While asking some questions, Alex Hornung let drop some of the details of his Summer of Code devfs project. Sounds like he’s making good progress.
Month: May 2009
Huawei modems, often available as USB attachments, have been problematic on DragonFly. However, it looks like it’s fixed. (I dont have one to test.) There’s a lot of names involved, so I’ll just point to the commit message.
This arrived in my mailbox in dead tree form today, but it’s also online: My favorite magazine has some good thoughts on open source vs. cloud computing, plus one on open source variety, or lack of it. It’s interesting that mainstream articles talking about open source software have moved beyond the forms ‘gee whiz there’s Linux’ and ‘here’s what a software license is’.
When DragonFly was moving away from CVS, the votes were split pretty evenly between Git and Mercurial. DragonFly went to Git, but it’s apparently now possible to use Mercurial with a Git repository.
Statis Kamperis is working on POSIX conformance for DragonFly as his Summer of Code project; he’s posted some questions about the agreement he is given for the Open Group’s test suites. If you’re curious, he links to a copy of the agreement. (I have an I-am-not-a-lawyer-but-have-worked-on-a-number-of-contracts followup)
Hasso Tepper has a “BIG FAT WARNING” about two new issues: threaded programs are broken on bleeding-edge DragonFly because of a possible GCC bug that was only recently exposed, and Xorg in pkgsrc has issues with the Intel driver.
Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert already has one change in that may fix the issue with threaded programs, and is working on the Intel driver issue.
Update: more threading changes.
Dan Chis has posted a summary of his Summer of Code project: debugging multi-threaded applications. He also has some details of his current thesis in there… He’s busy.
Hasso Tepper has some xorg updates to fix problems he’s seen with the intel video driver. The versions of these packages in pkgsrc are old enough that the changes can’t be committed ‘upstream’ to xorg, so he’s attacking the problem from the opposite direction and upgrading the software.
He reported significant EXA performance improvements, so it’s definitely worthwhile. It’s tested on DragonFly but will probably benefit other pkgsrc-using platforms too.
Dru Lavigne has posted links to SummerCamp presentations explaining “What is BSD?”. Whip this out for your mildly confused Linux-using friends.
Sepherosa Ziehau’s recent commit changing how ioapic works may help anyone who has previously had trouble compiling a multiprocessor kernel with IO_APIC enabled. Try it, if that applies to you.
Also, Jordan Gordeev has a potential fix for anyone who has had a failed boot with a ‘BTX Halted’ message; you will have to retrieve it from his Git repo.
Sascha Wildner made two relatively minor commits that solved two long-standing (for me) irritations: a version mismatch in uname for identical versions of DragonFly, and automatic running of newaliases. Both issues have bit me several times in minor but irritating ways over the course of years, and it’s a relief to have them gone. Thanks, Sascha!
Matthew Dillon has added a Makefile in /usr/src/test/vkernel that automates vkernel setup. You can create a virtual system in one step. ‘make help’ in that directory to see all the options.
Hasso Tepper pointed out an interesting problem: problems with unistd.h not being available on DragonFly keep a number of C++ programs from compiling. The fact that this doesn’t happen on other platforms appears to be completely accidental.
… And Antonio Huete Jimenez has described the few steps required to install it.
If you’re running bleeding-edge DragonFly, you’ll need to rebuild world and kernel after this recent change to interrupt counting from Sepherosa Ziehau.
For your weekend reading: A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages. It’s far more clever than the source material suggests. (via)
The newest BSDTalk has a conversation from BSDCan 2009 with 5 different FreeBSD core team members, for 38 minutes.
Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert tagged 2.3.1, which is still in the development branch, so don’t update unless you were already at 2.3. There’s a nice list of commits that went into this tag.
Two recent roguelike items:
The latest @Play column about roguelikes is very long, and that will not be a surprise after you read the title: How To Win At Nethack. I find articles like this fascinating, but then again, I also enjoyed reading through the AD&D Dungeon Master Guide for the charts.
“FreeBSD – the unknown Giant” has beaten me to the post I was intending to make, noting that there’s 4 different BSD releases this week, all of varying sizes, and showing a lot of vigor in the BSD community.
Aggelos Economopoulos added an interesting feature for virtual kernels: the memory of a given virtual kernel is now accessible directly at /proc/$pid/mem .
Hubert Feyrer, for his PhD, put together a Virtual Unix Lab – a whole lab of NetBSD systems for teaching System Administration. It’s a good strategy for an environment where some percentage of the systems will be irretrievably mangled. It’s available as a book.
Antonio Huete Jimenez wrote up his experiences using pkg_dry on DragonFly, which were mostly successful.
He followed up with a script that takes care of the initial setup for pkg_dry, and noted that following pkg_dry in CVS is the best idea at this point, as it’s going through rapid development.
It should be possible to point pkg_dry at pkgbox.dragonflybsd.org or one of the mirrors, and perform binary-only remote installs and upgrades of pkgsrc packages.
Dru Lavigne has linked to the latest issue of the Open Source Business Resource, with a focus on open source in government. The next issue will be “women in open source” (appropriate given recent hullabaloo) – they’re looking for submissions.
Also, Dru made a good point in a separate post, that is connected with the recent kqemu work for DragonFly: if every BSD had a working kqemu kernel module, it would make life easier for people taking the BSDA exam.
Sepherosa Ziehau has added the ability to use High Precision Event Timers (HPET) in DragonFly, based on FreeBSD code. It’s experimental, and he has instructions on how to find if your hardware supports it. It’s apparently a much faster timer than what is used with ACPI, though I do not have details on how that translates into real-world performance.
Johannes Hofmann has an initial version of the kqemu kernel module installable as a pkgsrc package, so that it can be managed the same as with other third-party software. I don’t know if this will actually make it into pkgsrc, but it would be nice if it did.