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Testing GNU/kFreeBSD on public clouds


In the coming weeks I'd like to try GNU/kFreeBSD jessie on some public
clouds.  (Pending release team's decision on the port's release status
for jessie).  Hopefully, we can release with some pre-built cloud images
this time, as those would greatly help potential users or developers get
a hold of it.

I did a test already on Bytemark's BigV (KVM-based public cloud):

That worked very well, thanks to having proper virtio drivers in the
upstream FreeBSD kernel now;  there were only a few debian-installer
issues to overcome, and then it was useful for actual development work:
I rented the VM at my own expense, however.

Please let me know if it sounds viable/useful for me to try this, on
which other clouds next, and especially if you can help me get access to
instances or a trial account in order to work on this.  (I'm not a DD/DM
but would agree to follow DMUP or similar rules).

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD should be able to support KVM hosts, Xen HVM (having
PV device drivers too), and user reports suggest Hyper-V also works;
but its kernel cannot be booted directly by Qemu or with pygrub, so is
usually be booted by GRUB2 from the MBR or GPT BIOS boot partition.

I would think it most interesting due to ZFS (compressed, snapshottable,
highly manageable, scalable storage pools);  perhaps for the PF firewall
and/or CARP;  BSD jails and the potential to run FreeBSD software in
chroots, or conversely, a Debian chroot on regular FreeBSD.

Assuming it works, I can imagine cloud instances being useful to future
development work:  for debian-installer testing, c-i testing, package
rebuilds etc.

Steven Chamberlain

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