EuroBSDCon Day 4

EuroBSDCon 2013 Malta

The final day of EuroBSDCon kicked off (summary of Day 1, 2 & 3) and I gave my talk on “Introducing the 64-bit ARMv8 Architecture” in the morning, actually the morning in Track 3 was overtaken by ARM related talks :-). My talk went down well (no rotten fruit/veg was thrown! \o/), and it was nearly a full room people from various flavours of BSD which was encouraging. There were some good questions and some suggestions for things that could make things easier for the developers to support ARM moving forward which is always useful to hear. After my talk Zbigniew Bodek from SemiHalf gave a talk on Getting NetBSD onto the Marvell Armada XP SoC, followed by Andrew Turner explaining the process of how FreeBSD goes about supporting new SoCs.

Can anyone tell me what company is responsible for > 32% of all downstream traffic in the USA, with 25% handled by FreeBSD? The answer is….. Netflix! After Lunch there was an excellent talk by Alistair Crooks from Netflix, where he introduced the Open Connect Appliance. If you get the chance to see Alistair talk make sure you do, his dingbats are excellent (although some are exceptionally groan worthy). Next was a session on bhyve (somewhat different to the talk at the start of the conference), and very interesting to see how they approached things and what issues they encounter booting other BSDs like OpenBSD which isn’t as simple as one would think! The last session for me was another talk given by Netflix, this time it was Scott Long’s turn. This was somewhat of a continuation from Alistair’s earlier talk, but could be taken completely separately too. Scott detailed many of the reason’s as to why Netflix chose FreeBSD over Linux and how the setup of FreeBSD makes it straight forward for them to contribute back to the community.

I spent the last hour in the hallway track, reminiscing with some developers over the BBC Micro and Acorn Archimedes. Once the last presentation was over, the closing session took place. There was a raffle to receive some hardware (I forget exactly what it was) which I didn’t win; Google announced the winner of their Engineering Quiz who walked away with a shiny new Nexus 7; the FreeBSD Foundation presented a spiffy limited edition jacket to a developer as a thanks for his continued work within the project, they then raffled off a limited edition signed print of their mascot to all those that donated to the foundation during the conference; finally the announcement of next year’s conference took place it will be in Sofia, Bulgaria at some point in September 2014 (the final dates will be announced soon). After that Andre Opperman who drove much of the organisation for this year’s conference was given a stirring ovation and rightfully so.

I genuinely enjoyed this conference, and it made a pleasent change to the Linux events that I normally attend. The BSD crowd are intelligent, friendly and pragmatic. I really hope that they can provide some decent competition for Linux, there are lots of great things happening in the BSD community and I’m confident that it will only spur Linux on to continue to innovate.