A big article on SSD drives that made me want to buy one. Well, want more.
Hasso Tepper has written up a mini-FAQ for pkgsrc and DragonFly. Among other points, he asks that people try to politely submit DragonFly-specific changes upstream, past pkgsrc, to the software creators themselves. This creates the least amount of work for pkgsrc developers and DragonFly users.
The libtiff package has been found to write out incorrect TIFF files in version 3.9.0. If that’s what is installed on your system, please update now.
DMA, the DragonFly Mail Agent, has been updated so that it can deliver email from cron job output. DMA is a former Summer of Code project to make a local-only mailer for DragonFly systems, so that larger mail transfer agents (like Sendmail or Postfix) are not needed on a system that isn’t designed to receive mail from external sources. There’s a TODO list (click the gitweb link) if you’d like to contribute.
Siju George asked about updating pkgsrc packages, both on DragonFly mailing lists and on pkgsrc-users@. The ensuing discussion can be boiled down to several alternatives: pkg_chk in a separate chroot, pkg_rolling-replace, or pkgin, pointed at avalon.dragonflybsd.org. I’ve used pkg_rolling-replace several times with good results, and it may be possible to convince it to use binary packages, too.
The latest @Play column, “A Date With Asuka“, covers an unlicensed Japan-only roguelike in 3D for the Dreamcast. I had to think about that sentence very carefully in order to type it; @Play is seeking out more esoteric roguelike variants than I thought possible.
The 2.4 release will attach disk drives by serial number. Matthew Dillon’s written up a quick HOWTO that describes how to use it. The interesting effect, as he notes, is that a drive can be attached in almost any way – a firewire enclosure, directly to the motherboard, through a card, etc. – and the machine will still happily boot without any changes needed.
For those of you running DragonFly 2.3.1 or later, I’ve updated the pkgsrc-2009Q2 packages on avalon.dragonflybsd.org to the latest versions on that branch. If you’re curious to see which were updated, I have a list after the cut:
There’s now a counter in the sidebar to this site (look under my email address) that shows how many posts have been made, ever. Not necessarily helpful for you, the reader, but it makes me feel good.
Also, all those posts, back to 2003, are reachable via the archive page.
Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has removed GCC 3.4 and Kerberos 5/Heimdal from the base system. Kerberos hasn’t been building as part of base for a while, and is available in pkgsrc. It was also the last item that requires GCC 3.4, so buildworlds are little quicker now. (Cross your fingers that GCC 4.2 the current version doesn’t break somehow.)
If you have any remaining issues for DragonFly that you want fixed before the 2.4 release in September, link them to the ‘umbrella issue‘ in the bug tracker. It makes them easier to find.
Matthew Dillon’s made some improvements to Hammer’s read and write processes. To quantize this, he’s tested Hammer and UFS with blogbench and written up the results. The tl;dr summary: UFS performs well until the system cache runs out, and then it halts. Hammer has some overhead from saving all history, but doesn’t stop working under a much heavier load.