Month: March 2008

net.inet.tcp.always_keepalive defaults to on


Matthew Dillon has turned net.inet.tcp.always_keepalive on by default, due in part to problems seen during the most recent pkgsrc bulk build I’ve been doing on pkgbox.dragonflybsd.org.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     6 Comments

Summer of Code student deadline extended


Student proposals for the Google Summer of Code are now due on April 7th, instead of today. This means more time to refine proposals, or create a new one. Get to it! We have 28 applications at this point.

And look: Google’s newest product to launch on April 1st: Google Gulp.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     3 Comments

EuroBSDCon 2008 Call for Papers


Abstracts for paper presentations at EuroBSDCon 2008 are due June 1st. The EuroBSDCon site doesn’t have the Call For Papers on it, so I’ll link to the mail.

I like this note from the family page: Derivative work such as Gentoo are considered welcome though their creativity is restrictively licensed.”  (Emphasis added)

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HAMMER update for 03/29:ready to test


Matthew Dillon reports that HAMMER is running well enough to have survived a week holding backups on his local LAN; he asks for more testers.

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March OSBR out


The March issue of the Open Source Business Resource is out.  There’s a timely article in there where Murraay Stokely describes the benefits for FreeBSD that came from Summer of Code participation.  (via Dru Lavigne)

(remember, student apps are due by Monday!) 

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Hefty packet generator added


Sepherosa Ziehau has added a packet generator to DragonFly that can apparently pump out a lot of data.

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Disk and time updates


Two minor changes: Matthew Dillon has brought in updates for disk support (NATA) from FreeBSD, and Sascha Wildner has updated the timezone database.  I never realized timezone information fluctuated so much.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code     3 Comments

Local installer usable


Dave Hayes has committed changes that allow the local version of the installer (i.e. the one in CVS) to be used when building a release CD.

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HAMMER update, and more


Matthew Dillon posted another HAMMER filesystem update. In this one, he goes into the current state and talks about a bit of what’s planned for this filesystem (boot support – yay!). He later went into details of historical filesystem access and snapshot usage.
An interesting point from a recent commit: a HAMMER filesystem is stable enough to use as /usr/obj during a buildworld.

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Summer of Code mentor and student links


We are in the student signup period for Google Summer of Code projects on DragonFly.  I have a link roundup for both students and mentors – check it if you have not yet signed up or want to propose a project.

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dragonflybsd.org network hiccups


The upstream network provider for dragonflybsd.org is going through some changes, so there may be occasional downtime for some weeks.

Posted by     Categories: Heads Up!     0 Comments

ipw(4) is gone


This was mentioned before, but now it’s official: ipw(4) is gone, superseded by iwl(4).

Posted by     Categories: Device support     0 Comments

Everyone has an old favorite computer


Despite the logarithmic expansion of computers and drop in costs of the years, everyone looks back on their first computer systems with a sense of nostalgia.  This is why certain readers will find the Raymond Commodore Amiga store in Minneapolis interesting.  You should be able to gues their exclusive inventory from the store name.  It’s so old-school, the website is a ~username directory.  (via Boing Boing Gadgets)

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But do they mean it?


Microsoft has been making some “We support open source” noise lately, but I wonder how far it will go.  It’s neat to see open source tools acknowledged, but this other OnLAMP post about how open source removes vendor dependence seems to conflict with Mcrosoft’s usual business model.  I would be surprised if Microsoft went so far as to have open source products supplant (instead of complement) their products, like other vendors have done.

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GPL dangers; BSD benefits


Dru Lavigne wrote a blog entry on some of the dangers of using a GPL license vs. BSD, and links to this interesting story of how the University of Toronto found sticking to BSD licensing made software management easier.  That article is from the October 2007 issue (“Licensing”) of the Open Source Business Resource; I’ve linked to the OSBR before, but not that issue.

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More: FrOSCon, IT360


Even more conferences: Free and Open Source Conference 3 is happening August 23-24, in Germany.   The call for papers is already out.  (via Undeadly)  Also, there will be a BSD booth at IT360, April 8-9 in Toronto.  (via Dru Lavigne)  Check Dru’s post for details on free admission.  There will be a BSDA exam there, too.

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BSDTalk 144: Dan Langille


The latest BSDTalk has an interview with Dan Langille, a driving force behind BSDCan and also the creator of the FreeBSD Diary, which is one of the things that inspired me to create this digest.

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BSDCon Barcelona 2008


There’s a BSD convention in Barcelona, April 19th and 20th. If you want more information, it will help if you can read Spanish.  As I’ve said before, the number of BSD conventions is growing.  (via Planet FreeBSD)

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Performance improvements for vkernel


Matthew Dillon has committed some improvements to DragonFly’s virtual kernel mechanism, possibly prompted by a discussion of it on freebsd-hackers@freebsd.org.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code     1 Comment

bzip2 updated


Peter Avalos has updated bzip2 to fix issue CVE-2008-1372.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code     0 Comments

For posterity: how to do MFCs


Matthew Dillon recommended a specific way to Merge From Current.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

New pkgsrc binary packages


My bulk build of pkgsrc binaries for 1.12 is taking quite a while to finish, but you can grab completed binaries from pkgbox.dragonflybsd.org or (even better) one of the mirrors.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc     0 Comments

What to do with extra RAM


You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much RAM.  However, this ‘Ramback‘ is an interesting idea for Linux I’d like to see more of.  (Via the howling void)  I’m a sucker for the idea of battery-backed RAM for storage.

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Ruby gems and others in pkgsrc


Johnny C. Lam posted his grand plan for Ruby packages in pkgsrc, including use of Ruby’s internal ‘gems‘ packaging method.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc     0 Comments

From init to eINIT?


Christopher Rawnsley pointed at eINIT, a potential init replacement.

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A moment of snark: DreamSpark


Microsoft is running a program called “DreamSpark”, where students get Microsoft tools free to use in creating software for particular academic activities, as long as it’s non-commercial and student status can be verified.

That’s great – I’m not knocking the provision of software that’s normally too expensive to buy so that people can learn.  However, I do want to contrast it against BSD (and Linux, too) – where all the development tools come with your free system, and have been doing so with BSD for 3 decades.

For additional snarkiness, compare the Microsoft terms of use and the BSD license.

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Bluetooth update with a pedigree


Hasso Tepper has updated DragonFly’s Bluetooth stack with code from OpenBSD (and originally from NetBSD, if I understand correctly.)

Update: corrected because I managed to invert just about everything in that post.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code     3 Comments

BSDCan registrations open, PGCon right after


Registration for BSDCan, happening in mid-May, is open, with prices in U.S. and Canadian dollars equal.  Also, PGCon (for PostgreSQL) is happening in the same place, the next week.  (Thanks, Undeadly)

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pkgsrc 2008Q1 freeze, and wipathon report


Two pkgsrc items at once:

The freeze for the next quarterly release of  pkgsrc is on, so nothing but bug fixes for the next two weeks.  Hopefully I’ll get the 2007Q4 packages completed before then…

Adam Hoka wrote a report on his recent pkgsrc “wipathon”.

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Google Summer of Code 2008: student guidelines


I’ve placed a page on the wiki with some guidelines for students who want to work with DragonFly for Google’s SoC 2008.  It’s on the wiki, so if you want to add something, please do.

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Google Summer of Code – we’re in!


I’ll link to my mailing list post about it, as I’ve already summarized there.  Student signup is the 24-31st of March, so start getting it together if you want to be involved as a student or mentor!

p.s. Yay!

Posted by     Categories: Heads Up!     0 Comments

SMP benchmarks and scaling


Kris Kennaway did some benchmarks of FreeBSD 4 and 7 along with DragonFly 1.12.  DragonFly is still mostly under the Giant Lock, so there’s unfortunately little scaling from multiple CPUs, as his benchmarks show.   (Thanks, Richard Toohey)

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Open USENIX archives


USENIX has made the records of all its proceedings public, meaning that a simple search can pick out details from the conferences since … 1975?  Search for DragonFly, and you’ll see references popping up in the last few years.  (Via Hubert Feyrer)

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BSDA DVD available


Dru Lavigne has completed the Spring08 BSDA DVD, which includes Free/Net/Open/DragonFly BSD and a pile of documents related to certification.  It’s $40 – check her post for details.

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More pkgsrc and more notpkgsrc


Mark Weinem passed along a link to the second part of the “10 Years of pkgsrc” articles. (First part still available here.) In addition to more coverage of pkgsrc, it also delves into PacmanGoboLinux, mports, and Zero Install.

Edit: It’s GoboLinux, not just pacman; thanks, Mark!

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About zsh


zsh is one of those shells I hear people talk about but have never tried; if you’re in the same boat, I came across this “Get the most out of zsh” article at IBM’s developerWorks.  (Via rootprompt.org)

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pkgsrc removals coming up


Thomas Klausner is removing some software from pkgsrc; check to see that it’s not still installed on your system.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc     0 Comments

Picked up ppp problem


Hasso Tepper has fixed an overflow in ppp, from OpenBSD errata 2008-009.

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LiveCD with X, finally


Sascha Wildner has created the framework for something I’ve wanted for a long time: the DragonFly Live CD able to support X and various programs. His post mentions various uses for it; his diff has since been committed.

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Roguelikes will never die


The latest @Play column on GameSetWatch describes Slash’EM, which is apparently a roguelike for people who find NetHack too simple. Nethack’s in pkgsrc, and I think Slashem should compile on DragonFly…

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BSDTalk 143: Deborah Norling


BSDTalk 143 is an interview with Deborah Norling, focusing on computer accessibility for the blind on BSD, and old computer equipment. It’s a very different interview from the normal technical overview. A choice quote: “We don’t have a [PDP] 11/70 cause they’re just too darn big”.

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Another way to get PCI ids


Sascha Wildner has added a way to get a new list of PCI IDs added to the system; for those who don’t know, these lists are how the system knows what names to use for devices detected and listed in dmesg.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code     1 Comment

Wiki updated


wiki.dragonflybsd.org has been updated by yours truly to 1.6.1 of MoinMoin; this should fix some reported errors with 1.6.0.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

CAM locking tests


Peter Avalos has been working on CAM locking using lockmgr; he has a patch set available for anyone who wants in on the action.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     6 Comments

New committer: Dave Hayes


Welcome our newest committer: Dave Hayes.   His first project will apparently be importing the BSD Installer.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Google Summer of Code 2008: mentors needed


If you’re willing to mentor a DragonFly project for Google Summer of Code, please speak up now, as the application is going in soon.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

Full buildworld/buildkernel needed


HEAD users will need to do a full buildworld/buildkernel because of Sepherosa Ziehau’s recent changes to ifnet.

Posted by     Categories: Heads Up!     0 Comments

New Intel 2100BG driver, iwl(4)


The relentless Sepherosa Ziehau has written a new iwl(4) driver for Intel’s 2100BG wireless chipset.  As he warns, please drop ipw(4) and switch to this more capable driver.

Posted by     Categories: Device support     2 Comments

How to not know your target audience


Because my name is attached to a variety of DragonFly ‘things’, including this digest, sometimes I get bizarre email.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     1 Comment

SC92301 support


Sascha Wildner’s added experimental support for NICs using Silan Microelectronics’ SC92301 chip.

Posted by     Categories: Device support     0 Comments

The first Wipathon


Adam Hoka is running another hackathon, based on pkgsrc-wip packages (hence ‘Wipathon‘), this weekend and next.  Contributions from people willing to run patched programs – say, testing DragonFly support – are welcome.

Posted by     Categories: pkgsrc     0 Comments

I might like IKE


Francis Gudin is working on IKE/IPSEC support for DragonFly; he has patches for racoon in pkgsrc, plus there’s other patches available out there.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     0 Comments

XSLT 2 processor for DragonFly


If you need an XSLT2 processor, or like programs written in Eiffel, Colin Adams has a program for you.

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Updating configure for DragonFly


If your configure is out of date, Sascha Wildner pointed out the right place to get the most recent config.sub and config.guess.

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Neverending command line tips


This is one of those perennial article types: “Learn 10 good UNIX usage habits” on IBM’s developerWorks site. It’s not shell-specific, and actually quite useful, though dry. (via rootprompt)

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12.1 on the way


Matthew Dillon is going to roll release 12.1 very soon, due to the discovery and fix of a Sendmail bug that can cause segfaults.

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New version of an old procedure


OnLAMP has a article talking about setting up Apache with SSL; it’s been covered elsewhere, but this article manages to not assume you’re using one platform or another, thankfully.

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An enjoyable lesson book


DragonFly user ‘why the lucky stiff’ has put together a book called ‘Nobody Knows Shoes‘.  Shoes is a library for creating graphical interfaces on Ruby applications.  The book is a lesson on how to use Shoes, mixed in with hand-drawn and collaged art, and available as a free download or a physical, purchasable object.

I am all for more interesting computer books.  This one reads as a mix between an O’Reilly Nutshell guide and The Book of the Subgenius, or perhaps a Max Ernst novel.

Alert readers may remember why’s previous book, “Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby“.

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NYCBSDCon 2008 Call for Presentation up


The NYCBSDCon site now has a call for presentations, plus details for sponsorship.   (via Undeadly)

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BSD cross-pollination


Hubert Feyrer’s latest post detailing recent changes in NetBSD mentions strcspn(3), strpbrk(3) and strpspn(3) improvements coming from DragonFly.  It’s gratifying to see good ideas spread.

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Binutils issue in pkgsrc


Pkgsrc users with binutils 2.17 from pkgsrc may have odd crashes caused by binutils using the wrong ld, as Tobias Nygren recently warned on the pkgsrc-users@ list.

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The DragonFly singularity


It’s finally happened: an amateur entomologist interested in dragonflies (the bugs) is using DragonFly (the operating system).  This entertains me in a geeky way.

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DragonFly, by comparison


Dmitri Nikulin wrote a long post on users@ about how he was worried that DragonFly would lose importance given that FreeBSD 7 has improved performance relative to FreeBSD 5/6.  Responses include a number of anecdotes on how agreeable the DragonFly community can be, plus my note that DragonFly validation does not require FreeBSD to suck.  Matthew Dillon noted his concerns as project leader, and the difficulty of explaining how significant the changes from FreeBSD-4 are in DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on     4 Comments

Who doesn’t like robots?


A diversion: Robots robots robots.

(Discovered, strangely, via an old BeOS mailing list)

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