Clang, Chromium, ZFS Improve On FreeBSD
Daniel Gerzo with the FreeBSD project has issued a status report concerning work going on within FreeBSD and related projects for the first quarter of this year. Catching our interest in particular were the updates surrounding LLVM/Clang as the compiler for FreeBSD's base, the Chromium web browser porting efforts to FreeBSD, and ZFS file-system enhancements.
A year ago we reported that LLVM/Clang would eventually replace GCC in FreeBSD's base and the FreeBSD developers continue to make great headway in accomplishing this task. The C and C++ portions of FreeBSD's base are all building now with Clang (except for the boot-loader) for i386 and AMD64 architectures. The Clang-FreeBSD support on MIPS and and PowerPC architectures is also improving, but are not caught up yet with the i386/AMD64 support. FreeBSD's SPARC64 support for Clang was progressing, but has since stalled. The FreeBSD project is looking for interested parties to play with ClangBSD, or FreeBSD packages that are built by LLVM/Clang.
Upstream Clang is C production ready and is now self-hosting as of February. LLVM 2.7 with Clang 1.1 is also expected to be released in the next few days. Earlier this week we happened to benchmark LLVM/Clang against GCC 4.5.
The Chromium web-browser, which is the open-source version of Google's Chrome, is also progressing on FreeBSD. This work is being done through a subscription program where those interested in using Chromium on FreeBSD (or supporting the developer doing the work) are funding the work through a subscription service where at most the *BSD patches are being kept closed-source for at most a year and then released under an open-source license and are shot upstream along the way.
In regards to using the Sun/Oracle ZFS file-system on FreeBSD, its support continues to mature and developers continue to pull in new upstream code that offers bug-fixes and other enhancements.
This Q1'2010 status report for FreeBSD also gives updates on this BSD operating system's support for 802.11n networking, EFI booting, the PC-BSD installer back-end, Atheros AR9285 support, and dynamic ticks within the kernel. A user-land daemon called webcamd has also emerged for loading Linux drivers for USB web-cameras under FreeBSD 8/9. Webcamd may also be used for loading other Linux kernel USB drivers under FreeBSD too.
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