AsiaBSDCon 2016 Recap

NOTE: This is historical content that may contain outdated information.

The 10th annual AsiaBSDCon was held in Tokyo, Japan from March 10-13. This is the primary BSD conference held in Asia and several members of the iXsystems team were in attendance.

The conference began with a 2-day FreeBSD Developers Summit. Discussion points included the new packaging base coming in FreeBSD 11, an introduction to LLVM SafeStack, and an overview of the goals for moving forward with DTrace. Talks about Jenkins were of particular interest.

Several doc committers attended this conference for the first time and spent some time reviewing which documentation needs updates for FreeBSD 11. They came up with a plan to organize peer technical reviews of the FreeBSD Handbook.
Michael Dexter organized the third annual bhyvecon, a mini-conference dedicated to BSD hypervisors. Kris Moore gave a talk about the the new SysAdm framework coming in PC-BSD 11 which will be able to manage various virtual machines. Other talks included a bhyve update, a bhyve on ARM update and a FreeBSD/Xen update. Mike Larkin and Reyk Floeter also gave the first formal talk about OpenBSD’s new vmm hypervisor complete with a demonstration. Michael Dexter demonstrated bhyve running with a graphical Windows installer, a feature that will hopefully arrive in time for FreeBSD 11.

Dru Lavigne co-presented a hands-on workshop for getting started with the FreeBSD documentation and translation projects. This resulted in one of the FreeBSD articles being translated to Japanese and committed during the conference. The feedback from the workshop will be used to improve the getting started material that will be given to attendees of future Doc Sprints. The next Doc Sprints will be held in the evenings during BSDCan in Ottawa.


There was a FreeBSD Foundation booth during the presentation days of the conference. Netgate donated 2 Turbots ( in engraved cases and OPNsense donated a board and a complete system that has been localized for the Japanese market. These were raffled off at the end of the conference for those who had donated to the Foundation during the conference. Just over $600 (in 4 different currencies) was donated during the conference.

John Hixson presented on “Directory Services on FreeNAS” and Michael Dexter on “diskctl(8): A permissively-licensed S.M.A.R.T. and raw disk command utility framework”, a proposal for a utility that would replace the ubiquitous SmartMonTools package. During the conference, Allan Jude and and Kris recorded six BSD Now interviews about the exciting new developments in the BSD community, such as packaging base.
Steve Bourne gave a keynote describing the earliest history of the Unix shell and was a lively part of the social event on Saturday night. The conference ended with some closing remarks, an acknowledgement of the sponsors, and the traditional hand-off of Groff the BSD Goat, whose keeper is now Henning Brauer.

The team had a very productive conference and came back with nothing but high praise for the organization of the event and the quality of the presentations. We’ll be back next year but in the meantime, we look forward to BSDCan 2016!

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