Category: Goings-on

BSDNow 143: One small step for DRM, one giant leap for BSD

BSDNow 143 has the usual roundup of news, plus a conversation with Matthew Macy about graphics improvements in FreeBSD.

We need DragonFly people interviewed, since DragonFly graphics improvements have been leading the pack, so to speak.  I’m linking to the Jupiter Broadcasting site again since I don’t see this episode up on the BSDNow site yet.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on, Periodicals     1 Comment

How fast is DragonFly?


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DragonFly and xorg/xwayland

karu.pruun managed to get xwayland working on DragonFly, and also took notes while doing it.  That means you can try it out, too.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

BSDNow 142: Diving for BSD Perls

BSDNow 142 is out.  You might think the title is about Perl, the language, on BSD, but it’s because there’s an interview with FreeBSD developer Alfred Perlstein.  I’m sure he gets that a lot.  Among the other news on the episode is a note about ordering BSDNow shirts: do it today because it’s the last day they will be available!  Also, you can order now and pick it up at BSDCan if you’re going to be there.

(I’m linking to the jupiterbroadcasting site because the site isn’t updated as of this writing.)

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BSD Magazine for May 2016 out

The May issue of BSD Magazine is available now.  There’s articles on ZFS, OpenBSD’s arc4random, an interview of Fernando Rodríguez of KeepCoding, and more.  It’s a free PDF download if you didn’t know.

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TeX, clisp, and DragonFly

DragonFly versions of TeX have been available for some time now.  However, Nelson Beebe, who is part of the TeX project, is having trouble building some related binaries – asymptote and clisp.  He could use help from anyone interested, to match up with this summer’s release of TeX 2016.

Acceleration for Skylake users

If you are on the Skylake series of processors, and also running xorg on DragonFly, pick ‘uxa’ video acceleration.  Andrew Slaughter found this made a significant different in visual quality.

Benchmarks and tips nginx on DragonFly

Sepherosa Ziehau posted an extended description of his work with nginx on DragonFly, and the kind of performance he was able to wring out of it.  Of special note: he posts all his sysctl changes, which might be useful to anyone else in high-traffic environments, and notes that he was able to saturate a 10Gb link with one DragonFly machine.

Also: a followup comparing interrupt vs. polling performance.

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autofs for DragonFly, a preview

Tomohiro Kusumi has been working on a port of autofs to DragonFly.  If you aren’t familiar with it, autofs is an automatic file system mounter, so when you access a network file system at its local mount point, autofs kicks in and makes sure the remote file system is automatically mounted.  He has an initial report on his progress, and expects it to be in DragonFly master in the next month.

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NYCBUG tonight: Urchin

NYCBUG is meeting tonight, and Thomas Levine will be there to talk about Urchin, a shell-based test framework.  The announcement also has future meeting/speaker dates noted.

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NFS tuning tips

If you’re on DragonFly, or maybe even if you aren’t, and you are using NFS, here’s some tips on how to wring the best performance out of it.

Old DragonFly users, please test

Not older people that use DragonFly, but people of any age using an older release of DragonFly: Bezitopo is Pierre Abbat’s topographical program, and he needs testers on versions 4.4 of DragonFly or before.  Please give his open-source program a run if you are on the appropriate versions.  Trying other BSDs, even though not requested, can’t hurt.

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First KnoxBUG meeting tomorrow night

Posting it now, because it’ll be too late by this weekend’s In Other BSDs: The inaugural meeting of KnoxBUG is tomorrow night.  That’s Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.  The speaker is Kris Moore, of PC-BSD.  The website has directions.

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BSDNow 138: Rushing into BSD

BSDNow 138, “Rushing into BSD”, has an interview with Benedict Reuschling, about the FreeBSD Foundation and Europe.  There’s the usual news roundup, plus some notes about upcoming conventions.

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DragonFly 4.4.3 released

The DragonFly 4.4.3 point release is out.  There’s a commit page listing the changes between 4.4.2 and 4.4.3.  Nobody will be surprised that there’s an OpenSSL update in there.

If you want a complete image, it’s available for download at your nearest mirror.  If you want to upgrade an existing install:

cd /usr; make src-update 
    (or  src-create-shallow if you don't already have source)
make buildworld && make buildkernel
make installkernel && make installworld
make upgrade


Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     7 Comments

FreeBSD Mastery: Advanced ZFS out

I’d save this for an In Other BSDs note, but that’s a whole week away: FreeBSD Mastery: Advanced ZFS is published, available in electronic and printed editions.  I suspect this would be interesting to non-BSD users, too.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, Goings-on     0 Comments

BSDNow 136: This is GNN

The GNN in the title is George Neville-Neil, interviewed on BSDNow 136 about the TeachBSD project, plus the usual collection of recent BSD news.  The show title comes from this station advert.

Posted by     Categories: Books, BSD, FreeBSD, Goings-on, Periodicals     0 Comments

NYCBUG meeting April 6th

Posting now so people have warning: NYCBUG’s monthly meeting is tomorrow, April 6th, and has John Wolfe presenting “Debugging with LLVM”.   Note that the meeting announcement I just linked has the NYCBUG schedule and speakers for the rest of the calendar year.  Surely you can make one of them?

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BSDNow 133: The Tokyo Debrief

BSDNow 133 is a recap of everything seen and done at the just-concluded AsiaBSDCon 2016.  In addition, there’s a conversation with Brad Davis about packaging FreeBSD’s base system.  (there’s been talks about this before.)

(I know AsiaBSDCon 2016 was streamed; was the video made available?)

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garbage[17]: A moment of silence for VAX

I’m actually a few days late pointing at this, as it came out a few days ago.  Anyway, the most-recent-at-this-point Garbage podcast is out, talking about VAX going away, and ends with a good note about donations, and how just giving your pocket change helps.

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SEMIBUG meeting tomorrow

If you’re somewhere around Michigan tomorrow around 7 PM, Michael W. Lucas is presenting at the SEMIBUG meeting, on FreeBSD filesystems.  See the group site for location.

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disklabel64 tips

If you find yourself using gpt and disklabel64 for a new disk, and aren’t quite sure what order to type everything in to create a disk slice, why not crib from Tim Darby’s notes?  (note that the archive has added some line breaks to it.)

Hammer not show

The ‘hammer show’ command can be used to dump the B-Tree structure of a Hammer volume, and CRC errors can be spotted.  It’s rare that anyone would need it, but if you do, this dumped information will include file hierarchy information.

If that makes you a bit nervous to repost any of that information when talking about it in public, Tomohiro Kusumi has added an ‘obfuscate’ option to ‘hammer show’ that does just that – it hides path information from the debug output.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Hammer     1 Comment

BSDNow 131: BSD Behind the Chalkboard

BSDNow 131 is out, and has an interview of Jamie McParland, on I assume the topic of BSD in school environments, guessing by the title and guest’s email address.  It has the normal summary of news items, including explanations of load average I think many people would find useful.

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Default shells and library changes

I see this bite people irregularly over the years: if your default shell on login can’t run, what do you do?  I’ve seen it happen because of a missing /usr/lib, and it can happen with out-of-date library references, too.   There’s several different ways to deal with it:

That last one may be useful if your dports setup gets mangled, somehow – though ‘pkg upgrade’ has always worked for me.

bsdtalk262 – LightZone with Tex Andrews

BSDTalk 262 is available, talking with Tex Andrews for 23 minutes about LightZone, “open source digital darkroom software”.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on     0 Comments

DragonFly 4.4.2 released

DragonFly 4.4.2, a bugfix release to 4.4.1, is out.  This was mostly prompted by the recent OpenSSL update, but other little fixes have made it in, too.  It’s available for download and is probably available at your nearest mirror by now, if you want an image.  The release page is updated, and there’s always the Git tag summary for 4.4.2 for the most exact details.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Who still wants a shirt?

I have DragonFly shirts, helpfully printed up by Sepherosa Ziehau in China.  I have a list of people that are interested in shirts, most of whom remembered to give a shirt size.  I don’t have anyone’s email address or mailing address on that list.

If you are on that list, send me your mailing address.

The shirts are marked L/XL/XXL/XXXL, but they run smaller than U.S. versions of those sizes.  I usually find a U.S. XL shirt baggy, but “XXXL” is the one that fit me, for instance.  I’ll do my best to place the appropriate one.  This is just an advance apology, since it’s too late to change anything if it turns out tight.

I’ll mail these out as I have the spare cash and time on hand.  (I hope most of you live in the continental U.S.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     7 Comments

Anyone want to add some extattr functions?

It would help with Burp, which is being ported to a number of BSDs.

Whole lotta reading

Rimvydas Jasinskas has consolidated/restored/updated a large number of papers into share/doc on DragonFly.  I’m not going to link to his large number of commits, but instead point you at the directory where they all went.  There’s a number of design documents in there that date back to 4.4BSD and beyond (and some much newer), which may interest or educate you.  Of special note: The Guide to the Dungeons of Doom, for rogue, or the KAME IPv6 implementation notes.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Debugging tips

If you’re building from dports, and you want to include debugging information, you’ll want to put ‘WITH_DEBUG=yes’ in /etc/make.conf.  Note that this affects anything you build at that point, including world, which you’d want to rebuild anyway.

BSDNow 127: DNS, Black Holes & Willem

Once again, I’m a bit late posting about BSDNow; blame my classes.  BSDNow episode 127 is up, with Willem Toorop as the interview subject, talking about getdns, with a link to his vBSDCon presentation.

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NYCBUG yesterday: shell-fu

The slides from yesterday’s shell-fu presentation at NYCBUG have been posted.

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NYCBUG tomorrow: shell-fu

NYCBUG is having a presentation tomorrow, February 3rd, 18:45, Stone Creek Bar & Lounge at 140 E 27th St. in New York City.  The presenter will be Isaac Levy and the title is “shell-fu”.  .ike is an energetic speaker and it’s worth your time if you are near enough.

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More on privatization

For those of you running DragonFly-current, the already-mentioned library privatization going on means that ports have to be rebuilt.  You will want to do it yourself, or wait a little bit before upgrading if you want to install binaries.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Checking HAMMER volumes for health

If you are looking to validate the data on your HAMMER volume, there’s several ways to do so, with one common-sense caveat.

BSDNow 125: DevSummits, Core and the Baldwin

This week’s BSDNow has an interview of John Baldwin, with a focus on running a DevSummit.

(linking to the Jupiter Broadcasting page cause the site isn’t updated as of this typing.)

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McCabe complexity and DragonFly

I’ve never heard of ‘McCabe Complexity‘ before now.  It’s a description of how complicated software can be, measured by the number of possible paths through it.  Pierre Abbat used that measure on Hammer code and not surprisingly, got a high number.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

New ports utility: Synth

John Marino has opened up his new utility for testing: Synth.  It’s made for building custom package repositories, similar to poudriere, but much less setup work.  If you’ve ever said “I like binary installs, but I want my own build options”, this is for you.  The README includes screenshots to show all the things it can do.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

NYCBUG: installfest on January 6th

A reminder: NYCBUG is having an installfest tomorrow night, at 6:45 PM, at Stone Creek.  Even if you’ve already installed a BSD on every bit of hardware you have, it’s still a good time.

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BSDNow 121: All your hyves are belong to us

Christmas doesn’t stop BSDNow from happening, and this week – along with the normal news summary – has an interview with Trent Thompson about virtualization on FreeBSD.  Specifically, iohyve, the new management system.

(Linking directly to the broadcast site instead of the page with the full summary on the BSDNow site, because that summary page isn’t up as of me posting this.)

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xz images for DragonFly

For those of you that are very bandwidth-constrained, or just impatient, there are xz-compressed images of DragonFly 4.4 available.  (see ‘download live image’ area)  The mirrors should have them too.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     6 Comments

BSDTalk 260: and an anniversary

The latest episode interviews Robert N. M. Watson and George V. Neville-Neil for 36 minutes, about  Also, BSDTalk has been running for 10 years!   It’s been long enough I couldn’t remember if it started before the Digest.

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New DragonFly installer disk arrangement

The DragonFly installer has been modified to produce disk arrangements that will generally match between UFS and Hammer installs, plus directories where you usually don’t want Hammer history or backups (like /tmp or /usr/obj) are now under /build and null-mounted to where you’d expect, since null-mounting works transparently well on DragonFly.  Matthew Dillon has a note explaining the whole thing.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

DragonFly and Digital Ocean

For those of you looking to rent a place to run DragonFly, Nuno Antunes has very helpfully written out his procedure for installing DragonFly on a Digital Ocean ‘droplet’.

Who wants a DragonFly shirt?

As mentioned previously, Sepherosa Ziehau is printing up some DragonFly T-shirts for WeChat users.  He’s going to have a few left over, so he is sending them to me to hand to non-China people.  If you want one, leave a note saying so in the comments.  Here’s the front and back.

You need to provide some way for me to contact you – preferably email, and the size you’d want.  (Use the Land’s End Men’s Shirts chart for sizing, because why not.)  I’ll only have a few, so no guarantees.

Update: I have more responses than probable shirts at this point – sorry!  I’ll get in contact with each of you once the shirts come in and arrange delivery.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     22 Comments

NYC Tech Meta-party tonight

It’s tonight at 7 PM, with the details found on the NYCBUG mailing list.  RSVP as soon as you can if you are near enough to go – and you should go.

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WeChat users, DragonFly shirts

If you are a WeChat user and want a DragonFly BSD shirt, send your Chinese address and mobile number to, or scan this image to join the WeChat DragonFly BSD group.wechat_scancode

This is exclusive to China right now, as it’s being done by DragonFly developer Sepherosa Ziehau – who, as you might guess by now, is based in China.

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BSDNow 119: There be Dragons, BSD Dragons anyway

BSDNow 119 is up, with even lengthier news summaries than usual, and an interview of Paul Goyette about his testing work with NetBSD.

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Bulk build buffing

John Marino has created two custom make variables – .MAKE.DF.OSREL and .MAKE.DF.VERSION.  (They return the current DragonFly versioning, if you can’t tell from the name.)  Apparently, if you build all 22,000 or so ports together, about 15% of the total time is just awk looking up the system version, and this removes that repeated task.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

Hammer2 mountall and info directives

Matthew Dillon has added two Hammer2 directives – ‘info’ and ‘mountall’.  See his commit message for a explanation of each.  This predates the 4.4 branch, so it’s available in the current release.  The usual caveat applies: Hammer2 is for development only; don’t use this to store data you want to use.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Hammer     0 Comments

DragonFly 4.4 released

DragonFly 4.4 is released!  The release page has the information, and your nearest mirror should have the images by now.   To update an existing 4.2 system, see my users@ post.

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.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

BSDNow 118: BSD is go for Launch

BSDNow 118 is up, and it has an interview with Mark Heily about relaunchd, along with a number of other BSD news things that I haven’t even read yet because I didn’t expect the episode before today.

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DragonFly, NFS, and netbooting

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.

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Binary dports for DragonFly 4.5 users

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.


Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

BSDNow 117: The Cantrill Strikes Back

Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. isn’t slowing down BSDNow, cause there’s a new episode up with Bryan Cantrill talking about the awfulness that is Linux interfaces, along with a bunch of summary news items written out on the page.

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DragonFly 4.4-RC image for download

The release candidate for DragonFly 4.4 is built and available for download.  The main site has it as an ISO or IMG file, and the mirrors should have it soon if not already.

Here’s a question I need feedback on: if we compressed these images using xz instead of bzip2 – would that inconvenience you?

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Please test     6 Comments

DragonFly 4.4 release candidate branched

The next release of DragonFly is coming due, since it’s been 6 months.  I just tagged 4.4RC, and I’ll have an image built soon.  Current estimate is that we’ll have the 4.4-RELEASE at the end of the month.

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Full kernel and world build needed

If you are on bleeding-edge DragonFly (4.3), you will need to rebuild both kernel and world to keep them in sync, after Sepherosa Ziehau’s commit.  This won’t affect you at all if you are on 4.2.x.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Heads Up!     0 Comments

Choosing DragonFly

I don’t think I linked to this anywhere else: Why did I choose the DragonFlyBSD Operating System?  By Siju George, at BSD Magazine.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

BSDNow 115: Controlling the Transmissions

It’s Thursday and there’s a new BSDNow: Controlling the Transmissions.  The interview this week is with Hiren Panchasara, about “improving TCP”, though I haven’t yet listened to it for details.  There’s also the normal news roundup.

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Running with clang

If you are using clang with DragonFly, and you want to always run the newest version, you can set options in compilers.conf, and use ‘clangnext‘.

Getting rid of CPUHOT messages

If for some reason you are seeing messages about your CPU overheating – and you know it is not, there’s a solution.  Disable coretemp messages.

Note that if your CPU is actually overheating, turning these messages off won’t help.  Don’t want anyone to be surprised when their computer melts…

DragonFly and African digital libraries

The Tanzanian Digital Library Initiative is using DragonFly (and FreeBSD) as part of their library setup, and Michael Wilson, the project coordinator sent a note to users@ describing this.  They are looking to spread through the continent, so get in contact if you want to be part of the project.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, FreeBSD, Goings-on     1 Comment

BSDNow 110: Firmware Fights

BSDNow 110 is now available.  It’s back to the text summary format, so I can tell you easily that it includes an interview with Benno Rice, about Isilon and their interactions with FreeBSD.

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True and False code reading, NYCBUG edition

NYCBUG is having “true(1) and false(1), The Classical Code Reading Group of Stockholm, NYC*BUG Mix Tape Edition” happen this Wednesday the 7th.  You may remember a similar event at the end of August.  This will be led by George Brocklehurst from the original event, with NYCBUG members present.  If you missed the previous one, try this out – by all accounts, these code readings are inordinately fun.

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DragonFly wallpapers for KDE

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.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

It’s time to go IPv6

It has finally happened: There’s no more IPv4 addresses left to allocate, at least for ARIN – and that’s going to affect most people reading this.  Ask your ISP for IPv6 access.  The next step is being forced to implement either wonky 6to4 mappings, or just plain IPv6 networks.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Heads Up!     6 Comments

DragonFly 4.0 users should upgrade

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.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Endless Sky on DragonFly

I mentioned Endless Sky in the last Lazy Reading post as a game that might run on DragonFly.  ‘Romick’ took that as a challenge and got it working; he’s posted the steps he took so that anyone else can do so.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

libc versioning added

John Marino’s committed libc versioning.  He has a post describing it, along with a note that anyone DragonFly-current should do a full buildworld/kernel and also update all installed packages.  (Update: those new packages are on the way.)

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BSDNow 106: Multipath TCP

BSDNow 106 is up.   The interview is with Nigel Williams about, you guessed it, multipath TCP.  There’s the normal roundup and not a pun to be seen anywhere.  I feel so confused!

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Goings-on     1 Comment


If you missed last night’s DNSSEC presentation at CDBUG, here’s the slides.

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A reason for ECC

Why buy ECC RAM?  This is a discussion I’ve seen many times.  I’ve always heard that without the error checking, you can’t tell if a random bit was flipped by a cosmic particle.  That seems like a very remote threat.  Over the last week, I went to Science North in Sudbury, Canada, and saw the Diffusion Cloud Chamber.  I took a photo myself.  Both of those picture represent an instant in time, and each of those squiggles in the chamber in that instant represents some particle zipping through space that miiiiiight scramble your RAM.  That’s… a lot more common than I thought.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     4 Comments

DragonFly 4.2.4 released

There’s been a bugfix-release to the release version of DragonFly, bringing it to 4.2.4.  This is to fix a rare crash on issuing ‘shutdown -h now’.  If you haven’t had this problem, there’s no rush to upgrade.

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Speeding up your DragonFly boot

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.

Live nmbcluster adjustments

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.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Use wpa_supplicant only long enough to replace it

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.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

Stickers arrived

Hey, my stickers arrived!  You can order your own.


Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     7 Comments

DragonFly performance testing

I don’t have actual numbers, but I do have a note: DragonFly network performance is pretty darn good.

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