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.