BSDCan 2023 Day 2

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

Building reproducible setups with FreeBSD and ansible

I am not a fan of ansible and this talk touched on a few of the issues. The biggest issue for me is the reliance on SSH for managing machines, so if you break ssh you have no path to fix it with ansible.

OpenZFS Block Cloning

PJD gave a talk about his work to make it faster to copy data without having to make trips back and forth between the kernel and userspace. It looks like a very simple design by just using the common pattern of refcounting for the cloned blocks. Copying a 32GB file on an SSD goes from 570s to 6s. This adds three new zpool properties, bcloneused, bclonesaved, and bclonedratio. This will be a really nice speedup for very little penalty.

BSD for Researching, Writing and Teaching in the Liberal Arts

I was interested in seeing Corey’s talk as we, FreeBSD people, have heard for many years that the FreeBSD Daemon iconagraphy is a problem for adopting it in the american south. He told me before that he found out the history of demons is of entities that would either help you or lead you astray. He mentioned that his IT department made a comment about Open Source was not allowed in any form for security, but that they had never heard of OpenBSD’s security record or projects like CheriBSD.

Using Segmentation to build a capabilities-based single address space operating system

This talk is a bit over my head, but good to learn about new approaches to capabilities.

Booting FreeBSD with LinuxBoot

The goal for Warner’s work is to have a preboot environment that can be used to check if a system is healthy and stable or report up what is wrong. Write drivers only once? Important for new SoCs. What about u-boot? This applies to SMEs not needing to write UEFI drivers and kboot drivers.

Closing Ceremony

Dan is stepping back from BSDCan but a large group of individuals are stepping up to help take over. Diane has a story about Dan calling her drunk with an idea of starting a conference. The auction is always interesting, the first item was someones jacket that they misplaced. One of the next items was a 20 CAD note that has been auctioned off at two previous conferences and has been around the world multiple times. All the proceeds from the auction go to the Ottawa Mission.