Month: December 2009

Messylaneous for 2009/12/30

It’s New Year’s Eve Eve, and so here are a bunch of links I’ve built up over the past few days.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, FreeBSD, Goings-on, NetBSD, OpenBSD     5 Comments

4k disk sector support

Newer disks are moving to 4KB sectors (more info), instead of the 512-byte sectors that have been in use for… decades?  There’s been some recent discussion on how to support this, for booting DragonFly.  It should otherwise work.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

pkgsrc-2009Q4 delayed one week

The headline sums it up: the next quarterly release of pkgsrc, which was due on the 31st of this month, will be released at the end of the first week of January 2010.  The alert message cites a number of different issues.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc     0 Comments

Chaos Communication Congress notes

Matthias Schmidt is posting to Twitter about his time at 26c3 with other DragonFly developers, on his own feed and in @dragonflybsd.  (if you are reading this via a Twitter link, you may already know that.)  Follow the #26c3 tag if you want to see all the news about the event.  A quick scan shows some interesting mobile phone security problems have been discovered.  There’s streaming video too.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, DragonFly     0 Comments

Multiprocessor work so far

Matthew Dillon is working on moving more of DragonFly out from under the Giant Lock.  This may mean some instability this week if you’re following the bleeding-edge.  He’s already posted a warning and an explanation (with numbers!) of work already completed.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Heads Up!     2 Comments

pfSense on a podcast

BSDTalk was recently linked here interviewing Randal Schwartz.  Randal Schwartz and Leo Laporte, who create a podcast called “FLOSS 101 Weekly”, now have an interview with Scott Ullrich and Chris Buechler about pfSense.  (via)  It’s a nice bit of symmetry, and Scott was an early contributor to DragonFly – specifically, the installer.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

Pkgsrc-current packages tested

I (that’s Justin Sherrill, for those reading this other places than the Digest) finished a build of pkgsrc-current on DragonFly 2.4.1 – these packages are available, though soon to be outdated by the pkgsrc-2009Q4 release, due 2010/01/01.  This build was mostly to check compatibility before the release.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     1 Comment

Messylaneous for 2009/12/23

Everything that _why the lucky stiff did. (via) _why is one of those things that only the Internet lets exist.  And he used DragonFly!

Roguelike games, evaluated via the Berlin Interpretation, on @Play.  Also, a dedicated Roguelike handheld?

Naoya Sugioka is working on bringing tmpfs to DragonFly – I am a big fan of that idea.

top now uses CTIME, not WCPU.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, NetBSD, roguelike     0 Comments

BSDTalk 183: Randal Schwartz

BSDTalk (4 years old!) has 24 minutes of talk with Randal Schwartz, talking about a whole pile of different subjects. I met Randal before – he’s a decent guy.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on     2 Comments

BSD hacker job available

A recruiter found me through my administrative role for DragonFly in Google’s Summer of Code, and passed along a job description.  I’ll paste it after the cut.  If you’re looking for a job (or know someone who might match this job), contact me and I’ll pass contact information around.

Edit: The recruiter has a similar but non-BSD job also available…)

Man, I hope this works out.  In the job climate we’ve had the past year or so, helping someone get a job is very fulfilling.  Plus, the job sounds cool…


Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on     2 Comments

lwkt_token speedups and other improvements

Matthew Dillon has refactored the lwkt_token code, for an unspecified speed improvement. He’s been doing a lot of MP-lock cleanup recently…

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

How did I get there?

I didn’t set anything up with the Digest and tumblr… Please speak up, if you did it. (found via Google)

Posted by     Categories: About This Site, Goings-on     3 Comments

Avalon (and therefore pkg_radd) is up again was power cycled, so pkg_radd works now, as does

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, pkgsrc     1 Comment

MPLOCK graphing

I love love graphs, and Alex Hornung has created a graph showing the lock contention on a DragonFly system during a buildkernel. (ganked from EFNet #dragonflybsd on IRC)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Package download problems is temporarily down, so pkg_radd will not work unless you set $BINPKG_BASE to a new mirror.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Too much RAM for x86_64?

If you have previously tried 64-bit DragonFly on a system with more than 3G of RAM and it failed to boot, the problem is fixed.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

I see vi everywhere

Following a link from vitunes (which has been updated), I see vimprobable, a vi-ish web browser.   Interesting both for its relentless focus on keyboard controls, and for its old-style quietly angry help (from the FAQ):

How will I know if a website is genuine without a phishing filter?

Use your brain.

Also along the same lines, vimperator.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

Digest Twitterfication

Thanks to the urging and help of Matthias Schmidt and Saifi Khan, posts on the DragonFly Digest now also show on Twitter, as @dragonflybsd.  (well, except for this one, as it would be redundant.)

Posted by     Categories: About This Site, DragonFly     0 Comments

Kernels without warning

Sascha Wildner has added -Werror to the kernel build process.  Warnings will now result in an error that stops the kernel from building.  If you’re a developer, this will force you to create warning-free code when doing kernel development.  If you’re a user, this will result in a cleaner, more stable kernel.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDTalk: Josh Paetzel, iXsystems, FreeNAS

BSDTalk 182 offers a very timely 12 minutes of talk with Josh Paetzel of iXsystems, talking about the recently not-BSD then BSD-again FreeNAS.  (see previous item)

Speaking of iXsystems: they have a new facility.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on     0 Comments

Vi, nvi, vim, variety

Alexander Polakov has suggested that nvi (what you get when you type vi) should be replaced with traditional vi, since that would deliver UTF-8 support, and nvi appears to no longer be updated.  Other than one objection on split screens, I daresay everyone who needs more features treats the system vi as a fallback and has moved to a new editor.  (or that)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

New version of ncurses to test

Jan Lentfer has created an update for ncurses in DragonFly, but wants further testing.  Give it a try if you use a curses-based application.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Pkgsrc 2009Q4 branch coming up

The freeze for pkgsrc-2009Q4 starts December 16th, which means the tentative date for the branch release is right at the start of the new year.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Libtool and some other pkgsrc updates

The package for libtool has been updated in pkgsrc, which touches almost every package.  If you follow pkgsrc-current, that may mean a lot of packages get dragged in for upgrades.

In somewhat less eventful news, postgres 8.4 and python 2.6 are now the default versions of Postgres and Python in pkgsrc.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Time for a buildkernel

If you’re running DragonFly 2.5, Matthew Dillon has changed thread and process structures, meaning that a full rebuild of  kernel and modules is necessary on the next system update.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Heads Up!     0 Comments

Graphical loader, please

I’m pretty sure I’ve linked to this before, but: Oliver Fromme has a graphical bootloader (see example) which can work on DragonFly.  I’d love to see this on DragonFly.

Coincidentally, this article makes an argument for graphic improvements for BSD systems in general that I agree with.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

A little more MP

Matthew Dillon has moved the Big Giant Lock off of a whole bunch of syscalls.  This should make a noticeable difference in a multiprocessing context, though I don’t have measured results to point at.  (hint, hint…)

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

simplepbulk: bulk build wrapper

I have a wrapper script I use for bulk builds of pkgsrc that I think others would find usable.  If you are interested in building some/all of pkgsrc to generate binary packages using pbulk, may I recommend “simplepbulk“?  I’d like to see if anyone uses it on non-DragonFly systems.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

USB work on the way

Several people really want a USB update, even offering a bounty.  Alexander Polakov has volunteered himself for it – a large but worthwhile task.  It’ll be the USB4BSD code, as Alex Hornung recommends.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

New BSD Magazine issue out

The 2010Q1 issue (Is that their numbering now?  I’m not sure.) of BSD Magazine is out.  (via)  Subscribe or pick it up in a local store.  Back issues are still available online, too.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

What if there’s good closed source software?

Open source is good for clashes, and the latest is a vote by GNOME on whether to continue as a GNU project.  (via)  The triggering event appears to be a request from Richard Stallman for GNOME to not mention software that isn’t open source.

The long-term problem with something like that is that closed source software doesn’t go away if you ignore it.  If people want to talk about the closed-source software they are using instead of open-source material, then you have to make the open-source software worth talking about.  Programs don’t improve by beardo fiat.  Plus, it only makes a difference as long as the producers are the consumers of the same software.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Hammer disk removal

Thanks to Michael Neumann, it’s now possible to remove a drive from a Hammer volume.  It’s experimental, so all the standard warnings apply.

This can’t be done on a root volume, for hopefully obvious reasons.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Hammer     0 Comments

Pkgsrc things to do

Proposed changes in pkgsrc:

Please follow each thread; they’re still in progress, so some of those removals may get canceled, or testing completed by the time this is read.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Messylaneous for 2009/12/10

I’ve been building this entry up for a while, so some of these entries are newer than others.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, FreeBSD, Goings-on, OpenBSD, UNIXish     6 Comments

Hammer expanding

Did you know you a Hammer volume can span multiple disks?  And that you can add extra disks later on?  There’s no RAID-like features – it’s just a straight multiple-disk volume, but it works.  The Hammer command to do it is now “hammer volume-add

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Hammer     0 Comments

Hammer saves my bacon

Some of the ikiwiki configuration files on were accidentally overwritten during a software upgrade.  Normally this would mean some work to locate and replace them from backups, but since it was a Hammer volume, a quick look in /var/hammer/usr/… found them for me.

I want to point out what Hammer does, here.  Restoring from backup isn’t new – it is in fact probably one of the most basic and necessary of system administration duties.  However, Hammer makes it so easy that the incremental work of using it falls to almost nothing.  There’s no extra preparation or syntax to learn for retrieval, which is wonderful.  Hammer’s easy fix has helped me out several times now, saving me time that, while probably still successful with any other backup system, would have been taken up just restoring things back to normal.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Hammer     2 Comments

Dan Langille on BSDTalk 181

BSDTalk 181 has a 16 minute conversation with Dan Langille, mostly about the upcoming BSDCan and PGCon.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, Goings-on     0 Comments

If T/TCP fell in the forest, would anyone care?

Aggelos Economopoulos thinks that T/TCP should be removed, and Matthew Dillon agrees.  So, it’ll be gone soon.  Given the description, I don’t think anyone will miss it, so this is a heads-up more on principle than need.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

More people for the 26C3 meetup

There’s more people showing up for DragonFly at the 26th Chaos Communication Congress, in Berlin December 27th-30th.  I’ve posted about it before , but it’s worth mentioning as the end of the year draws close.  Speak up if you can join in.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, DragonFly     0 Comments

More development tools

A number of recent changes will be important to you if you develop on DragonFly:

  • Sascha Wildner has added a indent(1) profile that matches what is usually done in DragonFly.
  • Also, there’s a dragonfly.el for emacs users.
  • Now new, but worth mentioning again: there is an excellent development(7) man page.
  • Alex Hornung has ported and modified FreeBSD’s minidumps, so crash dumps can now be kept smaller than your total physical memory size.
Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, FreeBSD     0 Comments

Hammer version 4 now available

Matthew Dillon has made version 4 of Hammer the default; the upgrade is a relatively painless ‘hammer upgrade’ command.   This new version cuts out a chunk of the disk syncs needed, speeding up Hammer disk operations.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Hammer     0 Comments

New committer: Jan Lentfer

Please welcome the newest committer for DragonFly: Jan Lentfer.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Two twitters and a source

If you can produce an article on open source success factors by December 20th, the Open Source Business Resource would like to hear from you.  Also, the audio of a recent NYCBUG meeting is available online.  Both of those links come from Dru Lavigne’s excellent BSD Twitter feeds.  It’s worth watching the BSDEvents one because there’s literally daily BSD-themed events coming up, and she seems to catch every one.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on, Periodicals     0 Comments

hotplugd added

Alexander Polakov has imported OpenBSD’s hotplugd(8).  It monitors for hotplug-style events, like disk additions and removals, and executes corresponding scripts to handles those events.

AsiaBSDCon Call for Papers

AsiaBSDCon, which is happening the 11th through 14th of March, 2010, has issued the normal call for papers.  (and they nicely posted it to users@)  This looks to be the 4th year of this convention – have any readers here been to it?

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

vkernels and NFS booting

It’s now possible to boot a vkernel using an NFS share as the root.  Now, you can have a networked virtual system!

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

BIND update arrives

Aggelos Economopoulos has committed Jan Lentfer’s update of BIND to 9.5.2-P1.  It fixes CVE-2009-4022, though that bug never affected DragonFly by default.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Holiday links

The end of year shopping season is on many of us again.  I did this last year, and it seemed useful, so here’s another geeky holiday shopping guide.

For DragonFly material, there’s a number of places that will ship you a CD/DVD.

If you want a computer hardware gift, but your friends/family don’t know that much about hardware, point them at Newegg. Tell them the general type of item you want, and the reviews can help them pick.

For general geek gifts, there’s the ever-popular ThinkGeek.  Wandering farther off the beaten path, there’s American Science and Surplus, Ward’s Scientific, Carolina, and United Nuclear.  Creepier: The Bone Room or Skulls Unlimited.

A good gift for the technically minded: a Leatherman Wave.  I’ve tried Gerber multitools and Swiss Army Knives, but I’ve been carrying a Leatherman Wave for so long people turn to me whenever something needs to be cut or opened, because they know I’ll be able to do it.

I’m linking to this even though it’s completely unrelated to this blog’s normal content: The Comics Reporter Holiday Shopping Guide.  It’s comics, through and through, and some wonderful stuff is noted there.

Unlike many other blogs, I don’t get kickbacks or commissions off this.  You can ascribe this to me “keeping it real” or that I’m bad at monetization.  You pick.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

December OSBR: Value Co-creation

It’s a dry-sounding topic, but the articles are interesting: The December issue of the Open Source Business Resource is now available, with “Value Co-creation” for a theme.   I’ll point out “A Social Vision for Value Co-creation in Design“, because it has charts!

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on, Periodicals     0 Comments