Jeff Roberson has announced that he has has begun integrating the Giant-lock free VFS code into the FreeBSD 6.x development tree. These changes will permit the UFS file system to run on multiple CPUs at a time on SMP systems (hyper-threaded, dual-core, or regular SMP), leading to substantially improved efficiency. It will also permit the VFS code to be fully preemptible on uni-processor systems, improving interrupt handling latency. With this change, almost all of the FreeBSD kernel is able to run fully threaded and in parallel on multiple CPUs with much less contention. He anticipates merging this work as an “opt-in” feature to the FreeBSD 5.x branch in the future. He indicates that the testing will be “opt-in”, i.e., this change will not be fully enabled by default for the time being, and that it will take a while (a few hours) to complete the merge, so users of the 6-CURRENT branch may want to hold off updating for a few hours while he finishes the merge. The work was sponsored by Isilon Systems.
On other BSD news, BSDCan 2004 was an enormously successful grass-roots style conference.
It brought together a great mix of *BSD developers and users for a nice
blend of both developer-centric and user-centric presentations, food,
and activities. Based upon that accomplishment, planning for the next
event began shortly thereafter.
BSDCan 2005 will be held May 13-14, 2005, in Ottawa.