Month: July 2006

Two tips


Matthew Dillon posted two tidbits of information: ‘large mode‘ in BIOS can be needed to make disks visible, and why console messages are often limited in rate.

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Update to em(4)


Sepherosa Ziehau’s got a patch that updates the em(4) driver (that’s a network chipset, if it’s unfamiliar) to the latest version from Intel’s website. Give it a try if you’ve got the hardware.  It’ll be in the tree in two weeks.

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brconfig broken off


bfconfig has been removed, as ifconfig now contains all of brconfig’s features.

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How to trace


Producing a trace from kdgb can be difficult, especially if the crash involved kernel modules whose symbols are not necessarily visible.  Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has directions on how to resolve this.

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Device changes


Matthew Dillon has removed the thread pointer argument from all device operations.  What does this mean?  Glad you asked.

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video on DragonFly


Hubert Feyrer found a handy way to view/keep those embedded website movies (like on YouTube) that are difficult to play on BSD: keepvid.com.

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Visual makefile use


Hubert Feyrer put together an interesting chart that shows the Makefile dependencies in pkgsrc.  I’ve always wondered how people make directional charts from text data like that…

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amd64 world support


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has committed his support for building a AMD64-native world.  (Not kernel, not yet)  I have an example link; it touched a lot of files.  Check commits@ for more.

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IDE and where to stick it


As part of a larger discussion, Freddie Cash described some possible IDE disk and CD combinations that make sense for various tasks.

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More patches


Sepherosa Ziehau has two patches for people to try: miibus(4) for network PHY chips and nfe(4), for NVIDIA ethernet controllers.

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Binary packages returning with more


Joerg Sonnenberger is temporarily taking packages.stura.uni-rostock.de down for disk reorganization; there’s a bulk build of pkgsrc packages running for 1.6. Most packages built for 1.4.4 will work with 1.6, in any case.

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Old image cleanup


As a side effect of the new release, the various ISO images located on dragonflybsd.org and mirrors have been cleaned up to reflect only actual releases; there were some out-of-date intermediate versions in there.  Daily snapshots are still available.

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1.6 is out


DragonFly 1.6 is released, (see announcement) with highlights including:

  • even better pkgsrc integration, with over 93% of pkgsrc‘s 6,000+ packages building on DragonFly
  • significant 802.11 improvements including ath(4) support
  • clustering progress
  • and many other changes.
  • See the diary or the release page for exhaustive update detail.

ISO images and/or source updates are available from a number of mirrors, though I suggest the torrent.

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Drive donations sought


SATA drive donations are being solicited (in the form of cash) for the machine that hosts the FreeBSD Diary, FreshPorts,  FreshSource, and BSDCan.

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Always check hardware


What’s the first thing to check when troubleshooting?  Hardware, like power cords, and any other connections.

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Patches patches


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has more AMD64 patches for testing, and Joerg Sonnenberger has potential support for Tekram controllers (trm(4))

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UnixReview: half useful


This week on UnixReview.com: 4 articles, the first two of which may be of limited use to this page's audience:
Security: The adventure continues - SELinux
Book Review: Unix to Linux Porting
Certification: Test Your Knowledge of A+ Essentials Topics
Product Review: Spyforce-AI
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Card Confusion


If you’re thinking about buying a wireless card to use with DragonFly, Sepherosa Ziehau recommends cards supported by the ath(4), ral(4) and acx(4) drivers.  No, I’m not sure which those are.

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XFCE – pkgsrc testers wanted


Martti Kuparinen is looking for some testers for Xfce 4.4 beta 2.  See his email to pkgsrc-users@ for details.

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NYCBSDCon looking for presentations


NYCBSDCon, held in New York City (surprise!) is being held October 28-29th on the Columbia University campus. If you want to present, your abstract is due August 15th.

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1.6 branches


DragonFly 1.6 has been branched in CVS, with the release happening at the end of the week.

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More on Java


Java 1.4.2_11 and earlier works on DragonFly, and a number of further tips came up on the mailing lists.  (See similar previous entry.)

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Recompile vinum


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert’s vinum changes were recently committed by Matthew Dillon.  Simon follows up with a warning: ABI compatibility is broken by this, so vinum will have to be recompiled, if you are using it.

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ath(4) in


Sepherosa Ziehau has added the ath(4) driver, for many models of wireless card, to DragonFly.

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Making a custom installation CD


It is possible to build a custom install CD that adds additional packages and/or changed configuration files to the ‘normal’ DragonFly installation.  How do you do it?  The answer is in ‘man release

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New bsdtalk interview


There’s new bsdtalk interviews every week, but this week, it’s Matthew Dillon, talking about the upcoming 1.6 release. A notable comment he made was that DragonFly is now more stable than even the much-vaunted FreeBSD 4.x releases that it came from. (Credit goes to Sascha Wildner for noticing the interview first.)

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Volunteering for desirable work


Eric Jacobs said “I’d like to work with LWKT“.  Matthew Dillon said, “How about userland VFS?” , and Eric said “Sure!“.  Then, Matthew Dillon went into unsummarizable details.

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Handbook update


I’ve updated the Handbook, and rebuilt the web version and the PDF.  Most of the changes are the addition of Adrian Nida and Erik Wikstrom’s updates for pkgsrc.

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Source now included


The DragonFly ISO images (the recent builds) now include system source – not enough to rebuild the whole system, but enough to patch and rebuild the kernel in situations where the source can’t be downloaded.  Like, say, network cards that require manual tweaking to support.

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Release next weekend


The 1.6 release is pushed back to next weekend, instead of this week as originally intended.

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Many paths to Java


Yury Tarasievich was able to get Java 1.5 working, and he  mailed out details of the process.  Along the same lines, ‘walt’  was able to get Java 1.4 working from the ‘wip’ branch of pkgsrc, which only requires some minor elbow grease.

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New bug tracker


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has been using Roundup as a bug tracker for DragonFly  for some time now; it works well, and Matthew Dillon plans to make it official.  Tickets are created from traffic on submit@ and bugs@, and it works quite well im my experience.

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Original open source


A question about open source led several people to point out that there are a number of histories of BSD available – Steve Mynott pointed at excerpts from Kirk McKusick‘s O’Reilly book. Sascha Wildner also included GrokLaw’s excellent and long history, and McKusick’s BSDTalk interview (.mp3). Local ‘expert on old things’ Bill Hacker added that BSD-style sharing of code was happening before Linux, GNU, or even Richard Stallman had been born.

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Updating source


‘walt’ is looking for other people interested in using ‘csup‘, the written-in-C replacement for the written-in-Modula3 cvsup, used to update source code.  For now, there are premade cvsup binaries for DragonFly, though a working csup in the base system would be nice.

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UnixReview: book reviews


This week, UnixReview.com has two book reviews: “Perl Best Practices“, and “Advanced Host Intrusion Prevention with CSA“. I have the Perl Best Practices book myself, and it’s excellent.

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pkgsrc 2006Q2 binaries available


To continue today’s all-pkgsrc day, Joerg Sonnenberger has the binaries for the 2006Q2 release of pkgsrc, built for DragonFly, available at:

ftp://packages.stura.uni-rostock.de/pkgsrc-stable/DragonFly/RELEASE/i386

(See message here) For those who don’t know it, the quarterly releases of pkgsrc are ‘known good’ releases, where all dependencies are up to date for that time, and only security updates are made to those releases. In other words, it’s like a ‘stable’ branch of pkgsrc.

Set PKG_PATH to the above URL + “/All” to be able to automatically install from that binary collection with pkg_add. If you want to upgrade, the quickest way to do so may be this strategy I thought up.

Note that packages that have known security problems at release time are not found in /All, but rather in /vulnerable. This includes Firefox!

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pkgsrc improvements on the way


Joerg Sonnenberger has a Google Summer of Code project, improving pkgsrc’s pkg_install. He recently posted to tech-pkg@netbsd.org with a summary of progress.

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pkgsrc updates


The 2006Q2 version of pkgsrc is out, with a good number of updates. The announcement contains, among other things, the total packages in pkgsrc (6,110), supported platforms (12), and several mentions of how many more packages are compiling now on DragonFly thanks to Joerg Sonnenberger.

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1.6 release coming


Mid-month, says Matthew.

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estd and DragonFly


estd (Enhanced Speed Step Daemon), a program for controlling the speed (and therefore heat generation and power usage) of a Pentium M, now supports DragonFly.

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ACLS and/or Capabilities, not yet


A short thread about ACLs or Capabilities for another layer of security starts here – read through for some explanation.  Work like this, though interesting, has to wait until the userland vfs/clustering work is done.

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Dead leaf


leaf.dragonflybsd.org’s drive was killed by a power outage. Matthew Dillon worked on restoring it yesterday, and it’s mostly back. If you had an account there, please check in and make sure your files are at least somewhat intact.

As a side effect, incremental backups are now possible with cpdup.

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new lnc driver


Bill Marquette has ported the lnc driver from FreeBSD to DragonFly (link forthcoming), which is in itself a port of the le driver from NetBSD.  Pathces are available to try it yourself, or it should be added to DragonFly soon.

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Preview slipped


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has shifted the ‘Preview’ tag to add in a recent bugfix.  This issue just interfered with some packages compiling in pkgsrc, so this is not an urgent update.

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ICC in Mexico


the 15th International Conference on Computing (also known as CIC 2006) is coming to Mexico City, Mexico, in November, and they’re looking for proposal papers.

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Whereis again


Sascha Wildner has set the utility ‘whereis‘ to work with pkgsrc the same way it used to with ports – finding where in the pkgsrc tree a given port is located.

I mention this because I tied to do this myself some time ago, and didn’t get it right.  It’s a darn useful command.

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Darnit


Emiel Kollof, who at one point had managed to get the NVIDIA binary video driver working for FreeBSD, doesn’t think it’s going to happen again.

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