George Rosamond george at
Wed Feb 12 13:44:44 EST 2014

Michael W. Lucas:
> So, NYCBSDCon 2/14 was successful. More or less. I mean, the food was
> great. Most of the presenters did really well. A good vibe in the
> crowd. Yes, you guys completely forgot the importance of an afternoon
> snack. And no Coke Zero? Sheesh.

So drink water!

The cookies, unquestionably, are a horrible oversight.

> The con list had a short discussion about a theme for the next
> con. Then George came and yelled at us to put the discussion on
> talk at . So... fine.
> Here's an idea for a next theme: deploying BSD.
> Talks could include:
> FreeBSD/PCBSD scripted install
> Raspberry pi install
> ansible/puppet/etc served from & targeting BSD
> ...
> There's my spaghetti. Let's see if it sticks to the wall.

There is a strong possibility that we will do another similar daycon.
There are some things to rework, but I think overall we got it right,
especially considering we went a whole new route in terms of getting
people outside the community, etc.

A few ideas have been floating around, and we encourage others to join
in this brain dump exercise.

Our criteria is this:

We are trying to do something completely different here.  While the
other (and larger) cons are great and are essential for the community,
we want to localize our events to the technology scene at-large in NYC.
 We managed to pull a lot of local people who don't usually come to BSD
events, and it opened up the discussions substantially.

Yes, of course, far-off visitors are always welcome, but we want to keep
things shifted to the local scene.

Now, onto my idea.

The resounding one, that I surveyed others at the con about, is: "Beyond
x86: the BSDs on ARM and MIPS."

The approach is this.  Focus on Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone and this huge
proliferation of cheap boards and boxes that have come out.  Lots of
people are hacking on them, and I notice on the projects' relevant
arch/platform lists, there is a layer of people without BSD backgrounds
jumping in.

Now I don't envision a "This is how you install xBSD to an SD card" type
day, although no reason why that couldn't be an expose-type display.

Rather, there are more general issues to hit... and here's some relevant

FreeBSD's crochet build script.  It's beyond just supported arm boards,
and it manages to keep modularity for a lot of boards and different
kernels while remaining a unified system.

There are two angles in BSD land about cross versus native-compiling.
It would be a great topic to cover from both ends, while keeping it

That also raises the role of maintaining lots of archs/platforms.  Is it
a waste of power?  Or useful for other reasons, like finding bugs in
code since you're testing on a wider array of archs?

There is an interesting (but pretty tangental) project called RetroBSD
(.org) for small MIPS boards.  It's derived from BSD 2.11 (yes, as
written).  The guy behind it works for MIPS, and Brian C has contributed
a bit to the scene.

Then we have one of the obvious local candidates to speak: Brian C, who
works on the Octeon platform for OpenBSD.

In general, there is a wide audience of people playing with these little
SoC boards today, including students, hobbyists, etc.  A big layer of
them could be pulled for this, and I think we could do a kick-ass con on
the topic.

Open up the floor!


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