Month: December 2006

Jails now with many IPv6 IPs

Victor Balada Diaz has committed his jail work, which adds support to jails for having more than one IP address, and also the ability to use IPv6.

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Pkgsrc binary listing, in order

A resurrected experiment: this local page shows the creation date of each binary pkgsrc package in Joerg’s archive, sorted in reverse chronological order. It’s updated daily. It’s an easy, cheesy way to tell when new packages have been uploaded. (The link for this page is also in the Links list on this page.)

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Preview update and kernel cleanup

Matthew Dillon is performing some significant cleanup of the kernel startup/VM code, so watch out if you are using the bleeding edge code.  He synced Preview before starting, so Preview users can move to the code version just before this (potentially) destabilizing code.

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Two positive notes

Petr Janda linked to a review of the open-source ‘Nouveau’ NVIDIA drivers, which plan to have 3D support.

Also, Gergo Szakal found that a recent poll on the Hungarian Unix Portal listed DragonFly as the 4th most popular BSD-based operating system – more popular than NetBSD.

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Money for code

If you could use over $100 USD, Petr Janda needs someone to port the getcontext and swapcontext calls to DragonFly’s libc, and he’s willing to pay the aforementioned money for it. Hop on now and make some quick money.

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PF book review has a review of “The OpenBSD Packet Filter Book“, which is Jeremy C. Reed’s version of the PF FAQ and other material, in printed form.   It’s available through print-on-demand.   DragonFly is mentioned in there, as we (along with I think pretty much every other BSD) also use PF.

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libpcap, tcpdump updated

Peter Avalos has updated libpcap to 0.9.5 and  tcpdump to 3.9.5.  I never realized tcpdump was a separate utility.

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Booting from USB

User ‘Haidut’ wrote up some notes on how he got DragonFly to boot from a USB stick.  (Summary: it just worked.)

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In an effort to prevent spam messages from showing up in via the mail gateway, some work is being done on the bugs site.  This may cause some bounce messages to show on the bugs@ mailing list.

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An active holiday season

Sepherosa Ziehau’s been busy, committing a bunch of networking updates and improvements to driver support.

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pkgsrc hackathon

Joerg Sonnenberger announced a virtual pkgsrc hackathon, aimed at closing as many PRs as possible.  It’s at the same time as 23c3 – the end of this month.  (Don’t forget the DragonFly meetup, there!)

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est improvements for testing

Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert bought a new laptop, and wants to throttle the speed to reduce heat and power usage.  He’s updated some of DragonFly’s est support from NetBSD’s est, the ‘Enhanced Speed Step‘ driver, which does just that.  (These patches are not yet in the DragonFly src tree.)  If you’re interested, don’t forget estd.

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More papers, please!

In addition to the recent BSDCan 2007 call for papers (mentioned previously), the USENIX 2007 Technical Conference has issued its call for papers.

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1 last step x 10k

Matthew Dillon posted that there was only one symbol left to change for the kernel work.  While anyone was able to jump in, Sascha Wildner went and changed all 10,000+ entries himself.  Thanks, Sascha!

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code     0 Comments MySQL, erlang, and books! has updated again with articles like “Test Your Knowledge of MySQL Topics” and “Reliably Multi-thread Calculations with Erlang“, along with 2 reviews: “Refactoring Databases: Evolutionary Database Design” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer“.  That last one sounds like a good geek gift.

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BSDCan 2007 call for papers

BSDCan 2007 (note to self: go) is happening May 18-19th in Ottawa, Canada, and the initial call for papers is out.

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Much bugs activity has seen a lot more activity lately, with the number of reported issues down by a third, to around 100. If you want to help out, try to replicate an older bug (especially ones from DragonFly 1.4), and mention if it doesn’t seem to be around any more. If you’re a developer, there’s a number of small patches under ‘feature’ that would be easy to check and commit.

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Dru Lavigne has a new article up on, called “Fun with“. Not all of it applies to DragonFly, but it covers some interesting utilities like xnest, DMX, and xwatchwin. lots of articles

Newest on An Updated Look at the LPIC-2 Certification Exam References, Shell Corner: The dspl (Display List) Korn Shell Script, A Survey of Learning Management Systems: Part 2, and Book Review: Programming Embedded Systems, Second Edition.

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pkgsrc 2006Q4 in preparation

Alistair Crooks, on the mailing list, announced that pkgsrc is being ‘frozen’ for the 2006Q4 branch.  That means no major changes for the next 2 weeks, and then a new release of pkgsrc comes out, just in time for the end of the year.

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Upgrading pkgsrc, redux

An oft-asked question about pkgsrc is, “How do I upgrade?”.  There’s a number of ways to do it, with varying levels of danger and speed.  This question has been asked enough times on the pkgsrc-users@ mailing list that Jeremy C. Reed set up a wiki page describing the various tools.  Bookmark it, cause someday you’ll want it.

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SMP on LiveCD?

Something that a lot of people could find useful: an extra multiprocessor kernel on the LiveCD.  It’s apparently easy to add.  (with tweaks)  Any takers before January?

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file (libmagic) upgraded

file 4.19 has been brought into DragonFly by Peter Avalos.

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malloc madness

Vlad Galu posted jemalloc, noting that it performed well when freeing many small objects. (Along the same lines, Thomas E. Spanjaard brought up Google’s tcmalloc, though it’s not complete.) A benchmark showed good results, and Freddie Cash pointed at prior discussion for use in FreeBSD. It’ll take more persuasive numbers to get it in DragonFly, though.

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Bug cleanup time

Since the next release is coming up, I’m trying to clean out as many old bugs as possible.  About a third of the bugs at are cleaned out, but some of the remaining ones are older and may no longer apply.

If you’ve ever posted a bug to the bugs@ mailing list, please give a look and make sure you don’t have any old issues sitting there.

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Binary pkgsrc packages updated

Joerg Sonnenberger’s archive of DragonFly binaries for pkgsrc has been updated. Notably, this includes a DragonFly build of FireFox 2. It’s in the ‘/vulnerable‘ directory, since there’s (eternally) some security issue that qualifies it. ‘pkg_add ftp://path/to/that/firefox2/package‘ will get it installed for you.

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Poll on polling

Matthew Dillon wrote up an idea on how to adaptively deal with interrupt routing.  He’s not working actively on it, so it’s available as a (possibly performance-enhancing) project.

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2,000 posts!

The exact count stands at 2,003 posts with this one.  Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this may be the most frequently updated BSD-oriented news site in existence.

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Easy calculator tip

(via hubertf) has an article up about using bc, the command line calculator.  Basic but useful.  I often type ‘cal‘, thinking that’s what I need for a calculator.

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More usb and network updates

Sepherosa Ziehau, an already-prolific committer, has now committed a large quantity of updates: a sync of USB support from FreeBSD, along with the ural(4) (wireless CardBus) and rum(4) (wireless 802.11 over USB) drivers originally from OpenBSD.

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Various pkgsrc updates

Seen on pkgsrc-users@: A new tool for pkgsrc upgrades, called pkg_rolling-replace. It’s in pkgtools. It builds replacements for programs in order of dependency, without removing everything first. Strangely, it was funded by DARPA.

Also, the latest version of Apache 2.2 has been brought into pkgsrc.  I link to the message because it also describes how to set the 2.2 version as the default for every other package that requires Apache.

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Firewire bug; fixed

A recent FreeBSD firewire bug that could also affect DragonFly is fixed.

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disklabel reader for FreeBSD

geom_nbsd is a module that lets a FreeBSD machine read the disklabels from other BSD machines, including DragonFly.

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Function renaming underway

Matthew Dillon is renaming a number of functions and types (update) to remove some conflicts.

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What nata means for you

Thomas Spanjaard’s ‘nata’ system now has a features description, plus how to patch and install, for those feeling adventurous.

Posted by     Categories: Device support     2 Comments

Extra bpf devices

If you happen to run out of bpfx devices, Joerg Sonnenberger has an easy solution: MAKEDEV more.

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New ATA in but not yet used

Thomas Spanjaard committed his new version (from FreeBSD, avoiding GEOM) of the ata architecture (nata).  It can be compiled with this patch, though it’s not ready for use yet.

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BSDStats: hey, there’s me! sent out a summary of reporting hosts; there’s about 2,000 FreeBSD users and almost nobody else on other architectures.  There’s only one DragonFly user reporting in North America, which I assume is me.

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Software to test

Peter Avalos has a port of OpenBSD’s dhclient program available for testing.  The OpenBSD version runs with reduced privileges, compared to the current DragonFly dhclient.

Also, Victor Balada Diaz has his newest version of the jail code, allowing multiple IPs within a jail and also IPv6.

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New committer: Thomas Spanjaard

The newest DragonFly developer with commit access: Thomas Spanjaard. He’s currently working on an upgrade of the disk system.

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Porting drivers from FreeBSD

Matthew Dillon has added some rough notes on how to port FreeBSD drivers over to DragonFly.

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Hash table out, tree in

Matthew Dillon has removed the global VM page hash table, and replaced it with a per-VM-object red-black tree.  According to his post, memory usage is reduced, with no impact on performance.

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Speedier and simpler access

Matthew Dillon posted an in-depth explanation of how he plans to both simplify and speed up filesystem access, starting after the start of the new year.

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Hackathon happening

I posted about it before, but Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert supplied more details: there’s going to be a DragonFly hackathon at the 23rd Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin at the end of the year.  Visit the IRC channel #dragonflybsd on EFNet if you’d like to coordinate rooms/board/meeting up.

This could be quite good; the recent NetBSD hackathon generated a lot of results.

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virtual virtualization

Dmitri Nikulin happened to post an interesting idea: complete virtualization of DragonFly. (Last paragraph of message.) It’s similar to Inferno.

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