Month: May 2011

BSDTalk 204: Ingo Schwartze, Kristaps Dzonsons

Fresh from BSDCan 2011, an interview with Ingo Schwartze and Kristaps Dzonsons, mostly about mdocml.  (Which is already present in DragonFly.)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, DragonFly, Periodicals     0 Comments

Trying out deduplication

I moved to DragonFly 2.10 over the past few days, and I tried out deduplication, to see what kind of results I would get.  The procedure is outlined below.  I’m using /home here as an example, just to reduce the amount of text pasted in.

/pfs/@@-1:00004     966000640 566434576 399566064    59%    /home

Move my various Hammer pseudo-file systems to version 5, which supports deduplication.

# hammer version-upgrade /home 5

Issue a deduplication simulate command, to see what it guesses will be the savings:

# hammer dedup-simulate /home
Dedup-simulate /home: objspace 8000000000000000:0000 7fffffffffffffff:ffff pfs_id 4
Dedup-simulate /home succeeded
Simulated dedup ratio = 1.22

That ratio turned out to be pretty accurate for the actual deduplication.  I didn’t time it, unfortunately.  I don’t know if the time taken is proportional to the amount of deduplication or the total volume of data, though I suspect the latter.

# hammer dedup /home
Dedup /home: objspace 8000000000000000:0000 7fffffffffffffff:ffff pfs_id 4
Dedup /home succeeded
Dedup ratio = 1.22
462 GB referenced
378 GB allocated
14 MB skipped
6869 CRC collisions
0 SHA collisions
0 bigblock underflows

The end result?

/pfs/@@-1:00004     966000640 505887504 460113136    52%    /home

That data space is shared across all file systems, and it’s a 1TB disk, so it’s 7%, or 70GB. I was hoping for more, but I don’t have any obviously duplicated data (no local mail store, no on-disk backups), so perhaps this is normal. 70GB that I didn’t have before is no bad thing, though.

Incidentally, I was able to upgrade my installed software from pkgsrc-2009Q4 to pkgsrc-2011Q1 entirely using pkg_radd -u <pkgname>.  Remarkably quick and painless, though pkgin may have been able to do it even faster since it would pull from the same place.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Google Code-In, Hammer, pkgsrc     1 Comment

Lazy Reading for 2011/05/29


  • Do you like the Opera browser?  Apparently all it takes is a little misspelling to confuse it with a U.S. daytime talk show host.  The “Best of Oprah emails to Opera“.   (via)  Mistaken identity on the Internet is always fun.
  • Popular free software licenses, described.  (via)  One of the better, non-polemic descriptions I’ve seen.
  • For the opposite effect, the Free Software Foundation’s license recommendations.  Somehow, the BSD license isn’t even mentioned.  (via)  A commenter at the source link notes that the GNU Free Documentation License isn’t even considered ‘free’ by Debian.  Along those lines, I’ve always thought that GPL licensing creates a perverse incentive to keep your software undocumented.
  • The FreeBSD and NetBSD Foundations have acquired a license for libcxxrt from PathScale, which I assume is for C++ support in conjunction with clang.  (or pcc?)  This isn’t as much of an issue for DragonFly right now since we’re continuing down the GCC route.
  • Temple of the Roguelike, a searchable database of roguelike games.  It’s an idea that you would totally expect for this genre.  (via trevorjk on EFNet #dragonflybsd)  Also: a roguelikedev subreddit.
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Another pkgsrc build

This new build is on x86_64, pkgsrc-2011Q1.  It’s already uploaded, if you want to update.  i386 coming soon.   Several packages freeze up during build, so it’s been turning into a manual process.

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Minecraft! On DragonFly! Almost!

I managed to build openjdk7 on a DragonFly 2.9 system, and run a Minecraft server… but I can’t connect to it.  Anyone want to hazard a guess as to why?  I haven’t used Java much in the past few years, so I’m not sure where to troubleshoot.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     4 Comments

Other Summer of Code: pkgsrc

One of the Google Summer of Code projects that will be valuable for DragonFly even though it isn’t a DragonFly project: “Add other package formats to pkgsrc”, where pkgsrc can interpret rpm, dpkg, and FreeBSD Ports files.  Anyway, the project has a Sourceforge site.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Google Summer of Code, pkgsrc     1 Comment

Getting started with disk encryption

I haven’t covered recent disk encryption work evenly, here, so I’ll point at a recent discussion instead.  Alex Hornung mentioned a cryptsetup(8) man page that may help, as does any dm-crypt tutorial out there on the Internet.  (DragonFly has the same userland tools.)   The DragonFly installer will create encrypted disks at install time, too.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Hot-swap and a bad disk

If you follow this thread, it has some discussion on how to handle a multi-disk setup and Hammer.  If a disk is going bad, you can try mirroring, though you have to be careful how your pseudo-file systems are set up.

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

SMP by default

The SMP option is now in the GENERIC kernel config.  This means you’ll have a SMP-capable kernel even on an uniprocessor machine, unless you configure a special kernel.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Heads Up!     2 Comments

NTFS vs. battlestar

Apparently the mail(1) and battlestar(6) source code caused a problem when checked out onto a NTFS volume.  Sascha Wildner fixed it, and Alexander Polakov found an explanation as to why.  How long has this problem been around?  Well, look at the email addresses at the end of the man page for battlestar(6), for instance, or guess how long mail(1) has been around…


Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

IOAPIC all the time

The I/O APIC is now always on unless you say otherwise.  This may not make a clear difference to you, but enabling that kernel option has always been a somewhat iffy thing; working for some configurations and not others.  Now, it’s one less thing to worry about.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

EuroBSDCon paper deadline looms

EuroBSDCon 2011, which is being held at Maarssen, The Netherlands, is October 6th through 9th of this year.  If you want to get a paper in, the deadline is in a week – May 30th.  Get a move on if you want to present!

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OpenJDK to try

As noted by reader eirik in a previous story comment, OpenJDK 7 is supposed to run on DragonFly (i386).  Anyone want to try this?

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2011/05/22

This week, the links are generally fun.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, UNIXish     2 Comments

Java and DragonFly

Here’s some recent notes on running Java on DragonFly; I may have posted something similar before, but it doesn’t hurt to keep the information out there.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

Updates: binutils, drill, Chromium

Several updates, all at once: Jan Lentfer has updated ldns/drill (changelog) to 1.6.9, John Marino has updated binutils to 2.20.1 (changelog), and Matthias Rampke has built Chromium 11 for DragonFly, and has a package available.  I assume the Chromium version posted about here before was version 10?

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     4 Comments

SMP kernels all the time

I posted something about this before, but now it’s definite: bleeding-edge users of DragonFly can boot a multiprocessor kernel on a single-processor machine.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

NICs and how to go through them all

If you’ve ever wanted to really make sure of all the network interfaces supported on your DragonFly system, you can create an exhaustive (and exhausting) list.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Sendmail, updates

Sendmail in DragonFly is now at version 8.14.15, thanks to Jan Lentfer.  (Have you seen this new MeTA1 thing?)  See the changelog changes for the nitty-gritty.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     6 Comments

LibreOffice for DragonFly

Francois Tigeot has got LibreOffice working for DragonFly. See his post for build/download details. LibreOffice, if you haven’t heard of it, is the recent offshoot of OpenOffice, with much less Sun/Oracle involvement.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

New gold linker

John Marino has made it possible to use ‘gold‘, the new linker in binutils 2.21, on DragonFly.  His explanatory post outlines the benefits (much faster C++ compiling), and caveats (does not work yet for building world/kernel).

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

NVIDIA card driver update

Samuel Greear has a totally untested update to the NVIDIA video driver available.  It may not work, but it’s not like that’ll be any different than the current state of the driver.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

New pkgsrc bulk build results

I have them, for DragonFly 2.11/i386 and DragonFly 2.11/x86_64 (see pkgsrc-bulk), on pkgsrc-2011Q1.  I think I even uploaded them correctly this time.

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

DragonFly in Turin in September

Ferruccio Zamuner will be doing a talk about DragonFly at the Italian Perl Workshop in Turin, in September.  It’s a free event.  He’s working on slides, and is looking for feedback on them (I assume once he has them.)

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

Device Mapper mirror page

Adam Hoka, a student in Google Summer of Code for DragonFly, has created a wiki page for his device mapper mirroring project.  Not a lot there, but I’m happy to see the reference.

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

Lazy Reading for 2011/05/15

This week: lots more reading!

  • Michael Lucas describes an extra layer of protection for when you can’t force public key usage on every SSH user.
  • Cool, but obscure Unix tools (via)  The screenshots are all from a Mac… How many of the 24 tools listed are in pkgsrc/pkgsrc-wip?   Almost all of them.  (tpp sounds entertaining.)
  • NYCBUG, in addition to having a really fun convention, has been regularly posting audio of the presentations they host.  The most recent is “William Baxter’s NYCBUG presentation on The Unix Method of Development Management”.   See the BSD Events tweet for the download.
  • What Ubuntu means.  (via)
  • Here’s a nice explanation of Intel’s new Tri-Gate design and with it, an incidental explanation of the processor market.
  • This ycombinator post about Hammer2 work has an in-depth comment from Venkatesh Srinivas about DragonFly’s network setup, memory allocator, and token use.  (Ignore the trolling in other comments.)
  • Michael Lucas’s next No Starch Press book is Absolute OpenBSD, second edition.
  • Pictures and video are starting to show up from the just-passed BSDCan 2011. (via this and also thesjg on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
  • My first experience of The Internet was very similar to this.  It should be bizarrely unfamiliar to anyone under 20 or so.  (via)  Get this: I typed ‘exit’ instead of just closing the browser window when I was done messing with it, because some habits cannot be broken.
Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Lazy Reading, pkgsrc, UNIXish     0 Comments

Finding free memory

If you’ve used ‘free’ on Linux to find available memory, Steve O’Hara-Smith has described the way to do the same thing on DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

SMP kernels on uniprocessor systems

It looks like Sepherosa Ziehau is working on getting multiprocessor kernels able to boot on single-processor systems.  This makes life a bit easier, since there’s only one kernel needed for any given processor.  I don’t know if it’s in a finished state yet.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     2 Comments

Intel vs. AMD: a speed shootout

Matthew Dillon did some tests building both with an Intel i7 2600K and AMD PhenomIIx6 1090T CPU, and posted the results.  He follows up with a note that the lower electricity cost of the Intel i7 makes it price-comparable with the AMD chip within a year and a half.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

A project reminder for the idle

For anyone who missed/couldn’t join Summer of Code, there’s still lists of potentially interesting projects, as Alex Hornung points out.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

More on Hammer design

I mentioned it before, but Matthew Dillon’s updated his Hammer document, and posted about it.  Read on, especially if you like extremely complex plans.

Edit: first link fixed, plus there’s a followup.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Hammer     4 Comments

Some new pkgsrc reports

I finished two builds of pkgsrc-2011Q1 on DragonFly; the reports are available.  The only real breakage is security/heimdal.   There’s a patch for that, though.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Chromium on DragonFly: success!

Thanks to Matthias Rampke, Chromium builds on DragonFly.  He’s posted with notes and even a screenshot, and has a working i386 binary.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

Remember to enable deduplication

I didn’t think of this, but I needed it: if you have an older Hammer system that now can perform deduplication because you upgraded to DragonFly 2.10, make sure to add it to the configuration for that file system, or else it won’t run.

SSDs and how to portion them

There’s been some discussion on buying a SSD and how to match it with a hard disk, and/or swapcache.  Follow the thread for more details.

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

libgnuregex goes away

Thanks to John Marino, the one dependency needing libgnuregex is gone, as is the software itself.  I didn’t even know libgnuregex was there.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Really old systems and libpthread

If you have a really old DragonFly system, meaning you’ve been upgrading it since version… 1.8 (I think?), you may have libpthread linked to libc_r instead of libxu.  This means that if you have a system that old, you will now need to set THREAD_LIB or just recompile your pkgsrc programs on your next upgrade to something after DragonFly 2.10.   I don’t think this is going to apply to a lot of people.

(I hope I got the lib details right…)

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2011/05/08

Let’s see, what do I have now…

  • Did you know we just released DragonFly 2.1?  Neither did I.
  • The AppleCrate II (][?), a set of parallel Apple //e systems.  It makes me so happy.  I love to see how simple uncomplex the old Apple systems were, almost at the level of programmable logic controllers today.  I was struck by the fact that the Apple //e requires less than 5 volts, which means it could run off a USB port.  (via lots of places)
  • Removing the internet’s relics: a call to kill FTP now that it’s 40 years old.  There’s no easy alternative, though…
  • 20 years of Adobe Photoshop.  (via)  Obviously that’s not found on any BSD platform, but almost every raster-based image editor out there tries to emulate Photoshop in some way, on every platform.  It casts a long shadow.  Plus, I remember the Photoshop 2.0 loading screen, so now I feel old.
  • Is tech blogging becoming worse? i.e not really tech any more?  I’ve mumbled about this before, since this site is arguably a tech blog.  Sites tend to diversify and lose focus to grow their audience.  You can see the same pattern in the magazine market, back when there was a magazine market.  You don’t have to worry about the Digest – I’m targeting BSD users, so I’m totally not growing my audience!  (Joking, joking.  Readership is staying even to slightly up, over the last while.)

On a separate note that has nothing to do with DragonFly: if you live outside the United States and have a postcard handy, can you send it to “St. John Neumann School, 31 Empire Blvd.,  Rochester, NY 14609 USA”?  My daughters’ school is collecting international postcards this month as part of their geography lesson.  It doesn’t have to have anything specific, other than be interesting to 8-year-olds.


Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Lazy Reading, Off-Topic     5 Comments

ipf goes away

ipfilter has now been removed from DragonFly, by Sascha Wildner.  We now have “only” ipfw2 and pf for software firewalls.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     2 Comments

GDB update

John Marino has updated the GNU Debugger (GDB) from version 7.0 to version 7.2.  The lengthy commit message describes how surprisingly complex the upgrade proved to be.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

GSoC: kernel file descriptor event subsystem

And here’s one last writeup/introduction for Google Summer of Code projects on DragonFly: kevent part 2.  (Apparently school exams prevented this from being written sooner.)

EuroBSDCon 2011: Netherlands

The 10th EuroBSDCon is happening in Maarssen, The Netherlands, October 6th through the 9th.  The call for proposals is up until the end of the month.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

Hammer and the future

Matthew Dillon’s been thinking about Hammer, and how to implement clustering well enough to work as a sort of RAID replacement.  He’s written up a document describing his plans.  Some highlights:

  • writable history snapshots
  • quotas and accounting
  • live rebuilds of data from mirrors
  • and the same history, mirroring, and snapshots as before.

It’s going to be a while before this “Hammer 2” becomes a finished product, though, so don’t count on it for the next release.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Google Code-In, Hammer     5 Comments

BSD Magazine for May

The May issue of BSD Magazine is out.  The cover says “Embedded FreeBSD” as a continuation of last month’s theme, but there’s really a wide mix in there.  Of course, there’s a DragonFly news section from me, talking about 2.10.  I’ll point at the zsh article that opens the magazine, since every zsh user I’ve met talks about zsh rapturously.  Also, the iXSystems ad on page 2 has a rather fun illustration…

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A start on TRIM support

Tim Bisson has inital TRIM support working for UFS.  His lengthy posting talks about how it’s done, and shows how much it speeds things up.  He’s looking for testers, so please try it if you have a SSD.  (The usual warnings apply about testing code that specifically deletes things.)

For those not familiar with TRIM in SSD context, here’s the least annoying page with an explanation that I could find in a few seconds of Googling.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

OSBR: Technology Entrepreneurship

The May 2011 issue of the Open Source Business Resource is “Technology Entrepreneurship“.  You’ll want to read this because it’s all people who are their own boss, using software they can modify themselves.  Seductively nerdy/utopian!  They’re continuing the topic for next month’s issue, so if that describes you and you like writing, here’s your chance.

Posted by     Categories: Periodicals, UNIXish     0 Comments

gcc, textinfo, and diffutils updates

John Marino’s gone on a tear and updated GCC to version 4.4.6, diffutils from 2.87 to 3.0, and texinfo from 4.8 to 4.13.  Each commit message that I linked to has plenty of notes on what’s different, so they’re worth following.  This is the first update for texinfo in 6 years, so the quantity of updates is not surprising.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     3 Comments

Summer of Code work that isn’t Summer of Code

Kedar Soparkar applied for Google Summer of Code with DragonFly, but didn’t make the cut with the very few slots we have.  So, he’s going to work on his i386 ABI implementation anyway.   More student work is always wonderful news.

Links to learn UNIX

Chatoor Kalki posted about his desire to learn about this whole UNIX/BSD/DragonFly thing, and there were several followups that may be useful to anyone interested in some reading.

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

Want your kernel build to fail?

Then use the new LINT64 config added by Sascha Wildner.  LINT kernels have every option turned on, so it’s pretty easy to have problems due to conflicts or untested parts and so on.  You probably won’t get a kernel out of it, but now there’s a comprehensive list of your 64-bit kernel options for when you’re building a kernel that works.


Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2011/05/01

There hasn’t been much to nab for Lazy Reading, lately.  Oh well.  The last few weeks were good so it has to even out sometime.

  • Did you know GBC stands for Great Ball Contraption, a Lego device designed to move little plastic balls?  Here’s 20 of them chained together.  (via b3ta)
  • The original University POSTGRES.   (thanks, Jan)  This is a source for PostgreSQL, as far as I can tell, which makes it in some ways contemporary to BSD’s origins.  I am not surprised.  PostgreSQL seems to be the thinking person’s alternative to MySQL like BSD is the thinking person’s alternative to Linux.
  • Do you have a pf.conf?  The people behind fwbuilder can use it for examples, so they can support pf in their config builder.  (via)
Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on, Lazy Reading     0 Comments