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Last update: 2007-04-03

Funding of Hackathon 2003

contributions to various hackathons

Situation of the OpenBSD Project

The OpenBSD project produces a FREE, multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. The project emphasize portability, standardization, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography. All source code is released under a BSD license and much care is put into verifying that the integrated source code does not violate any form of license or patent to ensure that the resulting releases are free for anybody to use and modify for ANY PURPOSE, with no restrictions. The goal is to produce software that is robust and secure, and the developers encourage companies to use whichever pieces they want to.

In the past, OpenBSD has been on the forefront to integrate cryptographic subsystems. This means that IPsec, IPv6, SSL, key engines, Kerberos, free-AFS and other forms of strong crypto or crypto-using systems have been part of the base system. OpenSSH is a well known OpenBSD subsystem that has been successfully ported from OpenBSD to various Unices, free (Linux) and non-free (Solaris, OS X) and various others (like HP ProCurve switches). OpenBSD is developed and released from Canada and due to Canadian law it is legal to export crypto to the world.

There is currently much interest in porting the firewalling infrastructure (known as PF, Packet Filter) to other systems like FreeBSD. Much development is put into implementing new and innovating mechanisms to improve security, like Systrace, an utility to monitors and control an application's access to the system by enforcing access policies for system calls and the ProPolice stack protection technology, a buffer overflow protection integrated into the system compiler. Pioneering these techniques results in publications and presentations at various big conferences to raise awareness about these issues.

Hackathon funding problems

OpenBSD is developed by volunteers. The project funds development and releases by selling CDs and T-shirts, as well as receiving donations. Organizations like Usenix and individuals donate and thus ensure that OpenBSD will continue to exist, and will remain free for everyone to use and reuse as they see fit. The POSSE program (Portable Open Source Security Elements) in cooperation with the University of Pennsylvania provided resources for core developers of the OpenBSD, OpenSSH and OpenSSL projects through a DARPA grant in the past.

This provided funding for a yearly meeting of most OpenBSD and OpenSSH developers in Calgary, an event known asHackathon. Over 60 developers meet in a hotel where a conference room is equipped with the necessary hardware and network infrastructure to allow them to brainstorm, design and implement new concepts. The Hackathon is an essential event for people to meet and talk about what direction the next OpenBSD release will take. Very often, rough implementations are started at the Hackathon and later over a period of many months worked out and finished. Companies sometimes make new (prototype) hardware available (like UltraSparc III machines and AMD Hammer pre-release machines) to get premium access to OpenBSD developers.

This year [2003], the event is scheduled to take place in Calgary (Canada), May 10 - 18th. But in April DARPA suddenly and unexpectedly canceled funding for OpenBSD R&D and the hotel for the upcoming Hackathon, thus providing a huge cash flow problem. Many developers have long bought non-refundable plane tickets and made travel arrangements to attend the event. More information about this you can find in many press articles.

Currently, people from various countries have committed themselves to come: Sweden, Netherlands, USA, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, France, Spain, and Belgium.

Nevertheless the Hackathon will happen as scheduled, and the OpenBSD project will continue to operate based on donations from the user community and other sources who continue to support the project. Many have contributed so far to make this event possible under the form of donations and buying CDs.

Hackathon overview

For now, the following todo-list for the Hackathon has been drafted:

  • improvements in IPsec. There are some improvements made to the crypto framework ported to FreeBSD that really need to be incorporated. The performance boost from them is evidentially huge.
  • pull in recent IPv6 fixes and enhancements from KAME
  • look into a VRRP replacement
  • playing with various new hardware developers normally have no access to for example: porting to hammer (two machines ready), making ultrasparc III work (we have loaner machines from sun), get that new Apple Powerbook G4 17" working by then, as well.
  • exchanging knowledge of chip-sets
  • further cleanup of the tree
  • ironing out bind audit details
  • import ISC's dhcp 3
  • BIND8 resolver integration into libc
  • further integration of BIND9
  • PF: enhancements like tables inside anchors
  • PF: state-full inspection for IPv6 fragments
  • make altq working on pre-pentium machines without recompilation (specificly for embedded machines)
  • real privsep implementation of Apache
  • SMP for i386 and SPARC machines
  • implementing at least some of: IPSEC/IKE NAT-Traversal, IKEv2, or extending IKE-mode-config to do DHCP (I don't remember the correct name from the drafts at the moment)
  • Stability sweep through scsi drivers for openings and request sense errors.
  • further develop usb mass
  • port new ahc driver from NetBSD
  • port new ahd driver from NetBSD
  • port new MPT driver from NetBSD
  • randomized mmap. using mmap for malloc. implement ProPolice-like features inside our malloc libraries.
  • further improve ProPolice buffer overflow handling
  • hardware encryption support for accelerating encrypted swap and file systems.
  • make the new FireWire driver reliable and performing, with a tackle at DV/FW and IP/FW.
  • IPv4/v6 over FireWire

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