BSDCan 2023 Day 1

Some notes about the talks I attended at BSDCan 2023 on the first day.

Solar Monitoring by Diane Bruce

Diane Bruce gave a presenation on how she setup a few solar panels with some batteries. It was cool to learn how how she started with a simple PWM controller and then moved over to a MPPT controller to add monitoring. She went into detail how she started reverse engineering what was happening by sniffing what another program does over the wire and learning that it is speaking MODBUS.

It is motiivating me to figure out how to add my own monitoring for my array.

Porting FreeBSD to Firecracker VM

Colin Percival gave a talk about porting FreeBSD to run in Firecracker. This talk was facinating to learn about a few things that needed to be fixed in FreeBSD, like the ELF note issue that he mentions. The other thing I found facinating was how small and efficient the machine is that the VMs are running on, so the VMs can boot super fast. So fast that it is being measured in the milleseconds! After a bit of work the kernel part of the boot process is down to 29ms!

Clash of the package managers, PEP-517 edition

Charlie Li talked about all the different ways to install Python packages. It was nice to learn that there are ways to use the new way in FreeBSD Ports already and I can start taking advantage of it.

The todo item for me that came out of this, is The Porters Handbook needs to be updated to mention USE_PYTHON= pep517.

TPM Emulation with bhyve

Corvin Kohne gave a talk on emulating TPM in bhyve for guests like Windows.


Kirk McKusick gave a talk on a new GEOM layer he added called Gunion. It allows for mounting a disk readonly with another memory device and all the writes are redirected to the memory device so that if things are successful, the changes can be applied to the disk or if they are unsuccessful the changes can be discarded.