HAMMER2 emergency space mode

As anyone who has been running HAMMER1 or HAMMER2 has noticed, snapshots and copy on write and infinite history can eat a lot of disk space, even if the actual file volume isn’t changing much.  There’s now an ‘emergency mode‘ for HAMMER2, where disk operations can happen even if there isn’t space for the normal history activity.  It’s dangerous, in that the normal protections against data loss if power is cut go away, and snapshots created while in this mode will be mangled.  So definitely don’t leave it on!

Colo upgrade for dragonflybsd.org, plus future

Matthew Dillon posted an extensive writeup about the hardware changes for dragonflybsd.org; price to performance ratio has been improving so much for multiprocessor machines that we can jump forward both for hosting hardware and for a testbed.

He also mentions his immediate thoughts on what to tackle next, since SMP has been so relentless improved in DragonFly.  It resulted in a very long conversational chain as people weighed in with opinions, so I’ve held off posting it until the conversation finished.  (I chimed in too.)

Disk encryption and non-QWERTY keyboard layouts

When you encrypt your DragonFly boot drive, initrd(7) is run to get your system online and able to accept a password to decrypt the drive.  So far, so good.  The initrd program is a minimal userland designed to be small, and it generally works.  However, it assumes a QWERTY keyboard.  If you’re Pierre-Alain TORET and normally use an AZERTY (in this case French) keyboard, that makes it difficult to type the decryption phrase.

It’s possible to patch a different keyboard layout into initrd, and he has documented just how to do that.

A new upgrade method

Remember my post about a new upgrade script?  tse, the author, has happily added in a bunch of suggestions.  I’m intermittently traveling and can’t do anything to test it for days yet – but I’d love to see others try it out.

The bugs issue tracking versions is here: #3197.  Can you, dear reader, try it out?  Do an in-place upgrade on your version, or even a test install with a VM?  I want to see what happens in the wild.