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FreeBSD Development Projects

In addition to the mainstream development path of FreeBSD, a number of developer groups are working on the cutting edge to expand FreeBSD's range of applications in new directions. Follow the links below to learn more about these exciting projects.

In addition, some of these projects regularly submit status reports, which can be viewed on the status reports page.



  • Java® on FreeBSD: This contains information on where to obtain the latest JDK® for FreeBSD, how to install and run it, and a list of Java® software that you may find interesting.
  • GNOME on FreeBSD: This contains information on where to obtain the latest GNOME for FreeBSD, how to install and run it, latest project news and updates, FAQ covering FreeBSD-specific GNOME issues, application porting guidelines and much more.
  • KDE on FreeBSD: This contains links to the latest KDE releases for FreeBSD, as well as documentation and tutorials about how to install and run KDE on FreeBSD. Project news and a FreeBSD-specific FAQ are also available.
  • Mono on FreeBSD: Here you can find information about the state of Mono and C# for FreeBSD.
  • on FreeBSD: Information about the various ports.
  • FreeBSD Ports Collection: The FreeBSD Ports Collection provides an easy way to compile and install a wide range of applications with a minimum amount of effort. A list of current ports is available along with a search mechanism to see if a specific application exists in the Ports Collection.
  • FreeBSD Ports distfiles survey: A list which checks the Ports Collection for unfetchable distfiles and provides a summary for each port.
  • FreshPorts: Provides the most up-to-date list of ports and port changes. Add your favourite ports to your watch list and receive email notification of any changes.
  • Pointyhat: Is a server which checks the Ports Collection and keeps package building logs and error logs for each port.


  • Netperf: Network stack optimization for the FreeBSD 5.x and 6.x kernels, a follow-on to the SMPng network stack locking work for FreeBSD 5.3. This project is exploring and implementing optimizations strategies for a multi-threaded network stack.
  • KAME Project: A free IPv6/IPsec stack for BSD.
  • SYSLOG-SECURE: In August 2001 a standard of syslog was made: RFC3164. This RFC describes some extensions to add security to syslog. A project started in 2002 to adapt RFC3164 to the FreeBSD version of syslog and to add some security extensions, at least syslog-sign. Both libc and syslogd will be modified. And optionally some tools to verify or manage the security would be made. All help is welcome. Send an email to for info.


  • Arla: A free AFS client implementation. The main goal is to make a fully functional client with all capabilities of normal AFS. Other planned and implemented things are all the normal management tools and a server.
  • Big Disk: The goal of the Large data storage in FreeBSD project is to make FreeBSD ready for multi-terabyte drive/volume capacities and file systems.
  • Coda: A distributed filesystem. Among its features are disconnected operation, good security model, server replication and persistent client side caching.
  • Journaling versus Soft Updates: Asynchronous Meta-data Protection in File Systems.
  • TCFS: A Transparent Cryptographic File System that is a suitable solution to the problem of privacy for distributed filesystem. By a deeper integration between the encryption service and the filesystem, it results in a complete transparency of use to the user applications. Files are stored in encrypted form and are decrypted before they are read. The encryption/decryption process takes place on the client machine and thus the encryption/decryption key never travels on the network.
  • Tertiary Disk: A storage system architecture to create large disk storage systems that avoid the disadvantages of custom built disk arrays. The name comes from twin goals: to have the cost per megabyte and capacity of tape libraries and the performance of magnetic disks. We use commodity, off the shelf components to develop a scalable, low cost, terabyte capacity disk system. Our target is to build a complete storage system with about 30-50% extra to the cost of the raw disk. Tertiary Disk uses PCs connected by a switched network to host a large number of disks. Our prototype consists of 20 200MHz PC PCs, which host 370 8GB disks. The PCs are connected through a 100Mbps Ethernet switch.
  • Vinum: A logical volume manager modeled after the VERITAS volume manager™. However, it is not a clone of Veritas, and attempts to solve a number of problems more elegantly than Veritas. It also offers features that Veritas does not have.
  • The PathConvert project: A project to develop utilities which make conversion between absolute path name and relative path name. It brings benefits mainly to the users of NFS and WWW.

Kernel, security

  • Lottery Scheduling Kernel: This work is based on Waldspurger's lottery scheduling algorithm, which implements proportional-share resource management. The primary advantages are that users have strict control over the relative execution rates of their processes, and users are load-insulated from each other, preventing one user from dominating the CPU.
  • OpenBSM: An open source implementation of Sun's Basic Security Module (BSM) Audit API and file format. OpenBSM provides the userland libraries, tools, and documentation for the TrustedBSD audit implementation that will be integrated into FreeBSD.
  • TrustedBSD: Provides a set of trusted operating system extensions to the FreeBSD operating system. This includes features such as fine-grained privileges (capabilities), Access Control Lists, and Mandatory Access Control. These features are being integrated back into the base FreeBSD distribution, as well as being ported to other BSD-derived systems.
  • Kernel Stress Test Suite: The purpose of this stress test is to crash the system. The stress test is composed of small test programs and scripts. Each test targets a specific area of the kernel. The key concept of this test suite is chaos. Each test sleeps for a random number of seconds before it starts up in a random number of invocations.

Device drivers

  • busdma and SMPng driver conversion: busdma provides a portable abstraction to the Direct Memory Access (DMA) hardware primitives used by many high performance device drivers. By using this abstraction, device driver authors avoid adding platform-specific DMA management code, improving the portability of drivers between hardware architectures. This page also tracks the progress of drivers towards being SMPng-safe.
  • A New Device Framework for FreeBSD
  • BSD ATM: implementation of ATM internetworking under 4.4BSD: New computer applications in areas such as multimedia, imaging, and distributed computing demand high levels of performance from computer networks. ATM-based networking solutions provide one possible alternative to meeting these performance needs. However, the complexity of ATM over traditional networks such as Ethernet has proven to be a barrier to its being used. In this paper we present the design and implementation of BSD ATM, a light-weight and efficient ATM software layer for BSD-based operating systems that requires minimal changes to the operating system. BSD ATM can be used both for IP-based networking traffic and for ``native'' ATM traffic.
  • Home Automation: Using FreeBSD to run appliance controllers, infra-red controllers, automated telephone systems, and more.
  • The FreeBSD Token-Ring Project: Information, files, patches, and documentation about adding Token Ring support to FreeBSD.
  • Xircom CEM Ethernet Driver: A mailing list exists for further development of Scott Mitchell's Xircom CEM ethernet driver. Send subscribe freebsd-xircom to to join.


  • Porting FreeBSD to IA-64 systems: This project is responsible for porting FreeBSD to the IA-64 architecture. Direct any questions specific to this project to the mailing list.
  • Porting FreeBSD to PowerPC® systems: Contains information on the FreeBSD PPC port, such as mailing list information and so on.
  • Porting FreeBSD to SPARC® systems: Contains information on the FreeBSD SPARC port including a FAQ, some early boot code, information on SPARC processors and motherboards, and other SPARC projects.
  • SysVR4 Emulation: This page describes an SysVR4 emulator for FreeBSD. It is currently capable of running (or walking, in some cases) a wide-ish variety of SysV executables taken from Solaris™/x86 2.5.1 and 2.6 systems. I have reason to believe that it will also run SCO UnixWare and SCO OpenServer binaries.
  • The OSKit: The OSKit is a framework and a set of 31 component libraries oriented to operating systems, together with extensive documentation. By providing in a modular way not only most of the infrastructure "grunge" needed by an OS, but also many higher-level components, the OSKit's goal is to lower the barrier to entry to OS R&D and to lower its costs. The OSKit makes it vastly easier to create a new OS, port an existing OS to the x86 (or in the future, to other architectures supported by the OSkit), or enhance an OS to support a wider range of devices, filesystem formats, executable formats, or network services. The OSKit also works well for constructing OS-related programs, such as boot loaders or OS-level servers atop a microkernel.


  • NanoBSD: NanoBSD is a tool designed to create a possibly reduced FreeBSD system image, which is suited to fit on a Compact Flash card (or other mass storage medium) in a way which is suitable for use in appliance like applications. The FreeBSD documentation collection includes an introductory article about NanoBSD, which includes useful tips about setting up, running and using NanoBSD.
  • GLOBAL: A common source code tag system that works the same way across diverse environments. Currently, it supports the shell command line, the nvi editor, web browser, the emacs editor, and the elvis editor, and the supported languages are C, Yacc, and Java.
  • Enteruser: A Replacement for adduser.
  • ACPI on FreeBSD: A Project created to get ACPI working smoothly on FreeBSD.
  • Binary Updater: FreeBSD Update is a system for automatically building, distributing, fetching, and applying binary security updates for FreeBSD. This makes it possible to easily track the FreeBSD security branches without the need for fetching the source tree and recompiling (except on the machine building the updates, of course). Updates are cryptographically signed; they are also distributed as binary diffs using a binary diff tool, which dramatically reduces the bandwidth used.
  • The FreeBSD C99 & POSIX® Conformance Project: This project aims to implement all requirements of the ISO 9899:1999 (C99) and IEEE 1003.1-2001 (POSIX) standards.
  • CVSweb: A WWW interface for CVS repositories with which you can browse a file hierarchy on your browser to view each file's revision history in a very handy manner.
  • The FreeBSD Laptop Compatibility List: A comprehensive database of laptops and PCMCIA cards that work with FreeBSD. This site contains detailed information about known hardware and software issues.
  • TET Integration: The Test Execution Toolkit from The Open Group is a light-weight open-source test execution framework that supports distributed testing. This project investigates using TET and existing TET-based open-source standards-compliance test suites (VSX-PCTS, VSC-Lite, VSTH-Lite, VSW5 and others) in FreeBSD.