Interesting times ahead for FreeBSD

Ed Schouten’s MPSAFE-tty layer is now in the main tree of FreeBSD, but it i only one of the active projects which run in parallel. The excellent news is that the MPSAFE-tty layer brings down by one the count of kernel subsystems that require the big Giant lock for running within the threaded FreeBSD kernel. There are only a few more, i.e. the USB stack. Removing the requirement for Giant from some of the remaining Giant-dependent subsystems is already part of ongoing work.

The next few months are going to be “interesting” for FreeBSD in quite a few ways:

  • Now that Ed has committed his MPSAFE-tty layer, it will start getting more testing. We will have to fix any problems that surface during the first few weeks, as people start using the new kernel, or updating their thirdparty software & ports.
  • Kip Macy has started committing his Xen DomU support in the /head branch.
  • Alfred Perlstein is actively seeking approval to commit the new USB stack that Hans-Peter Selasky is developing outside of the main tree for a while now. More testing and bug-fixing will probably start once this hits the main tree too.
  • Robert Watson recently organized a “developer’s summit” in Cambridge, which seems to have gone pretty well. Judging from the blog posts by Philip Paeps, and the enthusiastic email by other people who attended, this was a huge success.

Now we are all looking forward to EuroBSDCon 2008. The conference is currently scheduled for 16-17 October (tutorial days) and 18-19 October (main conference talks). It will take place in Strasbourg, France and join for a few days a diverse group of BSD hackers, including people from FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Dragonfly BSD, and Darwin.

It’s been almost a couple of years now since I attended EuroBSDCon 2006, so this should be fun :-)


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