August 5, 2013
In this Edition:
- Letter From the President
- Fundraising Update
- Fundraising with GoodSearch
- Development Project Updates
- Research Highlights
- Conference Updates
- 2013 Grant and Travel Grant Recipients
- WhatsApp, Inc. Testimonial
Welcome to the FreeBSD Foundation’s Semi-Annual newsletter!
We are always striving to improve our communication with the FreeBSD community on what we have done to support you over the year. One of our jobs is to be stewards of the funding we receive, from people like you, to help improve and build the FreeBSD operating system and community. This is our opportunity to highlight how we’ve spent some of those funds.
In this newsletter you will find articles on the recent development projects we have funded to continue making FreeBSD the leader in providing a high-performance, secure, and stable operating system. We sponsored many conferences and summits this year and the organizers have written articles telling you how these events benefit FreeBSD. We love sharing how companies are using FreeBSD and we were honored to receive a testimonial from WhatsApp who is using FreeBSD in their product.
We continue to work hard on raising funds to support FreeBSD. We included a fundraising update to tell you how we’ve improved our fundraising strategy, and the positive results we’ve received so far. To continue our transparency, we have provided our Q1-Q2 financial reports.
I’m always impressed, inspired, and humbled by the dedication, passion, and commitment of the FreeBSD developers and volunteers. This newsletter is dedicated to them. Please consider making a donation so we can continue making this the best operating system out there!
Now, sit back and enjoy our newsletter!
Letter From the President
Birthdays are always a good time for reflection. FreeBSD marking two decades as a highly successful open source project provides a perfect opportunity to learn from our past and plan for the future.
Looking back through 20 years of FreeBSD development we find amazing pieces of innovation. The FreeBSD ports system inspired a whole generation of third-party software management systems. FreeBSD Jails introduced the world to the benefits of light weight virtualization. From tightly integrated security features like Capsicum and Mandatory Access Controls, to advanced networking concepts such as Netgraph and pluggable TCP congestion control algorithms, listing all of FreeBSD’s technical achievements would easily overflow our newsletter. But perhaps the most impressive aspect of FreeBSD’s 20 year history is the health and growth of our community. While thousands of other open source projects have failed to survive the test of time, FreeBSD’s community has thrived, ready to take on each new challenge. We have much to be proud of.
But just as most “twenty-somethings” can’t sit long before seeking out a new adventure, FreeBSD must grow beyond its past in order to extend its legacy. Much has changed since FreeBSD’s youth. The combination of ubiquitous networking and commodity high performance CPUs has spawned “The Cloud.” Power efficiency and miniaturization has placed desktop level compute power in our cell phones and allowed operating systems like FreeBSD to be used in embedded applications. The combination of these two trends with a third, social networking, has yielded a society where we access, create, and publish information in fundamentally different ways than even 10 years ago. To remain relevant for the next 20 years, we must accept that as the world changes so must FreeBSD.
Even the most well positioned commercial entities have difficulty dealing with change on this scale. The successful ones combine a vigilant watch for new trends with continuous strategic planning. All plans must be flexible and adapt as the future unfolds, but only with a plan can the response to change be coherent and understood by the full organization. If there was only one thing that I could hope for as FreeBSD continues to mature, it would be for our community to engage in more strategic planning.
The FreeBSD Foundation won’t provide or control FreeBSD’s strategic plan. FreeBSD’s destiny has always been in the hands of its community. But, I will give three examples of things a strategic plan for FreeBSD might contain. As you’ll see, the type of strategic plan I’m advocating for is a set of guiding principles for our future innovation, not some complex master plan that will never achieve consensus or match reality.
Unify our User Experience
Since its inception, FreeBSD has been a complete platform, managed in a single revision control system by one community. But, as with all UNIX-like systems, FreeBSD is a melting pot: a bushel of CSRG, a shrinking helping of GNU, a dash of System-V, and the occasional garnish from Linux, OpenSolaris/Illumos, and our fellow BSDs. Incorporating the best of other systems has made FreeBSD a better system. The tricky part is managing this diversity while providing a consistent user experience – a FreeBSD user experience.
By refining the FreeBSD user experience we can ensure that knowledge gained mastering one task translates to the next. Terminology we use in our utilities and documentation must be easy to understand and applied universally. The components of FreeBSD should integrate into the system using well defined interfaces, have consistent command line options, and use common mechanisms for configuration.
The UNIX tradition has given us the shell and its amazing power to combine simple commands to express complex ideas. This can work well even without taking the time to unify our user experience. But, if we do pay attention to consistency, not only will FreeBSD be easier to use, it will be easier to learn. Changes to the existing system may upset us old timers who have command line options burned into our muscle memory. But, to bring the next generation to FreeBSD, it is a change we need.
Design for Human and Programmatic Use
Twenty years ago, an installation of two hundred machines was considered a large deployment. Today, two hundred machines fit in a handful of 19″ racks, and thousands of machines can make up a scalable cloud service. Things have changed elsewhere in the usage spectrum too. Desktop users expect to be able to administrate their installation without ever having to use the shell. Manufacturers of embedded appliances also strive to abstract away the complexities of system configuration and management in order to make their products simple to use. In these and many other environments, the tools we provide for status reporting, configuration, and control of FreeBSD just do not scale or fail to provide the desired user experience.
In the pages of the Foundation’s newsletter, we often talk about FreeBSD success stories in these same environments. How is this possible given the current state of affairs? Custom management frameworks. From PCBSD to my employer Spectra Logic’s appliances, the successful user experience is provided by code layered on top of FreeBSD. There is nothing wrong with this strategy, but because programmatic use is not designed into FreeBSD, it is difficult to create a simple or robust management framework.
Even when these management frameworks work well 99% of the time, it is often impossible for a human that understands the base system to make a simple change. This problem isn’t unique to FreeBSD, as a recent experience I had with Ubuntu clearly showed. For some reason Ubuntu wasn’t picking up the DNS servers advertised by my DHCP server. DNS worked in general, but hosts only known to the local server couldn’t be resolved. A quick edit of /etc/resolv.conf should fix things up! “WARNING! GENERATED FILE! DO NOT MODIFY!” After a tour through the documentation for the dhcp client, resolvconf utility, dnsmaskq, and the network manager, seeing similar warning messages in all their configuration files, I finally gave up.
The FreeBSD of tomorrow needs to give programmability and human interaction equal weighting as requirements. We should design the system so that both types of access are intuitive and can occur simultaneously. The addition of stable programmatic interfaces and bindings for commonly used management languages (e.g. Ruby, Python, and Lua) would also simplify the task of writing comprehensive system and integration tests for FreeBSD.
Embrace New Ways to Document FreeBSD
FreeBSD has an amazing amount of documentation. From man pages, to the handbook, and the many white papers in between, there is well written information available on almost any FreeBSD related topic. If you know where to look. Unfortunately, the current format of our documentation isn’t easy to navigate when the primary tool for research these days is a query typed into an Internet search engine.
To respond, FreeBSD should leverage the same strategies that have proven successful on the Internet. Include more examples or a “Getting Started” section to satisfy those lacking the attention span to fully digest a complicated man page. Upgrade our infrastructure to allow consumers of our online documentation to easily leave comments so “crowd sourcing” helps us improve what we publish. Ask for permission and link to external content (blogs, “How-To” guides, testimonials) that highlight how to use our system. And finally, upgrade the cross-referencing and search tools built into FreeBSD, so FreeBSD, not an Internet search engine, is the best place to learn about FreeBSD.
FreeBSD is well positioned for its next 20 years. No one can say what types of changes or challenges we’ll meet in the future, but I’m confident in FreeBSD’s success. With our heritage to guide us, a strong and growing community, and perhaps a bit of planning, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.
Justin T. Gibbs
President and Founder
The FreeBSD Foundation
Starting on a historic note, the official FreeBSD calendar.birthday file states that the FreeBSD project was “born” on 19 June 1993 which means that it has just turned 20 years old. Even the FreeBSD Foundation has become a teenager having turned thirteen on 28 March of this year.
In past years the Foundation has tended to do nearly all of its fund raising in the last six weeks of the year. This year we changed our fundraising strategy, and added more fundraising efforts throughout the year. Our first fundraising campaign was a Spring fund raiser in April and May surrounding BSDCan (the largest BSD conference).
We also plan to have a Fall fund raiser in August and September surrounding the EuroBSD conference (in Malta this year), and of course our traditional year-end fund raiser.
Setting out to raise money in the Spring (which we are told is a tough time to raise money) proved to be very successful. Last year when we were far less focussed on fund raising, we had raised $56,196 by the end of May. By contrast this year we had raised $365,291 by the end of May.
During our Spring Fundraising Campaign, April 17 – May 31, we raised a total of $219,806. It broke down as $205,973 from 12 organizations and $13,833 from 365 individual donors. In the same period last year we raised a total of $23,422 broken down as $10,566 from 2 organizations and $12,856 from 53 individuals. We were quite pleased by the early and enthusiastic response of our community to our appeal.
While the bulk of the money comes from organizations, our individual donors are important to us. Most importantly it highlights the level of community support for FreeBSD. It also helps us meet our U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) public support test. To be considered a public charity an organization must show that it is of benefit to the general public and is not just a tax-dodge for large corporations. While we show this by sponsoring conferences and supporting the release of FreeBSD, it also helps to show that we have a large number of individual contributors.
So, it is great that we are reaching our fund raising goals. But equally important is keeping everyone informed on what we are doing with the money that we have raised.
We are currently funding or have recently funded these projects to improve FreeBSD:
- Capsicum security-component framework
- Transparent superpages support of the FreeBSD/ARM architecture
- Expanded and faster IPv6
- Native in-kernel iSCSI stack
- Five New TCP Congestion Control Algorithms
- Direct mapped I/O to avoid extra memory copies
- Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot environment
- Porting FreeBSD to the Genesi Efika MX SmartBook laptop (ARM-based)
- NAND Flash filesystem and storage stack
For the first time we have hired technical staff members to help us work directly with improving and adding these features to FreeBSD, as well as provide support for the Release Engineering and Security teams.
The funding also helps us continue to sponsor events like:
- Vendor summits
- Developer summits (often in conjunction with the conferences)
We also help fund developer’s travel to these events.
Finally, we have been able to increase our marketing efforts to help promote and advocate for FreeBSD. We designed and produced a high-quality FreeBSD 9 brochure to hand out at conferences. We also designed another brochure that educates the novice on what FreeBSD is about. Lastly, we just contracted someone to write FreeBSD-related white papers.
Over the past eighteen months we are seeing a large increase in the number of companies that are developing products using FreeBSD. With its adoption by Netflix to run their servers, it now is responsible for serving up more than 25% of the Internet traffic. At twenty years, FreeBSD is really beginning to take its place in the world.
contributed by Kirk McKusick
Fundraising with GoodSearch
You can help us raise funds by just changing your search engine to goodsearch.com. We are going to blog about this soon. But, in the mean time, you can start using this now to help us earn one penny per search.
For those of you using Safari, you’ll have to install the Glims plugin in order to configure GoodSearch.com as your search engine. The proper search URL to configure should be:
Development Project Updates
As stated in our December 2012 newsletter, the Foundation is ramping up our investment in all of the ways we support FreeBSD, and we’re starting to see the result in our funded development projects. Since the last newsletter we’ve finished projects for Unmapped I/O, a port to the Efika SmartBook ARM-based laptop, foundational UEFI support, improvements to capability sandboxing in Capsicum, and modernization of the documentation infrastructure. We have a number of projects in progress (with individual updates below) and exciting new projects to announce shortly.
As the Foundation now has permanent technical staff, we’re able to broaden our focus beyond individual projects introducing new functionality. Since our last newsletter Konstantin Belousov has committed over 50 FreeBSD bug fixes to improve reliability and stability.
We hope you enjoy reading about these projects, and look forward to sharing additional projects and our development roadmap.
contributed by Ed Maste
I/O Memory Management Unit
Intel’s “VT-d” is a set of extensions originally designed to allow virtualizing devices. It allows safe access to physical devices from virtual machines and can also be used for better isolation and increased performance. The new VT-d driver is undergoing final testing, and will be committed to FreeBSD shortly.
contributed by Konstantin Belousov
Capsicum Component Framework
This project was jointly sponsored with Google.
Capsicum is a novel hybrid capability model that first appeared in FreeBSD 9.0, targeted at application compartmentalization: thie mitigation of security vulnerabilities through decomposition of complex and risky applications into isolated components.
In the big picture, Capsicum provides a tight sandboxing mechanism where access to all global name spaces is restricted, and also allows actions that can be performed on file descriptors (representing capabilities) to be limited.
This project achieved a number of goals in both supporting infrastructure and application sandboxing. Capsicum kernel changes have been merged to FreeBSD 10-CURRENT, including backwards compatibility between current FreeBSD and new Capsicum capability rights.
A key outcome of the project is the Capsicum service daemon, Casper. The project implemented many Casper services, including ones for DNS, password and group information, random number generation, file system, socket and sysctl access. A corresponding libcapsicum library has been developed for managing application capabilities provided by Casper.
Sandboxing has been improved or implemented for auditdistd, HAST, tcpdump, dhclient, kdump and libmagic.
contributed by Pawel Jakub Dawidek
Native iSCSI Target and Initiator
Significant progress has been made on the native in-kernel iSCSI target and initiator project. The primary focus was iSER (iSCSI over RDMA) support, and the common infrastructure for the target and initiator has now been completed. Ongoing work will build on this foundation to provide the actual implementation in the target and initiator.
Once the iSER support is stable, the work will focus on performance optimisations. The plan is to commit both the new initiator and target in August, to be ready to ship in the FreeBSD 10.0 release. The project will continue after that, implementing support for a software iWARP stack (for testing and development purposes), SCSI passthrough, and various other improvements.
contributed by Edward Napierała
The ARM architecture is becoming more and more prevalent, with increasing usage beyond traditional strength in the mobile and embedded space. Among the more interesting industry trends emerging in recent months is the concept of the “ARM server.” Some top-tier companies such as Dell and HP have already started developing such systems. Key to the success of FreeBSD in these new areas is support for sophisticated features of the platform, such as superpages.
The objective of this project is to enable FreeBSD/arm to utilize superpages which allow the efficient use of TLB translations (by enlarging TLB coverage), leading to improved performance and scalability. This is intended to work on ARMv7-based processors while maintaining compatibility with ARMv6.
The project is now nearing completion, with additional testing and benchmarking to be completed prior to integration into FreeBSD.
contributed by Zbigniew Bodek, Semihalf
Doc Project Infrastructure
The FreeBSD Documentation Project has been using old versions of markup standards until recently, when we switched to a real XML toolchain and DocBook 4.5. However, we still depend on obsolete technologies – DSSSL and Jade. DocBook 5.0 provides cleaner markup and some nice new features.
The objective of this project is to upgrade the documentation set to DocBook 5.0 and to properly render our sources without using DSSSL, since the DSSSL stylesheets are discontinued and cannot render DocBook 5.0. The documentation sources have already been successfully transformed to DocBook 5.0 and updates to the rendering process are under development.
Apache FOP is an open-source XSL renderer that is often used with XML-based publishing solutions to render print output. Apache FOP has been integrated into the FreeBSD documentation rendering toolchain and it is able to generate high-quality output for all languages that FreeBSD documentation is translated to. Formatting may still need some minor customizations but FOP will make it possible to generate print quality PDF for the upcoming print edition of FreeBSD Handbook. At the same time, dblatex has been evaluated as an alternative tool so that documentation can be generated in a Java-free environment, for example, when building release notes as part of the release building process. It has been found that dblatex is more difficult to customize and has some limitations but will likely prove sufficient for release notes.
The development effort on this project is complete, with final integration expected shortly.
contributed by Gabor Kovesdan
Shortly after BSDCan this year the foundation contracted with Joseph Kong, author of Designing BSD Rootkits: An Introduction to Kernel Hacking and FreeBSD Device Drivers, to write a series of white papers about the use of FreeBSD in commercial enterprises. The current work calls for four white papers to be written over the coming weeks, and the resulting papers will be published by the FreeBSD Foundation for use by the community. White Papers are an important tool when working with management and can help make your case when you’re advocating for the use of FreeBSD in a business.
contributed by George Neville-Neil
A key differentiator for the FreeBSD project is the level of research that is done with FreeBSD itself. All of the major areas of system and language research are well represented in the papers that are accepted for publications by various journals and conferences each year. Below is a sampling of the research carried out on FreeBSD in the last year.
- William R. Harris (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Somesh Jha (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Thomas Reps (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Jonathan Anderson (University of Cambridge), and Robert N. M. Watson (University of Cambridge). Declarative, Temporal, and Practical Programming with Capabilities, IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (“Oakland”), May, 2013.
- M. Strobl, T. Waas, M. Moolenaar, A. Schingale and N. Balbierer, , Passau, Germany, Nov. 2012, 10_Bit_Error_Rate_Testing_Serial_Communication_Equipment_using_Pseudo-Random_Bit_Sequences in Proc. Third IEEE Germany Student Conference (IEEE GSC 2012)
- Robert N. M. Watson, Steven J. Murdoch, Khilan Gudka, Jonathan Anderson, Peter G. Neumann, and Ben Laurie. Towards a theory of application compartmentalisation. Security Protocols Workshop, March, 2013.
- Robert N. M. Watson. A decade of OS access-control extensibilityCommunications of the ACM 56(2), February 2013.
- Robert N. M. Watson. A decade of OS access-control extensibility. ACM Queue 11(1), January 2013. (Open access, extended version of CACM article.)
contributed by George Neville-Neil
FreeBSD Foundation was a Platinum sponsor of AsiaBSDCon 2013 which was held in March.
– What is AsiaBSDCon?
AsiaBSDCon is an international conference for users and developers on BSD-derived operating systems. This conference started in 2004 and has been held in Japan every year since 2007. It is a 4-day conference including tutorials, paper session, small meetings and a banquet. The primary goal of this conference is to collect the best technical papers and presentations available to ensure that the latest developments in our open source community are shared with the widest possible audience.
AsiaBSDCon 2013 was the 8th conference held in central Tokyo in March, 2013. The number of attendees was 114, and the number of tutorials and papers were 4 and 15, respectively. For this conference, a talk has a paper corresponding to it and all the papers are printed and distributed before the conference. This is a common practice in academia to help people understand the topics. The official language in the oral sessions and the papers is English.
This conference has roughly been recognized as “an annual BSD conference in Japan” and a good place to mingle with such Asian developers. Tokyo is also attractive as a tourism destination; good Japanese food, high-speed Internet access, Akihabara Electric Town for digital gadget geeks—mixture of Eastern traditional culture and advanced technology.
– How does FreeBSD benefit from AsiaBSDCon?
A lot of FreeBSD developers have attended AsiaBSDCon and actively discussed their on-going projects. In 10 years, more than 80 technical papers on FreeBSD and/or by active FreeBSD developers were presented. The papers in PDF and videos of them can be found at the official web site.
Although we already have several long-established BSD conferences including BSDCan in Canada and EuroBSDCon in European region, few people living in Asian countries attend them because of the distance, cost, and language issue. While many developers in the Asian region are not so visible for this reason, they have worked on interesting problems due to unique characteristics in terms of information technology such as internationalization and IPv6 by using FreeBSD. Over 60 *BSD developers from Asia, Europe, and North America attend every year. One of the goals of AsiaBSDCon is to provide an opportunity for face-to-face communication among such people, and it has worked successfully so far.
– Sponsorship from FreeBSD Foundation
The AsiaBSDCon organizing committee has been supported by sponsorships from several organizations. The FreeBSD Foundation has been one of the primary sponsors of AsiaBSDCon for years. These sponsorships allow us to invite developers from various regions far from Japan such as Europe and US. We, the committee would like to extend our appreciation to The FreeBSD Foundation for supporting us.
– Future Conferences
The Japanese people have almost recovered from the big earthquake in 2011 and the situation of Japan is getting much better for foreign people. The next conference, AsiaBSDCon 2014, is planned in March 2014 and the preparation is in progress. Please consider submitting your paper and coming to Japan. Language would not be a problem if you can read these English sentences because Japan is filled with English signage and the organizing staff is willing to help you. You are sure to be satisfied with the experiences there.
Official web site: http://asiabsdcon.org/
contributed by Hiroki Sato
BSDCan 2013 was a great success. This was our tenth year and we had many new people attending for their first time. In total, we had 220 people from 22 countries.
We had a great line up of talks and social events. BSDCan continues to be a conference where both developers and end-users meet to learn and work together. Every year, people come to Ottawa to meet and discuss their mutual interests. Great working relationships are created and long-lasting friendships are started. In many instances, BSDCan is the only chance for collaborators to meet in person.
Sponsorship is key to the operation of BSDCan. Without the contributions of sponsors, such as The FreeBSD Foundation, BSDCan would be a vastly different event. Sponsorship allows us to bring in speakers who would otherwise be unable to attend.
Our thanks to our sponsors, speakers, and attendees. Planning has already started for BSDCan 2014. See you in May.
contributed by Dan Langille
Ottawa Developer Summit 2013
A FreeBSD Developers Summit was held May 15th, 16th, and 17th in Ottawa, Canada alongside the BSDCan 2013 conference. Seventy-three FreeBSD developers and fifty-one guests attended the summit making it the largest summit to date. Breakout sessions were held on a wide range of topics including Documentation, UEFI, Network Receive Performance, Ports and Packages, Virtualization, and VM and I/O Concurrency on the first two days of the summit. Scott Long and Alistair Crooks talked about how Netflix uses FreeBSD, and Erwin Lansing, Simon Nielsen, and Peter Wemm gave an overview of the security incident on the FreeBSD.org cluster last November. Several developers presented talks during a developers summit track open to all BSDCan attendees on May 17th.
Attendees networked at a casual, summit-wide dinner on Thursday evening, the 16th and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning each day hacking code, discussing ideas, and swapping stories in the Hacking Lounge. The hacking, discussions, and networking continued during the BSDCan conference.
The developers summit would not have been possible without generous support from sponsors including The FreeBSD Foundation and BSDCan. All of the developers and guests who chaired and participated in breakout sessions and gave talks also contributed greatly to the summit’s success.
contributed by John Baldwin
Ottawa Vendor Summit 2013
In May of 2013 we held our latest Vendor Summit during the FreeBSD Developer Summit in Ottawa, Canada. The BSDCan Vendor Summit is now an annual occurrence, and along with the Silicon Valley Vendor Summit, draws a broad collection of both vendors and developers.
For each Vendor Summit we have a theme and this time it was was about what user space features we are missing in FreeBSD and how we can make sure that we have the software and systems in place that make it easy to use FreeBSD for vendors who are building products that have significant code above the user/kernel boundary. A great deal of what we talked about showed that we need to have better support for Java on FreeBSD, and to that end the Foundation is looking into what can be done to make it so that FreeBSD is an easy choice for Java developers and vendors that depend on Java for their systems. That being said, it wasn’t all Java, there is plenty of work here that’s outside of Java.
Some of the things we need we already have in our ports system, such as Zookeeper, Ganglia and Jenkins, which are all popular tools for vendors running large scale infrastructure.
The ability to now cross build our ports on top of generic, Intel hardware will allow our vendors to deliver packaged software for ARM and MIPS architectures without having to build that code on slower, native platforms.
Areas that were talked about to address over the next six months to a year included better support for Java, as well as Eclipse, both of which work on FreeBSD, but which both require constant maintenance to keep up with performance and security fixes. Virtualization came up several time in our discussions, with Amazon EC, Azure and VMWare all being virtualization platforms that we want to support as first class citizens. Being able to hand a pre-made VM image to a developer to try FreeBSD is one of the goals that drew a good deal of discussion.
The next Silicon Valley Vendor summit is currently being planned, and will take place on November 7th 2013.
contributed by George Neville-Neil
The purpose of the BSD-Day is to summon Central European developers and users of open-source BSD systems, popularize their work and let them meet in person. The event therefore welcomes BSD developers and enthusiasts to present their work, chat with their fellows, or even reach out to their potential future partners.
This event is an excellent opportunity for every participant — independently of being a speaker or a casual visitor — to share his or her thoughts and meet and socialize with other like-minded people from the region. To initiate some discussion, we have invited speakers to give a brief talk on what they are doing in the BSD world. The goal is to motivate everybody, especially university students to see the benefits of our approach and take a chance on working with BSD systems, learning more about it directly from the practitioners themselves.
There was a detour this year to visit the beautiful city of Naples of Italy, the home of pizza, on the weekend of April 6, 2013. We again had The FreeBSD Foundation as one of main sponsors, together with the EMC Corporation, but there were many others who generously decided to support the organization of the event. All of these contributions enabled us to cover all the incurring costs, including the travel and accommodations for all of our invited speakers. We are really grateful for this.
Similarly to the previous years, the whole event started with a dinner in the downtown of Naples on Friday which suddenly turned into a do-it-yourself-pizza-fest. There we brought our speakers and met some of our visitors and had a great chance to try all the different types of pastas available, having a lot of fun.
On Saturday, we started with a BSDA exam right in the morning with Attilio Rao, a well-known Italian FreeBSD developer, as proctor. The place of the exam and the succeeding event was provided by the Institute of Biostructures and Bioimaging, where we shared a cosy room for both. We had a surprisingly large number of candidates who took the challenge and had their BSD skills tested at the exam. Once their time was up, we could then move on to the presentations from people working with FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD. The following topics were touched: moving MCLinker into the BSD world, organization and culture of the FreeBSD Project, the new callout(9) framework, building and testing ports with Poudriere and Ports Tinderbox, FreeBSD in the embedded space, and implementing reliable VPN solutions with OpenBSD. You can watch all the talks at YouTube, and there is also an event photo album available for pictures. This time each of our speakers were presented with a fine South-Italian lemon liquor, called Limoncello, and a Certificate of Appreciation. As this year is important for both the NetBSD and FreeBSD projects due to their 20th anniversaries, we topped this with serving a special (and rather tasty) pasteria cake to our audience.
For closing, Paul Schenkeveld (on behalf of the EuroBSDcon Foundation) gave a brief call for the participants to consider submitting proposals for this year’s EuroBSDcon. It is going to be held in Malta, only a few hundred kilometers away from Naples. The event finally concluded with another dinner at Pony Express, a local Italian restaurant, with the invited developers, speakers, and their significant others.
We believe that the funds the Foundation has been investing into this enterprise pays off gradually — the more users we can motivate the more donors we bring to the Foundation and hence for the FreeBSD community. We also believe that by providing this local event, we can provide the support needed to bring previously active contributors back on track. Contributors ccan again get in touch with their audiences in their home country, and make BSD systems an appealing alternative to local companies.
We promoted our event in the BSD Magazine (as usual), and our advertisement appeared at some local news sites as well. We still believe that the multi-project nature of the event works well, and made it possible for the representatives of the featured BSD flavors to get to know each other better. Meeting others you know from the Internet for a long time always makes a difference in the real life. This helps with tightening the connection between parties and makes you feel that you are part of a great and caring family, with many friends around.
We are hoping to continue with tradition next year too, somewhere in another Central European country. We have not yet decided which is going to be the next, so if you would like to have a similar event in your neighborhoods sometime in next April, do not hesitate to contact us and apply. Or you can just donate The FreeBSD Foundation so it can keep us helping in organizing these events!
Developer Summit Cambridge
The FreeBSD Foundation will again be sponsoring the now-annual FreeBSD Developer Summit Cambridge, taking place in Cambridge, England. Topics of discussion for the three-day event will include package building, cluster administration, Capsicum, Clang/LLVM, build systems, and virtualisation.
EuroBSDCon 2013 Conference
The FreeBSD Foundation is a Platinum Sponsor for the upcoming EuroBSDCon 2013 Conference in St. Julian’s Malta, September 28-29. We are also sponsoring the Developer Summit that takes place the two days before the conference. Many of our board members will be there, so make sure you stop by our table to say hi and make a donation for our Fall Fundraising Campaign!
vBSDcon 2013 Conference
We are pleased to be a Gold Sponsor for the first biennial vBSDCon conference, organized and hosted by Verisign. It will be held in Dulles, Virginia, October 25-27. Many people from our industry will be attending this conference, so make sure you don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn from and socialize with some great FreeBSD people.
2013 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. You can find these stories and trip reports on our blog.
To find out how to apply for a travel grant, please visit https://freebsdfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/TravelRequestForm.pdf. To get information on how to apply for a grant, please visit https://freebsdfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/GrantRequestForm.pdf.
Here is a list of projects, developers, and conferences we have sponsored for 2013.
2013 Conference Grant Recipients:
- AsiaBSDCon 2013 Conference
- BSDCan 2013 Conference
- Ottawa 2013 Developer Summit
- Ottawa 2013 Vendor Summit
- BSDDay 2013
- EuroBSDCon 2013
- vBSDCon 2013
- Developer Summit Cambridge
- Bay Area Vendor Summit
2013 Project Grant Recipients:
- Semihalf – FreeBSD/ARM support
- Edward Napierala – iSCSI Target project
- Pawel Jakub Dawidek – Capsicum Component Framework
- Edward Napierala – Growing Filesystmes Online
- Semihalf – NAND Flash Support
- Aleksandr Rybalko – Porting FreeBSD to Efika ARM platform
2013 Travel Grant Recipients:
- BSDCan – Eitan Adler, Renato Botelho do Couto, Florian Smeets, Warren Block, Dirk Engling, Gavin Atkinson
- Open Help – Warren Block
WhatsApp, Inc. Testimonial
At WhatsApp we leverage FreeBSD and Erlang to provide industry record uptime. The ability to scale linearly on commodity hardware has allowed WhatsApp to keep our serving costs low. These days we run anywhere between 2 million and 3 million concurrent TCP connections on a single FreeBSD server as we documented in our blog post.
WhatsApp is the leading global mobile messaging service. WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS and is available for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Phone and Nokia! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.
– Jan Koum, CEO aka Sr. Tweet Manager, WhatsApp