Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2023


BSD Driver Harmony

Improving collaboration between the major BSDs on driver development

The major BSD Operating Systems, FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD, tend to evolve independently from each other. However, they still share large parts of their respective vision and idioms - in other words, they have way more similarities than differences to each other. An important common requirement is to support a wide range of computer devices and equipment. Unfortunately, device drivers from a BSD system are usually not directly suitable for the others. The differences vary in different amounts depending on each subsystem, bus, kernel API, etc. This presentation will illustrate the situation with a few examples, and work as a call for volunteers from every BSD project. The goal is to explore areas where more code can be shared among the different BSDs, with a focus on device drivers. Generally, good ideas deserve a chance to be visible across the different systems!

The aim of this presentation is to attempt to create a common effort, in any shape or form, in order to foster cooperation between the major BSD systems in terms of driver development in particular. The ideal outcome of this presentation could be the creation of a committee and/or of a mailing-list - formal or informal - which could convene regularly and share the state of the development for each BSD, and identify areas where designs could converge towards easier code sharing of device drivers for instance. I am myself involved with the NetBSD project (khorben@), member of the Board of the NetBSD Foundation, and would happily coordinate on that side.


Photo of Pierre Pronchery Pierre Pronchery