svn commit: r45781 - head/en_US.ISO8859-1/htdocs/news/status

Warren Block wblock at
Fri Oct 10 23:45:02 UTC 2014

Author: wblock
Date: Fri Oct 10 23:45:01 2014
New Revision: 45781

  Add Debian GNU/kFreeBSD report.


Modified: head/en_US.ISO8859-1/htdocs/news/status/report-2014-07-2014-09.xml
--- head/en_US.ISO8859-1/htdocs/news/status/report-2014-07-2014-09.xml	Fri Oct 10 23:16:33 2014	(r45780)
+++ head/en_US.ISO8859-1/htdocs/news/status/report-2014-07-2014-09.xml	Fri Oct 10 23:45:01 2014	(r45781)
@@ -1858,4 +1858,126 @@
+  <project cat='proj'>
+    <title>Debian GNU/kFreeBSD</title>
+    <contact>
+      <person>
+	<name>Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Maintainers</name>
+	<email>debian-bsd at</email>
+      </person>
+    </contact>
+    <links>
+      <url href="">Debian GNU/kFreeBSD on the Debian Wiki</url>
+      <url href="" />
+    </links>
+    <body>
+      <p>Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is a software distribution produced by
+	Debian, based on the kernel of &os; (instead of Linux) and GNU
+	libc.  Around 90% of Debian's software archive has now been
+	ported to it, for amd64 and i386 architectures.  It was first
+	released with Debian "squeeze" as a development preview in
+	2011, featured again in the "wheezy" release, and hopes to be
+	part of the official Debian "jessie" release early 2015.</p>
+      <p>In 2003 there were several attempts to bootstrap a minimal
+	Debian system upon &os; or NetBSD kernels, some also trying to
+	use the native BSD libc.  The most successful and
+	longest-lived of these was a "GNU/FreeBSD" chroot bootstrapped
+	by Robert Millan with the GNU libc that most of Debian's core
+	packages were designed to work with.  The "k" was later added
+	to the name to reflect that it takes just the kernel from
+	&os;, with most everything else from the Debian archive.  We
+	do also package some FreeBSD utilities as needed to boot it
+	and take advantage of certain features.</p>
+      <p>&os; support within GNU libc is now mostly maintained by Petr
+	Salinger, who recently converted it from an older threading
+	implementation based on LinuxThreads to NPTL which is much
+	more compatible with the software we run.  We have the GNU
+	compiler toolchain as well as Clang 3.4; Perl, Python and
+	Ruby; and OpenJDK 7, based the on work done in &os;'s own
+	ports collection.  We use linprocfs for <tt>/proc</tt> because
+	much of Debian GNU software expects this.  The Linuxulator
+	is not needed at all, but could make for interesting future
+	uses.  Porting work mostly focuses now on individual packages'
+	build systems, on preprocessor #ifdefs that do not clearly
+	distinguish between kernel and libc, or fixing testsuites'
+	presumptions of Linux-specific behaviour.  In the course of
+	this, we even found the odd &os; kernel bug, including
+	EN-14:06 / CVE-2014-3880.</p>
+      <p>GNU/kFreeBSD has already seen production use, mostly on
+	webservers, email servers and file servers; one such machine
+	has 475 days' uptime receiving around 10,000 emails per day.
+	It has become increasingly practical for desktop/laptop uses
+	thanks largely to new features coming in from &os; 10.1.</p>
+      <p>KMS graphics mean that 3D gaming and high-definition video
+	playback perform brilliantly.  We have great support for Intel
+	graphics chipsets, but only an older nvidia Xorg driver.  For
+	radeonkms, Robert Millan was able to add firmware-loading
+	support so that non-free binary blobs can be packaged
+	separately, outside of Debian's main archive.  Proprietary
+	drivers are not useful to us as they would need to be rebuilt
+	from source to port them.</p>
+      <p><tt>vt(4)</tt> was necessary for KMS to not break VT
+	switching.  But it has also improved the console's handling of
+	non-ASCII character sets and we do look forward to having
+	console fonts for non-Latin script.</p>
+      <p>We have supported ZFS for some time, even as a root/boot
+	filesystem (using GRUB 2; Robert Millan added the ZFS support
+	which now &os; itself is able to benefit from).  Enhancements
+	coming from OpenZFS, especially LZ4 compression, in
+	combination with better memory management and GEOM
+	improvements, mean that "jessie" should see a noticeable
+	performance boost.</p>
+      <p>debian-installer already allows for pre-seeded, unattended
+	installs and there are PXE-bootable install images
+	available.</p>
+      <p>virtio drivers are new to the "jessie" release, enabling
+	support for some public clouds.  We are now compiling Xen domU
+	and PVHVM support into our standard kernel builds.</p>
+      <p>We already have userland tools to configure the PF firewall.
+	As an experimenting, we are compiling in IPSEC support by
+	default for the upcoming release, and would like to see it put
+	to good use against present-day privacy and security
+	threats.</p>
+      <p>We try to support uses of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD inside a jail
+	on a &os; host system, and hopefully vice-versa.  Some of the
+	jail utilities are not yet packaged, but we have documentation
+	on the Debian Wiki on how to set up jails on "wheezy", which
+	are fully functional.</p>
+      <p>The init system we currently use is a parallel System V-style
+	init, although Debian GNU/Linux will be switching away from
+	that to systemd.  For the next release we may switch to
+	OpenRC, which is mostly ported already.</p>
+      <p>Not having systemd or udev, means that we will be unable to
+	support GNOME 3.14 in the upcoming release.  We have very good
+	support for XFCE, also have KDE, LXDE and the
+	recently-packaged MATE desktop environment.  The Debian
+	software archive provides many alternative window managers for
+	Xorg such as IceWM, dozens of terminal emulators, and so
+	on.</p>
+      <p>As we approach the freeze of the Debian "jessie" release,
+	we would love for anyone to test GNU/kFreeBSD, try to use it
+	for whatever would be useful to you, and let us know what
+	issues you run into.  Ask for help on our project mailing list
+	or IRC channel, and let us know of any bugs you find.  We
+	still have time to fix problems before release, and we would
+	be happy to improve our documentation any time.</p>
+    </body>
+  </project>

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