Month: August 2011

BFQ scheduler writeup

Brills Peng has written up a nice description of his scheduler work for Google Summer of Code, with details on what it does, and how to try it out.  Best of all, he plans to keep working on it!

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safe(4) added

Sascha Wildner has added safe(4), which will help if you have a SafeNet chip on your crypto accelerator card.  Untested, so you know what to do if you have this hardware.

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More Summer of Code results

Another batch of code has arrived from Google Summer of Code student work.  In this case, it’s code from Adam Hoka’s “Implementing a mirror target for device mapper” project, committed by Alex Hornung.  I think there’s potentially more to come.

Lightning Talk for DragonFly, September 9th,

Ferruccio Zamuner is doing a lightning talk about DragonFly at the sixth annual Italian Perl Workshop, September 9th in Turin, Italy.   I mentioned this back in May, but now there’s a concrete date, and it’s about a week and a half away.

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Try x86_64 again

If DragonFly/x86_64 fails to install on your system, but DragonFly/i386 works, try again.  Sepherosa Ziehau has a fix for the keyboard controller that may make x86_64 systems boot DragonFly when previously they did not.

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pkgin 0.5 on the way

The next release of pkgin, the binary package installer for pkgsrc, is imminent.  I link to the note about this because the new features list sounds good, including a significant speedup.

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Lazy Reading for 2011/08/28

This week has taught me one thing for sure: Always make sure your backup generator is working.  And over-plan battery capacity.  That’s actually two things, but what the heck.  I’m tired, for reasons that can probably be inferred!  I’m not the only one suffering these problems, it seems.

  • There is a certain subset of readers here that will find this fascinating: a video of a game postmortem.  Specifically, Elite.  (via)  Needs Flash.
  • This is as good an article as any I’ve seen describing where the tablet computer market is going, at The Economist.
  • Remember RetroBSD, mentioned here previously?  Here’s some discussion of it.
  • EuroBSDCon’s 2011 conference is open for registration, but the early bird discount only lasts until the end of August, so jump on it soon if you’re thinking of going.  It’s the 10th anniversary of the event!
  • PHP 5.3 is coming to pkgsrc as default, soon?  The PHP 5.2 -> 5.3 transition seems to mess up a lot of code because of some changes in the way things are handled, or at least that’s my experience, so watch out.
  • Make sure you aren’t running mod_deflate on your Apache 2.x server.
  • Kristaps Dzonsons, the fellow behind mdocml (which is in DragonFly now and mentioned here before) is working on a mdoc manual.  It’s an actual book, with examples.  It’s titled “Practical UNIX Manuals: mdoc”, which sounds like part of a series, though I don’t know if there’s anything else.  I’d sure like it if there was.  (via Undeadly.)  Look very closely at the mdoc web page and you will see the markup, too.  Neat!
  • Breakout treated as a musical instrument, in 1983.  That’s too glib a summary of this explanation of an old book studying the game Breakout and playing it.  Really, read the article, and remember that the book described would just be lost in a sea of blog posts noise today.  (via)

Your unrelated comic link of the week: Wonderella.  This is the comic that ruined Batman for me.  I can’t unthink it.


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Summer of Code results already

Google Summer of Code for 2011 just finished, and there’s already source code from it showing up in DragonFly.  In this case,  scheduler work, including multiple schedulers.  I’ll have a more detailed report soon…

DESTDIR almost done

There are only 45 packages out of over 10,000 in pkgsrc that do not support being installed by people who aren’t root, or in different locations.  Thomas Klausner has that list of 45 packages.  It’s very close to zero packages with this problem at this point, so if you want to make a big difference…

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PPTP, explained

As part of a larger thread, Chris Turner went into a longer explanation of how PPTP connections work.  Do you have PPTP working on DragonFly?  Please share details!

Secret committer hints

If you’re committing something to DragonFly, or even just working on your own Git repository so as to submit a patch, the new-to-me-and-not-actually-secret committer(7) man page has a lot of tips.  I’m linking to it because it holds a lot of information that otherwise would be something you’d have to soak up over time from the community, maybe.

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New patches for TRIM support

Tim Bisson has posted a new batch of patches putting TRIM support into DragonFly.  He has a graph in there too!

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Mixing pkgsrc and alien packages

Anton Panev is working on a Google Summer of Code project for NetBSD, adding support in pkgsrc for RPM/Debian package formats.  He posted a status report recently; will this come to DragonFly via pkgsrc?  I don’t know!

A zillion sh updates

Peter Avalos brought in a vast quantity of sh(1) updates, all from FreeBSD as far as I can tell.  There’s a whole bunch more commits all on 8/21, but I’m tired of linking.  Thank you, Peter!

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

New HighPoint RocketRAID support

If you have a HighPoint RocketRAID 4321 or 4322 model, Sascha Wildner’s just added support for them in the hptiop(4) driver, taken from FreeBSD.

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Lazy Reading for 08/21/2011

Ah, August.  The month where everybody goes on vacation.  I’ve been gone off and on for the last few weeks, so my link collection has been slower, but I’ve been able to keep up something.

Your unrelated comic link of the week: Nedroid.  “Beartato” is one of the best names ever.

Yeah, unrelated links seem to always be comics.  They offer the most reading.

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More readable assertions

Assertions, in DragonFly, are places in the code where the programmer lists a condition, and tells the system to panic if the condition doesn’t exist.  It’s a good way to guard against weird situations, when something ends up with a strange value.  Do you actually use them while programming?  Then Adam Hoka’s patch to print file name and line number when the assertion hits will be useful to you.

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A bounty for rum(4)

It sounds like I’m about to mention something pirate-themed, doesn’t it?  Brendan Kosowski needs the rum(4) driver, for (I think) Ralink RT2501USB and RT2601USB wireless.  He’s willing to offer a bounty of $100 to anyone who can get it working before the next DragonFly release.  Work on it if you can port, or add money if you can use it.

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Quotas almost sort of working

Francois Tigeot took an old Summer of Code proposal, VFS Quotas, and started running with it.  He’s made some progress, as he detailed in a recent post to kernel@ (with code!) , but the nullfs-mount nature of PFSs in Hammer are making it difficult.

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More network hardware changes: Broadcom

Sepherosa Ziehau continues his relentless network feature improvement/porting: this time, adding the ability for DragonFly to recognize more varieties of Broadcom hardware.

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DragonFly and IPv6 advertisements

Apparently, if you are running IPv6, and using radvd (Linux)/rtadvd (BSD) to autoconfigure your hosts with IPv6 addresses, you need to tell your DragonFly hosts to accept this.

x86_64: Rebuild!

If you’re running 64-bit DragonFly, and you’re on version 2.11, you will want to rebuild with the latest sources.  Peter Avalos found a bug with file descriptor passing, and Venkatesh Srinivas fixed it.  It will require a quickworld/kernel build – maybe a full buildworld and kernel?  I’m not sure.   Some pkgsrc packages might need recompilation, too if they also passed file descriptors around.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Heads Up!     0 Comments

More msk(4) modification

Sepherosa Ziehau has been making a lot more changes to the msk(4) driver for Marvell Ethernet chipsets.  I link to this commit adding support for Yukon Supreme cards, but there’s a great deal of work from him, recently added.

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LSI driver updates

Sascha Wildner has committed version 3.981 of the mfi(4) driver, for a variety of LSI MegaRAID SAS 92XX devices.  Read the commit message for details on the model numbers.

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vkernel without a disk

Thanks to Antonio Huete Jimenez, there’s now an explanation in the vkernel(7) man page on how to netboot virtualized DragonFly kernels.

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Lazy Reading for 2011/08/14

This is a shorter version of a Lazy Reading post, but it’s linking to some extensive writing.  Yay for having other people make up for my brevity!

Your unrelated link of the day: the comics of Lucy Knisley.  (follow the ‘Previous’ links for more)

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Lazy Reading, UNIXish     1 Comment

Deduplication now eats less RAM

Well, if you tell it to do so.  Matthew Dillon has added a user-settable limit to the amount of memory used during deduplication, so if your Hammer-using system is low on RAM, you can conserve.  This is probably most useful if you are running DragonFly in an extremely small VM, or if your name is Venkatesh.

(inside joke; Venkatesh has a crazy old desktop for DragonFly.)


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

More Marvell support

Sepherosa Ziehau has added support for a wider range of Marvell network interfaces; specifically the chips on board, not just card models.  If you’ve got the right chips but they aren’t working for you, you know what to do.

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kqueue Summer of Code progress

Samuel Greear posted a progress report on his kqueue Summer of Code project.  There’s code available now to try it out.  It sounds grand, though I can’t identify what effects it will have for the end user.

pkgsrc: now as git

CVS has traditionally been used to distribute the files in pkgsrc, but there’s been a converted git version for DragonFly for a bit now.  It looks like there is now an official version (i.e. for everyone, maybe to replace CVS?) at Github.

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ACPI and interrupt routing update

Sepherosa Ziehau has, over the last few months, effectively completed the “Update ACPI and interrupt routing” code bounty on the DragonFly code bounties page.  Yay!  I’m on the hook for the $50 I pledged towards that…  (it’s already off the page; here’s the change if you want to see it.)

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSD Magazine for August

I’m a bit slow in reporting this, but: BSD Magazine for August is out in free PDF form.  The theme article is memory file systems, but there’s all sorts of stuff, including an article from me talking about how I set up bulk builds of pkgsrc.

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August OSBR: open source business

The August issue of the Open Source Business Resource magazine is out, talking about starting open-source based businesses.  It also announces a name change, to “Technology Innovation Management Review”. The reason, according to the editor, is that the original purpose of the magazine was to explain how you could make money creating or using open source software.  People seem to have figured that out now…

The question now is how do you make your (probably open source using) business grow.   I totally believe that now based on the number of businesses that have sprung up based around open source software; it used to be much harder to find a commercial backer for a project that let you see the source code.  Now, it’s practically commonplace.  (examples added off the top of my head.)

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Periodicals     1 Comment

More OpenGrok

We went from feast to famine, and now back to feast. is back up and running, for your source comparison needs.  It complements the one at – plus it still contains source for multiple operating systems.

Note/update: is having some problems keeping Tomcat running, so your mileage may vary…

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EuroBSDCon 2011 registration open

EuroBSDcon 2011, which is happening in Maarssen, The Netherlands 2011/10/6 to 2011/10/9, is now open for registration.  This is the 10th anniversary!

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Lazy Reading for 2011/08/07

I’m throwing this in as a late update as I catch up on what happened while I was on the road last week.

  • Venkatesh Srinivas is doing The Right Thing and making sure patches get applied to the original software, not just in pkgsrc.  (bitcoin, in this case.)  Thanks!
  • Hey, more reviews (they agree with mine) for Practical Packet Analysis, from other No Starch authors.
  • RetroBSD: a tiny version of BSD, based on 2.11BSD and running on MIPS hardware, is available.  That was the one that ran on PDP-11 systems, so the small footprint is no surprise.  (According to the site) It uses a tenth of the memory, can run its own C compiler, and can fork.  Apparently uClinux can’t do any of those things.

Your unrelated link for the day: Rotate Your Owl. (via)

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BSDTalk 207: ArabBSD

BSDTalk 207 is 15 minutes of conversation with Mohammed Farrag about ArabBSD.  It’s good to see open source being supported in a part of the world I daresay has been underserved.   This is the Internet, so I say that without supporting evidence, of course.

(I have a lot of catching up to do; more posts soon.)

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