Month: February 2009

New I/O scheduler work

Alex Hornung posted a description of the work he’s done so far on a new I/O scheduler, with some details on his ideas on multiple scheduler levels.  Feedback is welcomed.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

DragonFly on Buzz Out Loud

CNet’s Buzz Out Loud podcast #918 mentions the new DragonFly release, though I haven’t yet listened to it to find out how far they get.  Also, in the comments.  (Thanks, Will Backman)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Mirror in Belarus

RUE Beltelecom has a DragonFly mirror; it includes images, snapshots, and binary packages.  It’s already listed on the download page on the DragonFly website, too.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

em(4) updated; adds a module

Sepherosa Ziehau has updated em(4) to version 6.9.6, with some interesting improvements.  It does possible require loading a module now.  He also has more patches to test.

Commit template returns

Matthias Schmidt readded the CVS DragonFly template. However, git being git, you have to manually bring it down to your local clone of the repo. Do this with:

git config --add commit.template /usr/src/tools/gittemplate
Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Hammer this, Hammer that

Hammer filesystem, meet Hammer OS.  Please don’t take this seriously.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Hammer     2 Comments

More Summer of Code evangelism

If you can see YouTube, you can see a 20-minute presentation from a Philip Johnson about his experiences from Google Summer of Code 2008, where he was a mentor for another project.  If you aren’t familiar with the Summer of Code project, or think that you might participate as a student, this is a good introduction to the concept.

Posted by     Categories: Google Summer of Code     0 Comments

Everyone blogs, sooner or later

Rob Pike, one of the people responsible for UNIX, among other things, has a photo blog.  (via)

Incidentally, his wife’s books are good, and wierd, and I read them long before I had any real idea who Rob Pike was, in a wierd bit of synchronicity.  Early computer science history would be a good topic for Jim Ottaviani to publish, come to think of it…  (also recommended)

Posted by     Categories: Off-Topic, UNIXish     0 Comments

pkgsrc as system performance benchmark

For anyone interested in profiling: I posted details on a bulk build of pkgsrc that seem to imply it’s limited by something other than CPU.  The ensuing discussion had some ideas on how to speed up the whole process.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

New Russian mirror

I’ve set up another mirror at, on some equipment/space/bandwidth kindly donated by GP Internet.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

A cheap backup strategy

Freddie Cash has an interesting writeup of how he put together a very capable and cheap backup system using ZFS; this is part of a larger discussion on Hammer, ZFS, performance and solutions.

Posted by     Categories: FreeBSD, Goings-on     0 Comments

em(4) update

Do you use em(4)?  Sepherosa Ziehau has an improved version for testing.  What’s changed?  Dunno.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment

Some website tasks

I’ve updated the website section of the Projects page on the DragonFly website; if you were looking for some things to clear up, some of them are relatively trivial.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Desktop DragonFly?

Desktop NetBSD” – with the DragonFly LiveDVD and installer, we’re almost able to do the same thing now – a skim of that project page seems to imply we just need to add some more packages.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, NetBSD     4 Comments

Too much work to follow

As I try to catch up with a large backlog of messages (I was traveling), I’ll note that Sepherosa Ziehau has done a lot of work on network card support and Sascha Wildner on WARNS cleanup; both of them have made so many commits in the last few days I’m just going to throw up my hands and point at the date index for this month’s commits.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Guides: netcat

Another one of those tools that can be handy to know: netcat.  Here’s a nice guide about it.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

2.2 is out

DragonFly 2.2 is released!  Visit the release page for details.  As always, please use a mirror when downloading.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     7 Comments

screen, and why you should use it

This IBM developerWorks article about screen goes into a lot of detail about how screen works, and has some nice examples of usage.  (via)

One of the problems with screen is that it has a lot of settings and changes to use, which makes initial adoption difficult.  However, it’s very useful…

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     3 Comments

One bite at a time

This post on Blog Pseudoaccidentale described, by way of a parable, how many people think, incorrectly, they can’t contribute to open source.  (The article says “FreeBSD”, but the rule applies to any open source project)  It’s a matter of doing something, no matter how small, consistently.

I’d even use that analogy differently and say, “How do you eat an elephant?” Hint: see title.

(Thanks, Matthias Schmidt, for the link)

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

Valentine’s Day for an OS

From O’Reilly: a love note for UNIX.  Today’s the day for it, after all.

Posted by     Categories: UNIXish     0 Comments

GSoC 2009: wiki, FAQ available

The wiki from Summer of Code 2008 has been opened up to the world and is being treated as a general resource for mentors and students, so please consult it if you are thing of being either one of those things.

Also, a FAQ for the 2009 session is together.  Applications start in March, so get yourself together…

Update: Dates mentioned here, by me.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Google Summer of Code     0 Comments

telnetd vulnerability fixed

A vulnerability in telnetd code common to FreeBSD and DragonFly was just discovered; it’s been fixed in DragonFly using code from NetBSD in 1995, strangely enough.  (via #dragonflybsd on EFNet)

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, FreeBSD, Heads Up!, NetBSD     1 Comment

BSD in Argentina

‘Sdävtaker’ posted a note about BSDday-AR, happening in Buenos Aires on May 29th and 30th.  There’s a Spanish version of the site; no English yet.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions     1 Comment

More about epoch than you ever knew

There’s an extensive article on “Unix’s Magical Moment” up on the O’Reilly site, with more details about that upcoming 1234567890 epoch time.  That moment is probably happening very close to the same time you are reading this.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

AsiaBSDCon schedule posted

Hiroki Sato has posted that the schedule for AsiaBSDCon 2009 is now available.  It’s happening in March, and registration will be available soon.  There’s still time to get a paper in, if you hurry…

Posted by     Categories: Conventions     0 Comments


Matthew Dillon has updated pkg_radd to download based on the uname of the system where it’s run.  This means binary downloads can be keyed to the appropriate release, instead of just whatever’s most recent on pkgbox or any of the mirrors.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

BSD Magazine: NetBSD

There’s a new issue of BSD Magazine out, and it’s (almost) all NetBSD.   Apparently there’s been several issues, and I’ve been slack in covering them.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     2 Comments

Python goes bump

The default version of Python in pkgsrc is now version 2.5.  Be ready for this on your next upgrade.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc     0 Comments

More test opportunities

Not only is there going to be BSDA exams available at AsiaBSDCon, but there is now a permanent testing facility for the BSDA in Brazil.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, Goings-on     0 Comments

BSDTalk 170: McKusick at DCBSDCon

BSDTalk 170 has Marshall Kirk McKusick (His first name’s Marshall?  Thought it was Kirk.) talking almost an hour of BSD history at the recent DCBSDCon.  I’m assuming it’s going to be the first of several recordings coming from that event.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, Goings-on     0 Comments

2.2 update 2

Matthew Dillon posted another summary of the road to the 2.2 release, scheduled forFebruary 15th.  Among other things, this release will be available in a LiveDVD form which looks to be about a gigabyte in size with all the added packages.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Art & Code, EuroBSDCon, projects

The FreeBSD Foundation is looking to give people money to work.   (pdf)  Specifically, they have USD $30K to give to people wanting to work on FreeBSD subsystems.   Fight global recession!

EuroBSDCon 2009 is being held September 18-19th in Cambridge, UK.  That’s a long way off, but they just opened their call for papers.

Art & Code is March 7th, at Carnegie Mellon.  “Programming for Artists” – it’s cheap, and the output should be interesting.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: FreeBSD, Goings-on, Off-Topic     0 Comments

Badges for you

I’ve updated the images page on the DragonFly site.  It now has some added wallpaper and DragonFly badges for you to use as needed, and it’s all thumbnailed to make it easier to browse.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly     3 Comments

Opinion time

I like the smaller font size on the DragonFly website, because it packs in more information, but it throws off the visual balance of the sidebar. How about: ?

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     4 Comments

Google SoC 2009: keep thinking

Matthias Schmidt has created a page for DragonFly project ideas, for Google’s Summer of Code 2009.  (Nobody’s accepted yet, but we were last year and I’m optimistic we can be again)  If you would be available to mentor, add projects you’d enjoy mentoring.  If you’ll be an eligible student, give it a read.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly     1 Comment

First highlights from DCBSDCon 2009

Dru Lavigne was at DCBSDCon, and her initial notes mention Robert Luciani’s talk on threading in DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, DragonFly     2 Comments

More PDP-11 programming

Was it really this painful to program a PDP-11?  I can only imagine every other alternative was worse.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: UNIXish     1 Comment

@Play: Spelunky

@Play has a new column up, this one about “Spelunky”, a tile-based underground exploration game.  This game’s new and has been getting some buzz; it’s a sidescroller game that has aspects of roguelike play.

Also, this column is the 50th @Play column and, at the bottom of the page, has a nice list of past articles by topic.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Last 2.0 package build

One last build of pkgsrc 2008Q4 is complete on; 2008Q4 packages for 2.2 will be available at time of release.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

<3 1234567890

The epoch time is going to reach 1234567890 near Valentine’s Day, as noticed by Hubert Feyrer.  The extreme nerdiness of that moment makes it that much more entertaining.

Posted by     Categories: Off-Topic     0 Comments

Yes, there’s 2.2 packages

Thanks to Matthias Schmidt donating some machine time, I have pkgsrc 2008Q4 packages built for a recent DragonFly 2.1 system but labeled 2.2 already built.  They’re uploaded to and should be available on a mirror by the time of the 2.2 release.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Feature Freeze is here

As Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert notes, DragonFly is now in a ‘Feature Freeze’ for two weeks.  Please work on bug fixes in the intervening timeframe, and push them to the ‘master’ branch.  Changes for the release will be pushed to the 2.2 release branch.   Matthew Dillon has more details.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Heads Up!     0 Comments

BSDPhone possible

This has been all over the Intarwebs at this point, but: there’s a good rumor that the next Sidekick phone will be running NetBSD on the inside.  Danger, the company that makes the Sidekick, was bought by Microsoft, which makes this a BSD-based phone produced by Microsoft.  I never thought I’d type that sequence of words together.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, NetBSD     0 Comments

February OSBR: Commercialization

The February issue of the Open Source Business Resource is out, focusing on “Commercialization”.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Periodicals     0 Comments

Getting ready for 2.2

A post from Matthew Dillon notes that development will go into a ‘mini-freeze’ for two weeks while the 2.2 release is put together, along with news of a DVD release for 2.2 that includes many prebuilt packages, and some Hammer details.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Alternatives to spending money

Dru Lavigne has an article up at Wazi talking about open source alternatives, on a product by product basis.  I’m looking forward to part 2, where she will look at Visio alternatives.  (via)

The Wazi site has some other interesting comparisons, too, on databases and licenses.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment