based security, and the Foundation has sponsored several projects relating to Capsicum over the last few years. As part of the port of Capsicum to Linux, Google’s David Drysdale created a Capsicum test suite. A small number of failures in the test suite highlighted open questions surrounding Capsicum design and implementation decisions. Siva recently investigated the results of the test suite, and contributed a number of fixes. This also prompted a discussion in the biweekly Capsicum hangout which lead to resolving the open questions around kernel behavior. You can read about Siva’s work on the test suite here.

– Contributed by Ed Maste