Month: September 2006

Filtering bridge successful


Gergo Szakal managed to get a DragonFly system running as a filtering bridge using PF; his writeup on how he did it can be found on the wiki.

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Major kudos


Much thanks is due Jason Watson, who donated a new server to Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert. This new, more powerful server is bugs.dragonflybsd.org, builds the snapshot ISOs, and is one of the mirrors for DragonFly releases.

Simon added “if you have spare/old hardware which you will throw away anyways, don’t hesitate to ask if somebody can use it for dragonfly.”

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pf in 3 parts


Daniel Hartmeier recently posted several chapters from a now-canceled book that describe using and managing PF, on undeadly.org. These should also generally apply to DragonFly’s version of PF.

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Summer of Code wrapup


Hubert Feyrer posted a link to his summation of the Google Summer of Code projects for NetBSD.   Included is a description of DragonFly (and pkgsrc) developer Joerg Sonnenberger’s pkg_install work.

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OpenSSH and a complaint


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has imported a newer version of OpenSSH.  Along with this, he pointed out that the current method of importing 3rd-party code into DragonFly could be made much simpler by using CVS vendor tags.

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gcc sorta updated


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has imported – but not yet hooked into the system – gcc 4.1.1.

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Bye bye boot0


If you are running DragonFly as the only operating system on your computer, there’s not much point to having a boot menu installed.  If you want to speed up booting, my first guess at how to get rid of it works, plus Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert describes how to back it up.

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EuroBSDCon registration is open


Massimiliano Stucchi announced that registration for EuroBSDCon 2006 is now open.

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Use pkgsrc? Like to talk?


Jeremy C. Reed is looking for someone from a user perspective who has been using pkgsrc  and had experience with the old dfports system.  This is apparently for an article.

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Old 1.4 packages going away


Joerg Sonnenberger’s getting rid of the compiled-on-DragonFly-1.4 pkgsrc binaries; building from source should still work, but an upgrade to 1.6 is probably a good idea anyway.

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Messages to ignore


Some changes Matthew Dillon made lately will cause some harmless warnings at shutdown.

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pkgsrc removals


Some packages are going to be removed from pkgsrc in the next release.  Maybe XFree86 too.

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Linux support isn’t branded


Unless it’s with a very old Linux binary, you no longer need to use brandelf(1) to run Linix binaries; you just need pkgsrc: emulators/suse100_base and a symlink.

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bsdtar now in use


Peter Avalos has switched DragonFly to use bsdtar, though CNU tar will still be available through the next release, and always available from pkgsrc.

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Full new set of pkgsrc binaries


Joerg Sonnenberger has uploaded the full set of pkgsrc binary packages for pkgsrc-2006Q3 to his site.  (See the earlier message for the link.)  Please test, especially if you are a KDE or GNOME user.

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Tip pile


Pulled from many other conversations: a number of tips on how to burn CDs with cdrdao, save your shell command history, and estimate how much contention is caused by locking on a multiprocessor system.

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BIND upgraded


Victor Balada Diaz has imported BIND 9.3.2-P1.

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Crashdumps explained


A question about saving dumps from a crash led to some explanations of the process.

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nullfs much improved


Matthew Dillon has committed a number of improvements to nullfs put together by him and Joerg Sonnenberger. The biggest changes are that nullfs can now be mounted recursively, and does not have to have a distinct mounting path; e.g. mount ‘anywhere’.

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Next pkgsrc release available for testing


The 2006Q3 pkgsrc release is coming up, and Joerg Sonnenberger has built a good number of the binary packages for DragonFly using that release.  Please test and report issues.

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Lowering electricity usage


As part of a larger discussion on users@, I wondered what can be done to reduce power usage.  There’s different options available, but it doesn’t matter much unless you have multiple servers.

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Back to bsdtar


Peter Avalos has updated libarchive and bsdtar to version 1.3.1. This leads to the question: should GNU tar be replaced with bsdtar, in DragonFly?

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Mumble to a new shell with chsh


The tersely named chsh command is what changes a user’s shell: Gergo Szakal has the best description of several on how to use it.

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cpdup examples added


Matthew Dillon has added documentation of how to use cpdup for incremental backups, and some scripts that show useful examples.

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Another BSDCertification survey result


BSDCertification.org has the results of their “Test Delivery Survey” available as a PDF.  It “summarizes the results from a recent survey of potential testing candidates to determine their geographic locations, the price they are willing to pay to take an examination, and their thoughts on various methods for delivering IT certification exams.”

It’s mind-bogglingly complete like many of their reports, though I question the idea of surveying to see what price people will want – the only price anyone can agree on is ‘free'; nobody volunteers to pay more money, no matter how realistic the price.

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Victor Diaz, new committer


Welcome to the newest committer: Victor Balada Diaz.

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Digging into a complaint


OnLAMP.com has a 3-page interview of Charles M. Hannum, recently known for describing NetBSD as ‘stagnant‘.   DragonFly gets a slight mention.

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NFS locking: no good nowhere


A conversation about NFs led Matthw Dillon to give a short description of locking under NFS for most any operating system: generally broken.  DragonFly clusters ought to, in contrast, work.

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Test virtual page tables


After making some adjustments, Matthew Dillon created a new test program for his virtual memory page tables.

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CVS updated


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has imported CVS 1.12.13.

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Watch out for virtual memory map issues


Matthew Dillon warns that he is doing some virtual kernel memory mapping work; it may destabilize the bleeding-edge of DragonFly.

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NYCBSDCon speaker needed


Are you a DragonFly user who can give a talk at NYCBSDCon, October 28th-29th?  If so, contact Matthew Dillon.

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bsdstats.org script


As Oliver Fromme found, bsdstats.org has a script that reports on BSD usage. It’s easy enough to run on your own, though it could be added to the base DragonFly system.  (which would no doubt affect the per-flavor BSD scores on the site.)

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Small projects


Want something to do?  Bring dcron to feature-parity with vixiecron (check end of post), or shave some time off the DragonFly boot process.

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Postgresql introduction


Adrian Nida was looking for a ‘how-to’ for Postgres. Petr Janda supplied one.

If you’re unfamilar with Postgres, Postgres is to MySQL as BSD is to Linux.

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UnixReview: certification, and a book


UnixReview.com has a light week, this week: Exploring the RFID+ Certification and a review of the book CCNA Official Exam Certification Library.

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Much cleaner now


Peter Avalos has finished making all of src/games WARNS6 clean.  (i.e no warning messages from the compiler even when it’s set to the highest warning level)  It was a pretty big task, too. (etc. etc. etc.).

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More on startup


To go with an earlier post about rc and launchd, Rahul Siddharthan described a similar tool from Ubuntu Linux: Upstart.

Strangely, one of the listed reasons for Upstart is that Apple’s launchd isn’t free enough in GPL terms, but it’d probably be easier (in licensing terms, thanks to the BSD license) to integrate launchd in DragonFly than the ‘more free’ Upstart.

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How to set up a supplicant


Sepherosa Ziehau has a description of how to set up your DragonFly box as an 802.1x client, whether wired or unwired.

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BIND better


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has fixed a recently-discovered BIND security problem.

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Speedy shutdown


Rahul Siddharthan asked why BSD shutdowns happen so much faster than with Linux. Out of a number of responses, Oliver Fromme seems to have the most complete writeups.

While on the topic, I posted a note about Apple’s replacement for rc/init/inetd: launchd.  It has been partially ported to FreeBSD, though it’s not in the base system.

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-in case you need it


Delete files that start with – by preceding the filename with two dashes. Someday, you’ll thank me and the 5 people that answered this question on users@.

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OpenSSL upgraded


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has imported OpenSSL 0.9.8c, which fixes a recent security issue.

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Touching a lot of files


Matthew Dillon, in his effort to create virtual kernels, is renaming the kernel functions malloc(), free(), and realloc(). (They’ll be prefixed with a ‘k’.) The procedure’s happening already.

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GNOME side effect


Julio M. Merino Vidal is working on improving GNOME support in NetBSD and pkgsrc; this has some side benefit for DragonFly, since we use pkgsrc too.

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A trend in project management


Seen today on Slashdot: A longtime Debian developer is leaving the project, saying, among other things, that a more direct leadership structure, similar to Ubuntu, would prove more effective. Compare that to Charles Hannum’s “NetBSD is stagnating” message, where he also says a stronger leader for NetBSD would help.

This idea matches up with one of my favorite books: The Mythical Man-Month, where Frederick Brooks mentions that a software project should be led by an experienced worker, rather than by committee. It is also similar to the Linux kernel development model (though there’s plenty of other factors that affect it) and other things, like Perl’s pumpking.

On the other hand, there seems to be a cycle where a particular Linux distribution becomes ‘cool’ for about a year or two – Debian, or maybe Slackware, then Red Hat, then SuSe, then Mandrake, then Knoppix, and now Ubuntu. Yes, it’s an inexact timeline.

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rtw(4) added


Sepherosa Ziehau has continued his extensive networking upgrade, adding the rtw(4) driver which works in a number of the more recent wireless cards.

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Virtual kernels on the way


Matthew Dillon’s been thinking about how to deal with clustering. Instead of partitioning out memory, disk, or CPU resources across the network, it’s possible to create virtual kernels that can then be broken out as individual units for local or remote tasks. (Much easier from a local security and debugging point of view.) He’s followed up with some comments on anticipated speed and relationship to a similar model of User Mode Linux (“UML”).

The bonus: this feature may be available by the time of our next release.

Update: More on security, translating between real and virtual kernels, and how it’ll significantly speed development. That last link can also be taken as a fine example of impatience.

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What hardware used to do


Bill Hacker, the DragonFly mailing lists’ resident Old Person, wrote up his experiences in antediluvian times with computers that did clustering in hardware, similar to what the DragonFly project is trying to do in software.

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hostapd(8) arrives


Sepherosa Ziehau has added hostapd(8) support, plus nVidia MCP61/65 GigE support to the if_nfe driver, from FreeBSD/OpenBSD.

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BSD Installer changes coming


Chris Pressey wrote a detailed list of the changes he is planning for the next version of the BSD Installer. It was on the BSD Installer mailing list, which has no web archives that I know of, so the body of the message is pasted here:

More…

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Now that’s red!


Jr Aquino handed in a new dragonfly photo to the project.

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What’s clustering for?


Matthew Dillon posted some of his thoughts on how DragonFly’s clustering support (when ready) will help the average user.

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wi, controlled


Sepherosa Ziehau has created a framework for controlling transmission rates, for wireless.

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