August 24, 2023

This Working Group began because a long-time FreeBSD user, Michael Osipov, took the time to provide the Foundation with detailed notes on where he is hitting limits with FreeBSD. 

The next step was to gauge interest – I posted this call for interest on LinkedIn and on Discord and the response was great. 40 people raised their hands to join the WG. Here is the breakdown of the 40 people by their role.

Getting down to business

A lucky 13 people, myself included, joined the first meeting of the Enterprise Working Group on August 16. Here’s the recap.

After the housekeeping, including a reminder of the FreeBSD Code of Conduct we ratified the WG charter and moved on to the list of gaps. 

In the process, we had a nice discussion in a few areas:

Scientific computing

One of the first points of discussion had to do with the adjacent, but I think slightly different, scientific computing use case. This was great timing because literally earlier in the week I had a call with a long-time FreeBSD user and community member who is trying to improve FreeBSD in this area. After the call, I connected everyone and my Foundation colleague Joe Mingrone also added some ports maintainers working in this area. If you are interested in helping in this area, please let me know and I will connect you with the right folks. 


The next discussion had to do with shoring up Samba support. Allan Jude mentioned how Klara is working on a special Samba module to go into upstream to allow it to take advantage of the new block reference tree ZFS feature. To get more general upstream support for FreeBSD in Samba we need to get FreeBSD workers in the Samba CI system. Thenext step here is to seek volunteers from the community to work upstream on FreeBSD support. Please reach out if you can help.

Cloud Native

One attendee commented that of all the topics, Cloud Native is the most important in their view, perhaps more important than all the others combined. Allan brought a new project to the group’s attention, called XC: Others asked how this relates to runj. The Open Container Initiative community is working on FreeBSD support and some Enterprise WG participants have expressed interest in helping. THANK YOU!

High-end AI / HPC Nvidia GPU drivers

A participant working at a data center server manufacturer asked about the status of Nvidia GPU drivers in FreeBSD for for AI and for HPC applications, such as  Nvidia h100/a100

Added to gaps list

People raised the following items to be added to the gaps list:

  • eBPF
  • Zero trust FreeBSD builds
  • Reproducible FreeBSD builds
  • SBOM for FreeBSD

Question about Configuration management

A participant asked how well SALT, Puppet, and Ansible support FreeBSD

All three are used in production and work great – Ansible and SALT seem more popular. Here are some resources:

You can check out the recording of the meeting here: FreeBSD Foundation Enterprise Working Group Meeting #1

If this is an area of interest and you’d like to help, please complete this Google Form and help make FreeBSD a better general purpose enterprise OS.