Month: August 2013

In Other BSDs: 2013/08/31

I need to update this post during the week as I see stuff, or else I spend an hour rushing to get it all together before Satuday.  I need to start watching PC-BSD src changes, too.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, pkgsrc     1 Comment

rum(4), run(4), and urtwn(4) added

Sascha Wildner has ported rum(4)run(4), and urtwn(4) from FreeBSD to DragonFly, to work within the not-yet-default new USB framework.  This happened some days ago, but I’m just now catching up.

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

Mirror-master moved, also known as mirror-master, is the final system to be moved into the new colocated blade server.  Your downloads of binary packages or DragonFly images should be speedier.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Deduplication benefits, again

Remember my recent disk issues?  As a side effect of protecting myself, I have a good example of deduplication results.

I have a second disk in my server, with slave Hammer PFSs to match what’s on my main disk.  I hadn’t put them in fstab, so they weren’t getting mounted and updated.  I got them re-created, but they were nearly full.  Here’s an abbreviated df, from which you should be able to tell which drives I have :

Size   Used   Avail   Capacity
929G   729G   200G    78%    /slave/slavehome
929G   729G   200G    78%    /slave/slavevar
929G   729G   200G    78%    /slave/slaveusr
929G   729G   200G    78%    /slave/slaveslash

That 78% is how full the Hammer volume was.  I turned on Hammer deduplication, since it’s off by default.  The very next day:

Size   Used   Avail   Capacity
929G   612G   318G    66%    /slave/slavehome 
929G   612G   318G    66%    /slave/slavevar 
929G   612G   318G    66%    /slave/slaveusr 
929G   612G   318G    66%    /slave/slaveslash

It’s a 1 terabyte disk, and I gained more than 10% back – That’s 100g of disk space that I gained overnight.  There might be more tomorrow, given that it was all of 5 minutes of dedup work.

This won’t surprise you if you’ve seen previous deduplication links here, like my previous results or some real-world tests.  It’s still great.  I’d suggest turning it on if you haven’t – hammer viconfig the appropriate PFS and uncomment the dedup line.


Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Hammer     1 Comment

What’s your XML opinion?

There’s several debates exclusive to the Unix-like world: Vi vs. Emacs, System V vs. BSD, and so on.  A more recent one that people tend to fragment over is XML in config files vs. anything else.  Read through this recent threa, starting here, about SMF (which became about XML) on users@.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     4 Comments

DragonFly and Summer of Code, week 10

Only 3 more Mondays left in the student work part of Summer of Code!  Unsurprisingly, it seems the students are mostly in the cleanup phase – as it should be.

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DragonFly 3.4.3 rolled soon

I’ll be working on the 3.4.3 release of DragonFly within the next 24 hours, and it should be available this week.  I’ll have a list of the bugfixes it contains…

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/08/25

This week, I’m opinionated on every link.

  • An 80s computer ad that got almost everything correct.  It used to be sci-fi environments were super-clean – now they’re dirty, with ubiquitous electronics.  That’s something that could be picture-blogged to prove, but I ain’t doing it.
  • Bunnie Huang does “exit interviews” when he stops using equipment.  Given his electronics knowledge, he goes into a lot of detail, including pictures through a microscope.  Speaking of this, how has my ancient HTC Incredible survived 3 years of trips into a salt mine?  I don’t know.
  • InterTwinkles, open source group decision making software.  Don’t know how well it works, but it certainly seems like the right idea.  (via)
  • Turning the Apple //e into a Lisp machine, part 1.  They don’t actually get to the Lisp machine part, but it talks about how Apple computers could load data through the audio jack.  I remember doing that with a tape player, too.  It sucked.  (via)
  • kOS.  It’s so minimal that I am not sure what it can do or how to use it, but it’s also so minimal that I’m sure there must be something to it.  (via)
  • Building a Chording Keyboard.  I’ve mentioned the Microwriter and Twiddler before, but this article goes into a lot of detail about the actual construction of a home-made unit.  (also via)
  • Book review: The Healthy Programmer.  It may or may not make you exercise, but it will make you feel a little guilty about sitting and reading the web like you are doing right now.
  • Hyphen, en dash, em dash, minus.  So few people know there’s a difference.  (via)
  • ASCII Art.  History of, examples, and so on.  (via, with video)
  • Five Useful Git Tips.  Git tips come up all the time, but this one is interesting because it’s using “showterm“, which lets you make text-based animations?  movies? to show a work process in a terminal.  I think I may have linked to something similar before, but this is good.
  • How to Avoid the Emacs Pinky Problem.  A neat idea, but some of the suggestions are actually going to make it worse.  (via)
  • Vim: revisited.  Decent ideas, and the links at the end are good further reading.  There, I’ve posted on both sides of the editor issue.  (via)
  • The problem with Vim.  (via)

Your unrelated link of the week: the Scary Godmother Doll.  One of my favorite illustrators, building a doll.  I met the creator years ago in Pittsburgh; she is an astonishingly energetic person.


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In Other BSDs: 2013/08/24

I hope I’m catching the interesting stuff; I’m only reading the src changes.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, pkgsrc     1 Comment

DragonFly and Go

It’s really neat to suddenly encounter something done just for DragonFly that you didn’t know was coming: A port of Go to DragonFly.   I think these changes are going into the next Go release, or at least I hope so.  (More on Go if you haven’t encountered it before.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment


Just seen: EdgeBSD, a version of NetBSD with different goals in mind.  (Seen on Hacker News)


Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     5 Comments

Details on sysrc

Michael W. Lucas has a short article up about sysrc, a FreeBSD tool for handling rc.conf across multiple machines.  This could easily be a cross-BSD tool – hint, hint.

Update: as Sascha Wildner pointed out, rcrun covers that in DragonFly.  Mostly I’d like to see the same interface, then, I guess?

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD     2 Comments

Details on hardware

If you’re curious about the hardware being used for the colocated servers (this includes the website, the repository, the mailing lists, dports build machines, etc.), here’s the ‘MicroCloud’ product page.  DragonFly’s model was purchased from iXsystems.   Apparently those Haswell processors have a fantastic power consumption to performance ratio.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

DragonFly and Summer of Code, week 9

I’m running a bit behind because I’ve been on the road, but here they are:

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Lazy Reading for 2013/08/18

Had this one done before the last Lazy Reading.  There are so many things to see and think and do in a day, and they’re not even all on the Internet.  You get only the Internet ones here, though.

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Boulet’s Long Journey.  Get ready for a lot of scrolling.  I know there’s a lot of really good French comics that I don’t see just because I don’t speak the language.  (This one’s in English, but the cartoonist is French.)

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In Other BSDs: 2013/08/17

Not just source links, this week:

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Wanted: a Mailman patch

One of the most-requested items for the DragonFly mailing list archives is reverse sorting by date.  Mailman, which is what’s being used now for archiving, doesn’t have a ‘native’ way to do that.  Has anyone seen a trick/patch to get that to happen?  I already patch Mailman to get the message date to show in listings.

Posted by     Categories: About This Site, DragonFly, Off-Topic     1 Comment

A vkernel addon task

Sepherosa Ziehau suggests this relatively easy task: adding a TSC cputimer to vkernels.   Apparently most of the framework to do this is already in place.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Please test     0 Comments

A book review somewhere else: Network Security Monitoring

Michael W. Lucas has a review up of Richard Bejtlich’s “The Practice of Network Security Monitoring“.  Both of them are long-term BSD users, and Bejtlich, if I remember correctly, was part of the design of Capsicum, the security framework that is serving as a Summer of Code project for DragonFly right now.  So it’s worth looking at his book.  And/or looking at his blog, for those who want more.

Posted by     Categories: Books, BSD     1 Comment

USB support improves

I’m a bit slow in posting this, but that’s OK since it’s a work in progress: Markus Pfeiffer has added some more work on USB4BSD porting to DragonFly, including some devicespecific changes.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDTalk 230: Burt Kaliski of Verisign

BSDTalk episode 230 is out.  It’s 12 minutes of conversation with Burt Kaliski, CTO of Verisign, about the upcoming newest BSD convention, vBSDCon.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, Periodicals     1 Comment

Do you sudo?

Maybe the title of this post doesn’t rhyme, but it does in my head.  Michael W. Lucas is looking for people with interesting sudo setups, for his upcoming book.

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Do you have a Cyrix processor?

I’d be really surprised to find this affects anyone, but it’s possible: some kernel options specific to Cyrix processors have been removed, by Sascha Wildner.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

vBSDCon registration open

Registration is open for vBSDCon, happening in Dulles, Virginia, USA, on October 25th through 27th. There’s some neat-sounding presentations listed.

I think that is the same location where I went to a rather spectacular pre-dotcom-crash presentation from Time Warner/Road Runner back in 1999.  The hotel was great; the presenters were befuddled.  An internal account manager ran up a $3,000 bar tab in one night on a company credit card…  I still have the fancy Guinness glass he bought me.  I don’t think this convention will work exactly the same way, but unlike my 1999 trip, the speakers at this one will actually know what they are talking about.

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DragonFly and Summer of Code, week 8

If you look at the reports from students this week, they are mostly “I had bugs and I fixed them and there’s not much to do other than test”, which is the sign of well-planned projects.   Here’s the status reports:

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DNSSEC talk, recorded

If you missed Michael W. Lucas’s talk about DNSSEC, it’s recorded and available on Youtube.  Or buy his book.

Posted by     Categories: Books, BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

Server issues suffered a disk failure early this morning.  I’ll take the opportunity to set up a new machine, given that my local backup drive hasn’t been mounted and my remote backup went offline, in a horrible coincidence.

The disk is up and limping, which is why you can read this, but I’m still rebuilding.  What motherboard/CPU/RAID/etc. parts do people recommend?

Posted by     Categories: About This Site     2 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/08/11

Again, lots of links.  Some of these are overflow from previous weeks where I just said “That’s enough; let’s work on the next Lazy Reading.”

Your unrelated link of the week: Mighty Taco radio ads.  Mighty Taco is a Mexican fast food place from Buffalo, New York, USA.  It’s about as authentically Mexican as fast food from a city on the edge of Canada can be, which is ‘not much’.  I’ve always loved the food, though, and the commercials are just the right mix of amateur joke and commercial advertising.

Bonus unrelated: If you enjoy imgur/fukung but it’s not youtubey enough, hit ‘Random’ on a few times.  You may want to turn down your volume.

Live DNSSEC talk happening now

Or at least scheduled to happen now, since I’m posting this and postdating it for everyone as a reminder.  I hope I have the time right.

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Mailing list archives update note

The mailing list archives for DragonFly ( have been moved to new hardware.  (Yay!)  The patch that actually shows date in the listings needs to reapplied, cause Mailman is somewhat stale.  (Boo!)  I applied the patch and I’m regenerating all the archives now.  (Yay!)  There’s some garbled messages in the archives that cause a bunch of “no subject” partial messages to be dumped at the end.  (Boo!)  I’ll manually fix them if I can, someday.  (Yay?)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2013/08/10

Definitely Saturdays for this summary.  In other BSDs this week:

Posted by     Categories: FreeBSD, Goings-on, NetBSD, OpenBSD     0 Comments

Jordan Hubbard and iXsystems coverage

Wired has an article up about Jordan Hubbard and his move from Apple to iXsystems.  It’s not a bad article, though it doesn’t delve into the why of BSD very much.  In any case, iXsystems has been really bulking up lately to be more than a generic hardware provider.

Speaking of which, that blade system going in now for was sold by iXsystems.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on     0 Comments

Slight service interruption

Several parts of are moving to a new blade server, so there may be some service interruptions during the transition.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

TTM arrives for DragonFly

Francois Tigeot has ported TTM to DragonFly from FreeBSD and I think a bit from OpenBSD.  All this work has led to an update in the driver porting notes.

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

Next Mastery book: Sudo Mastery

Michael W. Lucas’s next topic in his Mastery series is ‘Sudo‘.

Posted by     Categories: Books     1 Comment

BSDTalk 229: Chris Cappucio

It’s 24 minutes with Chris Cappuccio, talking about nsh and flashrd for OpenBSD.

Posted by     Categories: OpenBSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

DragonFly and Summer of Code, week 7

Everyone passed their Summer of Code midterms!  Not that this was a surprise; all the students have been consistently working and overcoming problems, but a 100% pass rate makes me happy.

Here’s the status reports:

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Live DNSSEC talk

On August 10th, Michael W. Lucas will be giving a talk on DNSSEC to the Metro Detroit Linux Users Group, and it’ll be livestreamed for everyone to see.  His talks are energetic and entertaining, and it’s worth making time to see.

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Credential descriptors

Joris Giovannangeli, one of the Summer of Code students for DragonFly, posted his thoughts on credential descriptors – have a read.  He is working on capsicum and DragonFly, so this is a natural thought process.

Lazy Reading for 2013/08/04

These have been very easy to create over the last few weeks; there’s been a torrent of reading.  Can I say torrent without making it sound like this is all downloaded large files?  The word is overloaded.  Anyway:

Your unrelated link of the week: What goes on when you are not there!

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In Other BSDs for 2013/08/03

How many tags can I fit on this post?  I think I’ll aim for Saturday for these BSD catchup posts.  In theory, I can prep this and the Sunday Lazy Reading posts ahead of time, since they tend to be all-week items, and have the whole weekend covered.


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Power savings and Haswell chips

If you have a computer with one of the very-very-new Haswell processors from Intel, Matthew Dillon has made some changes that will interest you.  They shave off (in the example given) about 20% of CPU power usage without much effect on performance.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Just kill everything

killall -T will now kill all processes associated with the current tty, except parents of the killall process itself.  It’s a shortcut to “kill all these runaway items I started by accident”.

KMS and i915 support in DragonFly

Thanks to the effort of a number of people, DragonFly (-current) now supports KMS and accelerated video on Intel 915 chipsets.  It’s 2D and x86_64 only for now, but it’s much, much better than just using the vesa driver.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Google Summer of Code Doc Camp

Every year, people ask “Why can’t writing documentation be part of Summer of Code?”  (Not necessarily for DragonFly, but in general)  Google has a “Doc Camp”, where a whole lot of documentation gets produced in sprints, and anyone can participate – not just Summer of Code students.

If this sounds interesting to you, your application has to be in by August 7th 9th.  (URL and date updated)

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Google Summer of Code     2 Comments