Month: August 2006

A rant for NetBSD


Charles M. Hannum, one of the originators of the NetBSD project, posted what I’ll call a rant about the state of NetBSD; he wants NetBSD to lead system development and he blames the organizational layout for slowing development.

It appears he wants to return to the less complex organization of the early days of NetBSD; I don’t think that’s relevant in this stage of NetBSD’s development.   (Is NetBSD the oldest existing open source operating system project?)

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UnixReview.com: reviews


It’s a sparse week on UnixReview.com, this week: 2 book reviews, one of “C++ Standard Library Extensions” and the other of “Linux Phrasebook“.

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Character encoding


A recent users@ conversation about using UTF-8 and other character encodings has some interesting tidbits.

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Help out everyone


Joerg Sonnenberger regularly builds binary packages for pkgsrc, for DragonFly, in parallel. This eats up a lot of disk and RAM.

He could use another 2 Gb of DDR2 RAM. This would greatly speed up builds. Got spare RAM or cash? Please help, (he’s at joerg@britannica.bec.de) as this benefits every DragonFly user. (And to a lesser extent, every pkgsrc user.)

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New pf book


Jeremy C. Reed has put together a new book on the pf packet filter, originally from OpenBSD but now found in all the BSDs, including DragonFly.  It’s available from his website.

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BSD Installer backlog


The BSD Installer mailing list currently has no online archive, but it’s possible to retrieve past mailings by mailing to discussion-get.x_y@bsdinstaller.com where x and y are the number of the first and last message you want to retrieve. discussion-help@bsdinstaller.com is also available.  (Thanks, Chris Pressey)

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Many paths


Something I knew:  You can set the environment variable PKG_PATH to the URL where binary pkgsrc packages are located, and pkg_add will automatically fetch from there.

Something I didn’t know: you can have multiple sites listed, as Petr Janda explains.

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nfe(4) supported


Sepherosa Ziehau has ported nfe(4), support for NVIDIA PCI ethernet adapters, from OpenBSD, with some changes and improvements.

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BSDCenter: IPFW


ONLamp.com has a new article up: IPFW, which is one of the several firewalls present in DragonFly and other BSDs.

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ppp bug; fixed


A memory overrun issue in ppp has been discovered in NetBSD which also applies to DragonFly. It’s been fixed, thanks to Joerg Sonnenberger.  It’s also found in FreeBSD (fixed) and OpenBSD (no fix yet that I know of.)

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CCMS beginning


The Cache Coherency Management System, a fiendish system which will allow crazy things like mapping memory across multiple machines, mentioned before, has been started.

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Microkernelissue


The somewhat perennial discussion of microkernels came up again on kernel@; start at the beginning to read the generally useful conversation.

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Getting Flash to work


Another how-to for today: two ways to get Flash working: Handbook method and Wiki method.

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AsiaBSDCon 2007 announced


According to a recent announcement, the second AsiaBSDCon will be held on March 8-11, 2007, in the University of Tokyo, Japan.  Papers are already being solicited.

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Multichannel sound


A question about multiple sound sources playing leads to this solution, which may require manual sound device assignment, though it’s not that bad.  Better solutions are possible.

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Handbook updated


I’ve updated the online version of the Handbook to include the last 2 months of changes.  (Available as PDF and text too.)

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Digest by mail, too?


If there was a mailing list that had regular summaries of the posts on here, would it be useful to you? If so, would you want it daily? Weekly?

Ian R. Stephenson suggested this, and I’ve had more people than I expected agree.

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What to do with your DragonFly system


Something I wrote myself: things you can do with a headless computer running DragonFly.

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Other ways to install


As part of a conversation about headless installation, Bill Hacker describes the old-fashioned way, Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert mentioned the ‘Pre-Flight Installer‘, and Matthew Dillon described how he uses rconfig.

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Everyone likes higher version numbers


The modular version of xorg is predicted to be in pkgsrc in October.

For those needing an explanation: We currently have the ‘monolithic’ version.   The modular form breaks the build of xorg into parts that can be updated separately, and will be the form used for future versions.

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More cross-pollination


It’s nice to see code flowing back and forthe bewteen BSD projects; the latest is OpenBSD taking advantage of the DragonFly acx(4) driver.  (Thanks, Undeadly)

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Motherboard issues


The planned outage of dragonflybsd.org yesterday took longer than planned because two systems didn’t want to boot; both used a Asus A8N SLI motherboard.  Apparently, a lot of people have reported issues with this model.

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Sendmail to 8.13.8


Gregory Neil Shapiro has kindly updated sendmail to 8.13.8 (see release notes).

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UnixReview: articles and a shunning


This week on UnixReview: A software review of G2 8.2, a book review of Nagios: System and Network Monitoring, and an article: Certification: Test Your Knowledge of A+ Elective Topics. There’s also some Linux articles which I am so totally ignoring.

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dragonflybsd.org down


dragonflybsd.org is going down 9AM – 1PM PST for power and UPS testing.

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Pugs pugs pugs


User “Xaduha” posted a link to his compiling-on-DragonFly version of the Glorious Haskell Compiler, necessary to build Pugs (Perl 6 in Haskell) and apparently some other less mind-bending things.

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pkgsrc handler


Jan KoÅ¡ir wrote a pkgsrc updating script that will handle local patches, include pkgsrc-wip, and work with pkgmanager – pretty nifty.

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cpdup over the network


Matthew Dillon’s committed some changes to cpdup that allow it to copy over a network, using ssh. It’s somewhat experimental, but it can even be used for incremental backups.

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DerivedBSD


Christian Sturm mailed me a link to the newest project derived from FreeBSD: MidnightBSD, which appears to be a “FreeBSD-with-ports” effort rather than the more complete splits of DesktopBSD or PC-BSD. Not that it’s a bad thing!

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em(4) update


Sepherosa Ziehau has updated em(4) (That’s an Intel networking chipset) support to version 6.1.4, the latest available from intel.

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That went quickly


Matthew Dillon’s vnode reference work is already 75% complete.

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Updating outside of pkgsrc


What if a piece of software in pkgsrc is updated, but the pkgsrc version isn’t (yet)?  Steve O’Hara-Smith has some ideas.

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Less lockups


Matthew Dillon is starting some work that will possibly destabilize HEAD for a bit.  The work involves vnode reference counting and locking.  The advantage is that it will remove the hard locks that filesystems can experience, such as waiting for NFS mounts to time out.

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Look in the boot(8)


Sascha Wildner, at Victor Balada Diaz’s suggestion, added a link to the boot(8) manpage in sys/boot/forth, as boot(8) is where the options to pass to a booting kernel are really documented

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New committer: Peter Avalos


Who’s our newest committer?  Why, it’s Peter Avalos!

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pkgsrc.dragonflybsd.org up


pkgsrc.dragonflybsd.org is a new, much-easier-to-remember CNAME for Joerg Sonnenberger’s packages.stura.uni-rostock.de binary pkgsrc package site for DragonFly.

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docs and pkgsrc, together


It’s now possible to build the material in doc, including the handbook, using tools from pkgsrc, thanks to work from both me and Victor Balada Diaz.  (The doc framework was previously ports-centric.)  If you’re curious, the needed packages appear to be netbsd-doc, libxslt, docbook-xsl, ghostscript-gnu, netpbm, and jade, along with tex-jadetex if you want to prodcue it in PDF form.

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Alternates to cvsup


Karthik Subramanian found his work connection no longer worked for CVSup, due to a new firewall.  From further discussion, his remaining options appear to be CVS, rsync, a tarball, and Mercurial.

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Someone else’s links


Hubert Feyrer has a number of interesting links on his blog lately: netbsd.sk has an article on pkgsrc written in Slovakian, two links to explain what capabilities are, and another of the “Look, kids!  BSD!” articles that appear every few months.

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bugs open for business


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert’s Roundup bug tracker is now available at bugs.dragonflybsd.org.

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UnixReview: the usual


Unixreview.com this week has an article on certification: “Further Examining Changes to the A+ Certification“, book reviews of “How to Break Web Software” and “Programming PHP, Second Edition“, and “Regular Expressions: Simplest possible not always so simple“.

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1.6.1 slipped


Due to the solving of a nasty locking problem, 1.6.1 is out.

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lsof vs. fstat


lsof doesn’t build on DragonFly, but apparently the DragonFly version of fstat works well as an alternative, barring the occasional problem.

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Hardware fun


In a larger conversation about using CF cards in place of normal hard drives, Oliver Fromme mentioned that he’s been building a small computer into the case of a Sony CD player, and has pictures to prove it.  (and yes, it could run DragonFly.)

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A dating tip


The utility calendar can be used to provide reminders of upcoming events; you can even provide your own personalized list, as Sascha Wildner pointed out.

(If you’re interested in a columnar calendar, similar to a wall calendar, try cal.)

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But nobody’s laughing


Another tip: DragonFly has a relatively capable editor called mined; use it instead of ed or ee, especially if vi won’t work because of a missing /usr or similar problems.

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Many roots


A tip found from a larger discussion of root shells: su -m allows the user’s shell to be brought forth as the root shell.  If you have multiple people su’ing to root, this will allow each to use a favorite shell instead of the default /bin/tcsh.

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