Category: DragonFly

i915 improvements to test

Francois Tigeot has updated the drm/i915 code again, matching Linux 3.10 for feature level… but it’s a big update.  If you are

  1. Running DragonFly-master
  2. Using a i915 chipset
  3. (optional) On a chipset that is not Haswell or Ivy Bridge

… He could use your testing and feedback.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, Please test     6 Comments

A DragonFly laptop for me

I’m saving up for one of those Acer c720p Chromebooks that people seem to be enjoying.  If you have enjoyed the Digest for a long time and want to help, please do. Of course it’s to run DragonFly.

Thanks to the generosity of a bunch of people, I’ll get a C720 and an SSD too.  Thank you all very much, people I have never met but would like to shake the hands of.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Off-Topic     0 Comments

DragonFly and LGA1150

Matthew Dillon purchased some Haswell-based motherboards, and documented his hardware setup, for anyone who is looking to build a decent, new DragonFly system.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

DragonFly 4.0.3 images available

ISO/IMG files for DragonFly 4.0.3 have been uploaded and by now should be available on your favorite mirror.  You should update for the OpenSSL upgrade.  If you already have DragonFly 4.0.x installed, the normal ‘make buildworld && make buildkernel && make installkernel && make installworld && make upgrade’ cycle should work just fine.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     8 Comments

DragonFly 4.0.3 out

DragonFly 4.0.3 has been tagged; you can look at the tagging message for details, but the major reason for doing so is to include OpenSSL-1.0.1l.  I will have images up soon.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Slider, Hammer, and how to

John Marino has written up an extensive how-to for slider, the history tool for Hammer filesystems, including screenshots.

The mixer remembers

Thanks to Sascha Wildner porting from FreeBSD, mixer(8) now remembers state.  This is something I’ve wanted for a long time.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Don’t forget moused

For whatever reason, I’ve seen several people in the last week or so have mouse problems on install, and they were often solved by running moused.  So, there’s your little reminder.

Google Compute Engine and DragonFly?

Can someone with experience on Google Compute Engine try out running DragonFly on it?  There’s FreeBSD instructions, so it might work.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Please test     1 Comment

SCTP removed

DragonFly no longer has SCTP.  Nobody minds, I think – I had to look up what it is.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

Which wireless cards for DragonFly?

The short answer is ath(4) and iwn(4), via this post.  There’s an update coming for the wireless infrastructure in DragonFly; Matthew Dillon and Adrian Chadd (on the FreeBSD side) are working together for improvements.

While I’m mentioning recommendations, the Silicon Image 3132 chipset is apparently excellent for eSATA drives on DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, FreeBSD     1 Comment

sshlockout in DragonFly

Matthew Dillon’s added a sshlockout utility, to temporarily block SSH traffic from repeated brute force SSH login attempts.  It’s been mentioned before, but it’s in the system now.  It’s been refashioned to work with pf.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Someday you will need this     0 Comments

Major DragonFly sound update

Francois Tigeot has performed a major upgrade of DragonFly’s sound system.  If you had sound problems or unsupported hardware before, this may fix them.  It will require a full buildworld+buildkernel.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment

More DragonFly/Chromebook tricks

Romick posted some more tips on setting up various special keys on an Acer c720 Chromebook, running DragonFly of course, and Matthew Dillon also has backlight key configuration.   I wish I had a spare $200 right now for one of these.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     3 Comments

BSDNow 071: System Disaster

I managed to miss this last week because of issues with my RSS feeds, but the 71st episode of BSDNow is/has been up.  It’s “systemd isaster”, cause the interview is with Ian Sutton talking about BSD replacements for systemd dependencies.  There’s a number of at-least-slightly DragonFly-related things in there, including OPNSense, pkgng, and Hammer mentions.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Periodicals, pf, pfSense     0 Comments

4.0.2 images up

I’m breaking my normal weekend posting schedule to note that DragonFly 4.0.2 images are now linked on the main site and on mirrors now/soon.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

DragonFly 4.0.2 released

DragonFly 4.0.2 has been tagged.  I’m building the release images now.  If you’re already running 4.0.1 it’ll be easy enough to upgrade to; you will want to catch up to this commit fixing a quiet memory issue.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

Multiple disk speedup

The CAM layer in DragonFly has had its big lock removed/been marked MPSAFE, so you will notice a performance increase when using multiple disks.  (assuming you aren’t throughput-limited, of course.)

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     3 Comments

DragonFly on a VPS

That’s Virtual Private Server, if you don’t know the term.  I mentioned VPSs and BSD before in a In Other BSDs article, but “Ed” found an article specifically about installing DragonFly on Vultr.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly     6 Comments

ZFS and Hammer conversation

There’s a FreeBSD Forums thread about ZFS and Hammer, as several people have pointed out to me.  It’s interesting to see, but there isn’t a lot of quantitative discussion.  (It’s a forum post, not a white paper, though.)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, FreeBSD, Hammer     4 Comments

Library building with DragonFly

Do you remember the BSDNow story a while ago about a Tanzanian community effort using FreeBSD to build a library?  They’re looking at DragonFly, too, because of the low resource requirements.  From that discussion: a hardware reason for an ‘indefinite wait buffer’ error, and a note on how to most efficiently download packages for multiple machines.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

V4-mapped addresses out, TCP MTU discovery in

Sepherosa Ziehau has posted a note that V4-mapped addressing is no longer supported in DragonFly.  You will need to do a full buildworld/buildkernel if you are running master.  Also, TCP MTU path discovery is on by default.  Also also, he’s added a SOL_SOCKET/SO_CPUINT socket option for use to reduce load in heavy network activity.  As usual, I don’t quite comprehend.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Heads Up!     0 Comments

Backlights, improvements for your i915

You can now control your backlight settings through sysctl and enjoy greater video support/stability – as long as you are using a i915 video chipset on DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     9 Comments

Slider, for Hammer

John Marino has created something very useful: a graphical tool for Hammer file history.  It’s called ‘Slider’, and it uses curses to work in a terminal.  It shows historic versions of files and can restore those old versions as needed.  This was already possible in Hammer, of course, but it required a sequence of commands that were not straight-forward.  I’ve been slow enough posting it that version 2.0 is already out, offering a way to see files that no longer exist, but are still in history.  (i.e. deleted some time ago)  ‘Time Machine’ sounds like the best name, but that seems to be taken.

A tip for Hammer disks and history

One way to keep file history on an very active Hammer disk from eating up all the space: more snapshots.  This may seem counterproductive, but disk pruning eliminates historical data between snapshots, so you can keep older data at the cost of some temporal accuracy.

How, where, and why DragonFly

As part of another thread, Steve Petrie posted an in-depth description of how and where and why he’s using DragonFly.  Worth looking at either for workflow tips or for just seeing the use case.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/12/20

I sort of lost a day this week because of an accidental 20-hour workday, but I still have the links:

Note: corrected VPS hosting link.

Posted by     Categories: Books, DragonFly, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD, pkgsrc     2 Comments

Swapcache and improving performance

From a question about mixing in a SSD and a very slow disk: swapcache can make things better, though I suggest other crazy arrangements.

dports without X11

If you really, really want to make sure you aren’t pulling in any parts of X when installing dports, and you’re building from source, there’s a few options you can set to keep X11 off your system.  You can even go farther.

IPMI in DragonFly

I had to type it that way because it rhymes.  Sascha Wildner has committed an IPMI driver port, tested/watchdogged by Markus Pfeiffer.  What’s it do?  It’s a machine management standard.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/12/13

Get ready for some reading.

Installworld, no matter what

It’s possible, if you are several releases (years) behind, to end up with a DragonFly system that can’t compile and install the current release, due to incremental changes over time.  It’s rare, but it could happen now between, say, version 3.4 and 4.0.  The usual solution would be to incrementally upgrade in order, which is a lot of building and updating.  The alternative is the new installworld-force option from Matthew Dillon that forces a new set of binaries into place.  Use as a last resort.

Virtual I/O performance

If you want to help I/O performance when DragonFly is virtualized, here’s a short checklist of what to work on.  I haven’t noticed any problems – but I’m not taxing any of my VMs that heavily.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

IPFW2 branch for testing

bycn82’s rewrite of IPFW2 is available as a git branch to try out; he’s posted the link.  Please try, especially if you are still working with the original ipfw.

(note: remember, ‘ipfw’ in DragonFly is what was called ‘ipfw2’ years and years ago because it was a replacement of the original ‘ipfw’ in FreeBSD.  It was called ipfw2 but referenced as ipfw so that the same commands worked.  Technically, this branch bycn82 is working on would be ipfw3, but he keeps referring to it as ipfw2.  Confused?  Good.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Please test     4 Comments


If you’re using one of those Acer C720 or C720p Chromebooks with DragonFly, remember to set:


To automatically enter the right power-saving states on the CPU. You used to have to do it manually, and now you don’t.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment

Support for a device nobody has

Sascha Wilder ported over the urio(4) driver to DragonFly.  It’s for the USB-based Rio mp3 players.  Does anyone have one of these and is running DragonFly?  That would be a startling coincidence.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment

In Other BSDs for 2014/12/06

I have been building up quite the variety this week.

The Varialus page

This page, Varialus et Anisoptera, set up by… I’m not sure of the real name but it’s ‘varialus’ on IRC – has a detailed description of the DragonFly install process and installation of MATE, plus extra notes.  I always find these sorts of cheatsheets entertaining.

Fred, in color

The DragonFly boot menu has been cleaned up a bit, and Fred, the dragonfly drawn on DragonFly, is now in better color.  In fact, there’s even an option to turn him blue.

Update: I wanted to see what this looked like, and I realized screenshots might help everyone else.



Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     2 Comments

A pile of DragonFly commits

In an effort to reduce my backlog of DragonFly things to post about, here’s quick notes:

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

svc(8), service manager for DragonFly

I’m running behind so this is a bit old, but: Matthew Dillon commited svc(8), a service manager program.  Take a look at its man page to see the potential uses.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     4 Comments

A rcrun(8) conversation

Robin Hahling wants feedback on where to go in DragonFly with rcrun(8), service(8), and similar commands.  Follow the thread to see the various opinions.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

LDAP and DragonFly

Predrag Punosevac posted his writeup of using LDAP and DragonFly, which I’m noting here for the next person that needs LDAP authentication.

XHCI and installing DragonFly

With a recent commit from Sascha Wildner, DragonFly now loads XHCI (meaning USB3) by default.  If you had previously tried to install DragonFly via USB stick, and it inexplicably refused to mou t the installer drive…  It may work much better now.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     2 Comments

Release followups

There’s an extended article about the DragonFly 4.0 release on  You need to be able to read French to enjoy it fully, or perhaps through translation, but it goes into some good depth.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

DragonFly 4.0 released!

The 4.0 release of DragonFly is out!  Quoting from the release page:

Version 4 of DragonFly brings Haswell graphics support, 3D acceleration, and improved performance in extremely high-traffic networks. DragonFly now supports up to 256 CPUs, Haswell graphics (i915), concurrent pf operation, and a variety of other devices.

The more eagle-eyed downloader will notice it’s version 4.0.1, not 4.0.0.  That’s because nobody trusts .0 releases I tagged 4.0.0 just before a few useful commits went in, and it’s better to retag to make sure everyone got them.  See also my message to kernel@/users@

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Heads Up!     7 Comments

Several DragonFly updates

I’m working on the 4.0 release, but in the meantime, I wanted to point at a slew of updates from Sascha Wildner: ACPICA 20141107, pciconf(8), axge(4), and the kernel part of the netgraph7 Bluetooth stack.


Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDTalk 248: Matthew Dillon and DragonFly

I hadn’t caught this yet cause I am working extra hours, but Matthias did: Matthew Dillon talks about DragonFly and the 4.0 release for a good 43 minutes on BSDTalk.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Periodicals     2 Comments

IPFW…3? work

A fellow whom I’ve only seen named as Bill is working on what he calls ipfw2, though technically what’s already in DragonFly is ipfw2, since it’s the second version of ipfw.  Either way, he has a project page up describing what he’s done so far, and what he plans.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     4 Comments

Old USB out, new USB in

Sascha Wildner has removed the old USB system from DragonFly; you’re getting USB4BSD no matter what now, after the 4.0 release.  While we’re at it, xhci is now automatically loaded in the installer, so installer USB drives attached to USB3 ports will work.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

For USB debugging

Markus Pfeiffer has made usb_pf work on DragonFly, which means it’s possible to dump USB traffic and filter it, similar to tcpdump.  This can be handy when debugging a USB device, and that’s like 90% of all devices anyway.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

DragonFly 4.0.0RC3 images

If you look at your local DragonFly mirror, you’ll see ISO and IMG versions of DragonFly 4.0.0RC3.  Please run, break, and report.

(Check the iso-images directory.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Please test     0 Comments

A DRM speedup

Imre Vadaz’s recent change to dev/drm, adding kqueue support, has (from anecdotal reports in IRC) made video performance much better.  It’s committed to DragonFly 4.0, so it’ll be in the next release.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

No, wait, RC3

Matthew Dillon had some followup commits that went in just after I tagged RC2 of DragonFly 4.0 last night, so I’ve tagged RC3.  Tagging’s cheap, anyway.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

DragonFly 4.0 RC2 tagged

I just tagged a second release candidate of DragonFly 4.  Matthew Dillon’s recent reapctl() addtions – now called procctl() – just went in.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Please test     2 Comments

reapctl() added to DragonFly

Matthew Dillon’s added the reapctl() call, which gives a process control over all sub-processes, even when detached.  This is initally useful for bulk builds of dports, but can probably be extended farther…

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

More USB ethernet drivers

I said “USB ethernet drivers should work now” yesterday, but didn’t specify what works with the new USB structure in DragonFly.  Sascha has fixed that by explicitly porting aue(4), cue(4), ipheth(4) and kue(4) from FreeBSD.  As his commit notes, there’s still a few more devices to go.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Two more network options

If you’ve got a USB Ethernet device on DragonFly, it should work.  Also, some cell phones tether correctly now, when they may have had trouble before.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

DragonFly 4.0 status

The release candidate for DragonFly 4.0 came out last week, and normally the release would happen after a week.  There’s still a few people reporting an odd freeze, so until we can find a cause, we’ll continue to wait.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

Chrome on DragonFly

Chrome runs on DragonFly now, apparently possible now because of this ported fix from Joris Giovannangeli.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

More DragonFly as a desktop

If you can read French, or can translate, here’s an article covering the use of DragonFly as a desktop system.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

dports for DragonFly 4.0

Despite my complete lack of good planning, John Marino and Francois Tigeot have packages available for the DragonFly 4.0 release candidate that I assembled.  Point at this directory to use them.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     3 Comments

DragonFly DRM1 drivers dropped

As Francois Tigeot has pointed out, recent Mesa upgrades have made very old graphics drivers using DRM1 no longer work.  They’ve been removed.  This won’t affect you unless your graphics card is 10+ years old.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

For DragonFly/nginx users

If you are running DragonFly, and also using nginx, the so_reuseport option will give you a significant speed boost.  I’ve mentioned it before, but not this directly.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Someday you will need this     2 Comments

DragonFly 4.0.0-RC out

Your local mirror should have a copy of the release candidate for DragonFly 4.0.0 by now.  Please try it out and report problems.  Note that this is a x86_64 only version; there’s no i386 version though you may be able to manually build on i386.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     7 Comments

Clang support in DragonFly

It’s been possible to install and run clang on DragonFly for a long time, of course, and at least build world with it.  However, John Marino is putting in significant work to make clang one of the system compilers, replacing the older gcc44 that’s in DragonFly now.  (The newer gcc47 stays.)  This won’t be part of the next release, but it should be available soon after.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     7 Comments

For the next DragonFly release

I noted the last few things that should be committed before the DragonFly release.  People have spoken up for most of them, but it wouldn’t hurt to try recent -master with the upmap/kpmap work that recently went in.  Benchmarks wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

led(4) for you and me

Sascha Wildner brought in led(4) from FreeBSD.  It’s a driver for flashing LEDs, as you might have guessed.  I’d like to see someone make Blinkenlights, whether BeBox-style or just generally mysterious.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

/dev/upmap and /dev/kpmap added

Matthew Dillon has added /dev/upmap and /dev/kpmap to DragonFly in two commits.  (er, three.)  It’s an optimization of some sort, and it is unfortunately over my head.  Please, someone comment in a way that fills it in.  I’m tired.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

EuroBSDCon, XDC 2014, and DragonFly

Francois Tigeot gave talks at EuroBSDCon and XDC 2014, and he’s posted slide and video links.  He covers DragonFly and Postgres and video drivers, or at least I assume so cause I haven’t watched them yet.  There’s other BSD-specific material available too, according to his post.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, DragonFly     2 Comments

Out of base, into dports

John Marino updated wpa_supplicant (in dports).  He then suggested moving it out of base into dports, so that it could be updated independently of the base system.  (this update, for instance, took years.)   Since wpa_supplicant is necessary to get some systems online – and it can’t be installed if missing if you don’t have a network link – it may be too risky.  I think other packages could be moved out, myself.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     6 Comments

OpenSSH update and incompatibility

Robin Hahling volunteered to update OpenSSH in DragonFly, which is good news.  It’s a jump from version 6.1 to 6.7, so there’s some feature changes.  tcpwrappers support is gone, for instance.  If you have a reason to object to this change, speak up now.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

Pile of point upgrades

John Marino has upgraded gcc, libedit, xz, and grep in DragonFly.  Also, tzdata has jumped from version 2014e to 2014h, thanks to Sascha Wildner.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDNow 057: The Daemon’s Apprentice

This week’s BSDNow has an interview about mentoring with Steve Wills of FreeBSD, the usual array of news.  This week has more small device news than normal – NetBSD on Raspberry Pi and pfSense on a mini-ITX system.  And a mention of my desktop article!  I’m relevant!

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Periodicals, pfSense     0 Comments

Powersaving tips

The powersaving page on has seen a bunch of updates; this should be handy even if you aren’t on battery power that often.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

UDP improvements

Sepherosa Ziehau’s recent changes to UDP in DragonFly mention some performance gains to sheer packet count.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment


Markus Pfeiffer has imported FreeBSD’s if_lagg to DragonFly.  It’s for talking LACP over multiple network ports, so that the traffic from those multiple ports can be aggregated – if what’s on the other end generally understands LACP.  (Failover mode may not count.)  Please test if you have that sort of surfeit of network ports.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Please test     2 Comments

Congratulations, Matthew Dillon!

Matthew Dillon hasn’t committed anything to DragonFly in several days… cause he just got married!  Congratulations to the newly married couple.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Off-Topic     20 Comments

DragonFly as a desktop

There’s been so much work in DragonFly recently that makes a desktop easier (i915 support, dports, and so on), that I decided to resurrect an older Dell machine and use it as my desktop.

The Dell that I’m using is a leftover from someone else’s workplace; it’s 7 years old, and has “only” 4G of RAM and a Core 2 DuoE6600  CPU in it.  It works, however.

Setting up DragonFly and installing xorg and so on is pretty straightforward.  Using dports makes it crazy quick to add all the packages.  I went for XFCE4 because I could.  Starting X gave me some trouble at first; the default config couldn’t find the mouse and would eventually crash.

Running ‘X -configure’ created a xorg.conf file I could edit, and these lines in /etc/rc.conf gave me a working mouse:


The crashing problem with my radeon-driven video card was fixed by turning off the acceleration – uncommenting this line in xorg.conf did it:

Option     "NoAccel"

Video performance isn’t as nice as I would like it with acceleration, but this is an older machine anyway.

I couldn’t get sound working. Francois Tigeot has a branch of DragonFly that contains newer sound drivers brought over from FreeBSD, here:

git:// (pcm_2014_september branch.)

It doesn’t support device cloning, so I can run Youtube videos and XMMS, but not audio from both at the same time.  (for instance; not that you’d want to do this other than by accident)

I installed x11/webfonts, and web pages look a bit better after changing my default font preferences.

And… that’s about it.  It’s a working desktop.  Digging up a half-height video card that has working acceleration is a next step, but I can’t imagine that’ll be expensive.  I wish I had done this a long time ago.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly, Goings-on     9 Comments

Backlight on a laptop

Markus Pfeiffer has made it possible to control your laptop’s backlight using ACPI – if you have a i915 chipset and DragonFly.  xbacklight does not work, but setting does.


Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment