Rui-Xiang Guo is looking for testers for wip/chromium. That’s the zippy Google browser. He especially wants DragonFly users – this would be useful, especially since I think Firefox 4 does not build on DragonFly right now.
Month: April 2011
Two more of the DragonFly and Google Summer of Code projects: Irina Presa’s checkpointing vkernels, where you can save a running virtual kernel and start it again later, and Nick Prokharau’s port of PUFFS.
(Anyone know the HTML character code for ‘s’ with an inverted grave mark so I can spell Irina’s name correctly?)
Yay acronyms! Brills Peng was accepted for the Summer of Code project “Improve dsched interfaces and implement BFQ disk scheduling policy” – and now there’s a nice writeup describing what’s planned. Also, Stéphanie Ouillon did the same thing for the virtio drivers project. Adam Hoka also joined in with a summary for his LVM mirror project. Please keep this up, students.
If you are a European resident, Federico Biancuzzi has the DRAGONFLYBSD.IT domain name available to donate. He doesn’t want to let it go and have it taken by a domain squatter. Talk to him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to hold on to it for some unspecified time.
Francois Tigeot did some testing of various hardware RAID adapters (Areca, LSI, 3ware, and Adaptec) in DragonFly, and reported thoroughly on each. This may come as no surprise, but it sounds like Areca adapters are worth the money.
GNU grep on DragonFly has been updated from version 2.4d to 2.7. Other BSDs have switched/will switch to bsdgrep, but as John Marino points out in his commit message, GNU grep’s still faster. He’s also brought in NetBSD’s version of sort, to replace the GNU flavor. I don’t know why on that one.
Peter Avalos also updated file to 5.06.
Google’s announced the accepted projects for 2011. DragonFly has 6 slots!
We had a large number of interesting project proposals; far more than than the slots available. If you’re one of the students who did not get in, please consider working on your project as time allows. I know it won’t be lucrative, but I’d still like to see them happen.
Here’s the list of accepted projects:
- Implementing a mirror target for device mapper: Adam Hoka, mentored by Joe Talbott
- Improve dsched interfaces and implement BFQ disk scheduling policy: Brills Peng, mentored by Alex Hornung
- Make vkernels checkpointable: Irina Presa, mentored by Venkatesh Srinivas
- Port PUFFS from NetBSD/FreeBSD: nickprok, mentored by Nathaniel Filardo
- Bring kernel event notification in DragonFly BSD to its logical conclusion: Samuel J. Greear, mentored by Sascha Wildner
- Porting Virtio Drivers from NetBSD to DragonFly BSD to speed up DragonFly BSD as a KVM guest: Stéphanie Ouillon, mentored by Pratyush Kshirsagar
I did some comparative benchmarking between the 2.6, 2.8, and upcoming 2.10 release for DragonFly. As several people have guessed, performance has improved significantly, and the difference would probably be even more pronounced if I was using more modern hardware, e.g. swapcache or a system with AHCI. I have a mailing list post with details, and here’s the graph that sums it up:
(Sorry, no Lazy Reading this week. Life didn’t co-operate. At least there’s a pretty graph!)
Not shirts with zombies on them, but DragonFly shirts that don’t have a seller. I had a random Google search turn up a store selling DragonFly T-shirts, among other things. It was essentially a spam store. The seller wasn’t producing anything but instead reselling other people’s material for a commission, similar to the splogs out there that recopy material from other blogs or Wikipedia and slap ads on it. (I’ve seen Digest material pop up that way.)
Following the link back shows that the shirt is sold through a Cafepress store called ossgear. It looks like the original store owner asked permission to use the logo back in 2006. ossgear.org is no longer a functioning domain, and I can’t find any other reference to this seller; they appear to have stopped doing business 5 years ago.
The moral of this story: Sites like Cafepress will try to profit from your work long after you’ve stopped using them. The frustrating part is that the logo isn’t even right!
Tomas Bodzar asked about RAM usage with Hammer and deduplication, pointing at this example that shows ZFS requiring… I’m not sure. Lots? Anyway, Matthew Dillon noted that offline deduplication in Hammer would use available RAM/swap for CRCs on all files, but only a limited subset for ‘live’ dedup. For a real-world example, Venkatesh Srinivas described deduplicating about 600G down to 400G, with a machine having only 256M of RAM. Yes, only 256M.
This upcoming Monday should be exciting! It’s the planned date for the release of DragonFly 2.10. Also, the accepted projects for Google Summer of Code (including for DragonFly) will be announced.
The DragonFly 2.10 branch was a bit later than predicted, but that was mostly to avoid merging work. Release should still be in a few days.
The usual way for building pkgsrc packages from source is ‘bmake install clean’, to build and install the package, and then clean the work files from building it. Since the recent change to DESTDIR, where a binary package is built before installation, you may want to add ‘package-clean’ to the list, so that the binary package is also removed after installation.
I hope I can get this together.
- This article asks “Does anyone in Silicon Valley care about Windows anymore?” It’s an inflammatory title, to get you to read it, and it’s based on anecdotal ideas, but I think there’s some truth to it.
- Something similar, in hardware: I see people who care about what they run either getting a Macbook or a Thinkpad these days. (I’ve owned both, and they are nice laptops…) Let’s run with that idea, in fact: Macbook is to Thinkpad running BSD as is… iPhone is to Android phone running custom ROM? This is turning into a “levels of nerditry” sort of comparison.
- Community is your best feature, a talk about how to encourage the growth of an open source group. I link to it because it’s useful and well done, but also because it lets me feel a bit self-congratulatory; we already use many of the listed concepts in DragonFly.
- Zero knowledge user identification is interesting, though it’s not something you could apply to a lot of users. (via)
- Things found via Google: A DragonFly 2.8.2 x86_64 VMWare image on Sourceforge. Don’t know who put it there.
- This article about passwords says multiple common words make more secure passwords than adding upper/lower case and numbers to passwords. An interesting contention, though I don’t think it works as well as it’s described. (Adding ” ” into the list of possible characters isn’t as effective as having to double the list for case, for instance.)
- It’s been a while since I posted a roguelike link. Well, how about “How Rogue Ended Up On The Sofa“? (via) It very nicely draws a line connecting rogue and a whole lot of modern games.
If you’re running DragonFly 2.9, now is a good time to update and try various ACPI-related things, like power button shutdowns and battery monitoring. Sepherosa Ziehau has been updating vigorously.
There’s a new Supported Hardware page on dragonflybsd.org. I think the idea is not to be comprehensive, since that’s a nigh-impossible task. Instead, it’s to note the combinations of hardware that work really well.
Sepherosa Ziehau has made some changes to default SCI settings in ACPI. This may make it possible to boot a computer, or to boot a computer with ACPI, that did not boot before. If it causes problems, he lists some various tunables to set. Just don’t ask me what SCI does.
Hey, it rhymes! Matthew Dillon’s added support for 4-port Gigabit Ethernet PCI-E cards from Intel. I wish I had one.
No, 2.10 is not out. I built packages for pkgsrc-2011Q1 on 2.9, and set it to think 2.10 so that the pkgsrc tools wouldn’t complain. We’re close enough to release that this shouldn’t be a problem. The packages are available for x86_64; i386 packages coming “soon”. See my note to email@example.com for details on accessing these packages.
I love graphs. Jan Lentfer made some! Both of these show recent speed improvements in DragonFly – especially some spectacular results from swapcache(8) and the recent NCQ tagging improvements. (Note that only the third graph represents the NCQ improvements; the first two graphs were done before.)
The first one is a comparison of pgbench running on the same hardware twice – once with the 2.8 release of DragonFly, and once with a recent 2.9 version. 2.9 is definitely looking to be faster than 2.8.
Next up is a 2.9 system run with and without swapcache, showing an astounding difference between the two. It’s pretty clear just how much performance improvement you can get from swapcache… (see Jan’s notes on the setup after the graphic.)
Jan’s notes, from EFNet #dragonflybsd on IRC:
15:08 < lentferj> these are SELECT-Only tests
15:09 < lentferj> JustinS: it’S important to note, that the database is 2,5x
bigger than RAM on the swapchache test
15:11 < lentferj> JustinS: I did a Select-Only ramp-up of 30 minutes to get
caches and swapcache filled
15:12 < lentferj> JustinS: and then I ran
15:13 < lentferj> for i in 1 2 3 4 6 8 12 16 24 32; do
/usr/lib/postgresql/8.4/bin/pgbench -U pgsql -h atom -s 400
-S -c “$i” -T 600 pgbench; done
15:13 < lentferj> so, select only pgbench for 10 minutes each
15:13 < lentferj> with increasing numbers of client
15:14 < lentferj> pgbench on another box, 100MBit switched network
15:15 < lentferj> JustinS: the first graph (2.8.2 vs current) is the same w/ a
database that fits in RAM entirely
15:15 < lentferj> so measuring concurrency performance (w/o I/O)
15:17 < lentferj> the swapcache comparison was on a 2GB box with a 5GB database
and 16GB swapcache (INTEL) attached to a sili card
15:17 < lentferj> on a atom 330 :)
Now, here’s testing with the recent NCQ tagging update for AHCI:
These results are astonishing. Please, someone compare with other operating systems!
Here’s the stats for this last test:
- 5.6GB database, system w/ 2GB RAM –> io benchmark
- pgbench with increasing no of client 1->32, SELECT-Only Mode
- sili controller Dawicontrol DC-3410 SATA PCI controller which is using a Silicon Image 3124-2 chip
- 2 Seagate Barracuda ES.2 250GB SATA II disks
- lvm stripe over those disks
- postgresql.conf is default, except shared_buffers set to 512MB and effective_cache_size to 1024MB
- atom330 on a Foxconn mobo
- SSD is SATA INTEL SSDSA2M040 2CV1
I mentioned this before, but there’s now an official announcement that pkgsrc is (now, after the 2011Q1 release) going to DESTDIR support and what that means.
This alphabet soup of acronyms is what Matthew Dillon updated, leading to some significant performance improvements for drives that use NCQ tagging. Try it out cause it’s fast, and try it out because it needs testers; this is a change that affects some basic parts of how data is written to disk, and you don’t want to get that wrong…
Get out your wallet! I encourage purchasing here.
- You should buy a SSD. Not necessarily news to you, but that article does a good job of summarizing why.
- On the other hand, SSD prices are already on their way up/availability is way down. Japan’s disasters are having a ripple effect through the high-tech supply chain. Either buy immediately or get ready to wait for a while…
- Introduction to Architecting Systems for Scale – you either don’t care, or find scaling questions immediately engaging. I am one of the latter, so here’s the link.
- I’ve been watching firstname.lastname@example.org for a little while. One thing I’ve discovered: there’s a lot of updates going on! Another thing that’s nice to see: DragonFlyupdates, including ones that help with our move to gcc 4.4.
- Aw, no more Kermit. (via) Not that I have a use for it at this point, but still: aww. I bet in about 10 years I’ll say the same thing about… gopher? Remember that? It’s not even supported in Firefox 4 now, which kinda makes me feel sad. And old.
- Server plans: Facebook vs. Google. (warning: Facebook article is somewhat giddy.)
- The infinite hard drive. (via I lost it, sorry)
Here’s an extra little thing: next time you’re dealing with dusty computer equipment, remember this picture:
That is what happens to an exposed RJ45 port after a few years in a salt mine (my employer). This was inside an enclosed, mostly-sealed structure, too.
There’s been plenty of discussion about Summer of Code projects on the mailing lists. One conversation about “Implementing a mirror target for the device mapper” led to a longer description from Venkatesh Srinivas about mirroring and how he’s looked at implementation.
Matthew Dillon made some changes to swapcache(8). Swapcache is now able to cache a lot more data, and the result is that general disk performance for _all_ disks is accelerated by an included SSD using swapcache. Performance previously restricted to all-SSD systems or serious RAID setups is now possible with much less investment.
In addition to that, the long-term wear on the SSD appears to be less of a problem than expected.
I already noted that the quarterly release is out, but the pkgsrc-2011Q1 release announcement is available now. There’s good reasons to link to it – the list of updated packages, new packages, and credits for the work people have been doing. Here’s the part I really want to pick out:
We’re aiming to make this the last branch to support non-DESTDIR packages. We have almost finished the transition to DESTDIR installation, where a staging directory is used to make a binary package, which is then managed by the pkg_install tools.
The reason I’m highlighting this is: it’s good news! One of the long-term complaints with pkgsrc is that the upgrade process is painful. If you try to build an upgrade and the build processfails after uninstalling the existing package, not only are you not getting the upgrade, but you’ve lost the existing package. Binary packages for download helps with this (and generally is faster), but only so many packages can be built separately and made available for download.
Building a package separately and then installing from there removes these issues. No binary redistribution issues, actual downtime is minimal, and the package is known to work when an upgrade happens. This removes most of the problems I’ve heard raised about pkgsrc over the years.
Sascha Wildner has moved gcc in DragonFly to a slightly newer version: 4.4.5. It mostly seems to make things easier to compile, going by the reports I’ve heard. This is the version that will be in DragonFly 2.10.
The April issue of BSD Magazine is out! It’s a very full issue, including another news roundup by yours truly.
It’s tagged, though there’s no release announcement yet. Working on building binaries starting tonight…
Getting into the swing of this link collection thing…
- The first paragraph of this things magazine post is about the “lingering memory of the space of ancient video games.” It’s good; follow the links to read. It also mentions the excellent This Gaming Life book, which is on the shelf to the right of me as I type, and can be read in full online. (though it’s worth buying.)
- This made me laugh.
- How to kill your online community. Good guidelines for how to (not) act.
- This week’s “Only the Internet could produce this”: Einstein vs. Hawking, the rap battle.
- pcc is now at version 1.0.
- Anyone have recommendations for a good domain registrar? I’m sick of mine.
Enabling the vfs.hammer.double_buffer=1 sysctl will greatly improve Hammer performance when you’ve exceeded your memory cache (at a possible slight penalty when you have not) and also speed things up when using live deduplication.
Update: Venkatesh Srinivas says:
“double_buffer makes sense when: 1) you want all CRCs to be checked on reads. 2) you’re running live dedup and care about dedup performance rather than say read-heavy performance; 3) you have swapcache but are often running into the vnode limit in what you can cache.”
So, not always useful.
Also, Matthew Dillon has made version 6 the default version of Hammer in DragonFly 2.9. Version 6 has improved handling of directory names in some circumstances. Just don’t ask me which, cause I lost track. It’s been a hard day!
There’s a number of pkgsrc packages that have a combination of security vulnerabilites and lack of updates for more than a year which is placing them on the chopping block. (Follow the discussion to see which ones make it off the list.) The removals will happen after the next branch, pkgsrc-2011Q1, which is itself due in two days.