Month: December 2010
Another bus bites the dust: EISA is no more on DragonFly. I don’t know if there’s even any system that DragonFly could boot on and would use this. Still, remove your hats and enjoy a moment of silence.
The planned freeze is underway; so pkgsrc-2010Q4 should arrive soon. How soon? January 1st, if it’s by the traditional schedule.
Apparently there’s a lot of DragonFly people going to the 27th Chaos Communication Congress. Of course, I don’t know if there’s any tickets left at this point.
Matthew Dillon fixed a rare and difficult-to-find bug on x86-64 Dragonfly. This means much more of the system can be run ‘MPSAFE’, or without the Giant Lock. Watch for this soon if you’re running 2.9.
Ed Smith was thinking of working on sysctl documentation, but as it turns out, a lot of it has already been done via Google Code-In; Samuel Greear recently committed a lot of it. (Though there’s more sysctl work possible.)
While on that topic, Samuel Greear also posted a lengthy summary of all the Code-In work done so far. We need more code-related tasks! The existing ones have been so popular that they’re all getting done, quickly.
Tim Bisson posted a note on the progress he and Pratyush have made on a virtio driver for DragonFly, ported from NetBSD. This is for use in virtualized environments; his post links to graphs (yay!) that show the performance improvement over emulated IDE. His note also links to the code and documentation.
Bleeding-edge DragonFly may suffer some instability issues; Matthew Dillon is making scheduler changes to accomodate larger numbers of CPUs. On the other hand: yay, better performance!
I never really noticed this before, but it’s possible to include your own patchsets into pkgsrc and have them picked up as part of the build process, using $LOCALPATCHES.
If you were dying to have less behave like more, it’s possible to do so with these tips from Oliver Fromme. I don’t know if it’s that desirable, but it’s an interesting thing.
Somehow I ended up with a zillion links for this week’s Lazy Reading. I hope you’ve got some spare time for this… Let’s get right into it:
- Michael Lucas, BSD book author (see links on site), has started Twittering. He’s also found the Wikileaks/NetBSD association that I didn’t know about, as Julian Assange even shows up in the NetBSD fortunes file. Also, while linking to his blog, I’ll point at his post on “Write what you don’t know“. Think of that article next time you feel you don’t know enough to contribute to something – especially open source.
- There’s a lengthy dialog on the email@example.com mailing list about pkgsrc, and “Making it easier to get and use pkgsrc“. You can follow the whole thread on the listing page. I am all for the idea. Everybody and their brother has an App Store these days. Ports/pkgsrc are perhaps the original app store ideas, and I’d like to see them brought to the same level as these commercial entitites. This is important: pkgsrc is perhaps the only app store equivalent in existence that is not tied to a platform; that exists only to get you software rather than to provide a way to tie a platform into its developers profits.
- Hey, a roguelike zombie apocalypse game! Aw, it’s Windows-only.
- Mikel King has an editorial that sums up the many places BSD serves as an underpinning to products – a good checklist, if you don’t know of them. He’s also written an instructional article on passwordless/SSH setup.
- Along the same lines, Promote Perl by Building Great Things. This applies to BSD products too; telling people it’s great doesn’t work as well as making something great and showing that a BSD system is part of what makes it so.
- Did you know there are even BSD Certification classes in Iran? I really need to do that… though probably not at that location.
- Yacc is not dead. (via) I link to this because I had a moment of nerd excitement realizing that blog’s title is intended to look like a bang path.
- Database design ideas. There’s been a good series of posts there lately, good for anyone wanting to move beyond the basic CRUD details.
Matthew Dillon has moved CPU support to 63 processors and 512G of RAM. This may cause issues, he warns. It’s also just barely working, so don’t expect to go into production with half a terabyte of RAM in the next few days.
Samuel Greear wrote up a nice summation of Google Code-In progress. 30+ tasks are done now, which is great! Except! We need more projects, as we’re about halfway through the total. Suggestions are welcome, here or on the mailing lists. Recently finished projects include a devattr tool and vkernel usage documentation.
There’s now descriptions for a number of the net.inet.* sysctls, thanks to Taras Klaskovsky as part of Google Code-In.
curl http://betterthangrep.com/ack-standalone > ~/bin/ack && chmod 0755 !#:3'
fetch’ would work just as well on a BSD system. The interesting thing is that it’s a one-liner for installing software that doesn’t make any assumptions about having an existing framework like pkgsrc or aptitude or anything like that – it just grabs the code and plops it in place. It wouldn’t work for more complex software, but the simplicity is intriguing, to match the Unix-like single, chainable program idea.
For those who haven’t seen it, ‘ack‘ is a grep replacement that automatically takes care of common activities around searching – skipping files that would cause duplicate matches, binary files, etc., handles a larger range of regular expressions, and runs startlingly fast.
Tim Darby was looking to take advantage of swapcache, and got some advice from Matthew Dillon. This led to a larger writeup that went into the mechanics and advantages of both swapcache and SSDs. The swapcache(8) page has been expanded with these notes, and I’m sure I need to buy a SSD for my next upgrade.
SSD devices have tumbled into the sub-$100 range for smaller devices; they are perfect for swapcache if you’ve got the spare SATA connector…
So, informal poll time: do people like these Lazy Reading roundups?
- Numbers everyone should know. (via) I link to this cause it’s interesting, and because it shows something else. If you understand what these numbers mean, congratulations. You speak a language that a limited number of people on this planet can understand. Think about that for a bit.
- The end of a faithful server. (via) I can sympathize. Run any computer for some number of years without any issues, and you’ll miss it when it’s gone.
- A simple explanation for ‘git reset –hard’. Some chunks of git are magical, in that I know they work but the internal behavior is still opaque to me. It may be best to keep it that way.
- I do gain a perverse sense of pride that DragonFly is an all-volunteer organization. Linux, on the other hand, is mostly a corporate product. (via) I realize this is not a legitimate thing, and I’d love having enough of a market that someone could be paid to work on DragonFly.
- Hey, the Economist Magazine’s Babbage blog is pretty good. I like this recent article about the Eye-Fi, a device I tell people about whenever I can. It essentially erases the need for storage on your camera. The last paragraph in the Babbage entry is also a little bit important.
Courtesy of another Google Code-In project, bugs.dragonflybsd.org now matches the main Dragonfly website.
Another piece of work by one of the fine students participating in Google Code-In is a new 2.8 installation screencast/video. Check it out at the following link:
If you have been following along but have not yet tried DragonFly, this should evidence how easy it is — wait not a second longer!