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Re: NetBSD Live upgrade, GSoC 2013

On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 02:07:35AM +0200, Tabibel Sami wrote:
> I am doing master degree of Cryptology and information security
> I have good C and Python skills, and i am interested to work on "Live
> upgrade" project this summer.
> I am looking for any comment about the difficulty and the content of the
> project, and also about my chances to be accepted if i apply for.

I regard the difficulty of this task to be low to moderate, you do need
to be familiar with the intricacies of NetBSD file system layout and
also the boot loader.

This is a bit of a primer from Oracle on what liveupgrade does:

This document doesn't mention snapshots - in Solaris if you have a ZFS
root then the ZFS snapshot feature will be used to create the alternate
boot environments.  NetBSD does have some file system snapshot
capability, I have not looked closely as to whether or not this could be
used in the liveupgrade context or not - probably a good exercise for
the student ;)

Most information that seems to come up when you do a google search for
live upgrade is related to upgrading the OS which is a bit bogus because
live upgrade can also be used when patching or even just making system
changes.  For the home/hobby user this is probably not such a big deal
but in mission critical applications being able to tell your change
manager that all you need to do to revert a change is a reboot is a big

As for chances of being accepted, my advice to ANY student doing a
submission for ANY project is that they write a clear plan of what the
are going to achieve and how they are going to go about this.  You need
to demonstrate in your proposal that you have done your background
research and that you clearly understand what you need to do and what
you believe the areas you need to work on are.  You don't need to have
solved the problem before GSoC starts but you do need to show that you
are aware of the problem areas and have a plan for tackling them.  The
NetBSD project will only get a limited number of student slots from
Google which means we have the difficult task of deciding which n
students out of m applications (where m > n) will be able to participate.
We always will pick the students that have written a solid proposal.

Brett Lymn
Staple Guns: because duct tape doesn't make that KerCHUNK sound -

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