Month: January 2008

Libevent update


Hasso Tepper has updated libevent to 1.3e, the most recent non-beta version of this event loop monitoring system.   That description is probably not verbose enough.

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vnconfig gets lists, and world gets a rebuild


Chris Turner has added in support for a -l option to vnconfig(8), listing configured vnode disks.  Note that this will require a full rebuild for those running bleeding-edge code.

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2.0 release in a few weeks


An aside in this post from Matthew Dillon notes that the next release (which I assume will be 2.0) will be before the end of February.

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Missile Launchers are always fun


Matthias Drochner managed to get one of those USB-powered missile launchers working on NetBSD; it looks enough like a USB keyboard that this could work on any BSD.  (Via Hubert Feyrer)

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BSDTalk139 – Dru Lavigne


This week’s BSDTalk is an interview with Dru Lavigne, covering her new “Best of FreeBSD Basics” book and the new BSDA exam, both previously mentioned on this Digest.

To continue that topic, Dru also attended DemoCamp7 in Ottawa recently and has a writeup on the new products she saw.

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New mirror in Denmark


boulder.tele.dk is a new DragonFly mirror, serving images and pkgsrc binaries via HTTP and FTP.

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BSDA Exam completed


Dru Lavigne saw that the BSDA exam is through ‘beta’ and ready to go – it will be offered at a number of conferences through 2008.

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Modding by non-modders


An experiment in Barcelona, last year, took a number of people with no coding experience but plenty of graphic design experience whatever and got them to modify a version of the old game Breakout. The results were quite interesting. You’ll need Flash to see the video of the abstract results. (Via waxy)

Why do I mention this? Open source systems tend to assume users are either very experienced or totally inexperienced. Looking for people who don’t fit either of those categories is a much more useful goal, as it produces new methods and ways of looking at things.

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Multiple BSD system management


An article on OpenAddict talks about managing multiple FreeBSD systems, though it could apply to most any BSD system, including DragonFly.  It boils down to “Share code via NFS.”, really.  (Via FreeBSDOS)

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January OSBR available


The January issue of the Open Source Business Resource is out.  There’s notes in there on some $300k (!) of grant money for Ontario, canada universities for open source projects looking to commercialize.  (Via Dru Lavigne)

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DragonFly mirror in Denmark


As I was notified by Michael Lyngbøl, there’s a new Danish mirror for DragonFly:

Snapshots and ISO images:

pkgsrc binary mirrors:

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BSDTalk 138: Central syslog


BSDTalk this week is about setting up a centralized syslog server.  If you manage more than a few non-Windows systems, this is going to be useful.

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Movie about being evil…ish


This has nothing to do with BSD, really, but it’s a live-action film by one of my favorite cartoonists, and it’s excellent.

View at Yooootube – embedding it gets mangled by this blog software.

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Hammer update: balancing next


Matthew Dillon wrote another one of his updates on the work being done on HAMMER; he’s moving on to balancing code next.

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PF tutorial in Latvia


Seen on Undeadly: Peter Hansteen, author of The Book of PF, will be giving a full day tutorial on PF, on February 20th in Riga, Latvia.

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Eee and BSD


Gerard van Essen found an appropriately titled page: EeeBSD, talking about running FreeBSD on an Eee PC. The issues appear the same for NetBSD and DragonFly – networking is the only real issue. Anyone familiar with my interest in small computers will realize I am this close to buying one of these little things.

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Updated SCSI and file


Peter Avalos has been busy, updating mly(4), updating file to 4.23, and adding the CAM_NEW_TRAN_CODE kernel option.  Thanks, Peter!

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More news is good news


Gerard van Essen, from the PC-BSD project, has started a blog called “FreeBSD – the unknown Giant“.    It’s news reporting, similar to this site, and it’s updated regularly!  It makes me very happy to see resources like that in the BSD world.  (Via Dru Lavigne)

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Microcontroller suggestions


A off-topic item: Jonas Sundström suggested a PIC32 microcontroller for anyone looking to get into hardware hacking. Robert ‘r3tex’ Luciani followed up with a suggestion for ‘baby steps‘.  Or, as Matthew Dillon wrote: start very small.

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An update that you’ll use


This is a very minor change, but almost everyone will use it, sooner or later: Matthias Schmidt has updated ls(1) for sorting (-t) by size (-S).

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HAMMER writeup


Michael Neumann wrote up a HAMMER description, with some ZFS comparisons.  Matthew Dillon had some corrections, which I think have made it back to the original article.  There is an obvious bias in the article, but it does at least provide a feature list.

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A way to improve USB, maybe


Hasso Tepper pointed at the usb4bsd project as a potential improvement for USB, though Jeremy Messenger saw something that may keep it out of FreeBSD, at least.

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Angband, Nethack, MOOs, and other text


GameSetWatch has a very in-depth article talking about Angband and Nethack, two classic roguelike games. It’s well worth a read if you are familiar with the genre.

Along the same lines, Julian Dibbell’s book “My Tiny Life” is now available. It describes his time playing in LambdaMOO , and is based in part on his Village Voice article, “A Rape In Cyberspace“.

For those readers too young to know these games, roguelike games are single-player dungeon exploration games like Diablo, and MOO/MUDs a type of MMORPG. The mechanisms are remarkably similar, but the graphics were all terminal based. Keep in mind you can still try these games right now.

While we are on the topic: It Is Pitch Dark.

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Rsync vs. cvsup roundup


Vincent Stemen found that it was difficult to get cvsup running on DragonFly, and went looking for mirrors that supplied DragonFly via rsync. Joerg Sonnenberger handily supplied an example script, and Simon ‘codecode’ Schubert supplied a more complex example, though there are more servers that run rsync than just the one in the script. Vincent’s further tests showed better performance with rsync, though Garance A Drosihn pointed out these tests were not comprehensive enough to point out a real advantage. Csup, the cvsup replacement that isn’t dependent on modula-3, is close to working completely as a replacement, though it doesn’t remove the need for cvsupd.

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802.11 changes requires rebuild


If you’re running bleeding-edge DragonFly code, Sepherosa Ziehau’s recent 802.11 changes will require you to do a ‘make quickworld’ or normal ‘make world’ on your next build, due to structure changes.

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HAMMER update for 1/15


Matthew Dillon posted an update a few days ago on the state of HAMMER – the short form is that he’s reworking the spike code.

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tcsh updated to 6.15


I sorta knew that tcsh was separate software, but didn’t realize it until Matthias Schmidt updated what’s in DragonFly to version 6.15.

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Pile of links time


A bunch of links from around the web, thrown out while I catch up on my backlog of news:

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Major OpenLDAP upgrade


OpenLDAP in pkgsrc has undergone a major upgrade from 2.3 to 2.4; Geert Hendrix’s pkgsrc-users message has more information on how to handle the upgrade.

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gdb updated to 6.7.1


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has updated gdb to version 6.7.1.

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NFSv4 work available


If anyone wants to convert NFSv4 support over from OpenBSD, Rick Macklem has some tips.

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USB conversion script created


Matthias Schmidt has added a handy tool for converting USB ids from other BSDs into a format for DragonFly.

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Nostalgia gaming: Micropolis


Micropolis, a cleaned-up version of the original SimCity game, is now available under the GPL. Anyone know if this works on a DragonFly system? Don Hopkins’ blog is a good place to see details about the history and ideas involved, among other things. (Via lot of places)

Note that there’s already some open-source clones out there, like lincity-ng.  Feel free to comment with more links if you know them.

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aac(4) update for testing


Peter Avalos has an update for the aac(4) device; give it a whirl if you have this hardware.

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SCALE schedule shown


I love to alliterate.  The Southern California Linux Exposition schedule for their show in early February is up.  There’s some potentially BSD-related events on there, including a talk on OpenBSD failover by Jason Dixon and Dru Lavigne’s presentation on open source publishing, for which I assume she’s using a BSD platform given her authorial bent.

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A shout-out for wiki work


Dario Banno and Matthias Schmidt have both been doing a lot of cleanup work on the version of the Handbook contained in the wiki. I want to point out the work they are doing because it’s helpful, and also because it’s possible for anyone else to contribute to this. If you’ve been feeling an itch to do something, here’s your chance to contribute to DragonFly with only a few seconds of labor.

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HAMMER update for 1/11


Matthew Dillon wrote an update on the state of HAMMER, and what remains to complete.  (summary: not too much)  He also wrote out some explanation of the balancing code, and the ‘spikes’ used for cluster expansion.

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2.0 release ‘when it’s all ready’


Matthew Dillon wants the 2.0 release of DragonFly to include HAMMER, so 2.0 won’t be ready until HAMMER’s ready too. This may mean a delay of the usual 6-month release to February.

In the meantime, the Preview tag has been moved up, for those folks following nearly bleeding-edge code.

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EVDO/UMTS card support


HAsso Tepper has committed changes that allow recognition of  the EVDO/UMTS card found in in a Thinkpad X61.

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Goodbye, awi(4), ray(4) and gx(4)


Sepherosa Ziehau is planning to remove support for the awi(4), ray(4) and gx(4) devices in the next DragonFly release. These are (I think) all wireless devices; please speak up on kernel@ or users@ if you actually need/use them.

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em(4) on ICH9 support


Matthias Schmidt has added support for the em(4) device found on Intel ICH9 chipsets.

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New committer: Nuno Antunes


Welcome DragonFly’s newest committer (we’ve had a lot lately!): Nuno Antunes.

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newfs, cron, pam


Matthias Schmidt has committed a useful feature from FreeBSD that uses dumpfs to get the correct newfs command to duplicate an existing filesystem. Also, he added PAM support to cron, which I’m surprised we didn’t have already.

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Update on the update


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert’s dri/drm update has a followup; you will need to update your sources to try it.  Other people (who have been reporting success) have some other tips.

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Bluetooth status


Hasso Tepper has described some simple steps for using Bluetooth under DragonFly.

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DragonFly via git


Peter Avalos, in reply to a question from ‘walt’, has pointed out that DragonFly is available via git on repo.or.cz, though it’s infrequently updated.

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Bug cleanup time


Max Herrgard has been cleaning up bug reports on bugs.dragonflybsd.org. (Thanks, Max!) Please contribute, as many of these reports just need someone to mark them closed.

If there’s a report from you on there, make sure it’s up to date, too. It would be helpful to clean up as much as possible before the next release.

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New utility: pkg_radd


Matthias Schmidt has committed Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert’s pkg_radd, a wrapper script that allows installation of pkgsrc binaries, even if there isn’t a local pkgsrc tree. Check the commit message for an explanation, or the script itself for the details. Note that this is a DragonFly-specific pkgsrc utility, meaning it doesn’t appear on any other pkgsrc platform.

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pkgsrc 2007Q4 is out


The 2007Q4 quarterly release of pkgsrc is out, with almost 7,500 packages available.  Prebuilt binaries for DragonFly will be available ‘soon’.

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New committer: Aggelos Economopoulos


New ones are popping up everywhere!  Our newest committer: Aggelos Economopoulos.

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dri/drm update time


Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert has done what we’ve been needing for a long time: an update for DRI/DRM. That’s 3D support in X Windows, for those who aren’t familiar with the acronyms. His note contains extensive instructions for testing this update; give it a whirl and report back so it can get in the tree.

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NetBSD version of a vkernel, and OSS goes BSD


Astute reader “Yair K.” sent along links to two things:

There is work being done on a “user-mode NetBSD“, which sounds quite similar to DragonFly’s vkernel(7) system.

4Front Technologies has placed their Open Sound System (discussed previously) under a BSD license, removing what I think was the only obstacle to using it in DragonFly and other BSDs.  A press release is out, too.

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OpenBSD Foundation and income


I didn’t know this existed: there’s an official OpenBSD non-profit that’s been created to handle donations.  (via)  There’s one for FreeBSD and NetBSD, so perhaps DragonFly should follow suit?

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BSDTalk 137: Marten Vijn


The first BSDTalk of the new year is here, with Marten Vijn about Open Community Camp, a camping/geekout event in the Netherlands being held August 2008.

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Weekend crazy links


For your entertainment: (some of these require Flash; all are off-topic)

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CONfidence, FOSDEM 2008


The call for papers for CONFidence 2008 is out, with papers due February 1st. (via undeadly)

FOSDEM 2008,  the “Free and Open Source software Developers’ European Meeting”, is happening February 23-24th, in Brussels, Belgium.  There will be a BSD-specific room, for which we could use a DragonFly presence.  Also: beer.  (via FreeBSD-announce)

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New Basics book out


The Best of FreeBSD Basics is out now on Amazon and perhaps elsewhere, containing much (all?) of Dru Lavigne’s column of the same name from OnLAMP.com. It says ‘FreeBSD’ in the title, but I’d expect everything that isn’t ports-specific will apply to every BSD. Her columns are clear and to the point.

Other factoids:

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End of year HAMMER update


Matthew Dillon wrote an update for the state of HAMMER, the new file system for DragonFly. It’s at the point where historical data can retrieved even after data is deleted, though it’s not stable yet. The most recent commit notes an interesting upcoming feature idea: historical atime and mtime tracking.

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kdump output improvements


Matthias Schmidt committed changes to kdump(1) that make the output more human-readable.  (Original code is from FreeBSD.)

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Gateways and small systems


Stephane Russell posted on users@ asking for opinions on using commodity gateways (Linksys devices, etc) vs. DragonFly for a firewall and network gateway device.

Link summation time!  Those gateway devices can run open-source operating systems – most famously the Linksys WRT54G. However, they can be problematic, though “Tomato” was recommended, as was OpenWRT. For read-only security, you can also boot from CD, as Dave Hayes does.

Matthew Dillon pointed out a small device that boots an free OS is all you need, which leads to stores selling my personal fascination: teeny computer systems. Michael Neumann listed favorites pcengines.ch and soekris.com, and Thomas Donnelly added Logic Supply.

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