I know the title’s not that helpful, but I like rhyming. The i915 driver in DragonFly now matches what’s in the Linux 4.5 kernel, for a more complete description. (Here’s the Linux changelog to match.) This is good news for anyone with Skylake, Broxton, or Kabylake processors.
Category: Device support
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.
If you had trouble getting your laptop’s touchpad to work under DragonFly, try again. (If you are running DragonFly-current)
For those running DragonFly 4.7, there’s new firmware for all iwm(4) devices. Also, you can get temperature readings off the iwm wireless device now, if I’m reading this correctly.
3D printing on DragonFly with a Fabrikator? Yep, it works. (from jh32 on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
Matthew Dillon has added powerd, a utility that will automatically step down processor speed based on reported temperature. The range is configurable, and there’s some other nice-to-have features. This will save your CPU from melting, and probably also your thighs from being burned.
I like finding “This is how I did it” stories from people, as they are often really useful for anyone else trying to do the same “it”. Here’s Dave MacFarlane’s UEFI install story. (Note he’s still needing touchpad support.)
karu.pruun shares a story of manually installing DragonFly on a UEFI-booting machine. In this case, it’s a Macbook, though there’s other non-fruit UEFI machines out there?
If you have a NVMe chipset under DragonFly, you now can use a special utility to retrieve status information: nvmectl. Right now, only ‘info’ is implemented.
This is limited to some users of specific Intel video chipsets, but: if you get odd screen artifacts in X, the ‘vesa’ driver may work just fine for you. Or turn acceleration off. Or set ‘drm.i915.enable_execlists=0’ according to zrj on #dragonflybsd.
(Updated to reflect all the answers in the thread and elsewhere.)
There are USB devices out there that are sort of like a mouse, as in they work as a pointing device, but they don’t show up as a mouse device. For example, the PowerMate USB Multimedia Controller. It’s possible to pipe the events from this or similar ‘weird’ devices to sysmouse, and use it the way you’d expect, with this fix from user tautology.
Matthew Dillon has been testing on more NVMe hardware, or at least what is supposed to be NVMe hardware, and he has a writeup of the results that may be useful for anyone planning a shopping trip soon.
Matthew Dillon has written a new, from scratch, driver for NMVe in DragonFly. If you haven’t encountered it yet, that’s SSD access over PCIe, which gives better throughput than ATA. He’s posted a summary of his work, and it’s possible to load it now as a module. It supports MSI-X, and there’s test results from using dd on supported NVMe hardware.
Really, last minute – assembled from random tabs I’ve been saving, late Friday.
- FreeBSD gets zfsd.
- Announcing NetBSD 7.0.1. (via)
- pfSense now boots on a new ARM board, the “uFW“. I assume it will be for sale soon. (via)
OpenBSD/armv7 now has a bootloader.Repeat link. (via)
- Bhyve now with graphics support. (via)
- Ask HN: Do you use FreeBSD as web server? Why or why not?
- BSDCan Intro Session Volunteers Wanted
- W^X now mandatory in OpenBSD. Also here, here, and here, if you want to contrast commenting styles on the same story.
- Bruce Schneier’s Skein hashing function is now in FreeBSD. (via)
- Comparing FreeBSD’s upgrade method against Linux distros. (via)
- ARMv7 now has a bootloader.
- Deploying On Office / Workgroup Server on FreeBSD – Workshop eBook.
Matthew Dillon and Adrian Chadd have updated the wifi setup in DragonFly, incorporating Adrian’s FreeBSD changes (and merging back some of Matt’s from DragonFly). This affects the ath, rum, iwm, iwn, run, bwn, urtwn, wi, ral, iwi, ndis, and wpi drivers. The ‘an’ driver has been removed, too. I’m not going to even try to link to all the commits.
If you’re on DragonFly master and are using one of these devices, now is the time to update and try. Note that this removes the separate network interface that’s specific to the device and creates only a wlanX device.
Update: Matt reminded me that at least half the work came from Imre Vadasz; I missed it because I was only looking at the commit email names – mea culpa.
If you get “libGL error: failed to open drm device: Permission denied” when using direct rendering, make sure to add your user id to the ‘video’ group.
The drm/i915 driver has been updated by Francois Tigeot to match what’s in Linux kernel 4.3. His commit post has the general detail; you will especially want this if on DragonFly-current and running on Skylake architecture.
If you’ve ever wondered how having multiple swap devices can work, here’s your DragonFly-specific answer.
If you remember this Baytrail problem, Daniel Bilik has gone and found a fix, as this appears to be a cross-platform bug, and he has patches for DragonFly. If it’s affecting you, you don’t have to wait for the patches to be added in; he’s made them available directly.
Update: it’s committed to DragonFly now.
If you somehow have a device with multiple SD/MMC card slots, you can now access all of them under DragonFly. (Apparently done to make a tablet run DragonFly better, going by IRC conversation)
John Marino rearranged how GCC5 handles CPUTYPE settings. If you are specifically setting the target CPU when compiling, his commit will give you an exact list of what to target.
Note that I am not saying another architecture – this is all x86_64. I also don’t recommend doing this unless you have a specific use for it – compiler overoptimizations often create more problems than they fix.
Daniel Bilik has found there’s an issue with i915 acceleration, Baytrail CPUs, and some AUTODEEP low-power states. This will only affect you if you are using that specific hardware combo and setting certain low power modes. Interestingly, it affects other platforms, too, as it appears to be a symptom of how the video is addressed, not a DragonFly-specific bug.
Francois Tigeot has again updated Intel i915 video support in DragonFly, bringing it even with what’s in Linux 4.2. This will be very useful for Broadwell and Skylake users, and even Broxton, apparently the newest Atom platform.
These probably apply cross-BSD, but in this case, it’s DragonFly tips for printing with CUPS.
If you have a Core2 processor in a DragonFly system, it may not work with accelerated video. If that happens to you with this (admittedly old) processor, switch to VESA for now.
For those of you with i915 video on your DragonFly system, there’s another update bringing DragonFly support to match what’s in the Linux 4.1 kernel. ValleyView and Skylake processor owners will benefit, along with a slew of other bugfixes and improvements.
Are you using a i915 video chipset? Are you using the DisplayPort? Imre Vadasz has added a tunable that may make it work better.
Francois Tigeot has updated DragonFly to match the video support found in the Linux 4.0 kernel. This will benefit you most if you are running Skylake, Cherryview, or Valleyview chipsets. Don’t ask me how to tell; the improvement has been so rapid I’ve lost track of which model codename is which.
I’m combining two items because news happens faster than I can post: Tomohiro Kusumi has added a ‘dm-flakey’ target to the disk mapper, so you can simulate an unreliable disk, reliably.
Did you need to use SLIP on DragonFly? Do you remember what SLIP is? Well, it’ll work with a USB modem on DragonFly, even if you are making a face right now and saying, “SLIP? Who uses that?”
Sascha Wildner has brought over support for the Realtek 8168H. This may be useful because at least one low-cost server provider – Kimsufi, I think? – uses them by default in their product line.
Via EFNet #dragonflybsd, “Booting DragonFlyBSD with Hammer on a GPT drive“.
For those of you with DragonFly and an Intel i915 chipset, Francois Tigeot has moved support up another notch, to match Linux 3.18. This will help Cherryview and Broadwell chipset users the most.
There’s a new version of the Intel video driver in dports – xf86-video-intel-2.99.2015.09.09. If you update to this and you experience an xorg-server crash, Matthew Dillon found that changing the acceleration method from SNA to XAA fixes the problem. Don’t change it unless you actually see the problem, of course.
MIDI support has been (re) added in DragonFly, if I read this recent commit correctly. You may have supported hardware and not even realize it.
Francois Tigeot has stepped i915 support in DragonFly even farther, this time bringing it to match Linux 3.17. This may be most useful for those with Broadwell and Cherryview chipsets.
Most of the news is about Intel video support, but Radeon direct rending improvements are coming too. ‘zrj’ have brought up drm/radeon support to match what is in Linux 3.12. Worth trying if you’ve had problems with your Radeon and audio, going by what I’ve seen people report in IRC.
If your DragonFly-running c720p (the touchscreen model) occasionally decides to go perma-bonkers, Matthew Dillon has added a method to reset it, either on reboot or by setting debug.atmel_mxt_reset=1.
Sepherosa Ziehau posted some information on a project for anyone interested: ACPI Collaborative Processor Performance Control. It’s an extension of p-state power management, and he’s already done a lot of groundwork to support that in DragonFly.
Francois Tigeot has updated i915 support to match what’s functionally in Linux 3.16. Accelerated video on Broadwell chipsets is now fully supported, plus a bunch of other changes mentioned in his commit message.
If your DragonFly machine can do it, it will now run an accelerated console by default.
Francois Tigeot has a new i915 video branch for testing, if you are running DragonFly-current. It will be especially useful for people on a Broadwell chipset.
If you’ve previously tried to install DragonFly using a USB thumb drive, and it would somehow not be found to boot from, there’s a potential fix.
Sepherosa Ziehau has been doing a lot of work with various processors states to save power on DragonFly. He’s published a summary of how well the various P-state/C-state/mwait settings work. He found that setting a lower C-state can perversely improve performance.
For those saying “but how do I set these lower power states?”:
sysctl machdep.mwait.CX.idle: AUTODEEP
sysctl machdep.cpu_idle_hlt: 1 (or higher)
Here’s how you test the console frame buffer on DragonFly, even though X is the way to go.
Some time ago, I acquired a Chromebook with the help of all you kind readers. Here’s a mini-report on how DragonFly works as a desktop.
The hardware: what I have is an Acer c720 Chromebook. The C720p is the touchscreen model, and is equally well-supported by DragonFly. A larger-capacity M.2 SSD (which is relatively easy to install) is the only real need, as the installed one is only 16G. It’s easy enough to see what the laptops look like; it’s nothing fancy but it’s suitably light.
The software: There’s a wide-ranging and complete install/tweak guide for the c720 and c720p on the DragonFly site. Note that it goes down to the point of even changing the keymap for the special keys on the keyboard.
Things I don’t like:
- The mousepad needs a physical click, not a tap, which decreases accuracy.
- There’s only 2G of RAM, and not expandable. You will notice this if you tend to open a lot of tabs when web browsing.
- I’ve had mousepad trouble, but I’m the only one reporting it, so I think it’s just bad hardware luck on my part.
Things I do like:
- pkg is a godsend, making installation and upgrades almost effortless. I’ve gone binary-only so far.
- Many things Just Work – for example, the xfce4 battery plugin.
- xscreensaver works great; even the 3D modules. I don’t know why it entertains me so.
- I haven’t run the battery out to make sure, but it looks like it would last a few hours. Suspend/hibernate are not supported, but low power modes are.
- There’s a lot of multi-touch shortcuts built into the touchpad.
It’s an excellent BSD laptop, for light use, at low cost. The next step up would be into Thinkpad territory, which raises the cost or increases the age – and may not be as consistently supported.