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.
Month: October 2011
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.
It’s snowing in the northeast U.S., which makes me happy! Keep going, sky!
- Richard Stallman’s requirements when giving talks/lectures. (via) I read this not unreasonable but long list and thought about it. Every requirement on there probably has an experience/story behind it… (“If you can find a host for me that has a friendly parrot, I will be very very glad.” – so this)
- Continuing the famous computer people trend of dying, John McCarthy died. He invented LISP (((insert parentheses joke here))) among other things, and wrote this story. (also via)
- I mentioned issues over the time zone database previously, but there’s a new home, and we’re still getting updates in DragonFly.
- And, it’s Dennis Ritchie Day. (via) That linked article does a good job of describing just how universal his influence has been.
- 64-bit ARM chips. (design PDF) This is just the announcement, but I bet these will be a good porting target in the next year or two if these designs wander out into the general market. (via many places)
- I’ve linked to similar deals before, but this one’s quite cheap: the Power Squid power strip sold as surplus. I find the design and name both great.
- Speaking of names, “I think Dragonfly is the coolest, cuz of the name.“
- I like this article on web advertising just because it has blocked-out screenshots that show exactly how much space gets used up by ads.
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.)
Michael Lucas is building jails on DragonFly, and his story of doing so works pretty well as a how-to guide.
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.)
DragonFly’s now on the BuildFarm list of Postgres test systems. (via Jan Lentfer in IRC)
Here’s some recent x86_64 bulk builds: one on DragonFly 2.11, one on NetBSd 5.0.2, and one on Linux 188.8.131.52. 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!”
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.
Not a lot of links this week, for some reason.
- The best obituary I’ve seen yet for Dennis Ritchie, where he’s contrasted with Steve Jobs.
- The best paper abstract ever.
- Michael Lucas documents his DragonFly update.
- Our tcplay TrueCrypt implementation is getting noticed.
- pkgin-0.51 is available in pkgsrc-current, though it’s not in the most recent quarterly release.
Your unrelated comics link for the week: Oglaf. This week’s OK, but it’s frequently NSFW, and frequently hilarious.
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 (?).
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.
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.
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.
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.
They aren’t really release candidates per se, just “images I built from the 2.12 branch”, but they are available for testing.
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.
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.
It looks like Sepherosa Ziehau is working on hardware support being split up per-CPU, judging by this commit – one of many, recently.
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…
Getting close to 2.12 release…
- Steam and Team Fortress 2 running on a BSD – PC-BSD with an NVIDIA driver, in this case, but it may apply to other cards and other games. Using Wine is always so intricate, it seems.
- Remember how suddenly a large chunk of Internet traffic was suddenly routed through China, briefly in early 2010? Apparently it’s happened a few more times since then. This article at the Economist talks about that and the SCION project, in an accessible way.
- The 2011 Interactive Fiction Competition has released this year’s entries, and almost all of them can be played online. (via) There goes a few hours of your life. Sorry.
- Speaking of hours, there’s apparently a civil lawsuit that has rendered timezone data unavailable. Here’s a good summation. It’s a frustrating scenario. (via multiple places)
- World’s best introduction to sed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yep, fall hits and it’s easier to find links.
- DragonFly morphology. The insect, not the operating system, though that would make an interesting diagram.
- Stick your pinkie in the corner of your mouth, Dr. Evil style, and say, “One MEEELion TCP connections on BSD!“. (via several retweets)
- Sudo vs. SSH public keys.
- The app store concept is taking over. Not that it’s a totally bad thing! We could implement one for pkgsrc, and should. (via)
- A nice (OpenBSD-centric) walkthrough of routing. (via)
- Ooh, decent disk benchmarks. I wish there were graphs, of course.
- I think this happens to most CS grads; you sit around one day and say to yourself, “Hey, I could write an operating system!” This forum post shows someone getting that idea and then realizing it’s not necessarily the goal he wanted. Why do I link to it? I appreciate the optimism.
- Or you can just build a functioning computer in Minecraft. This sort of thing has been happening for a while – this movie is just a link to the craziest example I’ve seen so far.
Your unrelated link of the week: Scientific Illustration. Not a comic, but still visually interesting.