It’s New Year’s Eve Eve, and so here are a bunch of links I’ve built up over the past few days.
Newer disks are moving to 4KB sectors (more info), instead of the 512-byte sectors that have been in use for… decades? There’s been some recent discussion on how to support this, for booting DragonFly. It should otherwise work.
The headline sums it up: the next quarterly release of pkgsrc, which was due on the 31st of this month, will be released at the end of the first week of January 2010. The alert message cites a number of different issues.
Matthias Schmidt is posting to Twitter about his time at 26c3 with other DragonFly developers, on his own feed and in @dragonflybsd. (if you are reading this via a Twitter link, you may already know that.) Follow the #26c3 tag if you want to see all the news about the event. A quick scan shows some interesting mobile phone security problems have been discovered. There’s streaming video too.
Matthew Dillon is working on moving more of DragonFly out from under the Giant Lock. This may mean some instability this week if you’re following the bleeding-edge. He’s already posted a warning and an explanation (with numbers!) of work already completed.
BSDTalk was recently linked here interviewing Randal Schwartz. Randal Schwartz and Leo Laporte, who create a podcast called “FLOSS 101 Weekly”, now have an interview with Scott Ullrich and Chris Buechler about pfSense. (via) It’s a nice bit of symmetry, and Scott was an early contributor to DragonFly – specifically, the installer.
I (that’s Justin Sherrill, for those reading this other places than the Digest) finished a build of pkgsrc-current on DragonFly 2.4.1 – these packages are available, though soon to be outdated by the pkgsrc-2009Q4 release, due 2010/01/01. This build was mostly to check compatibility before the release.
Everything that _why the lucky stiff did. (via) _why is one of those things that only the Internet lets exist. And he used DragonFly!
Roguelike games, evaluated via the Berlin Interpretation, on @Play. Also, a dedicated Roguelike handheld?
Naoya Sugioka is working on bringing tmpfs to DragonFly – I am a big fan of that idea.
top now uses CTIME, not WCPU.
BSDTalk (4 years old!) has 24 minutes of talk with Randal Schwartz, talking about a whole pile of different subjects. I met Randal before – he’s a decent guy.
A recruiter found me through my administrative role for DragonFly in Google’s Summer of Code, and passed along a job description. I’ll paste it after the cut. If you’re looking for a job (or know someone who might match this job), contact me and I’ll pass contact information around.
Edit: The recruiter has a similar but non-BSD job also available…)
Man, I hope this works out. In the job climate we’ve had the past year or so, helping someone get a job is very fulfilling. Plus, the job sounds cool…
Matthew Dillon has refactored the lwkt_token code, for an unspecified speed improvement. He’s been doing a lot of MP-lock cleanup recently…
I didn’t set anything up with the Digest and tumblr… Please speak up, if you did it. (found via Google)
Avalon.dragonflybsd.org was power cycled, so pkg_radd works now, as does git.dragonflybsd.org.
I love love graphs, and Alex Hornung has created a graph showing the lock contention on a DragonFly system during a buildkernel. (ganked from EFNet #dragonflybsd on IRC)
avalon.dragonflybsd.org is temporarily down, so pkg_radd will not work unless you set $BINPKG_BASE to a new mirror.
If you have previously tried 64-bit DragonFly on a system with more than 3G of RAM and it failed to boot, the problem is fixed.
Following a link from vitunes (which has been updated), I see vimprobable, a vi-ish web browser. Interesting both for its relentless focus on keyboard controls, and for its old-style quietly angry help (from the FAQ):
How will I know if a website is genuine without a phishing filter?
Use your brain.
Also along the same lines, vimperator.
Thanks to the urging and help of Matthias Schmidt and Saifi Khan, posts on the DragonFly Digest now also show on Twitter, as @dragonflybsd. (well, except for this one, as it would be redundant.)
Sascha Wildner has added -Werror to the kernel build process. Warnings will now result in an error that stops the kernel from building. If you’re a developer, this will force you to create warning-free code when doing kernel development. If you’re a user, this will result in a cleaner, more stable kernel.
BSDTalk 182 offers a very timely 12 minutes of talk with Josh Paetzel of iXsystems, talking about the recently not-BSD then BSD-again FreeNAS. (see previous item)
Speaking of iXsystems: they have a new facility.
Alexander Polakov has suggested that nvi (what you get when you type vi) should be replaced with traditional vi, since that would deliver UTF-8 support, and nvi appears to no longer be updated. Other than one objection on split screens, I daresay everyone who needs more features treats the system vi as a fallback and has moved to a new editor. (or that)
Jan Lentfer has created an update for ncurses in DragonFly, but wants further testing. Give it a try if you use a curses-based application.
The freeze for pkgsrc-2009Q4 starts December 16th, which means the tentative date for the branch release is right at the start of the new year.
The package for libtool has been updated in pkgsrc, which touches almost every package. If you follow pkgsrc-current, that may mean a lot of packages get dragged in for upgrades.
In somewhat less eventful news, postgres 8.4 and python 2.6 are now the default versions of Postgres and Python in pkgsrc.
If you’re running DragonFly 2.5, Matthew Dillon has changed thread and process structures, meaning that a full rebuild of kernel and modules is necessary on the next system update.
I’m pretty sure I’ve linked to this before, but: Oliver Fromme has a graphical bootloader (see example) which can work on DragonFly. I’d love to see this on DragonFly.
Coincidentally, this article makes an argument for graphic improvements for BSD systems in general that I agree with.
Matthew Dillon has moved the Big Giant Lock off of a whole bunch of syscalls. This should make a noticeable difference in a multiprocessing context, though I don’t have measured results to point at. (hint, hint…)
I have a wrapper script I use for bulk builds of pkgsrc that I think others would find usable. If you are interested in building some/all of pkgsrc to generate binary packages using pbulk, may I recommend “simplepbulk“? I’d like to see if anyone uses it on non-DragonFly systems.
Several people really want a USB update, even offering a bounty. Alexander Polakov has volunteered himself for it – a large but worthwhile task. It’ll be the USB4BSD code, as Alex Hornung recommends.
The 2010Q1 issue (Is that their numbering now? I’m not sure.) of BSD Magazine is out. (via) Subscribe or pick it up in a local store. Back issues are still available online, too.
Open source is good for clashes, and the latest is a vote by GNOME on whether to continue as a GNU project. (via) The triggering event appears to be a request from Richard Stallman for GNOME to not mention software that isn’t open source.
The long-term problem with something like that is that closed source software doesn’t go away if you ignore it. If people want to talk about the closed-source software they are using instead of open-source material, then you have to make the open-source software worth talking about. Programs don’t improve by beardo fiat. Plus, it only makes a difference as long as the producers are the consumers of the same software. (via)
Thanks to Michael Neumann, it’s now possible to remove a drive from a Hammer volume. It’s experimental, so all the standard warnings apply.
This can’t be done on a root volume, for hopefully obvious reasons.
Proposed changes in pkgsrc:
Please follow each thread; they’re still in progress, so some of those removals may get canceled, or testing completed by the time this is read.
I’ve been building this entry up for a while, so some of these entries are newer than others.
- From the howling void: OpenSolaris or FreeBSD. I’ll admit I haven’t tried OpenSolaris, but I’m also biased to BSD.
- cpdup, originally-on-DragonFly software, has had an update.
- This description of the Content Pyramid talks about web content and links, but it could be stretched to open source software. There’s always been an implicit value to being at the top of the pyramid – hence the prestige not always fairly attached to “the commit bit”.
- Old computer facts (storage sizes) presented in handy infographic form? Sign me up!
- vitunes, a curses-based playlist manager. OpenBSD-specific, but may work on DragonFly. I like the look. (via)
- Video4Linux support is being worked on for FreeBSD, as apparently the headers are available without having to accept the GPL. This makes it potentially available to all the BSDs, which is nice.
- FreeNAS is moving to Linux, which is a mistake bummer. Except iXsystems stepped in and now FreeNAS is continuing as a FreeBSD-based item. A story that seemed bad but came out well, thanks to iXsystems. (Quick, buy their hardware!)
- “If you know of surviving software on 1/2″ tape, paper tape, cards, DECtape, etc. from users groups or computer manufacturers, please contact us. Equipment is available to recover these bits, and in some cases can be brought on-site.” (via)
- 3 BSD-themed holiday gifts.
Did you know you a Hammer volume can span multiple disks? And that you can add extra disks later on? There’s no RAID-like features – it’s just a straight multiple-disk volume, but it works. The Hammer command to do it is now “hammer volume-add“
Some of the ikiwiki configuration files on dragonflybsd.org were accidentally overwritten during a software upgrade. Normally this would mean some work to locate and replace them from backups, but since it was a Hammer volume, a quick look in /var/hammer/usr/… found them for me.
I want to point out what Hammer does, here. Restoring from backup isn’t new – it is in fact probably one of the most basic and necessary of system administration duties. However, Hammer makes it so easy that the incremental work of using it falls to almost nothing. There’s no extra preparation or syntax to learn for retrieval, which is wonderful. Hammer’s easy fix has helped me out several times now, saving me time that, while probably still successful with any other backup system, would have been taken up just restoring things back to normal.
BSDTalk 181 has a 16 minute conversation with Dan Langille, mostly about the upcoming BSDCan and PGCon.
Aggelos Economopoulos thinks that T/TCP should be removed, and Matthew Dillon agrees. So, it’ll be gone soon. Given the description, I don’t think anyone will miss it, so this is a heads-up more on principle than need.
There’s more people showing up for DragonFly at the 26th Chaos Communication Congress, in Berlin December 27th-30th. I’ve posted about it before , but it’s worth mentioning as the end of the year draws close. Speak up if you can join in.
A number of recent changes will be important to you if you develop on DragonFly:
- Sascha Wildner has added a indent(1) profile that matches what is usually done in DragonFly.
- Also, there’s a dragonfly.el for emacs users.
- Now new, but worth mentioning again: there is an excellent development(7) man page.
- Alex Hornung has ported and modified FreeBSD’s minidumps, so crash dumps can now be kept smaller than your total physical memory size.
Matthew Dillon has made version 4 of Hammer the default; the upgrade is a relatively painless ‘hammer upgrade’ command. This new version cuts out a chunk of the disk syncs needed, speeding up Hammer disk operations.
Please welcome the newest committer for DragonFly: Jan Lentfer.
If you can produce an article on open source success factors by December 20th, the Open Source Business Resource would like to hear from you. Also, the audio of a recent NYCBUG meeting is available online. Both of those links come from Dru Lavigne’s excellent BSD Twitter feeds. It’s worth watching the BSDEvents one because there’s literally daily BSD-themed events coming up, and she seems to catch every one.
Alexander Polakov has imported OpenBSD’s hotplugd(8). It monitors for hotplug-style events, like disk additions and removals, and executes corresponding scripts to handles those events.
AsiaBSDCon, which is happening the 11th through 14th of March, 2010, has issued the normal call for papers. (and they nicely posted it to users@) This looks to be the 4th year of this convention – have any readers here been to it?
It’s now possible to boot a vkernel using an NFS share as the root. Now, you can have a networked virtual system!
The end of year shopping season is on many of us again. I did this last year, and it seemed useful, so here’s another geeky holiday shopping guide.
For DragonFly material, there’s a number of places that will ship you a CD/DVD.
If you want a computer hardware gift, but your friends/family don’t know that much about hardware, point them at Newegg. Tell them the general type of item you want, and the reviews can help them pick.
For general geek gifts, there’s the ever-popular ThinkGeek. Wandering farther off the beaten path, there’s American Science and Surplus, Ward’s Scientific, Carolina, and United Nuclear. Creepier: The Bone Room or Skulls Unlimited.
A good gift for the technically minded: a Leatherman Wave. I’ve tried Gerber multitools and Swiss Army Knives, but I’ve been carrying a Leatherman Wave for so long people turn to me whenever something needs to be cut or opened, because they know I’ll be able to do it.
I’m linking to this even though it’s completely unrelated to this blog’s normal content: The Comics Reporter Holiday Shopping Guide. It’s comics, through and through, and some wonderful stuff is noted there.
Unlike many other blogs, I don’t get kickbacks or commissions off this. You can ascribe this to me “keeping it real” or that I’m bad at monetization. You pick.
It’s a dry-sounding topic, but the articles are interesting: The December issue of the Open Source Business Resource is now available, with “Value Co-creation” for a theme. I’ll point out “A Social Vision for Value Co-creation in Design“, because it has charts!