GSoC: dsched BFQ, virtio, LVM mirror

Yay acronyms! Brills Peng was accepted for the Summer of Code project “Improve dsched interfaces and implement BFQ disk scheduling policy” – and now there’s a nice writeup describing what’s planned. Also, Stéphanie Ouillon did the same thing for the virtio drivers project.  Adam Hoka also joined in with a summary for his LVM mirror project.  Please keep this up, students. available

If you are a European resident, Federico Biancuzzi has the DRAGONFLYBSD.IT domain name available to donate. He doesn’t want to let it go and have it taken by a domain squatter. Talk to him at if you want to hold on to it for some unspecified time.

Summer of Code DragonFly projects announced

Google’s announced the accepted projects for 2011.  DragonFly has 6 slots!

We had a large number of interesting project proposals; far more than than the slots available.  If you’re one of the students who did not get in, please consider working on your project as time allows.  I know it won’t be lucrative, but I’d still like to see them happen.

Here’s the list of accepted projects:

  1. Implementing a mirror target for device mapper: Adam Hoka, mentored by Joe Talbott
  2. Improve dsched interfaces and implement BFQ disk scheduling policy: Brills Peng, mentored by Alex Hornung
  3. Make vkernels checkpointable: Irina Presa, mentored by Venkatesh Srinivas
  4. Port PUFFS from NetBSD/FreeBSD: nickprok, mentored by Nathaniel Filardo
  5. Bring kernel event notification in DragonFly BSD to its logical conclusion: Samuel J. Greear, mentored by Sascha Wildner
  6. Porting Virtio Drivers from NetBSD to DragonFly BSD to speed up DragonFly BSD as a KVM guest: Stéphanie Ouillon, mentored by Pratyush Kshirsagar


Sysbench and DragonFly releases

I did some comparative benchmarking between the 2.6, 2.8, and upcoming 2.10 release for DragonFly.   As several people have guessed, performance has improved significantly, and the difference would probably be even more pronounced if I was using more modern hardware,  e.g. swapcache or a system with AHCI.  I have a mailing list post with details, and here’s the graph that sums it up:

Shorter bars are better(Sorry, no Lazy Reading this week.  Life didn’t co-operate.  At least there’s a pretty graph!)


Zombie shirts

Not shirts with zombies on them, but DragonFly shirts that don’t have a seller.  I had a random Google search turn up a store selling DragonFly T-shirts, among other things.  It was essentially a spam store.  The seller wasn’t producing anything but instead reselling other people’s material for a commission, similar to the splogs out there that recopy material from other blogs or Wikipedia and slap ads on it.  (I’ve seen Digest material pop up that way.)

Following the link back shows that the shirt is sold through a Cafepress store called ossgear.  It looks like the original store owner asked permission to use the logo back in 2006. is no longer a functioning domain, and I can’t find any other reference to this seller; they appear to have stopped doing business 5 years ago.

The moral of this story: Sites like Cafepress will try to profit from your work long after you’ve stopped using them.  The frustrating part is that the logo isn’t even right!

RAM vs. deduplication

Tomas Bodzar asked about RAM usage with Hammer and deduplication, pointing at this example that shows ZFS requiring…  I’m not sure.  Lots?  Anyway, Matthew Dillon noted that offline deduplication in Hammer would use available RAM/swap for CRCs on all files, but only a limited subset for ‘live’ dedup.  For a real-world example, Venkatesh Srinivas described deduplicating about 600G down to 400G, with a machine having only 256M of RAM. Yes, only 256M.

Add package-clean to your list

The usual way for building pkgsrc packages from source is ‘bmake install clean’, to build and install the package, and then clean the work files from building it.  Since the recent change to DESTDIR, where a binary package is built before installation, you may want to add ‘package-clean’ to the list, so that the binary package is also removed after installation.

Lazy Reading for 2011/04/17

I hope I can get this together.

  • This article asks “Does anyone in Silicon Valley care about Windows anymore?”   It’s an inflammatory title, to get you to read it, and it’s based on anecdotal ideas, but I think there’s some truth to it.
  • Something similar, in hardware: I see people who care about what they run either getting a Macbook or a Thinkpad these days.  (I’ve owned both, and they are nice laptops…)  Let’s run with that idea, in fact: Macbook is to Thinkpad running BSD as is… iPhone is to Android phone running custom ROM?  This is turning into a “levels of nerditry” sort of comparison.
  • Community is your best feature, a talk about how to encourage the growth of an open source group.  I link to it because it’s useful and well done, but also because it lets me feel a bit self-congratulatory; we already use many of the listed concepts in DragonFly.
  • Zero knowledge user identification is interesting, though it’s not something you could apply to a lot of users.  (via)
  • Things found via Google: A DragonFly 2.8.2 x86_64 VMWare image on Sourceforge.  Don’t know who put it there.
  • This article about passwords says multiple common words make more secure passwords than adding upper/lower case and numbers to passwords.  An interesting contention, though I don’t think it works as well as it’s described.  (Adding ” ” into the list of possible characters isn’t as effective as having to double the list for case, for instance.)
  • It’s been a while since I posted a roguelike link.  Well, how about “How Rogue Ended Up On The Sofa“?  (via)  It very nicely draws a line connecting rogue and a whole lot of modern games.