Month: January 2011
Entertainment, this week. There’s several items here that will be more entertaining if you’re over 25. Or maybe 35. Get clicking!
- If O’Reilly was to publish any of the various parody books out there, it should be this one.
- Also, looking for those image links led me to this programming language suggestion. Oh! And that led me to this treat for people who remember Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.
- A good game critic talking unabashedly about his love of roguelikes? I am so linking it!
- An update on the OpenBSD IPSec backdoor kerfuffle thing.
- OK, back to entertainment. A magic number!
- Wierd: new NetBSD platform support… from Microsoft.
- Huh. Apparently there’s some other meanings for BSD.
- Among other things, this article describes some Ruby tests that work so vigorously to make the tests like natural language that they become harder to write. No big story there; I’m sharing my sense of surprise.
- BSD: it’s tough. (link fixed) The complaints these people make are valid, though.
Samuel J. Greear has written a summary of DragonFly’s experience with Google Code-In 2011, noting that the students tacked harder projects than expected, and relatively easy documentation projects were less popular than expected. He has hard numbers on tasks done, too.
I think this article holds the “number of hyphens in a title” record for this blog.
The pkgsrc-2010Q4 branch is now available in DragonFly’s git repo, via ‘git checkout pkgsrc-2010Q4′ in /usr/pkgsrc. Enjoy!
Tim Bisson and others put together a virtual network driver for DragonFly, based on FreeBSD’s version. Strangely, the emulated re(4) driver performed better, though their initial test was pretty minimal. The already existing DragonFly virtual block device driver is still based on NetBSD’s version. There are some positive side effects from bringing in this work, in any case.
- I find this erasure of the separation between remote code repository and local code editor very interesting. It may upset more traditional people.
- If you haven’t been watching the BSD Events Twitter stream, Dru Lavigne’s written a nice summary of the next few months, including BSD Exam dates/locations.
- The XFCE 4.8 release announcement hinted at some problems with BSD. It’s apparently because udev, a Linux-only product, is the only consistent way to access various items, so XFCE’s power and volume controls use it. There’s no udev on BSD, so we get left out. I’d normally end this with a call for a compatibility layer, but udev is the latest in a series of jumps from framework to framework in Linux, so I don’t know if it would actually do any good. (Thanks, sjg on #dragonflybsd for the link)
- The Economist has an article on open-source that does a hype-free job of describing the state of open source today. It points out two trends that I don’t think are covered enough: the large amount of open-source work funded by companies, and the hidden costs of training and integration. One downside of the “software is free, training costs money” model for open source is that it creates an economic incentive for byzantine configurations and difficult setups. That idea could use some exploration, but I don’t think many people want to, precisely because it’s negative. The article doesn’t go that far, but they should.
Sepherosa Ziehau is planning to get rid of ipfilter. It’s one of 3 firewall-ish programs in DragonFly right now, along with ipfw and pf. Currently, pf is getting the most attention with Jan Lentfer’s porting work, though npf is also on the horizon. However, ipfilter is currently in use at nfrance.com, so its removal may be on hold until it can be shown that ipfw or pf can stand in for it. It looks like it will work out.
Here’s where the binary build is: summarized in a post to users@. So far so good…
Global tokens are now running without the giant lock in DragonFly. Neat! There’s still plenty more to remove, but this is a big step.
Sascha Wildner set most of userland to compile with the gnu99 standard (though gnu89 is still used for contrib/ and some other parts). What’s this mean? Userland code now can match the ISO C99 standard, along with the GNU extensions that go with it.
(I missed this when it actually happened. Sorry!)
avalon.dragonflybsd.org, also known as mirror-master.dragonflybsd.org, is back up at a new location, with new disks and new connectivity. pkg_radd should work by default again, as should git.dragonflybsd.org.
Here’s the state of my build of pkgsrc-2010Q4 packages:
- DragonFly 2.8/i386 – in progress
- DragonFly 2.8/x86_64 – in progress
- DragonFly 2.9/i386 – just started (happens on Avalon)
- DragonFly 2.9/x86_64 – in progress
So it will be some days yet… building over 4000 packages total is never quick.
Normally I hold this for Sunday, but I’ve got a good batch of links already. Something here for everyone, this week.
- A git cheatsheet, and another git cheatsheet. I may have linked to the latter one before, as it looks vaguely familiar. Anyway, bookmark. (Thanks, luxh on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- What should you do about bad blocks on a disk? Get a new disk.
- If you ever wanted to port software, there’s a pkgsrc developer’s guide (thanks Francois Tigeot) that shows you how.
- It’s NOT LINUX, for the billionth time. It’s BSD UNIX (certified, even) under there!
- “Children of the Cron“. An entertaining pun. (via)
- Nothing to do with BSD, or even computers, really: Gary Gorton, interviewed about the recent financial crisis, at a Fed bank website (!?). Interesting because I like economic matters, and because it’s the first web page where I’ve ever seen pop-up links added usefully, as a sort of footnote that you don’t have to scroll. (via)
- Michael Lucas recently had a machine broken into. Since everything on the machine is suspect, he’s using Netflow data to figure out when it happened, and how, which is not surprising given his most recent book. He has two posts describing how he backtracks his way to the probable source.
If you run pkgsrc-current, not the quarterly releases, the png library has just been updated to 1.5. This may break a few applications for now, and require a lot of rebuilding on your next update, since many packages depend on this.
If you are running a quarterly release of pkgsrc, you are unaffected.
avalon.dragonflybsd.org, also known as mirror-master or git.dragonflybsd.org, should be back online within a few days. Matthew Dillon has details on the upgrade.
Venkatesh Srinivas wrote out a long description of what he’s doing with the removal of the Giant Lock from tmpfs. I’m pasting it here verbatim, for your enjoyment.
I removed the Google ad off the sidebar; it was making me enough cash to buy a sandwich on a yearly basis.
I’ve replaced it with a link to my Amazon wishlist. If you’re feeling generous, you can buy me a book! If you aren’t, you can just keep reading, and I’ll keep posting.
The default Hammer version in DragonFly is now version 5, which is the one that includes deduplication. Enjoy, bleeding-edge users! Otherwise, wait for the next release.
Version 6 is there, but don’t upgrade to it yet; there aren’t significant user-visible changes, and the usual disclaimers for new versions apply.
Avalon, the machine that works as the master mirror site for DragonFly, and also as git.dragonflybsd.org, is being moved. Binary package downloads and source updates won’t work in the meantime. If you can’t wait for the system to come back, change the settings for pkg_radd or in /usr/Makefile to point at a different host.
A Phoronix test of DragonFly’s Hammer filesystem turned up, via Siju George. It’s not really a benchmark as much as it is a speed test, and it’s not a realistic comparison, but it’s interesting to see numbers.
They need a graph that shows how much historical data can be recovered by each file system, or how long fsck takes after a crash.
Update: Matthew Dillon points out the many ways these tests are wrong.
Ilya Dryomov wrote out some more details about his deduplication work, with some notes on what he plans next for this feature.
The January issue of the Open Source Business Resource is titled “The Business of Open Source”. The first article, titled “Cost Optimization Through Open Source Software“, explains why iXSystems is all BSD, all the time. There’s also an eye-opening breakdown of the dramatic cost savings from going with open-source rather than Windows.
Ilya Dryomov has added live deduplication, or as he titles it, “efficient cp”. It’s experimental and turned on with a sysctl, so approach with caution.
Here’s a nice collection of post-installation notes on DragonFly. They’re part of a larger UNIX note collection. I may have linked to it before; I don’t remember. This note’s new, though.
Xerox Network Services is gone from DragonFly. Does anyone, anywhere, use this protocol? Ironically, I don’t recall this even being visible on the Xerox hardware products I have at work.
The end of year holidays intruded, so I haven’t had one of these for more than a week. Sorry! Merry Christmas, happy new year, etc.
- Whenever I am tempted to throw family pictures or something similar online in a ‘cloud’ service, I will reread this Jason Scott essay on the ‘Yahoo!locaust’ and come to my senses. (via)
- There’s a trade-off between size and price for SSDs. Past a certain point, any drive is generally ‘big enough’, and under a certain price, the cost doesn’t matter. We’re reaching the magic point where those two trends cross, as with this OCX Vertex 2 SSD drive, 60G in size and only $120 at Newegg. There’s lots of post-Christmas sales going on.
- How soon will SSD drives become normal and platter drives the anachronism, like single-core processors are today? It took less than 5 years for CPUs, I think… No link for this idea; this is just me theorizing.
- Tomas Bodzar pointed out this article about 1,000 core CPUs, which I dub ‘kilocore’. He also linked to these logical domain/logical partition articles on Wikipedia.
- In this day and age, a website that supports a limited number of browsers and platforms seems anachronistic. Still happens, though. (via)
- This is neat: an online, persistent space game with exploration and combat. Not EVE, but Lacuna Expanse, playable via web browser. There’s lots of browser games out there, but here’s the interesting part: the game even has a fully exposed API.
Aleksey Cheusov is putting together a package manager for pkgsrc, called nih. (For “Not Invented Here”). It’s binary-only at this point, so you’d need to run distbb or pbulk to generate packages, or download from avalon.dragonflybsd.org.