Category Archives: eurobsdcon

EuroBSDCon2010 Trip Report: Lars Engels

Lars Engels recently submitted his trip report for EuroBSDCon. He writes:

This year's annual EuroBSDCon took place in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany in October. As usual there was a Developer Summit the two days before the conference.
Thanks to the help of the FreeBSD Foundation, who sponsored the conference fee for me, I could attend both the summit and the conference.

I arrived on Thursday morning at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) where the Summit took place. On my way to the right building I stumbled upon Warner Losh who was also looking for the place of the event. Just after we found the others the 15 minute talks started.

There were some interesting talks about the USB subsystem and USB 3.0 in FreeBSD, the state of FreeBSD's jail implementation and a new virtualization mode called Virtual Private Systems which lets one live migrate servers from one instance to another.

After the talks and lunch there were some breakout sessions. I attended hps' USB session where we worked on some non-working USB devices.

The second day of the Summit again started with talks. The most interesting ones to me were the cooperation with PC-BSD by Dru, FreeNAS by Warner, and Alexander Motin's work on a new event timer subsystem which can be very useful on mobile devices because with it it is possible to reduce the number of interrupts and so let the CPU stay longer in sleep states which consumes less of your battery's power.

After lunch I joined the PC-BSD breakout session where Kris Moore was collecting ideas for the upcoming 9.0 version of PC-BSD. Kris and I were also working out a concept of a new GUI for creating 3G mobile connections for the next PCBSD release. In the evening we had a delicous dinner at a local restaurant and had some beverages at the hotel bar afterwards.

On Saturday the actual conference began with a keynote from Poul-Henning Kamp who provokingly stated that the long tradition of text processing in Unix is dying and needs to get refined to support modern techniques like XML. With his talk he left a thoughtful audience behind.

James Gritton's talk on his ongoing work on FreeBSD's jails was very informative. When the work is finished, the jails will have a complete new way of configuring them with config files and new options.

After the lunch break I attended the longer version of the VPS talk that was already held at the Summit.

As the following talks weren't too interesting to me I worked on patching some ports with Ed Schouten.

In the evening there was an excellent buffet in the hotel followed by a mobile discotheque whose DJ tried to animate a horde of geeks which led to a fire alarm because the smoke machine activated the fire detector. :-)

On Sunday Kris Moore gave a talk on PC-Sysinstall which could replace FreeBSD's time-honored sysinstall installation program. PC-Sysinstall is already used in PC-BSD and seems to be mature. Meanwhile its backend was committed to FreeBSD's source tree but is still waiting for other frontends to be developed because the only existing frontend is a graphical one which cannot be used on devices without a screen.

Martin Matuska's talk on the future of ZFS in FreeBSD was also very enlightening. On the one hand he explained the legal hurdles of ZFS' implementation in FreeBSD and why ZFS's CDDL license is compatible to our BSD license but not to the GPL. On the other hand he gave an outlook on the development of future ZFS versions now that Oracle no longer develops ZFS publicly.

After the talk I continued to assist Kris Moore to develop the 3G part of the PC-BSD network manager.

The last talk was a restrospective of the BSD projects (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and PC-BSD) on their work during the last months. OpenBSD seems to have made big progress in suspending and resuming notebooks while NetBSD concentrated on developing the pcc compiler.

Brooks Davis presented several completed and nearly completed projects like the work on an alternative compiler (CLANG/LLVM) which was committed to FreeBSD base some time ago.

To sum up, I'd like to say that this year's EuroBSDCon was a nice and well organized conference. Thanks to punkt.de for the organization and to the FreeBSD Foundation for funding my conference ticket.

EuroBSDCon2010 Trip Report: Lars Engels

Lars Engels recently submitted his trip report for EuroBSDCon. He writes:

This year's annual EuroBSDCon took place in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany in October. As usual there was a Developer Summit the two days before the conference.
Thanks to the help of the FreeBSD Foundation, who sponsored the conference fee for me, I could attend both the summit and the conference.

I arrived on Thursday morning at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) where the Summit took place. On my way to the right building I stumbled upon Warner Losh who was also looking for the place of the event. Just after we found the others the 15 minute talks started.

There were some interesting talks about the USB subsystem and USB 3.0 in FreeBSD, the state of FreeBSD's jail implementation and a new virtualization mode called Virtual Private Systems which lets one live migrate servers from one instance to another.

After the talks and lunch there were some breakout sessions. I attended hps' USB session where we worked on some non-working USB devices.

The second day of the Summit again started with talks. The most interesting ones to me were the cooperation with PC-BSD by Dru, FreeNAS by Warner, and Alexander Motin's work on a new event timer subsystem which can be very useful on mobile devices because with it it is possible to reduce the number of interrupts and so let the CPU stay longer in sleep states which consumes less of your battery's power.

After lunch I joined the PC-BSD breakout session where Kris Moore was collecting ideas for the upcoming 9.0 version of PC-BSD. Kris and I were also working out a concept of a new GUI for creating 3G mobile connections for the next PCBSD release. In the evening we had a delicous dinner at a local restaurant and had some beverages at the hotel bar afterwards.

On Saturday the actual conference began with a keynote from Poul-Henning Kamp who provokingly stated that the long tradition of text processing in Unix is dying and needs to get refined to support modern techniques like XML. With his talk he left a thoughtful audience behind.

James Gritton's talk on his ongoing work on FreeBSD's jails was very informative. When the work is finished, the jails will have a complete new way of configuring them with config files and new options.

After the lunch break I attended the longer version of the VPS talk that was already held at the Summit.

As the following talks weren't too interesting to me I worked on patching some ports with Ed Schouten.

In the evening there was an excellent buffet in the hotel followed by a mobile discotheque whose DJ tried to animate a horde of geeks which led to a fire alarm because the smoke machine activated the fire detector. :-)

On Sunday Kris Moore gave a talk on PC-Sysinstall which could replace FreeBSD's time-honored sysinstall installation program. PC-Sysinstall is already used in PC-BSD and seems to be mature. Meanwhile its backend was committed to FreeBSD's source tree but is still waiting for other frontends to be developed because the only existing frontend is a graphical one which cannot be used on devices without a screen.

Martin Matuska's talk on the future of ZFS in FreeBSD was also very enlightening. On the one hand he explained the legal hurdles of ZFS' implementation in FreeBSD and why ZFS's CDDL license is compatible to our BSD license but not to the GPL. On the other hand he gave an outlook on the development of future ZFS versions now that Oracle no longer develops ZFS publicly.

After the talk I continued to assist Kris Moore to develop the 3G part of the PC-BSD network manager.

The last talk was a restrospective of the BSD projects (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and PC-BSD) on their work during the last months. OpenBSD seems to have made big progress in suspending and resuming notebooks while NetBSD concentrated on developing the pcc compiler.

Brooks Davis presented several completed and nearly completed projects like the work on an alternative compiler (CLANG/LLVM) which was committed to FreeBSD base some time ago.

To sum up, I'd like to say that this year's EuroBSDCon was a nice and well organized conference. Thanks to punkt.de for the organization and to the FreeBSD Foundation for funding my conference ticket.

EuroBSDCon 2010 Trip Report: Efstratios Karatzas

Efstratios Karatzas, the 2010 Google Summer of Code student who worked on the Audit Kernel Events project, has sent in his trip report for the EuroBSDCon DevSummit. This was his first FreeBSD conference and his first opportunity to meet other FreeBSD developers in person. He writes:

Attending the conference was a great way for me to get more involved with the FreeBSD project. The most significant part of the trip was getting to know all sorts of people actively working on the project, from kernel hackers to bugmeisters and doc people.

The 15 minute length presentations at the Dev Summit were helpful in getting informed about what other people are working on at the moment and also provided an understanding of how different teams operate in the scope of the FreeBSD project. Unfortunately, there weren't any people actively involved with parts of my work besides our pf maintainer, but I still had some very interesting talks with all sorts of people: a dinner with andre@ giving a mini lecture on kernel architecture and a talk with hps@ about memory mapping pop into mind. Another positive impact that the trip had on me was to encourage me to work harder and support the project to the best of my abilities. All in all, it was a great trip indeed.

EuroBSDCon2010 Trip Report: Brooks Davis

The Foundation sponsored several developers and summer of code students to attend last week's EuroBSDCon. We'll publish the trip reports as they come in. Brooks has already sent his and his report is as follows:

EuroBSDCon 2010 was a small, productive conference with a well organized developers summit. I arrived on Wednesday, October 6th and met a group of developers for dinner. The next morning we headed to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology for the developers summit. The format was 15-minute talk & discussion sessions in the morning and longer meetings in the afternoon. In the morning we heard about and discussed USB, toolchains, documentation, NanoBSD, pf, jails, and virtual private servers. In the toolchain session I provided a quick review of the current state of affairs followed by a general discussion. The progress of clang's integrated assembler was of particular interest.

Useful outcomes from the initial discussion included identification of the need for people to drive both libgcc and libc++ replacement efforts. Much of libgcc has been replaced by compiler-rt, but we may need to write a few components and we need to package it appropriately. More work will be required for libc++, but there are patches available to make it work on Linux.

After lunch, topics for larger discussion were solicited and we broke up into groups. I lead a small discussion of toolchain issues. Koop Mast reported that nearly half of the ports collection now builds with clang and three ports have fixes in the works which will unblock over 5000 more ports. Ed Schouten volunteered to work on a libgcc replacement. As a prototype we decided to start by replacing all the parts of libgcc which have counterparts in compiler-rt and then see what's left. Koop expressed interest in trying to to get libc++ building as a port. One long pole dependency we found is support for POSIX 1003.1-2008 per-thread locales. Functions such as newlocale(), uselocale(), and freelocale() will need to be added to libc. Another issue we discussed was if we actually need a /usr/bin/as. It's not clear that anything in the base system needs it and most things that use an assembler directly actually use something like NASM. If we don't need it in the base that will make things easier since currently there isn't a gas replacement as part of llvm/clang.

Other topics of the afternoon included inet6, USD, documentation, and cluster administration.

The next day followed the same format with morning talks on PC-BSD; FreeNAS; kernel event timers; problem reports; ports tinderboxes; GSoC projects: NFS event auditing, optional kernel subsystem registration,ringmap, and accessing subsystems via libraries; and finally a general GSoC discussion. In the GSoC discussion there seemed to be general agreement that recent FreeBSD additions including the soc-status mailing list and the multidimensional ranking system we used for proposals this year were good ideas. There was a suggestion that we should make sure mentors instruct their students to provided some overall context in their soc-status proposals.

In the afternoon, discussions covered ports, pc-bsd, bugbusting, ringmap, cluster administration, event timers, and freenas. I joined the cluster administration discussion and working session where we talked about the status of the various clusters as well as some possibilities for new mirror systems as well as the fact that we're nearly ready to go with the things required to let us build ports with
quarterly releases.

After the days summit we adjourned to the developers summit dinner which was quite excellent. Over all the summit was well organized and the format worked well. My only complaints where a catering error which left us without snacks on the second day and that soliciting ideas for breakout sessions with a quick meeting before they started probably wouldn't scale to a larger group such as the BSDCan devsummit. For something like that some of the techniques from un-conferences would be appropriate.

The main conference was a normal two track format with a keynote at the beginning. Saturday began with an opening speech and then phk give a provocative overview of the system tools philosophy where he argued that we need to bring the power to Unix tools like grep to structured data (primarily XML). I think he made a good case and it certainly stirred up a good bit of controversy. I then attended the next four talks on Track 1. Three of those were virtualization with Bjoern Zeeb talking about jails and vimage, Jamie Gritton talking about his new jail management framework which includes config file support, and Klaus Ohrhallinger talking about his work on virtual private systems (VPS) which is essentially VIMAGE taken to the logical extreme and includes support for live migration of virtual instances. The fourth talk was on netpgp and the ability to use ssh host and user keys to sign and
encrypt data. I left the talk knowing that you could do that, but with no idea why you would want to. The final session I attended was on recent developments in pf on OpenBSD. It sounds like they greatly simplified some aspects of the code at the cost of breaking most users configuration files. If FreeBSD were to adopt this code it would need to be as yet another firewall. The day ended with the conference organizers asking me to give a FreeBSD status report on Sunday.

On Sunday I worked on slides for the status report during early talks. I did catch Martin Matuska's talk on ZFS which included detailed coverage of the current state of ZFS both technically and politically along with upcoming features in v28. While attending that talk I missed a talk on binary package updates which I would have liked to hear. In the afternoon I wrapped up my slides and the presented a FreeBSD status report along with reports on NetBSD, OpenBSD, and PC-BSD. Between the projects there were both sharp distinctions on some things like the toolchain and near total agreement on others like moving to mandoc for manpage rendering. On the toolchain front, OpenBSD is beginning to move from gcc 2 and 3 to various pre-GPLv3 versions of 4. NetBSD has been spending a fair bit of time on pcc, but has also imported a GPLv3 binutils and plans to import gcc 4.5 soon. While putting slides together I found it that pretty impressive to pull together a set of features from the last several months as well as works in progress. It was also interesting to see how many of the features were partially funded by the foundation.

All in all the conference came off well. I do fear that if we had more attendees in the future that we would need a different venue, but that will be many years away. I'm looking to next year's conference in the Netherlands.

EuroBSDCon

The FreeBSD Foundation is a proud sponsor of EuroBSDCon. Several of the Foundation Directors will be at the conference later this week. We'll have a booth in the booth area with Foundation brochures and swag and you're welcome to drop by to give feedback, ask questions, and/or make a donation. Hope to see some of you there!

Accepting Travel Grant Applications for EuroBSDCon 2010

The FreeBSD Foundation will be providing a limited number of travel grants to individuals requesting assistance. Please download, complete, and submit the Travel Grant Request Application by September 3, 2010 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, accommodations, 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.

Once received, 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 the benefit to the community by funding your travel. If approved, we require you to submit a report on your trip, which we may show to current or potential sponsors, and may include here and in our semi-annual newsletter.

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.

EuroBSDCon Feedback

Reports are starting to trickle in from those who attended last week's EuroBSDCon. Robert Watson notes that the FreeBSD Developer's Summit was the largest yet in the EU with around 70 attendees. And, despite the poor economy, attendance for the conference was up at about 180 attendees, and the dinner sponsored by iXsystems sold out at 150 with a waiting list.

Slides, papers, and audio recordings should be available soon on the UKUUG website. We'll post summaries of the trip reports as they become available.

Rodrigo Osorio has posted pictures here. If you have EuroBSDcon pics, leave a comment containing a link.

EuroBSDCon

The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to once again be a sponsor of EuroBSDCon. This year, Robert Watson of the Foundation is a co-organizer of the conference with UKUUG. The Foundation is hosting a FreeBSD Developer Summit which will bring together 50-60 developers for an intense two-day workshop to discuss all aspects of FreeBSD development, including features for the now-in-the-works FreeBSD 9.0. The Foundation will sponsor 9 developers and users to attend the conference and/or Summit, and Robert, Hiroki Sato, and Sam Leffler will be in attendance.

EuroBSDCon has lots of great talks this year, including several by Foundation members and developers whose work has been sponsored by the Foundation. These include:

Sam Leffler will give a presentation entitled 100km@36Mb/s, or Long Distance Wireless.

Rui Paulo will present the results from his Wireless mesh networks under FreeBSD project.

Ion-Mihai Tetcu, who recently described the importance of speaking at conferences, will give a presentation entitled 20,000 Ports Under The Hood.

Take a look at the full list of talks and consider registering if you haven't already. The Foundation would love to see you there!