Significant memory handling changes in DragonFly

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@.

Importing clang to base

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.

Binutils changeout

DragonFly has had binutils 2.24 and 2.25 both available for some time.  2.24 has been taken out and replaced by binutils 2.27, thanks to Rimvydas Jasinskas.

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.

EFI run-time ABI support in DragonFly

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.

Full-offload scan and what it means

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.