Category: Device support

i915 matching 4.5


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.

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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.

re(4) users, please test


There’s a new version of re(4), the driver for Realtek network cards.  Sepherosa Ziehau put it together for testing.  He has it on a separate branch, so give it a try if you have appropriate hardware.  This will hopefully fix some of that hardware’s quirkiness.

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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.

nvme(4) added to the kernel


If you are using nvme(4), it’s no longer necessary to load the module.  Update your configs accordingly, if you are on DragonFly 4.7.

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Braswell and DragonFly


If you’re wondering about the new Braswell-series systems from Intel, Matthew Dillon has already run two with DragonFly.  He reported on the results.

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Trackpad and Elantech support in DragonFly


One of my favorite things: when someone just appears out of nowhere and says, “I needed a change to my software so I did it and here it is to share”.  Harald Brinkhof wandered into DragonFly and the first thing he did was update support for trackpads.

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MMC/SDCard use now possible


If you have a memory card slot of some sort on your laptop, DragonFly can now reliably access it.  Probably even boot from it, though I haven’t seen it happen.

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em(4), re(4), and network issues


If you are using em(4) or re(4) devices for networking, you may want to turn on polling.  MSI may or may not help for re(4), along with switching to the emx(4) driver.

iwm(4) and power management


It looks like I summarized iwm(4) updates too early, cause Imre Vadasz added an actual powersave option.  I’d like to see someone with a power meter do some before-and-after testing.

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Recent iwm(4) updates


It’s been a quiet week, but there’s some activity: Imre Vadasz has been committing many improvements to iwm(4).  They haven’t been standalone enough for me to build a post around, but the most recent enables a low-power scan mode.

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Synaptics improvements


If you had trouble getting your laptop’s touchpad to work under DragonFly, try again.  (If you are running DragonFly-current)

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iwm(4) firmware updates, plus temperature?


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.

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3D printing on DragonFly


3D printing on DragonFly with a Fabrikator?  Yep, it works.  (from jh32 on EFNet #dragonflybsd)

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Laptop on fire? Use powerd!


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.

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Hybrid graphics, switcheroo, and DragonFly


karu.pruun has been trying to get a Macbook’s hybrid graphics card to work in DragonFly.  He’s been working on a gmux driver, but it needs a framework like Linux’s switcheroo.  If this topic interests you, help him out.

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ACPICA and a program inside


Did you know that ACPICA has its own internal ‘coding language’, called AML?  I did not, but it’s in DragonFly now in any case.  Every program eventually grows big enough to read email, and every specification eventually includes its own programming segment.

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NVMe and IOPS


Matthew Dillon added NVMe support recently, and he also made some changes to DragonFly’s I/O system.  His test system was able to reach over a million IOPS.  That’s bananas!

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Looking at your battery


If you want to check battery life, ‘sysctl hw.acpi.battery.life’ may help, as Sepherosa Ziehau points out.  I’ve always used ‘acpiconf -i 0‘, myself.

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UEFI install story


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.)

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UEFI booting and manual installation


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?

Two tips for video and audio


That’s one tip per subject, really.  If you need to set up a ‘video’ group for xorg, here’s the one-liner to do so.  If PulseAudio annoys you, which is not uncommon, ‘chmod -x /usr/local/bin/pulseaudio’ and it’ll go away.

nvmectl added


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.

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Reminder: sometimes VESA is better


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.)

When a mouse isn’t a mouse


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.

Something for iwm(4) users


If you have iwm(4) network hardware, that driver now supports some more chipsets, plus it’s had some other updates, courtesy of Imre Vadasz.

(I think I spelled Imre’s name right for once!)

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More NVMe fun


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.

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NVMe comes to DragonFly


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.

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In Other BSDs for 2016/06/04


Really, last minute – assembled from random tabs I’ve been saving, late Friday.

Fixes for virtio(4)


If you are running DragonFly in a virtual environment, there’s been some improvements to virtio(4).  Update and try if you’ve had problems in the past.

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ral(4) may suddenly work


If you have a ral(4) wireless card that didn’t function as expected, it may suddenly work for you now on DragonFly 4.5 due to the large wifi update.  The ral(4) driver covers a lot of hardware, so check the man page for all the commercial names.

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Huge wifi resync


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.

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Mounting as non-root


Read this email thread for how to mount devices (e.g. USB drives) in DragonFly when you aren’t root.

Remember: join the ‘video’ group for direct rendering


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.

Another i915 update


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.

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Interleaved swap for the curious


If you’ve ever wondered how having multiple swap devices can work, here’s your DragonFly-specific answer.

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Baytrail fix for DragonFly and others


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.

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GPIO controller support and Cherry Trail


Do you have a Cherry Trail SoC?  For example, a HP x2 210?  Imre Vadasz’s recent commit may be useful for you, if you are running DragonFly on this detachable … thing?

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Mini-ITX recommendations


Tim Darby is looking for motherboard recommendations.  Specifically, mini-ITX with 4 SATA ports and at least one decent network link.  Who’s got hardware to recommend?  There’s already one set of suggestions.

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Another update for Radeon users


If you have a Radeon video card in your DragonFly system, and are running bleeding-edge, there’s an update for you.  This is a partial sync with Radeon code for Linux 3.18, with no additional notes in the commit but you can always check elsewhere.

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Multiple card slots accessible in DragonFly


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)

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New CPUTYPE variables


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.

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i915, Baytrail, and C-states


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.

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DragonFly i915 support: another upgrade


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.

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Printing tips


These probably apply cross-BSD, but in this case, it’s DragonFly tips for printing with CUPS.

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Core2 Intel graphics users, take note


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.

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i915 update: ValleyView, Skylake support


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.

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i915 DisplayPort users take note


Are you using a i915 video chipset?  Are you using the DisplayPort?  Imre Vadasz has added a tunable that may make it work better.

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em/emx(4) users, please test


Sepherosa Ziehau has an update to the em/emx(4) (or other Intel NICs) driver, for testing.  Hey, remember what I said the other day about Skylake support?

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Skylake processors next


New CPU support in DragonFly is continuing, and Matthew Dillon will be testing one of the newer Intel ‘Skylake‘ processors soon.  That may mean even more accelerated graphics support at some point, too.

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Blinky blinky for iwm(4) users


This is a little thing, but so useful: the Wi-Fi indicator light on your iwm(4)-using device will now show its status under DragonFly.

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Linux 4.0 video matching


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.

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Intel igb updated in DragonFly


I was going to point at a new igb(4) update for testing, but Sepherosa Ziehau has already merged it.  Try it if you have the right Intel networking hardware.

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em/emx/igb users, please test


Sepherosa Ziehau has a new version of drivers for em/emx(4) and igb(4).  The initial versions had trouble, but testing is ongoing.  Try it if you have the correct hardware.

Update: never mind.

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Test for Intel network device users


If you have a em(4), emx(4), or igb(4), Sepherosa Ziehau would like you to try out his Intel NIC driver update.  He’s already updated the ix(4) driver to support more hardware.

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Flakey disks, new radeon


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.

Also, the DRM support for radeon chipsets has been updated to match the Linux 3.18 kernel, same as i915.  Remember, you can control backlight brightness with it now.

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SLIP still works


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?”

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Realtek 8168H support in DragonFly


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.

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GPT and Hammer


Via EFNet #dragonflybsd, “Booting DragonFlyBSD with Hammer on a GPT drive“.

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Another i915 update


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.

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Wayland on DragonFly


Imre Vadász has put together an initial port of Wayland / Weston for DragonFly.  You can look at his pull request for dports to see how to install, though I’d imagine this is only for people who like to experiment at this point.  It’s still work in progress, as is Wayland itself.

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Slow your disk down


Tomohiro Kusumi has added a dm-delay target, which means you can simulate poor disk performance, without having to have poor disks.  His commit message includes some benchmarks that shows it doing a good job creating a bad job.

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New Intel video driver


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.

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Try some MIDI


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.

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XDC2015: DragonFly and graphics


There’s been a lot of improvements to DragonFly and graphics support recently, and Francois Tigeot gave a talk at the 2015 X.Org Developer’s Conference outlining just how much has changed.  He’s posted the slides.

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iwm(4) added to DragonFly


Matthew Dillon brought over the FreeBSD iwm(4) driver to DragonFly, with some changes.  This is useful to anyone with Intel “Dual Band Wireless AC” 3160, 7260, or 7265 units.

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Panel Self Refresh for i915 users


Noticed both in a commit message and in tonight’s BSDNow, Imre Vadasz has added Panel Self Refresh (power saving) capabilities, set with a sysctl.

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i915 support moves forward again


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.

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More radeon updates


Francois Tigeot has pushed in some significant updates from Rimvydas Jasinskasupdating the radeon driver to match Linux 3.17.  Try it if you have the corresponding hardware.

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More Radeon support work


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.

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Resetting c720p touchscreens


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.

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ACPI CPPC for anyone who wants it


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.

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Another i915 support update


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.

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Expect an accelerated console


If your DragonFly machine can do it, it will now run an accelerated console by default.

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More i915 testing for Broadwell


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.

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Try that USB install again


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.

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Power statistics


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)

			
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ValleyView support improved


Do you have a ValleyView GPU?  It now works much better in DragonFly, and there’s a new accelerated rendering branch to try out, too, if you follow that link.

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Testing console frame buffer support


Here’s how you test the console frame buffer on DragonFly, even though X is the way to go.

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Chromebook c720 results


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.

 

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