Continuing the all-Spectre, all-Meltdown week here at the Digest, BSDNow 228 talks about it for FreeBSD and will cover more next week. And oh yeah other news, including a mention of new-to-me NomadBSD.
Matthew Dillon posted a summary of IBRS and IBPB support in DragonFly, and some numbers showing its impact in various configurations of options and CPUs.
Are you tired of hearing about Meltdown/Spectre yet? Doesn’t matter! The two sysctls for controlling mitigation in DragonFly have been renamed:
They go to hopefully sensible defaults, but Matthew Dillon has done some testing to show the effects of each in various combinations. (Update: more changes and tests.) Note that this is not the final mitigation work; compilers (i.e. gcc) are being updated to include workarounds for this, so new gcc -> new compiler in DragonFly -> new defenses. No silver bullet there, though.
One side effect of Meltdown/Spectre are CPU microcode (firmware) updates. For future needs: sysutils/devcpu-data is the port that has the updates for Intel, and cpucontrol(8) is the program you run on DragonFly to add them.
I haven’t used this myself, yet, so I can’t tell you how necessary an immediate update could be – but you will probably want to use it soon.
Update: Newer CPUs might require this sizing change.
I had to trim this down; there’s been a post-Christmas surge in material.
- Always good to start the year with new (to me) Mickens: Life as a Developer. (via)
- Learn – Computer-Aided Instruction on Unix. A UNIX tutorial program from 1979. (via)
- Espple – Apple 1 Emulator with PAL RF Output. (via)
- The History of Rogue: Have at You, You Deadly Zs (2009). (via)
- From the previous link: Rog-O-Matic.
- Operating System Design Book Series. (via)
- 30 Days of Stuff. Some gems in there, like 140 issues of Maximum RockNRoll! (via)
- ReCurta: Our goal is to build the first Curta calculator since 1972. (via)
- The Story of the Gömböc. (via)
- Productivity is Dangerous. Fun for the line “LINKEDIN IS A DEATH CULT”. (via)
- Inventing the Lisa User Interface. (via)
- REMEMBER turn your computer off before midnight on 12/31/99. The most eighties tumblog ever. (via)
- A history of S_IFMT. (via)
- V7/x86 – x86 port of Unix V7. (via)
Note the non-profit link; that may be useful to you.
- BSD on New Hardware.
- BSDCAN2017 Interview with Peter Hessler, Reyk Floeter, and Henning Brauer. (video)
- Moving bacula-sd into a FreeBSD jail.
- As noted here in a comment, you can name a BSD non-profit as a recipient of the ‘commission’ from Amazon purchases. Doesn’t cost you anything, or at least Amazon keeps that part of their pricing opaque.
- OpenBSD Workstation Guide. More hardware detail than I expected… and I really like the key storage idea. (via)
- Scripts to run an OpenBSD mirror, rsync and verify. (via)
- Best BSD for PowerPC machine?
- The LLVM Memory Sanitizer support work in progress. On NetBSD. (via)
- Linux Professional Institute and BSD Certification Group Join Efforts. (via)
- Thinking of joining Mastodon? Try bsd.network!
- Which BSD systems are affected by new Intel cpu bug?
- Meltdown, aka “Dear Intel, you suck”
- Every day a bug is embargoed is actually two days. Looking at it that way, the 48 hours it took Matt Dillon to patch DragonFly turned into 367 days – and it was Google/Intel’s decision to have it that way. (via)
- MWL’s 2017 Wrap-Up. Ironically, systemd is a moneymaker for him.
I’m a bit late posting it, but: BSDNow 227 covers Open, Free, and Net this week.
It’s turned off and on by the sysctl machdep.isolated_user_pmap – and defaults to on for Intel CPUs. Buildworld tests show about a 4-5% performance hit, but that’s only one form of activity, measured, so there will surely be other effects.
Note that Spectre is not mitigated by this commit series, and as I understand it, cannot be realistically fixed in software.
Update: Matthew Dillon posted a summary to users@.
Update 2: He told us so.
More user group news: Helsinki, Finland, has a new BSD User Group: HelBUG. First meeting is February 7th. There’s no mailing list/site that I know of, yet.
DragonFly has a donation page and a Paypal account. There’s no 501c3 benefit for U.S. residents to donate; DragonFly doesn’t exist as a non-profit. People have still been donating in smaller sums over time. It’s not enough to offset the colocation fees ($4k/year) plus the hardware there, but the money does get used for specific tasks. Matthew Dillon wrote a description of his upcoming plans: more storage, plus some interesting details on how much wear the existing SSD disks have sustained.
Last anything for the year! I packed in as much reading material as I could.
- “Bits, in this case, are actual physical objects.” About the newest MAME.
- piu-piu-SH, a horizontally-scrolling shooter for the console. (via)
- Reviving the Apple 410 Color Plotter. (via)
- Print Color PDF Apple II Print Shop Christmas Cards. (via) The microm8 idea sounds interesting overall.
- Computer latency: 1977-2017. Maybe I need an Apple][ category?
- winss, a process-supervision init system for Windows based on s6, an init system designed for Unixish systems. (via)
- Repairing a 1960s mainframe: Fixing the IBM 1401’s core memory and power supply. Nice pictures! (via)
- The 2018 internet resolution everyone should have: Bring back your browser bar. (via)
- The Hardest Computer Game of All Time. (via)
- The text adventures of 1991.
- The little ssh that (sometimes) couldn’t. (via)
- About the Use of Dot-Slash in Commands. (also via)
- The Wayland Zombie Apocalypse is Near. Linked mostly cause I didn’t know Samsung kept an open source blog. (also via)
- Evil Coding Incantations. Mentions the wat presentation, which I have linked here before, but if you haven’t seen it… (also via)
Last of the year!
- iXSystems’ Best of 2017. Some useful links, like the Community Hardware Recommendations guide.
- If you want to create a BSD-based Vagrant BSD system, Rickard von Essen has Packer templates for all the BSDs – including DragonFly. (via)
- More TS-440S hijinx, or “ok, what if you wanna homebrew a digital hookup?”
- “Cyan Beastie on my laptop :)”
- Looking for a BSD snapshot tool for live boot
- How to choose your *BSD OS to begin with? (via)
- What BSD do you all use for your desktop computer?
- NetBSD 7.1.1 released.
- FreeBSD Q32017 Status report.
- StorageCrypter Ransomware: Security Threat or Clickbait? BSD vendor, linked to for the Shodan report on all the places people are running Samba, Internet-exposed.
- Eleven syscalls that suck. Linux syscalls, of course. Eleven syscalls that rock the world seems to mention the BSDs. Hmm. (via)
- You may be able to catch the last 34c3 livestreams today, or watch recordings – there are some BSD-specific talks there. (via)
I’m a bit late posting this, since I’ve been on the road, but: BSDNow 226 is up, diving into recent FreeBSD status and Foundation reports, OpenBSD work, and other details.
I’m throwing in some end-of-year lists cause now’s the time for it.
- The Best Bandcamp Metal albums of 2017. #1 on the list, Power Trip, is my new favorite band.
- Polygon’s 50 best videogames of 2017. Some not-what-you-would-expect games in there. (via)
- AF_UNIX comes to Windows. (via multiple sources)
- The Comprehensive List of Window Managers for Unix. (via)
- Uncle Miod’s Machineroom. (via a comment in the previous source)
- XScreenSaver 5.38. Note that the Android release is now a manual download.
- Repairing a 1960s-era IBM keypunch. (via)
- The Quest for a Desktop email client. (via multiple)
- ScummVM 2.0 released. (via)
- Ron Mueck’s Giant Skulls. I’ve linked to this artist before.
- Games on the Net Before the Web, Part 2: MUD.
- Games on the Net Before the Web, Part 3: The Persistent Multiplayer CRPG.
- Vim: My Shiniest Gems (via)
- How to Setup a Unix News Server (1999). Nostalgia, at this point. (via)
- Squinting at ASCII.
- Oops. (via)
Last minute, of course.
- OpenBSD 6.2 + CDE. (via)
- How to run a PFSense home router in a (linux) hypervisor on your desktop. (via)
- “Is TrueOS like the Ubuntu of the BSD’s?”
- Trouble mounting root during install from DVD.
- Do any of the BSDs support AMD RX 580 GPUs and the new Ryzen 5 CPUs?
- Qualcomm Atheros qca9565.
- OPNsense 17.7.11 released.
- PCEngine/BSD recommendations. Check the whole thread.