deadsimple BSD Security Advisories and Announcements

FreeBSD Status Report - Fourth Quarter 2022

FreeBSD Status Report Fourth Quarter 2022

The New Year has started and here is the last status report of 2022, including
34 reports. You will also notice that for the first time a new category has
been introduced: the Cloud category. As FreeBSD keeps up to date with the
latest technologies in IT, projects dealing with the cloud make steady
improvements, and thus it has been judged that they deserve their own category
in the status reports.

The new category is not the only change about status reports. Indeed, the
status team is revisiting its own workflow to become more efficient. If you are
a report submitter, please ensure to read carefully the report authored by the
status team as well as the next Call for Reports emails to keep up with the
most recent changes.

Have a nice read.

Lorenzo Salvadore, on behalf of the status team.


A rendered version of this report is available here:


Table of Contents

  • FreeBSD Team Reports
      □ FreeBSD Core Team
      □ FreeBSD Foundation
      □ FreeBSD Release Engineering Team
      □ Cluster Administration Team
      □ Continuous Integration
      □ Ports Collection
      □ Status reports: New workflow
  • Projects
      □ Console screen reader infrastructure
      □ Vessel - Integrated Application Containers for FreeBSD
      □ Enable the NFS server to run in a vnet prison
      □ Pytest support for the FreeBSD testing framework
  • Userland
      □ Base System OpenSSH Update
  • Kernel
      □ Enabling Snapshots on Filesystems Using Journaled Soft Updates
      □ Wireless updates
      □ Netlink on FreeBSD
      □ Adding basic CTF support to ddb
  • Architectures
      □ CheriBSD 22.12 release
      □ FreeBSD/riscv64 Improvements
      □ go on FreeBSD riscv64
      □ FreeBSD/ARM64 on Xen
  • Cloud
      □ FreeBSD on Microsoft HyperV and Azure
      □ FreeBSD as a Tier 1 cloud-init Platform
      □ OpenStack on FreeBSD
  • Documentation
      □ Documentation Engineering Team
      □ FreeBSD Presentations and Papers
  • Ports
      □ FreshPorts - help wanted
      □ PortsDB: Program that imports the ports tree into an SQLite database
      □ KDE on FreeBSD
      □ Xfce on FreeBSD
      □ Pantheon desktop on FreeBSD
      □ Budgie desktop on FreeBSD
      □ GCC on FreeBSD
      □ Another milestone for biology ports
  • Third Party Projects
      □ Containers and FreeBSD: Pot, Potluck and Potman


FreeBSD Team Reports

Entries from the various official and semi-official teams, as found in the
Administration Page.

FreeBSD Core Team

Contact: FreeBSD Core Team <>

The FreeBSD Core Team is the governing body of FreeBSD.


Core Team Charter

A delegation of the current core team is working together with some members of
the previous Core Team to draft a core team charter. There was a face-to-face
meeting in the US on December 3 - 4 to discuss the new charter. The delegation
will present to the rest of the core team and discuss the details in the first
quarter of 2023. The same delegation also had a meeting with the FreeBSD
Foundation board on December 5th to discuss the collaboration details.

Experimental Matrix IM solution

The core team is working on evaluating Matrix as an instant messaging tool for
the project. This will make the project’s communication channels less dependant
on third parties. The service will be made available to the FreeBSD community
to test and evaluate its validity at a later date.

Committer’s Guide

Deprecate BSD-2-Clause-FreeBSD and use BSD-2-Clause. For more information
please refer to the commit.

Commit bits

  • Core approved the src commit bit for Zhenlei Huang (zlei@)

  • Core approved the src commit bit for Corvin Köhne (corvink@)

  • Core approved the src commit bit for Sumit Saxon (ssaxena@)

  • Core approved the restore of the source commit bit for Paweł Jakub Dawidek


FreeBSD Foundation

FreeBSD Foundation URL:
Technology Roadmap URL:
Donate URL:
Foundation Partnership Program URL:
FreeBSD Journal URL:
Foundation News and Events URL:

Contact: Deb Goodkin <>

The FreeBSD Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to
supporting and promoting the FreeBSD Project and community worldwide. Donations
from individuals and corporations are used to fund and manage software
development projects, conferences, and developer summits. We also provide
travel grants to FreeBSD contributors, purchase and support hardware to improve
and maintain FreeBSD infrastructure, and provide resources to improve security,
quality assurance, and release engineering efforts. We publish marketing
material to promote, educate, and advocate for the FreeBSD Project, facilitate
collaboration between commercial vendors and FreeBSD developers, and finally,
represent the FreeBSD Project in executing contracts, license agreements, and
other legal arrangements that require a recognized legal entity.

Fundraising Efforts

Thank you to everyone who made a financial contribution in 2022! We’re still
tallying up the totals and will have final numbers soon. Unfortunately, we did
not meet our fundraising goal, which reinforced our need of having someone who
can focus on encouraging organizations to invest in FreeBSD. We will bring
someone on board soon to help with that effort.

In this Quarterly Status report you’ll read about many of the areas we funded
in Q4 to improve FreeBSD and advocate for the Project (the two main areas we
spend money on). Check out reports on the internally and externally funded
projects like Openstack on FreeBSD, Enabling Snapshots on Filesystems Using
Journaled Soft Updates, FreeBSD as a Tier 1 cloud-init Platform, and FreeBSD/
riscv64 Improvements. In addition, we provided tons of community engagement and
education opportunities virtually and in-person!

If you want to help us continue our efforts, please consider making a donation
towards our 2023 fundraising campaign!

We also have a Partnership Program for larger commercial donors. You can read
about it at

OS Improvements

During the last quarter of 2022, 218 src, 45 ports, and 12 doc tree commits
identified the Foundation as a sponsor. Work was committed under Foundation
sponsorship to repositories outside of FreeBSD as well, e.g., to the cloud-init
project. Some of this sponsored work is described in separate report entries:

  • FreeBSD as a Tier 1 cloud-init Platform

  • OpenStack on FreeBSD project update

  • Wireless Report

  • Enabling Snapshots on Filesystems Using Journaled Soft Updates

Other Foundation work in the src tree included:

  • a variety of additions and fixes from Konstantin Belousov including commits
    to the virtual memory system (e.g., ec201dd, cd08669, and d537d1f), and
    file systems (e.g., 37aea26, 83aff0f, 860399e, and 4d903a1)

  • work from Andrew Turner on arm64 such as an implementation of per-superpage
    locks and the addition of support for an array of hwresets

  • more RISC-V improvements from Mitchell Horne, including improvements to
    parsing of ISA property strings, optimizations to memory allocation, and
    various documentation additions and improvements

  • follow-up commits to Mark Johnston’s work to add ZFS Support to makefs(8)
    (e.g., work to easily provide ZFS-based VM and cloud images and automation
    for better defaults from Li-Wen Hsu)

  • a variety of work from Ed Maste, including an ssh update and a switch to
    LLVM objdump.

Continuous Integration and Quality Assurance

The Foundation provides a full-time staff member and funds projects to improve
continuous integration, automated testing, and overall quality assurance
efforts for the FreeBSD project. You can read about the latest activity for
that work in a separate report entry.

FreeBSD Advocacy and Education

Much of our effort is dedicated to Project advocacy. This may involve
highlighting interesting FreeBSD work, producing literature and video
tutorials, attending events, or giving presentations. The goal of the
literature we produce is to teach people FreeBSD basics and help make their
path to adoption or contribution easier. Other than attending and presenting at
events, we encourage and help community members run their own FreeBSD events,
give presentations, or staff FreeBSD tables.

The FreeBSD Foundation sponsors many conferences, events, and summits around
the globe. These events can be BSD-related, open source, or technology events
geared towards underrepresented groups. We support the FreeBSD-focused events
to help provide a venue for sharing knowledge, working together on projects,
and facilitating collaboration between developers and commercial users. This
all helps provide a healthy ecosystem. We support the non-FreeBSD events to
promote and raise awareness of FreeBSD, to increase the use of FreeBSD in
different applications, and to recruit more contributors to the Project. We are
continuing to attend events both in person and virtual as well as planning the
November Vendor Summit. In addition to attending and planning virtual events,
we are continually working on new training initiatives and updating our
selection of how-to guides to facilitate getting more folks to try out FreeBSD.

Check out some of the advocacy and education work we did last quarter:

  • Sponsored the OpenZFS Developer Summit, October 24-25, 2022 in San
    Francisco, CA

  • Sponsored All Things Open, October 30-November 2, 2022 in Raleigh, NC

  • Sponsored and helped organize the November 2022 FreeBSD Vendor Summit.
    Videos from the Summit are available.

  • Held a new FreeBSD Friday: An Introduction to FreeBSD Services by Drew

  • Published the Fall and Winter Newsletter updates

  • New Blog Posts

      □ Meet the 2022 FreeBSD Google Summer of Code Students: Koichi Imai

      □ Meet the 2022 FreeBSD Google Summer of Code Students: Bojan Novković

      □ Keeping FreeBSD Secure: Learn the Whys and Hows with the FreeBSD Sec

      □ The FreeBSD Journal is still Free!

      □ EuroBSDCon 2022 Trip Report: Muhammad Moinur Rahman

      □ EuroBSDCon 2022 Trip Report: Patrick McEvoy

      □ Fall Foundation Software Development Update

      □ Invest in FreeBSD

      □ 2022 in Review: Advocacy

      □ Foundation Sponsors Update to WireGuard Kernel Port for FreeBSD

      □ 2022 in Review: Fundraising Update

      □ 2022 in Review: Software Development

      □ 2022 in Review: Continuous Integration and Quality Assurance Update

  • FreeBSD in the news:

      □ Ampere: Getting Cloud-Native with FreeBSD on OCI Ampere A1 with

      □ FreeBSD is Well Supported on 4th Gen AMD EPYC™ Processors

  • For a quick review of all the Foundation efforts in 2022, check out our
    2022 Thank You Video.

We help educate the world about FreeBSD by publishing the professionally
produced FreeBSD Journal. As we mentioned previously, the FreeBSD Journal is
now a free publication. Find out more and access the latest issues at

You can find out more about events we attended and upcoming events at

Legal/FreeBSD IP

The Foundation owns the FreeBSD trademarks, and it is our responsibility to
protect them. We also provide legal support for the core team to investigate
questions that arise.

Go to to find more about how we support
FreeBSD and how we can help you!


FreeBSD Release Engineering Team

FreeBSD 12.4-RELEASE schedule URL:
FreeBSD 12.4-RELEASE announcement URL:
FreeBSD 13.2-RELEASE schedule URL:
FreeBSD 14.0-RELEASE schedule URL:
FreeBSD development snapshots URL:

Contact: FreeBSD Release Engineering Team <>

The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is responsible for setting and publishing
release schedules for official project releases of FreeBSD, announcing code
freezes and maintaining the respective branches, among other things.

During the fourth quarter of 2022, the Release Engineering Team completed work
on the 12.4-RELEASE cycle. This is the final release from the stable/12 branch.
During the release cycle, only one BETA build and two RC (release candidate)
builds were needed; overall the release cycle went very smoothly and the
release took place on December 5th.

During the fourth quarter of 2022, the Release Engineering Team continued
providing weekly development snapshot builds for the main, stable/13, and
stable/12 branches.

In the first quarter of 2023, the Release Engineering Team will start work on
the upcoming 13.2-RELEASE.

Rubicon Communications, LLC ("Netgate")
The FreeBSD Foundation


Cluster Administration Team

Cluster Administration Team members URL:

Contact: Cluster Administration Team <>

FreeBSD Cluster Administration Team members are responsible for managing the
machines the Project relies on to synchronise its distributed work and

In this quarter, the team has worked on the following:

  • Regular cluster-wide software upgrades
    Two full upgrades to fix and prevent some impacting issues
    (FreeBSD-EN-22:25.tcp and FreeBSD-EN-22:28.heimdal).

  • Regular support for user accounts

  • Regular disk and parts support (and replacement) for all physical hosts and

  • Site audit at our primary site

      □ Inventory of spares and other miscellanea occupying space in our

      □ Inventory of PDUs/power outlet usage and identifying faulty PSUs.

  • Identify and fix major DNS issue impacting the project
    The primary DNS servers hosted on suffered outages for a few days,
    and new DNS servers were deployed worldwide. We thank our sponsor Metapeer
    for providing anycast infrastructure.

  • Deploy a new mirror in Frankfurt, Germany
    A replacement for our mirror in Amsterdam (site decommissioned). Former and
    new mirror hosted and sponsored by Equinix.

  • Reuse parts of three broken CI machines
    No replacements for these at this moment, awaiting a cluster refresh soon.

  • Work with the PowerPC team to improve the PowerPC cluster machines

      □ Parts like mainboard, NVMe and Power 9 CPU bought through the FreeBSD

      □ Former package builder fixed, and re-deployed as powerpc and powerpc64
        package builder.

      □ Former devref machine reinstalled as a new powerpc64le package builder.

      □ The cluster has now only these two PowerPC machines in operation.

  • Several rounds to free up disk space usage in the cluster machines

  • Setup of an experimental search engine for the mailing lists:

  • Fix a bug in the mailing lists archiver, which resulted in some broken
    All mailing lists archives have been regenerated.

Work in progress:

  • Large-scale network upgrade at our primary site
    New Juniper switches arrived at our primary site to replace the former
    ones. We thank Juniper for the donation.

  • Replace old servers in our primary site and a few mirrors
    Besides the broken CI servers, we have a few old servers with broken disks
    and faulty PSUs. This task is in conjunction with the FreeBSD Foundation
    and donors/sponsors.

  • Create a new database for the mailing list search engine to allow searching
    for mail in the archives from mailman’s time

FreeBSD Official Mirrors Overview:

Current locations are Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan (two full mirror
sites), Malaysia, South Africa, Taiwan, United Kingdom (full mirror site),
United States of America (California, New Jersey [the primary site], and

The hardware and network connection have been generously provided by:

  • Bytemark Hosting

  • Cloud and SDN Laboratory at BroadBand Tower, Inc

  • Department of Computer Science, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University

  • Equinix

  • Internet Association of Australia

  • Internet Systems Consortium

  • INX-ZA

  • KDDI Web Communications Inc

  • Malaysian Research & Education Network

  • Metapeer

  • New York Internet



The Frankfurt single server mirror is now the primary Europe mirror in
bandwidth and usage.

We are still looking for an additional full mirror site (five servers) in
Europe to replace old servers in the United Kingdom full mirror site.

We see a good pattern in having single mirrors in Internet Exchange Points
worldwide (Australia, Brazil, and South Africa); if you know or work for some
of them that could sponsor a single mirror server, please get in touch. United
States (West Coast) and Europe (anywhere) are preferable places.

See generic mirrored layout for full mirror site specs and tiny-mirror for a
single mirror site.


Continuous Integration

FreeBSD Jenkins Instance URL:
FreeBSD CI artifact archive URL:
FreeBSD Jenkins wiki URL:
Hosted CI wiki URL:
3rd Party Software CI URL:
Tickets related to freebsd-testing@ URL:
FreeBSD CI Repository URL:
dev-ci Mailing List URL:

Contact: Jenkins Admin <>
Contact: Li-Wen Hsu <>
Contact: freebsd-testing Mailing List
Contact: IRC #freebsd-ci channel on EFNet

The FreeBSD CI team maintains the continuous integration system of the FreeBSD
project. The CI system checks the committed changes can be successfully built,
then performs various tests and analysis over the newly built results. The
artifacts from those builds are archived in the artifact server for further
testing and debugging needs. The CI team members examine the failing builds and
unstable tests and work with the experts in that area to fix the code or adjust
test infrastructure.

During the fourth quarter of 2022, we continued working with the contributors
and developers in the project to fulfill their testing needs and also keep
collaborating with external projects and companies to improve their products
and FreeBSD.

Important completed tasks:

  • FreeBSD-main-amd64-gcc9_build now sends failing reports to the committers
    whose commits may be related.

  • FreeBSD-main-amd64-gcc12_build has been added.

  • FreeBSD-main-powerpc64-images now also builds bootable APM disk image for
    Apple G5 baremetal and QEMU -M mac99 (by alfredo@)

Work in progress tasks:

  • Designing and implementing pre-commit CI building and testing (to support
    the workflow working group)

  • Designing and implementing use of CI cluster to build release artifacts as
    release engineering does

  • Simplifying CI/test environment setting up for contributors and developers

  • Setting up the CI stage environment and putting the experimental jobs on it

  • Organizing the scripts in freebsd-ci repository to prepare for merging to
    src repository

  • Improving the hardware test lab and adding more hardware for testing

Open or queued tasks:

  • Collecting and sorting CI tasks and ideas

  • Setting up public network access for the VM guest running tests

  • Implementing use of bare-metal hardware to run test suites

  • Adding drm ports building tests against -CURRENT

  • Planning to run ztest tests

  • Adding more external toolchain related jobs

  • Helping more software get FreeBSD support in its CI pipeline (Wiki pages:
    3rdPartySoftwareCI, HostedCI)

  • Working with hosted CI providers to have better FreeBSD support

Please see freebsd-testing@ related tickets for more WIP information, and don’t
hesitate to join the effort!

Sponsor: The FreeBSD Foundation


Ports Collection

About FreeBSD Ports URL:
Contributing to Ports URL:
FreeBSD Ports Monitoring URL:
Ports Management Team URL:
Ports Tarball URL:

Contact: René Ladan <>
Contact: FreeBSD Ports Management Team <>

The Ports Management Team is responsible for overseeing the overall direction
of the Ports Tree, building packages (through its subsidiary pkgmgr), and
personnel matters. Below is what happened in the last quarter.

Currently we have just over 31,000 ports in the Ports Tree. There are currently
close to 2900 open ports PRs of which almost 800 are unassigned. The last
quarter saw 8194 commits by 159 committers on the main branch and 657 commits
by 53 committers on the 2022Q4 branch. Compared to the quarter before, this
means a small increase in the number of available ports but also in the number
of open PRs and a decreasing number of commits made.

On the personnel front, we welcomed Ronald Klop (ronald@) and said goodbye to
bar@ and bhughes@. We welcomed pizzamig@ as a new official member after a
successful lurking period. We also welcomed three new lurkers: bofh@, ler@, and

Portmgr split itself up into portmgr and pkgmgr. The new pkgmgr team, currently
consisting of antoine@ and bdrewery@, is responsible for building packages and
maintaining the package building cluster.

Four new USES were introduced:

  • llvm to canonicalize ports dependencies on LLVM

  • luajit to select a LuaJIT runtime

  • octave to help ports depend on Octave and Octave-Forge

  • tex to define dependencies on TeX and its various components.

The following default versions were bumped:

  • Firebird to 3.0

  • GCC to 12

  • Lazarus to 2.2.4

  • Lua to 5.4

  • PHP to 8.1

  • Samba to 4.13

  • Varnish to 6

  • LuaJIT is new and set at "luajit-openresty" for PowerPC64 and
    "luajit-devel" for all other architectures.

Three new features were introduced, PIE, RELRO, and BIND_NOW. Each port can opt
out of them by setting the <feature>_UNSAFE variable. Users can activate or
deactivate them globally by setting WITH_<feature> or WITHOUT_<feature>.

The following major ports were updated to new versions:

  • Chromium 108.0.5359.124

  • Electron 18.3.11, 19.0.15, and 21.2.0

  • Firefox 108.0.1

  • Firefox-ESR 102.6.0

  • gcc 12

  • KDE Plasma 5.24.7, Frameworks 5.101.0, Applications 22.12.0

  • Qt 5.15.7 and 6.4.1

  • Rust 1.66.0

  • SDL 2.26.1

  • Sway 1.8

  • wlroots 0.16.1

  • Wine 7.0.1.

The exp-run reports are available again. During the last quarter, antoine@ ran
38 exp-runs to:

  • test port updates

  • change default versions

  • identify use of IPPROTO_DIVERT in ports

  • support PF_DIVERT in Python for FreeBSD 14.


Status reports: New workflow

FreeBSD status reports URL:
Status reports GitHub repository URL:

Contact: <>

Goals of the new workflow

This quarter the status team has been discussing with doceng@ some improvements
to its workflow. In particular, the team is attempting to merge its GitHub
repository into the FreeBSD doc/ repository.

Here are the reasons for such a change:

  • having two independent repositories requires spending some time to make
    sure that both are in sync, which is being done manually. See for example
    commits such as,
    which are not immediately clear
    in their commit messages about what is being done unless more time is
    invested to copy commit messages properly;

  • the FreeSD doc/ repository is self-hosted, while the status repository is
    hosted on GitHub. Since the contents of the self-hosted repository are
    mirrored, nothing is being lost in visibility with the repository merging.

Some inconsistencies about the name of the team have also been found: the team
has been referred to as "quarterly", "quarterly status team", "status", "status
team", "monthly" etc. So this issue is also being addressed.

Please note that we are still working on these changes and that they might not
be completed within the next quarter. The status team will take care to keep
all information about report submissions up to date so that you always know how
to submit your reports.

Team naming

Since "quarterly" might refer to quarterly reports but also to quarterly
branches, using "quarterly" only could cause some confusion in some contexts.
"quarterly-status" is likely a bad idea as well, as the frequency of reports
publication might need to change in the future. Thus just "status" has been
chosen: this is correct as quarterly status reports contain information about
the status of the development of FreeBSD, it is frequency-agnostic and
consistent with its FreeBSD website section.

The following email addresses have been created:

  • the main contact address for the status team is now <>.
    Mails sent to will still reach the team, but you are
    encouraged to use the new address;

  • the email address for the status report submissions is now <>. Mails sent to will still reach the team, but you are
    encouraged to use the new address;

  • the quarterly-calls mailing list has been renamed to status-calls. If you
    were already subscribed to quarterly-calls, you do not need to resubscribe.

Report submission

Three different ways to submit reports will be provided:

  • submitting a review on Phabricator. A new Phabricator group called "status"
    has been created. If you would like to give a hand to the team by reviewing
    reports we suggest you add yourself to the group 'watchers';

  • submitting a pull request at;

  • sending an email to

Reviewing processes will proceed as they usually do on each of these channels.

Other changes

  • The repository merging will require reworking some of the existing tools to
    better integrate with the existent structure of the FreeBSD doc/

  • The status reports GitHub repository will be archived once the new workflow
    implementation is completed.



Projects that span multiple categories, from the kernel and userspace to the
Ports Collection or external projects.

Console screen reader infrastructure

console speaker daemon URL:
kernel support for console screen reader URL:
base system accessibility wishlist URL:

Contact: Hans Petter Selasky <>
Contact: FreeBSD accessibility discussions <>

This project aims at providing a very basic screen reader usable in console
mode (without a GUI) for FreeBSD. This is an important first step for system
administrators using speech to access computers, who previously would have
needed a second computer running a terminal emulator to install or configure a
FreeBSD server or character-based desktop computer.

The third and fourth quarters of 2022 saw basic design and some feature testing
which looks promising, and a detailed call for testing with installation
procedure posted.

This project needs help with the following:

  • Code reviewing

  • Usability testing

  • Integrating with the FreeBSD installer.

Sponsor: NVIDIA Networking (for the kernel development part)


Vessel - Integrated Application Containers for FreeBSD

Vessel URL:

Contact: Shane Steidley <>

What is Vessel?

The goal of vessel is to expose the many powerful features of FreeBSD to
application developers. Vessel accomplishes this goal by:

  • Providing a "Docker-like" interface familiar to most application developers
    for building, running, publishing and pulling container images.

  • Tightly integrating with FreeBSD system level interfaces (kqueue process
    tracing, signal handling, devd.seqpacket, rctl, cpuset) to manage running

How is Vessel different from other jail management systems?

There are some awesome jail management systems already. These existing systems
do a great job of configuring the jail runtime environment (ZFS dataset,
networking, resource control, etc). After the environment is configured though,
it is just handed off to the jail program via an exec call.

In addition to jail configuration and creation, Vessel aims to take the next
step and implement an event loop to manage jails based on system events. An
instance of vessel runs alongside each jail to assist with management. This
allows "Fat Jails" and single process jails to run in the foreground and be
managed by the vessel-supervisor.

Why make Vessel?

Vessel has been a side project for a few years. I initially started it because
it was a fun hobby project and I was surprised something similar did not
already exist. It has now become a viable tool that I use for all of my
projects. I believe it will be useful to others as well.

Is help needed?

Help is always appreciated. It’s a fun project to work on because it can touch
on so many portions of FreeBSD.

  • Just using it and reporting any bugs on GitHub would be very useful.

  • Whatever sounds fun. I’m happy to help get people started.


Enable the NFS server to run in a vnet prison

Source patch for main URL:
Simple Setup Doc URL:

Contact: Rick Macklem <>

Several users of FreeBSD identified a need to run the NFS server inside a vnet
prison. This turned into a small project, where I now have a patch that does
this. It is currently available at the above link for testing or on Phabricator
as D37519. Without this patch, the NFS server cannot be run in a prison.

Not included in the above patch is the ability to run the rpc.tlsservd(8) and
nfsuserd(8) daemons within the vnet prison. I do now have patches that allow
these daemons to run in the vnet prison along with mountd(8) and nfsd(8), but I
would like to get the above patch into main before adding support for
rpc.tlsservd(8) or nfsuserd(8).

At this time, the code needs reviewing and testing. Hopefully this can be
completed in the next few weeks, so that the patch can be committed to main and
possibly also MFC’d to stable/13.

To do

  • Testing the above patch.

  • Reviewing the above patch.

  • Doing the same for the rpc.tlsservd(8) and nfsuserd(8) patches.


Pytest support for the FreeBSD testing framework

Initial review URL:
Test examples URL:

Contact: Alexander Chernikov <>

Native pytest support for atf(7) enhances the capabilities of the FreeBSD test

Pytest simplifies test writing by reducing the amount of boiler-plate code. It
offers several advantages over the existing atf-c and atf-shell bindings. One
of the most important ones is the test parametrization, which allows improving
coverage with writing nearly no code. The other is a rich assert system,
offering detailed errors description. Python atf(7) support comes with a number
of libraries that abstract a number of commonly-used tasks. For example,
running a test within a VNET jail with epair(4) requires adding a single line
of code. Such helpers are especially handy in the networking area, where tests
with complex VNET setups are not uncommon.

Current status

Python support has been committed to HEAD. Currently, ~80 tests use the Python
framework and the number is rising. Example tests have been committed to show
the handling of the typical cases.

Next steps

  • Work on increasing the adoption of the framework

  • Rewrite some of the older Python/shell tests in the netinet[6] to pytest
    (help is appreciated)



Changes affecting the base system and programs in it.

Base System OpenSSH Update

OpenSSH 9.1 release notes URL:

Contact: Ed Maste <>

OpenSSH, a suite of remote login and file transfer tools, was updated from
version 9.0p1 to 9.1p1 in the FreeBSD base system.

It has been merged to the stable branches, is available in FreeBSD 12.4, and
will be in the upcoming FreeBSD 13.2.

A number of bug fixes and minor improvements have been submitted upstream to
OpenSSH, and this process will continue with subsequent updates.

Sponsor: The FreeBSD Foundation



Updates to kernel subsystems/features, driver support, filesystems, and more.

Enabling Snapshots on Filesystems Using Journaled Soft Updates

Milestone 1 Core Changes URL:

Contact: Kirk McKusick <>

The goal of this project is to make UFS/FFS filesystem snapshots available when
running with journaled soft updates.

First a bit of background. Soft updates have been available for UFS/FFS since
the mid 1990s. They eliminate the need for most synchronous disk writes and
keep the state of the filesystem sufficiently consistent that it can be put
back online after a crash without the need to run fsck(8). However, it may
incorrectly assume that some of its blocks are still in use when in fact they
are free. So, eventually it is necessary to take the filesystem offline to run
fsck(8) to reclaim these lost blocks. The time to run fsck(8) is a function of
the number of files in the filesystem and the size of the filesystem. Large
filesystems may take hours to complete an fsck(8).

Enabling journaling reduces the time spent by fsck(8) cleaning up a filesystem
after a crash to a few seconds. With journaling, the time to recover after a
crash is a function of the amount of activity in the filesystem in the minute
before the crash. Journaled recovery time is usually only a few seconds and
never exceeds a minute.

The drawback to using journaling is that the writes to its log add an extra
write load to the media containing the filesystem. Thus a write-intensive
workload will have reduced throughput on a filesystem running with journaling.

Like all journaling filesystems, the journal recovery will only fix issues
known to the journal. Specifically if a media error occurs, the journal will
not know about it and hence will not fix it. Thus when using journaling, it is
still necessary to run a full fsck every few months or after a filesystem panic
to check for and fix any errors brought on by media failure.

A full fsck(8) is normally done on an offline filesystem. However, it can be
done by running fsck(8) on a snapshot of a live filesystem. When running fsck
(8) in the background on a live filesystem, the filesystem performance will be
about half of normal during the time that the background fsck(8) is running.
Running a full fsck on a UFS filesystem is the equivalent of running a scrub on
a ZFS filesystem.

The first milestone of this project has been completed. It is now possible to
take snapshots when running with journaled soft updates and they can be used
for doing background dumps on a live filesystem.

The second milestone of this project is to extend fsck(8) to be able to do a
background check using a snapshot on a filesystem running with journaled soft
updates. This milestone is expected by Q3 of 2023.

Sponsored by: The FreeBSD Foundation


Wireless updates

Bjoern’s Wireless Work In Progress landing page URL:

Contact: Bjoern A. Zeeb <>

During the quarter not much work was publicly visible and admittedly slightly
slow. Behind the scenes wireless work was happening on two fronts:

  • 11n, 11ac, and wpa,

  • more drivers and firmware, problems, testing, and filling gaps for these.

While the main development for newer standards and the Intel iwlwifi driver is
sponsored by the FreeBSD Foundation, I find myself spending a lot of private
time with Realtek rtw88 and rtw89, Atheros, and Mediatek mt76 (7921 and 7915)
drivers now as well. Testing changes on bare metal and using bhyve VMs using
passthru has become more time-consuming, with the amount of supported chipsets
increasing, in order not to break other drivers. Even different (generations
of) chipsets supported by the same driver, at times, behave differently with
the same change.

A separate discussion was brought to me about the size of firmware added to the
tree for the already existing drivers and the firmware for more drivers coming.
The chicken-egg problem to solve is having firmware available on the release
media; without firmware, a lot of modern laptops will not have any sort of
outside communications available at the time of install in their default
configuration. This will be a larger discussion to have to also solve firmware
for other drivers, but that discussion will be for another day and place.

Slightly belatedly I have started to push LinuxKPI and 802.11 changes into the
tree at the end of the year and that work will continue into early 2023 at
which point more of the aforementioned remaining drivers will also hit the

One of the main remaining problems to solve is the firmware crashes on
interface down/up cycles currently experienced with at least two drivers.

Thankfully during the last weeks, after my call for help, multiple people have
stood up wanting to help with various drivers (especially Realtek and
Mediatek). I hope that after me catching up and pushing things out this can
accelerate progress again.

Thanks again to everyone doing testing, providing debug output, sending in
feedback, or using the drivers at this point.

For the latest state of the development, please use the freebsd-wireless
mailing list, and check the landing page, which has links to all wiki pages for
each driver status.

Sponsor: The FreeBSD Foundation


Netlink on FreeBSD

Initial review URL:
Netlink talk URL:

Contact: Alexander Chernikov <>

Netlink is a communication protocol defined in RFC 3549. It is an async,
TLV-based protocol, providing 1-1 and 1-many communications between kernel and
userland. Netlink is currently used in the Linux kernel to modify, read and
subscribe for nearly all networking states. Interface state, addresses, routes,
firewall, rules, fibs, etc, are controlled via Netlink.

Why is Netlink important for FreeBSD?

POSIX defines an API for base functions/system calls. There is no such standard
for the plethora of protocol/device-level/subsystem-level ioctls. Each
subsystem/driver invents its own protocol, handling format and compatibility.
Extendability is a notable problem in the networking control plane. For
example, it is extremely hard to add properties to the routing socket messages
without breaking compatibility.

Netlink offers unification by providing a standard communication layer and
basic easily-extendable message formatting. It can serve as a "broker",
automatically combining requested data from different sources in a single
request (example: interface state dump). Netlink APIs lower the bar for
application developers to support FreeBSD, while providing the desired

Current status

Netlink has been committed to HEAD. The code implements a subset of the
NETLINK_ROUTE subsystem and NETLINK_GENERIC framework.

NETLINK_ROUTE supports add/delete/replace operations for routes, nexthops and
link-level addresses. Partial support exists for the interface addresses and

Linuxulator support for Netlink has been committed to HEAD. It is possible to
use the unmodified ip from iproute2 with routes, nexthops, addresses and

The simple userland library, snl(3), that provides convenient abstractions on
the netlink socket, has been committed to HEAD.

The first third-party software, BIRD, added experimental FreeBSD Netlink

Next steps

  • Add Netlink to GENERIC

  • Make netstat/route/arp/ndp/ifconfig use Netlink interfaces (help is

  • Add FreeBSD Netlink support to ports of FreeRangeRouting (FRRouting (FRR)).


Adding basic CTF support to ddb

Differential 1 URL:
Differential 2 URL:

Contact: Bojan Novković <>

The goal of this project was to extend the ddb kernel debugger to use the
kernel’s Compact C Type Format (CTF) data and use the newly added features to
implement a pretty-printing command in ddb.

Due to a restrictive execution environment (no IO or memory allocation), ddb
can not use existing kernel linker methods to retrieve the kernel’s CTF data.
Instead, the first patch adds the ability to load the kernel’s CTF data during
boot and adds a new kernel linker method used for accessing CTF data from ddb.
The second patch adds a basic interface for using CTF data in ddb and a
pretty-printing command built using the newly added interfaces.

Any feedback, comments, and reviews are welcome and would be greatly



Updating platform-specific features and bringing in support for the new
hardware platform.

CheriBSD 22.12 release

CheriBSD Announcements list URL:

Contact: Brooks Davis <>
Contact: Edward Tomasz Napierala <>
Contact: George Neville-Neil <>
Contact: Jessica Clarke <>
Contact: John Baldwin <>
Contact: Robert Watson <>
Contact: Ruslan Bukin <>

CheriBSD extends FreeBSD to implement memory protection and software
compartmentalization features supported by the CHERI instruction-set
extensions. There are two active architectural implementations of the CHERI
protection model: CHERI-RISC-V and Arm’s Morello. A sketch of CHERI-x86 is also
under development. CheriBSD is a research operating system with a stable
baseline implementation into which various new research features have been, or
are currently being, merged.

We have published the 22.12 release of CheriBSD including:

  • A general update of the baseline FreeBSD OS to August 2022.

  • Memory-safe adaptation of Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) and Panfrost
    device driver, which enable a Morello-based desktop system using on-board
    GPU and HDMI. These drivers may be used with hybrid or pure-capability

  • An initial set of graphics and desktop CheriABI software packages such as
    Wayland and portions of KDE to get you up and running with a memory-safe
    desktop environment. These components remain under active development, and
    we anticipate continuing package updates after the CheriBSD release.

  • An early research prototype of library-based compartmentalization, which
    implements an alternative run-time linker running shared objects in
    libraries. This implementation is very much a work-in-progress, and is
    provided to enable research at other collaborator institutions needing easy
    access to the prototype. It is neither complete nor intended to be secure.

  • Improved pluggability of experimental heap temporal memory-safety support,
    which is not yet merged into the main development branch, but will now be
    easier to use by downloading an alternative kernel and heap allocator
    libraries provided by Microsoft.

  • An updated version of GDB with support for Morello instructions and
    inspecting memory tags.

  • Alpha support for ZFS file systems including support for boot environments.


FreeBSD/riscv64 Improvements

Wiki Homepage URL:

Contact: Mitchell Horne <>

The FreeBSD/RISC-V project is providing support for running FreeBSD on the
RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture.

This quarter I resumed work on improvements to FreeBSD’s RISC-V architecture
support (riscv64). Work was focused primarily on small bug-fixes and
improvements, and tooling. A handful of known panics and bug reports were fixed
and closed.

On the performance tooling side, some issues with the use of DTrace on riscv64
were found and addressed. Specifically, backtraces produced by the stack()
function were not being captured correctly. First, a change was made to the
compiler flags to ensure that kernel modules always make use of the frame
pointer, so that unwinding the kernel stack works as expected. Second, some
tweaks were made to machine-dependent DTrace code in the profile and fbt
providers, making the correct number of frames appear in each backtrace. Now,
DTrace can be used to accurately capture profiling data on this platform,
enabling the generation of flamegraphs.

I also began porting the hwpmc(4) driver to run on this platform. Unlike other
ISAs, RISC-V does not standardize the set of counter events that a CPU must
support, nor are the programmable event selection registers accessible to the
kernel. To work around this, there is an SBI "Performance Monitoring Unit"
extension which provides an abstracted interface for managing such
functionality. The new hwpmc(4) class is written to use this interface. Current
generation RISC-V hardware supports incrementing performance counters, but
lacks the counter overflow interrupts required to enable sampling PMCs.

Work is expected to continue next quarter. Aside from the in-progress items
mentioned, focus will be given to the following areas:

  • Support for newer OS-level extensions such as Page-Based Memory Types

  • Profiling system performance.

Sponsor: The FreeBSD Foundation


go on FreeBSD riscv64

golang Home Page URL:
FreeBSD riscv64 github repo URL:
FreeBSD riscv64 golang issue URL:

Contact: Mikaël Urankar <>
Contact: Dmitri Goutnik <>

The proposal to add support for FreeBSD riscv64 has been accepted and the
patches merged. golang on FreeBSD riscv64 will be available in golang v1.20 (to
be released in February 2023).


FreeBSD/ARM64 on Xen

Xen Project URL:
FreeBSD wiki page on Xen URL:

Contact: Elliott Mitchell <>

Xen is an open source hypervisor. Xen is one of the earliest hypervisors and
has support for many OSes. Since FreeBSD 8.0, GENERIC FreeBSD/x86 has been able
to run on Xen. Near the time FreeBSD was ported to run on Xen, work was started
on running Xen on ARM. For a number of years Linux has run fine on Xen/ARM, but
FreeBSD hasn’t been available.

Having FreeBSD/ARM64 on Xen means any system capable of having Xen can also
have FreeBSD in operation. Of note, the Raspberry PI 4B has hardware (GICv3)
which Xen works with. If you’re okay with Linux handling the hardware, you can
use all the hardware of a Raspberry PI 4B.

In 2014 a proof of concept of running FreeBSD/ARM64 on Xen was done by Julien
Grall, but this was never polished for release. During the past 2 years I’ve
been working towards having this in FreeBSD’s tree, so released versions of
FreeBSD/ARM64 would run on Xen. At this point all changes which need to be
shared with the x86 Xen source code have been reviewed (not all reviews are on
Phabricator). This now awaits testing by Roger Pau Monné before being committed
to FreeBSD’s tree.

I now urgently need someone with a high level of familiarity with the interrupt
subsystem of FreeBSD on ARM64 to review (and commit) the ARM-specific portions.
My builds are functional far more often than they fail, and most failures are
temporary problems in FreeBSD’s tree. Some significant issues will need to be
addressed regarding FreeBSD’s interrupt subsytem.

There is substantial hope of having FreeBSD/ARM64 available for "DomU"
(unprivileged) operation for FreeBSD 14.0. There is potential for FreeBSD/ARM
and FreeBSD/RISC-V to run on Xen in short order. No plans currently exist for
having FreeBSD/ARM64 operating as the controlling VM (someone could try to
sponsor this).


Thanks to Julien Grall <> for the Proof of Concept.
Thanks to Roger Pau Monné <> for reviewing changes involving
Thanks to Mitchell Horne <> for helping with various FreeBSD/
ARM64 issues and addressing a key problem with FreeBSD/ARM64.



Updating cloud-specific features and bringing in support for new cloud

FreeBSD on Microsoft HyperV and Azure

Microsoft Azure article on FreeBSD wiki URL:
Microsoft HyperV article on FreeBSD wiki URL:

Contact: Microsoft FreeBSD Integration Services Team <>
Contact: freebsd-cloud Mailing List
Contact: The FreeBSD Azure Release Engineering Team <>
Contact: Wei Hu <>
Contact: Li-Wen Hsu <>

In this quarter, the 12.4-RELEASE image has been published to Azure

Work in progress tasks:

  • Automating the image building and publishing process and merge to src/

  • Building and publishing ZFS-based images to Azure Marketplace

      □ All the required codes are merged to main branch, and can create
        ZFS-based images by specifying VMFS=zfs.

      □ Need to make the build process more automatic and collaborating with
        release engineering to start generating snapshots.

  • Building and publishing Hyper-V gen2 VM images to Azure Marketplace

      □ Blocked by

The above tasks are sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation, with resources
provided by Microsoft.

Wei Hu and his colleagues in Microsoft are working on several tasks sponsored
by Microsoft:

  • Fixing booting issue on Hyper-V gen2 VM in Azure


  • Porting Hyper-V guest support to aarch64



Open tasks:

  • Update FreeBSD related doc at

  • Support FreeBSD in Azure Pipelines

  • Update Azure agent port to the latest version

  • Upstream local modifications of Azure agent

Sponsor: Microsoft for work by Wei Hu and others in Microsoft, and for
resources for the rest
Sponsor: The FreeBSD Foundation for everything else


FreeBSD as a Tier 1 cloud-init Platform

cloud-init Website URL:
cloud-init Documentation URL:
cloud-init ongoing refactorization URL:

Contact: Mina Galić <>

cloud-init is the standard way of provisioning servers in the cloud.
Unfortunately, cloud-init support for operating systems other than Linux is
rather poor, and the lack of cloud-init support on FreeBSD is a hindrance to
cloud providers who want to offer FreeBSD as a Tier 1 platform. To remedy the
situation, this project aims to bring FreeBSD cloud-init support on par with
Linux support. The broader plan is to lift support across all BSDs.

The first milestone has been delivered. Along with many bug fixes, we now have
merged an ifconfig(8) parser, which allows us to retrieve all the information
of all network devices, similarly to how on Linux this is done by parsing the
contents of /sys/class/net/<dev>/. In the coming weeks, this project will align
itself with the Azure developers to do some crucial refactoring. This will move
our new parser further into cloud-init’s main execution paths.

People interested in helping with the project can help with testing new
features and fixes through net/cloud-init-devel, which will be updated whenever
we make significant commits. Further, people with access to, and experience
with, OpenBSD and NetBSD are also highly welcome to help.

Sponsor: The FreeBSD Foundation


OpenStack on FreeBSD

OpenStack URL:
OpenStack on FreeBSD URL:

Contact: Chih-Hsin Chang <>
Contact: Li-Wen Hsu <>

OpenStack is an open-source cloud operating system for different resource types
like virtual and bare-metal machines. Users can spawn FreeBSD instances on the
open cloud platform, but it is not currently possible to run the OpenStack
control plane on FreeBSD hosts. This project aims to port key OpenStack
components so that FreeBSD can function as an OpenStack host.

In 2022 Q4, we have almost completed the porting work regarding the crucial
OpenStack components. Most of the components/services composing an essential
OpenStack cluster are now able to run on FreeBSD hosts, including:

  • Keystone (identity service)

      □ keystone server

  • Glance (image service)

      □ glance-api

  • Placement (resource tracking and inventory service)

      □ placement-api

  • Neutron (networking service)

      □ neutron-server

      □ neutron-metadata-agent

      □ neutron-dhcp-agent

      □ neutron-openvswitch-agent

  • Nova (compute service)

      □ nova-api

      □ nova-conductor

      □ nova-scheduler

      □ nova-compute

      □ nova-novncproxy

The step-by-step documents for constructing a POC can be found in the docs

In its design, most of the OpenStack components provide an abstraction layer
for the underlying implementations. For nova, we choose the combination of the
libvirt driver with the bhyve virtualization type enabled. For neutron, it is
the openvswitch mechanism driver. We solved several runtime dependencies and
porting issues against the Libvirt, bhyve, and Open vSwitch combinations with
minimal effort. We still have lots of work to undertake to make the changes
back to OpenStack upstream.

TODOs include:

  • Develop a proper alternative execution path in the oslo_privsep module for
    FreeBSD environments

  • Develop a new virtualization type, bhyve, for nova-compute’s libvirt driver

  • Develop the IP library for FreeBSD under neutron/agent/freebsd

In the first few weeks of 2023, we will focus on breaking through the last mile
of the instance spawn path and wrapping up the documentation regarding POC site
construction. We will also try rebasing the porting work to the master branch
of OpenStack (now Xena).

People interested in helping with the project can first help check the
documentation by following the installation guide.

Sponsor: The FreeBSD Foundation



Noteworthy changes in the documentation tree, manual pages, or new external

Documentation Engineering Team

FreeBSD Documentation Project URL:
FreeBSD Documentation Project Primer for New Contributors URL:
Documentation Engineering Team URL:

Contact: FreeBSD Doceng Team <>

The doceng@ team is a body to handle some of the meta-project issues associated
with the FreeBSD Documentation Project; for more information, see FreeBSD
Doceng Team Charter.

During the last quarter:

  • crees@ and zeising@ doc bits were taken in for safekeeping.

Items pending and in the discussion:

  • A new document about licensing has been added to the documentation set.

Porter’s Handbook:

Two new USES knobs have been added to the Handbook:

  • New USES = luajit.

  • New USES = llvm.


  • Erlang facilities have been documented

  • The new CABAL_REVISON knob has been documented.

FreeBSD Translations on Weblate

Link: Translate FreeBSD on Weblate
Link: FreeBSD Weblate Instance

Q4 2022 Status

  • 12 languages

  • 150 registered users


  • Chinese (Simplified) (zh-cn) (progress: 8%)

  • Chinese (Traditional) (zh-tw) (progress: 4%)

  • Dutch (nl) (progress: 1%)

  • French (fr) (progress: 1%)

  • German (de) (progress: 1%)

  • Indonesian (id) (progress: 1%)

  • Italian (it) (progress: 4%)

  • Norwegian (nb-no) (progress: 1%)

  • Persian (fa-ir) (progress: 3%)

  • Portuguese (pt-br) (progress: 16%)

  • Spanish (es) (progress: 19%)

  • Turkish (tr) (progress: 2%)

We want to thank everyone who contributed by translating or reviewing

And please, help promote this effort on your local user group; we always need
more volunteers.

FreeBSD Website Revamp - WebApps working group

Contact: Sergio Carlavilla <>

Working group in charge of creating the new FreeBSD Documentation Portal and
redesigning the FreeBSD main website and its components. FreeBSD developers can
follow and join the working group on the FreeBSD Slack channel #wg-www21. The
work will be divided into four phases:

 1. Redesign of the Documentation Portal

    Create a new design, responsive and with global search. (Complete)

 2. Redesign of the Manual Pages on web

    Scripts to generate the HTML pages using mandoc. (Complete) Public instance

 3. Redesign of the Ports page on web

    Ports scripts to create an applications portal. (Work in progress)

 4. Redesign of the FreeBSD main website

    New design, responsive and dark theme. (Work in progress)


FreeBSD Presentations and Papers

FreeBSD Presentations and Papers URL:

Contact: Allan Jude <>
Contact: Greg White <>
Contact: Li-Wen Hsu <>
Contact: Philip Paeps <>

In this quarter, the presentations and papers from those events have been

  • BSDCan 2022

  • EuroBSDCon 2022.

Open tasks:

  • Find and upload missing FreeBSD related presentations and papers

  • Issues listed at Open Issues.



Changes affecting the Ports Collection, whether sweeping changes that touch
most of the tree, or individual ports themselves.

FreshPorts - help wanted

FreshPorts URL:
FreshPorts blog URL:

Contact: Dan Langille <>

FreshPorts and FreshSource have reported upon FreeBSD commits for 20 years.
They cover all commits, not just ports.

FreshPorts tracks the commits and extracts data from the port Makefiles to
create a database of information useful to both port maintainers and port

For example, shows the history of
the port, back to its creation in May 2017.

Converting the backend repository

This topic deals with the FreshPorts code repository. The front end (website)
was converted from Subversion to Git several years ago. The back end, which
processes FreeBSD commits and updates the database, is still on Subversion. I
have wanted to convert these repositories to Git for some time.

I would like help with this please. I’ll give you a copy of the repositories
and you give me back several Git repos (one for each). They will be uploaded to (our project on GitHub).

These are the existing Subversion repos:

  • ingress (code for the back end)

  • database schema

  • backend - monitoring code

  • packaging - scripts for cutting new tarballs - deprecated via Git

  • daemontools - now misnamed, because the scripts use daemon(8)

  • periodics - scripts started by periodic(8)

  • ports - for the FreeBSD packages which install the above.

I won’t be running FreshPorts forever

It’s been over 22 years and I know others must take over eventually. I’d like
to start that process now. There are several aspects to FreshPorts:

  • FreeBSD admin (updating the OS and packages)

  • front end code (website - mostly PHP)

  • back end code (commit processing - Perl, Python, shell)

  • database design (PostgreSQL).

The database does not change very often and requires little maintenance
compared to the applications and OS. The website pretty much runs itself. From
time to time, a change to the FreeBSD ports infrastructure breaks something or
requires a modification, but there is rarely any urgency to fix that. This is
not a huge time commitment. There is a lot of learning. While not a complex
application, FreshPorts is also not trivial.


PortsDB: Program that imports the ports tree into an SQLite database

PortsDB URL:

Contact: Yuri Victorovich <>

I developed the PortsDB project that imports FreeBSD ports into an SQLite
database. The port is ports-mgmt/portsdb.

The database can be fully rebuilt in around 20 minutes, after which it can be
quickly (in seconds) updated with new commits.

The database is currently updated hourly:

PortsDB can be used to query ports using SQL, as a relational database.
External services like Repology, FreshPorts, Portscout, and other similar
services can use PortsDB to access information in the ports tree.

Users can, for example, easily find their broken ports, or port duplicates, or
all ports that they maintain that use gmake, among many other possible queries.
Such queries aren’t easy to perform by grepping the ports tree.

Cross-DB queries are also easy to do. They can combine PortsDB, /var/db/pkg/
repo-FreeBSD.sqlite, and /var/db/pkg/local.sqlite.

All that needs to be done to run PortsDB is ./, and then ./
after more commits are pulled into the ports repository.

The periodic script is provided that can simplify integration with cron.
Multiple ready to use SQL queries are also included.

One particular immediate problem that PortsDB aims to solve is to fix incorrect
FreeBSD port versions displayed by Repology. Repology uses ports INDEX which is
missing some required information. This leads to Repology not being able to
distinguish between real versions, and intermediate and made-up versions.
PortsDB should allow Repology to solve this problem.


KDE on FreeBSD

KDE Community FreeBSD URL:

Contact: Adriaan de Groot <>

The KDE on FreeBSD project packages CMake, Qt, and software from the KDE
Community, for the FreeBSD ports tree. The software includes a full desktop
environment called KDE Plasma (for both X11 and Wayland) and hundreds of
applications that can be used on any FreeBSD machine.

The KDE team (kde@) is part of desktop@ and x11@, building the software stack
to make FreeBSD beautiful and usable as a daily-driver graphics-based desktop
machine. The notes below describe mostly ports for KDE, but also include items
that are important for the entire desktop stack.


  • CMake ports now share a single version number. Various build-flags have
    been updated for FreeBSD ports builds: under some circumstances,
    release-flags were ignored and debug-flags applied, which is undesirable.
    CMake now also refuses to fetch remote sources during a ports build.

  • Qt versions are now Qt 5.15.7 (used by KDE) and Qt 6.4.1. Some applications
    in the ports tree are now "flavored" for Qt5 and Qt6.

KDE Stack

KDE Gear releases happen every quarter, KDE Plasma updates once a month, and
KDE Frameworks have a new release every month as well. These (large) updates
land shortly after their upstream release and are not listed separately.

  • KDE Frameworks 5 is now at version 5.101 (latest monthly release from
    December 2022). This is likely one of the last "Frameworks 5" releases, as
    the next major series comes closer.

  • KDE Gear is now version 22.12.0 (update for December 2022).

  • KDE Plasma is now version 5.24.7 (update for October 2022).

Note that KDE Plasma 5.25 has been released upstream, but is still waiting on
fixes before it can land in the ports tree (for example, this KActivityManager
bug in KDE’s bug-tracker).

Related Ports

  • graphics/krita is now version 5.1.3.

  • graphics/poppler was updated multiple times, now at version 22.11. It
    supports Qt5 and Qt6 through separate ports.

  • net-im/telegram-desktop was now supports Qt5 and Qt6 through flavors.


Xfce on FreeBSD

Xfce 4.18 Upstream Release Announcement URL:
Xfce meta-port on FreshPorts URL:

Contact: Xfce team <>
Contact: Guido Falsi <>

The FreeBSD Xfce team (xfce@) works to ensure the Xfce desktop environment is
maintained and fully functional on FreeBSD.

This quarter the Xfce team members are pleased to welcome Xfce 4.18 to the
FreeBSD ports tree!

This new release includes many improvements in various parts of the
environment, especially in the Thunar file manager.

Also various upstream packages now include patches that were present in the
ports tree.

For further details, refer to the Xfce 4.18 Upstream Release Announcement.


Pantheon desktop on FreeBSD

elementary OS URL:
Development repository URL:

Contact: Olivier Duchateau <>

The Pantheon desktop environment is designed for elementary OS. It builds on
GNOME technologies (such as Mutter, GTK 3 and 4) and it is written in Vala. The
goal is to have a new desktop for users.

13.1-RELEASE or higher is required, because several core components depend on

The repository contains Mk/Uses framework, official applications,
and curated ports which depend on x11-toolkits/granite.

Since the previous report, we have been updating its related ports, especially:

  • deskutils/elementary-calendar update to 6.1.2

  • deskutils/iconbrowser

  • graphics/elementary-photos

  • math/elementary-calculator

  • multimedia/elementary-videos

  • x11/elementary-terminal

  • x11-themes/gnome-icons-elementary

  • x11-toolkits/granite7.

Power manager plugins for top panel (wingpanel) and control center
(switchboard) are finished.

A new switchboard plugin is also available, net/switchboard-plug-sharing.
Ported Rygel, GNOME UPnP/DLNA services.

Submitted other patches for low level libraries such as:

  • print/cups-pk-helper update to 0.2.7 required by print/

  • devel/libgee update to 0.20.6 heavily used by the desktop

  • sysutils/polkit update to 122 (D37137)

  • sysutils/accountsservice update to 22.08.8 (D37679).

Open tasks

  • Improve documentation.

  • Continue to work on user settings.


Budgie desktop on FreeBSD

Buddies of Budgie news URL:
Development repository URL:

Contact: Olivier Duchateau <>

Budgie initially developed as the default desktop environment for the former
Evolve OS. Since the 10.6.x releases, improvements have been made to be

It is built on top of GNOME technologies such as GTK >= 3, GLib, Mutter,

The goal is to have a new desktop for end users. I have submitted 2 reviews (
D37224 and D37286 for The FreeBSD Porter’s Handbook) so committers can import

These reviews include:

  • Mk/Uses framework

  • new virtual category (budgie)

  • 6 applications

  • icon theme x11-themes/tela-icon-theme.

During this quarter, I have also submitted several patches (related to this
desktop) especially:

  • x11/gnome-terminal update to 3.44.2 bug #267928

  • x11-wm/mutter update to 42.6 bug #267899

  • x11-toolkits/libwnck3 update to 40.1 bug #267898.

These bugs are also still open:

  • devel/libpeas bug #267420

  • sysutils/gnome-settings-daemon bug #265107.

Open task

  • Add support of LightDM in FreeBSD Handbook


GCC on FreeBSD

GCC Project URL:
GCC 11 release series URL:
GCC 12 release series URL:

Contact: Lorenzo Salvadore <>

Update GCC default version to 12

Thank you very much to antoine@ for running the necessary exp-runs and to all
the contributors, maintainers and committers involved in the process.

As was noted last quarter, for every major version of GCC, FreeBSD usually
awaits the release of the second minor version to update GCC default version.
However next time I would like to attempt to update the default version as soon
as the first minor version of GCC 13 is out. The rationale for awaiting the
second minor release was to wait for other operating systems (in particular
Linux distributions) to find, report, and fix bugs, so that FreeBSD could focus
mainly on FreeBSD-specific cases. But this also meant that upstream software
developers only heard from FreeBSD rarely, and mostly when it concerned FreeBSD
only, thus our operating system risks being considered minor and unimportant
for them.

My hope is that software authors can value supporting FreeBSD more as the
number of its contributions to other projects also increases. Of course I
understand that this will imply more work for all ports maintainers and I will
do my best to help them as much as I can.

Resolution of a conflict preventing the installation of multiple GCC versions

Now, lang/gcc11 and lang/gcc12 can be installed at the same time. This was
particularly important for the update of the GCC default version, since a few
ports have been kept to compile with GCC 11 for now.

Note however that at the moment only one -devel GCC port at the time can be
installed on your system. This is because I have patched the standard ports
only: for the -devel port I expect upstream to fix the issue soon, by using a
patch submitted by a FreeBSD user or my own patch, or using some other

D language

D is now enabled in lang/gcc11 and lang/gcc11-devel, thanks to diizzy. I plan
to include D support for higher versions of GCC too, but this cannot be done as
easily as for GCC 11 due to bootstrapping issues: starting from GCC 12, the D
compiler GDC needs a working GDC to be built.

Crashes with -fsanitizedress

Software compiled with GCC using the -fsanitizedress switch has been
reported to crash. I have fixed the issue for lang/gcc11, lang/gcc11-devel,
lang/gcc12, and lang/gcc12-devel. I am still working on lang/gcc13-devel.

Use of the address sanitizer requires ASLR to be disabled. As GCC gets the code
that I am modifying from LLVM, and LLVM is also included in the FreeBSD src
repository with some patches that improve ASLR detection and automatically
re-run programs with ASLR disabled when necessary, I am also merging those


Another milestone for biology ports

Biolibc-tools URL:
Fast And Simple Differential Analysis URL:

Contact: Jason Bacon <>

The biology category in ports continues to grow and mature, and reached another
milestone in 2022q4 with the introduction of the rna-seq metaport.

The fields of genomics, and more generally, bioinformatics, are often referred
to as the "wild west" of computational science. Analyses are typically mired by
a lack of clear documentation, and difficulties deploying and using software.
Many scientific software developers do not understand the potential of package
managers to simplify their lives and the lives of their users. As a result,
much scientific software is deployed using ad hoc "caveman" installations
involving overly complicated and unreliable build systems that either bundle
dependencies or attempt to work with random installations thereof.

Work has been ongoing to make FreeBSD ports a model of how easy scientific
software deployment should be. It now contains a solid core of many of the most
commonly used open source applications in biological research.

This quarter saw the completion of a tool chain for one of the most important
types of analysis, known as RNA-Seq. RNA-Seq measures the abundance of RNA, and
hence gene activity, in tissue samples. All of the tools needed to perform a
typical RNA-Seq analysis can now be installed on FreeBSD using:

pkg install rna-seq

This includes many mature existing tools as well as new tools developed on
FreeBSD, such as FASDA and biolibc-tools, easy-to-use replacements for some of
the more troublesome tools traditionally used in an RNA-Seq pipeline.

Software deployments for RNA-Seq that traditionally have taken weeks or longer
can now be performed on FreeBSD in a few minutes with a single command.
Scientists can spend their time doing science rather than struggling with IT


Third Party Projects

Many projects build upon FreeBSD or incorporate components of FreeBSD into
their project. As these projects may be of interest to the broader FreeBSD
community, we sometimes include brief updates submitted by these projects in
our quarterly report. The FreeBSD project makes no representation as to the
accuracy or veracity of any claims in these submissions.

Containers and FreeBSD: Pot, Potluck and Potman

Pot organization on GitHub URL:

Contact: Luca Pizzamiglio (Pot) <>
Contact: Stephan Lichtenauer (Potluck) <>
Contact: Michael Gmelin (Potman) <>

Pot is a jail management tool that also supports orchestration through Nomad.

During the last quarter, pot 0.15.4 was released. It again contains a number of
improvements like signing pot images as well as many bug fixes. Also, we
welcome two new pot contributors: @zilti and @reezer.

Additionally, there is a new Ansible pot collection available.

Potluck aims to be to FreeBSD and pot what Dockerhub is to Linux and Docker: a
repository of pot flavours and complete container images for usage with pot and
in many cases Nomad.

As you can see, we had a busy quarter again, this time including improvements
to the Nextcloud as well as Jitsi images.

Furthermore, we landed pot-based FreeBSD support for sccache-dist server (the
server component for distributed compilation of rust and C++ using sccache) and
it will be part of the upcoming sccache 0.4.0, see mozilla/sccache#1184. Once
released, this will become available through devel/sccache.

This means one can build rust projects on FreeBSD targeting a cluster of
machines, something that could potentially be integrated into poudriere as

Last but not least, Luca’s EuroBSDCon 2022 talk is now available on YouTube.

As always, feedback and patches are welcome.