Month: December 2011

Libm updates, plus a free security fix

John Marino updated libm, bringing a large quantity of functions.  This may be a stopgap measure for now.  As a positive side effect, buffer overflow attacks are a bit harder now.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

OpenJDK 1.7 on DragonFly

Chris Turner got it working on i386, at least, and his post will help you do the same.  I don’t know if these changes have made it through to pkgsrc or for x86_64 yet.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     4 Comments

Better MSI support

That’s Managed System Interrupts, for when your hardware is passing a lot of data and generating a lot of corresponding hardware interrupts.  MSI is what deals with all that traffic.  High-bandwidth (10G) network cards, for instance.  Anyway, Sepherosa Ziehau’s made more commits than what I’m linking to here, for support with various devices.

There’s many other MSIs out there, oddly enough.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     3 Comments

BSDTAlk 210: James Nixon, iXsystems

BSDTalk has 20 minutes of interview with James Nixon of iXsystems, from LISA 2011.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

Going to 28C3?

Are you going to Chaos Communication Congress 28?  There’s going to be a number of DragonFly developers there, so it’s a good time to meet up.  They’re in EFNet #dragonflybsd IRC, so speak up there if you want to find them.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, DragonFly     0 Comments

Telnetd update, and history

The recently discovered telnetd vulnerability has been fixed in DragonFly, thanks to Peter Avalos.  Apparently it’s been around everywhere forever.  (last link via xhr)  Hopefully there aren’t that many people that still need a telnet daemon; SSH has run it out of town for the most part.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

NFS fixes, too

Since I’m already talking about imports, several changes from FreeBSD and OpenBSD for NFS, plus more original material, have been brought in by Venkatesh Srinivas.  Those changes from FreeBSD apparently improve NFS write performance, though I don’t have numbers to show.

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

A pile of sh and pam fixes

Peter Avalos added an avalanche of updates for PAM and sh, so I’ll link to a few of themThe changes are mostly sourced from FreeBSD.  The PAM changes remove pam_krb5 and pam_ksu, for which there’s an alternative.

Merry Christmas, here’s an incredibly involved bugfix

There’s been a rare segfault present in DragonFly for quite some time.  It’s been difficult to reproduce, and the 2.12 release due some months ago was held up specifically to fix it.  Matthew Dillon was, after many days (months?) of work, able to replicate it reliably and eventually find a way around what appears to be a new AMD-specific bug.  Read his very detailed explanation of what he did to get to this point.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

VFS accounting benchmarks

Francois Tigeot benchmarked his accounting work with blogbench, and posted a PDF with the results.  Dmitrij D. Czarkoff made a simpler graph, which can be used to draw the conclusion: blogbench didn’t work well for estimating the impact of VFS accounting. If you want to try accounting yourself, put vfs.accounting_enabled="1" in your /boot/loader.conf.

(The normal DragonFly mailarchive isn’t updating because it feeds from DragonFly NNTP, and that’s not updating, so I’m using Gmane for post links.)

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Licensing for pkgsrc

I’m linking to this small discussion about licensing and its documentation in pkgsrc, just because these paragraphs, out of context, are good for any pkgsrc user to know.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2011/12/18

The links are sheer entertainment this week.  No strong options or anything, not even about that U.S. legislative mess called SOPA.

Your unrelated comic link of the week: Basic Instructions.  Well, not totally unrelated, since BSD author Michael Lucas’s tweet about it reminded me.  I’ve got the first book; I need to get the second and third.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Lazy Reading, pkgsrc, roguelike     0 Comments

Keeping binutils out of the build

There is now a NO_BINUTILS221 option, added by Sascha Wildner, that will keep your system from building binutils 2.21 during a buildworld.  The system will still build binutils 2.22, so there will still be a functioning ld on the system.  Use this along with NO_GCC41 (so only gcc 4.4 gets built) to speed up your buildworlds, if you like.

pkgsrc-2011Q4 freeze started

The freeze for pkgsrc-2011Q4 has started.  No updates to pkgsrc, other than for security, for the next two weeks.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

New DragonFly mirror

There’s a new DragonFly mirror, in Colorado, USA – at  It’s on the mirrors page on the DragonFly site, too.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

pkgsrc-2011Q4 freeze soon

The last quarterly release of pkgsrc for the year is scheduled for the end of this month.  This means the freeze, where only bugfixes are applies, will be starting on the 17th.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Loader changes for IPMI

If you’re looking to use IPMI and remotely watch the console of another system, Matthew Dillon has made some changes to help with that.

Shopping shopping shopping!

I do this almost every year, with a little bit more every time.  Check those previous years for non-comics/books, cause that’s most of what I’ve seen lately.   I’ve recently seen a number of comics lists:

Comics/books: Wondermark gift guideWondermark store and cardsDr. McNinja storeSchlock Mercenary guideSpacetrawler (scroll down) – Secret Headquarters 1, 2, and 3 (via).

Other lists: Matthew Baldwin’s Good Gift Games list, plus his followup.  (The defectiveyeti site is funny, too.)


Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

New ECC device

Sepherosa Ziehau has added updated the ‘ecc’ device, for Intel E3-1200 series systems.  What’s it do?  It will report on memory errors, and potentially fix them.

You should have ECC memory in your server already.  If not, you oughta.

Update: as Sascha Wildner pointed out, ecc(4) already existed, but didn’t support Intel controllers.  Also, the Xeon X3400 series is supported now too.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment

Lazy Reading for 12/11/11

Last week was low on links, but this week is great!  I hope you have some time set aside.

  • This article “The Strange Birth and Long Life of UNIX” has a picture of a PDP-11.  I don’t know if I ever actually saw one and knew it before.  (via)
  • Also from the same place: Window Managers Bloodlines.
  • Anecdotal, but probably true. (via luxh on EFNet #dragonfly)
  • nginx is the new cool and unpronounceable web server these days, apparently.  Michael Lucas covers how to transition static Apache sites over to it.
  • This PDF showing slides from the recent NYCBUG presentation by Ike Levy, titled “Inappropriate Cloud Use”, is entertaining, and makes a good point.  Cloud computing is cheap on a per month basis, but since it’s a reoccurring cost, it can cost a surprisingly large amount in the long run.  (via)
  • Hey, a patch for DragonFly (and other BSD) support in Google’s leveldb.
  • Don’t Be a Free User” (via)  The last paragraph is the best.
  • An expanded grep and diff.  ‘grep’ and ‘diff’ have been present for so long, and people understand what they do, generally, that new tools get named after them just because the concept is ingrained in people’s minds.  Note that I said “generally”, as regular expressions can be difficult.  (via)
  • A lot of people don’t realize how they infringe on copyright.  This writeup describes something I’ve seen for years: people think a disclaimer that effectively says “I’m infringing but I’m doing it with the best of intentions” makes a difference.  It doesn’t.
  • So this is what that Xerox Star GUI interface looked like.  You know, the ‘first’ desktop GUI.   (via) Also, there was some advanced stuff in 1968.
  • I like this indicator light setup.  (also via luxh on EFNet #dragonflybsd)  There’s some other interesting old computer stuff at that site too.  I wish there still were computers like these.
  • While we’re talking about old things with a certain feel to them, why not Battersea Power Station?  Here’s some pictures.  (via)

Your unrelated link of the day: Since we’re talking about old things and environments, why not look at some pictures of my workplace?

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

Coccinelle usage examples and DragonFly

Sascha Wildner has been using a new-to-me tool called coccinelle (no, not that) to scan for a number of problemsPatches for this tool may be useful for anyone else using coccinelle for bug-finding in other software.

BSDTalk 209: BSD Certification

BSDTalk 209 is out, and it’s a 16-minute conversation with Jim Brown about BSD Certification.  (who I think I met at NYCBSDCon 2010; a pleasant guy)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

Moving files with a virtualized DragonFly

If you’re running DragonFly in a virtual machine – specifically in VirtualBox, on Windows – there’s a recent thread on users@ that may have some tips, including a link from John Marino to tunnelier.

BSD Magazine: Rolling your own kernel

The December issue of BSD Magazine is out, with the title “Rolling your own kernel”, though that’s just one of the articles there.  No article from me this month.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

TIM Review: Intellectual Property Rights

The December issue of the Technology Innvation Management Review is out, with the theme of Intellectual Property Rights.  Patents get used for Internet Outrage – read this and be better informed.

Posted by     Categories: Periodicals     0 Comments

FreeBSD Foundation end of year donations

The FreeBSD Foundation is putting out their end of year donation notice.  Donate if you can; the support for active developers there helps everyone.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, FreeBSD     0 Comments

Two pkgsrc work directory tips

Two tips for working with pkgsrc, derived in part from this mailing list post on users@ (follow the thread) and from my own experience.  If you put WRKOBJDIR=/usr/obj/pkgsrc into /usr/pkg/etc/mk.conf :

  1. You can clean up any leftover package building files by deleting the files in that directory and leave your pkgsrc files untouched.
  2. You can have a read-only /usr/pkgsrc, which means it can be shared over NFS (or SMB?) between multiple machines, DragonFly or otherwise.
Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

More high-speed optimizations

I’ve had a bunch of posts like this so far, but that’s not a bad thing.  Sepherosa Ziehau has a pair of optimizations that appear to make performance with big pipes (1G) and tiny packets (18b, if I read correctly) reach near the physical maximum for 1000-base-T Ethernet.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2011/12/04

Another week, another linkpile.

  • Here’s some old software.  I’ve got something older sitting on my shelf here, though.
  • A patch to DragonFly, taken from OpenBSD, submitted by Loganaden Velvindron and committed by Venkatesh Srinivas.  The patch isn’t that exciting, but it makes me feel cool to namedrop non-Americanized names.  If only I could pronounce them!
  • Speaking of which, there isn’t always a lot of comments on this Digest (which is good; a long series of comments on the Internet tend to be the result of trolling or inanity.), but the recent strlen() story led to some juicy details.
  • Man, I wish this NoteSlate device existed.  There’s the BoogieBoard, but it’s not quite the same.

I’ll make up for my relatively low number of links by asking a question:   Where do you go for your end of year gift giving?  Where do you wish people would go to buy you gifts?  I’m looking for suggestions for a gift guide.

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Gun Show.  This one and that one are my favorites.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Lazy Reading     6 Comments

Remember rcrun?

I think a lot of people don’t realize rcrun exists, and run files in /etc/rc.d directly.  If you’re one of those people, read the rcrun(8) manpage.  Then, notice that Sascha Wildner has extended rcrun to work with the etc/rc.d in /usr/local and /usr/pkg too.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

vquota(8) now available

Francois Tigeot has been working for quite a while on a VFS accounting system.  It doesn’t restrict to a quota (yet), but it will give you byte totals for each mounted filesystem.  It has been committed, so it looks like a good way to tell which PFS is eating your disk.

Update: Francois pointed out he’s still adding parts for this.  So it’s not quite done yet, but soon.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Parallelized buildworld now possible

Buildworlds are now much faster, because they can run themselves in parallel.  Invoke it using the -j option to make.  Matthew Dillon saw a 25% reduction in time when using ‘make -j 12 buildworld’ on a 4-core system.  You may need to manually update xinstall and mkdir:

        cd /usr/src/usr.bin/xinstall
        make clean; make obj; make all install
        cd /usr/src/bin/mkdir
        make clean; make obj; make all install

It’ll also use more memory than a non-parallel build, but heck, that’s cheap these days.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

A minor debugging change worth noting

Venkatesh Srinivas made a minor change to a ddb backtrace – it now prints the raw instruction pointers.  On x86_64, a backtrace would not print the correct objects out, so this is better.  It’s a minor change, but I’m pointing it out because it totally helped solve a problem for me on a package-building machine.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments