Month: October 2012

Another full world/kernel build for the bleeding edge

There was one more file to change for the bmake import, so if you are running DragonFly 3.3 and updated between the 28th and 30th of October, do a full rebuild.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

OpenSSH updated

Peter Avalos has updated OpenSSH in DragonFly to 6.1p1.  This looks to be a bugfix release, but check the changelog for details.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

If we only had the spiffy name…

I mentioned this before in the Lazy Reading from last Sunday, but it’s worth a second look: Apple’s new Fusion Drive product appears to be very much like DragonFly’s swapcache.  DragonFly doesn’t have exclusive right to the idea of caching on a faster disk, clearly, so I’m not complaining that it’s “ours”.  It’s frustrating to see product announcement/press releases stumbling all over this like it’s a new thing.

Then again, having new ideas about technology ideas and making sure they spread is one of the points of the BSD license, so perhaps there’s no good reason to complain at all.

(Before anyone reads too much into this: No, I don’t know of any direct relationship between swapcache and Fusion Drive; they may have no common background other than structure.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     6 Comments


I lost Internet access because of Hurricane Sandy, and couldn’t get my machine to recover until I power cycled.  I think it’s because my external IP changed, and pf doesn’t seem to handle that well for NAT or just in general.  The recommended fix, putting the interface name in parentheses, doesn’t seem to work.  Anyone have advice?

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bmake arrives

John Marino’s committed bmake as the replacement to make, as mentioned previously.  You should probably do a full buildworld/kernel sequence.  This of course only affects you if you are on DragonFly 3.3.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2012/10/28

Life is busy, busy, busy.  But there’s always time for Lazy Reading!

  • Sometimes Google searches turn up DragonFly BSD in odd places.
  • Wayland reached 1.0.   That’s great, except it isn’t ready for use yet, it’s just feature-stable.  I’d argue that means it’s ‘beta’, not 1.0, but there’s no hard and fast rules about that.  In any case, does it run on any BSD?  I don’t think so.
  • OpenSSH server best practices.  Nothing too groundbreaking, but they include “BSD” (i.e. pf) examples.  I always like articles that don’t assume Linux is the only platform.  (via)
  • The little SSH that (sometimes) couldn’t.  A heck of a network debugging exercise.  (via mat in #dragonflybsd)
  • The AN/FSQ7, a computer I’m sure I’ve seen in movies a number of times.  (via)
  • Here’s the OpenBSD slides from EuroBSDCon 2012.
  • Oh look, Apple’s got “Fusion Drive“.  The cool people call it swapcache and have been using it for years, so there.
  • Here’s an essay that starts out talking about Quantum Computing and moves into the ambivalence that quantum computing seems to entail instead of just noting the general scientific description and leaving it there.  It’s really quite enjoyable.
  • Hey, maybe this is why Facebook reported earnings are up: they’re holding your own data hostage.  (via)
  • Rob Pike on The Setup.  He makes a very good point about how we should access computers.  Also, here’s a recent, long slide show he put together about Go.  It describes solving some language problems that have been around a long time.   (via)
  • I was halfway through reading that last slide show link and realized there’s no way I can explain how it was an worthwhile read to someone who hadn’t done some programming.  No link or conclusion, just an observation of how esoteric this is.  I hope you enjoy it.
  • Essential Vim and Vi Skills has hit a 3rd edition.  I have this as a Kindle edition, and I’m not sure how that happened.
  • Zork in Duplicity, or a bizarre finding of old UNIX history in a completely unrelated place.  (via)
  • These OpenBSD thin clients are a neat idea.

Your unrelated link of the week: Delilah Dirk.  It’s a comic, and the story available to read online is about a tea merchant, which makes it exactly right.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, OpenBSD, UNIXish     2 Comments

More Hammer 2 in the tree

Matthew Dillon’s put more of his Hammer work into DragonFly, with notable parts being the creation of a ‘dmsg’ setup for advertising available block devices to share between machines using Hammer.  To anticipate your next question: No, it’s not something you can run right now as a test; this is the underlying framework.

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

Goodbye gcc 4.1

John Marino has removed gcc 4.1 from DragonFly.  It was detached from the build process in 3.2, but now it’s out of there entirely.  I think this affects nothing at this point other than the size of /src.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

SMP all the time now

The kernel in DragonFly is now SMP by default.  The “SMP” option in the kernel config is no longer needed, so it’s been turned into a no-op.  You don’t have to update your custom kernel config… yet.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Remember: bin-install

A thread on pkgsrc-users@ reminds me: adding a specific line for bin-install will save time when rebuilding packages; pkgsrc will use existing binary packages instead of rebuilding from source when possible, when this is set.  At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what it does.

3.2 release still on the way

The pkgsrc packages for DragonFly 3.2 are still building…  I’ve tagged the release, so it will be ready as soon as the packages are ready.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Heads Up!     0 Comments

Writing a scheduler and where to start

Sandip Jadhav asked if anyone was working on an I/O scheduler.  Chris Turner replied with a “no”, but also with a list of places to look for details on writing one, which I’m linking here for posterity.

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From make to bmake

John Marino is working on a very good idea: bringing bmake into DragonFly as a replacement for the current ‘make’.  bmake is going through more active development and apparently also in use/will be used? on FreeBSD, so syncing up with the same make flavor as FreeBSD and NetBSD will help everyone.  It’ll also remove the problem where you ‘make’ everything in DragonFly, except pkgsrc packages which you ‘bmake’.  It’s not changed over yet.

(What does OpenBSD use for make?)


Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, FreeBSD, Goings-on, NetBSD     8 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2012/10/21

I had some interesting home network troubleshooting over the past week…

Your unrelated link of the week: Terrorism as Art.  An extended profile of Survival Research Laboratories at The Verge.  Even if you don’t like the content, the focus of the artist is remarkable.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, UNIXish     0 Comments

OpenMPI, OpenMP on DragonFly

A conversation about compilers in the DragonFly base system led peeter (must) to describe his group’s use of OpenMPI on DragonFly for physics calculations.  Apparently he’s had a significant performance improvement on DragonFly.

Along similar lines, John Marino helped out by bringing in libssp and libgomp for gcc 4.7 for use with OpenMP.  (This is in DragonFly 3.3, not 3.2).

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

Down and up again

Whoops – may have been down for a while there; I was on the road for work and pf was confused by an IP change.  Sorry!  I’ll have more posts as soon as I get through the backlog.

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AsiaBSDCon 2013 announced

AsiaBSDCon 2013 will be at the Tokyo University of Science, March 14-17.  The call for papers is already out.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2012/10/14

I lost 12 18 hours of my life fighting with an Exchange 2010 upgrade this week.  To compensate, I will never complain about Sendmail wonkiness ever.

  • Homebrew Cray-1A.  Duplicating the internals is interesting in a “that’s crazy/difficult” way, but the case is the best part.  (via dfcat on #dragonflybsd)
  • If you understand the structure of haiku, you can contribute to Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Ed.
  • Here’s a browser-based roguelike called Second Wind, and another called Epilogue.  No particular reason to link to them other than I haven’t had much roguelikes linked recently.
  • The role of the troll in social media is to ruin that product.”  There’s a line that can be drawn to connect the idea of being esoteric enough that social networks (i.e. Facebook) don’t intrude on your interests, and the idea of being interested in BSD operating system creation.  What I’m saying is that BSD is less hyped, and thank goodness.
  • Another social media caution: it’s their space, not yours, and they can boot you at any time. (via)
  • Yeah, I’m getting curmudgeonly.  I’ll stop now.
  • Go By Example.
  • git-ftp, when the files you are working on are in a location only accessible by FTP – no git or ssh access.  This appears to copy them in and out as part of the commit/change process.  I can imagine a very specific workflow where this would be useful.  (via)
  • Bash One-Liners, part 4.
  • OS Upgrades powered by Git.  That’s a neat idea.  I don’t think you actually have to follow the link; that’s the whole concept right there.
  • The Ultimate Vim Distribution.  (via)  I like how slick the single-line install methods are on these things…  but I want the number of packaging/install methods on every computer I administer to equal exactly 1, not (1 x number of installed programs).
  • Why is Linux more popular than BSD?  Some of the answers are just plain wrong, or don’t understand causality… but that’s no surprise.  (via)
  • Oh, hopefully this will solve the UEFI secureboot issue for DragonFly too.  (via)

Your unrelated link of the week:  A CD that comes with its own turntable and record.  Kid Koala scrapes over culture to find mentions of vinyl and DJing the same way I scrounge the Internet for mention of BSD.  His “Nerdball” from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an astonishing display  of turntable skill.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, OpenBSD, roguelike, UNIXish     1 Comment

gcc 4.7.2 and pkgsrc, a test

John Marino did a bulk build of pkgsrc using gcc 4.7.2, and posted the results.  The result?  About 1% of packages that built with gcc 4.4 did not build with 4.7.2.  Whether that’s a problem with gcc or a problem with how each of those software packages were created by the original authors, I don’t know.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Major USB update arrives

Sascha Wildner has committed Markus Pfeiffer’s port of USB4BSD to DragonFly.   USB network, input , audio, and storage devices (including xhci/USB3 items) may work, though there’s no guarantee for each driver.  This is added but not on by default, so see the first link for instructions on how to rebuild your kernel to use it.  This will be in (but not default) the DragonFly 3.2 release.

(This is shaping up to be a much bigger release than I anticipated!)

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, FreeBSD     0 Comments

Holy crap, look at those numbers

Remember the new scheduler work?  Well, it continued, and now Francois Tigeot has posted pgbench benchmarks of the progress and benchmarks of DragonFly vs. other operating systems.  The links are to PDFs; scroll down as each have multiple pages.

The summary result: If you’re running Postgres, you probably want to do it on DragonFly.  The numbers are the best results for any BSD,  even better to some extent than Linux, which has had its own issues with schedulers and Postgres.  DragonFly 3.2 will include these improvements.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Heads Up!     7 Comments

Structure change, full buildworld

If you’re on master (or the 3.2 branch) of DragonFly, you’ll want to do a full buildworld/kernel.    There’s been a pmap bug that looks like it’s fixed, but the changes have some repercussions.  It may be possible to just recompile kgdb, but I like to overcompensate.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Summer of Code Doc Camp

Google is hosting a ‘Doc Camp’, where people get together and write documentation for open source projects.  There’s a page that talks about it.  Last year’s inaugural event was apparently quite successful.  I haven’t been to it, but I think a day just for documentation is a good idea.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Google Summer of Code     0 Comments

DragonFly 3.2 and pkgsrc-2012Q3

I’m planning for DragonFly 3.2 to come with pkgsrc-2012Q3, the most recent release.  I’m building binary packages to match, and the build should complete by the time we release on the 22nd…

Notice I said “should” – sometimes the universe conspires against bulk builds.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

BSD Magazine for October 2012

The free download of the October issue of BSD Magazine is available.  The theme this month is security, though of course there’s more covered.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

3.2 is branched

I branched 3.2 tonight.  That means 2 weeks until release, so sharpen your bug-poking sticks!

(I’m very tired and unable to think of good analogies, sorry.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2012/10/07

DragonFly 3.2 branches tomorrow if all goes to plan. Until then, I have a lot of reading here for you.

Your unrelated link of the week: Dog Shaming.  I have a parrot, rabbit, and lizard.  They seem like easy, normal pets compared to some of these stories.


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

Anyone want some SHA-3?

Cause it could be added.  The new algorithm could replace SHA-2, in use now in DragonFly.  SHA-2 has not been ‘broken’ yet, so it’s not an emergency… yet.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

CDE work plus DragonFly

I mentioned open-sourced CDE here before, but it makes me happy to see someone planning to do a bunch of work on it that will hopefully make it upstream, and specifically include DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

State of the Desktop for DragonFly

David Shao posted a nice writeup of what works and what does not for DragonFly as a desktop, from pkgsrc.  It actually sounds pretty good other than issues with a recent cairo update that I think affected multiple platforms.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, pkgsrc     0 Comments

New lists page, just like the old page

I recreated the by-month thread and date listing from the old mailing lists, but for Mailman.  It’s at

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

New perl, old python

Since the most recent branch of pkgsrc has been released, perl5 in pkgsrc has been updated to 5.16.1, and (ancient) python 2.5 has been removed.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments


Debian squished with DragonFly, sorta like Debian/kFreeBSD?  Don’t know if it will work, but what the heck.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

3.2 branch and release plan

As I typed elsewhere, my general plan is to branch DragonFly 3.2 on the 8th, and release on the 22nd.  That should give the recent scheduler and gcc work a chance to settle, and perhaps get a new version of USB support in too.  It will probably be using pkgsrc-2012Q3, also, though we may not have binary i386 packages.  3.2 is shaping up to be a much more significant release than I expected.


Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Heads Up!     2 Comments

gcc 4.7 in, gcc 4.1 out

John Marino has accomplished the difficult task of putting gcc 4.7 into DragonFly.  Version 4.4 is still the default, and the older 4.1 version has been disabled.  If you want to try this newer version, setting WORLD_CCVER=gcc47 will build kernel and world that way too.  If you’re curious about what’s different in this version of gcc, there’s a 4.7 changelog.

Are we the only BSD with this new a version in base?  I think so.

P.S.: You’ll want to do a full buildworld if you’re running DragonFly 3.1

P.P.S.: you may need to put ‘NO_GCC47=true’ in make.conf, going from IRC comments.

P.P.P.S.: Nope, now it’s fine.


Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     6 Comments

pkgsrc-2012Q3 is out

Pkgsrc-2012Q3 is out, and there’s an extensive release announcement to go with it.  It’s worth reading; there’s a few packages that will not be supported after this quarter’s release, and a whole lot of new ones.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc     0 Comments

www and bugs down, other services up for

The machine that runs and is currently down.  While it gets figured out, Alex Hornung has a static copy of the main website available.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments