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As a development environment supporting cross-development for embedded OSes like <link xlink:href="">RTEMS</link> and <link xlink:href="">eCOS</link>.
There are many full-fledged development environments in the 24,000-strong collection of applications ported and packaged with FreeBSD.
As a way to support a Unix-like API in an otherwise proprietary OS, increasing its palatability for application developers.
Here parts of FreeBSD's kernel and application programs are <quote>ported</quote> to run alongside other tasks in the proprietary OS. The availability of a stable and well tested <trademark>Unix</trademark> API implementation can reduce the effort needed to port popular applications to the proprietary OS. As FreeBSD ships with high-quality documentation for its internals and has effective vulnerability management and release engineering processes, the costs of keeping upto-date are kept low.
There are a large number of technologies supported by the FreeBSD project. A selection of these are listed below:
A complete system that can cross-host itself for <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/platforms/">many architectures:</link>
A modular symmetric multiprocessing capable kernel, with loadable kernel modules and a flexible and easy to use configuration system.
Support for emulation of <trademark>Linux</trademark> and SVR4 binaries at near machine speeds. Support for binary <trademark>Windows</trademark> (<acronym>NDIS</acronym>) network drivers.
Libraries for many programming tasks: archivers, FTP and HTTP support, thread support, in addition to a full <trademark>POSIX</trademark> like programming environment.
Security features: Mandatory Access Control (<citerefentry><refentrytitle>mac</refentrytitle><manvolnum>9</manvolnum></citerefentry>), jails (<citerefentry><refentrytitle>jail</refentrytitle><manvolnum>2</manvolnum></citerefentry>), <acronym>ACL</acronym>s, and in-kernel cryptographic device support.
Networking features: firewall-ing, QoS management, high-performance TCP/IP networking with support for many extensions.
FreeBSD's in-kernel Netgraph (<citerefentry><refentrytitle>netgraph</refentrytitle><manvolnum>4</manvolnum></citerefentry>) framework allows kernel networking modules to be connected together in flexible ways.
Support for storage technologies: Fibre Channel, <acronym>SCSI</acronym>, software and hardware RAID, <acronym>ATA</acronym> and <acronym>SATA</acronym>.
FreeBSD supports a number of filesystems, and its native UFS2 filesystem supports soft updates, snapshots and very large filesystem sizes (16TB per filesystem) <citation>McKu1999</citation>.
FreeBSD's in-kernel <acronym>GEOM</acronym> (<citerefentry><refentrytitle>geom</refentrytitle><manvolnum>4</manvolnum></citerefentry>) framework allows kernel storage modules to be composed in flexible ways.
Over 24,000 ported applications, both commercial and open-source, managed via the FreeBSD ports collection.
Organizational Structure
FreeBSD's organizational structure is non-hierarchical.
There are essentially two kinds of contributors to FreeBSD, general users of FreeBSD, and developers with write access (known as <firstterm>committers</firstterm> in the jargon) to the source base.
There are many thousands of contributors in the first group; the vast majority of contributions to FreeBSD come from individuals in this group. Commit rights (write access) to the repository are granted to individuals who contribute consistently to the project. Commit rights come with additional responsibilities, and new committers are assigned mentors to help them learn the ropes.
FreeBSD Organization
_ external ref='freebsd-organization' md5='__failed__'
Conflict resolution is performed by a nine member <quote>Core Team</quote> that is elected from the group of committers.
FreeBSD does not have <quote>corporate</quote> committers. Individual committers are required to take responsibility for the changes they introduce to the code. The <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/committers-guide">FreeBSD Committer's guide</link> <citation>ComGuide</citation> documents the rules and responsibilities for committers.
FreeBSD's project model is examined in detail in <citation>Nik2005</citation>.
FreeBSD Release Engineering Processes
FreeBSD's release engineering processes play a major role in ensuring that its released versions are of a high quality. At any point of time, FreeBSD's volunteers support multiple code lines (<xref linkend="fig-freebsd-branches"/>):
New features and disruptive code enters on the development branch, also known as the <firstterm>-CURRENT</firstterm> branch.
<firstterm>-STABLE</firstterm> branches are code lines that are branched from HEAD at regular intervals. Only tested code is allowed onto a -STABLE branch. New features are allowed once they have been tested and stabilized in the -CURRENT branch.
<firstterm>-RELEASE</firstterm> branches are maintained by the FreeBSD security team. Only bug fixes for critical issues are permitted onto -RELEASE branches.


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