Matthew Dillon’s added some patches to DragonFly related to securing floating point state, following similar work in OpenBSD. There isn’t a reported catchy-name issue to match it, like Spectre/Meltdown – yet.
(If anyone has a good link to the similar OpenBSD commits, please share; I did not find them on a cursory search.)
There was an optional ‘make initrd’ step in the DragonFly build process, where you can create a small binary to use for mounting encrypted root drives.
Aaron LI has removed mkinitrd in favor of ‘make initrd’, which builds a separate binary to use in exactly those situations. See the commit message for more detail. It incidentally creates a ‘/rescue’ directory and works as a rescue ramdisk, similar to other BSDs, if you should ever need it. (See updated MOTD for details)
Rimvydas Jasinskas has added a few options to the buildworld process in DragonFly. These options let you skip rebuilding the compiler and binutils rebuilds, for a significant speedup: buildworld times cut in half.
See his excellent commit message for all the numbers. Note that this is for development work, so it’s not advisable for regular upgrades.
New DragonFly installs are chmod 700 for /root, not 755, from this recent change. Change your existing installation if desired.
Sascha Wildner has brought in the last 9 months of ACPICA updates to DragonFly. This may mean better power or motherboard support for your hardware in DragonFly. I always have a hard time pointing directly to ACPICA updates and how they benefit, but looking at the changelog update may help.
This commit from Bill Yuan says “highspeed lockless in-kernel NAT”, and lists a huge number of changes for ipfw3. How much of a change is it? I don’t know; there isn’t a matching documentation update and I don’t have a way to test.
I like pointing out how political world events push their way into computer updates.
A recent and new CPU bug, CVE-2018-8897, is fixed in DragonFly. THis applies to both Intel and AMD processors. I’m happy to see that the CERT page lists equal notification timing for a whole lot of operating systems, rather than the few that heard about Spectre/Meltdown early.
Following that topic, Matthew Dillon has “fleshed out” Spectre mitigations, and his commit message details the current state. The sysctl ‘machdep.spectre_mitigation’ will tell you what’s set at any given point.
Here’s something that doesn’t have an immediate impact now, but will be useful down the road: Francois Tigeot has been working on DRM support in DragonFly, and has been quite successful with Intel video support. His strategy has been to adopt Linux methods where possible, to reduce the amount of support work. The payoff has been excellent, and prompt, accelerated video support in DragonFly. The most recent work is “git: drm: Implement parts of the Linux irq subsystem“, which is going to come in handy for someone, I’m sure.