The ncv(4), nsp(4), and stg(4) drivers are now removed from DragonFly. So is the portal file system. Also, though not a removal, vm.swapcache.use_chflags now defaults to 0. Does this affect you? Almost certainly not! I feel compelled to point it out, though, just in case there’s that one person who didn’t want a surprise.
If you are on DragonFly -master, now is a good time to update. Matthew Dillon has been changing how DragonFly handles locking and memory use, with differences in the vmstat structure and page coloring, some memory settings, and many other locking changes. I am only linking to a few examples. If you don’t want to dig through those links for performance numbers, he summarized his changes and their effects in a post to users@.
If you were running DragonFly 4.7, for a short period you may have had trouble with shutting down, because of an ACPI bug. It’s fixed now. It’s actually been fixed for two weeks, but I’m going back and clearing things I hadn’t had a chance to post, since we are in the Christmas-New Years lull time.
Don’t get too excited yet – clang import hasn’t happened. However, I want to draw attention to Rimvydas Jasinskas’ changes to alternate compiler handling, which would be for importing clang. His commit message goes into some of the rather thorny problems of transitioning between compilers and releases.
I mention this because people don’t realize there’s a console screensaver: ‘vidcontrol -t XX’ will blank the console after XX seconds of inactivity. This way you aren’t lighting up your server closet with a terminal screen, forever.
This is a minor thing, but I bet someone will find it useful: Chromium in dports has been patched to remove the forced dependency on dbus, which will be useful to anyone using DragonFly and a ‘lighter’ window manager. You still need to specify this preference in your make.conf to have it happen.
The 2.25 version was and still is installed by default. If you want to try out 2.27 instead, WORLD_BINUTILSVER=binutils227 is what you need. I didn’t test that, of course. The binutils changelog will tell you what’s different in 2.27.
UEFI, which I casually sum up as the replacement for BIOS, has been seeing some support in DragonFly, but not within the installer. Matthew Dillon and Sascha Wildner has ported over FreeBSD’s EFI ABI support, which I think means support for various EFI applications and features. I haven’t booted a machine using UEFI in any significant way, so I don’t have a good explanation – but I am sure this is useful for people with new hardware.
Update: some explanation plus a note that it’s experimental and you could brick your machine.
Imre Vadasz is working on full-offload scan support for wlan, imported from FreeBSD. That doesn’t change much from a user point of view, other that (I assume) reducing load and power usage a tiny amount. I’m reinforcing something most people don’t think about: there’s tiny computers inside your computer with their own firmware and processors, that you don’t directly control.
It’s now possible to put the /boot of your DragonFly system in the ‘a’ partition of a disklabel. It’s perhaps not major, but it’s another step in EFI support. EFI installs are possible now – if you do it manually.