Month: June 2012

ixgbe(4) added

Francois Tigeot has added the Intel PRO/10GbE driver from FreeBSD, or ixgbe(4).  A couple features are turned off, for now.

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BSDTalk 217 – Turning the tables

Will Backman, the usual interview in BSDTalk episodes, gets interviewed himself by Paul Schenkeveld, for 14 minutes.

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Midterms coming up for GSoC

Attention students and mentors: the Summer of Code midterms open up on July 9th.  This means students fill out an evaluation, and mentors also fill out an evaluation.  Don’t forget, because completed evals from mentor and student both are necessary for a project to continue being funded.

Watch this, bge(4) users

If you have a Broadcom BCM570x-series gigabit ethernet adapter, Sepherosa Ziehau’s made a lot of commits for the bge(4) driver recently; they may interest you.  (not sure if he’s even done yet; he tends to commit a lot of work.)

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More benchmarking

More benchmarks, in this case a comparison of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD and DragonFly.  I’m not even sure how to derive meaning from it.

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

What to donate to an open source project

Mayuresh Kathe asked about donations to DragonFly. I answered, but the part to remember is this: donate your time.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     3 Comments

Summer of Code status week 5

This is a report for last week’s work, so this is week 6 we are in now, and the reports are week 5’s status.  So:


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Lazy Reading for 2012/06/24

It’s almost an all-Vim week.

Your unrelated link of the week: Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody.  Related: What kind of Muppet are you?


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Scheduler changes you can try yourself

If you have an Intel processor with multiple cores and hyperthreading support, you can compile a new kernel and try out Mihia Carabas’s GSoC work already; he’s created a test using the OpenSSL test case to time scheduling performance vs. number of threads.

Scheduling and hyperthreading GSoC results so far

Mihai Carabas posted some benchmarks for his work with the DragonFly default scheduler and hyperthreaded CPUs.  The end result, for those who don’t like number analysis, is that CPU-dependent speeds are reliably constant because tasks are being evenly scheduled across available CPUs.

(Well, CPU threads, since this is hyperthreading, but you get the idea.)

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tmpfs now slightly faster

Based on a suggestion from Venkatesh Srinivas, tmpfs now uses a red-black tree for directory lookups, and is also now faster.  Credit goes to Johannes Hofmann for doing the testing.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

More find(1) options

Sascha Wildner has synced find(1) with what’s in FreeBSD, which means there’s a lot more options available – see the commit for details.  Many of them are for GNU compatibility, and I’m sure I’ll forget them all.  I seem to have issues remembering how to use find(1) successfully.

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Numbering changes for emacs in pkgsrc

Emacs in pkgsrc is going to be all numbered versions, as in emacs24 and emacs25, etc.  Installing just ’emacs’ will get the current default version, which is emacs 2.4 24.1 right now and I think will be emacs 2.5.  All this will come after the pkgsrc freeze for 2012Q2 is over, which means it will be next month.  Follow the thread on for details, or to figure out what I said wrong in my summary.

I always talk about vi and vi-like items here, so here’s my ‘equal time’ post.  

Update: as several people pointed out, I had version numbers wrong.  The story is corrected to make it slightly less wrong.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc     2 Comments

Riak on BSD

Riak, an open source distributed database product, is running on FreeBSD at least.  It’s probably able to run on other BSD flavors given that it sounds like the developers were actively working in that direction; someone want to get it into pkgsrc?

Posted by     Categories: BSD     1 Comment

Summer of Code status reports week 4

I think it’s week four, at least.

Mihai CarabasVishesh Yadav, and Ivan Sichmann Freitas all have their weekly status reports up for Summer of Code.  Unfortunately, Loganaden Velvindron received a great job offer out of the blue, so he no longer has time for Summer of Code.  (He plans to continue involvement in DragonFly, however.)

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Lazy Reading for 2012/06/17

I have such a surplus of links these days that I started this Lazy Reading two weeks ago.

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Elfquest, every issue ever.  The dialogue is cheesy but the original art is fun, in a way that grabbed me when I read it at 10 years of age.

pkgsrc now frozen, with announcement

I know I already posted that this was on the way, but this time, the quarterly pkgsrc freeze is starting with a detailed announcement. 2 weeks until the next release, if everything goes well.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Other ways to use lint

Sascha Wildner has made it easier to use alternative syntax checking systems as a “lint” make target in DragonFly.  His usage of coccinelle, as one of these alternatives, has already found many bugs – just today, for instance.

Is “alternative syntax checking systems” the right phrase for this?  I don’t know.  “Correctness checker”?  My phrases all sound like something you’d read on a government form.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

PHP 5.4 in, PHP 5.2 out

If you’re using some PHP application that requires the old behavior of PHP 5.2, you will need to specify that version of PHP – pkgsrc is moving to version 5.4 5.3 as default, with version 5.4 available.   (thanks, Takahiro Kambe for the update.)

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     1 Comment

Do you blog? Write? Post? Tell me!

If you’re involved in application development or BSD development in any way, and you write about it somewhere on a personal blog or page or publication, please let me know.  (

My goal is to point out as much interesting development as possible, and I find that getting notes right from the people that make them is the best way.  Trade publications and magazines will skip over that stuff and go to the press releases, but that doesn’t work for BSD.  I’ve found better, more interesting writing watching Peter Hansteen’s blog or Trivium.  If you have someplace you write about technology, and especially BSD-related development, please point me at your RSS feed.

Posted by     Categories: About This Site, BSD     0 Comments

pkgsrc freeze for 2012Q2 starts on the 16th

The freeze for pkgsrc-2012Q2 starts on the 16th of June, as recently announced.  Freezes are usually 2 weeks, so that means 2012Q2 should be tagged at the end of June.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Another BSD in town

Seen multiple places, but Tomas Bodzar was the first to tell me: there’s a new BSD in town, called Bitrig.  It’s forked from OpenBSD.  The first release is planned for the end of the month, and it appears to have a more aggressive intended development plan than OpenBSD.

Posted by     Categories: BSD     2 Comments

5,000 posts; holy crap

This is my 5,000th published post.    This Digest has been running for approximately 9 years, so that’s an average of a post and a half per day, for around 3200 days.  Yeesh!

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Summer of Code status reports, week 3

Here’s your most recent weekly round of DragonFly/Google Summer of Code updates:


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Secure your MySQL setup

This was going to go into a Lazy Reading post, but then I realized it shouldn’t.  Here’s the source: “A Tragically Comedic Security Flaw in MySQL” (via)

The short version: MySQL, compiled a certain way, will allow 1 out of 256 root login attempts to work no matter what.  I was going to link to this for the startlingly large number of MySQL installations found allowing connections from the public Internet, which means breaking into any affected servers would be easy.  Then I thought about it…  I don’t see a my.cnf installed by pkgsrc for at least MySQL 5.1 by default.

To fix this for your own installation, put


in /usr/pkg/etc/my.cnf to disallow remote connections.  I don’t know if MySQL on DragonFly from pkgsrc is vulnerable to the issue, but it’s a good idea to not allow remote connections to the database, and ought to be on by default.

Or just use Postgres, if possible.


BSD Magazine for June

The June issue of BSD Magazine is out as a free PDF download.  The theme is the same as last month – security – and there’s a number of other topics covered.

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Lazy Reading for 2012/06/10

I got to use the ‘roguelike’ tag again this week, which always makes me happy.  Surprisingly, it’s not about… that roguelike.

Your unrelated link of the week: I happen to work at a salt mining operation, which leads to some unique problems (more).  Mining in the US is regulated by MSHA, which has been cracking down since the Upper Big Branch incident. MSHA issues  ‘fatalgrams‘ every time a miner dies.  MSHA also shows up on site as soon as possible, which means they are there taking pictures within a few minutes, with equipment still running.  It’s essentially crime scene photos, and a little worrying; many of the deaths are of people around my age with similar experience.

Multi-architecture pkgsrc packages

Pkgsrc already runs on a large number of different platforms, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  In this case, Joyent, which uses pkgsrc internally, has a suggested change that makes binaries usable on both 32 and 64 bit systems.  I don’t know if this will go into pkgsrc proper, but it’s interesting to see.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

HAMMER2 and remote mounting

Reading this HAMMER2 commit carefully shows some future plans: remote cluster control, and the ability to mount nonlocal HAMMER2 volumes.  A reminder: those are future plans, not what you can do now.

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

doscmd(1) dies a dramatic death.

The i386-only doscmd(1) is gone from DragonFly.  I don’t think I ever used it, as other emulators/systems are so prevalent and complete.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Xorg updates in pkgsrc

Apparently a lot of modular-xorg packages in pkgsrc received updates.  I think I found some of the changes, but probably not all, so I don’t have a good way to sum up the actual effect.

Update: see the end of this cvsweb pkgsrc CHANGES-2012 page for all the changed parts.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

GNU utilities, correctly named

There’s a number of packages out there that assume you are using the GNU versions of ls, wc, and so on.  However, you aren’t when using a BSD system.  Pkgsrc has historically dealt with this when GNU tools are needed for a package by prefixing them with a ‘g’.  ‘ls’ becomes ‘gls’, and so on.  Aleksey Cheusov proposed a fix to keep these utilities under their original names, which I think will go into the next quarterly pkgsrc release.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

A lot of network work

Sepherosa Ziehau has been doing a lot of work on packet transmission; far more than I link to here.  The end result is startling performance on high-bandwidth links.  I’m hoping for benchmarks at some point, but until then, I just wanted to publicly appreciate the work he’s done.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Pkgsrc removal policy set out

Pkgsrc packages that have source files that can’t be redistributed, and go missing for the length of an entire quarterly release, will get removed.  They are effectively broken at that point anyway.

That policy is now formally in place; I don’t think there was a clear prescription before.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

CCMS goes away, comes back

The cache coherency management code in DragonFly has been removed, but it’s coming back under HAMMER2, as part of how HAMMER2 maintains multiple master drives.

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tmpfs and how fast it can go

Venkatesh Srinivas, currently on his colossal bike ride, introduced a different way of creating a tmpfs.   This was test code, and Johannes Hofmann benchmarked it (see same page).  It’s interesting cause there are numbers, and nice to see one person jumping in to test someone else’s results/idea.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Building pkgsrc with clang

I think I’ve mentioned building DragonFly with clang before, but not pkgsrc.  There’s two variables to set, plus some special handling for libf2c.  Thomas Klausner has details.  This is not tested on DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

GSoC updates, week 2, plus a RFC

Week 2 Summer of Code status reports from Loganaden Velvindron, Mihai Carabas (plus followup), Vishesh Yadav, and Ivan Sichmann Freitas are available.  Ivan Sichmann Freitas also has a RFC on changes to DragonFly’s 32-bit API.

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

Lazy Reading for 2012/06/03

So many links this week I’m already working on next week’s entry.  Enjoy!

Your unrelated comic link of the week: Make Good Art.  (via)  The comic version of Neil Gaiman’s recent commencement speech, cause comics are more fun than video.

How to upgrade pkgsrc packages

DragonFly has a page on updating pkgsrc, and so does NetBSD.  I don’t think I linked to the latter before, but even if I didn’t, it’s still useful.