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<chapt><heading>Contributing to FreeBSD<label id="submitters"></heading>
<p><em>Contributed by &a.jkh;.</em>
<p>So you want to contribute something to FreeBSD? That is great!
We can always use the help, and FreeBSD is one of those systems
that <em>relies</em> on the contributions of its user base in order
to survive. Your contributions are not only appreciated, they are
vital to FreeBSD's continued growth!
<p>Contrary to what some people might also have you believe, you do not
need to be a hot-shot programmer or a close personal friend of the
FreeBSD core team in order to have your contributions accepted. The
FreeBSD Project's development is done by a large and growing number of
international contributors who's ages and areas of technical expertise
vary greatly, and there is always more work to be done than there are
people available to do it.
<p>Since the FreeBSD project is responsible for an entire operating
system environment (and its installation) rather than just a kernel or
a few scattered utilities, our "TODO" list also spans a very wide
range of tasks, from documentation, beta testing and presentation to
highly specialized types of kernel development. No matter what your
skill level, there is almost certainly something you can do to help the
<p>Commercial entities engaged in FreeBSD-related enterprises are
also encouraged to contact us. Need a special extension to make your
product work? You will find us receptive to your requests, given that
they are not too outlandish. Working on a value-added product? Please
let us know! We may be able to work cooperatively on some aspect of
it. The free software world is challenging a lot of existing
assumptions about how software is developed, sold, and maintained
throughout its life cycle, and we urge you to at least give it a
<sect><heading>What is needed</heading>
<p>The following list of tasks and sub-projects represents something
of an amalgam of the various core team TODO lists and user requests
we have collected over the last couple of months. Where possible, tasks
have been ranked by degree of urgency. If you are interested in
working on one of the tasks you see here, send mail to the coordinator
listed by clicking on their names. If no coordinator has been
appointed, maybe you would like to volunteer?
<sect1><heading>High priority tasks</heading>
<p>The following tasks are considered to be urgent, usually because
they represent something that is badly broken or sorely needed:
<item>3-stage boot issues. Overall coordination:
<item>Autodetect memory over 64MB properly.
<item>Move userconfig (-c) into 3rd stage boot.
<item>Do WinNT compatible drive tagging so that the 3rd stage can
provide an accurate mapping of BIOS geometries for disks.
<item>Filesystem problems. Overall coordination:
<item>Fix the MSDOS file system.
<item>Clean up and document the nullfs filesystem code. Coordinator: &a.gibbs
<item>Fix the union file system. Coordinator: &a.dyson
<item>Fix the LFS file system. Coordinator: &a.dyson
<item>Implement kernel and user vm86 support. Coordinator: &a.hackers
<item>Implement Int13 vm86 disk driver. Coordinator: &a.hackers
<item>SCSI driver issues. Overall coordination: &a.hackers
<item>Support tagged queuing generically. Requires a rewrite of how we do
our command queing, but we need this anyway to for prioritized I/O
<item>Better error handling (Busy status and retries).
<item>Merged Scatter-Gather list creation code.
<item>Kernel issues. Overall coordination:
<item>Complete the eisaconf conversion of all existing drivers.
<item>Change all interrupt routines to take a (void *) instead of
using unit numbers.
<item>Merge EISA/PCI/ISA interrupt registration code.
<item>Split PCI/EISA/ISA probes out from drivers like bt742a.c (WIP)
<item>Fix the syscons ALT-TAB/vt switching hangs. Coordinator: &a.sos
<item>Mouse support for syscons.
<item>Merged keyboard code for all console drivers.
<item>Rewrite the Intel Etherexpress 16 driver.
<item>Merge the 3c509 and 3c590 drivers (essentially provide a PCI probe for
<item>Support Adaptec 3985 (first as a simple 3 channel SCSI card)
<item>Support Advansys SCSI controller products. Coordinator: &a.gibbs
<sect1><heading>Medium priority tasks</heading>
<p>The following tasks need to be done, but not with any particular
<item>DOS emulator (for DOS executables) Coordinator: <tt><htmlurl
url="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" name="J.R. Westmoreland"></tt>
<item>Port AFS (Andrew File System) to FreeBSD Coordinator: <tt><htmlurl
url="mailto:email@example.com" name="Alexander Seth Jones"></tt>
<item>MCA support? This should be finalized one way or the other.
<item>Full LKM based driver support/Configuration Manager.
<item>Devise a way to do all LKM registration without ld. This means
some kind of symbol table in the kernel.
<item>Write a configuration manager (in the 3rd stage boot?) that probes
your hardware in a sane manner, keeps only the LKMs required for
your hardware, etc.
<item>PCMCIA/PCCARD. Coordinators: &a.nate and &a.phk
<item>Reliable operation of the pcic driver (needs testing).
<item>Recognizer and handler for sio.c (mostly done).
<item>Recognizer and handler for ed.c (mostly done).
<item>Recognizer and handler for ep.c (mostly done).
<item>User-mode recognizer and handler (partially done).
<item>Advanced Power Management. Coordinators: &a.nate and &a.phk
<item>APM sub-driver (mostly done).
<item>IDE/ATA disk sub-driver (partially done).
<item>Integration with the PCMCIA/PCCARD drivers (suspend/resume).
<sect1><heading>Low priority tasks</heading>
<p>The following tasks are purely cosmetic or represent such an
investment of work that it is not likely that anyone will get them done
<p>The first 20 items are from Terry Lambert <firstname.lastname@example.org>
<item>Ability to make BIOS calls from protected mode using V86 mode
on the processor and return the results via a mapped interrupt
IPC mechanism to the protected mode caller.
<item>Drivers built into the kernel that use the BIOS call mechanism
to allow them to be independent of the actual underlying hardware
the same way that DOS is independent of the underlying hardware.
This includes NetWork and ASPI drivers loaded in DOS prior to
BSD being loaded by a DOS-based loader program, which means
potential polling, which means DOS-not-busy interrupt generation
for V86 machines by the protected mode kernel.
<item>An image format that allows tagging of such drivers data and
text areas in the default kernel executable so that that portion
of the kernel address space may be recovered at a later time,
after hardware specific protected mode drivers have been loaded
and activated. This includes separation of BIOS based drivers
from each other, since it is better to run with a BIOS based
driver in all cases than to not run at all.
<item>Abstraction of the bus interface mechanism. Currently, PCMCIA,
EISA, and PCI busses are assumed to be bridged from ISA. This
is not something which should be assumed.
<item>A configuration manager that knows about PNP events, including
power management events, insertion, extraction, and bus (PNP ISA
and PCMCIA bridging chips) vs. card level event management.
<item>A topological sort mechanism for assigning reassignable addresses
that do not collide with other reassignable and non-reassignable
device space resource usage by fixed devices.
<item>A registration based mechanism for hardware services registration.
Specifically, a device centric registration mechanism for timer
and sound and other system critical service providers. Consider
Timer2 and Timer0 and speaker services as one example of a single
monolithic service provider.
<item>A kernel exported symbol space in the kernel data space accessible
by an LKM loader mechanism that does relocation and symbol space
manipulation. The intent of this interface is to support the
ability to demand load and unload kernel modules.
<item>NetWare Server (protected mode ODI driver) loader and subservices
to allow the use of ODI card drivers supplied with network cards.
The same thing for NDIS drivers and NetWare SCSI drivers.
<item>An "upgrade system" option that works on Linux boxes instead
of just previous rev FreeBSD boxes.
<item>Splitting of the console driver into abstraction layers, both to
make it easier to port and to kill the X and ThinkPad and PS/2
mouse and LED and console switching and bouncing NumLock problems
once and for all.
<item>Other kernel emulation environments for other foreign drivers
as opportunity permits. SCO and Solaris are good candidates,
followed by UnixWare, etc.
<item>Processor emulation environments for execution of foreign binaries.
This is easier than it sounds if the system call interface does not
<item>Streams to allow the use of commercial streams drivers.
<item>Kernel multithreading (requires kernel preemption).
<item>Symmetric Multiprocessing with kernel preemption (requires kernel
<item>A concerted effort at support for portable computers. This is
somewhat handled by changing PCMCIA bridging rules and power
management event handling. But there are things like detecting
internal vs. external display and picking a different screen
resolution based on that fact, not spinning down the disk if
the machine is in dock, and allowing dock-based cards to disappear
without affecting the machines ability to boot (same issue for
<item>Reorganization of the source tree for multiple platform ports.
<item>A "make world" that "makes the world" (rename the current one
to "make regress" if that is all it is good for).
<item>A 4M (preferably smaller!) memory footprint.
<sect><heading>How to contribute</heading>
<p>Contributions to the system generally fall into one or more of
the following 6 categories:
<sect1><heading>Bug reports and general commentary</heading>
<p>If you have a bug to report or a suggestion to make:
<item>An idea or suggestion of general technical interest should be
mailed to the &a.hackers;.
Likewise, people with an interest
in such things (and a tolerance for a <em>high</em>
volume of mail!) may
subscribe to the hackers mailing list by sending mail to
See <ref id="eresources:mail" name="mailing lists">
for more information about this and other mailing lists.
<item>An actual bug report should be filed by using the
<tt>send-pr(1)</tt> program. This will prompt
you for various fields to fill in. Simply go to the fields
surrounded by <tt><></tt>'s and fill in your own
information in place of
what is suggested there. You should receive confirmation of your
bug report and a tracking number. Keep this tracking number and use
it in any subsequent correspondence.
If you do not receive confirmation in a timely fashion (3 days to
a week, depending on your email connection) or are, for some
reason, unable to use the <tt>send-pr(1)</tt> command,
then you may also file a bug report by sending mail to the &a.bugs;.
<sect1><heading>Changes to the documentation</heading>
<p>Changes to the documentation are overseen by the &a.doc;.
This does not generally include
changes to manual pages, which should be considered under the category
of "changes to existing source code."
<sect1><heading>Changes to existing source code</heading>
<p>An addition or change to the existing source code is a somewhat trickier
affair and depends a lot on how far out of date you are with the current
state of the core FreeBSD development. There is a special on-going release
of FreeBSD known as ``FreeBSD-current'' which is made available in
a variety of ways for the convenience of developers working
actively on the system. See <ref id="current" name="Staying
current with FreeBSD"> for more information about getting and using
Working from older sources unfortunately means that your changes may
sometimes be too obsolete or too divergent for easy re-integration into
FreeBSD. Chances of this can be minimized somewhat by subscribing to the
&a.announce and the &a.current lists, where discussions
on the current state of the system take place.
Assuming that you can manage to secure fairly up-to-date sources to base
your changes on, the next step is to produce a set of diffs to send to the
FreeBSD maintainers. This is done with the <tt>diff(1)</tt> command,
with the `context diff' form being preferred. For example:
diff -c oldfile newfile
diff -c -r olddir newdir
would generate such a set of context diffs for the given source file
or directory hierarchy. See the man page for <tt>diff(1)</tt> for more
Once you have a set of diffs (which you may test with the
<tt>patch(1)</tt> command), you should bundle them up in an
email message and send it, along with a brief description of
what the diffs are for, to the &a.hackers;.
Someone will very
likely get back in touch with you in 24 hours or less,
assuming of course that your diffs are interesting! :-)
If your changes do not express themselves well as diffs alone
(e.g. you have perhaps added, deleted or renamed files as well)
then you may be better off bundling any new files, diffs and
instructions for deleting/renaming others into a <tt>tar</tt>
file and running the <tt>uuencode(1)</tt> program on it before
sending the output of that to the &a.hackers;.
See the man pages on <tt>tar(1)</tt> and <tt>uuencode(1)</tt> for more
information on bundling files this way.
If your change is of a potentially sensitive nature, e.g.
you are unsure of copyright issues governing its further distribution
or you are simply not ready to release it without a tighter review first,
then you should send it to <tt><htmlurl url="mailto:core@FreeBSD.ORG"
name="<core@FreeBSD.ORG>"></tt> rather than the &a.hackers
The core mailing list
reaches a much smaller group of people who do much of the
day-to-day work on FreeBSD. Note that this group is also
<em>very busy</em> and so you should only send mail to them
in cases where mailing to hackers is truly impractical.
<sect1><heading>New code or major value-added packages</heading>
<p>In the case of a significant contribution of a large body
work, or the addition of an important new feature to FreeBSD,
it becomes almost always necessary to either send changes as
uuencoded tar files or upload them to our ftp site <url
When working with large amounts of code, the touchy subject of
copyrights also invariably comes up. Acceptable copyrights
for code included in FreeBSD are:
<item>The BSD copyright. This copyright is most preferred
due to its ``no strings attached'' nature and general
attractiveness to commercial enterprises. Far from
discouraging such commercial use, the FreeBSD Project
actively encourages such participation by commercial interests
who might eventually be inclined to invest something of their own
<item>The GNU Public License, or ``GPL''. This license is not quite
as popular with us due to the amount of extra effort demanded
of anyone using the code for commercial purposes, but given
the sheer quantity of GPL'd code we currently require (compiler,
assembler, text formatter, etc) it would be silly to refuse
additional contributions under this license. Code under the GPL
also goes into a different part of the tree, that being
<tt>/sys/gnu</tt> or <tt>/usr/src/gnu</tt>, and is therefore
easily identifiable to anyone for whom the GPL presents a problem.
<p>Contributions coming under any other type of copyright must be
carefully reviewed before their inclusion into FreeBSD will
be considered. Contributions for which particularly restrictive
commercial copyrights apply are generally rejected, though the
authors are always encouraged to make such changes available
through their own channels.
To place a ``BSD-style'' copyright on your work, include the following
text at the very beginning of every source code file you wish
to protect, replacing the text between the `<tt>%%</tt>' with
the appropriate information.
Copyright (c) %%proper_years_here%%
%%your_name_here%%, %%your_state%% %%your_zip%%. All rights reserved.
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer as
the first lines of this file unmodified.
2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
must display the following acknowledgment:
This product includes software developed by %%your_name_here%%.
4. The name of the author may not be used to endorse or promote products
derived from this software without specific prior written permission.
THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY %%your_name_here%% ``AS IS'' AND ANY EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES
OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED.
IN NO EVENT SHALL %%your_name_here%% BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT,
INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT
NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE,
DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY
THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT
(INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF
THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
$Id: submitters.sgml,v 184.108.40.206 1996-07-16 16:01:35 jkh Exp $
For your convenience, a copy of this text can be found in
<sect1><heading>Money, Hardware or Internet access</heading>
<p>We are always very happy to accept donations to further the cause of
the FreeBSD Project and, in a volunteer effort like ours, a little can go
a long way! Donations of hardware are also very important to expanding
our list of supported peripherals since we generally lack the funds to
buy such items ourselves.
<p>While the FreeBSD Project is not a 501(C3) (non-profit) corporation and
hence cannot offer special tax incentives for any donations made, any such
donations will be gratefully accepted on behalf of the project by
<p>FreeBSD, Inc. was founded in early 1995 by &a.jkh and &a.davidg with the
goal of furthering the aims of the FreeBSD Project and giving it a minimal
corporate presence. Any and all funds donated (as well as any profits
that may eventually be realized by FreeBSD, Inc.) will be used exclusively
to further the project's goals.
Please make any checks payable to FreeBSD, Inc., sent in care of the
c/o Jordan Hubbard
4041 Pike Lane, suite #D.
Concord CA, 94520
[temporarily using the Walnut Creek CDROM address until a PO box can be
Wire transfers may also be sent directly to:
Bank Of America
Concord Main Office
P.O. Box 37176
San Francisco CA, 94137-5176
Routing #: 121-000-358
Account #: 01411-07441 (FreeBSD, Inc.)
If you do not wish to be listed in our <ref id="donors" name="donors">
section, please specify this when making your donation. Thanks!
<p>Donations of hardware in any of the 3 following categories are also gladly
accepted by the FreeBSD Project:
<item>General purpose hardware such as disk drives, memory or complete
systems should be sent to the FreeBSD, Inc. address listed in the
<em>donating funds</em> section.
<item>Hardware for which ongoing compliance testing is desired.
We are currently trying to put together a testing lab of all components
that FreeBSD supports so that proper regression testing can be done with
each new release. We are still lacking many important pieces (network cards,
motherboards, etc) and if you would like to make such a donation, please contact
&a.davidg for information on which items are still required.
<item>Hardware currently unsupported by FreeBSD for which you would like to
see such support added. Please contact the <htmlurl
url="mailto:core@FreeBSD.ORG" name="FreeBSD Core Team"> before sending
such items as we will need to find a developer willing to take on the task
before we can accept delivery of them.
<sect2><heading>Donating Internet access</heading>
<p>We can always use new mirror sites for FTP, WWW or sup.
If you would like to be such a mirror, please contact
<htmlurl url="mailto:admin@FreeBSD.ORG" name="the FreeBSD project
administrators"> for more information.
<sect><heading>Donors Gallery<label id="donors"></heading>
<p>The FreeBSD Project is indebted to the following donors and would
like to publically thank them here!
has generously donated funding for the further development of FreeBSD
<item><htmlurl url="http://www.epilogue.com/" name="Epilogue
Technology Corporation">has generously donated funding for FreeBSD
name="Gianmarco Giovannelli"> has generously donated funding for
<item><htmlurl url="http://www.iijnet.or.jp/laser5/" name="Laser5">
in Japan has graciously donated a portion of their profits from the
sale of their <em>FreeBSD for PC98'ers</em> CD, a port of FreeBSD to
the NEC PC98.
<item><htmlurl url="http://www.cdrom.com" name="Walnut Creek CDROM">
has donated almost more than we can say (see the
<ref id="history" name="history"> document for more details).
In particular, we would like to thank them for the hardware used for
<em>freefall.FreeBSD.ORG</em>, our primary development machine,
and for <em>thud.FreeBSD.ORG</em>, our testing and build box.
We are also indebted to them for funding various contributors over
the years and providing us with unrestricted use of their T1
connection to the Internet.