FreeBSD andKDE

Sonntag, 6 Mrz 2011

FreeBSD needs fresh Blood!

Oh well, it’s time to write some nice job offer, of course it’s all
for free, and you can’t earn any money out of it, but you’ll get a
big thanks, hugs and love from the community. Ask your self, how
long have you been using FreeBSD. Months? Years? Decades? And you
love using it because of whatever reason but at the same time
you’re feeling a bit guilty to use it all for free without giving
anything back? Well now you’ll have the chance to change that.
We at FreeBSD are always in need of new people who are willing
to spare some of their time and effort into FreeBSD development.

Let me share a bit of my experience. I have (re)built a lot of
teams in the past, such as gecko@, kde@, python@, and I was
involved in the creation of FreeBSD vbox@ team. I have always
managed to get assistance from a lot of people, but recently more
and more people have started to complain about the slowness,
broken commits and requested for more Call for Testing. And that
is actually a big problem. I am the kind of person who like to
call for test, but I am also the kind of person who easily gets
disapointed when I’m not getting much feedbacks. The best example
here is ATI, Xorg and Xfce update. I did a call for testing because
Xorg and Driver updates is always a big issue because there are so
many different hardware involved with various configurations. From
the call for testing, we managed to get a total of 19 mails of
positive feedback and after 2 weeks I’ve committed the update.
What happened after that was I received a lot of complains for
not conducting much testing, yadda, yadda. Well I say it ain’t
my fault for not testing much, but it is also your fault for not
helping us. It is always easy to blame instead of helping. Ask
yourself why have you not helped us in testing properly and give
us feedbacks. Complaining is fine when it is done in the right
way, with the right tone.

While I’m talking about Xorg, the FreeBSD Xorg Team is currently
a one man show effort, supported by kwm@ and fluffy@. Xorg alone
is too big to get worked on. Plus you should not think that it is
affecting the ports only, but it affects the kernel as well, which
we are having the most problems at the moment. And of course I
would like to call for help on that as well. Based on my last call
for help, it is funny to see how many people wanted to offer some
help, but after knowing the amount of work involved, I have stopped
hearing from these guys. I understand that to update Xorg is always
a crappy job but I love doing it, because it is nice to get more and
more experience in understanding how things work, and it helps to
improve my skills a lot.

Lets a talk a bit about our FreeBSD KDE Team. KDE is nice, but it
really is a fat project. It needs a lot of love, and maintenance
time. Currently it’s a 4 people project, namely makc@, fluffy@ and
avilla@. While for support Raphael Kubo da Costa is handling it
actively. The thing is, KDE involves more than just KDE packages.
It includes Qt, PY-Qt, KOffice and Cmake as well. It is a big
project too and it would be nice to find more people to contribute
in the development.

And now lets talk about gecko@. gecko@ includes all Mozilla Project,
namely Firefox, Thunderbird and Seamonkey. It is currently maintained
by beat@ and decke@, and supported by flo@ and andreas. So again,
I’d like to see some fresh faces for this project as well. If you are willing
to help, do ping us via mail :p.

As for FreeBSD Gnome Team, well I can’t say much about gnome but
whenever I see the cvs commits in marcuscome tree, it seems like
most work for the upcoming gnome3 is done by kwm@, and supported
by marcus@, mezz@ and avl@. Gnome includes not only Gnome things
but it also include gtk and cairo, the one that always cause
problems in a major update. I think the team would love to have
some fresh blood in the team.

Okay, all of these need an understanding of programming and
scripting. If you think that you can’t do any of that, testing would
also help much. FreeBSD is one of the best documented open source
project, so that’s another area that could use some help too. Check
if is available in your language, or start helping to
improve the FreeBSD documents in your language. It would be very
helpful and the community will thank you for that. So if you would
like to offer some help, ping me in irc/jabber/mail 🙂

– Martin

FreeBSD andKDE

Sonntag, 6 Mrz 2011

PCBSD sponsor FreeBSD KDE Build box

I’d like to note that the KDE FreeBSD Team is now
receiving assistance from PCBSD again. Since I left
the KDE Team, things have gone terribly wrong. After
having a few conversations with my old team, I finally
figured out what the problems were. But the main problem
was missing a package build system, and I managed to find
a solution for that with Kris’s help. Apparently this was
a root cause to some other issues and having it solved
helped to speed up other processes.

I’d like to say thanks to Kris Moore, Josh Paetzel,
Dru Lavigne and of course the iXsystem for their
generous donation to build a test machine for KDE.

PS: This means not i jump back to the KDE Team
but I’m always willing to Help when i can.


Freitag, 4 Mrz 2011

[FreeBSD] Python 2.7 default

After a lot work, i’m happy to announce that python 2.7.1 now the
default version on the FreeBSD portstree. Please read careful

I’d like to say many thanks to:

lwhsu@, wen@, bf@

Happy Updating.


Mittwoch, 2 Mrz 2011

Webtropia servers with FreeBSD.

Webtropia is a Server Provider in Germany that supports FreeBSD. I have some
new machines there with a default FreeBSD installation.

Unfortunately there are some small bugs in the installation routine, when the filesytem is created for the first time without softupdates, you can easily change it in the rescue system, but the real problem is the swap. The swap size is only 300MB. Normally it is not big deal if you use a 64 bit system, but if you were to try to use your box as a package testing box like me, then you will run into a lot of problems, like the following:

swap_pager_getswapspace(4): failed
swap_pager_getswapspace(9): failed
swap_pager_getswapspace(3): failed
swap_pager_getswapspace(8): failed
swap_pager_getswapspace(2): failed
pid 95498 (httpd), uid 1003, was killed: out of swap space

I googled the error and found a nice workaround in beats@ blog. I
translated it in a short version, and hopefully the Webtropia team will try to fix that soon.

First, create a swap file and adjust the permission. The following example creates a large 1GB swap file:

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/usr/swapdatei bs=1024k count=1024
# chmod 0600 /usr/swapdatei

Now the swap file to the system is provided:

# mdconfig -a -t vnode -f /usr/swapdatei -u 0
# swapon /dev/md0

If you want the swap file to persist after reboot, add the following line to /etc/rc.conf:


The system can be checked if it uses the additional swap file by using swapinfo (8):

# swapinfo
Device 1K-blocks Used Avail Capacity
/dev/ar0s1b 1048576 70204 978372 7%
/dev/md0 1048576 0 1048576 0%
Total 2097152 70204 2026948 3%

Thanks Beat for your awesome Blog :-). I hope this will help others who run into the same problem.


Samstag, 26 Feb 2011

Xorg 7.5.1 committed

Just for the record:
I have Xorg 7.5.1 committed, also the ports tree is now open. It gives a lot of updates – openldap, autotools, pear, cmake, linux-* , python cleanups, gstreamer, xorg and mysql 5.5 is now default and a lot more 🙂


Samstag, 19 Feb 2011

[CFT] Xorg 7.5-Miwi(1) FreeBSD Edition

Oy boys and gals,

The Xorg T(m)eam is happy to announce the next round of Xorg fun! The X-Server has
been patched to the latest 1.7.X series, drivers and fonts have been updated to the
latest versions, but unfortunately we are not able to update libGL, drm and xorg-server
to a higher version because FreeBSD doesn’t support GEM/KSE (yet), but it looks good
for now, as kib@ is working on that, so we hope the future will be better for us.
This update includes some components from Xorg 7.6 with a lot of improvements, and it
seems that the performance is much better than the old version. We are calling the
update xorg 7.5.1.

We hope you will enjoy the new stuff and give us a lot of feedback. We will start an exp-run
tonight and depending on how much feedback we get, we plan to commit this update by the
first weekend of March. A note for ATI users, the driver was updated to 6.14.0, so you
may need to add some stuff to your xorg.conf in the „Section „Device““

Option „int10“ „on“
Option „BusType“ „PCIE“
Option „RenderAccel“ „on“
Option „AccelMethod“ „exa“
Option „DynamicPM“ „on“
Option „DRI“ „on“

So to get the xorg stuff you will need to:


svn co

A small merge script to merge the svn checkout into the real portstree can
be found here:

The script is a modified version of the kdemerge script. Please set the KDEDIR
variable to the path of your ports.

After merging, run one of the following command, depending on which tool you use
to manage your installed packages.

portupgrade -a \*
portmaster -a

Please report any problems and issues to x11 (at)

I would like to thank:

Beat Gaetzi
Dima Panov
Koop Mast
Eitan Adler

Without these people the Xorg update would still not be ready now.

PS: Please don’t send us mails with ‚xorg update dosen’t‘ work.
If you send us a report, please include the latest Xorg.conf
Xorg.log, uname -a output and pkg_info output. Thanks.

Happy Updating!


Samstag, 19 Feb 2011

Enhanced commit privileges..

My FreeBSD Commit Bit was updated yesterday. I have been playing with
ports and docs for a long time, and now src is added to the list. I’m
going to stop talking about cleaning up freebsd-bugs gnats. Now is the
time to actually do something about it. I don’t want to see anymore happy
birthday mail to a 10 years open bug report..

Thanks to Robert Watson who will be mentoring me for a while. And for those
who asked me yesterday what I want to do in src, I do have a future plan, else
don’t call me miwi :P. Hang on for a bit and you will get the answer soonish.

so longish ..


Freitag, 18 Feb 2011

[CFT] VirtualBox 4.0.4 for FreeBSD

Time for a new round FreeBSD Vbox’s Team called for Testing,

A few of you have probably wondered what happened to our VirtualBox
efforts for FreeBSD. Well it took a bit longer then expected and a few
problems were found that needed to be resolved first but most of the
things are looking fine now and almost all patches have been pushed
upstream with 4.0.4 so here we are now.

We will continue to work on VirtualBox for FreeBSD and upstream is also
very helpful to us but we could need a few more hands to better keep up
with the work and especially improve and fix the Guest Additions. So if
you want to help please contact us or have a look at our Todo list.

This result wouldn’t have been possible without the continuous help of
the VirtualBox Developers and a lot of people from the FreeBSD
community! (names in alphabetical order and probably missed a few,
for that!)

– Alexander Eichner
– Anonymous
– Beat Gätzi
– Bernhard Fröhlich
– crsd
– DomiX
– Doug Barton
– Grzegorz Blach
– Hans Petter Selasky
– Julian Stacey
– Jung-uk Kim
– Jürgen Lock
– Klaus Espenlaub
– Martin Wilke
– Mattia Rossi
– Michael Butler
– Sean C. Farley
– Steve Wills
– tombsd
– Vivek Khera
– well-wisher
– Wietse Venema
– Yuri
– many more from emulation@

Please when testing this ports backup all your virtual machines first.
Also please build the port with DEBUG option enabled and send us the
logfile when any VM crashes. Without them it’s very hard to figure out
what went wrong.

Highlights with 4.0:
– USB support (by Hans Petter Selasky)
– Asynchronous I/O
– Guest additions got startscripts and a integration into the desktop
– www/phpvirtualbox updated to 4.0-3

Changelog for 4.0:

Short configuration help:

Todo List:

Thanks and good luck,


Donnerstag, 17 Feb 2011

[CFT] Pear workaround for CATEGORY problems ..

Since last year pear has changed the package layout. And since several months ago,
I have seen a lot of FreeBSD maintainers removing the CATEGORY flag from their ports.
The problem with that is the packages won’t be installed at the right location anymore.
Here is a patch to fix the problem, feel free to test:

I would be happy if anyone has a better suggestion to replace the flag CAT_IN_WRKSRC…


Sonntag, 6 Feb 2011

Python Infrastructure changes Roadmap


I just want to inform you that the python team plans to make some infrastructure changes.
The changes involves the following 3 steps:

[python 2.5/2.6/2.7 improvements/ py 3.2 adding]
We plan to integrate some important patches:
ports/153952 ports/148406 ports/149167 ports/152224 ports/133081

python 3.2 will be released on 12 Feb, we’ll wait for the final release
before adding it to the build. For all of these we will do an exp-run
to make sure nothing will break during the build. It takes approximately 2 weeks if all works fine.

[python24 removal]
Python 2.4 is not supported anymore since 2008, and it has a lot of security problems.
Unfortunately this will cause the removal of some zope stuff. The following ports are affected:

+ zope plugins which are dependant on one of these ports. Philip is working on an
update to some new zope versions. I hope we can cooperate with him to get things
smoothly done. For all these we will do an exp-run to make sure nothing will break during
build. It takes approximately 3 weeks if all works fine.

[python 2.7 move to default]
python 2.7 is already stable enough to be moved over as default. For this one we will do an exp-run
to make sure nothing will break during the build. If all works fine, we think we can complete it by the
first week of March.