Month: November 2013

In Other BSDs for 2013/11/30


A lighter week for commits probably because of the U.S. holiday, but still plenty of things to link.

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

BSDNow 13: Jordan Hubbard, more OpenBSD router


BSDNow 13 is out, and it includes an interview with Jordan Hubbard of ports/Apple/iXSystems fame.  They also continue the ‘Building an OpenBSD router’ project, and of course, there’s more.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

New pkg 1.2 on the way


pkg 1.2 is coming out.  This brings a number of new features, but as John Marino posted, you may want to delete your old pkg.conf to keep the new version from complaining about an old config file.  This upgrade is a step on the way to signed packages, which is a Good Idea.

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

Mini roadmap checklist


Remember the ‘mini roadmap’, mentioned last week yesterday?  John Marino put together a Google Docs spreadsheet to track the task status; several items are already cleared off.  Take a look and tackle a task.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, I like alliteration     0 Comments

DragonFly roadmap, post 3.6


John Marino posted a possible ‘roadmap’ for DragonFly, now that we’re past the 3.6 release.  The thread went on for some ways as it was discussed, including my crazy ideas.  Notably, several suggested items have already been tackled – an iwn(4) upgrade has already happened, and an update to bmake, based on John’s vendor branch update instructions.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

Hammer2 status


This is a little old, but Matthew Dillon noted the status of his Hammer2 work a little while ago.  Some highlights: he’s intending Hammer2 to be usable on a single host by the time of the next DragonFly release (summer 2014), the Summer of Code project for compression has already been integrated, and he listed different parts of the work that may be interesting for anyone wanting to chip in.

Slightly related: Matt posted some Hammer2 comments on the DragonFly 3.6 release story on Slashdot that may be interesting.  Don’t bother reading the other comments; they’ll make your eyeballs bleed.

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

DragonFly in KVM


If you’re planning to run DragonFly in KVM, remember this post from Matthew Dillon, giving the settings he uses.  This will save you a bit of time.

Good news for iwn(4) users


If you have a recent laptop with an iwn(4) wireless chipset, Matthew Dillon’s recent work getting an updated version of the driver together will probably help you.  It was done specifically to support a Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230, but many more should also now work.


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

Minor upgrade step with dports


If you’re upgrading dports (and you probably are if you are going from DragonFly 3.4 to 3.6), there’s a minor issue in dports, inherited from FreeBSD ports: you need to manually remove perl before upgrading.  It’s all of one command, so it’s not a huge burden.  Joris Giovanngeli spotted it first.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

Newest DragonFly committer: Eitan Adler


Eitan Adler is the newest DragonFly committer; you may recognize his name from some previous commits added by others, where he synced up various work between the BSDs.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

DragonFly 3.6 released


The 3.6 release of DragonFly is available now.  I just put up those images last night, so if your favorite mirror doesn’t have it, give it a few hours.

For those updating from 3.4 to 3.6: there’s an ABI change, so you will have to upgrade all your packages.  If you’re using pkgsrc and ready to switch to dports, now’s the time.  If you already switched to dports on your 3.4 system, binary packages for 3.6 have already been built and you can use pkg to upgrade.

Also for upgrades from 3.4: You can pull the 3.6 source normally:

cd /usr/src
git fetch origin
git branch DragonFly_RELEASE_3_6 origin/DragonFly_RELEASE_3_6
git checkout DragonFly_RELEASE_3_6

But there’s a slight change needed for the 3.4 to 3.6 transition: an extra reboot in the build process:

# make buildworld && make buildkernel && make installkernel && make installworld && reboot

# make upgrade

This is all noted in /usr/src/UPDATING and in the release notes, but I’m taking no chances.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/11/24


There’s some in-depth items to look at this week; pull up a chair and get something warm to drink.  You will be rewarded.

  • James Mickens, who you may remember from The Slow Winter a few weeks back, has written again with The Night Watch.  Gonzo tech writing is the best.  Note to self: a ;login: subscription might not be a bad idea, as apparently there’s more like that.
  • Another note to self: watch the USENIX blog.  There’s some interesting things on there.
  • Citation Needed.   There’s a plausible claim in this that the reason we have 0-based indexing in most languages is because of yacht-racing.  Seriously, read the article, and follow some of the links in it.  (via)
  • Engelbart’s Violin.  Because “a computer system should maximally reward learning.”  Found in that previous essay; good enough I had to break it out.
  • Found in the comments from that previous link: SiWriter.  One-handed phone typing, simulating a chorded keyboard.
  • History of T.  I was wondering if it was something about tea, but no, it’s a discussion about a Lisp implementation.  Lisp all seems to originate from a magical time, when computers were faster, dragons were common, and elves hadn’t retreated across the sea yet, or at least all the stories have that mythical vibe.  See the ycominator link for additional discussion about system languages like Rust, of which I have only heard in passing so far.
  • The video and audio from LISA 2013 has been posted.  There’s lots there; I’m sure you’ll find an interesting topic.
  • I wasn’t kidding about this being a dense week for links, was I?
  • This should have been in yesterday, but I only read about it this morning: Darwin/BSD on ARM.  More ARM work everywhere, please; there’s a tidal wave of these processors washing about.  (thanks, J.C. Roberts)
  • Why I use a 20-year-old Model M keyboard.  See the ycombinator discussion for alternatives.  They all may seem expensive, but it’s equipment you’re going to smash your fingers against for many years; it should be good.
  • That discussion link in the previous item led me to this image.  An old-style Thinkpad keyboard?  Now that would be pleasant to use.  Apparently these existed, though the Lenovo keyboards section doesn’t have anything exactly by that name; the keyboards there look generic.  There’s some on eBay.  Anyone ever used one?
  • The Homebrew Computer Club reconvenes.  A computer club nowadays is “we downloaded some of the same software”, while back then it was “I built a computer.”  A bit more hardcore.
  • chibitronics.  It’s ‘circuit stickers’, and a good idea.
  • mattext, a matrix-style pager.  Does it work on DragonFly?  Haven’t had a chance to find out.  It needs a video demo.  (via)
  • More UNIX script debugging.  Still Bash-specific, but still useful.
  • Puppet vs. Chef  vs. Ansible vs. Salt.  A useful comparison for those not familiar with these types of tool.  (via)
  • UNIX Proves Staying Power as Enterprise Computing Platform.  Gives a short history of commercial UNIX platforms.
  • I find stories about closing cloud companies compelling.  I’d probably feel different if it was my problems to sort out.

 

Your unrelated link of the week: Mr. T PSA.  It’s a parody of the real thing.  I explicitly mention it because you, the reader, might not be just the right age to remember this.

If that’s not confusing enough, watch this.

Posted by     Categories: I like alliteration, Lazy Reading, UNIXish     8 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2013/11/23


I’m working my way up to more than just links to source for the cross-BSD news.  There’s a lot to swim through!

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, FreeBSD, OpenBSD     0 Comments

BSDNow 12: Collecting SSHells


BSDNow 12, which I haven’t had a chance to watch yet, has the normal roundup of events and an interview with Amitai Schlair of NetBSD.  There’s also a tutorial about ssh and tmux.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, NetBSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

DragonFly 3.6.0 release very soon


As noted on the kernel@ list, it’s tagged but not yet in image form.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

Building lots of storage


Predrag Punosevac asked for good fileserver examples.  Several people answered, including me – the best answer is from Francois Tigeot, but there’s discussion of IPMI support in the thread.

Related: I wonder if the Backblaze Storage Pod would work for DragonFly?

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSD Magazine: HAST on FreeBSD


The November issue of BSD Magazine is out, with a feature on High Availability Storage (that’s HAST) on FreeBSD, plus more.  (noticed via freebsdnews, since I somehow missed the email/rss from bsdmag.com)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

BSDTalk 235: Allan Jude


BSDTalk 235 has 26 minutes of conversation with Allan Jude about various topics, including this BSDNow thing I was just on,

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

i386 dports maintainer wanted


John Marino isn’t interested in supporting the i386 architeecture for DragonFly and dports, so he’s not going to actively work on it.  (Packages for DragonFly 3.6 are already built, so that’s not a problem for release.)  If you feel like taking on a significant but interesting workload, check his message about the work involved.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/11/17


It’s been snowing this week in the northeast US, which makes me happy.

  • Unix: sending signals to processes.  Signals have always struck me as a somewhat byzantine messaging system that everyone uses for the equivalent of Ctrl-C.
  • Unix: Debugging your scripts.  This will be useful if it’s not already familiar to you.
  • Compatibility is Hard.  Contrary to popular belief, Microsoft Word documents are not backward or forward compatible, from release to release.
  • From that previous link: Why Microsoft Word Must Die.  The worst problems to troubleshoot are when someone says “Word/Excel is acting funny”.  There’s so many intermediate layers of software in those programs that it’s difficult to find the actual data and the actions being performed on it, much less troubleshoot any process.
  • SparkFun.com moved from MySQL/MariaDB to Postgres.  I agree with the sentiments in the article, but I want to know the technical reasons that made Postgres the choice for scaling.  (via)
  • Apple ][ DOS source code.  I don’t have anything I can actually do with the source, but there’s a 1977 price list pictured in the the article that shows some interesting numbers: A 4Kb RAM system costs about $1300, and the prices just go up from there.

Your unrelated comics link of the week: the first four pages of Necropolis.  This comic looks to be fun.

Posted by     Categories: Someday you will need this, UNIXish     2 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2013/11/16


Not as much pulled directly from the source lists this time, which is good.

 

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD, pkgsrc     3 Comments

BSDNow 11: The Gateway Drug


BSDNow episode 11 is up, with conversations about OpenSSH, FUSE, building an OpenBSD router, etc… and a whole hour of me talking about the upcoming DragonFly 3.6 release and this very Digest, too!

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Periodicals     0 Comments

OpenBSD talk at Michigan User Group


This appears to be all audiovisual media week, because author Michael W. Lucas gave a talk at the Michigan Users Group about OpenBSD (he’s qualified), and it’s up now in two parts.  He describes it as:

“Among other things, I compare OpenBSD to Richard Stallman and physically assault an audience member.”

Posted by     Categories: Books, BSD, Conventions, OpenBSD     5 Comments

BSDTalk 234: Henning Brauer at vBSDCon


BSDTalk 234 is 30 minutes of conversation with Henning Brauer, taken at vBSDCon 2013.  There’s a correlation between east coast BSD conferences and the number of BSDTalk episodes coming out.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, OpenBSD     1 Comment

BSDNow: a livestream that’s already completed


I just finished a whole hour of gabbing on about DragonFly and BSD work in general for BSDNow.  Because I am a ninny, I didn’t post something here earlier today so that people would know to watch the livestream.  Sorry!  However, it should be showing up in the next day or so on the BSDNow site.  When it does, I’ll link it.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly     0 Comments

Book review: Sudo Mastery


If you’ve seen my previous two reviews of Michael W. Lucas’s ‘Mastery’ books – DNSSEC Mastery and SSH Mastery – then you can guess what this will be: his newest book, focusing on a single software topic.  This time it’s sudo.

sudomastery-cover

The one downside of reading this book: I now am aware I’m using sudo wrong.  Perhaps not wrong, but not anywhere near its potential.  Sudo – and I’m not the only person who has experienced this – is used as a “Let’s install sudo so we don’t have to tell anyone the root password”.  Sudo works for that sort of thing, but there’s a lot more possibilities.

Sudo is designed to be deployable across multiple systems, as part of a security policy.  It’s an easy way to create purpose-shaped roles with different users, especially with users that have specialized skills and tasks, like database maintenance.

Obviously I think better of sudo after reading the book; there’s a lot of program capabilities of which I was unaware, but it’s the book that sells them.  Michael W. Lucas’s humor is on display again, to break up some very technical material.  Here’s some bits, pulled out.

Remember that “syntactically valid” is not the same as “does what you want.”

Pressing Q tells visudo to break sudo until you log in as root and fix it. Do not press this button. You won’t like it.

Here I create the TAPEMONKEYS alias for the people who manage backups.

And if Carl tries to configure Oracle on the PostgreSQL server, senior sysadmin Thea needs to have sharp words with him. Probably involving a tire iron.

The book is in-depth enough to cover more complex topics like using sudo and Active Directory, and sudo as an intrusion detection tool, of all things.

The usual reasons to buy a Mastery book are all still there: it specifically mentions working on BSD systems instead of pretending Linux is the only system out there.  It’s available through a DRM-free seller (Smashwords) in addition to Amazon.  It’s a self-published effort, not shovelware.  It’s available now as an ebook, and in physical form soon.  Lucas talks about it on BSDNow 010, too.

I have one last nontechnical note.  Since these Mastery books are working into a series, I’d like to see a whole printed run of visually matching books.  Something with the equivalent of the O’Reilly animals or the Pelican or even Little Blue Books common look and feel.

You know the look even if you don't know the publisher

The takeaway: You should be reading this book if you plan to use sudo in any sort of multiuser environment.  It’s available as an e-book direct from the author, via Amazon, via Smashwords, and possibly Barnes & Noble at some point in the near future.  Physical books are available, and you can buy both forms together, apparently.

And of course this sudo joke.

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

Lazy Reading for 2013/11/10


I spent this entire week saying things like “Wait, today’s Tuesday?” and “I thought this was Wednesday, not Thursday.”

  • Welcome to my GUI Gallery, a whole lot of different GUI screenshots.  This mention of the “Salto” Alto emulator brought me there, and there’s some material I’ve never seen before.  Also, there’s Bob.  Not “Bob” the prophet, but Bob, the computer mistake.  Speaking of problematic designs, see the Windows 8 page.
  • 5 Cool UNIX Hacks.  Sounds linkbaity, but it’s useful.  I didn’t realize that CTRL-a is the non-destructive version of CTRL-u.  (via)
  • This seems strange, but I never heard of PLATO, even though it seems to be the precursor to so much.  (via)
  • Goodbye Google“, in terms of switching to your own platform, seems to be a new trend.
  • arkOS, a similar idea.
  • Finding Files Your Way.  I can never remember all the arguments to ‘find’.
  • Google has a Shell Style Guide.  Which equates to a Bash Style Guide, but that’s OK.  Shell scripts are sometimes considered the most disposable form of programming, so it’s good to see a full guide.  (via)

Your unrelated animation of the week: late for meeting.  A followup to going to the store, which I think I posted here years ago.

In Other BSDs for 2013/11/09


Not sure why, but there wasn’t a lot of things this week to pick out.

 

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD, pkgsrc     2 Comments

Performance tuning


Matthew Dillon did some more performance tuning for DragonFly.  I’ll just pull a paragraph from the commit message, since that will have more impact than anything I say:

Improves fork/exec concurrency on monster of static binaries from 14200/sec to 55000/sec+. For dynamic binaries improve from around 2500/sec to 9000/sec or so (48 cores fork/exec’ing different dynamic binaries). For the same dynamic binary it’s more around 5000/sec or so.

“monster” is a 48-core machine used for testing.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

BSDNow 10: Year of the BSD Desktop


The 10th BSDNow episode is out, with the ambitious title, “Year of the BSD Desktop”.  As you can guess from the title, a PC-BSD desktop gets set up as part of the episode, and as you might not guess from the title, they interview Michael W. Lucas.

Posted by     Categories: Books, BSD, PC-BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

DragonFly 3.6 branched


Branched, not released.  The release should happen in two weeks.  One major bug has been squished, and remember the upgrade process from 3.4 to 3.6 is a little different from normal.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Heads Up!     0 Comments

DragonFly developer interview


DragonFly developer Francois Tigeot  was interviewed on linuxfr.org.  As you can probably guess from the names, it’s a French site, but don’t let that stop you if you’re an Anglophone.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/11/03


This was a loooooong week, with me working 24 of the last 48 hours.  It didn’t get in the way of the link-gathering, though!

Your unrelated animated image of the day: (via via)

tumblr_muu6bsK7rS1qedb29o1_500

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, UNIXish     0 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2013/11/02


There’s a surprisingly large list this week.

BSDTalk 233: David Chisnall


BSDTalk 233 plays David Chisnall’s hour of presentation from vBSDCon 2013 about moving from gcc to llvm/clang.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

BSDNow 9: Current Events


BSDNow 9 is up and it’s all Current Events, going by the title.  I’d describe it better but I haven’t even had a chance to watch it yet.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments