I'm a 23 years old student of University of Milan, attending a MS degree (italian Laurea Specialistica) in Information and Communication Technologies. I'm the co-founder and lead developer of FreeSBIE, that is the actual subject of my proposal.
I report below the ideas I've posted to my mentor. I'll update them in the next days, maybe after discussing them on freebsd-hackers. Suggestion and comments are really welcome, please report them to soc-saturnero [at] freebsd.org
My work on FreeSBIE is mainly oriented to the toolkit we develop, that is the actual subject of my proposal. We started writing the toolkit in Oct. 2002. Although the actual toolkit is quite powerful and perfectly usable, I think it strongly needs a re-design and a reorganization of its scripts. Embryonal ideas (already obsolete) for the rewrite can be found at http://wiki.freesbie.org/freesbie2. Actual ideas include the confirmed choose of sh language, a set of Makefile to invoke the build process in a familiar way, an maybe the use of an rcorder(1)-like system to invoke the scripts in an ordered way. Including it in the FreeBSD source tree will strongly help us with backward compatibility issues.
FreeSBIE scripts are also able to build images to be put on a compact flash or usb pen (or even hdd ). My goal is to make a unique solution which can substitute actual miniBSD, nanoBSD, picoBSD and, why not, the iso-release build process. We already support including BSD installer in the livecd, and I think FreeBSD can switch to the livecd-and/or-installer iso concept used in DragonFlyBSD.
Another desired goal is to make a FreeSBIE system capable of being a netboot server. This can be useful in environment such as labs, or can lead to make a FreeBSD version capable of being installed from a pxe boot.
A secondary goal is to make the porting of our scripts to other *BSD easy. This is quite difficult at the moment, as I don't know much of the other BSD systems, and as we use many FreeBSD-only features (one for all, geom_uzip for compressed filesystems).
I apologize for haven't updated this wiki, but I've got limited connectivity during the summer. I'm almost done with my work, and I'm quite satisfied with it. The base system works quite well. Atm I've encountered some FreeBSD bugs that I'm waiting to be resolved (cd-rom root mount not working, geom_uzip not working sometimes when kernel has INVARIANTS, unionfs not working at all in > 6.x).
You can see my scripts here
I miss only the "plugins" part. The rest seems to work as expected. I'm testing it on powerpc right now.
Hoping to be able to update this page soon
The toolkit is fully functional, has been released and has been tested on i386, amd64 and powerpc architectures successfully. The new plugin system works well and allows me and other developers to extend and customise the toolkit. Many people have shown interest in this new toolkit, so I hope there will be many addons in the imminent future.
You can now also download scripts from the cvs.freesbie.org repository, module freesbie2, or see them via the cvsweb interface
Thank you so much to Google for this great opportunity. Many thanks also to my mentors, MurrayStokely at first an all the re@ people. Thanks to everybody who has helped testing, expecially Peter Grehan.
Hope to be able to write in this wiki again and soon