Month: January 2011

Fixes for rxvt, milter-greylist

In case you are using either of those programs, there’s fixes for building/using them.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, pkgsrc     1 Comment

More interrupt work

Sepherosa Ziehau has been continuing his work on improved interrupt support.  I have no one central commit to point to, but rather a zillion bits of work on this and other stuff.  I feel it’s always good to recognize when someone’s volunteering a lot of work – Thanks, sephe!

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading: down memory lane

Entertainment, this week.  There’s several items here that will be more entertaining if you’re over 25.  Or maybe 35.  Get clicking!

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

More pkgsrc-2010Q4 results

I’ve had the bulk builds of pkgsrc-2010Q4 finish on 2.9 systems, for i386 and for x86_64.  The uploads for 2.9/x86_64 seem to have completed…

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Update for file(1)

‘file’ has been updated to version 5.05 by Peter Avalos.  file(1) is one of those utilities that I forget is a contributed, external piece of software, even though it’s been in Unix since 1973.

(file is one year older than me!)

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

Sourceforge fallout

Sourceforge had/has a security problem, so they’ve turned off some services until it’s fixed.  However, anything planning to download from Sourceforge will be affected, so some packages in pkgsrc may not be able to build for … a day or two?

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     1 Comment

New virtio stats

Tim Bisson posted new network tests contrasting the virtio driver against emulated re(4) in virtual environments.  Previously, the virtio driver performed worse, but a more developed test suite seems to deliver more positive results.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Google Code-In wrap-up write-up

Samuel J. Greear has written a summary of DragonFly’s experience with Google Code-In 2011, noting that the students tacked harder projects than expected, and relatively easy documentation projects were less popular than expected.  He has hard numbers on tasks done, too.

I think this article holds the “number of hyphens in a title” record for this blog.

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

BSD Magazine: Solaris

The latest BSD Magazine is “BSD’s and Solaris“, and it sets my teeth on edge to write that apostrophe.  Seen via FreeBSDNews, though I haven’t seen it noted in BSD Magazine-sourced email/RSS yet.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

pkgsrc-2010Q4 via git

The pkgsrc-2010Q4 branch is now available in DragonFly’s git repo, via ‘git checkout pkgsrc-2010Q4’ in /usr/pkgsrc.  Enjoy!

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

Google Summer of Code 2011 announced

Google Summer of Code is happening again!  (FAQ, timeline)  Of course, DragonFly will be applying to participate as a mentoring organization again this year.  The last several years have all been fruitful with completed projects and new developers, so it’s worth the effort.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Google Summer of Code     1 Comment

VirtIO progress

Tim Bisson and others put together a virtual network driver for DragonFly, based on FreeBSD’s version.  Strangely, the emulated re(4) driver performed better, though their initial test was pretty minimal.  The already existing DragonFly virtual block device driver is still based on NetBSD’s version.  There are some positive side effects from bringing in this work, in any case.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Lazy Reading: code repos, events, open source stuff


  • I find this erasure of the separation between remote code repository and local code editor very interesting.   It may upset more traditional people.
  • If you haven’t been watching the BSD Events Twitter stream, Dru Lavigne’s written a nice summary of the next few months, including BSD Exam dates/locations.
  • The XFCE 4.8 release announcement hinted at some problems with BSD.  It’s apparently because udev, a Linux-only product, is the only consistent way to access various items, so XFCE’s power and volume controls use it.  There’s no udev on BSD, so we get left out.  I’d normally end this with a call for a compatibility layer, but udev is the latest in a series of jumps from framework to framework in Linux, so I don’t know if it would actually do any good.  (Thanks, sjg on #dragonflybsd for the link)
  • The Economist has an article on open-source that does a hype-free job of describing the state of open source today.  It points out two trends that I don’t think are covered enough: the large amount of open-source work funded by companies, and the hidden costs of training and integration.  One downside of the “software is free, training costs money” model for open source is that it creates an economic incentive for byzantine configurations and difficult setups.  That idea could use some exploration, but I don’t think many people want to, precisely because it’s negative.  The article doesn’t go that far, but they should.
Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, Lazy Reading     3 Comments

Firewall shuffling

Sepherosa Ziehau is planning to get rid of ipfilter.  It’s one of 3 firewall-ish programs in DragonFly right now, along with ipfw and pf.  Currently, pf is getting the most attention with Jan Lentfer’s porting work, though npf is also on the horizon.   However, ipfilter is currently in use at, so its removal may be on hold until it can be shown that ipfw or pf can stand in for it.  It looks like it will work out.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

pkgsrc-2010Q4 build progress report

Here’s where the binary build is: summarized in a post to users@.  So far so good…

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

More mpsafe material

Global tokens are now running without the giant lock in DragonFly.  Neat!  There’s still plenty more to remove, but this is a big step.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Kill your filesystem on x86_64 too

Matthew Dillon’s updated fsstress for x86_64, so if you have a 64-bit machine that needs a workout – here you go.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

gnu99 now used for userland compiling

Sascha Wildner set most of userland to compile with the gnu99 standard (though gnu89 is still used for contrib/ and some other parts).  What’s this mean?  Userland code now can match the ISO C99 standard, along with the GNU extensions that go with it.

(I missed this when it actually happened.  Sorry!)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

DragonFly hosting found

James Polera found that M5 Hosting was willing to install a DragonFly server for hosting, in addition to their other BSD/Linux offerings.  Their service was also apparently excellent.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     6 Comments

Avalon returns, also known as, is back up at a new location, with new disks and new connectivity.  pkg_radd should work by default again, as should

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Heads Up!, pkgsrc     0 Comments

State of the binary build

Here’s the state of my build of pkgsrc-2010Q4 packages:

  1. DragonFly 2.8/i386 – in progress
  2. DragonFly 2.8/x86_64 – in progress
  3. DragonFly 2.9/i386 – just started (happens on Avalon)
  4. DragonFly 2.9/x86_64 – in progress

So it will be some days yet…  building over 4000 packages total is never quick.

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

Quick fix for pkgin

If you’re using pkgin for managing pkgsrc packages, there’s a new bugfix to cover scenarios where there’s an old and new version dependency on the same item, like php between versions 5.2 and 5.3.  It’s described in French, or translated English.  (Thanks, Antonio Huete)

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

Lazy Reading: cheatsheet, disks, pkgsrc, more

Normally I hold this for Sunday, but I’ve got a good batch of links already.  Something here for everyone, this week.

  • A git cheatsheet, and another git cheatsheet.  I may have linked to the latter one before, as it looks vaguely familiar.  Anyway, bookmark.  (Thanks, luxh on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
  • What should you do about bad blocks on a disk?  Get a new disk.
  • If you ever wanted to port software, there’s a pkgsrc developer’s guide (thanks Francois Tigeot) that shows you how.
  • It’s NOT LINUX, for the billionth time.  It’s BSD UNIX (certified, even) under there!
  • Children of the Cron“.  An entertaining pun.  (via)
  • Nothing to do with BSD, or even computers, really: Gary Gorton, interviewed about the recent financial crisis, at a Fed bank website (!?).  Interesting because I like economic matters, and because it’s the first web page where I’ve ever seen pop-up links added usefully, as a sort of footnote that you don’t have to scroll.  (via)
  • Michael Lucas recently had a machine broken into.  Since everything on the machine is suspect, he’s using Netflow data to figure out when it happened, and how, which is not surprising given his most recent book.  He has two posts describing how he backtracks his way to the probable source.

pkg update in pkgsrc

If you run pkgsrc-current, not the quarterly releases, the png library has just been updated to 1.5.  This may break a few applications for now, and require a lot of rebuilding on your next update, since many packages depend on this.

If you are running a quarterly release of pkgsrc, you are unaffected.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

mirror-master progress, also known as mirror-master or, should be back online within a few days.  Matthew Dillon has details on the upgrade.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

pkgsrc-2010Q4 is out

The latest quarterly release of pkgsrc, 2010Q4, is out.  I’m working on the build of binary packages…  It’ll be some days.

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

More details about the tmpfs fixup

Venkatesh Srinivas wrote out a long description of what he’s doing with the removal of the Giant Lock from tmpfs.  I’m pasting it here verbatim, for your enjoyment.


Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

tmpfs improvements

While we’re talking about file system improvments, Venkatesh Srinivas has been removing the Giant Lock from tmpfs.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Hammer speed improvements

Yeah, so those Phoronix benchmarks are crap, but Matthew Dillon went and implemented some things that would speed up Hammer write performance in any case.  Read his summary for details.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Hammer     1 Comment

Ads off the page

I removed the Google ad off the sidebar; it was making me enough cash to buy a sandwich on a yearly basis.

I’ve replaced it with a link to my Amazon wishlist.  If you’re feeling generous, you can buy me a book!  If you aren’t, you can just keep reading, and I’ll keep posting.

Posted by     Categories: About This Site     2 Comments

New Hammer version

The default Hammer version in DragonFly is now version 5, which is the one that includes deduplication.  Enjoy, bleeding-edge users!  Otherwise, wait for the next release.

Version 6 is there, but don’t upgrade to it yet; there aren’t significant user-visible changes, and the usual disclaimers for new versions apply.

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

tws(4) added

Sascha Wildner is continuing his huge driver-adding streak, this time with tws(4).  It’s a port of the FreeBSD driver, for “LSI 3ware 9750 series SATA/SAS RAID controllers”.  The commit message has a list of individual models, and further credits.

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

Burncd comes back

Sascha Wildner re-added burncd(8); it still works for some people.  As Matthew Dillon pointed out, cdrecord is probably the better long-term bet.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

git, mirror-master down

Avalon, the machine that works as the master mirror site for DragonFly, and also as, is being moved.  Binary package downloads and source updates won’t work in the meantime.  If you can’t wait for the system to come back, change the settings for pkg_radd or in /usr/Makefile to point at a different host.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Heads Up!     6 Comments

aac(4) update

Sascha Wildner continues the driver update streak, bringing in the updated FreeBSD version of the aac(4) driver.  This adds support for 40+ Adaptec AdvancedRAID cards – the aac(4) man page has a very long list.

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

Phoronix benchmarks for Hammer

A Phoronix test of DragonFly’s Hammer filesystem turned  up, via Siju George.  It’s not really a benchmark as much as it is a speed test, and it’s not a realistic comparison, but it’s interesting to see numbers.

They need a graph that shows how much historical data can be recovered by each file system, or how long fsck takes after a crash.

Update: Matthew Dillon points out the many ways these tests are wrong.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Hammer     1 Comment

burncd(8) gone

The burncd command has been removed; it hasn’t been working for some time.  The sysutils/cdrtools utility cdrecord is the viable alternative.  cdrecord is a pkgsrc application, but it comes on the DragonFly install CD/DVD/image/whatnot.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Future deduplication plans

Ilya Dryomov wrote out some more details about his deduplication work, with some notes on what he plans next for this feature.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

hptmv(4) added

Sascha Wildner’s added the hptmv(4) driver, for Highpoint RocketRAID 182x cards.  It comes from Highpoint/FreeBSD.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, FreeBSD     1 Comment

January OSBR: Business of Open Source

The January issue of the Open Source Business Resource is titled “The Business of Open Source”.  The first article, titled “Cost Optimization Through Open Source Software“, explains why iXSystems is all BSD, all the time.  There’s also an eye-opening breakdown of the dramatic cost savings from going with open-source rather than Windows.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals, UNIXish     0 Comments

NYCBSDCon surplus

Apparently the surplus money from the recent NYCBSDCon is going to each of the BSD projects.  Great news!  Now, what to do with it…

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, DragonFly, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD     2 Comments

Live deduplication support added

Ilya Dryomov has added live deduplication, or as he titles it, “efficient cp”.  It’s experimental and turned on with a sysctl, so approach with caution.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Post-install notes

Here’s a nice collection of post-installation notes on DragonFly.  They’re part of a larger UNIX note collection.  I may have linked to it before; I don’t remember.  This note’s new, though.

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

XNS gone, nobody say anything

Xerox Network Services is gone from DragonFly.   Does anyone, anywhere, use this protocol?  Ironically, I don’t recall this even being visible on the Xerox hardware products I have at work.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     11 Comments

Lazy Reading: Clouds, disks, browsers, games

The end of year holidays intruded, so I haven’t had one of these for more than a week.  Sorry!  Merry Christmas, happy new year, etc.

  • Whenever I am tempted to throw family pictures or something similar online in a ‘cloud’ service, I will reread this Jason Scott essay on the ‘Yahoo!locaust’ and come to my senses. (via)
  • There’s a trade-off between size and price for SSDs.  Past a certain point, any drive is generally ‘big enough’, and under a certain price, the cost doesn’t matter.  We’re reaching the magic point where those two trends cross, as with this OCX Vertex 2 SSD drive, 60G in size and only $120 at Newegg.  There’s lots of post-Christmas sales going on.
  • How soon will SSD drives become normal and platter drives the anachronism, like single-core processors are today?  It took less than 5 years for CPUs, I think…  No link for this idea; this is just me theorizing.
  • Tomas Bodzar pointed out this article about 1,000 core CPUs, which I dub ‘kilocore’.  He also linked to these logical domain/logical partition articles on Wikipedia.
  • In this day and age, a website that supports a limited number of browsers and platforms seems anachronistic.  Still happens, though.  (via)
  • This is neat: an online, persistent space game with exploration and combat.  Not EVE, but Lacuna Expanse, playable via web browser.  There’s lots of browser games out there, but here’s the interesting part: the game even has a fully exposed API.
Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Lazy Reading     0 Comments

Another package manager: nih

Aleksey Cheusov is putting together a package manager for pkgsrc, called nih.  (For “Not Invented Here”).  It’s binary-only at this point, so you’d need to run distbb or pbulk to generate packages, or download from

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Updates for the new year

Sascha Wildner has updated twe(4), Jan Lentfer has updated ldns to version 1.6.7 (changelog), and also updated pf to match the OpenBSD 4.4 version.  Phew!

Happy new year!

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