Category: Someday you will need this

Lazy Reading for 2013/09/01


Another week of links completed early.  And there’s a lot, so get clicking!

Your unrelated link of the week: The remix of this 1997 Kid’s Guide to the Internet – somewhat NSFW, and has all the best moments.  More from EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE.

Lazy Reading for 2013/08/11


Again, lots of links.  Some of these are overflow from previous weeks where I just said “That’s enough; let’s work on the next Lazy Reading.”

Your unrelated link of the week: Mighty Taco radio ads.  Mighty Taco is a Mexican fast food place from Buffalo, New York, USA.  It’s about as authentically Mexican as fast food from a city on the edge of Canada can be, which is ‘not much’.  I’ve always loved the food, though, and the commercials are just the right mix of amateur joke and commercial advertising.

Bonus unrelated: If you enjoy imgur/fukung but it’s not youtubey enough, hit ‘Random’ on IWantMoar.com a few times.  You may want to turn down your volume.

Just kill everything


killall -T will now kill all processes associated with the current tty, except parents of the killall process itself.  It’s a shortcut to “kill all these runaway items I started by accident”.

Lazy Reading for 2013/07/21


Last week was relatively light, but somehow this week I read a zillion interesting things.  It’s been too dang hot to do much else, other than flop in a chair and point a fan at my head.

Your unrelated link of the week: Bones Don’t Lie.  An anthropologist who blogs about various discoveries of human remains.  I really enjoy blogs where someone is talking about a subject they care about – not to sell a product, not to be paid (directly), but just because they like the topic and they want to share it with others.  Of course I would think that, wouldn’t I?

Avoiding non-routeable IPs


It’s possible your Internet service provider uses a non-routeable IP range (like 10.*) and occasionally your border device picks that up via DHCP by accident instead of an Internet address.  If that happens to you, and you’re using DragonFly as your border gateway, it’s possible to prevent it with PF dhclient.

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

Another tip: cleaning up a really, really full Hammer drive


If you get your Hammer drive really full, a normal cleanup won’t make enough space.  When that happen, use ‘hammer reblock’ in increasing increments.  That works because it does cleanup in much smaller steps.

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

An X tip on terminal switching


Switching terminals in X with ctrl-alt-Fx requires a not-on-by-default option.  This could catch anyone used to the old behavior, so I might be doing you a favor by mentioning it.

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

PRISM, privacy, and what you make yourself


If you’ve been reading the Digest for a while, you’ve seen me talk about the value of hosting or running your own services.  It’s not too much of a surprise in my case; if you are working on an open-source operating system, you want to run it.  It’s good to get the experience, and you can run programs the way you want, instead of picking from whatever vendors happen to sell you.

The PRISM disclosure, which I am going to assume everyone is familiar with at this point, is another facet.  Every time you use another company for your email, your entertainment, your software, and so on, their information on you can be accessed.    This isn’t a problem that can be fixed by going from one webmail provider to another.  You can shop around, but notice that the author in that link effectively throws his or her hands in the air and says, “there’s no way out” by the end of the article.  This is because corporations work as collecting agents for the government, even if they don’t plan to do so.

That sounds drastic, but there’s legal frameworks in every country for governments to require companies to give up data on any person, on request.  It happens.  I’ve seen it myself; I worked for Time Warner for several years, tracking down cable modem user information and handing it over as compelled by law.  I know the lawyers at TW Corporate didn’t like doing it, but they didn’t have a choice.  (I have some horrifying stories about what people would do to themselves and each other.)

Companies are increasingly working to create services to sell, not products to buy.  A service never stops being consumed, so it forms an ongoing revenue stream.  I’m not saying this is bad; I firmly believe that a financial incentive to be paid improves services.  However, as only a consumer, you can end up not owning what you use.  Other people have pointed this out, and I don’t want to sound like a frothing crazy person… but it is relevant, though not necessarily as catastrophic as some people pronounce.

What I’m working towards here is a reminder that you should run your own software, and running it on DragonFly is the best way.  (Or some other operating system, I guess.  If you have to.)  Instead of trying to figure out what the least-bad commercial option can be, run it yourself.  Good for privacy, good for learning.  I know that’s not an option for everyone; fighting with Sendmail (for instance) is not an activity that many people pick voluntarily.  But, if you’ve been thinking of setting up a replacement for Google Reader, or hosting your own mail, or own blog, etc… there’s never a better time than now.

(Follow all those links for some good information; consider it an early Lazy Reading post)

 

Old amd64 removed and extra upgrade step added


The ‘amd64’ specific parts of kernel architecture have been removed, since x86_64 covers all that.  As a side effect of other changes, John Marino warns that upgrading DragonFly from a version older than 3.4, to a version newer than 3.4, will require an intermediate step of going to 3.4 first.  e.g. If your machine is a DragonFly 3.0 system, you will need to upgrade to 3.4 before moving to, say, 3.6 once it is out.  This won’t matter for some months, since the next release is months off.

Lazy Reading for 2013/06/09


Not as wordy this week, but still wordy.  And linky!

  • Max Headroom and the Strange World of Pseudo-CGI. A discussion of how old fake CGI can look better than modern, real CGI. This is an opinion I’ve had for quite a while, and my children pretty much ignore it every time I bring it up.  (via)
  • The Colby Walkmac, which predates the Mac Luggable.  Linked to because it includes good pictures of what the (external) hardware was like.  I find all the old ports interesting, since it’s all USB and the occasional eSATA these days… not that I’m complaining!  I’ve never had a good experience with a 9-pin serial port.  (via)
  • A brief education on escaping characters.
  • I get worried when remotely rebooting a server in a different town or even state.  In Praise of Celestial Mechanics covers much more stressful circumstances: interplanetary reboots.  Does Voyager 1 or 2 have an ‘uptime’ function?
  • The equivalent of what you are doing right now, 20 years ago.  I personally never got to see this; my experience was MUDs.  Speaking of which…
  • The Birth of MMOs: World of Warcraft’s debt to MUD.  MUD == MMO, Roguelike == Diablo/Torchlight, Doom == almost everything else.  There’s a number of game archetypes that haven’t changed in some time.  (via)
  • Playing with powerlines.  I used to work at a company that used these lines for data transfer.  It was neat technology, but it sure wasn’t easy to set up.  Imagine wiring a city but only being able to use Ethernet hubs.  Not switches, hubs.  That, combined with undersized ARP caches/MAC tables, made it really difficult.
  • OpenVPN on FreeBSD, which will come in handy for at least several readers, I’m sure, as the directions should apply to any BSD.
  • Is there anything DNS can’t be used for?  Cause now it’s domain-based mail policy publishing.  (via ferz on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
  • Have you tried DragonFly?” posts on various forums seem to pop up with some regularity.
  • Uses of tmux, explained.  A slide show talking about how tmux works.  (via)

Unrelated link of the week: I’ve had several deadlines and a mail server with issues this week at work, so this is all I got.

Adding to dports


Since dports uses FreeBSD ports as a base, adding something to FreeBSD ports means it will show in dports, too.  However, it doesn’t have to go that way.  It’s possible to have dports packages that exist only in dports.  If you have changes to a port that make it compile on DragonFly, that can be added too.  For all of that, go to the dports issues page on GitHub.

Creating new pkgsrc packages, a lesson


Johnathan Perkin has a nice tutorial up about creating pkgsrc packages.  It’s done on SmartOS, but I imagine it’ll generally apply to anything pkgsrc supports.

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

Book review: DNSSEC Mastery


Michael W. Lucas recently wrote and self-published a new book, DNSSEC Mastery.  He asked me to review it, and I’ve been reading it in bits and starts over the past few very busy weeks.

First, the background: If you’re not familiar with the acronym, it’s a method of securing DNS information so that you can trust that domain name information is actually from the machine that’s supposed to provide it.  DNS information is basic to Internet operation, but it traditionally has been provided without any mechanisms to deal with misinformation or malicious use.  This seems to happen with protocols that have been around for many years, as any mail administrator can tell you…

In any case, ‘DNS poisoning’ (or as Wikipedia calls it, ‘DNS Spoofing‘) attacks such a basic part of how the Internet works that it will completely bypass any security methods that assume name information is correct.  DNSSEC is a way to deal with that.  It introduces public-key encryption into the process of sharing and updating DNS information.  The idea has been around for a while, but it’s only been completely implemented recently.

DNSSEC Mastery goes over this history, and through the setup required to get (recent) BIND working with DNSSEC.  Lucas seems to be starting a series of ‘Mastery’ books, where he covers all the territory around a specific topic.  This one, like his previous title, is exactly what it says.  As long as you have some existing clue around zone files and DNS, the book will take you from no DNSSEC at all to fully implemented in less than 100 pages.  (well, at least in the PDF version, but that gives you an idea of the size.)

Use it to learn, or use it as a quick reference – either way will work.  If you have any DNS server(s) to manage, you’re the target audience.  I expect DNS without these security extensions will go the way of telnet vs. ssh.

A book covering things like new encrypted hash zone record types is going to be a bit dry, but there’s an appropriate sprinkling of humor through the book.  I’ve reviewed other Lucas books before, and I’ve got another on my plate right now, but this is the same: there’s plenty of funny to make the lessons go down easier.

DNSSEC Mastery: Securing the Domain Name System with BIND is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwords, and his self-publishing site.  Also see Peter N. M. Hansteen’s review of the book.

 

Posted by     Categories: Books, Someday you will need this     1 Comment

How about Ansible?


Ansible seems to be a configuration management system that’s lighter than puppet or salt.  I had a student talking about it in my class tonight.  BSD users Hubert Feyrer and Michael W. Lucas have both posted about it recently.  Anyone want to repeat their experiences?

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DPorts, pkgsrc, Someday you will need this     3 Comments

Transmission server directions


If you were perhaps thinking of setting up transmission-daemon, a BitTorrent server, this post on pkgsrc-users@netbsd.org will help you out.

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

HAMMER file system resizing


If you’ve ever wondered about how you can resize/move a HAMMER filesystem, follow this thread for a variety of answers.

Are you using hotplugd?


Are you using hotplugd?  If you are, this post from ‘william opensource4you’ about a small patch he made may be useful to you.

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

bxr.su for everyone else


For those of us still on IPv4 networks, the BSD-specific OpenGrok site bxr.su should now be available in general, not just on IPv6.

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

DragonFly 3.3/3.5 users and dports


If you’re running DragonFly-current, which right now means version 3.3 and very soon 3.5, you are probably running pkgsrc.  If you want to transition to dports, this pair of posts from John Marino will tell you how.

DPorts and DragonFly 3.5 cheatsheet


John Marino published a ‘cheatsheet‘ (also, typo fix)for DragonFly 3.5 users who want to try dports, using DragonFly 3.4 packages.

Running a spam blacklist


Peter Hansteen has an extensive writeup of how he has managed the bsdly.net spam blacklists.  Normally I’d stick this article in the Lazy Reading links, but the article is good enough to call out separately.   It’s excellent not just for the mechanical aspects of how the blacklists were maintained, but for his strict description on how the process is simple, verifiable, and transparent.  That last item, transparency, is how many anti-spam groups fall down.

Summer of Code reminder for students: talk now


For anyone who is a student considering Google Summer of Code this year: this timeframe we’re in right now is listed by Google as time for “students discuss project ideas with mentoring organizations”.  This is the perfect time to find out what the people in an organization are like, and get early feedback on your project ideas.

Chances are, if you’re submitting a proposal for an idea from an org’s project list, you’re one of a number of students all trying for the same thing.  The best way to get accepted instead of any other applicant is to be the person they already know.

Lazy Reading for 2013/03/31


I hope you like reading; there’s some very meaty links this week.  Go get a cup of tea and settle in.  You drink tea, don’t you?  You ought to.

  • Reading about KDE’s repository near-meltdown makes me think we need more checks for DragonFly.  We have the advantage of Hammer, of course, which would help in the same way that the linked article names ZFS as a ‘fix’.  (via multiple places)
  • We know that Apple will reject apps it disagrees with.  Google also will do so.  Has there ever been a program rejected from pkgsrc or (FreeBSD/OpenBSD) ports on content grounds?  Not that I know of – anyone remember differently?  I’d argue that’s a favorable point for the BSD packaging systems, though it may just be that no application has tested those boundaries yet.
  • Portscanning all IPv4 addresses on the planet.  Possibly the largest distributed effort ever?  The detail in the maps and returned services is especially interesting.  (via)
  • Scale Fail, a Youtube video of a 2011 talk about screwing up your services.  Mostly about the humor, but the underlying points are valid.   (via #dragonflybsd IRC)
  • There’s still improvement possible to fsck, apparently based on this.  That’s UFS2 fsck.
  • What is your most productive shortcut with Vim?  A very thorough explanation of verbs, marks, and registers.  Holy cow, I wish I had known about ‘: … v’ before.  It’s long, but worth it.  (via)
  • Matthew Garret’s description of Secure Boot vs. Restricted Boot with UEFI, (via a coworker who went to Libreplanet 2013).  I’m still not sure what DragonFly will need to do about this.
  • I missed mentioning this earlier: 20 years of NetBSD.  We’re coming up on 10 soon.
  • Dragonfly drones.  Unrelated except for name.
  • That guy who starts to froth madly every time BSD is mentioned on Phoronix is still there (see comments).
  • Mainframe computer supercut.  (via)

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Tom Spurgeon of the Comics Reporter asked people for their lists of webcomics that could go in a ‘Hall of Fame’.  The resulting list is a lot of really, really good material.  Go use up a few hours reading.

DragonFlyBSD on OpenGrok


OpenGrok is a source browser that I have not used extensively, but many people say is a great tool.  The same people say it’s difficult to run.  Zafer Aydogan just posted that DragonFly’s source is available now from his perfectly-functional OpenGrok installation.

(I’ll put it in the links sidebar here, too.)

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

Lazy Reading for 2013/03/24


It’s still snowing in my area, which is unusual.  And great!

Your unrelated comics link of the week: French cartoonist Boulet knocks it out of the park again.

Lazy Reading for 2013/03/10


I managed to come up with a lot of links this week, somehow, despite the start of the class I’m teaching in addition to normal work.  And Summer of Code’s coming up!  And we’re due for a release relatively soon!  I may appear somewhat… stretched over the next few weeks.

Your unrelated link of the week: I’m the Computer Man.  I always thought the mid-1990s were sort of a Internet/computer teenager phase.  Everything had potential but everything was also awkward.  (via I forget, sorry!)

Lazy Reading for 2013/03/03


I am all over the place with links this week – some of them pretty far off the path.  There’s a lot, too, so enjoy!

Your unrelated link of the week: I’ve already been offbeat enough in this Lazy Reading; I don’t have anything else.

New man page source, abbreviated


Constantine A. Murenin has put together a new man page resource for all the BSDS: mdoc.su.  The options for shortened URLs are entertainingly diverse.

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

Lazy Reading for 2013/02/17


This week I will both post this on the correct day AND get the date in the title correct.

Your unrelated tea link of the week: Epic Tea House Server.  Interesting just because of what he does and because I’ve never encountered tea from a samovar, though I’ve read of it.  (via)

Wait, this is better!  That previous link led to this film from an English chemistry professor about tea chemistry.  At first I was just entertained by his hair and his accent, but when he put tea in a NMR spectrometer, I decided this was the best tea thing ever.  Even better than Elemental!

Pulling authorized_keys from LDAP


Michael W. Lucas has put together a script for pulling a user’s authorized_keys file for SSH out of LDAP.  It’s a very good idea, though he hints pretty clearly that he could use feedback/feedback – there’s already some in the comments.

Updates: from discussion in IRC about this sort of distributed authentication (maybe ‘authentication distribution’ is a better phrase): Tools like puppet or FreeIPA may also be useful.  From seeing other conversations about this, it looks like there’s a lot of solutions to pick from, of varying difficulty, and none canonical.  That’s both good and bad.

Posted by     Categories: Someday you will need this     0 Comments

Python and rebuilding pkgsrc


Pierre Abbat noticed that when using pkg_rolling-replace, his Python packages would fail to be built/replaced.  This is because pkgsrc puts the version number into the name of the package, and he was moving from Python 2.6 to 2.7.  OBATA Akio and Greg Troxel had suggestions/explanations.

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

Dealing with problematic git upgrades


If you have git installed, and you are trying to upgrade it, you may have problems.  The scmgit-docs package dependency requires some DocBook files that aren’t always accessible.  If you do run into this problem, there’s 3 separate options:

 

Extra rebuilding step for 3.3 users


Based on this bug report on the recently updated m4, you may need to perform some extra steps to update m4 as part of a normal upgrade:

# cd /usr/src/usr.bin/m4
# make
# make install clean

 

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

Git and DragonFly on IPv6


If you are a brave soul and have an IPv6-only DragonFly installation, there’s now a git mirror of DragonFly that is available on IPv6.

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

Linux and cpdup, plus a note


I could have sworn I noted it before, but as Venkatesh Srinivas points out, there’s a port of cpdup to Linux.  Also, if you’re using cpdup to copy material out of a Hammer volume’s history, use the -VV switch.

New book forthcoming on DNSSec


Michael W. Lucas announced his next book will be about DNSSec, which is good.  It’s also self-published, which I like to see.  I don’t know if it necessarily makes him more money, but I like to see more exploration of this new way of publishing.

If you look at his announcement, there’s a link to something else: vendor-free SSL certificates.  These are possible?  That’s one of those things I didn’t even realize I wanted; having to deal with a certification authority is annoying.

Posted by     Categories: Books, Someday you will need this     1 Comment

Crypto card possibilities


This discussion of cryptographic hardware for FreeBSD may include hardware that would work for DragonFly too.  Can someone verify?

Holiday Buying Guide


Shopping!  This is the big holiday shopping weekend in the US, and I usually put together something here.

If you have suggestions, please comment!

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Someday you will need this     1 Comment

SMBIOS access now possible


Sascha Wildner has added system management BIOS (SMBIOS) support, visible with kenv, from FreeBSD.  Use it for getting things like the BIOS revision, system manufacturer, and so on.  For example:

smbios.bios.reldate="12/04/2006"
smbios.bios.vendor="Dell Inc. "
smbios.bios.version="2.1.0 "

This may seem minor, but this can be very helpful when dealing with hardware you aren’t physically able to access.

Lazy Reading for 2012/11/11


The 3.2 release seems to have gone well.  Who has tried the new USB support?  I’m curious to see how it’s going.

Your unrelated link of the week: This roundup of ultrarealist human sculpture.  You’ve probably seen Ron Mueck‘s art before, at least.

Remember: bin-install


A thread on pkgsrc-users@ reminds me: adding a specific line for bin-install will save time when rebuilding packages; pkgsrc will use existing binary packages instead of rebuilding from source when possible, when this is set.  At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what it does.

Lazy Reading for 2012/09/09


Whee!

  • deadweight, “Find unused CSS selectors by scraping your HTML”.  I’ve needed something like this for years.  (via)
  • The same sort of thing for pkgsrc: pkg_leaves.  Worth running at least yearly, or at least before any significant pkgsrc upgrade.  There’s no point in updating a package you don’t use or need.
  • GNU Coreutils cheat sheet, plus the instructions to make it.  There’s other cheatsheets linked in the article that may be useful.
  • Compiler benchmarks, comparing gcc and clang versions.  For a complete benchmark, I’d want to compare what number of programs build with each, too.  (via ftigeot on #dragonflybsd)
  • When ‘your mom’ and Unix jokes collide.
  • Distraction-free writing with Vim.  (via)
  • Also, there’s a “Modern Vim” book on the way.  Will it be good?  I have no idea; I don’t know of any prior books by the author or who the publisher is.  Those facts might help.
  • For a known author and publisher, here’s a status report on Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Edition.  If you don’t know what a BOFH is from his last sentence, read the original stories.
  • Quadrilateral Cowboy, a cyberpunk hacking game that actually involves non-boring programming and not just a pipe-matching game under the guise of hacking.
  • While I’m linking to games, GUTS, sorta like Diablo but more… roguey?  It’s turn-based.  Also, an excuse to use the roguelike tag.
  • 4 UNIX commands I abuse every day.  Having done a fair amount of Perl programming, I am entertained by having side effects being the intended goal.  Also, the author pays attention to what runs on BSD.  (via)
  • Disks lie. And the controllers that run them are partners in crime.”  Marshall Kirk McKusick describes just how hard it is to know when your data has really made it from memory to disk.  (via)

Your unrelated link of the week.  Dubgif.  Random animated gifs and dubstep clips.  Sometimes it doesn’t work, and sometimes it’s perfect.  (via)  If that’s too random, there’s also this .

Lazy Reading for 2012/06/17


I have such a surplus of links these days that I started this Lazy Reading two weeks ago.

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Elfquest, every issue ever.  The dialogue is cheesy but the original art is fun, in a way that grabbed me when I read it at 10 years of age.

Secure your MySQL setup


This was going to go into a Lazy Reading post, but then I realized it shouldn’t.  Here’s the source: “A Tragically Comedic Security Flaw in MySQL” (via)

The short version: MySQL, compiled a certain way, will allow 1 out of 256 root login attempts to work no matter what.  I was going to link to this for the startlingly large number of MySQL installations found allowing connections from the public Internet, which means breaking into any affected servers would be easy.  Then I thought about it…  I don’t see a my.cnf installed by pkgsrc for at least MySQL 5.1 by default.

To fix this for your own installation, put

[mysqld]
bind-address=127.0.0.1

in /usr/pkg/etc/my.cnf to disallow remote connections.  I don’t know if MySQL on DragonFly from pkgsrc is vulnerable to the issue, but it’s a good idea to not allow remote connections to the database, and ought to be on by default.

Or just use Postgres, if possible.

 

Lazy Reading for 2012/06/10


I got to use the ‘roguelike’ tag again this week, which always makes me happy.  Surprisingly, it’s not about… that roguelike.

Your unrelated link of the week: I happen to work at a salt mining operation, which leads to some unique problems (more).  Mining in the US is regulated by MSHA, which has been cracking down since the Upper Big Branch incident. MSHA issues  ‘fatalgrams‘ every time a miner dies.  MSHA also shows up on site as soon as possible, which means they are there taking pictures within a few minutes, with equipment still running.  It’s essentially crime scene photos, and a little worrying; many of the deaths are of people around my age with similar experience.

Lazy Reading for 2012/06/03


So many links this week I’m already working on next week’s entry.  Enjoy!

Your unrelated comic link of the week: Make Good Art.  (via)  The comic version of Neil Gaiman’s recent commencement speech, cause comics are more fun than video.

How to upgrade pkgsrc packages


DragonFly has a page on updating pkgsrc, and so does NetBSD.  I don’t think I linked to the latter before, but even if I didn’t, it’s still useful.

Debugging RANCID


Michael Lucas has a writeup on how he debugged his RANCID setup.  I link to it for the technical details, and also because if you have to manage more than a few switches or other network devices, RANCID is very useful.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Someday you will need this     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2012/04/22


Enjoy!

Your unrelated link of the week: One Thing Well.  The BSD tag might be the most useful.

OpenJDK7 building


Based on a recent post from Chris Turner to the tech-pkg@netbsd.org mailing list, here’s a bug report that should get you to a working lang/OpenJDK7 pkgsrc package.

Lazy Reading for 2012/04/08


The links are all over the map this week, which is fine.  Enjoy!

Your unrelated link of the week: memepool.  It’s seen some activity lately.  It was a blog before there were blogs, and I was part of it.

Fixing X video performance


I’ve seen a few people complain about poor video performance in DragonFly, in Xorg.  If you see a bunch of  “contigmalloc_map: failed …” errors in your dmesg, your video card needs more contiguous memory allocated.  Set vm.dma_reserved to 32M in /boot/loader.conf and you should be set.  If that doesn’t work, try 64M.

Apache in jail: a tip


Konrad Neuwirth is running Apache inside a jail, and getting some weird errors.  Obviously I don’t know the fix, but Chris Turner knows what the settings need to be.

How to idle on #dragonfly


A tip for anyone who hasn’t tried this yet: run irssi in screen, and connect to #dragonflybsd on EFNet.  You can then resume your screen session at any time after disconnecting and see the backlog, catch people addressing you directly, etc.

Before anyone says it: yes, I know, tmux works too.

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

Lazy Reading for 2012/03/18


I’m making sure I post this Lazy Reading on the right day.  A nice full week’s worth of stuff.

Your unrelated link of the week: Neo Scavenger.  (via)  It’s a game, in Flash, and in beta.  If you like  postapocalyptic survival, it may be for you.

Running something once


Have you ever tried to run a service and realized you forgot to make an entry in rc.conf to enable it?  It’s mildly annoying.  There’s now a “one’ keyword (via NetBSD) that lets you enable a service, once.  It still apparently performs sanity checks, unlike the otherwise-similar ‘force’ keyword.

Remote Web Browsing via OpenSSH and PuTTY


That’s exactly what Michael Lucas talks about in this recent post; using ssh to browse from a different machine, but using a local web browser.  He uses it to get around a network problem, but I imagine there’s a number of other applications.  This is one of the valuable tips from his recent book.

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Lazy Reading for 2012/02/26


Hello new DragonFly 3.0 users!  This is my not-about-DragonFly weekend link roundup.  I’ll be back to regular DragonFly-ish stuff tomorrow.

  • Vim anti-patterns, Gnuplotting, and Computing History At Bell Labs.  I’m combining what would normally be 3 separate points because I stole them all from Christian Neukirchen’s blog.  I wish I had found them first.
  • I mentioned Dungeons & Dragons last week, which led Michael Lucas to point out Dungeon Crawl Classics in the comments.   Along that same theme, here’s some 70’s role playing game illustrations.  (via)  There’s a parallel between computing in the late 1970s and fantasy; expert programmers were called wizards, understanding computers was an esoteric art…  I could develop the heck out of that thesis, but let’s just look at the pictures and feel nostalgic instead.
  • And then everything got a lot more weird-looking, 20 years later!  (via)
  • Hey, that time zone lawsuit mentioned here before was dismissed.  That’s good news.  (via lots of places)
  • Hyperpolyglot: Scripting.  Look for your favorite scripting language and compare it side-by-side with others. (via ferz on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
  • The text of the DragonFly 3.0 announcement gets copied around to a lot of sites, far more than I’m linking here.  However, I found this one entertaining because it kind of makes it sound like DragonFly is just what I happened to come with.
  • Custom 3D printing is becoming accessible enough that I’m trying to think of things I could get printed that way, even though I don’t need it.  (via I lost it, sorry)

Your unrelated link of the week: Quigley’s Cabinet.  Read her books if you have a fascination with old dead things.

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WHMCS installation notes


Michael Lucas installed WHMCS, a commerical hosting management tool, on FreeBSD.  He tells a story of doing so, and in the process happened to list all the PHP modules needed for it to run.  I’m linking it because that list is going to come in useful for someone, someday.

BSD, BIND, and DNSSEC


If you were thinking about implementing DNSSEC, Michael Lucas did it himself and wrote down his notes.  You can read them and either follow along to implement it yourself, or just spectate.  The one disadvantage is that it uses BIND 9.9, and I only see 9.8 and 10 in pkgsrc.

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Odd DVD drive issue


Edward Berger found that using a LG/Hitachi DVD drive kept him from successfully booting a DragonFly install CD.  Using other manufacturers worked out fine.  What causes the problem?  I don’t know, but it’s worth mentioning it out loud in case someone else gets bit by it.

Updating Samba to 3.6


I’m posting this because it will save someone (possibly me) an hour of aggravation someday.  If you are updating Samba from version 3.0 or 3.3 to a later version, it’ll take your existing config but possibly silently break on user authentication.

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Getting rid of lpr


If you install CUPS, or know that you will never print using lpr(1), you can make sure thatyour DragonFly system never builds lpr again by putting NO_LPR=true in /etc/make.conf.

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Setting up a DragonFly wireless access point


What if you have a DragonFly system that you want to use for an wireless access point?  Andrey N. Oktyabrski did, and he helpfully listed his solution.

How to get DNSSEC going


I just mentioned DNSSEC in last week’s Lazy Reading, and here’s a “How to get DNSSEC with BIND 9.8.1 working” article from Michael Lucas.  It’s pretty simple…  Conveniently, BIND 9.8.1 is available in pkgsrc as net/bind98.

How much RAM is too little?


If you’re running DragonFly on a very low-end system, you may be wondering about memory requirements for Hammer.  Hammer is much less RAM-hungry than ZFS, so it looks like you can get away with 128M, as long as you don’t mind the occasional error message.  You can manually tweak settings for it if you like.  256M is plenty.

It still strikes me as odd to consider systems with less than 1G of RAM as “low-memory”.  What rich times we live in!

Keeping binutils out of the build


There is now a NO_BINUTILS221 option, added by Sascha Wildner, that will keep your system from building binutils 2.21 during a buildworld.  The system will still build binutils 2.22, so there will still be a functioning ld on the system.  Use this along with NO_GCC41 (so only gcc 4.4 gets built) to speed up your buildworlds, if you like.

Loader changes for IPMI


If you’re looking to use IPMI and remotely watch the console of another system, Matthew Dillon has made some changes to help with that.

Coccinelle usage examples and DragonFly


Sascha Wildner has been using a new-to-me tool called coccinelle (no, not that) to scan for a number of problemsPatches for this tool may be useful for anyone else using coccinelle for bug-finding in other software.

Moving files with a virtualized DragonFly


If you’re running DragonFly in a virtual machine – specifically in VirtualBox, on Windows – there’s a recent thread on users@ that may have some tips, including a link from John Marino to tunnelier.

Lazy Reading for 2011/10/09


Getting close to 2.12 release…

Lazy Reading for 2011/10/02


Yep, fall hits and it’s easier to find links.

Your unrelated link of the week: Scientific Illustration.  Not a comic, but still visually interesting.

Debugging with pkgsrc


At some point, you may want to generate binary programs that are unstripped of debugging information.  You may want to generate them with pkgsrc.  Here’s a little note on what options will make that happen.

Lazy Reading for 2011/09/04


It’s almost the end of summer here, or at least the traditional end of summer in North America.  About time, too!  I don’t like the heat.  Anyway, as people trickle back to school, some more interesting doodads should show up for these weekly Lazy Reading posts…

Your unrelated comic link of the week: Jack Kirby art on what would have been his 94th birthday.  I have trouble communicating how dramatic and influential his art has been.

PPTP, explained


As part of a larger thread, Chris Turner went into a longer explanation of how PPTP connections work.  Do you have PPTP working on DragonFly?  Please share details!

Secret committer hints


If you’re committing something to DragonFly, or even just working on your own Git repository so as to submit a patch, the new-to-me-and-not-actually-secret committer(7) man page has a lot of tips.  I’m linking to it because it holds a lot of information that otherwise would be something you’d have to soak up over time from the community, maybe.

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DragonFly and IPv6 advertisements


Apparently, if you are running IPv6, and using radvd (Linux)/rtadvd (BSD) to autoconfigure your hosts with IPv6 addresses, you need to tell your DragonFly hosts to accept this.

Lazy Reading for 2011/07/24


Lazy reading is easy when it’s been this hot out.  In fact, I may melt before this article gets published.

  • Ecdysis – a NAT64 gateway program.  I link to it for two reasons.  1: You will probably need to NAT 6-to-4 sooner or later, and 2: it uses PF and so is BSD-compatible. (via)
  • Don’t not copy that floppy! (also via)  My original Apple ][ disk for Castle Wolfenstein is probably no longer functional.  Not that I have equipment to play it on…
  • World timezones, as a visible map.  (via)   I mention time zone updates here on occasion, and this is a immediate guide to what a strange patchwork of zones it is.  You can’t even see some of the really tiny/crazy ones.
  • A crappy way to start your day.  Nobody ever enjoys that call from work…

And now, a link that has nothing to do with this.

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Practical Packet Analysis: a review


Background: You may remember some time ago, I posted a review of Michael Lucas’s Network Flow Analysis.  He’s written several BSD books and so I figured it was worth reading further, knowing that this network-specific book would be BSD-friendly.  Also, he made it easier by sending me a copy.

No Starch Press, the company that published all the books linked in the previous paragraph, asked if I’d read/review another book from them. This would be Practical Packet Analysis, 2nd edition.  (Review continues after the break…)

More…

Man pages through DuckDuckGo


I happened to stumble on this: the DuckDuckGo search engine will take you directly to a DragonFly man page, if you type ‘!dfman’ at the start of your query.  For instance, “!dfman hammer“.