Last day in Ottawa for BSDCan 2007

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It was my first BSD conference, and it was very interesting.
This conference permit to meet lot’s of people from the *BSD world:

- Pawel Jakub Dawidek (The GEOM guru) presented his actual work for porting ZFS under FreeBSD 7.0 and it was an incredible demonstration!!! (I never see ZFS in action before).
Pawel confirm me that ZFS and RAID-Z feature will simplifier a lot the FreeNAS disks management by adding a powerful Volume Management tools into FreeBSD.
=> As soon as FreeBSD 7.0 will be available, FreeNAS will migrate on it for using ZFS!
But Pawels work alone for this task, and he need other developers: Then if you know C programming, filesystem and optionally FreeBSD, please help him on this big task!

- Scott Ullrich and Chris Buechler (the pfSense guys). Talking with them permit to learn a lot about their experience from pfSense. They have created a company for professional services on m0n0wall and pfSense too (this permit to reassure some company about using these open source firewalls).
I’ve learn that pfSense use only the WebGUI of m0n0wall, and all the base system is create using FreeSBIE. I understand now why there are so differences between the core of m0n0wall and pfSense.

- Marko Zec did an excellent demonstration of the Network stack virtualization with FreeBSD. He shows us how, from one FreeBSD server, create 10 routers (including routing between) in less than 5 seconds ;-)

- George Neville-Neil gives an interesting lesson about security with IPv6.
Bad news, IPv6 seems to have the same security problem as IPv4: And he does a demonstration with NDP poisoning (same as ARP poisoning on IPv4).
Good news: There are peoples who are testing IPv6 a lot, and when it will be fully used, these problems should be resolved.

- Andrew Clunis permit me to play a little with a prototype of a One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). But I can’t participate to its presentation because I was giving the FreeNAS presentation at the same time.

And there were lot’s of other events that I can’t participate (there are 3 conferences in at the same times): The Varnish HTTP accelerator (Poul-Henning Kamp), PC-BSD (Matt Olander), Portsnap (Colin Percival), How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People (Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman), etc….

Preparing BSDCan2007

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There is a long time that I didn’t post here…. Hopefully Volker is very active on the FreeNAS code and on this blog :-)

I’m preparing my travel to Ottawa for BSDCan2007. I will try to put some photos and day-to-day comments about this event and conferences.

I will present this paper about FreeNAS: I hope that my spoken English will be understandable :-)

About FreeNAS actual work: I’ve replaced geom_raid5 module by a new release.I found a little bug that crash the system when trying to remove inexistent disk to an inexistent raid5 volume (for example “graid5 remove nonexistentvolume ad12” crash FreeNAS ).
Arne fix this bug in few minutes, and it will be include in the next release.

There is a high performance geom_raid5 module (TNG) too, but I will wait more test about his module before to replace the actual by FreeNAS.

I’ve meet a big temporary limitation by choosing to use GPT for formatting drive: The actual version of the FreeBSD gpt tools doesn’t permit to increase the size of a GPT partition.

Then I can’t use the cool features of geom_raid5: Adding a disk to an existing geom_raid5 volume , or replacing each disk one-by-one by bigger disk. All this step works great when working directly on the graid5 volume (“/dev/raid5/bigdrive” for example) because it doesn’t use partition, and need only a ‘growfs’. But if you create a MBR partition on it (“/dev/raid5/bigdrives1” for example), you need to modify the partition size before to use growfs.

Hoppefully, Marcel Moolenaar are working on a replacement of the gpt tools that will support GPT partition re-size.

I must now fix some bugs on the actual working release (regarding the mount tools about graid5 volume) and I must create a new method for installing FreeNAS… And this step is an hard step!

Loader bootmenu

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Today i’ve added a loader bootmenu. I think this is a nice feature for error diagnostics. It is also possible to disable ACPI with a finger tip, do some advanced diagnostics on the loader prompt, enabling debugging, …