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FreeBSD Development for Smarties

in BSDCan, BSDCan2010, FreeBSD, Programming, BSD


Ottawa, ON
45° 24' 41.6592" N, 75° 41' 53.4984" W

The quest for a better kernel development environment

Developing good code is hard. Developing good operating system code is harder still. This talk will cover in as concise and complete a manner as possible, the information obtained during my quest for a better FreeBSD kernel development environment.

My work on the FreeBSD TCP stack ( 1 , 2 , 3 ) involves a great deal of time spent investigating behaviour within the kernel. Becoming frustrated with my development cycle, I started researching and creating a hardware and software development environment that would improve my productivity. I found that so much of the really useful information came from non-authoritative sources scattered around the Internet and from talking with other developers. This talk attempts to collate everything into a single place, with the aim of lowering the barrier to entry for kernel hacking by making useful information more accessible.

Covering everything from hardware considerations to PXE booting and entry level use of KGDB, this talk aims to arm budding to intermediate FreeBSD developers alike with the information and tools required to code more correctly and efficiently than they otherwise might have been able to using more primitive means.

Note that the paper this talk is based on is far from a comprehensive reference yet, and I welcome all suggestions for improvement. My goal is to get the information incorporated into a more official FreeBSD documentation source (e.g. the FreeBSD developer's handbook ) once it has reached critical mass.

Lawrence Stewart