Month: March 2011

Virtual disk simplification

Chris Turner is looking to implement something similar to OpenBSD’s mount_vnd(8) operation, where virtual disks can be mounted at boot.  He talks about some of the work and ideas at length.  If you don’t feel like reading about it, you can instead mess with it; he has a tarball of the current state of his work linked in his message.

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Fairq enhancements

If you’re using pf to control how your bandwidth is used, you may want to look at the recent fairq updates from Matthew Dillon.  It should perform better now in situations where one traffic group is saturating its available bandwidth.  Here’s a handy link that explains this sort of problem, yoinked from IRC.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Refixing mptable problems

If you’re running the bleeding edge version of DragonFly, because Sepherosa Ziehau’s recent work makes it possible to boot systems that were previously bootable, you may need this sysctl trick loader tunable in loader.conf:

debug.acpi.enabled="pci pci_link"

How will you know that you need it?  The system will run strangely slow.  The command enables ACPI interrupt routing, which corrects for mptable problems.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

Daemon & Penguin: 3 new things

This week’s Daemon & Penguin podcast is about 3 things that I did not know existed.  The mystery computer items are two languages, Genie and Vala.  The mystery movie is S.Darko, a sequel to a movie that I am aware of, but never saw: Donnie Darko.

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pf staying at version 4.4 for the next release

pf in DragonFly 2.9 is currently equivalent to OpenBSD’s 4.4 version. This is probably what will be in the next release version of DragonFly, as Jan Lentfer, the man responsible for the rapid, recent pf upgrades, is a new father (again). Congratulations on the new daughter, Jan!

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Student applications open for Summer of Code

Summer of Code 2011 student applications can be made now.  If you’re a student, you’ve got until April 8th to get it done!  (Calendar)  Remember, you can’t be too organized, too early.

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I had linked to this before during Summer of Code 2010 before it completed, but an ongoing discussion on the kernel@ mailing list for DragonFly reminded me: a student named Naohiro Aota put together a Gentoo/DragonFly system for SoC 2010, similar to the existing Gentoo/FreeBSD project.  He’s interested in working directly with DragonFly, now.

Native binutils support for DragonFly

John Marino’s work on getting support for DragonFly ‘natively’ into binutils, upstream, has been successful.  Thanks, John!

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

Lazy Reading for 2011/03/27

I’ve found enough good links I’m able to schedule this post ahead of time.  Yay!

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on     2 Comments

GSoC: mentors please sign up

The mentor signup page for Google Summer of Code 2011 is available again, launched using a new interface.  If you want to be a mentor, please sign up now.  The student application period opens tomorrow!

Binutils 2.21 added, still optional

Sascha Wildner has added in binutils version 2.21, replacing 2.20.  Note that both 2.20 and 2.21 are ‘optional’, so you have to set BINUTILSVER to use them.  Otherwise the system defaults to the also-installed binutils 2.17.

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Summer of Code: mentoring wait

The mentor signup page for Google Summer of Code 2011 as of this writing still says “We have temporarily disabled the creation of new requests and invites in preparation of the launch of the new UI for Melange later this week.”, as it has said since the 20th.

So, if you’re wanting to mentor, keep an eye on it.  I’ll send mentor requests to any of the names on my list of people that have already expressed interest, if I get to a working version of the page before you do…

Last-minute pkgsrc progress

As already mentioned on this Digest, the freeze for the next quarterly release of pkgsrc, pkgsrc-2011Q1, has started.  I’ve also completed several bulk builds of pkgsrc-2010Q4 and pkgsrc-current using DragonFly system with GCC 4.4.  Francois Tigeot has very kindly gone out of his way to get some of the (relatively few) broken packages listed in those builds to be fixed.

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

More memoryallocators manpage material

Venkatesh Srinivas has added a new memoryallocators(9) man page, to describe the various memory allocation schemes in DragonFly.  It gives descriptions of each and leads off to more man pages.

libiberty goes byebye

This is the BSD-licensed version of libiberty, which was removed because it didn’t ever actually make it to being a replacement.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Pkgsrc freeze starts tomorrow

As noted in announcements, pkgsrc is entering a 10-day freeze period starting tomorrow.  If everything goes to plan, the next quarterly release of pkgsrc, 2011Q1, will be released April 3rd.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

DragonFly BSD on

There’s a DragonFly BSD group on, the not-as-creepy-as-Facebook social site.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Pardon my interrupt

APIC support has been updated, so not only will some machines work better/at all with a multiprocessor kernel, more machines will boot.  Not only that, but Sepherosa Ziehau has a newer version of ACPI and interrupt routing available.  This is wonderful news!  We’ve needed this update for some time.

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

Results from pkgsrc and gcc4.4

My first bulk build of pkgsrc with gcc 4.4 has completed; the results are available.   Notice that most of the errors are from checksum problems with downloads, not actual problems from the compiler change.  I’m starting a new build to see if the checksum problems go away with fresh downloads.

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D&P 17: GhostBSD and Parasomnia

The Daemon & Penguin podcast has a new 50-minute podcast about GhostBSD, a FreeBSD/Gnome install, and a review of the horror movie Parasomnia.

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Summer of Code student application

For the curious, or for those who plan ahead, I posted what’s on the Google Summer of Code student application for DragonFly.

Lazy Reading

This all came together at the last second.

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Getting started on a Summer of Code project

If you were thinking of working on a disk scheduler for DragonFly, this is your lucky day!  Brills Peng asked for some overall guidance on how to start on a Summer of Code project.  I threw out some general tips, Alex Hornung talked up resources on kernel programming, and Venkatesh Srinivas described exactly what you’d need to write a disk scheduler.  There’s about 50% of a whole proposal, prewritten.

Summer of Code 2011: We’re in!

We made it into Google Summer of Code for a 4th year!  (yay!)

If you want to mentor, apply here:

(You will need to create a login if you don’t have one.)  I’m assuming the applicants are going to be people I know with a direct history with DragonFly; otherwise be prepared to give a good history.  Signing up to mentor does not mean you must mentor if there aren’t any projects that interest you; it does mean you need to review applications and provide feedback for students March 28th – April 8th.

If you want to be a student with DragonFly:

Check the projects page for ideas:

… or come up with your own.

Get your application together by March 28th.  Start talking about it on the mailing list or IRC or however as soon as you can; there’s a direct relationship between the amount of preparation we see beforehand and people getting accepted.

Here’s the timeline:

Copied from my email to users@/kernel@, cause it has everything you need.



BSDTalk 203: Dan Langille, BSDCan, PGCon

The newest BSDTalk has a roughly 15-minute talk with Dan Langille about the upcoming 2011 BSDCan and PGCon events.

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AsiaBSDCon 2011 tutorials canceled

This shouldn’t be a surprise considering recent events: AsiaBSDCon 2011 has had some event cancellations; specifically the tutorials and meetings.  The paper presentations starting on the 19th, and the banquet, are still on, however.  (via)

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Daemon and Penguin podcast

Google Search turned up something new: Daemon & Penguin oggcast.  It’s a podcast, with every episode covering something Unix-ish – usually BSD.  Each episode also reviews a horror movie.  It’s not a mix I would have predicted, but I can see how it would work.  The first oggcast has him installing DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals, UNIXish     0 Comments

Hammer/Samba shadow copy support started

Samuel Greear has been working on a module to translate Hammer snapshots into Windows-style shadow copies, so a Hammer volume’s snapshots would be accessible when shared to a Windows machine, or anything that understood shadow copies, so Samba.

He’s put up his work so far; it’s not finished, but he has schoolwork to get to and wants to make it available for anyone who wants to run with it.  (say, for Summer of Code…)  Apparently the macros in the shadow_copy2 or onefs modules are similar to what a Hammer module would need…

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Porting to DragonFly

A new page has popped up on the DragonFly website: How to Port to DragonFly.  The work is very thorough, and the author is ‘srussell’, which I think is Stéphane Russell?  Thanks, person who I may be misidentifying!

Edit: corrected name spelling

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

Lazy Reading

Nice big pile of links this week.  Enjoy the reading, especially if you’re still recovering from St. Patrick’s Day festivities.  (does that happen outside of the U.S.?)

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     2 Comments

kqueue, explained

Did you wake up this morning and say, “I wish I knew more about kqueue!”  Well, here’s a link (PDF) from Vlad GALU that can help with that.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Backup Summer of Code ideas page is down right now, so if you’re looking for the Google Summer of Code ideas page for DragonFly, I have a local mirror of that page.

Update: is back up, but I’ll keep that mirror there just in case…

BSD Magazine: March

This month’s issue of BSD Magazine is titled “The Wonders of Blender”, but there’s a lot more articles in there with other topics.  There’s a two-page spread of DragonFly news that may look familiar to readers of this site…

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GIF now unungif’d

The GIF format, or rather the LZW format it uses, is no longer patent-encumbered.   (GIF patent worries led to the creation of the PNG format, if I’m not mistaken)  Matthias Drochner has changed pkgsrc to use giflib instead of libungif.

According to Wikipedia, the patent expired more than 5 years ago, so this isn’t really news other than some packages need to be rebuilt.  Still, memories of the general Internet Outrage from a decade ago are interesting compared to the events of today.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

More microbenchmarks

Venkatesh Srinivas performed the ‘scalability’ benchmarks, which have been mentioned here before.  He performed it on different hardware and only with DragonFly, so it’s not really for comparison but rather for analysis.  However: graphs!

Matthew Dillon added some system tunables to match these microbenchmarks, and then changed the values.  The benchmarks looked better, but according to him you wouldn’t want to run a system normally with those values.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

DragonFly-powered news search

Did you know that Euraeka, a news search site, runs on DragonFly?  I did not.  Now we both do!

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

pkgsrc current and 2.9, plus shallow pulls

There’s two recent changes for pkgsrc and DragonFly:

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

BSDCan 2011 announced

Dan Langille has announced the BSDCan 2011 schedule/list of events in several places.  There’s some fun stuff in there, like discussion of Sendmail from the guy who (originally) wrote it.  There’s a talk about Roff (it’s that old?)from Kristaps Dzonsons, whose mdocml also happens to just have been committed by Sascha Wilder to DragonFly’s contrib.

NYCBSDCon 2010 was crazy fun.  I hope I can make it to BSDCan…

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Lazy Reading

  • The Cognitive Style of Unix (via) – I find this argument absolutely correct based on all my computer experience.
  • Hacker News is apparently getting more of a general news bent, rather than the actual hacker news it started with.  (via)  That seems to be an easy trend for many tech sites that start out focused on a topic (Let’s cover this area of interest!) and eventually diffuse (Let’s cover all our reader’s areas of interest!).  It may be because that seems to bring greater subscriber numbers?  Slashdot would be a good example of this generalization.
  • Note to self: Try to not do that with the Digest.
  • This page has a lot more good places to visit, but I’ll just link directly cause I don’t have any more commentary to associate with it.
  • Did you know there’s open source software for managing conferences?  Not conference calls, but full-on have-speakers-with-papers-and-attendees-with-a-schedule conferences?  It’s called Pentabarf, and it’s used for BSDCan, among other things.  I find the name funny, and it has funny origins.
  • Well, if I’m going to have a Discordian link, I should have a BSD-related Subgenius link.  By the way: I can perform weddings.  You know, just in case that comes up.
  • You know you’re important when the IETF needs to come up with a plan to deal with your retirement.  (viaThis is why it’s neat.  Go, look, because this is one of those parts of the Internet that will not exist this way again, ever.
  • This article at The Register about how open source isn’t making it very far in app stores is more aggressive than exploratory, as Register articles usually are, but there are some good points: phone app stores are able to charge money because of the ease of the delivery system, which apparently trumps ‘free’.   It’s also more purpose-built; pkgsrc I bet would work on an Android phone, but there’s not many applications you could interact with, easily.
Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Lazy Reading     0 Comments

Ruby microbenchmarks made

Jaime Fournier ran a Ruby benchmark against the various BSDs.  (noted via IRC and here)  DragonFly came out scoring very well.  However!  I don’t really know what these benchmarks are testing, since I haven’t used Ruby or these tests before.  Jaime seems to be planning more tests.

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

BSD Needs Books, the video

Michael Lucas’s “BSD Needs Books” talk from NYCBSDCon 2010 is online, in video form.  I got to see this as it happened, and it was a excellent talk.  Mr. Lucas is able to put some reasonable arguments together as to the why of things, since he’s been published multiple times, plus his sense of humor keeps it moving.

Hey, wait – there’s more from the conference on BSD TV!  How did I miss this?  Hopefully even more will show up; the facility was perfect for recording.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, DragonFly     2 Comments

Do you have wifi? See Joe Talbott

Joe Talbott has some changes for both Intel and non-Intel wifi NICs; please try out his branch and report the results.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

gcc 4.4 now default

Sascha Wildner has changed the default compiler to gcc 4.4.  See his commit notes for some details.  To my knowledge, we’re the only BSD using this recent a version.

A full buildworld/buildkernel is probably the best strategy.  I’ll be rebuilding all the pkgsrc packages for 2.9 using gcc 4.4…  This will take at least a week.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Heads Up!     3 Comments

Summer of Code application in

I forgot to mention it when I did this opening night, but: DragonFly’s application to Google Summer of Code 2011 is in.  We find out if we’re accepted on the 18th.

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

Bleeding-edge builds

If you’re curious, I have a bulk build on DragonFly 2.9/x86_64/pkgsrc-current finished.  Work on the programs that don’t build is always welcome.  It’s pretty good for bleeding-edge, though!

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

March OSBR: Co-creation

“Co-Creation” is the theme of this month’s Open Source Business Resource, and appropriately enough, it has two editors.  This issue has perhaps the most umlauts ever.

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