Month: February 2013

Software RAID options

Following this recent thread, it looks like the best answer for software RAID is: buy hardware.  I’d be interested to hear what people have experience with in the realm of cheap but OK RAID hardware.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     5 Comments

Help with a Firefox plugin

Michael W. Lucas is looking for someone to improve the Extended DNSSEC Validator.  Specifically, add BSD support.  It’s an idea worth supporting, because the standard it works with makes self-signed certificated perfectly feasible.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on     0 Comments

3 very different commits

Here’s 3 recent and different commits to DragonFly that I’m commenting on all at once:

  1. Peter Avalos upgraded libarchive in DragonFly to 3.1.2, with a note of the changes.  An ordinary and appreciated update.
  2. Sascha Wildner updated the ISO639 file to include the newest update: “Standard Moroccan Tamazight”.  There’s no particular utility to that; I just like saying “Standard Moroccan Tamazight” out loud.
  3. Work on poudriere, the utility for bulk-building DPorts packages, has caused some nice speedups for DragonFly in extremely stressful situations.  See one of Matthew Dillon’s recent commits.

I really wish the other BSD projects would include commit lines in the mail message subjects, so it was easier to catch things like these.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Committed Code, DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/02/24

A calm week, for once.

  • Via Michael W. Lucas: Absolut OpenBSD.
  •  Another ‘How I customize Vim’ style post.  These things always sound great, but I worry that it’s not something that can be duplicated.  If you had to rebuild or duplicate your Vim environment elsewhere, you’d have to write out your own instructions.  Not impossible, but I don’t have to do that for anything else.  (via)
  • Twine, a game creation tool that really requires only writing.  (via)
  • The Oxford Comma, or how it doesn’t matter.  (via)
  • The Story of the PING Program.  I could have sworn I linked to this before.  I remember having someone explain ping to me when I was young and had little experience of IP networking; it seemed like magic where the computers would actually talk.  (via vsrinivas on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
  • ARPANet, 1971, as a tattoo.  (via)

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman.  All the early issues, available in electronic form, for pay-what-you-want.  (And I advise paying; it’s a fun comic)  Look at a sample page if you are curious.

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

DPorts packages for 64-bit DragonFly available

If you want to take advantage of the binary packages of DPorts, and have a x86_64 system with a recent DragonFly 3.3 on it: Francois Tigeot has you covered.  There’s no i386 packages yet, which are the ones I could use right now, darnit.

If you want to try DPorts, see my earlier article.


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

Read shortcut, buffer cache improvements

The new vm.read_shortcut option has been turned on by default by Matthew Dillon, which should lead to some performance improvements.  That improvement has been measured for tmpfs, at least.  There’s also some buffer cache improvments that help on x86_64 systems, too.

Update: As Venkatesh Srinivas pointed out, tmpfs also no longer uses the mplock, so it’ll take better advantage of multiple processors.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

New man page source, abbreviated

Constantine A. Murenin has put together a new man page resource for all the BSDS:  The options for shortened URLs are entertainingly diverse.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Someday you will need this     0 Comments

More vkernel options: MACs, disk serials

Thanks to Antonio Huete Jimenez, it’s now possible to set the MAC address for each interface and  specify the disk serial number in the command line for a vkernel.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

DNS(SEC)administrators needed

Michael W. Lucas needs people who know DNSSEC, BIND, have some time, and are willing to criticize him.  He’s finished his first draft of DNSSEC Mastery, and needs  reviewers.

Posted by     Categories: Books, BSD     0 Comments

BSDTalk 223: Michael Dexter and bhyve

BSDTalk 223 is out, with 23 minutes of conversation with Michael Dexter about bhyve.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

World backups when upgrading

John Marino proposed a method for backing up world when upgrading, for those rare but catastrophic cases where the installed programs can’t run.  After some discussion, he committed an automatic backup method, and there’s a ‘restoreworld’ target to take advantage of it.

The kernel already gets renamed to kernel.old as a backup, if I remember correctly.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Summer of Code ideas, please

If DragonFly is going to participate in Google Summer of Code for 2013, we need project ideas, and lots of them, at any size.  There’s an existing project page that anyone can add to, especially if you’re a student and looking to add your ideas.

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

Tor-BSD list created

The fine folks at the New York City BSD User Group have created a mailing list specifically for using The Onion Router on BSD.   Please join if you are interested in TOR, and especially if you are using something other than FreeBSD, since that’s the only ‘supported’ BSD TOR runs on right now.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on     5 Comments

More IP forwarding stats

Sepherosa Ziehau has posted more statistics on his ifnet/ifaddr per-CPU stats work.  It’s doing so well that he’s very close to reaching the maximum physical capacity of the 4x gigabit ethernet hardware he’s using.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSD Magazine: Rehosting

The February 2013 issue of BSD Magazine, available as a free PDF, talks about VAX/VMS ‘rehosting’, has a PC-BSD preview, and other things.  The teaser paragraph for the “Fear, Loathing and Misunderstandings” article (shown on that linked page) is perfect.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

Two pkgsrc changes

There’s two changes in pkgsrc recently that might affect you: graphics/png was updated, so many dependent packages will require recompilation.  Also, editors/emacs was moved to a general package instead of being specifically named by version, so now you can install ’emacs’ instead of ’emacs24′ or whichever version.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/02/17

This week I will both post this on the correct day AND get the date in the title correct.

Your unrelated tea link of the week: Epic Tea House Server.  Interesting just because of what he does and because I’ve never encountered tea from a samovar, though I’ve read of it.  (via)

Wait, this is better!  That previous link led to this film from an English chemistry professor about tea chemistry.  At first I was just entertained by his hair and his accent, but when he put tea in a NMR spectrometer, I decided this was the best tea thing ever.  Even better than Elemental!

Pulling authorized_keys from LDAP

Michael W. Lucas has put together a script for pulling a user’s authorized_keys file for SSH out of LDAP.  It’s a very good idea, though he hints pretty clearly that he could use feedback/feedback – there’s already some in the comments.

Updates: from discussion in IRC about this sort of distributed authentication (maybe ‘authentication distribution’ is a better phrase): Tools like puppet or FreeIPA may also be useful.  From seeing other conversations about this, it looks like there’s a lot of solutions to pick from, of varying difficulty, and none canonical.  That’s both good and bad.

Posted by     Categories: Someday you will need this     0 Comments

a pf question on VoIP

I have a pf question for anyone who is interested.  I have this setup in my /etc/pf.conf, to prioritize my VoIP link.  (this system also does NAT.)

ipphone = ""
altq on $extif cbq bandwidth 768Kb queue { std, voip }
queue voip bandwidth 168Kb priority 7 cbq(borrow)
queue std bandwidth 600Kb priority 1 cbq(default)
nat on $extif from $intif:network to any -> ($extif)
pass in quick on $intif proto udp from $ipphone to any tag VOIP_OUT keep state
pass in on $intif from $intif:network to any keep state
pass out on $intif from any to $intif:network keep state

pass out on $extif tagged VOIP_OUT keep state queue(voip)
pass out on $extif inet proto tcp all modulate state flags S/SA queue(std)
pass out on $extif inet proto { udp, icmp, gre } all keep state

When I run this, ‘pfctl -s queue’ shows most of the data getting run through the ‘voip’ queue.  I unplug the ATA, I still see the number of packets going up.  It seems packets are getting tagged that shouldn’t be, but I’m not sure why.  Anyone else have a similar – but working – setup?

Update: it was the underscore character in the tag.  Everything matched it, it seems.  Removing that made it work as expected.


Posted by     Categories: About This Site, Goings-on     2 Comments

Per-CPU network stats

As Sepherosa Ziehau mentions in his latest commit, DragonFly now collects IFNET/IFADDR statistics on a per-CPU basis.  This makes it more accurate, but may mess with any third-party program that accessed it directly.  I don’t know if there’s anything in pkgsrc that does that…

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Updates: OpenSSL, libdialog, tzsetup, locale

I know OpenSSL in DragonFly was just updated, but Peter Avalos has done it again, bringing it to version 1.01e.  I assume this new version is to fix some recently-exposed problems.   He also has updated libdialog, which was previously not located in contrib/, as sime third-party software needed a more modern version.  As a side effect from that, tzsetup in DragonFly now matches the version in FreeBSD and NetBSD.  And, Sascha Wildner has updated the locale files on DragonFly, also to match FreeBSD and NetBSD.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

New mirror in Germany, plus IPv6

If you’re near Germany, or like IPv6, the Schlund Technologies mirror for DragonFly is for you – it supports HTTP, FTP, and rsync.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments renumbering details

The machines at are now on a different part of the Internet, so if you were having problems connecting over the past few days, it should be better now.  Matthew Dillon wrote up details of what he changed and why he changed it, including a note about future blade server plans.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Connectivity issues for

I have reports from some people not being able to connect to the Digest, and others who can.  If you can’t, please mail me a traceroute.  I thought it was from me messing with pf, but perhaps not…

Posted by     Categories: About This Site     7 Comments

Python and rebuilding pkgsrc

Pierre Abbat noticed that when using pkg_rolling-replace, his Python packages would fail to be built/replaced.  This is because pkgsrc puts the version number into the name of the package, and he was moving from Python 2.6 to 2.7.  OBATA Akio and Greg Troxel had suggestions/explanations.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc, Someday you will need this     0 Comments

Comings and goings

Added: Peter Avalos has updated OpenSSL to version 1.0.1d – see the changelog.

Removed: support for ISA sound cards, by Sascha Wildner.  Goodbye sb16; I’ll remember you fondly.

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

Google Summer of Code 2013 announced

It’s announced!  If DragonFly is going to participate again for the sixth year in a row (wow!), we need mentor volunteers…

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Google Summer of Code     3 Comments moving

Matthew Dillon is moving’s network link to a new VPN today.  (It may have already happened; I only just read the email.)  This may help the people that have reported their network path to seems to die somewhere in the Cogent network…

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Some book statuses

Or is it ‘statii’?  English is wonderfully inconsistent.  Anyway, Michael W. Lucas has posted an update on his two upcoming publications: the second edition of Absolute OpenBSD and DNSSEC Mastery.  Both are in progress, and you can download the ‘pre-release’ version of DNSSEC Mastery now.

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

Lazy Reading for 2013/02/10

For once, I didn’t accidentally post this too early.  I hope you have some spare time; there’s a lot of meaty links this week.

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Anthony Clark of is selling his sketchbook; 101 pages as a digital download, for $1.  Look at his strip or his Tumblr doodles if you want to know more before, but that’s quite a deal.  Nedroid is the source of one of my favorite character names: Beartato.  Also makes a good shirt.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, roguelike, UNIXish     4 Comments

Multiple TX queue support for emx(4), sort of

The emx(4) driver now has support for multiple TX queues, but it’s not on by default.  There’s scenarios where multiple queues work out with that hardware, but you have to be sure you are actually in the right setup for that first.  Check Sepherosa Ziehau’s commit message for the details.

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

Intel network chipset improvements

Sepherosa Ziehau has merged the hardware abstraction layer (HAL) for em(4) and igb(4), along with updating em(4)/emx(4) to version 7.3.4 and igb(4) to version 2.3.7.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Older Samba, Ruby out

It was planned some time ago, but versions of Samba older than 3.5 are now out of pkgsrc, and version 3.5 will hopefully be replaced by 4.0 soon.  Ruby 3.0 and 3.1 will also be going soon.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     3 Comments

Google Code-In 2012 winners

DragonFly didn’t participate this year, but it’s worth looking at the winners of the Google Code-In work for 2012 – there’s two people that were working on NetBSD in there.

Posted by     Categories: Google Code-In, NetBSD     0 Comments

GCC 4.7 the new default

John Marino has set gcc 4.7 as the default compiler in DragonFly.  This replaces the previous default of gcc 4.4.  The 4.4 version is still available, and while you can set NO_GCC44 to keep it from being built, John’s commit message notes that it’s still useful especially for some ports that don’t work with gcc 4.7.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

FOSDEM slides

Remember I mentioned FOSDEM a few days ago?  The X.Org presentation slides are up, and the mostly-about-BSD “The future of on non-Linux systems” presentation slides are included.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

Dealing with problematic git upgrades

If you have git installed, and you are trying to upgrade it, you may have problems.  The scmgit-docs package dependency requires some DocBook files that aren’t always accessible.  If you do run into this problem, there’s 3 separate options:


Ansible and package management

Hubert Feyrer wrote a review of Ansible 0.9, a management tool for multiple systems, similar to Puppet or maybe Chef.  Just after doing that, Ansible 1.0 came out, with support for pkgsrc via pkgin-installed packages.  This is the first solution (that I know of) that supports pkgsrc package management for multiple systems.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Some other BSDs

For once, I got to read the commit logs for other BSDs…

The OpenBSD ‘Papers’ page has some videos listed to match the OpenBSD-related presentations from EuroBSDCon 2012.

Not only does NetBSD support the BeagleBoard, but Michael Lorenz is committing from it.

FreeBSD has brought in a new version of bmake and jemalloc.  I’ve seen a number of other commits recently attributed to ‘NetApp’, which is good to see.  Also, preliminary USB support for boot loaders.

PC-BSD is looking to use pkgng, the same binary package manager used in John Marino’s DPorts.  It’s proving quite popular.

Posted by     Categories: FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD     0 Comments

Multiple transmit queue work results

Sepherosa Ziehau has posted a detailed message showing the speeds he gets with multiple transmission queues, using igb(4).  The short version:

Quick summary, the multiple TX queue support gives me:
+200Kpps for 2 bidirectional normal IP forwarding (now 4.40Mpps)
+160Kpps for 2 bidirectional fast IP forwarding (now 5.23Mpps)


Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/02/03

No theme evolved this week, but that’s OK.

Your unrelated link of the week: MeTube: August sings Carmen ‘Habanera’.  Might be NSFW, probably will make you mildly confused or uncomfortable.  Here’s the ‘making of’ video which is all in German, I think.  If that’s too much, try a recent Cyriak-animated video.  I never thought I’d recommend a Cyriak video as the less disturbing thing to watch.

Posted by     Categories: Books, BSD, Lazy Reading     4 Comments

GCC 4.7 for DragonFly 3.4?

GCC version 4.7 is already available now in DragonFly 3.2, but it’s not the default compiler.  John Marino intends to make it default for the next release.  What’s that mean for us?  Nothing other than a new compiler, since he’s already fixing related issues.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Phoronix benchmark and BSD support

The Phoronix benchmark has been pretty Linux-specific over recent history.  However, whatever your feelings about benchmarks in general, it looks like there’s a distinct effort to improve BSD support.

Posted by     Categories: BSD     0 Comments

FOSDEM this weekend

FOSDEM is happening this weekend in Brussels, Belgium.  Among the other talks there, OpenBSD developer Matthieu Herrb will be talking about on non-Linux systems.  That’s I think meaning “BSD”.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     1 Comment