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.