Category: DragonFly

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

Lumina for DragonFly

In a bit of perfect timing, PC-BSD’s desktop environment, Lumina, has been ported to DragonFly, thanks to mneumann!  It’s not in dports yet, but it should be buildable from source…

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, PC-BSD     9 Comments

systat gains -altq display

You can now see the packets, bytes, and drops in altq by using the -altq arg to systat, thanks to this recent commit from Matthew Dillon.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/09/06

Why is it so warm out?  I want autumn to start.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DPorts, DragonFly, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD, pkgsrc     0 Comments

UDP improvements for DragonFly

This very long commit message from Sepherosa Ziehau details the UDP changes he’s made.  It’s mostly technical details, but at the end he mentions this little tidbit:

“For ‘kq_connect_client -u’ test, this commit gives 400% performance improvement (31Kconns/s -> 160Kconns/s).”

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

DragonFly pf/altq/fairq users tip

If you are on DragonFly, using pf, using altq, and using fairq to control usage, there’s a latency bug that Matthew Dillon recently fixed.  He’s posted an announcement and committed fixes to master and 3.8, so it’s only an upgrade away.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Heads Up!     1 Comment

Haswell graphics and port support

Thanks to Francois Tigeot, the drm/i915 driver now supports Haswell processors, and the special FDI and DDI ports they use.  I am late posting this.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

An easier moused start

You can now start moused with an argument, so it will look at the right device.  In most cases, I imagine “/etc/rc.d/moused start ums0” will be what anyone wants.  Credit to Michael Neumann for the update.  Perhaps moused_flags="ums0" will do it too?  I haven’t tried yet.

This will overwrite your /etc/devd.conf.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

Mach64 users needed

If you are using the ATI Mach64 drm driver on DragonFly, Francois Tigeot would like to know.  He’s done something that breaks it, but he’s making the educated guess that this more-than-10-years-old card is no longer in use.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Full rebuild needed

Because of some structure changes made by Matthew Dillon while chasing a pf bug, you will need to do a full buildworld/buildkernel on your next update – if you are running DragonFly-master.  3.8 users are unaffected by the bug or the change.

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

What new server should I buy?

The server that hosts is getting old, and it’s time for me to go to 64-bit DragonFly.  It’s audience opinion time: what have you purchased lately, and liked?  What would you suggest?

Posted by     Categories: About This Site, DragonFly     13 Comments

Special procedure to update pkg 1.3.6

It seems pkg 1.3.6 was slightly scrambled.  If you happen to have built and installed it, John Marino has special instructions on how to update to 1.3.7.  If you are on DragonFly 3.8, you can follow those instructions now, and if you are on 3.9, that repo should be ready for an update in the next few days.

New kernel and new target

You should perform a full world and kernel install if on master.

Several people (including me) have been getting bit by a problem: when performing an installworld with a changed kernel, the vn kernel module is loaded, but it was built by the previous kernel and may cause problems when it doesn’t match up.

To fix that, vn is now built in, instead of being a separate module.  The rescue initrd (which is what is being mounted when it has this problem) is now installed via a ‘make rescue‘ command that can wait until a successful installworld and reboot.

In Other BSDs for 2014/08/23

Another long list.  These are making my Friday nights take some extra effort.

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

Acer Chromebook c720p support

If you remember the earlier work to support DragonFly on An Acer c720 Chromebook, it’s been repeated for the c720p.  The “p” means it’s a touchscreen.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

pkg upgrade tip for pkg 1.3

DragonFly’s using pkg 1.3, at least on master, and I’ve seen a few people report an error message when performing ‘pkg upgrade’.   The error message usually includes something like:

pkg: need to re-create repo Avalon to upgrade schema vers

If you get this, do ‘pkg update -f’ and it will complete.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

New dhclient and other improvements

DragonFly’s dhclient will now retry failed interfaces and handle being re-run gracefully.  This is a blessing for anyone who has had a flaky link.  Matthew Dillon’s made two other improvements for booting that will also improve boot time when networks go missing.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Moving past ports

Here’s a nice advantage for dports and DragonFly: since it’s an overlay on FreeBSD ports, it’s possible to move to newer or different versions of software without waiting for it to happen in FreeBSD.  For example: there’s a newer version of the xorg intel driver now in dports – newer than what’s in ports.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

Full kernel build for DragonFly

If you are tracking DragonFly master, your next kernel build should be full, not quick.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

iwn trick: ifconfig wlan0 -ht

If you have a DragonFly system with an iwn wireless chipset, and you are having trouble connecting and running in the 5Ghz part of the spectrum only, here’s a tip: the -ht switch may fix it.

DragonFly 3.8.2 images uploaded

It took me a little while, but DragonFly 3.8.2 images are uploaded now to the main site.  Check the 3.8.2 changelog if you didn’t before.  This is a recommended upgrade for the newer OpenSSL, and should otherwise have little impact on the programs you have installed.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     6 Comments

Haswell GPU support in DragonFly

There’s been good progress in Francois Tigeot’s work on Haswell graphics support in DragonFly.  If you have one of those newer units, you should be able to use the i915 driver with it now – as long as you keep acceleration off.  (You won’t notice any difference in 2D anyway.)

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

DragonFly 3.8.2 rolled

I’ve tagged DragonFly 3.8.2, which exists mostly to accommodate the latest release of OpenSSL.  (Security fixes, which should not be a surprise.)  I will build images as soon as I get a chance.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     5 Comments

drm/i915 support update

If you have a i915 video chipset (which appears to be most every recent laptop), Francois Tigeot would like you to try his huge patch.  It doesn’t support Haswell chips yet, though it lays some of the groundwork for it.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments