Month: May 2010 upgrade runs using ikiwiki, which I just updated to the latest version.  Everything looks OK, but tell me if I’m wrong.

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GEM and KMS progress for GSoC

Yay, acronyms!  GSoC student David Shao has an extensive page up describing the state of his work so far.

Things to eat up your day

It’s a holiday weekend, at least in the United States, so I’m posting few things that take time to view.

Murray Stokely mentioned this in a comment, but it’s juicy enough to warrant a post: the BSD Conferences channel on YouTube has all 17 of the recent AsiaBSDCon 2010 presentations, plus a lot more from other conferences.

Phil Foglio, the fellow who drew the original BSD Daemon, has several comics strips, all of which are available for free – Buck Godot (complete), MythAdventures (in progress), What’s New with Phil and Dixie (in progress), and Girl Genius (in progress and in print).

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on, Lazy Reading     0 Comments

Messylaneous for 2010/05/27: destroying flash, Unix, programming

I had a sudden buildup of things to link to.  It’s three items, but there’s enough info here to eat a few hours…

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More event tracing work

Aggelos Economopoulos posted more details on his event tracing library, accompanied by a rash of commits.  He’s interested in feedback.

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Big network stack changes

Some recent bugs motivated Matthew Dillon to change DragonFly’s network stack.  It’s a pretty radical simplification, so things like IPv6, ICMP, pf, etc. will need to be tested.  There’s already a first round of changes to try out, served in Git.

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Long-term swapcache results

Matthew Dillon’s been running swapcache on an Intel X-25 SSD on a very busy (in terms of disk) machine for some months now.  Over a long period, the disk activity will wear down the SSD, but it’s important to see if swapcache makes a significant difference with extended use.  Do you have to trade disk life for speedy I/O?  He reports the results in a recent email.

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New HOWTO: swapcache

Dylan Reinhold has contributed a HOWTO document on setting up swapcache.  Thanks, Dylan!

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Last-ditch disk effort

YONETANI Tomokazu pointed out something that could be useful in the future: when you start getting drive errors, before you throw it out, try lowering the speed.  Maybe it’s a cable problem, if you’re lucky.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSD Magazine: Industrial

Not the music, but the setting.  The May issue of BSD Magazine is out, though there isn’t a page for it on the website yet.  Instead, I’ll point at the PDF.

(I posted about the last issue twice, didn’t I?  Oops.)

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Projects and money available

As described on the kernel@ mailing list, there’s several code bounties out now, formed in part from GSoC projects that didn’t get a slot.  All of them have money waiting behind them.  (I’d sure like to see better interrupt routing.)

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Someone is wrong on the Internet!

As McLone points out, the filesystem comparison page on Wikipedia is missing some Hammer details.  Anyone want to fill in the pertinent numbers?

(Title ref.)

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More Gource and BSD

Paul Onyschuk went and created a very neat and very long Gource movie using one of the oldest codebases out there: NetBSD.  It’s available on Vimeo.  His original data is available if anyone wants to try something similar.

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Messylaneous for 2010/05/18: Facebook, fsck

A brief history of fsck (via)  Is “A Brief History of X” a meme all by itself?  Searching on it gave me this book of course, but also this interesting article about Internet history.

I’ve been restraining myself from a Facebook rant (other than deleting my Facebook account), as there’s plenty of people complaining about Facebook out there.  This description, however, is as good a reason as anything for why there’s better choices.

Speaking of getting away from Facebook and fsck, apparently a “dirty Unix joke” made it into a New York Times photo about Facebook alternatives.  (via)

That was my best segue ever.

Totally unrelated now: “Clickykeyboards, and various links about them.  (via)  There’s at least a few person who’s going to read those links and get excited based on a mix of nostalgia and utility.

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Old release users: update pkg_radd

I’m removing the links for the old (DragonFly 2.3 and older) pkg_radd paths on If you have one of those older systems, you can update one line in pkg_radd if it’s useful to you.

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BSD meetup in London

Sevan Janiyan passed along a note: there’s a *BSD meetup at the Barrowboy and Banker pub
by London Bridge, in London, the 27th of May. I’d love to attend, both because it’s BSD and because it’s a pub. That pesky Atlantic gets in the way.

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

BSDCan 2010 videos online

FOSSLC has videos of the presentations from the recent BSDCan.  (via)  I’m listening to Will Backman’s keynote right now about the BSD community based on his BSDTalk work.

Update: Dru has a list of videos and pictures.

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Idle page zeroing committed

Venkatesh Srinivas has been working on idle page zeroing; his work has been committed, and if enabled, should contribute to a teeny speedup.  What’s it do?  It gets memory ready for use when the CPU is not otherwise busy, so that less time is needed to allocate that memory.  It looks like there’s more work on the way, too.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Potential pf update

The version of pf in DragonFly is somewhat long in the tooth, but Jan Lentfer’s volunteered himself for the herculanean job of updating it.  Go, Jan!  Let’s hope this large task is more Nemean  than Augean.

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Have you tried BSDStats?

Marc G. Fournier posted some statistics gathered from his BSDStats service.  It’s possible to activate this right now on DragonFly.  Just put


in /etc/rc.conf.  For details, there’s the man page.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

BSD Magazine: Embedded

A new issue of BSD Magazine is out – this issue’s theme is “Embedded BSD“.

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BSD Events link added

Have I managed to forget all this time to add Dru Lavigne’s excellent BSD Events Twitter feed to my link list on the Digest?  Yes, I did – fixed.

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Rolling everything back

If you have a Hammer filesystem, and you want to roll the entire thing back to a previous snapshot – all files, everywhere – it can be accomplished with one command.

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

Note on NAT

Did you know…  ipfw/natd appears to be broken in DragonFly 2.6?  Using pf is a better choice, at least, but I found it out the hard way.

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AsiaBSDCon videos up

Videos of the presentations at AsiaBSDCon 2010 are up; FreeBSD – The Unknown Giant has a number of them.  Constantine A. Murenin’s Quiet Computing presentation is interesting, especially because it runs on DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, DragonFly     2 Comments

Some pkgsrc reports

I’ve put a few of the reports from pkgsrc builds on DragonFly out.  They’re all using pkgsrc-2010Q1, on i386/DragonFly 2.6, i386/DragonFly 2.7, and x86_64/DragonFly 2.7.  The links in the reports go to the errors that caused each package to not build.  If you happen to see something that has an easy fix, or that you really need to have working, please submit a fix.

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Back in action

Sorry – temporary power outage from high winds killed for about a day.  Back now!

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2.6.3 announcement up

The ISO images have been filtering out to the mirrors for a while already, but the 2.6.3 release is officially announced on the DragonFly website and release page.

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pkgsrc-2010Q1 available in binary form

Binary packages built for DragonFly 2.6 and 2.7 from the most recent pkgsrc quarterly release, 2010Q1, are now available.  The utility pkg_radd will access them, or you can download directly.

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BSDday Argentina paper details

Sdävtaker has posted about the pre-call for papers, for BSDday Argentina.  Check his post for topic and submission details.

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There goes BIND

As previously foreshadowed, BIND has been removed from the DragonFly base system.  Instead, it’s installed from pkgsrc.  Note that this includes tools like nslookup or host.  Instructions after the jump.


Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Heads Up!, pkgsrc     6 Comments

3 things for pkgsrc

From my email to users@:

  • I almost have pkgsrc-2010Q1 builds done for every architecture, so I’ll point the default load location for pkg_radd to them within the next 24 hours.
  • Are you still using a DragonFly system older than 2.4 and downloading binaries?  If so, tell me.
  • A project: enhancing pkg_search and pkg_radd to be able to tell when a package is missing because of license restrictions.  Anyone want to try it?
Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Heads Up!, pkgsrc     0 Comments

2.6.3 out and about

DragonFly 2.6.3 is tagged and available, as previously planned.  You can update to it normally, or go to a 2.6.3 ISO; available at various mirrors.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

BSDTalk 189: TheorArm and Robin Watts

The latest BSDTalk brings you TheorArm and Robin Watts, with discussion of the ARM architecture; my favorite processor type that I’ve never used.  TheorArm was recently relicensed from GPL to BSD thanks to the efforts from people at Google.

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Apache options change in pkgsrc

If you use Apache, as many people do, some of the default building choices have changed in pkgsrc.   Read Matthias Scheler’s post for details.

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May OSBR: Communications Enabled Applications

The May issue of the Open Source Business Resource is out, and the theme is “Communications Enabled Applications”.   Sounds obscure, but it’s about deriving a business advantage from networks.  In fact, one article directly relates to one of my biggest current projects at work.

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