Why not apt-get?

Matt Dillon mentioned that he’s considering using apt-get combined with VFS to create a sort of ‘per-user’ port visibility. Quoting his examples:

“So the ‘apache user’ might only have 10 ports installed (and only access to those 10) while a GUI user might have 50 ports installed (and only access to those 50). Overlaps would be allowed… the environments would be considered independant.

Such environments would also enforce basic isolation/separation/security features such as “/usr is read-only except for /usr/local”, and would be stackable, but instead of trying to use them on a per-package basis we would use them on a per-user basis (or something like that).

This gives us the best of both worlds in my view.

This would mean a new ‘port’ system would have to wait until VFS is finished, though using apt-get without the per-user separation would be achieveable almost immediately.

Switch now or pain later

David Rhodus mentioned in his GoBSD journal that DragonFly is a better choice right now than FreeBSD 4.10, highlighting a FreeBSD-4 unfixed bug in his journal. He also let slip that he’s working on a commercial operating system based on DragonFly, with the first release candidate coming very soon.

Improvements in the future

Rahul Siddharthan pointed at this post as evidence of softupdates not working as quickly as it used to, for FreeBSD and by extension DragonFly. Matt Dillon replied that:

“FreeBSD-5 has a lot overhead, especially when it comes to the buffer manipulation that softupdates does. DFly should be nearly the same as 4.x in regards to FS performance.

There isn’t much I can do about softupdates but the (slowly progressing) namecache work will eventually allow us to release the exclusive lock on the directory vnode during directory searches and this will bring up our lots-of-little-file benchmark numbers considerably.

Another issue that slows down filesystem operations is the busy-page lockout that occurs when the system is writing data to disk and some other operation wants to modify the page undergoing I/O. That is ”on the table’ as well.”

Kernel Krap

The kernel mailing list is getting hit with a Windows mail virus in a big way; be careful when viewing it through your mail client/news interface if you use Windows.

Update: fixed now.

BIND9 updated

Matt Dillon has added bind-9.2.4rc4 to contrib. This replaces bind8 that was being used for DragonFly (and I assume FreeBSD-4) by default. Things may be somwhat unstable for a few days; if that is trouble for you, don’t update your system this week.

Don’t forget about gcc3!

Hiten Pandya noted that, if you are creating a port override in dfports, setting CCVER=gcc3 and testing your override using the different compiler is a good idea. He’s found a few ports where poeple didn’t do that and the build was broken.

Saving crash dumps

Sascha Wildner described in a post to dragonfly.bugs,


placed in /etc/rc.conf will enable your system to save crash dumps in /var/crash, saving the effort of retyping them in a post. (“makeoptions DEBUG=-g” in your kernel config is also needed.)

NVIDIA breakage

The latest dev numbering changes from Matt Dillon will break the NVIDIA binary driver, if you are using it. Emiel Kollof is working on a new version, and until that’s set, avoid updating if you want to keep your NVIDIA driver working.