Month: October 2011

Libhammer added

Antonio Huete Jimenez’s ‘libhammer‘, a library to make various Hammer functions available to userland programs, has been added.  It implements ‘hammer info’ only at this point, if I understand correctly.

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

Postgres performance speedups, possibly

Samuel Greear, Jan Lentfer, and others are looking at Postgres scaling on DragonFly.  The work they are doing isn’t in the tree yet, but here’s a graph showing some of the performance differences.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2011/10/30

It’s snowing in the northeast U.S., which makes me happy!  Keep going, sky!

Unrelated link of the week: Manly Guys Doing Manly Things.  Most of the jokes revolve around games you may or may not know, with the occasional realistic experience that I’ve had myself.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Device support, DragonFly, Lazy Reading     0 Comments

Reduced memory usage

Francois Tigeot does something very useful: he monitors the resource usage on his systems, and tracks how it changes over time.  Because of that, he noticed that the recent VM changes in DragonFly have made quite a difference in memory usage.  (See the green area in the attached chart, around week 42.)

Quick, someone ask why the total memory used remains constant!

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

DragonFly and jails

Michael Lucas is building jails on DragonFly, and his story of doing so works pretty well as a how-to guide.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

GCC updated

John Marino’s moved GCC from 4.4.6 to 4.4.7, but you’ll have to see the changelog for details.  Except it’s so new it isn’t listed… yet.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

Got 10G Ethernet? Here’s an improvement

Sepherosa Ziehau made some changes that led to a 10% and then 20% gain (don’t know if that was cumulative or separate) in network speed for DragonFly.  That’s great!  It only has a noticeable effect if you’re on 10G Ethernet, though.  The obvious answer to that: upgrade your network.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

BSD Magazine for October

It’s out, titled “The Inevitability of IPv6”, and featuring an article by yours truly on the upcoming DragonFly release.  (I thought it was already published?  I’m not sure.)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Periodicals     0 Comments

A new Hammer presentation

Francois Tigeot recently presented a set of slides about Hammer at a recent Irill conference.  PDFs of the slides are available at his site, in English and French.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, DragonFly, Hammer     0 Comments

DragonFly and Postgres and testing too

DragonFly’s now on the BuildFarm list of Postgres test systems.  (via Jan Lentfer in IRC)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Some pkgsrc bulk build comparisons

Here’s some recent x86_64 bulk builds: one on DragonFly 2.11, one on NetBSd 5.0.2, and one on Linux  Some data of note: DragonFly is within 8%-ish total packages built compared to NetBSD, which could be considered the baseline.  Linux, the more common platform for most of the software built, is another step less.  I don’t know if there’s any dramatic conclusion to get from this other than, “Hey, a lot of packages build on DragonFly!”

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BSDDay 2011 in Slovakia

Did you know that there’s a BSDDay 2011 in Bratislava, Slovakia, on November 5th?  Well, I do thanks to a random Google search and now you do too.  You and I both need to keep watching BSD Events.

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

Graphing the recent VM changes

Samuel Greear graphed the performance differences for Postgres and MySQL on DragonFly, before and after the recent VM changes.  Note that 1: this was done a little while ago, so I think the performance difference would be even greater now, and 2: this was graphed versus the already-performing-better 2.12, not the current stable release of 2.10.

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Lazy Reading for 2011/10/23

Not a lot of links this week, for some reason.

Your unrelated comics link for the week: Oglaf.  This week’s OK, but it’s frequently NSFW, and frequently hilarious.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Lazy Reading, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Google Code-In for 2011

Google’s running the Code-In project again for 2011, where open source projects mentor 13-17-year-olds on a variety of small projects.  DragonFly participated last year and had lots of good work done.  However, we need ideas, the more the better.  Please add whatever comes to mind.

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

Got an r600-based video card?

That would be a recent ATI card, though I don’t know exactly which model name.  Samuel Greear has imported David Shao’s DRM work, originally for Summer of Code, last year.  Most newer Radeons should work (?).

The next release and what’s needed

There’s a rare crash in DragonFly 2.10, where applications would segfault.  The system would run find.  This is apparently more likely to happen in 2.12, though reports on this vary.  It’s real, though.

Matthew Dillon went looking for this bug, and happened to roll back vm_token, the last lock in DragonFly that presented a serious impediment to multiprocessing.  It’s a big patch.  It fixes the problem, which is great!  It also happens to make DragonFly buildworlds almost twice as fast depending on the number of cores in the system.

Holy crap we want to get that out…  but it makes some significant changes to the system and needs to be tested.  So, the next release probably won’t be for a few weeks.

If you want to help, build master and do something with it – move data, run server programs, whatever.  Report crashes.  This performance improvement is worth working for.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Heads Up!     0 Comments

BSD Router Project: 1.0

I didn’t know this existed, but there it is: the BSD Router Project is a software router, which just reached version 1.0.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on     2 Comments

Fixes in pkgsrc

I know this happens normally, but I like to point out that it exists.  From the recent pkgsrc-2011Q3 bulk build reports I posted, Samuel Greear found two problems to fix, and thanks to him and OBATA Akio, net/net-snmp and devel/poco are fixed for DragonFly.

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Lazy Reading for 2011/10/16

I build this up over the course of the week, so I’m never sure what to put here. Does it matter? The meat is the links.

  • The Binding of Issac.  It’s a roguelike, with shooter elements.  It’s also creepy.  Here’s the Flash demo.  (Windows and Mac only, aww.)
  • Why transparency is a good idea.  (via…  Michael Lucas?  I lost track, sorry)
  • The JFDI Theory of Language Adoption.  This applies to operating systems too; create the shortest possible path between people and what they want to do on that OS.
  • NetBSD has added SQLite to the base system.  (via)  Interesting…  having a database(ish) always available leads to some new ways to keep data, outside of the usually “stuff in a text file” format.

Your totally off-topic link for the week: Fat Birds.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, NetBSD, roguelike     1 Comment

Bulk build results for 2011Q3

I have some pkgsrc-2011Q3 builds done, for x86_64 and i386.  I performed them on DragonFly 2.11, but they should work fine for 2.12/2.13.  They’re uploading to the pkgsrc-2011Q3 folder on mirror-master, so you’ll need to set PKG_PATH correctly to use them via pkg_radd.


The x86_64 package upload is done, and I anticipate the i386 one will be done within the next 24 hours.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

BSDday Argentina 2011 and how to find out more

Go, look at the BSDday Argentina 2011 site.  Follow the appropriate link for the languages you understand – it’s a console simulation!  (via)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

MMC/SD cards now automatically supported

I did not realize this, but MMC/SD cards are not supported in the default DragonFly kernel.  Or at least, they weren’t until now.  (also committed to 2.12)

Update: PCI-based MMC/SD readers, specifically.  USB ones were already recognized as umass devices.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment

2.12 release candidates

They aren’t really release candidates per se, just “images I built from the 2.12 branch”, but they are available for testing.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

2.12 right around the corner

There’s only two commits, already in DragonFly-current, to add to 2.12 before it’s clear of all listed release requirements.  And maybe binary package builds… which I’m about 2/3 of the way through.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Dennis Ritchie, RIP

Dennis Ritchie, one of the people behind UNIX and the C language, has died.  (via skullY on #dragonflybsd on EFNet)  Look at his Bell Labs web page for some details on his history.  The death of Steve Jobs will get a lot of media attention, but I’d argue that Ritchie affected more computers in far more ways.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     4 Comments

Summer of Code 2011 shirts arriving

I got mine the other day, and here’s someone else’s.

Posted by     Categories: Google Summer of Code     0 Comments

Per-CPU hardware resources

It looks like Sepherosa Ziehau is working on hardware support being split up per-CPU, judging by this commit – one of many, recently.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

GEM/KMS warning

Some newer laptops have Intel integrated video chipsets that require GEM/KMS to work well; they are supported by the vesa driver in X, but performance isn’t great.   Johannes Hofmann found this out the hard way.  GEM/KMS support is on the way for various BSDs, but it’s not here yet.  Just be aware of this if shopping for a new laptop in the next little while…

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Device support     4 Comments

pkgin 0.5 changes

Among other changes to pkgin 0.5 (available in pkgsrc-wip but not pkgsrc-2011Q3), it now notices if you need a newer pkg_install because you’ve shifted to a more recent quarterly release of pkgsrc, and grabs the appropriate binary package to fix that.  Thanks, iMil!

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2011/10/09

Getting close to 2.12 release…

Fancy server setup

User ‘Zenny’ asked questions about setting up a server similar to ones described in this presentation, except using DragonFly and Hammer.  Most of it is possible now, going by the thread.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

TRIM arrives for DragonFly

Tim Bisson’s work on TRIM support has been committed.  I don’t know if it will show in 2.12, but it’s off by default so it would seem a safe move.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

The last MP step

There’s only one multiprocessing bottleneck left in DragonFly: vm_token.  Matthew Dillon’s working on removing it, and he’s been testing his initial results on a 4-core machine and a 48-core machine, using heavily parallelized buildworlds to test concurrency.  He’s posted the results, showing an initial speedup of up to 30%.  This definitely isn’t going to make it into 2.12, but it’s looking good already.  Keep in mind these are improvements on top of the performance graphed here yesterday.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

First TIM issue arrives

Technology Innovation Management Review, the replacement for the Open Source Business Resource, has its first issue out.  There’s still an open source focus, despite the name change.

Posted by     Categories: Periodicals     0 Comments

More performance graphing

Venkatesh Srinivas sent along a graph of his nmalloc testing that shows mysql threading performance on DragonFly, from slightly over a year ago.  Both graphs were done on a 4-core system, though I don’t know if the specs are comparable, so the curve is important.  Look at the just-posted curve for comparison.  That’s how much things have improved.

In fact, here’s a cheesy overlay, cropping the more recent results and laying the old ones on top of it.  The black lines are the year-ago performance, and the colored lines are the performance now.

Improved DragonFly threading performance

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Performance curve for DragonFly 2.12

Samuel Greear has graphed out the performance of both MySQL and Postgres on DragonFly 2.12 as you add threads.  There’s a very nice correlation on performance and number of cores.  For comparison, there’s this old test from 2007 which shows uniprocessor performance to be good but not improved by adding cores.  The tests were on completely different hardware, so the actual curve of the graph is the telling point.

As he points out in his post, excellent multiprocessor performance is arriving on DragonFly, without any catastrophic shifts or destabilizing changes.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

2.12 change summary

The 2.12 branching generated a list of every DragonFly commit since 2.10, grouped by committer.  Good to browse through.  Try to ignore the part where it shows the measly 4 things I did, with poorly constructed commit messages.

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Another Steve Jobs thing

You’ll see Steve Jobs memorials all over the place for the next few days, but here’s something that won’t get mentioned much: He probably is responsible for putting UNIX – real, BSD-based UNIX – in the hands of more people than anyone else, ever.

Posted by     Categories: BSD     0 Comments

DragonFly 2.12 branched

It’s not the 2.12 release yet – just the initial branch of 2.12.   This will become the release version of 2.12 in a few weeks.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

pkgsrc-2011Q3 is released

The latest quarterly release of pkgsrc is out.  You can download it via CVS, or update /usr/Makefile to pull down the correct branch.  I’ll be building binaries as soon as I can.  I like the release announcement style.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2011/10/02

Yep, fall hits and it’s easier to find links.

Your unrelated link of the week: Scientific Illustration.  Not a comic, but still visually interesting.