Month: February 2010

OpenSSL update

OpenSSL version 0.9.8m has been imported by Peter Avalos; this version contains a bugfix for a security issue.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Obligatory iPad mention

The iPad is BSD-based, which is neat.  I like the notion of covering more BSD devices and products here on the Digest.

But: do you like even the vague concept of open source?  The iPad is expressly designed to limit your choices, especially with media consumption and the programs you run.  It’s sort of like owning a TV circa 1975 – you get what large media groups and the network (Apple) want you to see. I don’t want to come across as someone who’s complaining because it’s different – I’m complaining because it’s not different.

There’s other people arguing the same idea, with even more reasonsThis is one of the most specific.  Plus, there’s the natural progression

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Summer of Code mentors wanted

(reproduced from my email to users@/kernel@)

The application period for Google Summer of Code 2010 starts in about a
week. We were able to enter in 2008 and 2009, so I’m optimistic that we
will get in for 2010 too.

Saying “I’m willing to mentor” doesn’t force you to commit yet; you don’t
have to work with a student on a project you don’t find interesting.
However, mentoring is a multi-week commitment to support a student who may
or may not have the best planning skills – please be ready to help.

I need to know soon how many potential mentors we have since we have to
ask for a given number of slots from Google as part of the application
process.  If you are interested in mentoring, speak up here or by email, please. If
there’s a particular project on the GSoC 2010 page that looks interesting,
put your name by it.

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

(b)make install change in pkgsrc

Joerg Sonnenberger announced new behavior in pkgsrc: Performing “bmake install” in pkgsrc with a package that supports DESTDIR will build a binary package and then install from that package.  This means a package will be successfully build before the installation process is started, and I assume is to assist further work down the road.

Details: The old behavior was to build and install directly, which “bmake stage-install” can reproduce.  DESTDIR support means that the software can be installed as non-root.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Works in progress: wifi, unionfs

There’s several projects in the works:

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

More SSD deals

For those wanting to try swapcache(8): Newegg has two deals running:  a Corsair P128 128GB SATA II SSD for $355 and a Patriot PS-100 2.5″ 64GB SATA I/II SSD for $170.  These are probably bigger than what’s needed for using swapcache, but if you’re itching to spend…

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

New committer: Samuel J. Greear

Welcome Samuel J. Greear as the newest DragonFly committer; he’s been around the project for a while, but recently became more active.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

32 to 64-bit Hammer mirroring fixed

Michael Neumann has fixed the ability to stream Hammer data between 32 and 64 bit systems.  However, this is a change to 64-bit systems that requires them to match; make sure that you are not mixing 64-bit systems built before and after this commit on the 21st.

I can’t find the commit message in the mail archive, so I’ll quote it here:


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

Swapcache better than expected

As part of a report on the status of swapcache and tmpfs, Matthew Dillon noted that a side effect of using a SSD for swapcache means that disk activity stays efficient, and the wear meter on the SSD is reduced much more slowly than for regular disk use.

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Programs (re)added to x86_64

Antonio Huete Jimenez notes that some programs have been enabled in the x86_64 build; if you’re running bleeding edge 2.5, please try them and see if they work in 64-bit.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

aps(4) also added

Constantine A. Murenin has committed support for aps(4).  This supports various sensors for disk and mouse activity, and even acceleration sensors.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

igb(4), em(4) testers needed

Michael Neumann has ported igb(4) and em(4), and he needs people with the corresponding hardware to test it.  Those are network cards, if you aren’t familiar with those short names.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Get ready for 2.6

The next release, 2.6, is scheduled for mid-March.  Please make sure things are running well, as there’s a lot of new features already ready for this release.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Heads Up!     0 Comments

Choices for swapcache

This one’s a few days old, but I’m still trying to catch up with all the events lately: swapcache now has two flags to control whether just meta-data or all data is cached for any given set of directories; caching everything is only worthwhile if the swapcache device can keep up with the resulting traffic.

This requires a rebuild of world, if you’re running 2.5 bleeding edge.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Now available: tmpfs

Naoya Sugioka’s tmpfs port is now ready to go.  It’s still considered experimental, but it’s worth trying.  tmpfs(5) is different because it keeps data in RAM once, and pages out only when needed.  This best-case scenario is an improvement to mount_mfs(8) and md(4), its predecessors.

It’s running now on pkgbox64 and already seems to be speeding up the bulk build process.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

More GSoC ideas available for DragonFly

The Google Summer of Code ideas page for DragonFly is growing faster than I expected.  If you have an idea (or, even better, want to take on a project assuming we make it into SoC), take a look.

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

Dear lazyweb: monitoring software needed

Since I have several machines repeatedly building all of pkgsrc now, I want to monitor RAM, disk I/O, CPU, and the like, and keep historical records.  I’ve seen this done with cacti and snmp, and sort of done with nagios.

There must be easier/prettier choices out there.  Any suggestions?

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     7 Comments

Dragonfly and BSD but not this

It’s that Opera thing again.  “Sigh“.

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

IGD support added

Matthew Dillon’s added support for IGD chipsets, found in various N450-based netbooks.  It was tested on a Gateway LT2104u, for instance.  I didn’t realize there still were Gateway computers.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Binary package updates

I’ve been working toward continuous builds of pkgsrc, so that there’s always up-to-date pkgsrc binaries available.  I’ve been posting notes about it too, which I will hopefully be able to automate soon.  For example, Firefox 3.5.8, the most recent version, is already available.

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alc(4) driver added

Samuel J. Greear and Matthew Dillon have ported the alc(4) driver, for wired Ethernet.  This supports the “Atheros AR8131 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controllers and Atheros AR8132 PCI Express Fast Ethernet controllers”.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Teaching down south

‘Sdävtaker’ posted a call for course proposals, for the ECI 2010 conference happening the last week of July at Buenos Aires University.  Proposals are due by March 12th, and Portugese, Spanish, or English are all acceptable.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

Google Summer of Code presentation templates

If you need to talk about/sell the Google Summer of Code idea to people, Google now has a set of templates for GSOC presentations.  Use them to drum up interest, or persuade someone to mentor/be a student.

Messylaneous for 2010/02/16

It’s like someone turned on the activity faucet; there’s so much to post about lately!

  • PkgsrcCon 2010 is May 28th to 30th, in Basel.  The date’s been declared, but not much else – yet.
  • Chunks of KDE in pkgsrc are now updating to the KDE4 versions by default.  This only affects pkgsrc-current users, not pkgsrc-2009Q4.
  • An interesting story about computer manufactuing and MicroSD problems.
  • In Praise of Online Obscurity – this article makes me think of communities like DragonFly and the other BSDs.  In essence, growth causes smaller independent groups to form out of a larger membership, because a social group can only be maintained to a certain size.   Perhaps this is why FreeBSD’s evolved a core group, or other groups form, like Wikipedia ‘editors’.  (via)  I’m catering to my own interests in group dynamics here.
  • Jan Lentfer’s brought in his hostapd and wpa_supplicant work, mentioned previously.
Posted by     Categories: BSD, Committed Code, DragonFly, pkgsrc     2 Comments

Cheap SSD at Newegg, today

For those of you wanting to try swapcache: Newegg is running a deal today: 30G OCZ SSD for $90.  That’s after a mail-in rebate, though.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Bigger /boot

The installer now sets a /boot size of 768M by default; more space for kernels and modules, plus disks these days can take it.

Incidentally, if you’re compiling new versions of your kernel, it’s a good idea to copy your kernel file to kernel.good, and then use that to boot if the version you then compile doesn’t work.  Someday, that will totally save you.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

BPF problem fixed

Guy Harris found a problem with non-blocking reads from a BPF device that’s common to DragonFly, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X.  It’s fixed in DragonFly.

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

Disklabel goes 64

The disklabel64 program will permanently be ‘disklabel’ from now on, with the original disklabel sticking around as disklabel32.   This is for a number of reasons, including 4k physical sector size in newer drives, which is still causing problems for other operating systems.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

New committer: Constantine A. Murenin

Welcome DragonFly’s newest committer: Constantine A. Murenin.  He’s responsible for the sensors framework, and is already busy.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

tmpfs added

Naoya Sugioka’s tmpfs work has been added, with some further changes.  There’s a skeletal man page to look at.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Summer of Code FAQ, calendar, more

Google’s posted a FAQ for Summer of Code in 2010, which includes a timeline.  There’s also a 2010 calendar, which is perhaps most useful in “Agenda” view.  Keep those dates in mind if you are planning to participate.  If you feel like doing some promotion, there’s a section with flyers in multiple languages.

Also, the GSOC 2010 logo.  Logo’s pretty, but typographically, it’s brutal.  More importantly, the student stipend has increased to USD $5,000 for 2010.

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HAMMER config details

Pulled from a larger conversation: a description of the settings for a HAMMER filesystem, and what they mean.  I can tell from experience that extremely active disks will need extra cleanup time…

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Hammer     0 Comments

Default PostgreSQL and Python changes

Postgres will be 8.4, and Python 2.6, as default installs from pkgsrc.  This affects anyone following pkgsrc-current, but if you are using pkgsrc-2009Q4, it won’t matter for a few months yet.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

A BSD cartoon

Brought to you by iXsystems: a BSD-themed cartoon.  We haven’t had one since the one that ran on… 5 years ago?  (via)  Updates each Friday.

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Bizarre boot issue

Matthew Dillon fixed a strange error on boot that had been plaguing some systems.  The problem appears to be some sort of timing issue related to SMP and to other factors as strange as which USB port was being used.  The commit message has more details.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

NFS now defaults to readdirplus

NFS on DragonFly now defaults to readdirplus mounts, which improves directory read speeds.   Testing for speed and compatibility is advised.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Outage Wednesday

Most of the machines will be down for a short period Wednesday; this is for an upgrade that includes an SSD for the recent swapcache work.  Everyone should notice a speedup, since while is getting the SSD/swapcache, a lot of crater’s directories are mounted on other machines via NFS.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Heads Up!     0 Comments

A week’s worth of posts for you

I can’t keep up with all the things to post.  I desperately want to clear my inbox, so here’s a week’s worth of posts all smushed together.  Enjoy!


Hackathon also for pkgsrc, Feb 19-22

Seen via email and Hubert Feyrer’s blog: There’s a NetBSD hackathon planned for February 19th through the 22nd.  The meetup is via IRC.  Since it’s NetBSD, it’ll include pkgsrc, and if it includes pkgsrc, it affects DragonFly.  If you’re interested, show up – even being there to report on packages that compile or don’t (on DragonFly) would help.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, DragonFly, NetBSD, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Jeff Roberson on BSDTalk

That was fast – there’s another BSDTalk already!  BSDTalk 186 has Jeff Roberson, FreeBSD committer.  He’s talking about schedulers and softupdates for a good half hour.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

New wpa_supplicant, hostapd to test

Jan Lentfer has updated wpa_supplicant and hostapd, and while there’s already some postive reports, he’d like more testing in the wild.  Give it a run if you’re already using the prior version.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, Device support, DragonFly     2 Comments

BSD Magazine online now

The first online-only free version of BSD Magazine is out!  It’s good, but there’s no DragonFly, darnit.  Anyway, it’s worth reading if for no other reason than it’s in pleasant, colorful PDF format.

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BSDTalk 185: James Nixon and PC-BSD

James Nixon, iXsystems employee and PC-BSD developer, is interviewed for 16 minutes on BSDTalk 185.

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Messylaneous for 2010/02/05

I’m really behind on my posting (this is why), so I’m piling a lot of stuff in here:

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

Cache-data-as-swap project started

Matthew Dillon is setting up DragonFly to be able to use a fast disk (like a SSD) for disk cache, reducing the effect swap has on speed.  This means very large amounts of data could be read into memory – greater than the available RAM in the system – without having the normal paging out problems that happen when memory is exhausted.   It’ll work for any filesystem on the machine – HAMMER, UFS, or NFS.  His inital notes have more.  Other notes include details on the NFS benefits, and possibilities with SSDsWear-leveling may make SSDs last much longer.

Work has started, and there’s an update (with examples) that people can try, though it may destroy all your data at this point.  Test results in that update show, if I’m reading it right, a better than doubling of speed on a repeated md5 test on a large file when using the new caching system.  This should be a huge benefit.

x86_64/DragonFly 2.5.1/pkgsrc-2009Q4 ready too

The packages from a bulk build of pkgsrc-2009Q4, on DragonFly 2.5.1 for x86_64 have all been uploaded to  Go ahead and upgrade using pkg_radd if you’ve got the right hardware for it.

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SiI 3124 support added

Thanks to some work by Tim Darby, the SiI 3124 SATA controller is now supported.  This, like other SiI devices, should be able to handle hotplugging…

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments