Future of pf / firewall in FreeBSD ? - does it have one ?

Andreas Nilsson andrnils at gmail.com
Sun Jul 20 23:27:31 UTC 2014

On Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 7:41 PM, Alexander Kabaev <kabaev at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, 20 Jul 2014 10:15:36 -0400
> Maxim Khitrov <max at mxcrypt.com> wrote:
> > On Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 8:39 AM, Lars Engels <lars.engels at 0x20.net>
> > wrote:
> > > On Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 12:18:54PM +0100, krad wrote:
> > >> all of that is true, but you are missing the point. Having two
> > >> versions of pf on the bsd's at the user level, is a bad thing. It
> > >> confuses people, which puts them off. Its a classic case of divide
> > >> an conquer for other platforms. I really like the idea of the
> > >> openpf version, that has been mentioned in this thread. It would
> > >> be awesome if it ended up as a supported linux thing as well, so
> > >> the world could be rid of iptables. However i guess thats just an
> > >> unrealistic dream
> > >
> > > And you don't seem to get the point that _someone_ has to do the
> > > work. No one has stepped up so far, so nothing is going to change.
> >
> > Gleb believes that the majority of FreeBSD users don't want the
> > updated syntax, among other changes, from the more recent pf versions.
> > Developers who share his opinion are not going to volunteer to do the
> > work. This discussion is about showing this belief to be wrong, which
> > is the first step in the process.
> >
> > In my opinion, the way forward is to forget (at least temporarily) the
> > SMP changes, bring pf in sync with OpenBSD, put a policy in place to
> > follow their releases as closely as possible, and then try to
> > reintroduce all the SMP work. I think the latter has to be done
> > upstream, otherwise it'll always be a story of diverging codebases.
> > Furthermore, if FreeBSD developers were willing to spend some time
> > improving pf performance on OpenBSD, then Henning and other OpenBSD
> > developers might be more receptive to changes that make the porting
> > process easier.
> I am one person whose opinion Gleb got completely right - I could not
> care less about new syntax nor about how close or how far are we from
> OpenBSD, as long as pf works for my purposes and it does. This far
> into the thread and somebody has yet to provide a comprehensive list of
> the benefits that we allegedly miss, or to come up with the real
> benchmark result to substantiate the performance claims.
> Focusing on disproving anything Gleb might be believing in on the
> matter, while an interesting undertaking, does nothing to give you new
> pf you supposedly want. Doing the work and bringing it all the way to
> will completeness for commit - does.

> It was stated repeatedly by multiple people that FreeBSD's network
> stack is way too different from OpenBSD, we support features
> OpenBSD doesn't and vice versa, vimage is a good example, which throws a
> giant wrench into the plan of following OpenBSD 'as closely as
> possible', even as the expense of throwing away all of the SMP work
> done in pf to date.
I like vimage, don't get me wrong, but it also seems to have lost traction.
If vimage is the only thing holding a pf import back there ought to be some
discussion about which is a priority.

Also, the openbsd stack has some essential features missing in freebsd,
like mpls and md5 auth for bgp sessions.


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