A lighter week for commits probably because of the U.S. holiday, but still plenty of things to link.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
- NYCBSDCon 2014 (on February 8, 2014 – note the recent change) is, in addition to the normal call for papers, having a ‘call for exposés’, meaning they want people to expose BSD projects. I found this out through the undeadly.org description noting that some MIPS machines will be on display. This is an excellent idea; BSD projects need a showcase.
- There’s also a NYC Tech Meta-party, with NYCBUG and many other groups participating.
- FOSDEM 2014 will have a BSD Room.
- FreeBSD developer and FreeBSD-based-business-owner Colin Percival gets a spotlight from the FreeBSD Foundation.
- DiscoverBSD’s BSD summary. We need more of this.
- FreeBSD News miscellaneous links. Hey, there’s more!
- hostileadmin has a slew of wrap-up reports from vBSDCon. Sounds like a good time was had by all.
- Here’s more vBSDCon wrapups, plus slides.
- And a developer (John-Mark Gurney) trip to vBSDCon sponsored by the FreeBSD Foundation.
- Also, AsiaBSDCon OpenBSD presentations in video form.
- The pfSense blog is called “The pfSense Digest”. Digest… hey, that sounds like a good, descriptive term! They also are looking to hire. I just used some of my paid pfSense support time on a work problem – well worth the money spent.
- OK, back to source commit links.
- FreeBSD has enabled some Texas Instruments hardware.
- FreeBSD has added some example test framework programs.
- FreeBSD has added the axge(4) driver for ASIX AX88178A and AX88179 USB Ethernet
- OpenBSD has 802.11A support in wpi(4).
- (updated to add) There’s a PC-BSD weekly digest, too. That’s good, because I had trouble spotting things in the massive flood of PBI approvals over the past week.
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.
As noted on the kernel@ list, it’s tagged but not yet in image form.
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?
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)
BSDTalk 235 has 26 minutes of conversation with Allan Jude about various topics, including this BSDNow thing I was just on,
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.
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.