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Re: kFreeBSD future

On 30/09/14 20:03, brunomaximom@openmailbox.org wrote:
> I see http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTgwMTE and I
> am concerned with kFreeBSD too.

Ah, I wondered when they would pick up the story!

You should probably read the release team mails and log of the IRC
meeting.  I think we already fixed every bug mentioned in that meeting,
in the 10.1 packages;  we just wait for d-i Beta 2 to happen before they
can go into sid/jessie, and then I'll reply back.


The remaining concern would be having enough people involved.  I'm
certainly not the only active developer;  Christoph has been testing and
doing all the uploads since DebConf, this month Petr fixed a glibc issue
for us, Axel updated the manpages package, Sylvestre Ledru helped port
clang-3.4 to build our kernels, Jeff Epler's patch for partman finally
made it into d-i, several people have sent installation reports, and
today I saw someone new contribute a patch for a package that was FTBFS
on kfreebsd.  I haven't heard from Robert in some time, so I had to
learn how to do the 10.1 userland packaging myself, but that's done now,
and if he comes back he can of course help us a lot with whatever needs
to be done during freeze.

We need to communicate better the state of kfreebsd and advancements
since wheezy;  we haven't done a 'bits' email in a long time.  It is
probably in much better state than most people realise.

For example, I ran it exclusively this past week on my desktop instead
of GNU/Linux as usual, and was able to still do my usual day-to-day
work.  Although only need a modern web browser, the XFCE terminal, an
email client (I managed fine with Mutt) and an XMPP chat client
(psi-plus).  Less often I need a PDF reader or LibreOffice but those
worked fine when I needed them.

We've built more than 90% of the archive now, even though we had to lose
GNOME.  I don't think I tried MATE yet but we do have it built.

I had low-latency audio playback working via JACK (needed small patch),
was able to play back music (aqualung) and watch 1080p video (mplayer)
with no audio/video stutter whatsoever.  Actually, streamed via NFS,
from a ZFS-based NAS that runs kfreebsd wheezy.  Streaming via SMB also

ardour2 Digital Audio Workstation looks to be working.  USB MIDI
keyboard unfortunately wasn't recognised as such.

FlightGear flight simulator simply worked when I tried it, had
reasonable framerates even with max. graphics detail.  I use the Radeon
open-source driver with microcode loaded from the familiar
firmware-linux-nonfree package.

xrandr and redshift work as expected, I can get my preferred
multi-monitor setup, with nice colour temperature adjustment varying by

Suspend-to-RAM (S3) works *mostly*, though I'd need to script some
things like:  lock the desktop first, log me out of XMPP, stop sound
server and restart it afterward.

Attaching my phone worked, it can bring up a hot-plug USB ethernet
connection (from /etc/network/interfaces), allowing me to SSH into the
phone and provide it with NAT'd Internet access (configured in PF).

A USB RTL2838 TV tuner simply worked (loads non-free firmware) - didn't
work yet for DVB-T television - but instead as a radio spectrum analyser
(rtl_power) and ADS-B (aircraft transponder) receiver ;) (dump1090 from
GitHub, which built fine from unmodified sources).

I haven't done any benchmarking to get actual numbers, but several
changes since wheezy should have an impact of performance - both in
upstream FreeBSD 10.1 and in the Debian port.  It was never a primary
concern before, but we've taken some opportunities to make improvements
in this area for jessie, which should particularly help in desktop use
cases like I described above (which maybe wouldn't have been viable before).

Steven Chamberlain

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