August 29, 2023

The FreeBSD Project is proud to have participated in the Google Summer of Code program since its inception in 2005. As we near the completion of the 2023 season, the Foundation asked a few of our GSoC students to share more about themselves and their experience working with the Project.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are in your education journey.

Hi! My name is Aymeric Wibo and I’m currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at the University of Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

Q: Have you ever worked with Google Summer of Code before? 

Nope! First time.

Q: Why did you want to work with FreeBSD? 

I’ve been running FreeBSD as my primary OS for a bit over 2 years and I had already submitted a few patches here and there, so I thought the natural next step would be to work on something a bit more substantial for FreeBSD, especially after having briefly met some of the members of the project at FOSDEM this year.

Q: Please tell us a little about your Google Summer of Code project.

My project was getting FreeBSD to support BATMAN mesh networks. BATMAN is a routing protocol developed by Freifunk to build city-scale open Wi-Fi networks based on the principles of net-neutrality.

Concretely, that consisted of porting the batman-adv kernel module from Linux to FreeBSD (as batman_adv). This makes use of the LinuxKPI, which is a kernel interface for translating Linux calls to FreeBSD code, and the new Netlink support in FreeBSD.

Q: What have you learned from this experience so far? 

A lot!

More specifically, I’ve learned loads about the internals of the Linux and FreeBSD network stacks, and I now feel much more comfortable navigating through their respective sources and tracking down network-related issues. I’ve also learned how to use the excellent kernel debugging tools FreeBSD provides (kgdb, dtrace, and, most importantly, printf ;)).

Overall I feel like I’ve progressed a lot as a developer in a very short time and gained a lot of transferable experience!

Q: How has working with the FreeBSD Project been? 

Wonderful! It’s always a pleasure to work on open-source projects. People in the FreeBSD community are very responsive and willing to give a hand, and I very much appreciated having a mentor (hi mmokhi@!) to guide me through the parts I got stuck on.

I look forward to continuing to work on FreeBSD in the future!