Good news, everyone! This Friday the 21st of August, 2015 marks a great day for open source and the longevity of pfSense: the current FreeBSD source code and ports tree including modifications have been made available by the team over the last two days.
For anyone who can not remember, the pfsense-tools.git went offline in late February 2014 and caused a larger debate about what (BSD-style) open source is, is not and how such intricacies should be handled by owners and users. I even wrote about it in my last yearly summary (in German) as it had become a beloved part of my own life. Long story short, access was only given out to individuals who signed legal papers, not very much in the spirit of the uncomplicated BSD licensing methodology.
The tools repository was an integral part of the pfSense project, holding image build scripts as well as FreeBSD source and ports tree modifications. Auditing and double-checking, lest of all contributing to those vital parts became harder than it could have been. For me that was a bit of a personal tragedy, as there were already bits and pieces of working bootstrap code and pkgng adoption.
Meanwhile, 20 months later, we see most of the pfSense-tools.git back up in its revamped form. It’s quite interesting to note similarities to how OPNsense approached the complete rewrite of said tools back in January 2015:
- Introduced ports.git and src.git
- Introduced pkgng as the core tool for firmware upgrades
For us as OPNsense that’s great news and we welcome the new-found openness of our parent project. We are excited for 2.3 and all the good things it can bring to their users, to FreeBSD and maybe even to us as we progress. We love evolution and would like to see more, learn more things in the future from each other. Thank you, pfSense! :)