Month: March 2006

Hardware driver project available

YONETANI Tomokazu got a letter from folks at JMicron, looking for someone to work on driver support for their drive controllers under DragonFly. Interested?

While on that topic, Matthew Dillon wrote some notes about device driver writing and the example driver code.

Posted by     Categories: Device support     0 Comments

pkgsrc-2006Q1 out

Joerg Sonnenberger forwarded along the announcement that the first quarterly release of pkgsrc for 2006 is out. Notably, there’s nearly 6,000 packages, and these two interesting tips:

As always, we’d like to encourage users of the packages collection to install and run pkgsrc/security/audit-packages at least every day – this will provide notification of any packages which are vulnerable to exploit.

We’d also really appreciate it if people would install the pkgsrc/pkgtools/pkgsurvey package, and then run the pkgsurvey script for us. This will forward us a list of the packages installed on that machine, and the operating system and release level of the operating system. The results will be kept confidential, but the output will help us analyse the packages that are most used.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc     1 Comment

deRaadt interview

Daemon News has an interview of OpenBSD’s Theo deRaadt, where he mentions DragonFly. The last response in the interview is also entertaining.

Posted by     Categories: OpenBSD     5 Comments

BSDTalk about BSDPortal

BSDTalk has a new interview up with Liam Foy, who is porting CARP to NetBSD, created, and (most importantly!) also contributes to DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

One step closer

Matthew Dillon posted a description of his near-term work that will get us closer to the vaunted Cache Coherency Management System and, incidentally, userspace VFS.

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Bigger sectors not bad

“walt” posted about the upcoming change from 512-byte to 4-kbyte sector size on disks.  Apparently, this won’t cause problems.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments Lots

This week on Regular Expressions: Experience Teaches Lessons for Team Projects, Certification: Test Your Knowledge of Wireless Security, Book Review: Nessus, Snort and Ethereal Power Tools, and a review of kdissert.

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Moved goals

My fault: the Goals section on the DragonFly BSD website is now moved to a single page under Docs.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     2 Comments

NQNFS gone; nobody minds

Matthew Dillon has removed NQNFS; normal NFSv2/NFSv3 will still work, which is probably the NFS flavors everyone would be using anyway…

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code     0 Comments

Overwrite first

Robert Sebastian Gerus found that it is possible to see filenames after deletions, which is an outgrowth of UFS (and a number of other filesystems). If this concerns you, use rm -P to overwrite the data before marking it unused.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Using Eclipse

IBM developerWorks has a nice article up (by Chris Herborth, former BeOS dev) on using Eclipse as an IDE even with non-Java projects.

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News I like to see

New device support is always good: Sepherosa Ziehau and Sascha Wildner have put together a driver for TI acx100/acx111 wireless network cards. It’s been tested with D-Link 520 and 650 cards. (that’s my guess on the product links, there.)

Assuming nobody finds a problem, it’ll be in the system in a week.

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Version bumps everywhere

The release version of DragonFly has been brought to 1.4.3 to incorporate the recent Sendmail security update, among other things.  Bleeding edge code has been brought up to version 1.5.2, because Matthew Dillon has added (after the bump) his potentially destabilizing BUF/BIO code.  If you like running Preview, update and plan to stick with it a while until this new technology gets sorted out.

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Threefer for U

Sascha Wildner sent along a link to “The Daemon, the GNU & the Penguin“, a many-part history of Unix.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

Bugs and fixes

Several FreeBSD security issues were found recently that also apply to DragonFly: ipsec (DragonFly fix), opie (DragonFly fix), and sendmail (DragonFly fix).  The fix for sendmail incidentally brings it to version 8.13.6.  David Rhodus has also started to bring in some applicable changes from NetBSD found by the Coverity scan.  (Coverity is apparently not accepting any new source collections to scan at this time, so we don’t get it directly.)

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code     1 Comment

DragonFly at PkgSrcCon

Joerg Sonnenberger, who has been fixing a ridiculous number of pkgsrc packages to run on DragonFly, is giving a presentation at PkgSrcCon.  The convention is happening May 5-7, in Paris.  The registration deadline is April 15th, by the way.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc     3 Comments

BSD and money

A recent post on highlights the need for OpenBSD to find new funding sources to support the various hackathons held around the world for OpenBSD. It appears that the normal funding source, selling CDs of each release of OpenBSD, has become much less lucrative. OpenBSD also has a donations page.

With the growth of broadband access, the need to order a separate CD has dwindled. It appears the OpenBSD Project is going to have to supply some different form of services in order to continue the same revenue stream. According to the article, they previously generated US $80,000 each year for the last two years, and still came up $20,000 short.

Along the same lines, the FreeBSD Foundation is accepting donations. According to the most recent newsletter, the Foundation is doing well enough that a part-time administrator has been brought in to handle affairs. The most recent Foundation newsletter does not describe their financial status in specific terms, other than to sound positive. The newsletter for 2004 shows a small loss.

NetBSD also has a non-profit Foundation, with donations possible. The most recent financial report for the NetBSD foundation shows a positive balance, and recent newsletters show 2005 went well.

What about DragonFly? DragonFly is not yet a non-profit, so there’s no direct place for donations to go, though there are requests for equipment that can be filled. Pretty much all costs for come out of Matthew Dillon’s pocket. Given the relatively huge size of these other project’s budgets, Dragonfly appears to be doing well.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Ignore this

Sven Willenberger saw some odd “cache_lock” messages; these are relatively benign.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Feeds finally fixed

The links for the old RSS/XML news feeds for this site now redirect to the new feed locations.

Posted by     Categories: About This Site     1 Comment

GCC warnings

Francis Gudin, I think it is, posted a link on his GoBSD blog to Dave Glowacki’s GCC warnings.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

Reminder on links

Please update your links to the RSS file, if you are using it.  I’ve configured the permalinks to hopefully be more reasonable.

Posted by     Categories: About This Site     2 Comments

new ifconfig to try

Sepherosa Ziehau has a new version of ifconfig, taken from FreeBSD 6 and put together for DragonFly by Andrew Atrens and Adrian Michael Nida. Give it a test, if you can.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Package in a package

Apparently, ruby has its own internal package management system, called gems. If you want to try this Ruby on Rails technique that’s all the rage lately, read this post from Csaba Henk.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

Hardware advice wanted

Because of recent circumstances, I’m looking for at least 1 ‘new’ laptop. Is there anyone using DragonFly on a laptop? (Other than those mentioned here.)

Along the same lines, has anyone put together a server recently with a focus on low power usage?

Posted by     Categories: Off-Topic     1 Comment

New engine

I moved from Movable Type to WordPress.  The original links to the XML and RSS feeds are broken, as are old links to individual stories.  This will be fixed soon, and then I’ll improve the layout from the current default.

Posted by     Categories: About This Site     0 Comments

Volunteer for bsd at LinuxTag

LinuxTag 2006 is happening in Germany May 2-6, and the BSD booth needs volunteers.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

recent pkgsrc glitch

Some packages in pkgsrc, if they were built in the past few days, will need to be rebuilt. This post to the tech-pkg@ mailing list has details.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

samba tip

If you’re trying to mount a windows/samba share, load the right libraries first.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

This week on
Shell Corner: Safely Sharing Screen Sessions with sudo,
Certification: Exploring the CWSP Wireless LAN Security Certification, and
Book Review: Core Security Patterns.

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Slow posting

My house was robbed today; I lost my desktop computer, among other things. Not surprisingly, posting here may be slow for a little while…

Posted by     Categories: Heads Up!     4 Comments

slow link clusters OK

For a bit of clarification, Matthew Dillon noted that his goal of having a single system image takes into account having “slow” network links to connect system, which means fancy (and expensive) high-speed interconnection will not be necessary.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

-j not all it’s cracked up to be

I discovered that, at least on my uniprocessor test system, -j doesn’t make a speed difference for ‘make buildworld‘. The -jn flag creates nextra processes, and is supposed to speed the process up to some extent. I’d like if someone could show me a system where it does make a difference…

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     3 Comments

PPP broke and fixed

Francis Gudin found a problem with ppp causing crashes; he also found a fix.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

BUF/BIO patch posted

Matthew Dillon has posted his first version of the patch for 32 bit block number to 64 bit byte offset conversion; it’s a dangerous patch because of the chance for data corruption. He has a long list of filesystem (some of which I’ve never heard of) that need testing.

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Workaround, upcoming work

Matthew Dillon has a post describing a bug in the installer (encountered by ‘Eugene’) along with a workaround.

Dillon also describes his upcoming work, which will include BUF/BIO conversion, a read() and write() buffer cache interface, and then the “grand
cache coherency management system”, also known as the most complex code yet.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

New BSDTalk episode

The latest BSDTalk podcast has man page tips and a talk with Henning Brauer of OpenBSD.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments created

Liam J. Foy’s ultra-comprehensive list of BSD-related RSS info has now got its own domain: Update your booktagdiggmarks appropriately.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

NFSv4 explanation

NFSv4 is desirable and new; I managed to somehow stumble into these slides from a LISA 2005 presentation on NFSv4 that describes a bit more about NFSv4 features. (If you want the basics on NFS, check Wikipedia.)

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Everybody likes ZFS

TextDrive, a web hosting company, has a weblog, and on it an author, Jason, likes ZFS. So naturally, he is apparently quite enthusiastic about DragonFly adopting ZFS.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

mercurial and CVS

If you wanted to use a different version control system, but wanted to be compatible with DragonFly’s CVS system, Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has written some scripts that make his Mercurial setup work with CVS.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

OnLAMP goes to jail

There’s a new BSD article on, about jail (8) usage. It’s written by Dan Langille, of FreshPorts fame.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

BayLISA talk now available as video

Erik Wikström posted a link back to the Google Video presentation of Matthew Dillon’s BayLISA talk last year. The slides are on the DragonFly site, as HTML or OpenOffice SXD. This is the presentation that talks about the first benchmarks of the DragonFly approach to multiprocessing, along with revealing Matt’s preference for fvwm2.

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New MBR, maybe

Ben Cadieux has his own MBR that looks a little nicer than the FreeBSD-inherited one currently on DragonFly; he has it available for the taking and is willing to add features for parity.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

RAIDFrame – any takers?

‘elekktretterr’ posted a note asking if anyone intended to add RAIDFrame, a software RAID utility, to DragonFly. It’s already been brought to FreeBSD and NetBSD.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     5 Comments

Unix flavors

jgarcia, on #dragonflybsd (EFNet), posted a link to this interesting IBM developerWorks story talking about the many types and small variation of Unix standards. Note to self: read developerWorks more often.

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Maybe speedy, maybe hype

Miguel Filipe posted a link to a paper (slides) on speeding up the Linux network stack. The answers: It’s been discussed, and while the approach could sometimes affect speed, it doesn’t solve an actual problem, and introduces far more complexity (and therefore bugs) than it’s worth.

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Wiki gets tightened

Sascha Wildner posted that due to spam on, he’s only allowing known people to modify the wiki, which should only affect you if you’re a dirty, bottom-feeding, no-good spammer.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Matthew Dillon on BSDTalk

BSDTalk has an interview up with Matthew Dillon, where he talks about his goals with the DragonFly BSD Project, and makes some good points about application availability.

There’s a good pile of other useful interviews at the BSDTalk site; I did not know of any of this before. Browsing through the past interviews, I see mention of FreeBSD-based FreeNAS, a free network attached storage solution, which is also new to me. (Reminds me of the now-defunct DataHive servers…)

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Portal movement

Liam J. Foy’s BSD Portal, which aggregates a large number of BSD headlines, has been moved to a new location:

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Moving world

A recently discovered tip: if you want to build world somewhere else, you need to set the right environment variables.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

New gdb

Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has committed kdgb, which comes mostly from FreeBSD. This replaces ‘gdb -k‘.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code     0 Comments

Work warning!

Matthew Dillon has issued a warning: HEAD (the bleeding edge code) is currently very stable. Update now, for it’s going to become pretty unstable soon. The base of the cache-coherency management system will be coming in, which he calls “probably the single most complex piece of code that is planned for DragonFly.”

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Yeah, we got that

Slashdot linked to a IBM Developerworks story about SCTP, a recent addition to the Linux 2.6 kernel. Yeah, we’ve got that too.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

So many BSDs

Jeremy C. Reed has gone through quite an ordeal getting FreeBSD, NetBSD and DragonFly to all boot on his laptop. Check this thread to read the process, to the happy conclusion.

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1.4.2 released

The current Release version of DragonFly has bumped to 1.4.2, which includes a whole slew of recent bugfixes and the like. If you’re running 1.4.1, now’s a good time to update.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code     4 Comments

Schedule a look

Terry Tree has been working on porting the FreeBSD hybrid scheduler; he’d like some input as the merging has been difficult.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

nfs security problem found, fixed

DragonFly inherited a recently-found nfs bug from FreeBSD; however, it has been fixed.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code     0 Comments

Ways to Word

#dragonflybsd denizen jgarcia passed along a link to this article on “Viewing Word files at the command line“. The article says Linux, but there’s nothing really Linux-specific, as it covers various Word alternatives that are all available in pkgsrc.

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