December 14, 2011

In this Edition:

Letter From the President

From Apprentice to Non-Profit

The Making of The FreeBSD Foundation

My first introduction to FreeBSD came in the form of a tall, wirery, figure, camped out in the Walnut Creek CDROM machine room. Rod Grimes cut the figure of a true hacker: skin only touched by the rays of a glowing CRT, nicotine stains on his long fingers toned by hours of vi keywork, and a wardrobe comprised of faded blue jeans and worn out t-shirts. Regardless of what hours I worked during my internship that summer of 1993, Rod was always awake, hunched over his keyboard, putting all of his energy into the first ever release of FreeBSD.

I was between my second and third years working on an undergraduate degree at the University of California at Berkeley. Even attending the institute of BSD’s genesis, I was completely unaware of Berkeley’s contributions to UNIX. So it was really a stroke of luck, a random choice to take a job organizing OS/2 software into a CDROM distribution, that led me to Walnut Creek that summer to witness the making of FreeBSD 1.0. But without Rod’s passion and dedication, I doubt I’d have realized the opportunity before me.

What I quickly learned from watching Rod and then delving into FreeBSD, was the incompleteness of my education from Berkeley. Sure I was technically proficient in computer algorithms and writing code, but my courses failed to give me a sense of the art of computer engineering: how to be a craftsman practicing my trade, how to design and build a complex system that is robust and maintainable, and how to collaborate successfully in such a system. The structure and methodology behind FreeBSD made it the perfect vehicle for absorbing the real world skills of being a successful programmer.

In 1993, the development model used by the BSDs was rarely encountered in open source projects: revision control, a bug tracking database, a coding style standard, the hardening of software through peer review and discussion, and a governing body to mediate write access to the code and to resolve disputes. Many of these pillars of professional and successful engineering are lacking in both corporate and open source environments today. In fact, it took almost a decade for BSD’s main competitor Linux to catch up and adopt something as fundamental as revision control. In so many ways, FreeBSD’s development model was superior and ahead of the times.

So I started my second education while completing my first. During my last two years at Berkeley I spent most of my free time, and some time I should have devoted to the classes for my degree, absorbing the lessons FreeBSD had to teach. The FreeBSD distribution offered practical examples of how to deal with almost any type of computer science challenge – examples that I found much more compelling than the contrived exercises in my text books. While I was learning I was also able to contribute in small ways. The reviews of my work were much more useful than for the projects associated with my formal studies. The feedback wasn’t always delivered in the most pleasant way, but that in itself provided valuable experience on how to improve my people skills.

Small contributions lead to larger ones. The apprentice became a mentor. Upon receiving my degree, I found myself sitting on FreeBSD’s governing body, the FreeBSD Core Team, with a skill set and experience in high demand and not found in other members of my graduating class.

The historical way to contribute back to the FreeBSD project has always been to volunteer time to enhance the “product” that is FreeBSD. For seven years this was the primary way I repaid FreeBSD for the valuable education I received by being part of its community. However, by 2000 I was struggling to find a better way to ensure the continued success of FreeBSD. FreeBSD’s mindshare growth was slowing. Linux was starting to receive the attention and financial backing of large corporations. I wanted to create something that could promote, protect, and grow the use of FreeBSD even while the duties of my paid day job prevented me from personally achieving that mission. The natural answer was to form a corporation.

This had been done before. Jordan Hubbard was operating FreeBSD Inc., but its charter and activities were never well defined. I wanted to build an entity that engendered the trust of the FreeBSD community, followed in the Open Source spirit of doing good for good’s sake, yet could perform tasks only possible with a legal corporate entity. The FreeBSD Foundation, an open-book, 501(c)3 U.S. non-profit charity, was born.

Fast forward a little over a decade, and the FreeBSD Foundation still adheres to the same mission I defined for it in 2000. Every year we sponsor BSD conferences and events around the globe, work to protect the intellectual property of the FreeBSD project, visit institutions and corporations to promote the use of FreeBSD, and fund research and development projects that enhance the FreeBSD OS. But even with our $400,000 annual budget there are so many things we want to do, but can’t. Just as was the case for me in 2000, the FreeBSD Foundation is searching today for new ways to help support the FreeBSD project.

In the coming months you will see one of the ways the FreeBSD Foundation is changing. Using the feedback we have gleaned from countless meetings with FreeBSD consumers both large and small, the FreeBSD Foundation is sponsoring the work to fully specify and estimate the cost of implementing critical enhancements to the FreeBSD platform. Developed in partnership with the FreeBSD community, the goal of this effort is to provide a roadmap for infrastructure improvements that have long been needed, but have gone unsatisfied due to lack of a coherent direction. This model will also give current and potential supporters of the FreeBSD Foundation concrete insight into our future plans.

I can’t imagine what my life would be like today without my FreeBSD experience. Through the FreeBSD Foundation I hope to give back to the FreeBSD community even more than I have received, and help to ensure that the next young engineer has the same opportunities as I did. However the FreeBSD Foundation can’t do it alone. If FreeBSD has impacted your life, please visit our website and help us to continue FreeBSD’s legacy.

Justin T. Gibbs

President and Founder

The FreeBSD Foundation

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Fundraising Update

The FreeBSD Foundation has been proudly supporting the FreeBSD Project and community for 11 years now. Every year we sponsor BSD conferences and events around the globe, help developers with their travel expenses to attend these conferences, work to protect the intellectual property of the FreeBSD project, visit institutions and corporations to promote the use of FreeBSD, purchase equipment to grow the FreeBSD project’s infrastructure, and fund research and development projects that enhance the FreeBSD OS.

For 2011, we set a fundraising goal of $400,000 with a spending budget of $350,000. As of this publication we have raised $210,000. By this time last year, we had raised $195,000, but ended the year raising a total of $325,000. We are hoping that you, the FreeBSD community, will help us finish the year strong by making a donation this month.

In this newsletter you will have the opportunity to see just some of the places where your donation dollars are going:

  • $100,000 in completed development projects with several other projects approved or in our pipeline.
  • $41,000 in travel grants and conference sponsorships.
  • $45,000 in equipment for maintaining and improving the infrastructure that supports our community.

We hope that when you finish reading the newsletter, you will have a good understanding of the impact your donations to the Foundation have on the Project.

And the FreeBSD Foundation is hard at work to expand our reach and to do even more with the money you give. Based on your feedback, we will be growing our funded development work while giving you, the donor, more insight into the projects we plan to fund. Starting in 2012, the FreeBSD Foundation will be sponsoring project proposal development so that the community can discuss, agree on, and help raise funds for, critical improvements to the FreeBSD OS. These projects, their full specifications and estimated cost, will be available on our website for anyone to review. Be sure to visit our website in the new year to see these projects develop and to lend a hand in their completion.

While reading about the FreeBSD Foundation’s achievements in our newsletter, please consider the value that FreeBSD represents to you. Know that donating to the FreeBSD Foundation is the most cost effective way you can ensure the future of FreeBSD. With your help, we look forward to not only meeting our fundraising goal, but increasing our investment in FreeBSD for 2012.

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Development Project Updates

Feed-Forward Clock Synchronization Algorithms Project

Everyone, and most everything, needs a clock, and computers are no exception. Clocks tend to drift off if left to themselves, however, so it is necessary to bring them to heel periodically through synchronizing to some other reference clock of higher accuracy. An inexpensive and convenient way to do this is over a computer network.

More than 25 years ago, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Request for Comments (RFC) 956, 957, and 958 defined what is now commonly known as the Network Time Protocol (NTP), and its associated feedback based algorithm embodied in the ntpd daemon. For many years it has been the only option available, but now the RADclock, a feed-forward alternative, has been developed.

With the support for feed-forward clock synchronization being merged into CURRENT, December 2011 marks the end of an era. The ntpd daemon is not alone anymore and new synchronization alternatives can be designed, implemented and tested.

The feed-forward clock support is currently available as a kernel option (FFCLOCK). Once enabled, it allows the ntpd and radclock daemons to run concurrently and let the administrator choose which of the two will adjust the system clock. The use of a feed-forward clock is then transparent to all consumers of time within the kernel and all user space applications.

The FFCLOCK support also provides a richer clock API. An important new dimension is the availability of the “difference clock.” With the radclock providing reliable estimates of the frequency of the underlying hardware counter, this API provides ways to measure a small interval of time extremely accurately, virtually free of any errors in clock drift estimates. The BPF subsystem has also been modified to allow clock selection on a per BPF device basis. For example, this feature allows a smooth transition to radclock, letting ntpd adjust the system clock, while experimenting with the radclock to measure network performance metrics or code execution time.

Why should the FreeBSD community care about feed-forward and new clock synchronization support? We believe that many new applications can benefit from a feed-forward clock such as RADclock, which has shown to be a more accurate, and more importantly, more robust clock than the ntpd daemon. Both generic and specialized clock synchronization components can be installed to best suit requirements, be it a network monitoring probe or a cluster node supporting virtual machines, absolute time versus time differences, or the collection of raw timing data enabling final timestamps to be (re)created and corrected/enhanced in post-processing. The radclock daemon has been designed to cover most uses and is a first implementation of a feed-forward clock algorithm.

No clock is perfect. The FFCLOCK support provides functions that help compare two running clocks cleanly on the same event and can help diagnose problems. The specialized clock and clock comparison tools, used to be the domain of experts, but are now available to all. We hope this will encourage the community to try the FFCLOCK support and the radclock daemon, provide feedback, and improve and polish the feed-forward approach.

The FreeBSD Foundation is sponsoring Julien Ridoux and Darryl Veitch at the University of Melbourne to bring the feed-forward support to FreeBSD. The feed-forward has been merged in CURRENT and will be MFC’ed into STABLE thanks to Lawrence Stewart.

A high level description of feed-forward principles for clock synchronization can be found on ACM Queue:

The radclock daemon and peer-reviewed technical papers can be found at:

contributed by Julien Ridoux and Darryl Veitch

Implementing xlocale APIs to Enable Porting libc++

One of the goals for FreeBSD 10 is to be completely free of GPL’d code in the base system. This is no small undertaking. FreeBSD has shipped the GNU C and C++ compilers, and the GNU C++ standard library, for a long time. Unfortunately, the license change to GPLv3 upstream means that we are currently shipping a C++ toolchain from 2007.

There are three major components to a C++ implementation. These are the compiler, the standard template library (STL) implementation, and the ABI library. The compiler turns the C++ source code into assembly or object code and inserts calls into the ABI library for various dynamic features, such as exception handling, run-time type information, and so on. The source code typically references things in the STL implementation directly. These are the parts of the stack that are specific to C++, there are others, such as the linker, the generic unwind library and C standard library, that are required by C++ but are also used by other languages.

In FreeBSD, these parts have traditionally been g++, libstdc++, and libsupc++, all of which come from the GNU project. In recent releases, clang has been imported as an alternative to g++, but that still leaves the standard libraries.

Recently, the LLVM project has provided libc++ as a replacement for libstdc++ on Darwin. Apple ships both libstdc++ and libc++ with OS X 10.7. This provides a good alternative to libstdc++, but it had one major limitation: it only worked on Darwin. The main issue with porting it to FreeBSD was the lack of Darwin’s xlocale APIs in libc. These are variants of all of the locale-aware standard C functions, which take the locale as an explicit parameter.

The FreeBSD Foundation sponsored me to implement the xlocale APIs for FreeBSD. This work is complete and the code is now in -CURRENT. Along with the NetBSD Foundation, the FreeBSD Foundation also paid for libcxxrt, an implementation of the ABI layer that I wrote for PathScale, to be released under a BSD license.

I have just finished importing libcxxrt and libc++ into -CURRENT. They are not built by default yet, because libc++ is written in C++11 and so can’t be built with the old version of g++ that we include (although it can be built with the version of clang that we ship). If you want to try them, then you need to enable building with clang and add MK_LIBCPLUSPLUS=yes to your /etc/make.conf. Alternatively, just check out head and do make and make install in lib/libcxxrt and then lib/libc++ – make sure that CXX is set to clang++, or libc++ will fail to build.

If you want to try it, then after building and installing it just add -stdlib=libc++ to your clang++ command line, for both compiling and linking. This will select the correct set of headers and link the correct library.

I hope to include libc++ as a preview release in FreeBSD 9.1. It probably won’t be used for anything in the base system then, but it will let people test their C++ code with the new stack in preparation for FreeBSD 10, which, all being well, won’t ship with the GNU stack at all (although you’ll still be able to get it from ports).

contributed by David Chisnall

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DIFFUSE (Distributed Firewall and Flow-shaper Using Statistical Evidence) is an extension to the FreeBSD IPFW firewall subsystem developed by the Centre for Advanced Internet Architectures, Swinburne University of Technology. It allows IPFW to classify network traffic in near real-time based on statistical properties of packet flows, and instantiate network actions across a distributed set of “action nodes” for particular flows if required.

DIFFUSE offers a compelling set of features for the FreeBSD community to use and innovate upon, and we thank the FreeBSD Foundation for helping to bring DIFFUSE to FreeBSD.

At its core, DIFFUSE’s design seeks to give network architects and administrators a flexible architecture with which to decouple flow classification/identification from flow treatment. Having one or more classifier nodes control many action nodes in near real-time opens up many possibilities for network traffic management, shaping, policy deployment and provisioning quality of service.

Using machine learning techniques and network traffic class models, the DIFFUSE classifier can classify traffic flows in near real-time, needing only a handful of packets in order to make an initial classification, followed by periodic re-classification throughout a flow’s lifetime. Developing traffic class models is straight forward using the available tools and documentation. In time, it is also hoped a community repository of useful models will be established.

By extending IPFW’s grammar, DIFFUSE allows users to define firewall rules in terms of higher levels of abstraction e.g. a rule can be written to match and prioritise all packets on a set of action nodes which the classifier identifies as belonging to the Skype class. Rules can also be expressed in terms of statistical flow features like average packet length, interarrival time, and size.

Statistical flow features are particularly useful for identifying port-nimble applications and in environments where packet inspection is not possible (e.g. encryption) or prohibitively expensive. Their use as the basis for DIFFUSE’s capabilities can improve the robustness of a firewall rule set because of the higher abstraction used to specify rules.

The code is currently available in the “diffused_head” project branch of the FreeBSD Subversion repository, and will be merged to the head branch (10-CURRENT) soon. Any questions should be directed to Lawrence Stewart (

Development of the DIFFUSE prototype was made possible in part by a gift from The Cisco University Research Program Fund, a corporate advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Many thanks also go to the project’s technical monitor, Björn Zeeb, for reviewing the code and providing excellent feedback.

contributed by Lawrence Stewart

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Conference Updates

EuroBSDCon 2011

EuroBSDcon is the European technical conference for people working on and with 4.4BSD based operating systems and related projects. This conference is held in a different European country each year. In October 2011 the 10th EuroBSDcon was held in Maarssen, The Netherlands.

We were pleased we were able to make this 10th EuroBSDcon a real celebration by having anniversary cakes, ‘poffertjes’ (A sort of special dutch small pancake), and ice cream for all the visitors.

Traditionally, EuroBSDcon has a strong FreeBSD presence, but there is also enough room for the other BSD’s. One of the reasons for the strong FreeBSD presence is the FreeBSD devsummit, which is held parallel to the tutorial days of EuroBSDcon.

During the organization of EuroBSDcon we learned that travel costs of speakers can really put a strain on the budget. Fortunately for our sponsors, among others, The FreeBSD Foundation, we were able to invite a lot more speakers than would have been possible otherwise. And this in turn lead to a better program with more topics for the visitors to choose from.

Besides sponsoring, The FreeBSD Foundation also provides travel grants for visitors and developers who can not afford to go the conference on their own. This gives them the opportunity to visit the conference and exchange knowledge and ideas with other conference attendees.

Now that the conference is over, work is being done to start a EuroBSDcon Foundation to help with organizing EuroBSDcons in the coming years. We plan on announcing next year’s location very soon.

contributed by Jeroen van Nieuwenhuizen

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KievBSD 2011

This year the KyivBSD conference took place at a local university, with plenty of seating. We had around 70 FreeBSD enthusiasts who attended our conference!

This was first year that we tried to separate talks by their general theme – so we had a hardware section and a software section. This was also the first year that we accepted English language talks, and we invited folks from Europe to participate. Talks covered such interesting topics as Intel GEM, Embedded FreeBSD, Enclosure management in FreeBSD, also the IPV6 present state, OS Updating, and general problems of project. The FreeBSD community is growing stronger because of conferences like this. This conference also helps get new people interested in FreeBSD. And it helped raise questions and discussions about some of the project’s problems, like old package s ystem and update issues.

Every visitor received a packet with free items – the packet itself with conference logo, T-shirt, pen, notepad (the real paper one), and everyone who wanted to support FreeBSD could buy some beautifully designed posters. Some of these posters also went to EuroBSDCon.

Here’s a story about something funny that happened in the talk about ipv6. The speaker said that “in the future, there will be no Broadcom at all!,” listeners were puzzled, but silently continued listening to the speaker. When he repeated, “No Broadcom ever!,” and someone said “Maybe broadcasts? There will be no more broadcasts?,” everyone laughed. Of course, he meant broadcasts! Long live Broadcom!!

The main sponsor of this year’s conference (and all past years’ too) was The FreeBSD Foundation. The foundation kindly and generously helps fund this event. From our side, we dedicate a part of the introduction talk to them and we make a small presentation about foundation goals and needs. This is really an important part of the conference, since not many of our attendees know what the foundation does and why they need donations. In kib@’s talk everyone saw how important and difficult the GEM driver was, which was funded by the foundation. Anyway, attendees were willingly and happily buying overpriced “free” stuff, to help the foundation.

contributed by Alexander Yerenkow

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SF Bay Area Vendor Summit, November 2011

On November 3rd and 4th the FreeBSD Project held its second Vendor Summit, sponsored by NetApp and The FreeBSD Foundation. The summit was held on the NetApp campus in Silicon Valley California and encompassed one day of focused discussions and a half day of tutorials. The Foundation provided us with financial backing and support without which we could not have held the summit.

The purpose of the summits is to bring vendors together with members of the project to help focus on areas that might not normally be addressed by the general development community. They’re also a vehicle for getting vendors to contribute code that is not specific to their products and which can greatly help FreeBSD to evolve and grow over time.

In all, a group of 60 people attended the meetings, and 30 of them took one of the two tutorials that were offered. The attendees were drawn from the FreeBSD project as well as engineers and managers representing vendors who use FreeBSD in their projects.

The first day was a series of meetings where the attendees tried to address two questions: 1) What technologies did vendors need from the FreeBSD project? 2) What code could the vendors share with the project? A special section also addressed the project’s virtualization strategy. The meetings generated lists of requests as well as possible contributions that were collected into a comprehensive set of notes which have now been shared with all the attendees.

On the second day John Baldwin taught a tutorial on developing drivers for FreeBSD and Kirk McKusick gave a tutorial about filesystems technology in the operating system. Both tutorials were well attended and well received.

These meetings will now occur twice a year, once at BSDCan, and in the Fall in Silicon Valley.

contributed by George Nevile-Neil

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2011 Grant and Travel Grant Recipients

Every year we sponsor FreeBSD related conferences, and travel to these events for FreeBSD contributors. We believe that BSD-centered and FreeBSD-specific conferences play the dual roles of expanding the FreeBSD user community and supporting collaborative development. The FreeBSD Foundation’s travel grant program helps to reduce financial roadblocks to participation in these events.

Our grant recipients often send us amazing tales of their experiences, proving the value of this program to the FreeBSD community. Below are three of their stories.

contributed by Benedict Reuschling

The months leading up to a BSD conference like EuroBSDCon is an exiting time. These conferences provide an excellent opportunity to get to know the FreeBSD people behind their email addresses and IRC nicks, to discuss issues face to face with each other, and to have a good time with people who share the same passion. EuroBSDCon 2011 was to be held in Maarssen, Netherlands and community members talked actively on IRC about whether or not they would attend. For most people who go to these conferences regularly, it’s relatively easy to save some money beforehand. But, for those who are new to the project, it can be a problem. Especially if, like students attending a university, they do not yet have a regular income.

One such student, Niclas Zeising, runs a FreeBSD mirror server in Sweden. Sweden apparently does not have many BSD users – we currently have only one committer from Sweden! Niclas has been a FreeBSD user longer than I have been and has in recent years started to submit patches to our FreeBSD documentation set. One day we were talking on IRC about various things when the topic of EuroBSDCon came up. I told him what a wonderful time I had at last year’s EuroBSDCon, which was my first BSD conference ever, and that I was planning to attend this one as well. Niclas was interested in meeting the people behind the FreeBSD project and had the time to spend a week away from his university courses. However, he was a bit reluctant. Niclas had recently invested money in and moved to a new apartment. He said that he probably could afford the student prices for the conference as well as his flight, dinners, and other expenses, but that the hotel price was too expensive for him (even with the special rate that the conference organizers had negotiated). Niclas knew about the FreeBSD Foundation travel grant program. The concern was that, since Niclas was not a committer yet, he would have a lower priority for sponsorship. If he submitted a grant request, would it be approved?

By that time, I had already booked my room and knew the total price for it. I thought, “If the price of a hotel room is the only thing standing in Niclas’ way of getting to meet BSD people in person, this should not prevent him from going to EuroBSDCon.” Also, I was curious to get to know him, too. So I offered to pay for his hotel room and we struck a deal: I would submit a travel grant request to the FreeBSD Foundation to pay me back his hotel costs if he agreed to write a trip report about his experiences afterwards. As a bonus, I invited him to the developer summit that took place two days before the conference. I would not have done this for a random stranger on the Internet, but Niclas already had a small track record of work within the FreeBSD Project. This could prove to be a good investment toward a future committer. Niclas happily agreed and we went through with the plan.

I’m very sure Niclas enjoyed the whole experience. A bit shy at first, because he did not know anyone yet, I introduced him to the people I already knew from my last European BSD conference. On the first dinner prior to the developer summit, we were lucky to sit at the same table where Kirk McKusick and Eric Allman were. We had very nice conversations during the evening. What a great introduction to the BSD community and the nice people that are part of it!

Over the next few days, Niclas spent much time talking to various members of the BSD community. During breaks, at dinners, and in the hacking lounges, he was even getting to know some people I had not yet met! It was very interesting to see him having a good time and getting to know the people who were there. It reminded me of my first time among the BSD folk who, in my experience, are very welcoming to newcomers.

When it was time to leave, Niclas was very grateful. He told me that if ever I visited Sweden, he would be glad to give me a tour. Clearly, a big win for me as well!

The FreeBSD Foundation did reimburse me for Niclas’ hotel costs, but even without their sponsorship, I would still have done it. After the conference, our conversations have intensified and Niclas is even more excited about FreeBSD. We are now working on making him a FreeBSD doc committer. What a great experience for both of us and great way to grow our community!

The Success Story of a Certain FreeBSD Writer

contributed by Daichi GOTO <>

In recent years, you may have seen the “Asian FreeBSD Dynamic Duo.” Like fish out of water, finding them at BSDCan, EuroBSDCon and FreeBSD DevSummits is very easy. They always stick out like a sore thumb in a group of world citizens. One of them is the famous, and my respected committer, hrs. The other is me, Daichi, one of the developers that reimplemented unionfs.

The reason why I attend these conferences and summits frequently is to obtain the latest FreeBSD information and to pick up on the subtle nuances of FreeBSD happenings for the population living on a certain large four islands, Japan.

I am Japanese, so I don’t know if it’s my place to say this… Japanese are relatively earnest and skillful. I know many good developers, fluent in many different programming languages. However, they have one major downside. Most of them share a difficulty with a particular language. That language is very hard to learn – harder than C/C++ and other popular programming languages. Most of them failed to master this language. That language is English.

Improving my English skills is one big reason why I attend these conferences every year. One of my jobs is as a technical writer. I know the power of FreeBSD and I translate that power into Japanese for developers and users every day.

I use English to communicate in email, on mailing lists, and forums. Actually I am writing in English right now, but it’s not my strong suit. I’m always concerned about whether or not I have understood correctly. That’s why I believe it’s so important for me to travel to BSD conferences and exchange information.

My precious ability to attend these conferences is sponsored by FreeBSD Foundation. I really appreciate it. To contribute to the Foundation’s support, I’m working very hard with some media firms. I can’t give you the specifics at this moment. But don’t worry! There will be an amazing FreeBSD Christmas present for all developers and users in Japan. It will happen very soon, so stay tuned!

I just wish to say one last time. Thank you again FreeBSD Foundation for your great support!

contributed by Thomas Abthorpe

I am a ports committer, and the work I do in the ports tree is purely as a hobbyist. My day job as a server administrator has nothing to do with my volunteer work within the FreeBSD Project.

That is why I applied for a travel grant from the FreeBSD Foundation. My employer will not pay for a conference for my volunteer work, and the family budget can only absorb a finite amount of the cost of my efforts within the Project. That is were the Foundation comes in. I have been very fortunate to have been sponsored twice to attend conferences: BSDCan 2009 and 2011.

My trip reports are a matter of public record. By attending these conferences I have gained valuable experience, connected with fascinating people that use FreeBSD, learned from presenters and most importantly, forged some friendships that will last a lifetime.

The donations made to the FreeBSD Foundation help to fund development projects, offset the costs running events like BSDCan, and assist with the costs of enthusiasts like me. Without the assistance of a travel grant, it is unlikely that I would ever be able to attend a conference.

So please make a donation to the FreeBSD Foundation. Every little bit goes a long way in keeping the FreeBSD Project viable.

To find out how to apply for a travel grant, please visit To get information on how to apply for a grant, please visit

Here is a list of projects, developers, and conferences we have sponsored for 2011.

2011 Conference Grant Recipients:

  • AsiaBSDCon 2011 Conference
  • BSDCan 2011 Conference
  • EuroBSDCon 2011 Conference
  • KievBSD 2011 Conference

2011 Project Grant Recipients:

  • Swinburne University – Five New TCP Congestion Control Algorithms Project
  • Edward Tomasz Napierala – Resource Containers
  • Konstantin Bilousov – GEM, KMS, and DRI for Intel Drivers
  • Björn Zeeb – IPv6 Day Project
  • University of Melbourne – Feed-Forward Clock Synchronization Algorithms Project
  • Swinburne University – DIFFUSE for FreeBSD Project
  • Implementing xlocale APIs to enable porting libc++

2011 Travel Grant Recipients:

  • FOSDEM – Brooks Davis
  • BSDCan – Thomas Abthorpe, Sergio Ligregni, Simon Nielson, Julien Laffaye, Daichi Goto
  • EuroBSDCon – Daichi Goto, Niclas Zeising, Gleb Kurtsov, Marius Strobl, Brooks Davis, Andrew Turner
  • Other – Mark Linimon, Björn Zeeb

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RideCharge/TaxiMagic Testimonial

RideCharge, Inc. creates innovative technology solutions that improve local ground transportation industries. The company’s most renowned product, Taxi Magic, is an online & mobile software application that revolutionizes the taxi industry by aligning riders, drivers and fleets for a better overall ride experience. Taxi Magic is the first nationwide free online taxi booking service that is directly integrated with taxi dispatch systems, providing consumers with the tools to:

  • Book a taxi from a mobile app or the Web with a few quick taps
  • Track the taxi’s arrival
  • Charge the ride to a credit card through the mobile app
  • Expense the trip with an e-receipt

From its inception, RideCharge has been entirely based on FreeBSD. By leveraging FreeBSD Jails for virtualization, we are able to maximize resources and expand dynamically. ZFS keeps our data safe and our deployments magically quick. Userland DTRACE in FreeBSD 9 is now an indispensable tool for troubleshooting issues in real-time. Even our Juniper firewalls and switches leverage FreeBSD through JUNOS (TM). iXsystems is incredibly helpful in recommending the correct setup and optimizing our technology resources to fit our needs for FreeBSD.

RideCharge is a long time contributor to the FreeBSD ports collection and we employ highly active contributors in the ruby, apache, and perl areas. The Taxi Magic team leverages these incredibly tight feedback loops to quickly and efficiently contribute back to the community.

RideCharge/TaxiMagic has directly sponsored FreeBSD developers to enhance freebsd-update(8). We now use this update to quickly update every machine to maintain PCI DSS Level 1 compliance. These great capabilities are now available to the entire FreeBSD community.

– Philip M. Gollucci, Director Operations, RideCharge/Taxi Magic,

The Apache Software Foundation Testimonial

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) provides organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range of open source software projects. The Foundation provides an established framework for intellectual property and financial contributions that simultaneously limits contributors potential legal exposure. Through a collaborative and meritocratic development process, Apache projects deliver enterprise-grade, freely available software products that attract large communities of users. The pragmatic Apache License makes it easy for all users, commercial and individual, to deploy Apache products.

The ASF powers half the Internet, petabytes of data, teraflops of operations, billions of objects, and enhances the lives of countless users and developers. Established in 1999 to shepherd, develop, and incubate Open Source innovations, “The Apache Way,” the ASF oversees 150+ projects led by a volunteer community of over 350 individual Members and 3,000 Committers across six continents.

ApacheCon North America 2011 was just recently held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where FreeBSD was a highlight in the DevOps track talks. The Apache Software Foundation itself leverages FreeBSD for nearly all of its public facing services including one of the largest SVN repositories in the world. Our repository is mirrored on several continents and contains over 1.4 million revisions stretching for over a decade. We will even be lending a hand converting the FreeBSD CVS ports tree to SVN.

The Apache Software Foundation makes use of both custom FreeBSD Tinderbox and FreeBSD Update servers to rapidly perform application and base system updates across multiple datacenters in an automated, quick, and efficient fashion. The Apache Infrastructure Team frequently works directly with FreeBSD developers to stress cutting-edge features like ZFS under real-world loads.

Like The FreeBSD Foundation, the ASF is also a 501(c)3 organization. Donating to FreeBSD through The FreeBSD Foundation, makes Apache better too and will help make your’s and others’ daily lives less stressful.

– Philip M. Gollucci, past VP of Apache Infrastructure,


Our 2011 Q1-Q3 Profit Loss and 2011 Q1-Q3 Balance Sheet are posted on our website.

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