Category: Committed Code

More high-speed optimizations


I’ve had a bunch of posts like this so far, but that’s not a bad thing.  Sepherosa Ziehau has a pair of optimizations that appear to make performance with big pipes (1G) and tiny packets (18b, if I read correctly) reach near the physical maximum for 1000-base-T Ethernet.

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vquota(8) now available


Francois Tigeot has been working for quite a while on a VFS accounting system.  It doesn’t restrict to a quota (yet), but it will give you byte totals for each mounted filesystem.  It has been committed, so it looks like a good way to tell which PFS is eating your disk.

Update: Francois pointed out he’s still adding parts for this.  So it’s not quite done yet, but soon.

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Parallelized buildworld now possible


Buildworlds are now much faster, because they can run themselves in parallel.  Invoke it using the -j option to make.  Matthew Dillon saw a 25% reduction in time when using ‘make -j 12 buildworld’ on a 4-core system.  You may need to manually update xinstall and mkdir:

        cd /usr/src/usr.bin/xinstall
        make clean; make obj; make all install
        cd /usr/src/bin/mkdir
        make clean; make obj; make all install

It’ll also use more memory than a non-parallel build, but heck, that’s cheap these days.

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A minor debugging change worth noting


Venkatesh Srinivas made a minor change to a ddb backtrace – it now prints the raw instruction pointers.  On x86_64, a backtrace would not print the correct objects out, so this is better.  It’s a minor change, but I’m pointing it out because it totally helped solve a problem for me on a package-building machine.

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ldns update to 1.6.11


Jan Lentfer has updated ldns in DragonFly to version 1.6.11.  This brings in a bunch of bugfixes, which can be viewed at the ldns site’s changelog.

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An unexpected way to do strlen()


The general rule of thumb is that if you have a function written in an interpreted language (Perl, Python, etc.), it’ll be faster in C.  If you need it faster than that, you go to assembly.  Prepare to have your world rocked: Venkatesh Srinivas found that strlen() in libc was actually slower written in assembly than in C.  His commit message has numbers to back that up.

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Fast soaccept added


It’s another throughput tweak from Sepherosa Ziehau: soaccept is run differently when pulling in network data from a socket.  The commit message once again shows the results of the change using httperf.

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Binutils update to 2.22


Binutils in DragonFly is now up to version 2.22 – the commit linked is one of several.

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fastbulk now added


Some time ago, Matthew Dillon worked on a bulk build system that built as much of pkgsrc in parallel as possible.  It’s in the tree now as ‘fastbulk‘, for anyone wanting to try it out.  I used it a bit; I didn’t measure the degree of speed increase, but was able to get about 70% of the packages built.

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More network speed improvements as reported by netperf


Sepherosa Ziehau has implemented another networking speedup.  Read the commit message for details on what he changed, since it’s rather in-depth.  He shows an 18% improvement in netperf results.

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Sendfile speedup


Sepherosa Ziehau has implemented an asynchronous pru_send in sendfile.  The results are a 70-90% increase in performance, as shown in his netperf localhost test.

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How to make those regression tests


The man page for dfregress has been put together, and you can read it and find out how to contribute, right now.

(That man page should be up by the time this is posted…)

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route(8) changes require buildworld


If you’re tracking DragonFly current, you will need to do a full buildworld on your next update.  Sepherosa Ziehau made some changes in route(8) that a quickworld will not catch.

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dfregress, a new test framework


Alex Hornung has created ‘dfregress’, a test framework designed to be as simple as possible for adding tests to DragonFly.  This would make it easier to verify an upcoming release is correct, for instance.  See his commit note for extensive details, and add a trivial test for anything you value.

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Appletalk goes away


This is another one of those features that I bet goes away, and nobody would notice because nobody uses it any more.  Sascha Wildner has removed AppleTalk from DragonFly.

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A new memory allocator


DragonFly has a new memory allocator, called (not surprisingly) “dmalloc“.  It’s only present on x86_64, not i386, because it could eat up more VSZ (virtual memory) than an i386 kernel may  have available.

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HEADS UP: package recompilation needed


The presence of /usr/include/crypt.h in DragonFly (starting in December 2010) meant that some programs compiled during that time will expect that file to always be there.  It was recently removed, so any programs compiled in that timeframe will also need to be recompiled.  Right now, this affects you only if you are running DragonFly 2.13 , since that’s the only place crypt.h was removed.  This may be an issue for the release, but we’ll worry about that when we get there…  I’m kicking off new 2.13 bulk builds now.

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Do you have a lot of RAM? I mean, a LOT!?


You can now have, in theory, up to 32 terabytes of RAM on your 64-bit DragonFly system, from a change made by Matthew Dillon.  I’m curious to see if anyone has even 1 terabyte, as that’s at least feasible.

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libgmp, libmpfr updated


John Marino has updated two libraries needed for gcc 4.4: GMP and MPFR.  They are, as far as I can tell, both designed for mathematical functions.

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More multi-core improvements


Matthew Dillon wrote up an explanation of how performance on systems with a lot of CPU cores has been significantly improved – up to 300%!  (He says 200%, but I think he’s treating it as a percentage of a whole rather than percent changed.)  Apparently finally getting rid of lock contention is the trick.

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Libhammer added


Antonio Huete Jimenez’s ‘libhammer‘, a library to make various Hammer functions available to userland programs, has been added.  It implements ‘hammer info’ only at this point, if I understand correctly.

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GCC updated


John Marino’s moved GCC from 4.4.6 to 4.4.7, but you’ll have to see the changelog for details.  Except it’s so new it isn’t listed… yet.

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Got 10G Ethernet? Here’s an improvement


Sepherosa Ziehau made some changes that led to a 10% and then 20% gain (don’t know if that was cumulative or separate) in network speed for DragonFly.  That’s great!  It only has a noticeable effect if you’re on 10G Ethernet, though.  The obvious answer to that: upgrade your network.

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TRIM arrives for DragonFly


Tim Bisson’s work on TRIM support has been committed.  I don’t know if it will show in 2.12, but it’s off by default so it would seem a safe move.

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A whole lot of VM fixes


Matthew Dillon and Venkatesh Srinivas have committed several fixes for some elusive problems.  If you’ve had an unexplained crash, this may keep it from repeating.  If you haven’t had a wierd crash (like me)… great!

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The return of zgrep


Did you notice zgrep went missing?  Well, it’s available again, thanks to YONETANI Tomokazu.

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OpenSSH update to 5.9p1


Peter Avalos has updated OpenSSH to version 5.9p1.  This might be the last thing before the next DragonFly release.

Update on the update: he updated OpenSSL (1.0.0e) and file (5.09) too.

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TCP changes I think


From what I can tell, Sepherosa Ziehau’s made some changes where you can control TCP timeout and keepalive timing on a per-tcpcb basis, or at least that’s what I gleaned from the docs.  He’s been doing a lot of work lately, but it’s hard to link to because so much of it is at a basic level that makes it difficult to summarize in terms of how the features affect the user.

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Time travel in Samoa. Also, time zone updates


Sascha Wildner updated time zone files again.  It’s a regular thing, but I wanted to draw attention to this little change:

Samoa moves from east to west of the international date line (changes from UTC-11 to UTC+13). It will skip December 30, 2011.

2011/12/30 in Samoa will never exist or have existed, which is entirely odd.

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More Summer of Code results


Another batch of code has arrived from Google Summer of Code student work.  In this case, it’s code from Adam Hoka’s “Implementing a mirror target for device mapper” project, committed by Alex Hornung.  I think there’s potentially more to come.

Summer of Code results already


Google Summer of Code for 2011 just finished, and there’s already source code from it showing up in DragonFly.  In this case,  scheduler work, including multiple schedulers.  I’ll have a more detailed report soon…

A zillion sh updates


Peter Avalos brought in a vast quantity of sh(1) updates, all from FreeBSD as far as I can tell.  There’s a whole bunch more commits all on 8/21, but I’m tired of linking.  Thank you, Peter!

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x86_64: Rebuild!


If you’re running 64-bit DragonFly, and you’re on version 2.11, you will want to rebuild with the latest sources.  Peter Avalos found a bug with file descriptor passing, and Venkatesh Srinivas fixed it.  It will require a quickworld/kernel build – maybe a full buildworld and kernel?  I’m not sure.   Some pkgsrc packages might need recompilation, too if they also passed file descriptors around.

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Deduplication now eats less RAM


Well, if you tell it to do so.  Matthew Dillon has added a user-settable limit to the amount of memory used during deduplication, so if your Hammer-using system is low on RAM, you can conserve.  This is probably most useful if you are running DragonFly in an extremely small VM, or if your name is Venkatesh.

(inside joke; Venkatesh has a crazy old desktop for DragonFly.)

 

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ACPI and interrupt routing update


Sepherosa Ziehau has, over the last few months, effectively completed the “Update ACPI and interrupt routing” code bounty on the DragonFly code bounties page.  Yay!  I’m on the hook for the $50 I pledged towards that…  (it’s already off the page; here’s the change if you want to see it.)

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Pulse-width modulated time-domain multiplexer!


I really just like that phrase and the action movie feeling of using it, like “Watch out!  The pulse-width modulated time-domain multiplexer is targeting us!”  Sorta like a PU-36 space modulator.  It’s actually a recently-committed mechanism to improve write performance in Hammer, but my idea sounds more exciting.

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Binutils updated


John Marino has made binutils 2.21.1 the default binutils in DragonFly, and gprof is now built but not in the default path.

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Disk encryption updates


Alex Hornung has made a pile of changes for disk encryption, including adding libdm, a “simple BSD-licensed libdevmapper“,and adding tcplay, a 100% compatible implementation of TrueCrypt.   This should make you very happy if you like running from an encrypted disk.

Update: Alex has written an in-depth explanation of this work.  It’s a huge change!

Update update: Hey, it’s showing on Hacker News too!

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TCP update for 2.11


If you’re running a recent version of DragonFly 2.11, it’s worth updating.  Matthew Dillon fixed a networking bug that I’ve seen cause problems.  It was introduced within 2.11’s lifetime, so as far as I know, this won’t affect anyone on 2.10.

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EST for x86_64


Sascha Wildner has enabled the CPU_ENABLE_EST option for x86_64 kernels.  If you’re on x86_64, you can now use Enhanced Speedstep Technology.  (i386 users already could.)

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Twofish and serpent in crypto


Alex Hornung has added Twofish and Serpent support to crypto(9) / (4).

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AHCI/SSD issue fixed


Matthew Dillon has made some changes to AHCI support; if you have an Intel motherboard with an SSD drive that occasionally doesn’t want to co-operate on a cold boot, this recent update may fix it.

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Padlock warning


Do you have a Via CPU?  Do you use padlock(4)?  (The driver for cryptographic functions, which Via processors support with hardware acceleration)  Alex Hornung made some untested changes to support the hardware random number generator, but he needs people to test it.

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Watch out for VM work


Venkatesh Srinivas is making vmobj_token and vm_token much more fine-grained.  That’s great, but watch out over the next few weeks as this work goes into 2.11.  (i.e. don’t upgrade your DragonFly 2.11 unless you are ready for surprises.)  Venkatesh has already found some.

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i386, LAPIC, IOAPIC


The i386 architecture now supports LAPIC and I/O APIC.  If you had weird interrupt problems when installing DragonFly before, now might be a good time to try the latest bleeding-edge version of DragonFly and see if the problem vanished.

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New gold linker


John Marino has made it possible to use ‘gold‘, the new linker in binutils 2.21, on DragonFly.  His explanatory post outlines the benefits (much faster C++ compiling), and caveats (does not work yet for building world/kernel).

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SMP kernels on uniprocessor systems


It looks like Sepherosa Ziehau is working on getting multiprocessor kernels able to boot on single-processor systems.  This makes life a bit easier, since there’s only one kernel needed for any given processor.  I don’t know if it’s in a finished state yet.

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libgnuregex goes away


Thanks to John Marino, the one dependency needing libgnuregex is gone, as is the software itself.  I didn’t even know libgnuregex was there.

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Really old systems and libpthread


If you have a really old DragonFly system, meaning you’ve been upgrading it since version… 1.8 (I think?), you may have libpthread linked to libc_r instead of libxu.  This means that if you have a system that old, you will now need to set THREAD_LIB or just recompile your pkgsrc programs on your next upgrade to something after DragonFly 2.10.   I don’t think this is going to apply to a lot of people.

(I hope I got the lib details right…)

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ipf goes away


ipfilter has now been removed from DragonFly, by Sascha Wildner.  We now have “only” ipfw2 and pf for software firewalls.

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GDB update


John Marino has updated the GNU Debugger (GDB) from version 7.0 to version 7.2.  The lengthy commit message describes how surprisingly complex the upgrade proved to be.

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gcc, textinfo, and diffutils updates


John Marino’s gone on a tear and updated GCC to version 4.4.6, diffutils from 2.87 to 3.0, and texinfo from 4.8 to 4.13.  Each commit message that I linked to has plenty of notes on what’s different, so they’re worth following.  This is the first update for texinfo in 6 years, so the quantity of updates is not surprising.

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Want your kernel build to fail?


Then use the new LINT64 config added by Sascha Wildner.  LINT kernels have every option turned on, so it’s pretty easy to have problems due to conflicts or untested parts and so on.  You probably won’t get a kernel out of it, but now there’s a comprehensive list of your 64-bit kernel options for when you’re building a kernel that works.

 

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Grep still GNU, sort is not. Plus, file.


GNU grep on DragonFly has been updated from version 2.4d to 2.7. Other BSDs have switched/will switch to bsdgrep, but as John Marino points out in his commit message, GNU grep’s still faster.  He’s also brought in NetBSD’s version of sort, to replace the GNU flavor.  I don’t know why on that one.

Peter Avalos also updated file to 5.06.

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More Hammer documentation


Thomas Nikolajsen has put together more information on Hammer, including formatting and the new deduplication features, conveniently located in the man pages and some other spots.

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ACPI SCI changes


Sepherosa Ziehau has made some changes to default SCI settings in ACPI.  This may make it possible to boot a computer, or to boot a computer with ACPI, that did not boot before.  If it causes problems, he lists some various tunables to set.  Just don’t ask me what SCI does.

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One extra thing: OpenSSH


Peter Avalos squeezed in one more thing before the DragonFly2.10 branch: an update of OpenSSH to version 5.8-p1.  This is mostly a security fix upgrade to 5.7 – see the OpenSSH release notes for details.

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Our newest committer: John Marino


Welcome John Marino, who has been working on some rather difficult updates for gcc and other toolchain items.

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GCC 4.4.5 now


Sascha Wildner has moved gcc in DragonFly to a slightly newer version: 4.4.5.  It mostly seems to make things easier to compile, going by the reports I’ve heard.  This is the version that will be in DragonFly 2.10.

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Double buffering in Hammer usually useful


Enabling the vfs.hammer.double_buffer=1 sysctl will greatly improve Hammer performance when you’ve exceeded your memory cache (at a possible slight penalty when you have not) and also speed things up when using live deduplication.

Update: Venkatesh Srinivas says:

“double_buffer makes sense when: 1) you want all CRCs to be checked on reads. 2) you’re running live dedup and care about dedup performance rather than say read-heavy performance; 3) you have swapcache but are often running into the  vnode limit in what you can cache.”

So, not always useful.

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binutils, Hammer updates


Sascha Wildner has updated the default version of binutils in DragonFly from 2.17 to 2.21.  You’ll want to do a full buildworld on your next upgrade, if you’re running DragonFly 2.9.

Also, Matthew Dillon has made version 6 the default version of Hammer in DragonFly 2.9.   Version 6 has improved handling of directory names in some circumstances.  Just don’t ask me which, cause I lost track.  It’s been a hard day!

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Fairq enhancements


If you’re using pf to control how your bandwidth is used, you may want to look at the recent fairq updates from Matthew Dillon.  It should perform better now in situations where one traffic group is saturating its available bandwidth.  Here’s a handy link that explains this sort of problem, yoinked from IRC.

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Native binutils support for DragonFly


John Marino’s work on getting support for DragonFly ‘natively’ into binutils, upstream, has been successful.  Thanks, John!

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Binutils 2.21 added, still optional


Sascha Wildner has added in binutils version 2.21, replacing 2.20.  Note that both 2.20 and 2.21 are ‘optional’, so you have to set BINUTILSVER to use them.  Otherwise the system defaults to the also-installed binutils 2.17.

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More memoryallocators manpage material


Venkatesh Srinivas has added a new memoryallocators(9) man page, to describe the various memory allocation schemes in DragonFly.  It gives descriptions of each and leads off to more man pages.

libiberty goes byebye


This is the BSD-licensed version of libiberty, which was removed because it didn’t ever actually make it to being a replacement.

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pkgsrc current and 2.9, plus shallow pulls


There’s two recent changes for pkgsrc and DragonFly:

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gcc 4.4 now default


Sascha Wildner has changed the default compiler to gcc 4.4.  See his commit notes for some details.  To my knowledge, we’re the only BSD using this recent a version.

A full buildworld/buildkernel is probably the best strategy.  I’ll be rebuilding all the pkgsrc packages for 2.9 using gcc 4.4…  This will take at least a week.

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Bridge building better


Matthew Dillon’s improved bridging to the point where you can now modify the MAC address of the bridge and most everything, including ARP, will come from it correctly.   It’s even possible to bond 2 or more interfaces together, with the side effect of dragonflybsd.org having a lot more bandwidth.

Update: the config for his bonded interfaces has been posted as an example.

Update 2: More notes here.

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Better bridge built


Matthew Dillon has continued his bridge work, with another commit adding various features.  Go, read.

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Transparent bridging added


Matthew Dillon has added transparent bridging, mostly to overcome issues with the AT&T DSL modem he’s using.  With this non-default feature, IP packets retain the original MAC address when retransmitted through a new interface.

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tmpfs loses the locks


The tmpfs(5) filesystem now runs without multiprocessor locks.  Yay!  Another hurdle down.

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New ps option


ps now has a new option: -R.  This lists processes in order by parent/child status, and indents to make it visually clear.  It looks like this.  I wish someone had done this 15 years ago.

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Assume it’s multiprocessor-safe


As Matthew Dillon notes in a recent post, procedures are now assumed to be MPSAFE (i.e. without the Giant Lock) by default.  Any new work should follow this idea, and it doesn’t have to be documented specially.  The inverse used to be true, where the code that happened to work without the Lock was rare, and therefore needed to be pointed out.   Now, the good result is the norm.

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fork and exit more mpsafe


Matthew Dillon’s made fork() and exit() (mostly) multiprocessor-safe.  It’s only two calls, but both are very frequently used.  One more step closer to removing the Giant Lock…

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Scheduler updates


Matthew Dillon’s made some scheduler changes, which blogbench tests are showing give the default scheduler better performance under heavy load.  It’s a pretty technical writeup, so I’ll just point you at it rather than attempt to summarize.

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More Google Code-In work arrives


Samuel J. Greear committed some more code that happened to come from DragonFly/Google Code-In projects.  There’s a surprising large amount of code that came from those projects…

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Good news for people with excess memory


Matthew Dillon’s made some changes that will speed up the booting process for people with a ridiculous amount of memory, like 64G.  This is x86_64 only, but that should not be a surprise if you think about it.

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Fixes for rxvt, milter-greylist


In case you are using either of those programs, there’s fixes for building/using them.

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More interrupt work


Sepherosa Ziehau has been continuing his work on improved interrupt support.  I have no one central commit to point to, but rather a zillion bits of work on this and other stuff.  I feel it’s always good to recognize when someone’s volunteering a lot of work – Thanks, sephe!

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