Category: Goings-on

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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

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.

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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.

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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.


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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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DragonFly 4.2.3 released

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.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     4 Comments

DragonFly and LFE

I don’t know enough about Erlang and LFE to say much other than “Hey, look at this article about installing LFE on DragonFly!”  (via)

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Stickers stickers stickers

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.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

BSDNow 096: Lost Technology

BSDNow 096 has the usual new links, even more BSDCan 2015 video links, and an interview with Jun Ebihara about some of NetBSD’s lesser-known architectures.

(I like trying to guess the interview subject from each week’s obscure title; I was going to guess RetroBSD…  which would make a good topic to explore.)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, Goings-on, NetBSD     0 Comments

DragonFly 4.2.1 out

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.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

DragonFly 4.2.0 released

DragonFly 4.2 is officially released!  You can go to the 4.2 release page for details, go to the mirrors page to download, or read my users@ post for upgrade steps.

Update: news stories and commentary seen on, Hacker News, and

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments


If you wanted to try IPFW3 and NAT, nans_nans1 has done the experimentation for you, and wrote down the steps.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     5 Comments

DragonFly 4.0.6 image up

I’ve uploaded DragonFly 4.0.6 ISO and .img files.  (Does that capitalization make sense?)  They should be available at your nearest mirror, or will be shortly. I am still working on the 4.2 release candidate images.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

BSDNow 093: Stacked in Our Favor

This week’s BSDNow has a talk with DragonFly’s very own Sepherosa Ziehau, about the huge amount of work he’s done on the network stack.

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

Video memory defaults changed

The direct memory access reservation on DragonFly has been set to 128M.  It used to be 16, but anyone using a system for more than a text console would want the greater memory reservation.  It can be set back to 16M, which is useful probably if you are one of those text console users, or if you have a strangely underpowered video card.

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Accelerated video users, please try this

If you are using a DragonFly system with accelerated video, and you have noticed that you can’t return to a text console after exiting xorg – Sascha Wildner/Imre Vadasz have a branch for you to try.  Please do so if you have time and are on master; this is the last big item to fix before the next release.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Please test     7 Comments

NYCBUG tonight: John Baldwin and NUMA

That’s Non Uniform Memory Architecture, and John Baldwin is talking about how it works on FreeBSD, tonight/now, in New York City for NYCBUG.  There’s several more events this month with NYCBUG, so look at the announcement for tonight’s location and more dates.

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Recent dragonfly-master users: update

If you were running a version of DragonFly 4.1 (i.e. the master version, not release) built between the 20th and 25th, rebuild.  There’s a UFS bug introduced in that short timeframe.

If you are running 4.0.x release or built your version of DragonFly-master outside of that date range – you are unaffected.

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A leaf falls, briefly, where the DragonFly website is hosted, is temporarily down while a disk is replaced.  Images and binary packages are still available.

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DragonFly server and desktop

Jesse Wattenbarger wrote in with his success story of switching to DragonFly, both for server and desktop.  Of note is his noticeable speedup with swapcache.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     10 Comments

More Intel video testing

If you’re running DragonFly-master and you have an Intel video chipset, Francois Tigeot has an update for you.  It brings accelerated Intel video up to match the Linux 3.14 version, adds Broadwell chipset support, and should generally improve performance.  He lists how to test right in the message.

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

GCC 5 released, switched

DragonFly now has GCC 5.1 release.  If you are running DragonFly master (i.e. 4.1), you’ll probably want to both rebuild world and kernel, and update your packages so they all match.  There’s already packages built with GCC 5.1, so binary package upgrades can happen quickly.  There’s GCC 4.7 packages still available if you aren’t making the jump yet.

If you’re on DragonFly 4.0.x – nothing’s changed.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Heads Up!     3 Comments

Extra reading on page coloring

Here’s some comments from Matthew Dillon on page coloring in DragonFly; a topic that comes up every year for some reason.

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GCC 5.1 release candidate added

The release candidate for GCC5 (5.1.0) is out, and it’s in DragonFly too.  It’s not yet switched over to run as the default – that’ll require the release.

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Changing to gcc 5.0

The default compiler in DragonFly is going to change over from GCC 4.7 to GCC 5.x very soon, to match the GCC 5.1 release.  This means that packages built for DragonFly-master won’t be compatible with the old ones.  You will need to reinstall packages when you next ‘pkg install’.  John Marino has an extensive writeup detailing what’s needed, and the actual change is some days off.

If you are using DragonFly 4.0.x (the release), this doesn’t affect you at all.

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Periodic reports on DragonFly

I have had trouble with my daily/weekly periodic reports never making it to my GMail account.  Sascha Wildner pointed out to me that periodic.conf has its own answer already:


… and newsyslog is already set to take care of them.  There’s more in the periodic.conf man page.


DragonFly on Vultr

There’s been some linking to the updated HAMMER2 design document.  The Reddit link doesn’t have anything specific, but the Hacker News one has some details (including a credit code!) for installing DragonFly on a Vultr VPS.

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Mars time, too

Noticed in the most recent time zone data update for DragonFly: some people keep Mars time.

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Lazy Reading for 2015/04/05

Happy Easter!  It means chocolate for me.

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Jason Shiga’s comics.  It’s an article about the comics, not the comics themselves, so go to his site next.  (via)

Also unrelated: tea is one of the topics I link here, and alert reader Jeff Ramnani pointed out Strand Tea as a good source.  I also saw Deep Mills referenced in the UK.  Anyone else have a favorite online vendor?

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BSDNow 083: woN DSB

This week’s BSDNow has the usual roundup of news, including some… suspicious items, plus an interview of Kamila Soucková about conferences and Google Summer of Code.  They note this Hammer2 proposal.

New wireless documentation

John Marino’s written an extensive page about wireless and DragonFly, on

Keymap details

If you’re looking to change your DragonFly system’s keymapping to support a non-US character set, use this users@ post from Adolf Augustin as a cheat sheet to make all the right changes.

Clustering and copies in HAMMER2

Matthew Dillon answered some mailing list questions on how clustering and data copies will work in HAMMER2 – no due date, of course, because this is very complex.  If you’re really into it, there’s always watching the recent commits.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Hammer     2 Comments

New locking and synchronization docs

Matthew Dillon has rewritten the Locking and Synchronization documentation for DragonFly.  Keep this in mind the next time you say “Which lock should I use for this new software/ported software?”  There’s also locking(9).

A PHP upgrade note

The other day, I updated some packages using pkg.  The default version of PHP went from 5.4 to 5.6.  I ended up doing what /usr/dports/UPGRADING says and making a list of all PHP packages on my system, before removing PHP and its dependencies.  I then reinstalled the packages that used PHP, bringing the needed packages back in at the right version.  pkg 1.4 didn’t handle the transition cleanly, unfortunately.  I also had to specify mod_php56 because pkg was trying to get the 5.4 version despite it not being default.

None of these are insurmountable problems, but it never hurts to be forewarned.  pkg 1.5 is on the horizon and may have an easier time with sorting these types of dependency/version changes.  This may apply to FreeBSD in addition to DragonFly.

DragonFly 4.0.5 out

I’ve tagged version 4.0.5 of DragonFly, and it’s available at your nearest mirror.  This revision is mostly to incorporate the newest OpenSSL security bump.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

New OpenSSL so new point release

OpenSSL has yet another security update, and Sascha Wildner has added it to DragonFly.  It probably justifies a 4.0.5 release, so I’ll be working on that.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

New sshlockout option

As a side effect of the new ipfw3 import, the sshlockout script included with DragonFly now has -pf and -ipfw options.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

SSD and book recommendations

Some recent users threads pointed at SSD wear stats, along with what Matthew Dillon has seen on machines, and good filesystem books.

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

Extra world messages

Next time you’re building or installing world on your DragonFly system (running master), your computer will do a better job letting you know the status.

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HDMI sound trick

If you have a HDMI-connected monitor, but no sound, this trick about increasing available memory may help.

pfSense class results

Hey, look what I have! There’s a pfSense pair of classes available to take. I went through them and found them worthwhile. pfSense is easy enough to use that a dedicated person can puzzle through most of the settings, eventually, but I don’t have “eventually”, and I want to encourage BSD products in my workplace… so here we are.


Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, pfSense     1 Comment

DragonFly 4.0.4 out

DragonFly 4.0 has had a minor point release, to 4.0.4.  There was a bug in the initial install where the rescue image installed on disk would be incorrect.  This was fixed after the first time a build/installworld was done, but might as well have it start out right.  There’s some other small fixes, and the release commit will show you the summary.  Download from your nearest mirror or update normally.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

Sendmail removed, DMA added

John Marino has removed Sendmail from DragonFly (as part of the base system), and replaced it with DMA, the DragonFly Mail Agent.  If you just need delivery to local users, DMA will do the trick.

The announcement message covers what you need to do to deal with it (potentially nothing), and there’s more in-depth documentation to cover how to switch if you need more full-featured software.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     6 Comments

Tarsnap Mastery book out

Michael W. Lucas’s Tarsnap Mastery book is out, in electronic form.  While not a strictly BSD news items, it’s a service built on BSD, so worth looking at if you care about that – or about encryption.

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

Did you upgrade DragonFly on the 25th?

If you are on DragonFly-master and you upgraded during select hours on the 25th of February, you may have been bit by a makefile error.  The fix, as listed in that link, is simple:

cp /usr/src/share/mk/ /usr/share/mk

If you are not on -master or you did not upgrade in that timeframe: never mind.

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DragonFly GUI resurrected

Michael Neumann has switched out pkgsrc packages for dports packages for building DragonFly with a GUI.  There’s no built image to download right now, but I’m optimistic the next release will have it.  You can build it now on a DragonFly system using src/nrelease.  With all this video work going in lately, it will give us something to show.

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Really turning off Sendmail

This bites many people sooner or later: you think you’ve turned sendmail off, but it still gets opened up on your system.  The answer: sendmail_enable=”NONE”.

(It should support sendmail_enable=”NOPE”.)

SSDs and disk wear

Several of the DragonFly machines used for building packages and/or releases have SSDs, and have been vigorously exercising those disks for some time.  SSDs are supposed to have a shorter lifetime than spindle-based hard drives.  However, Matthew Dillon found that there’s surprisingly little wear on those SSDs.  This empiric information was noticed in several places.

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New committer: Tomohiro Kusumi

Say hello to the newest DragonFly committer: Tomohiro Kusumi.  He’s been contributing Hammer patches for some time and appearing on IRC, so it’s easier to just let him make changes directly.  Welcome, Tomohiro.

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More gcc 5 details

It’s now possible to build world and kernel on DragonFly using gcc 5, and Matthew Dillon has posted an announcement that describes how.  He also separately lists the (small considering the included C++) effect on build time.

Note that gcc 4.7 remains the default compiler.

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GCC 5 Arrives

John Marino has removed gcc 4.4 in DragonFly, and replaced it with gcc 5.0.  Two things to note: gcc 5 does not yet successfully build world, and DragonFly is an officially supported platform for gcc with this release.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

DragonFly and Git

DragonFly is the only BSD, I think, to switch fully to Git for version control, and Matthew Dillon wrote up how DragonFly uses Git.

DragonFly catchup

Here’s a number of DragonFly links to clear out my backlog:

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Hammer     2 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

Slider, Hammer, and how to

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

Glasgow OpenBSD presentation

Normally I’d hold this off until the In Other BSDs item on Saturday, but by then it will be too late: There’s a “Building redundant and transparent firewalls with OpenBSD” presentation happening at the Scottish Linux User’s Group meeting, Thursday night in Glasgow, Scotland.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, Goings-on, OpenBSD     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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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

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.)

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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.

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