Month: July 2011

Lazy Reading for 2011/07/31

Posted in the past, for the future.  I always build these up over the week, so if the links seem dated (as in more than 24 hours old), that’s why.  My commentary will add the flavor.

  • This NYT story about Dwarf Fortress has been linked lots of places, but I want to point out the one paragraph:

    Growing up, Tarn was enamored of Dungeons & Dragons and J.R.R. Tolkien, but he has never been a lockstep member of the geek culture so much as a wanderer on the fringes. He didn’t read superhero comics as a kid, and later, he never became obsessed with the “Game of Thrones” books, say, or with “Lost.”

    Are you over 35 or so?  Then maybe you remember a time when there wasn’t a designated ‘Geek Culture’.  It’s something specific to a period in time, like when pay phones were still common, or when people were on average still thin.  It strikes me that the interviewer assumes that a computer programmer should become consumed with a TV media event; that it’s part of what makes them what they are.   It’s as if all accountants need to have brown shoes, and all artists have to wear berets and ‘get’ abstract art.  Maybe I’m just hipster complaining.

  • “...while Bell Labs’ parent company AT&T flatly refused to believe that packet switching would ever work” – Have I linked to Shady Characters before?  I think so.  Anyway, this is part 1 about the @ sign, and it’s of course talking about email and the early days of the Internet, back when it was the ARPANet.  Be sure to check the references at the end of the article; it contains gems like this ad for a 65-pound portable TTY.
  • Tim Paterson has a blog.  DOS is his fault.  Worth reading, for the early hardware details.  (via ftigeot on #dragonflybsd)
  • Removing the Internet’s relics. An article about how FTP should die.  It will…  once there’s no place where it’s needed.  Like gopher!
  • Comparisons like this are usually cheesy, but this one made me laugh: Text editors as Lord of the Rings locations.
Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, roguelike, UNIXish     1 Comment

Software RAID, an incomplete guide

A not-yet-finished guide to setting up software RAID on DragonFly has appeared on the site from user ‘Markus’.  Read and/or add to it if you are interested; I have always favored having RAID controlled by separate hardware, but this question on using software comes up repeatedly.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Updating to pkgsrc-2011Q2

I put together a post on users@ about updating to pkgsrc-2011Q2.  I’ll just repeat it here after the break:


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

More Opengrok

There’s an OpenGrok install being set up at: – right now it just covers DragonFly, but I think there will be more soon.


Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Pulse-width modulated time-domain multiplexer!

I really just like that phrase and the action movie feeling of using it, like “Watch out!  The pulse-width modulated time-domain multiplexer is targeting us!”  Sorta like a PU-36 space modulator.  It’s actually a recently-committed mechanism to improve write performance in Hammer, but my idea sounds more exciting.

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

More clang and pkgsrc

I recently saw some terse notes on about compiling using clang for pkgsrc.  I haven’t tried this on DragonFly…

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     1 Comment

More Java on DragonFly

Francois Tigeot has fixed wip/jdk16 to build on DragonFly.  Note that this is in pkgsrc-wip, not ‘normal’ pkgsrc.  The secret is to build lang/kaffe to bootstrap it, which requires CCVER=gcc41 to be set.  Apparently kaffe will not build under gcc 4.4.

Why did he do it?  To run OpenGrok, of course.  He’s posted instructions on getting OpenGrok running on DragonFly.  Note the Java crashes he reports in DragonFly 2.11 may already have been fixed.

p.s. I hated “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

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

Various old ISA drivers gone

17 different ISA device drivers have been removed by Sascha Wildner.  The commit message has device descriptions.  This may mean you need to change your kernel configuration file on the next buildkernel, since some of them were in the GENERIC kernel.  If you need any of them, speak up.  (I don’t think I’ve ever used any of them.  Oh darn.)

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, Heads Up!     1 Comment

Lazy Reading for 2011/07/24

Lazy reading is easy when it’s been this hot out.  In fact, I may melt before this article gets published.

  • Ecdysis – a NAT64 gateway program.  I link to it for two reasons.  1: You will probably need to NAT 6-to-4 sooner or later, and 2: it uses PF and so is BSD-compatible. (via)
  • Don’t not copy that floppy! (also via)  My original Apple ][ disk for Castle Wolfenstein is probably no longer functional.  Not that I have equipment to play it on…
  • World timezones, as a visible map.  (via)   I mention time zone updates here on occasion, and this is a immediate guide to what a strange patchwork of zones it is.  You can’t even see some of the really tiny/crazy ones.
  • A crappy way to start your day.  Nobody ever enjoys that call from work…

And now, a link that has nothing to do with this.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on, Someday you will need this     0 Comments

Practical Packet Analysis: a review

Background: You may remember some time ago, I posted a review of Michael Lucas’s Network Flow Analysis.  He’s written several BSD books and so I figured it was worth reading further, knowing that this network-specific book would be BSD-friendly.  Also, he made it easier by sending me a copy.

No Starch Press, the company that published all the books linked in the previous paragraph, asked if I’d read/review another book from them. This would be Practical Packet Analysis, 2nd edition.  (Review continues after the break…)


Deduplication real world results

I’ve posted about my own results with Hammer deduplication here before, but Siju George put together results from his workplace using actual files in production.  He recovered 138G from a 1T disk, and recovered 20% of space from another disk.  Not bad for something that’s nearly automatic, and completely free.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Hammer     1 Comment

2011Q2 binary builds finishing up

The builds of pkgsrc-2011Q2 are finishing up, so we have/will have binaries to download, for those who don’t want to build from source.  The uploads should be complete by now for everything except maybe 2.11/x86_64.  You’ll have to change $PKG_PATH to point at the new directories for now, though.  There’s also some build reports to look at.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

clang and pkgsrc bulk builds

I spied a bulk build of pkgsrc using clang.  It’s interesting to see the results…  It’s on NetBSD, but it should be possible to try the same thing with CCVER on DragonFly.  Any takers?

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

Starve reads or starve writes?

Remember the benchmark tests I linked a few days ago?  There’s been ongoing discussion about them, and a recent comment from Matthew Dillon sums it up pretty well: the benchmarks differ depending on whether you favor reads, or favor writes.

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

More Broadcom support

Thanks to Michael Neumann, there’s more supported Broadcom network card chipsets.  There’s some wierdness in setup, though, so look at his commit message.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSD-Day Argentina: call for papers

BSDday Argentina 2011 is happening the 4th and 5th of November, in Buenos Aires City, Argentina.  The Call for Papers is out, if you’d like to contribute.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, DragonFly     0 Comments

Tim and TRIM

Tim Bisson has another status report on supporting TRIM in DragonFly.   It supports UFS and Hammer slices, and trimming swap too.  I’m not sure what else could be done; that sounds pretty complete to me…  In any case, if you have a SSD, his code is available to try right now.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Smartphone driver

If you happen to use a LG P-500 smartphone to get online via USB, as ‘Romick’ does, he’s got a patch that makes that device work under DragonFly.  (Sorry, the original users@ email seems to have gone missing.)

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     3 Comments

CCC Camp for all

About a month from now (August 10-14), the CCC Camp is being held outside Berlin.  Bring a tent and (I assume) something capable of getting a wireless connection.  It only happens every 4 years, so jump on it now.  There will be at least one DragonFly-using person there – Matthias Schmidt is going.

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

Binutils updated

John Marino has made binutils 2.21.1 the default binutils in DragonFly, and gprof is now built but not in the default path.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2011/07/17

Man, it’s like the whole Internet decided to take a nap lately.  Warm weather in the northern hemisphere does that.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Lazy Reading     1 Comment

Disk encryption updates

Alex Hornung has made a pile of changes for disk encryption, including adding libdm, a “simple BSD-licensed libdevmapper“,and adding tcplay, a 100% compatible implementation of TrueCrypt.   This should make you very happy if you like running from an encrypted disk.

Update: Alex has written an in-depth explanation of this work.  It’s a huge change!

Update update: Hey, it’s showing on Hacker News too!

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Summer of Code: midterm passes

All 6 Google Summer of Code projects for DragonFly have reached the midterm, and passed!

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

More benchmarks, graphs

Francois Tigeot has repeated his benchmarking, this time changing out the CPU instead of the operating system.  There’s still more graphs, yay!

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Vkernel checkpoint status

Irina Pre?a has posted a nice summary of the Google Summer of Code project “Checkpointing vkernels.”

Summer of Code midterms due

If you are a Summer of Code student or mentor, make sure you’ve filled out your midterm survey.  Without it, your project fails – and they are due for everyone in roughly the next 24 hours!

Summer of Code Doc Camp

One of the perpetual questions about Summer of Code is “Why can’t there be documentation projects?”, since most open source projects need docs as badly as code.  There’s various reasons that I’m too lazy to research and type out, I’m sure, but Google is sponsoring a “Doc Camp“, in October.  You don’t have to be in Summer of Code; you just have to be willing to spend the 17th through the 25th writing documentation.  Google pays for room and board, and you can apply for transportation cost coverage.  A classy idea, all around.  Someone participate and report back!

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Google Summer of Code     0 Comments

Blogbench and Areca RAID tests

Francois Tigeot tested a system under both FreeBSD and DragonFly using various RAID setups with arcmsr(4) and blogbench.   Hooray for graphs!  Like any good benchmark, it quickly went to discussion of how the test was conducted and how the various runs differ.  (Follow the thread.)

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

Summer of Code halfway point

The Google Summer of Code midterms are coming up, which generally means students get graded on a pass/fail basis for their work so far, and both mentors and students fill out surveys.  What’s this mean?  It means we’re halfway through six projects!

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Google Summer of Code     2 Comments

TCP update for 2.11

If you’re running a recent version of DragonFly 2.11, it’s worth updating.  Matthew Dillon fixed a networking bug that I’ve seen cause problems.  It was introduced within 2.11’s lifetime, so as far as I know, this won’t affect anyone on 2.10.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

pkgsrc-2011Q2 is branched

The latest quarterly release of pkgsrc, 2011Q2, has been branched.  There’s no formal announcement yet to describe the highlights, but I’ll link it when it shows up.  I’ve already started building binary packages for DragonFly 2.10 and 2.11.

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

Man pages through DuckDuckGo

I happened to stumble on this: the DuckDuckGo search engine will take you directly to a DragonFly man page, if you type ‘!dfman’ at the start of your query.  For instance, “!dfman hammer“.

EST for x86_64

Sascha Wildner has enabled the CPU_ENABLE_EST option for x86_64 kernels.  If you’re on x86_64, you can now use Enhanced Speedstep Technology.  (i386 users already could.)

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

July OSBR: Women Entrepreneurs

The July issue of the Open Source Business Resource is out, and the theme is Women Entrepreneurs.   Next month’s issue is unthemed, so here’s a good time to write about open source and get published.

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

bce(4) firmware update

Sepherosa Ziehau has a firmware update for bce(4) (Broadcom NetXtreme II) cards.  He’s been doing a lot more incidental network hardware updates I haven’t linked; thanks, Sephe!

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     2 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2011/07/03

I digress mightily this week, so I’m not doing the bullet points.

You probably heard of this already, but hey, look!  DragonFly BSD, ubersearched.

Along with all the other Google announcements recently, there’s the Data Liberation Front.  This, I bet, is the one product that only Google creates.

While on that whole topic, I see ads now that contain a URL on Facebook rather than the product’s website itself.  It makes me think of years ago, when commercials would list the “AOL Keyword” for people to look up.  Yeah, that worked out just dandy.  There’s a similar perspective that goes for writers (via).

The Eternal Shame of Your First Online Handle. (via lots of places)  Here’s my story.  It was, and still is, “Fupjack”.  Years and years ago, a friend of mine had a friend named Zack.  Zack was interesting like a car accident; he was famous for screaming “Give a hoot!  Don’t pollute!” and flinging a Big Gulp drink into oncoming traffic while driving down the highway.  He also destroyed both front tires of his car by ramming a parking lot median at 40mph.

Anyway, apparently he yelled something rude at a woman at some public event, and what she yelled back sounded like “something something fupjack!”  I wasn’t there, but from then on, “fupjack” was the default name we’d use whenever we needed one.  People certainly mispronounce it in interesting ways…

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Lazy Reading     0 Comments

Twofish and serpent in crypto

Alex Hornung has added Twofish and Serpent support to crypto(9) / (4).

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     2 Comments

BSD Magazine: BSD Security, Hammer

The July issue of BSD Magazine is out.  The putative theme is “BSD Security”, but there also happens to be an article featuring Hammer deduplication on real-world data, by yours truly.

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