Last of the year, and all the links are terse!
There’s some DragonFly links I snuck in here because why not?
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.)
A number of people have reported problems with qemu and DragonFly, both running locally and on a host. It turns out to be a problem with the getcontext(), setcontext(), and swapcontext() functions, but Matthew Dillon fixed it in a way that doesn’t affect performance very much.
That apparently wasn’t good enough, so he added _quick versions of those same functions, so it became not just a fix, but an improvement.
In related qemu news: qemu-devel can use vknetd similar to a vkernel, now.
I was going to point at a new igb(4) update for testing, but Sepherosa Ziehau has already merged it. Try it if you have the right Intel networking hardware.
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.
The latest episode interviews Robert N. M. Watson and George V. Neville-Neil for 36 minutes, about teachbsd.org. Also, BSDTalk has been running for 10 years! It’s been long enough I couldn’t remember if it started before the Digest.
Finally, a week of links you can get through in one sitting.
Yet another week that I started 2 weeks ago; this end-of-calendar-year is full of BSD goings-on.
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.
Sepherosa Ziehau has a new version of drivers for em/emx(4) and igb(4). The initial versions had trouble, but testing is ongoing. Try it if you have the correct hardware.
Update: never mind.
The official title for BSDNow 120 is “I’m talking about the man in the middle” which is too long for an article title here. It’s a Michael Jackson reference and a type of attack against encryption, if you are unclear. Anyway, the episode has the usual news roundup and an interview of Pawel Jakub Dawidek.
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’.
If you have a em(4), emx(4), or igb(4), Sepherosa Ziehau would like you to try out his Intel NIC driver update. He’s already updated the ix(4) driver to support more hardware.
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.
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.
A good chunk of this is brought over from last week, cause there was so much.
Your unrelated game link of the week: Freecol. Runs on all the BSDs (thanks Thomas Klausner), as far as I can tell. (via)
I had this built up well ahead of time.
- Today’s world is amd64, armv7, and soon aarch64. Everything else is dead, Jim. The author is/was a OpenBSD developer. (via, via)
- Show Your Support for FreeBSD. (Foundation) Donation time of year.
- As an everyday user of Linux, should I switch to BSD, why or why not?
- vCenter Web Client Plug-in for TrueNAS Now Available.
- OpenBSD Xen support. (via)
- “look I come from debian so having a stable reliable system that _also_ has software that isn’t years out of date in the repos is a shocker” (about the ports system)
- pkgsrc is moving to dash as a bootstrap shell, to replace pdksh.
- The 2015Q4 quarterly pkgsrc freeze is coming.
- BSD Magazine issue 75, with a focus on FreeBSD development tools, is available.
- DistroWatch Weekly reviews OpenBSD 5.8. (via)
- n2k15: sashan@ on PF mpsafe progess.
- n2k15: tedu@ on rebound, malloc hardening, removing legacy code.
- OPNsense 15.7.22 Released.
- DiscoverBSD for 2015/12/07.
Hammer now defaults to ‘noatime’, meaning the date and time of last access are not updated on every file action. Note that creation and modification date and time are still recorded. This will help with speed and disk activity.
This may cause a problem with any software expecting this to change – mutt, possibly? We will find out. This change was done after the 4.4 branch, so it’s not in the current release of DragonFly.
If you are a WeChat user and want a DragonFly BSD shirt, send your Chinese address and mobile number to email@example.com, or scan this image to join the WeChat DragonFly BSD group.
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.
BSDNow 119 is up, with even lengthier news summaries than usual, and an interview of Paul Goyette about his testing work with NetBSD.
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.
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.
I am taking this moment away from my significant backlog of things to post to note that there have been a lot of games fixes in DPorts lately. Thanks to Rimvydas, many small bugs that kept games from compiling on DragonFly are now fixed. The easiest way to see is to look at the commits from December 8th and back, but the best way is to pick one and play.
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.
Another done-early week. I’m already filling in next week’s Lazy Reading.
- Computer graphics from the 1970s/1980s. (via)
- How the Atari ST almost had Real UNIX. (via)
- Worg, the Org-Mode Community. So many people sing the praises of orgmode. (via)
- The 68000 Wars, a history of Commodore, parts one, two, three, four. (via)
- Novena: A Laptop With No Secrets. Not easy to build or use, but I’m glad it exists. (via)
- XINU OS – Xinu Is Not Unix. (via)
- Eavesdropping on the Hidden World. (via)
- “How the heck do you people google for Windows problems?“
- dd – Destroyer of Disks. Not all these apply consistently to various BSDs. (via)
- I can appreciate some of what Facebook’s doing with new offices, but a big room doesn’t have to be so ugly. (And I don’t even like FLW!) (via)
- What’s so special about 2147483648?
- Dwarf Fortress 0.42.01 is out.
- Let’s Encrypt is in public beta. (via many places)
- How I stay happy making open source software. (via)
- Taco Bell Programming. I agree with some of the sentiments, though Taco Bell mostly just means crap, not reusability. I prefer my tacos to be Mighty.(via)
Your unrelated music clip of the week: Coldcut – More Beats n Pieces.
Your unrelated open source game of the week: MegaGlest. Runs on DragonFly, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, or at least I can find references to binaries for all of them. (via comments)
Your unrelated community funded game of the week: Psychonauts 2. A sequel to one of my favoritest games ever.
I was going to make comments about this being a light week, and then suddenly I had overflow.
I’m combining two items because news happens faster than I can post: Tomohiro Kusumi has added a ‘dm-flakey’ target to the disk mapper, so you can simulate an unreliable disk, reliably.
Also, the DRM support for radeon chipsets has been updated to match the Linux 3.18 kernel, same as i915. Remember, you can control backlight brightness with it now.
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.
If you are running DragonFly-master (i.e. 4.5), and you have a system between these two updates (roughly between November 27th and now), please rebuild your kernel to avoid a TCP bug.
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.
BSDTalk has a 65-minute recording of Ed Maste and George Neville-Neil at vBSDCon 2015 presenting “Supporting a BSD Project“. Note that it’s a recording of the presentation itself and not an interview after the fact. I don’t think vBSDCon has had any released video, or I don’t immediately remember seeing any, so this may be the only way to experience this talk.
I have a huge backlog of things to post, so this is originating from the 17th: Matthew Dillon has been working for some time on hardlinks and Hammer 2. Hardlinks are the same file, presented in multiple places. This can be a problem when your filesystem keeps infinite, writable snapshots. The solution he just commited is called ‘xlink’ and the commit message has details.
I am all over the map this week.
- How The Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive. I learned D’Nealian; my mother wrote Spencerian. Technical lettering in college and signing labs as a grad student destroyed my style. Anyone know a good source of fountain pens that are cheap/usable? I don’t want to go down the crazy route. (via)
- Triple redundancy in a Boeing 777. An Ada program compiled with 3 different compilers and run on 3 different processors. (PDF, via)
- If you’re curious about gold (the software, not the metal) and how linkers work, given DragonFly’s recent switch, the author of gold, Ian Lance Taylor, wrote a 20-part series about the topic. (Linked here before some years ago, but it’s worth reading now.)
- “We got around three“. A lesson in the persistence of Fortran.
- Former Atari Employee Posts Work Email Log from 1982-1992. The source of the link has many choice comments pulled out.
- Four examples of excellent interface design. In games, of course. The only one I’ve tried is Brogue, previously linked here, and its terminal controls don’t feel like terminal controls.
- The Storage Engine: Timeline. History of data storage, an online exhibit at the Computer History Museum. There are some delightful pictures and stories. (via)
- Raspberry Pi Zero: The $5 Computer. Pretty soon it’s going to be possible to sneeze and accidentally lose several computers because you blew them off the table. (via, also here)
- Also, a comparison of price between similarly-powered computers: everything circa 1980 and the Pi Zero now.
- C.H.I.P. vs Pi Zero: Which Sub-$10 Computer Is Better? Topical! “Which runs BSD better?” is the question you should ask, cause price is almost immaterial. (via)
- A browser-based optics sandbox. Funny how this used to require a standalone program. (via)
- The Software Freedom Conservancy is looking for your support. They provide infrastructure to software you use.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Sunday Comics Kickstarter.
Your unrelated open source game of the week: 0 A.D. Works on FreeBSD and OpenBSD and can run on DragonFly if you can fix gloox. (via)
I informally grouped by topic, cause it has proved an exceptionally rich week for BSD links.
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.
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.
Did you need to use SLIP on DragonFly? Do you remember what SLIP is? Well, it’ll work with a USB modem on DragonFly, even if you are making a face right now and saying, “SLIP? Who uses that?”
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?
The default linker in DragonFly has been switched to gold, the newer version of ld. (get it, go-ld?) It’s faster, cleaner, going by the commit message. It’s possible to switch back to the old one if needed. This predates the recent branch for 4.4, so it will be default in the release, too.
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.
This is one of those weeks where everything gets covered. Settle in, there’s lots to click.
- For Better or For Worse. About Go, but also about language design in general. (via)
- The Birth of ZFS. See comments in the source link about Oracle’s version vs. the BSD version.
- The Docker Monitoring Problem. Good for an explanation of containers. (via)
- Cmder. Slowly, the UNIX workflow style is taking over everything – even Windows. (via)
- The Early History of the more Command. “I named the program more. This was a daring move at the time, since it was such a long name for a UNIX command, and was also a real English word.” (via)
- Early Phishing. Click the PDF link on the upper right for the content. (also via)
- Where SCCS came from. (also also via)
- Alta Vista, 5 servers, 1996. (via)
- Dragonfly Key Exchange, RFC 7664. Nothing to do with DragonFly. (via swildner on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- ex reference manual, from Bill Joy. (PDF, via)
- xv6, “a modern reimplementation of Sixth Edition Unix” (via)
- Something to think about for “supported” older versions of software, especially in those long-term support versions of various Linux distributions.
- ADOM is now available on Steam. Runs on BSD, sorta.
- The AS7007 Incident. I knew of things like the Morris Worm, but not this event. (via)
- Does the Internet route around damage? I also did not realize the size of the RIPE ATLAS network.
- System Shock, a font reappears! (via)
- JF Ptak Science Books. A historical bookseller blogs – a lot! (via, via)
Your eighties video link for the week: The 80s.mp4. (via)
Your unrelated browser toy of the week: A browser-based optics sandbox. (via)
Another week where there’s so much to link to, it overflows into next week.
Imre Vadász fixed top so that hitting ‘c’ filters displayed processes by command name. I am mentioning this not because it’s a huge change, but because I forget about all the interactive elements that are possible with top.
Does that count as alliteration? Anyway, Matthew Dillon has increased the size of the starting window in TCP. If you are on a higher-latency link and/or fetching lots of small files, you should notice better performance.
This week’s BSDNow has the usual news, plus an interview of George Wilson talking about ZFS. There’s a new Beastie Bits section that contains a bunch of short links to BSD material… Hey! That’s my niche!
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.
I don’t think I linked to this anywhere else: Why did I choose the DragonFlyBSD Operating System? By Siju George, at BSD Magazine.
The disk scheduler apparatus in DragonFly has been removed. This may not affect you much, since alternate scheduling setups were never utilized much with it. It may fix some rare Hammer cleanup issues, though, and you may need to adjust your custom kernel config, if you have one.
Reminder: Stephen Bourne, known for the Bourne Shell, among many other things, will be talking at NYCBUG this Thursday. Plan to get there early, cause it’ll be busy.
If you are anywhere near Detroit, the inaugural SEMIBUG meeting is the night of the 17th – that’s tomorrow, as of this posting. Go, visit, and I’ll be jealous since there’s no BSD user groups near me.
It might snow around here today, and I am looking forward to it.
This is the sort of BSD link week I like, with lots of range and depth.
John Marino sent a helpful link to show the cross-platform work he’s been involved in: He brought the locale work from Illumos into DragonFly over the summer (look for his name on commits), and now it has been brought from DragonFly into FreeBSD, with Baptiste Daroussin reporting on the process. If there’s any OpenBSD/NetBSD developers reading, with an interest in locales, this may be useful..
(someone correct me if that’s not the right Illumos link)
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.
If you are using bleeding-edge DragonFly (4.3) on a machine with Intel video, the i915 module has been renamed. This means you will probably need to rebuild xf86-video-intel from source to have it match. There should be a matching binary package soon.
If you are on DragonFly 4.2, this does not affect you.
Sascha Wildner has brought over support for the Realtek 8168H. This may be useful because at least one low-cost server provider – Kimsufi, I think? – uses them by default in their product line.
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‘.
Reminder: Michael W. Lucas’s talk on SSH (based on his recent book) is happening on the 10th, at the Farmington Hills Public Library.
When I say the links are wide-ranging this week, I mean it.
Not even checking source commits this week; there’s already plenty of news.
“BSD Schooling” is the name of this week’s episode of BSDNow, and as you might guess from the title, Brian Callahan is the interview subject, talking about BSDs and education. It also points out interviews elsewhere, like Brian Acton of WhatsApp talking about how useful BSD is to work with, and another one where the CTO of HP appears to have the wrong idea of licensing. (also, an interesting but not surprising Stallman quote)
John Marino’s made a number of updates to contributed software in DragonFly recently, and here’s the list:
libelf (not contrib as John pointed out), libexecinfo, xz, libedit, binutils, grep, tcsh, libdialog, and (tn)ftp.
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…
Remember what I was saying about Sepherosa Ziehau and improving performance? Well, here he goes again, three times.
Start the week with this brief interview of Chris Henschen, of fP Technologies, taken at the most recent vBSDCon. Their database product, filePro Plus, was recently ported to FreeBSD.
No themes evolved this week.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Secret Coders. I have several other books by Gene Luen Yang; he’s good. (via)
Another week that quickly went from “Gee, I hope I have enough links” to “I have to set time aside just to process the backlog of possibilities.”
BSDNow 113 has the normal news roundup, plus an interview of Jordan Hubbard, talking about BSD, and specifically NextBSD.
For those of you with DragonFly and an Intel i915 chipset, Francois Tigeot has moved support up another notch, to match Linux 3.18. This will help Cherryview and Broadwell chipset users the most.
I think at this point, Sepherosa Ziehau is able to improve the DragonFly network stack by just standing near his computer and concentrating for a few minutes. For example, he’s unearthed another improvement to connect rate/reduction of CPU usage.
No themes this week.
Your unrelated food image of the week: Cheese Meets Bread: an International Love Story. I shall treat that as a sort of to-do list.
There’s a lot of developer interviews lately.
Your cross-platform software of the week: Syncthing. Runs on all the BSDs. (Via discussion on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
It’s been an oddly quiet week for news, plus I have been busier than usual at work due to snow hitting the northeast. But! It’s Thursday and there’s a new episode of BSDNow. There’s an interview of Adam Leventhal and the usual news roundup.
Accidental topic this week: very, very old computers.
- Computer Show. Modern show, looks like it’s exactly from the mid 1980s. (via multiple places)
- Computing Britain. From the BBC, freely downloadable computing history audiofiles, quite worth it. (via)
- Phones for the People. I don’t think it’s as egalitarian as it is described, but it is interesting to see the variety. (via)
- RTC Quickstart. RTC is an alternative to the not-private-and-not-open Skype. Why don’t more people use it?
- More secure Wi-Fi routers. This would be the best Internet of Things approach. (via)
- You Wouldn’t Base64 a Password. (via)
- Blue screens of death, some of which you’ve surely seen before. (via)
- The first Apple ][ viruses. (via)
- Dark Castle and Macintosh System 6 Emulator. (via)
- Vim and Composability (via)
- A Simpler Vim Statusline. (via)
- Vim: Convenient Code Navigation for Your Projects. (via)
- Unix commands: The joy of curl
- Ohmu. I like the visualization.
- Wander (1974) — a lost mainframe game is found! (via)
- Lost mainframe games (also via)
- The lack of historic knowledge is so frustrating. AKA “learn from past mistakes”.
- The SCELBI, rebuilt. (via)
- CSIRAC, the oldest computer that’s still physically assembled – from 1949! (via)
- Cardboard computers. (via)
- Long long long term data storage. (via)
- Google Code-In starts on my birthday, and Google Summer of Code 2016 has been announced.
- INOC-DBA: dial an ASN, get the network operations center responsible for it. One of the ways people make the complex creature called the Internet continue to function. (via)
- sandstorm.io, self-hosting which I’ve linked to before, and known, which I haven’t. More tools that people will eventually regret not using. (via)
Your comics link of the week: Cartozia Tales #1, with more added. I subscribed to this series long ago, and it’s a lot of fun.
Another good week for BSD releases and events.
BSDNow episode 111 is up, with an interview of Brandon Mercer, talking about OpenBSD and healthcare. There’s the usual news, plus several ‘how-to-build-something’ articles up for discussion.
Imre Vadász has put together an initial port of Wayland / Weston for DragonFly. You can look at his pull request for dports to see how to install, though I’d imagine this is only for people who like to experiment at this point. It’s still work in progress, as is Wayland itself.
Tomohiro Kusumi has added a dm-delay target, which means you can simulate poor disk performance, without having to have poor disks. His commit message includes some benchmarks that shows it doing a good job creating a bad job.