Category Archives: BSDCan

Have you never been to BSDCan?

I remember a time when I’d never been to a conference related to my passions. Once I went, things changed. I realized that making strong working relationships with others who share my passion is important. Not only does this solidify the community of which you are a member, it also helps you personally. Every conference […]

BSDCan 2013

From May 15 – 18, I attended BSDCan and FreeBSD DevSummit in Ottawa, Canada.
These were both excellent conferences.

There were many excellent presentations during this conference, but my favorites were:

With these two technologies, the bar has definitely been raised for FreeBSD to be used in applications which require storage (ZFS) and virtualization (BHyve).

There were more presentations that I wanted to attend, but there was just not enough time!

BSDCan 2013 Talk: FreeBSD Birth to Death: Managing the Lifecycle of a FreeBSD Server

This is a bunch of links to the tools I talk about in my presenation

Tools:

Collectd: https://collectd.org/

Graphite: http://graphite.wikidot.com/
Nagios: http://www.nagios.org/

Poudriere: http://fossil.etoilebsd.net/poudriere

Config Management:
Salt Stack: http://saltstack.com/
Chef: http://www.opscode.com/chef/
Puppet: http://puppetlabs.com/

Subversion: http://subversion.apache.org/

LogStash: http://logstash.net/
Audit: http://www.freebsd.org/handbook/audit.html

CARP: http://www.freebsd.org/handbook/carp.html

OATH: http://www.openauthentication.org/

Serial Console: http://www.freebsd.org/handbook/serialconsole-setup.html

Generic Resources:
FreeBSD Handbook: http://freebsd.org/handbook
Everything Sysadmin Blog: http://everythingsysadmin.com/resources.html

BSDCan 2013 – registration now open

BSDCan 2013 will be the tenth BSDCan. This will be big. A huge party is planned for the Friday night. We’re also bringing in some big-name speakers for the tutorials and talks. Do not underestimate how much you’ll learn, how much fun you’ll have, and how many good working relationships and friendships you will develop […]

Two New Videos: SuperPages and NanoBSD

Thanks to Kirk McKusick, I'm happy to announce two new fully edited high quality videos from BSDCan 2011 in the BSD Conferences YouTube channel. I've also created a new playlist for the BSDCan 2011 videos.

The first talk is "Superpages in FreeBSD" by McKusick, and it describes the addition of superpage support to the FreeBSD 8 kernel on the Intel PC architecture. Superpages aggregate together standard-sized hardware pages into much larger "superpages". Each superpage requires only one entry in the page table replacing the numerous entries used by the standard-sized hardware pages.



The second talk is "Updates from NanoBSD: FreeNAS drives NanoBSD development" from Warner Losh, and it describes the basics of NanoBSD and how FreeNAS moved over to NanoBSD.



We now have 108 high-quality videos in the BSD Conferences channel. These videos have been watched in aggregate over 400,000 times, and our most popular video remains McKusick's FreeBSD Kernel Internals Lecture.

As a reminder, this channel was setup specifically for the BSD technical community and does not have the standard limitations on video size for other types of YouTube uploads. If you have additional video content from a conference, presentation, or class about BSD Unix please get in touch and I'd be happy to help you publish the content here.

BSDCan Trip Report: Julien Laffaye

The Foundation recently sponsored Julien Laffaye to attend BSDCan 2011. Here is his trip report:

During my trip in Ottawa, I met Baptiste Daroussin, with whom I developed the pkg_install replacement pkgng. It was nice to meet face-to-face and to discuss the future goals of pkgng development. I also met Will Andrews (who was interested by our project and has since joined our effort), Thomas Abthorpe and Rene Ladan. I was also able to put a face to many FreeBSD logins for the first time.

Indeed, the main purpose of my trip to Ottawa was to present pkgng in the Ports and Binary Package workgroup at the FreeBSD DevSummit. In the working group, we discussed issues such as the state of packages building. The agreement was that the project should build packages sets weekly, and monthly sets with an extended support. This approach raised some concerns for the disk space required by the mirrors, and we had a very interesting discussion about the current infrastructure of the project. Here, the agreement was to setup a kind of Content Distribution Network. The main idea behind this new policy of package building is to facilitate the installation and upgrade process of binary packages.

I was very pleased that our effort has been well received. We had a discussion about the state of pkgng, and if it should be commited into HEAD for the 9 release. We thought that pkgng will be ready around the date targeted by the 9 release, but we preferred to have more time to test it. So the agreement was to ship it in 10, and maybe in 9.1 but not as the default package manager.

Then we talked about the migration process and defined the tasks that must be done to make it happen. At the end of the workgroup, we had a very clear list of tasks, and each team (the Ports managers, the cluster administrators and pkgng developers)
knew their part in the process.

BSDCan Trip Report: Simon Nielsen

The Foundation recently sponsored Simon Nielsen to attend BSDCan 2011. Here is his trip report:

My main goal of attending BSDCan 2011 and the preceding Developers Summit was "networking", talking in person to many of the people I normally only interact with via email or IRC. Both to discuss some of the many smaller and larger outstanding issues but also just to generally meet people and talk to them in person which always help working together in the future. This certainly happened both during the "work day" time at the DevSummit and conference, but also at other times like during breakfast, lunch, and dinner which was almost always done with other FreeBSD'ers.

With my "FreeBSD.org admins hat" I spent some time talking to Brad Davis and Peter Losher about ways to improve administration of FreeBSD.org systems in the future. Among the discussed topics were ISC's use of Kerberos which might be useful at FreeBSD.org and the Puppet system for system administration. Some time was spent talking with Mark Linimon and Brad Davis about future plans for the nyi.FreeBSD.org site. I also attended Mark's talk about lessons learned from the nyi.FreeBSD.org rollout to date.

The FreeBSD Security Team held an informal meeting during the conference where we discussed how to try and improve the workings of the Security Team which will hopefully stir things up a bit.

One evening we had a DNSSEC dinner where it was discussed how to integrate support for DNSSEC into the FreeBSD base system. The main goal was to be able to support DNSSEC verification in normal applications. It was discussed both at the API level (e.g. should applications be able to know about DNSSEC verification failures) and the system level on how to actually implement this in FreeBSD. The primary conclusion was that this needed to be built into the NSS system, and likely integrated with nscd somehow.

I briefly talked to Hiroki Sato about the possibility for setting up an IPv6 tunnel broker for FreeBSD developers as some can't easily get local IPv6 connectivity.

The ports developers have been talking about changing the version control system for the Ports Collection from CVS to Subversion. I had a few discussions in this regard about how to practically do this, including repository layout and a time limited svn2cvs.

During the DevSummit I attended the Ports Working Group where the future of the FreeBSD package system, including distribution, was discussed. I attended the working group both with my hat of FreeBSD.org admin and Security Team member. The discussions were very useful and a rough consensus was agreed upon both for the future of packages, where they can hopefully be a lot more useful, and for how to handle distribution. From the security perspective the proposed system will allow us to build security into the system in the future. The new package system, coupled with the proposed "package set" concept, will require a radically different way of distributing packages. We discussed a workable model where we move to a more centralized system with fewer but better nodes for distribution. This will also allow us to better utilize our current sites and possibly add other sites in the future.

For the main conference, the "BHyVe a Native BSD Hypervisor" presentation was very interesting both from a general technical perspective and because it might allow the FreeBSD.org admins team to run some virtualization of servers without having to run other operating systems as is required today. George Neville-Neil's "Synchronizing Systems on a LAN: An Introduction to PTPd" presentation was very interesting from the technical perspective in hearing about all the challenges of very accurate timekeeping. The talk also had a lot of audience participation from people who knew a lot about the topic which made it even more interesting.

My Photo Album from the trip is available here.

BSDCan Trip Report: Thomas Abthorpe

The Foundation recently sponsored Thomas Abthorpe to attend BSDCan 2011. Here is his trip report:

The first time I was privileged to attend BSDCan was in 2009, a generous sponsorship from the FreeBSD Foundation enabled me to attend. Of the many topics I could have reported on, I chose to identify the human aspect of FreeBSD, the people that make it happen, and why the Foundation sends developers to conferences.

To me, people are still the most valuable resource in the project. I have mentored in many committers to the ports tree, and at BSDCan 2011, I was pleased to learn that two of my mentees would be attending. Rene Ladan (rene@) and Baptiste Daroussin (bapt@) would be in Ottawa, and for the first time ever, I would meet my proteges face to face. Julien Laffaye had been collaborating with Bapt, and was here for the presentations. Our sense of camaraderie in IRC made the initial meeting feel like a well established friendship. Our travels around Ottawa became a standing joke, “A Canadian, Dutchman and a pair of Frenchmen walk into a ...

BSDCan Trip Report: Sergio Ligregni

The Foundation recently sponsored Sergio Ligregni to attend BSDCan 2011. Here is his trip report:

The travel started at Mexico City's International Airport, flying to Montreal and then to Ottawa.

The first day of BSD activity was Wednesday, May 11th, when the FreeBSD DevSummit took place at the University of Ottawa. We arrived, got our badges and started discussing development stuff. I was invited by Robert Watson to the Capsicum DevSummit. Unfortunately he was not there in person, instead of that, we talked to the Watson Box (Robert via Skype); I think this will remain famous through the years.

The DevSummit was interesting. It was my first Summit and I thought it would be like other conferences but with more participation from the audience. I was happily surprised when I found that there were opinions and really technical discussions on how to follow the development of the Capsicum framework. Pawel Dawidek explained how he performs some process "jailing" and how Capsicum is helping to achieve his goal, but also what he does not like too much and some ideas how to improve it. I felt surrounded by really serious security people, like my mentor in GSoC 2010, Stacey Son, who I finally was able to meet in person.

After that Summit I had the opportunity to talk to Dru Lavigne and ask her some final questions before taking my BSDA Certification Exam, like if it is needed to know all about the four BSDs regarding the certification goals (the answer: yes!).

In the second day of the Summit, Justin Gibbs gave a FreeBSD Foundation Report. I learned how the Foundation helps to spread the word on FreeBSD by sponsoring events and attendees. I analyzed that there's a gap in the Latin America area (north and central). I asked Justin how can the Foundation help to get a BSDCon in Latin American north area (since there a couple of events in South America). I think that Justin's answer changed the purpose of my trip to Ottawa: "the FreeBSD Foundation would help to get a BSDCon there, but we need a local contact to organize it". I started thinking on a next BSDCon in Mexico that covers the Mexico & Central America area.

The seed is set, it's just a matter of getting the elements to bring BSD to Mexico. I decided to give my mobile phone a better use than texting friends and I started interviewing people, important *BSD people, like:

* Michael Lucas - BSD books author
* Pawel Dawidek - FreeBSD commiter
* Stacey Son - FreeBSD/TrustedBSD developer
* Matt Olander
* Dan Langille - BSDCan organizer
* Brett Davis - iXsystems sales manager (I am trying to get more FreeBSD users by letting they know they will have strong support services)
* Dru Lavigne
* Josh Paetzel - FreeBSD developer (iXsystems)
* Julio Merino - NetBSD developer
* George Neville-Neil

The goal is to let the Universities know that *BSD is serious, in order to get some sponsorship and a venue. Also to let the company managers know that the OS is not only a learning OS or a hobby. BSD can be used in a really serious way and it is not just saving money, it's about investing in improving the product and giving back to the community.

After the FreeBSD Foundation report, I saw how FreeBSD is "cooked". I was in the "kitchen" looking at how the new ideas and features are discussed, and the greatest part: once the board is full of items, it is time to assign them to the developers. I'd like to say "me" next time I am there. I want to be more prepared as I know there is a release in 4 months.

The first day of the BSDCan conference was on Friday. I was a little nervous since I was taking my BSDA Certification Exam in a couple of hours. We started with a talk about UNICS in an architectural view. It was more than the non-technical view of UNIX development and it was fun and interesting to hear that from someone that actually lived it.

Then I took my certification exam. I asked Dru how many BSDA certified professionals are out there and it was great to hear that more than 150 professionals are certified. I think, however, we need to keep pushing to get more people certified. I can speak from my experience that the test is not impossible, but it really tests you. I found it really interesting, actually. I am still waiting for my result and hope to pass the exam.

I attended some other conference sessions at BSDCan, both ones where I know about the topic and others where I didn't know it actually existed. It was great to meet such professionals and to learn about new features.

Some of the talks I remember were the Kris Moore talk about the new PBI format for PC-BSD/FreeBSD. I think that will help newcomers to get involved using the system by its simplicity but at the same time its robustness. Also, Josh Paetzel's talk about a project I am currently working on, the new installer pc-sysinstall. It felt great to know that my code will impact a lot of systems.

There were these talks of previously unknown but interesting things: like the new SQL for monitoring systems and the Superpages for memory management. I found those really interesting and will read and digest their papers.

About the conference: I can say that I met great and interesting people and became curious about a lot of stuff. I am willing to get a project finished and present it to the community at a future BSD conference.

I also have a lot of materials to start moving things in Latin America, such as the videos I recorded. There is already a guy in Mexico that started the FreeBSD community and its website. BSD is getting stronger here: in the last Latin American Open Source Install Festival, PC-BSD was the second most asked for OS. I am sure that with a lot of effort, the help from the community and Foundation, and a little bit of luck, we will plan the next Mexico BSDCon. I talked with a guy in the hostel about the conference I was attending and the plan to get one in Mexico, and he proposed SalsaBSDCon. I think that name is great and will help attract people here in Latin America. I think I can help to bring BSD to Mexico even though we are "so close Berkeley, so far BSD".

BSDCan Trip Report: Daichi Goto

The FreeBSD Foundation recently provided a travel grant to Daichi Goto to attend BSDCan and the FreeBSD Developer Summit. He has provided the following trip report:

What have you accomplished by attending this conference?

I have written thirteen BSDCan 2011 related articles for the "FreeBSD Daily Topics" section of gihyo.jp. The articles describe BHyVe, virtualization, FreeBSD on Amazon EC2, BSDInstall, PKGng, tool-chains, PCI Express hot-plug, Chromium, UFS2/SUJ, GEOM performance, and FreeBSD vendors. Articles will be posted one per day and the complete list can be found here.

I will also write about the new features of FreeBSD 9 and 10 for the MYCOM Journal and about IPv6 and HAST for @IT. Both are major Japanese IT news sites and the articles will be written in Japanese.

What did you learn by attending BSDCan and the DevSummit?

Many many things. BSD Hypervisor BHyVE and virtualization situation are very hot. The FreeBSD DevSummit is a great opportunity to get fresh FreeBSD news and developers thinking. I was able to travel with my mentor, Hiroki Sato, from whom I have learned many things. I also learned new things from the IPv6 tutorial attendees and other FreeBSD developers.

Thanks again to the Foundation for your support!

BSDCan Trip Report: Daichi Goto

The FreeBSD Foundation recently provided a travel grant to Daichi Goto to attend BSDCan and the FreeBSD Developer Summit. He has provided the following trip report:

What have you accomplished by attending this conference?

I have written thirteen BSDCan 2011 related articles for the "FreeBSD Daily Topics" section of gihyo.jp. The articles describe BHyVe, virtualization, FreeBSD on Amazon EC2, BSDInstall, PKGng, tool-chains, PCI Express hot-plug, Chromium, UFS2/SUJ, GEOM performance, and FreeBSD vendors. Articles will be posted one per day and the complete list can be found here.

I will also write about the new features of FreeBSD 9 and 10 for the MYCOM Journal and about IPv6 and HAST for @IT. Both are major Japanese IT news sites and the articles will be written in Japanese.

What did you learn by attending BSDCan and the DevSummit?

Many many things. BSD Hypervisor BHyVE and virtualization situation are very hot. The FreeBSD DevSummit is a great opportunity to get fresh FreeBSD news and developers thinking. I was able to travel with my mentor, Hiroki Sato, from whom I have learned many things. I also learned new things from the IPv6 tutorial attendees and other FreeBSD developers.

Thanks again to the Foundation for your support!

FreeBSD portmgr thank you to the FreeBSD Foundation

We would like to publicly thank the FreeBSD Foundation for granting Baptiste Daroussin and Julien Laffaye a travel grant to travel to BSDCan 2011 for the Ports and Packages Working Group held at in Ottawa last week.  The working group itself was a huge success and a number of improvements with regard to automated binary package creation and distribution to ease upgrade procedures for our users were discussed and will hopefully be implemented over the next few months.

None of these improvements, however, would be possible without a long overdue rewrite of the package tools provided by FreeBSD.  Over last few years, a number of attempts were made to enhance the current tools, but none have been as all-compassing as the PKGNG project by Baptiste and Julien.  The presentation given by Baptiste at the packages summit and summariszed at the DevSummit track of BSDCan showed a comprehensive new tool that can completely replace the current tools, and provide a clear migration path from the old to the new tool.  It also provides a large number of new features while keeping the old ones and is a lot more flexible to be able to add more features later.  As you may have heard, Baptiste has also joined the ports management team as a result of his efforts.

Thanks again to the Foundation for sponsoring Baptiste, Julien, Simon Nielsen (Deputy Security Officer) and Thomas Abthorpe (Ports Management Team) who all were instrumental into making the ports working group such a success.

 

Thomas
on behalf of portmgr@

brd’s notes

I am attending the FreeBSD Developer Summit for the next two days proceeding BSDCan. It is good to see everyone again and wonderful to sit down and talk with them face to face. Simon and I will be getting together and working on some clusteradm@ topics. I am currently in the Documentation Working Group meeting and we have covered many different subjects, but one of interest to me is.. We are talking about converting from SGML to XML for the Handbook and Articles. There are many benefits, such as making digital publishing easier.

Accepting Travel Grant Applications for BSDCan 2011

Calling all FreeBSD developers needing assistance with travel expenses to BSDCan 2011.

The FreeBSD Foundation will be providing a limited number of travel grants to individuals requesting assistance. Please fill out and submit the Travel Grant Request Application by April 15, 2011 to apply for this grant.

This program is open to FreeBSD developers of all sorts (kernel hackers, documentation authors, bugbusters, system administrators, etc). In some cases we are also able to fund non-developers, such as active community members and FreeBSD advocates.

You request funding based on a realistic and economical estimate of travel costs (economy airfare, trainfare, ...), accommodations (conference hotel and sharing a room), and registration or tutorial fees. If there are other sponsors willing to cover costs, such as your employer or the conference, we prefer you talk to them first, as our budget is limited. We are happy to split costs with you or another sponsor, such as just covering airfare or board. If you are a speaker at the conference, we expect the conference to cover your travel costs, and will most likely not approve your direct request to us.

We review your application and if approved, authorize you to seek reimbursement up to a limit. We consider several factors, including our overall and per-event budgets, and (quite importantly) the benefit to the community by funding your travel. Most rejected applications are rejected because of an over-all limit on travel budget for the event or year, due to unrealistic or uneconomical costing, or because there is an unclear or unconvincing argument thatfunding the applicant will directly benefit the FreeBSD Project. Please take these points into consideration when writing your application.

We reimburse costs based on actuals (receipts), and by check or bank transfer. And, we do not cover your costs if you end up having to cancel your trip. We require you to submit a report on your trip, which we may show to current or potential sponsors, and may include in our semi-annual newsletter and on this blog.

There's some flexibility in the mechanism, so talk to us if something about the model doesn't quite work for you or if you have any questions. The travel grant program is one of the most effective ways we can spend money to help support the FreeBSD Project, as it helps developers get together in the same place at the same time, and helps advertise and advocate FreeBSD in the larger community.

Accepting Travel Grant Applications for BSDCan 2011

Calling all FreeBSD developers needing assistance with travel expenses to BSDCan 2011.

The FreeBSD Foundation will be providing a limited number of travel grants to individuals requesting assistance. Please fill out and submit the Travel Grant Request Application by April 15, 2011 to apply for this grant.

This program is open to FreeBSD developers of all sorts (kernel hackers, documentation authors, bugbusters, system administrators, etc). In some cases we are also able to fund non-developers, such as active community members and FreeBSD advocates.

You request funding based on a realistic and economical estimate of travel costs (economy airfare, trainfare, ...), accommodations (conference hotel and sharing a room), and registration or tutorial fees. If there are other sponsors willing to cover costs, such as your employer or the conference, we prefer you talk to them first, as our budget is limited. We are happy to split costs with you or another sponsor, such as just covering airfare or board. If you are a speaker at the conference, we expect the conference to cover your travel costs, and will most likely not approve your direct request to us.

We review your application and if approved, authorize you to seek reimbursement up to a limit. We consider several factors, including our overall and per-event budgets, and (quite importantly) the benefit to the community by funding your travel. Most rejected applications are rejected because of an over-all limit on travel budget for the event or year, due to unrealistic or uneconomical costing, or because there is an unclear or unconvincing argument thatfunding the applicant will directly benefit the FreeBSD Project. Please take these points into consideration when writing your application.

We reimburse costs based on actuals (receipts), and by check or bank transfer. And, we do not cover your costs if you end up having to cancel your trip. We require you to submit a report on your trip, which we may show to current or potential sponsors, and may include in our semi-annual newsletter and on this blog.

There's some flexibility in the mechanism, so talk to us if something about the model doesn't quite work for you or if you have any questions. The travel grant program is one of the most effective ways we can spend money to help support the FreeBSD Project, as it helps developers get together in the same place at the same time, and helps advertise and advocate FreeBSD in the larger community.

BSDCan on Google’s Open Source Blog

A coworker of mine, Kirk Russell, just posted an excellent summary of BSDCan through the years on the Google Open Source Blog.I wasn't able to make it to BSDCan this year due to family commitments, but I did make it to another open source conference later this summer that I also wrote about on Google's open source blog.Kirk and I haven't worked closely together but we both do our best at evangelizing BSD and open source inside our respective corners of the company. It's great to see his post about all the excellent work happening in the BSD community on a corporate blog.

BSDCan on Google’s Open Source Blog

A coworker of mine, Kirk Russell, just posted an excellent summary of BSDCan through the years on the Google Open Source Blog.

I wasn't able to make it to BSDCan this year due to family commitments, but I did make it to another open source conference later this summer that I also wrote about on Google's open source blog.

Kirk and I haven't worked closely together but we both do our best at evangelizing BSD and open source inside our respective corners of the company. It's great to see his post about all the excellent work happening in the BSD community on a corporate blog.