I am taking this moment away from my significant backlog of things to post to note that there have been a lot of games fixes in DPorts lately. Thanks to Rimvydas, many small bugs that kept games from compiling on DragonFly are now fixed. The easiest way to see is to look at the commits from December 8th and back, but the best way is to pick one and play.
Sharp-eyed users will note that release is happening with version 4.4.1, rather than the 4.4.0 you’d expect. That’s because I tagged 4.4.0, built the images, and then OpenSSL 1.0.1q was released. Rather than make everyone who installs DragonFly need to immediately update, Sascha Wildner brought in the OpenSSL update to the 4.4 branch, and I built 4.4.1 instead.
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.
DragonFly has historically performed very well with NFS. I don’t have hard numbers to point at (an interesting exercise if someone wanted it), but in any case: DragonFly now can tune up to a much larger iosize, which means better NFS performance. DragonFly <-> DragonFly NFS performance can now max out a GigE link, or with anything else that can handle the larger iosize. That plus additional readahead, also in that commit, means easier netboots.
I have a huge backlog of things to post, so this is originating from the 17th: Matthew Dillon has been working for some time on hardlinks and Hammer 2. Hardlinks are the same file, presented in multiple places. This can be a problem when your filesystem keeps infinite, writable snapshots. The solution he just commited is called ‘xlink’ and the commit message has details.
Since DragonFly 4.4 has been branched, bleeding-edge DragonFly is now at version 4.5. As John Marino detailed in his post, that means pkg on 4.5 systems will look in a new place for downloads. (“dragonfly:4.6:x86:64”, since it always uses even numbers)
To cover for this, set ABI to point at DragonFly 4.4 packages in pkg.conf for now. They’re freshly built and functionally the same, anyway. Once there’s a 4.6 download path, that ABI setting can be removed. Packages for DragonFly-current are available now and probably at the mirrors by the time this posts.
Update: as John Marino pointed out to me, anyone on DragonFly-master who upgrades now will be at version 4.5. This means pkg will get the new (4.5) packages on the next pkg upgrade. That means a mix of old and new packages unless you either reinstall anything (pkg update -f) or hardcode the 4.4 download path until you are ready to switch everything.
So: DragonFly-current users should either hardcode the 4.4 path for now or force an pkg upgrade for everything. DragonFly 4.2-release users are unaffected.
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?”
The default linker in DragonFly has been switched to gold, the newer version of ld. (get it, go-ld?) It’s faster, cleaner, going by the commit message. It’s possible to switch back to the old one if needed. This predates the recent branch for 4.4, so it will be default in the release, too.
Imre Vadász fixed top so that hitting ‘c’ filters displayed processes by command name. I am mentioning this not because it’s a huge change, but because I forget about all the interactive elements that are possible with top.
Does that count as alliteration? Anyway, Matthew Dillon has increased the size of the starting window in TCP. If you are on a higher-latency link and/or fetching lots of small files, you should notice better performance.
I don’t think I linked to this anywhere else: Why did I choose the DragonFlyBSD Operating System? By Siju George, at BSD Magazine.
John Marino sent a helpful link to show the cross-platform work he’s been involved in: He brought the locale work from Illumos into DragonFly over the summer (look for his name on commits), and now it has been brought from DragonFly into FreeBSD, with Baptiste Daroussin reporting on the process. If there’s any OpenBSD/NetBSD developers reading, with an interest in locales, this may be useful..
(someone correct me if that’s not the right Illumos link)
If you are using bleeding-edge DragonFly (4.3) on a machine with Intel video, the i915 module has been renamed. This means you will probably need to rebuild xf86-video-intel from source to have it match. There should be a matching binary package soon.
If you are on DragonFly 4.2, this does not affect you.
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.
I think at this point, Sepherosa Ziehau is able to improve the DragonFly network stack by just standing near his computer and concentrating for a few minutes. For example, he’s unearthed another improvement to connect rate/reduction of CPU usage.
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.
The package x11-themes/dragonfly-wallpapers exists, thanks to John Marino, and gives you DragonFly-themed backgrounds in KDE. Or probably any other window manager, if you install it and point your wm at the directory.
Update: John Marino helpfully posted a link to the images. It’s not yet built as a binary, but it’s not exactly time-consuming to build from source.
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.
If you happen to still be running DragonFly 4.0 – that’s two releases ago and not supported – you may be noticing less ports are building. There’s been enough significant changes in DragonFly since that release that it’s reducing the number of buildable ports.
DragonFly 4.0 to 4.2 is not a difficult jump, so jump when you can. The converse of this, of course, is that there’s even more building on 4.2 and DragonFly-current.
John Marino is working on versioning libc, and as part of that process, libc is no longer loaded into executable memory. Here is I think an explanation of lib versioning that may apply, and of course moving things that aren’t supposed to execute, out of executable memory areas, is good for security. There’s more on that topic, too – W^X may be a similar example.
This is a complicated topic that I’m not part of, so suggest better descriptions in the comments, please.
HAMMER2 recently gained the ability to be used as the root mount for your DragonFly system. Live deduplication of data is also now possible, which means fast copy operations, less space used, and no need to wait for an overnight batch process to do it. If you want to try it, you need a bleeding edge DragonFly system and the WANT_HAMMER2 option. It’s still not ready for production use, so don’t try it with any data you want to keep.
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.
I don’t note it enough, but Tomohiro Kusumi has been making constant updates to HAMMER, the version we have now. Often they are the sort of update that makes the code more readable, or fixes possible problems, and so on. Very essential, but hard to post about it. In any case, I’m using his recent improvements to hammer volume-del to note his contributions, of which there are much more than the day’s worth I link here.
Matthew Dillon posted an extended description of how to run Firefox in a way that completely locks it away from your user account. As a side effect of this, the current crop of dports binaries has been updated.
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 you are sure you don’t need to look at your boot menu for very long in DragonFly, you can make it zip by quickly.
It’s an unexpectedly diverse list this week.
- The OpenSSH Bug That Wasn’t. The best explanation for the much-linked OpenSSH story last week: PAM is the problem.
- pfSense 2.2.4 is released.
- OPNsense 15.7.4 Released.
- A week of pkgsrc #11.
- The 2015Q2 FreeBSD status report is out.
- FreeBSD 10.2-RC1 Now Available.
- Introducing BSDHistory, and how it is set up.
- BSD Graphics.
- What BSD do you use, and for how long have you been using it and how?
- NetBSD on the Nvidia Jetson TK1 (via)
- A new fancy FreeBSD boot screen.
- Switching a static blog to OpenBSD’s new httpd server. (via)
- Three new c2k15 reports on Undeadly: one, two, three.
- HardenedBSD Completes Strong ASLR Implementation.
- FreeBSD on the c720. (via)
- Yay cross–pollination.
- Fixing the GPT booting bug with FreeBSD and some Thinkpads. Also, asking Lenovo for a BIOS fix. (thanks, Warren Block)
- pkgsrc-2015Q2 binary packages for illumos now available.
- Anyone here use DragonFly? Not an ‘other’ BSD, but this was a good place to put the link.
If your DragonFly machine can do it, it will now run an accelerated console by default.
A DragonFly machine with a lot of network traffic will have a significant amount of memory consumed by all the running network connections. (as with any system) It’s now possible to adjust the amount of memory set aside for those operations, live. This sort of fine-tuning will only matter if you run an extremely busy machine, but it’s worth it if you do.
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.
hostapd, for creating a wireless access point, has been included in DragonFly along with wpa_supplicant, for a long time. Like wpa_supplicant, there’s a version in dports that is the latest version and is easier to update (e.g. no system update required to get a newer version.) Unlike wpa_supplicant, there’s no chicken-and-egg installation problem if it’s not in the base system – so out it goes.
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.
DragonFly ships with wpa_supplicant, for setting up WiFi. However, there’s no guarantee it’s the latest version. A solution exists: security/wpa_supplicant in dports. However, this has a chicken-and-egg problem, where you need wpa_supplicant to get online and download the dports version of wpa_supplicant. So, DragonFly still includes wpa_supplicant in the base system, but you should upgrade to the dports version when possible.
DragonFly now has the same math library (libm) as OpenBSD, replacing an earlier combined version of I think what NetBSD and FreeBSD ran. This doesn’t necessarily directly affect you, but it’s work worth doing; matching the underlying frameworks between BSDs helps everyone.
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)
There was a newer release of OpenSSL (1.0.1p) last week, so there’s a new revision of the DragonFly release – 4.2.3. There’s little major change other than the security fix for OpenSSL.
Those readers who can count past 2 may notice that there wasn’t a 4.2.2. We went straight from 4.2.1 to 4.2.3. That’s my fault. I screwed up tagging and Git doesn’t like repeated, deleted tags.
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.
Something I’ve wanted for a long time: DragonFly stickers. Or ‘decals’, if you want to sound fancier. Markus Pfeiffer has them set up on Stickermule.
I just created an account there, and apparently I can supply a referral link which gets you and me both a $10 credit, if you use that. It’ll make you sign up, then you’ll probably have to go back in with the direct link for the DragonFly sticker.
Insert fireworks graphic here.
- OpenBSD from a veteran Linux user perspective. (via)
- Call for Testing: Valgrind on OpenBSD.
- 10.2-PRE-RELEASE and 11.0-CURRENT Images Available for Testing. (PC-BSD)
- BSDCan 2015 trip reports: Zbigniew Bodek and Vsevolod Stakhov.
- DiscoverBSD for 2015/06/29.
- DistroWatch Weekly talks about running FreeBSD on a Raspberry Pi 2 computer. (via)
- BSD Magazine: “Web server security”.
- FreeNAS 10: A developer’s perspective.
- NetBSD on NVIDIA Jetson TK1 (Tegra K1)
- New binary releases for NetBSD on Raspberry Pi
- BSD dmesg collection service
- OPNSense 15.7 is released.
- finding bugs in tarsnap
- FreeBSD gets a graphical front-end for pkg-ng. (probably works for DragonFly dpkg too) (via)
- User account administration for Linux/BSD
- moving from Linux to BSD and the Acer C720. I already replied all over that.
There’s a minor update for DragonFly 4.2 – this covers a problem with i915 support, so it’s worth upgrading if you have an Intel video chipset.
If you wanted to try IPFW3 and NAT, nans_nans1 has done the experimentation for you, and wrote down the steps.
Now that DragonFly can (in most cases) offer video outside of X with KMS, not just text, more console options are possible. By default, your accelerated console will scale to 80×25, but you can now tell it how many columns you want and it’ll automatically scale to fit your resolution. Or you can turn it off.