Debian Jessie Might Get Rid Of The kFreeBSD Port

Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 30 September 2014 at 12:21 PM EDT. 31 Comments
For years there's been the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port that ships the same Debian GNU user-land as Debian GNU/Linux but replaces the Linux kernel with that of the FreeBSD kernel.

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD has been an interesting environment for testing and using features like ZFS and other FreeBSD innovations but with having the same desktop, compiler tool-chain, and other components as the main Debian GNU/Linux platform. In Debian testing, GNU/kFreeBSD is using the FreeBSD 10 kernel.

While Debian GNU/kFreeBSD was officially part of Debian 7.0 Wheezy, for Debian 8.0 Jessie it's looking like the port might be dropped.

The Debian release team had the following to say about the kFreeBSD port in on debian-devel-announce:
We remain gravely concerned about the viability of this port. Despite the reduced scope, we feel that the port is not currently of sufficient quality to feature as a fully supported release architecture in Jessie. However, we accept that our published view of the port has not been as 'clear and unambiguous' as we would wish.

We therefore advise the kFreeBSD porters that the port is in danger of being dropped from Jessie, and invite any porters who are able to commit to working on the port in the long term to make themselves known *now*. The factor that gives us greatest concern is the human resources available to the port.

Porters of any architecture need to bear in mind that being part of a stable release is a long commitment to both taking care of stable and oldstable, and continuing development in sid. It has implications for the security team, release team, DSA and other parties.

The urgency of this matter cannot be over-stated. We will assess the viability of kFreeBSD in Jessie on or after 1st November, and a yes/no decision will be taken at that time. This will not be a full architecture qualification, but a simple decision on whether or not the release team's concerns have been adequately addressed.
We'll find out in one month of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD will be an official release architecture for Jessie. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD also will run into problems with Debian's systemd focus besides this port not being up to scratch right now.
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