Month: October 2010

Google Code-In tasks and small setups

I updated the projects page for DragonFly with some labeling of potential work for Google Code-In.   Pratyush Kshirsagar suggested porting busybox, which Chris Turner countered with flashdist/flashrd.  ‘joris dedieu’ followed with beastiebox.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

NYCBSDCon early registration extended

The early bird registration (a cheap $95) for NYCBSDCon has been extended an extra week to match how long they ran it previous years.  November 7th, it goes to $125 and walk-in will be $145.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, DragonFly     0 Comments

ral(4) support on the way

Chris Turner is working on ral(4) support, specifically the eee901’s 2860 network chip.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

DragonFly BSD 2.8.2 is officially released

See the announcement and the release notes.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Heads Up!     2 Comments

Return of the JEDI^wGUI!

The index page of the DragonFly site has been updated by Matt Dillon with some notes regarding the status of the 2.8 release. Among these, it is mentioned that the GUI image will be making a return for 2.8! There will be no DVD image this time, only an image suitable for writing to a disk, such as a usb stick.

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

Google Code-In project notes

I’ve coded some tasks on the DragonFly projects page for Google Code-In.  (Application is in already.)  If there’s any additional DragonFly projects appropriate for 13 to 18-year old students, that’s the place to add it.  The application period ends the 29th at 23:00 UTC, so don’t take your time.

Fix for x86_64 and non-English LANG users

If you’re using DragonFly x86_64, and set LANG to something other than English, you will get crashes from programs using pkgsrc’s gettext-lib.  Francois Tigeot has a fix which is going into pkgsrc, though I don’t know if this will show up in pkgsrc-2010Q3.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

Release… soon!

The 2.8 release hasn’t quite happened yet.  But soon!

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

More quickstart work

Siju George has been fleshing out his ‘afterboot’ style page, though now it’s “Environment Quick Start“.  Good to look at if you are, say, installing a 2.8 DragonFly image.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

2.8 release tomorrow!

DragonFly 2.8 (technically 2.8.1; see here for the .1 changes) is due to be released tomorrow.  There should be at almost the same time pkgsrc 2010Q3 packages available.  There will also be a LiveDVD for this release, too, though the window manager has changed.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Heads Up!     3 Comments

UP or SMP choices for booting

DragonFly has shipped with a uniprocessor kernel by default forever.  Shipping with a SMP kernel may not work as well for all possible combinations.  With some recent changes by Matthew Dillon, both types of kernel are present and can be picked from at boot time – with the LiveCD!

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

How to run jackd

Chris Turner posted details of how he gets jack (“a low-latency audio server”) to run on DragonFly.  Your mileage may vary.

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

BSD Show!: Jon Hixson

The BSD Show! has a 20-minute interview with John Hixson, known for working on pc-sysinstall.  (See also)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

Lazy Reading: Cute films, app stores, boom boxes

Whoops!  This should have gone up last night.  I’m almost waxing nostalgic for this one.

  • Two words you never thought you’d see together: “heartwarming” and “single system image computing”.  I think this is how we should document everything for DragonFly.  (via)
  • Apple’s bringing the App Store to the Mac platform, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.  Ani Dash has a writeup of the various “app store” platforms out there.  pkgsrc (and FreeBSD/OpenBSD ports) would certainly count.  Surprisingly, the application count for pkgsrc exceeds most of the other stores he lists.
  • Aw, no more cassette Walkmans. (via)  Nowadays, it’s difficult to not take music with you wherever you go.   In the 1980s, there was no other way to bring your music with you, except maybe a lot of batteries and this.  I loved my crappy JVC dual tape deck.

Not quite the same model, but still crap

I am totally stealing the horizonal evocative image idea from things magazine.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Lazy Reading     1 Comment

KMS and GEM work, for cash

There’s still no support for KMS/GEM on any most BSDs, though there are people interested in it for FreeBSD.  One of DragonFly’s Summer of Code projects was just that, though it’s not in a state where it can be really used.

Another BSD?

Scott Ullrich, who has worked on several BSD-related projects, including DragonFly, has something called vCloudBSD, about which you now know as much as me.  It looks to be a FreeBSD auto-installer for virtualization, though I’m sure I’m overgeneralizing.

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



Posted by     Categories: Off-Topic     0 Comments

Conventions conventions conventions!

Hasso Tepper helpfully forwarded announcements for the Call for Papers for both EuroBSDCon 2011 and AsiaBSDCon 2011.

Also, there’s probably going to be DragonFly people at 27C3, and I know there’s going to be some at NYCBSDCon 2010.  The early registration discount for NYCBSDCon only lasts about 10 more days, so jump on it while you can; it’s crazy cheap.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, DragonFly     0 Comments

Google Code-In: maybe

I’ve applied on behalf of DragonFly for Google Code-In.  It’s similar to Google Summer of Code, but focuses on 13-18-year-olds and smaller tasks.  It runs over the year-end, and we’ll know if we’re in by November 5th.

In the meantime, if you have ideas that could fit the program (see task list at the Google site), please put them on the DragonFly project page.

KDE4 patches to try

Alex Hornung has some patches that allow KDE4 to build on DragonFly.  They aren’t in pkgsrc and not all in KDE yet, so try them out directly if you want KDE4, for now.

Update: based on something Alex said on IRC… they’re in KDE4 now.

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

psm(4) update

Antonio Huete updated psm(4) using code from FreeBSD; I don’t think it’s been committed yet but the patch is available.  This will be especially valuable to you if you have a synaptics touchpad; it enables many of the functions.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, FreeBSD     0 Comments

Another way to edit

The website is a wiki (ikiwiki, to be exact) and any page on it can be edited.  You have to create an account, first, which only requires picking a username and password.

However!  If you have an account on where it is hosted, you can check it out via git, edit any number of pages using your favorite editor, and commit it back and the pages will automatically rebuild.  The commit will even show up like any other change.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Another DragonFly site

Pratyush Kshirsagar has put together a website describing his proportional RSS work for DragonFly.  He may have more content in the future.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

uguru for ABIT for us

Sascha Wildner has added uguru(4), from OpenBSD, to support the microcontroller on ABIT motherboards which report on temperature/fan speed/voltage.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, OpenBSD     0 Comments

DragonFly 2.8 branched: changelog

DragonFly 2.8 has been branched, with the release anticipated for the end of this month.  I’m building packages right now for it, so we should have binary packages ready at release.  A convenient git-summarized changelog exists to track differences since 2.7.3, at least.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

More reading

Venkatesh Srinivas has a large writeup describing just how the memory allocator in DragonFly changed from 2.6 to the upcoming 2.8 version.   In all that text, you may notice the cheering statistic that it gave a 20% improvement in sysbench results.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     2 Comments

Lazy Reading: puzzles, git, old things

Something for everyone this week.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on, Lazy Reading, roguelike     3 Comments

New starting page

Siju George found no equivalent of OpenBSD’s ‘afterboot‘ quick-start page in DragonFly, so he went and created it himself.  Go, read.

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

ACPI and all its parts

YONETANI Tomokazu wrote out a nice explanation of acpi(4) and the myriad ACPI subsystems which can be enabled or disabled at boot time.  If you do have booting problems, it’s usually ACPI, and it’s usually only one small part.  Finding that small part is easier with this list.

vkernels: now with less disk!

Rumko came up with some changes for vkernel(7) that, among other things, made it possible to run them diskless; almost like booting a thin workstation.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

SSHGuard tool

Found via a random Google search: SSHGuard.  It’s not available in pkgsrc, but it’s in other BSD packaging systems, and it lists DragonFly on the site as a possible host.  It monitors various services and blocks access to overly aggressive connections using (on DragonFly) pf.  This is similar to scripts discussed here in the past.  It also may be useful in light of the recent FTPd problem.

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

OpenSSL and DSO support

OpenSSL on DragonFly can now dynamically load engines (cryptographic support modules) at runtime, thanks to Peter Avalos.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Slightly less hassle for Linux support

Something that always got with with Linux binary support was that I couldn’t get the Linux /proc filesystem to automatically mount on boot.  I’d end up doing it by hand later, right after I tried to start a Linux binary and had all sorts of issues.  Pierre Abbat had this same problem, and Sascha Wildner has the answer: “linux_load=yes” in /boot/loader.conf.

Passport support

If you were thinking of buying a Western Digital Passport USB drive, it’s supported on DragonFly, thanks to Dylan Reinhold and Alex Hornung.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

New loader, minus bars

For those using the release version of DragonFly, the new C-based loader in 2.8 will look like this.  Well, not exactly.  This is from a proposal from Alex Hornung that removes some extra lines, but I expect this is what you’ll see.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

BSD Magazines: VPNs and BSD

The newest issue of BSD Magazine is all about VPNs and BSD.  It’s free to read in PDF form.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

BSDTalk 200: Kjell Wooding and mg

The 200th (yay!) episode of BSDTalk has 14 minutes of conversation with Kjell Wooding, talking about mg, a sort of teeny emacs included with OpenBSD.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on, OpenBSD, Periodicals     2 Comments

Firefox really, finally, actually fixed

Matt Dillon and Venkatesh Srinivas conspired to fix another nmalloc issue, which should resolve any remaining problems people were having with Firefox, and possibly other applications as well. Due to an oversight of sorts, all locking operations on nmalloc’s depot were ineffective, as if there were no locking at all. Curiously, it worked remarkably well considering such a large race condition was present.

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

Updated index and history pages

The DragonFly website just received a healthy update to the index and history pages. A refresh of the website, although minor, has been long overdue.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Hey, project pages do work

Here’s something: Pratyush Kshirsagar came along, saw the proportional RSS project idea, and did it.  It’s nice to have a completed project just sort of fall out of the sky.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

HEADS UP: ftpd issues

If you run any flavor of BSD, you should make sure your ftpd is off, as Mathias Schmidt points out based on this recent security advisory.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Heads Up!     1 Comment

NYCBSDCon 2010: who’s going?

I’m going.  Venkatesh Srinivas is going.  Who else is interested?  (See the site.)

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

Another reminder: update configure files

When compiling software on DragonFly but outside of pkgsrc, and you have trouble with configure, remember you can always manually pull down new versions.  You’re welcome, future me.

Installing a vkernel

I’m linking to this commit message from Matthias Schmidt simply because it has the correct invocation for installing a vkernel, and I know this will come in handy, someday.

Chroot and pkgsrc tips

Chris Turner wrote some notes about building pkgsrc packages in a chroot, including the handy tip of using


to run and display a GUI-using app under the chroot.

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

BSDTalk 199: John Hixson and PC-Sysinstall

The almost-to-200 expisode of BSDTalk has 14 minutes of conversation with John Hixson about PC-Sysinstall and what it could replace.

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

Firefox fix found

If you’re running DragonFly 2.7 and you’ve noticed Firefox crashing on you, Matthew Dillon has some potential fixes.  Update/rebuild to see if it helps.

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

Lazy Reading:books, talks, games, games

    This Lazy Reading post actually has some good lengthy reading in it.

    • Modern Perl: The Book: (actually a pre-print draft)  Even if you don’t know Perl, I’ve always liked the way the author, chromatic, writes.  Many articles about a language or other technical subject tend to either wander about loosely or become a ‘shopping list’ of actions, but chromatic’s work retains focus.
    • Robert Watson presents Capsicum; a recent USENIX talk on Youtube. (via a number of places)
    • 12 Forgotten Games – the slideshow is of most interest.  (via)  Online games that predate the vast swarm of today’s titles.  MUDs, MUSHs, roguelikes, etc.  The nice thing about the slideshow is the link on each slide to a still-running, still-accessible online version of that game.
    • Kieron Gillen‘s moving away from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, a gaming review site that has some honest to goodness decent writing.  (My Lazy Reading posts are similar to their Sunday Papers for a reason.)  One of his articles was all about ZangbandTK.  I was all set to link to that in pkgsrc, but it’s not there – just games/angband-tty and games/angband-x11.  Darnit.  Anyway, read his article and then go play something roguelike.
    Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Lazy Reading, roguelike     0 Comments

    How to arrange your vm_map

    Based on a recent project list entry for “changing the vm_map lookup” (currently last item on the page),  Venkatesh Srinivas wrote up a bit more information on it, linking to different strategies for arranging the data.  Good reading for those who like data structures.

    Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

    x86_64 testing available

    Matthias Schmidt has set up a x86_64 DragonFly machine at  Anyone wanting to try 64-bit testing can use a vkernel on that machine.  Mail him for an account.

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

    Open device driver development, anyone?

    Hasso Tepper posted a link to something I had only heard about when it didn’t exist in physical form: the Open Graphics Device v1.  It’s possible to get one if you’re going to write support for it.

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

    OSBR: Sales

    The October issue of the Open Source Business Resource is out, with Sales as the theme.  The very first article talks about something dangerous: turning open-source users into customers.

    Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Periodicals     0 Comments