ivoras’ FreeBSD blog Just another FreeBSD Developer’s weblog

October 7, 2007


Filed under: FreeBSD — ivoras @ 10:44 pm

I’m wondering how open are FreeBSD users to the idea of providing funding for some FreeBSD-specific development. I’m specifically interested about “bounties” such as those from rsync.net for certain specific projects. The FreeBSD Foundation always accepts donations, but this is something different and more targeted.

Let’s give an example (nothing definite right now, no obligations, even the main developer(s) aren’t contacted about the idea): are there any people or organizations that would fund BLUFFS? The motivation is clear: a clean journaling file system compatible with UFS. Though ZFS is nice, it’s still not stable enough (and requires so much memory it’s not suitable for smaller machines) and softupdates is in bad shape anyway.

If you’re interested, have an idea or actually anything to contribute to this topic, please post a reply.


  1. Do you have any pointers as to why and how softupdates is in a bad shape ? I’m not skilled enough to do anything to it but I’m very curious since I talk about softupdates quite a lot when I advocate (based on old data) and it’s the first time I here it’s “bad” from an FreeBSD insider.

    More on topic, I have and would fund FreeBSD work through bounties. It appears to have worked quite well for Poul-Henning Kamp and Andre Oppermann.

    Comment by kut — October 8, 2007 @ 12:27 am

  2. I think bounties could be great for the FreeBSD project. A related FreeBSD-based project, pfSense, has been using them successfully for the last couple years to get important features implemented.

    It’s great for the project, as important functionality is available for everyone. It’s great for the project’s contributors, getting them paid for work they like and want to do, and in some cases they would have done anyway.

    Comment by Chris Buechler — October 8, 2007 @ 2:31 am

  3. I’m purely a FreeBSD user, but have been thinking about proposing bounties for quiet some time already. It great that you – as a FreeBSD developer – like the idea of bounties as well.

    I’d be willing to contribute to funding someone who implements suspend for SMP (think Core 2 Duo) systems.

    Comment by Nikolai — October 8, 2007 @ 6:58 am

  4. Yeah, Ivan, it’s a real necessity for us, The BLUFFS is particularily the most important and actual for our community, Personally, I’m ready to support this bounty.

    Comment by jema — October 8, 2007 @ 6:59 am

  5. re: softupdates

    It’s been made for a different time. Today, there are several things going against it:

    – It still requires (bg)fsck, which can take a long time and consume large amounts of memory on big file systems (500 gb+)

    – Hardware today doesn’t keep to the assumptions made when softupdates were created, wrt caching. Every now and then people lose chunks of their file systems when power fails. Journaling has slightly different assumptions which seem to work better with todays hardware (especially since it’s so widely used that nobody cares about compliance with “other” solutions).

    It’s not like softupdates is terminally bad, it’s just that time has come to move on.

    Comment by ivoras — October 8, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

  6. Bonza! Bounties are a great idea. Would’ve been great to see some sort of FreeBSD bounty setup years ago. I donate to the Foundation once a year, but I’d also like to throw money at specific projects along my thoughts of interest. I always wanted to donate money to some FreeBSD developer(s) working on KGI(kgi-project.org) or Tendra(tendra.org)….alas, nowdays their may be other projects that would except my future bounty donations.

    Comment by bilge — October 9, 2007 @ 1:30 am

  7. Dude, I just stumbled upon your blog, and it’s awesome. Subscribed to your feed on google homepage :)

    Comment by Rada — October 11, 2007 @ 9:19 am

  8. Hello,

    Whats required for bluff’s development to be included into FreeBSD (6/7-Stable) ?

    Feel free to email to details and any required sponsership information. I know the freebsd foundation made good this year, but am unsure if any of that will goto bluffs.


    Comment by m1ha5 — January 1, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

  9. I’d be very keen to put money where my mouth is if it helped make BLUFFS happen. I agree that it’s a desperately needed feature — I avoid bgfsck after having been burned in the past, ZFS is too memory hungry for general server use (fine if its a dedicated file server and you can load it up with RAM), and while gjournal provides _a_ solution, it can be pessimistically slow in some situations…

    Trying to explain to clients why their systems sit unusable for 15-20 minutes while they sit there fsck’ing after an extended power outage is growing tiring, when most of them struggle to remember back to the Win9x days of scandisk after an unclean shutdown. And back then you were only checking at most a couple of gig… fsck’ing 500gb filesystems is just painful!

    Comment by Antony Mawer — March 3, 2008 @ 11:11 pm

  10. Does anybody know what’s the current status of BLUFFS? Sorry to say Stephen Uphoff, its father, doesn’t reply on mails :(

    Comment by Jemochka — April 18, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

  11. If the author doesn’t respond, then nobody knows :(

    My theory is still that a monetary incentive to him would help make it quicker :)

    Comment by ivoras — April 21, 2008 @ 9:04 am

  12. […] comments yet. Leave a comment. Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website …Bounties? ivoras' FreeBSD blogDo you have any pointers as to why and how softupdates is in a bad shape ? … do anything to it but […]

    Pingback by softupdates — April 5, 2010 @ 4:44 am

  13. A version of softupdates in 9.0 called “SU+J” will solve most of the things behind the “bad shape” comment.

    Comment by ivoras — August 6, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

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