Chris Turner is looking to implement something similar to OpenBSD’s mount_vnd(8) operation, where virtual disks can be mounted at boot. He talks about some of the work and ideas at length. If you don’t feel like reading about it, you can instead mess with it; he has a tarball of the current state of his work linked in his message.
Month: March 2011
If you’re using pf to control how your bandwidth is used, you may want to look at the recent fairq updates from Matthew Dillon. It should perform better now in situations where one traffic group is saturating its available bandwidth. Here’s a handy link that explains this sort of problem, yoinked from IRC.
If you’re running the bleeding edge version of DragonFly, because Sepherosa Ziehau’s recent work makes it possible to boot systems that were previously bootable, you may need this
sysctl trick loader tunable in loader.conf:
How will you know that you need it? The system will run strangely slow. The command enables ACPI interrupt routing, which corrects for mptable problems.
pf in DragonFly 2.9 is currently equivalent to OpenBSD’s 4.4 version. This is probably what will be in the next release version of DragonFly, as Jan Lentfer, the man responsible for the rapid, recent pf upgrades, is a new father (again). Congratulations on the new daughter, Jan!
I had linked to this before during Summer of Code 2010 before it completed, but an ongoing discussion on the kernel@ mailing list for DragonFly reminded me: a student named Naohiro Aota put together a Gentoo/DragonFly system for SoC 2010, similar to the existing Gentoo/FreeBSD project. He’s interested in working directly with DragonFly, now.
John Marino’s work on getting support for DragonFly ‘natively’ into binutils, upstream, has been successful. Thanks, John!
I’ve found enough good links I’m able to schedule this post ahead of time. Yay!
- Michael Lucas, BSD book author, is selling a short story via Amazon/Kindle. It has nothing to do with BSD, directly.
- Also, he offers beer to anyone who can get KVM working on a BSD. Any BSD. I guess vkernels don’t count, really.
- This idea came up at work recently: Etherkiller!
- The evolution of computer displays. (via) It covers some pretty ancient stuff – the article doesn’t even get to Pong until page 3.
- A paper on the new PBI format for PC-BSD (PDF). This is being presented at AsiaBSDCon.
- The Dancing Poultry License (via ftigeot on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- A chart of the evolution of science fiction. (via) There’s some good titles in there, if you can read it.
The mentor signup page for Google Summer of Code 2011 as of this writing still says “We have temporarily disabled the creation of new requests and invites in preparation of the launch of the new UI for Melange later this week.”, as it has said since the 20th.
So, if you’re wanting to mentor, keep an eye on it. I’ll send mentor requests to any of the names on my list of people that have already expressed interest, if I get to a working version of the page before you do…
As already mentioned on this Digest, the freeze for the next quarterly release of pkgsrc, pkgsrc-2011Q1, has started. I’ve also completed several bulk builds of pkgsrc-2010Q4 and pkgsrc-current using DragonFly system with GCC 4.4. Francois Tigeot has very kindly gone out of his way to get some of the (relatively few) broken packages listed in those builds to be fixed.
As noted in announcements, pkgsrc is entering a 10-day freeze period starting tomorrow. If everything goes to plan, the next quarterly release of pkgsrc, 2011Q1, will be released April 3rd.
There’s a DragonFly BSD group on identi.ca, the not-as-creepy-as-Facebook social site.
My first bulk build of pkgsrc with gcc 4.4 has completed; the results are available. Notice that most of the errors are from checksum problems with downloads, not actual problems from the compiler change. I’m starting a new build to see if the checksum problems go away with fresh downloads.
For the curious, or for those who plan ahead, I posted what’s on the Google Summer of Code student application for DragonFly.
This all came together at the last second.
- The DragonFly Doji – unrelated, but I like the juxtaposition.
- I found it interesting to read this vinyl enthusiast magazine (PDF) and contrast it to BSD Magazine as a narrow-focus publication. (via)
- Self-publishing a technical book. (via) Compare and contrast this with repeat BSD author Michael Lucas’s recent note about not wanting to self-publish.
- Along those same lines,the Electronic Publishing Bingo Card. (via)
- Some more fun code stories, this time involving Ultima Underworld. (One of the Ultimas I did not get to play.)
If you were thinking of working on a disk scheduler for DragonFly, this is your lucky day! Brills Peng asked for some overall guidance on how to start on a Summer of Code project. I threw out some general tips, Alex Hornung talked up resources on kernel programming, and Venkatesh Srinivas described exactly what you’d need to write a disk scheduler. There’s about 50% of a whole proposal, prewritten.
We made it into Google Summer of Code for a 4th year! (yay!)
If you want to mentor, apply here:
(You will need to create a login if you don’t have one.) I’m assuming the applicants are going to be people I know with a direct history with DragonFly; otherwise be prepared to give a good history. Signing up to mentor does not mean you must mentor if there aren’t any projects that interest you; it does mean you need to review applications and provide feedback for students March 28th – April 8th.
If you want to be a student with DragonFly:
Check the projects page for ideas:
… or come up with your own.
Get your application together by March 28th. Start talking about it on the mailing list or IRC or however as soon as you can; there’s a direct relationship between the amount of preparation we see beforehand and people getting accepted.
Here’s the timeline:
Copied from my email to users@/kernel@, cause it has everything you need.
Google Search turned up something new: Daemon & Penguin oggcast. It’s a podcast, with every episode covering something Unix-ish – usually BSD. Each episode also reviews a horror movie. It’s not a mix I would have predicted, but I can see how it would work. The first oggcast has him installing DragonFly.
Samuel Greear has been working on a module to translate Hammer snapshots into Windows-style shadow copies, so a Hammer volume’s snapshots would be accessible when shared to a Windows machine, or anything that understood shadow copies, so Samba.
He’s put up his work so far; it’s not finished, but he has schoolwork to get to and wants to make it available for anyone who wants to run with it. (say, for Summer of Code…) Apparently the macros in the shadow_copy2 or onefs modules are similar to what a Hammer module would need…
A new page has popped up on the DragonFly website: How to Port to DragonFly. The work is very thorough, and the author is ‘srussell’, which I think is Stéphane Russell? Thanks, person who I may be misidentifying!
Edit: corrected name spelling
Nice big pile of links this week. Enjoy the reading, especially if you’re still recovering from St. Patrick’s Day festivities. (does that happen outside of the U.S.?)
- I like this “Insufficiently known POSIX shell features” item, because too many of the shell tutorials out there assume you have bash. (via)
- The decline and fall of disk storage prices, summarizing this. Oh, I hope this trend continues. (via)
- Michael Lucas’s disaster and recovery with OpenBSD.
- Sometimes the Internet produces things I can’t ever have thought would exist. Loom-weaved reproductions of Apple 2 game loading screens, complete with crack notice. The image linked is Castle Smurfenstein. (via)
- I had no idea how much DNS prefetching could affect the network. (via)
- Saved Google searches for DragonFly sometimes turn up things I didn’t know about. For example, it appears DragonFly is regularly tested in FFmpeg builds. That’s great! I mentally expect to be left out.
- Open source work == more job opportunities. (via) This is absolutely true, and not just talking about Web 2.0 style companies. I recently hired a junior admin at my workplace. I went through I think 80 resumes and a pile of phone and in-person interviews; if even one of them had listed open-source work, they would have moved to the front of the line – just because it meant they did more.
- PGCon 2011 is coming up, for Postgres users – conveniently right after BSDCan 2011, and in the same location, which is because Dan Langille is working on both.
- Remember how XFCE only supports udev on Linux and nothing else, because it’s too hard to follow the conflicting and changing plans on Linux device support? There’s larger messes. (via this and that) I would suggest that when an organization says “There’s a problem here and that’s the way this works” instead of “There’s a problem; let’s adapt and fix” is a sign of stagnation.
dragonflybsd.org is down right now, so if you’re looking for the Google Summer of Code ideas page for DragonFly, I have a local mirror of that page.
Update: dragonflybsd.org is back up, but I’ll keep that mirror there just in case…
This month’s issue of BSD Magazine is titled “The Wonders of Blender”, but there’s a lot more articles in there with other topics. There’s a two-page spread of DragonFly news that may look familiar to readers of this site…
The GIF format, or rather the LZW format it uses, is no longer patent-encumbered. (GIF patent worries led to the creation of the PNG format, if I’m not mistaken) Matthias Drochner has changed pkgsrc to use giflib instead of libungif.
According to Wikipedia, the patent expired more than 5 years ago, so this isn’t really news other than some packages need to be rebuilt. Still, memories of the general Internet Outrage from a decade ago are interesting compared to the events of today.
Venkatesh Srinivas performed the fefe.de ‘scalability’ benchmarks, which have been mentioned here before. He performed it on different hardware and only with DragonFly, so it’s not really for comparison but rather for analysis. However: graphs!
Matthew Dillon added some system tunables to match these microbenchmarks, and then changed the values. The benchmarks looked better, but according to him you wouldn’t want to run a system normally with those values.
There’s two recent changes for pkgsrc and DragonFly:
- DragonFly-current (2.9) now pulls the most recent pkgsrc quarterly release (2010Q4) by default, instead of pkgsrc-current. This means more packages will be working with the default setup, plus pkg_radd and other tools will be pulling the same ‘generation’ of software.
- The DragonFly/git version of pkgsrc can now be created as a shallow clone. This means less file history, but also means a much faster download.
Dan Langille has announced the BSDCan 2011 schedule/list of events in several places. There’s some fun stuff in there, like discussion of Sendmail from the guy who (originally) wrote it. There’s a talk about Roff (it’s that old?)from Kristaps Dzonsons, whose mdocml also happens to just have been committed by Sascha Wilder to DragonFly’s contrib.
NYCBSDCon 2010 was crazy fun. I hope I can make it to BSDCan…
- The Cognitive Style of Unix (via) – I find this argument absolutely correct based on all my computer experience.
- Hacker News is apparently getting more of a general news bent, rather than the actual hacker news it started with. (via) That seems to be an easy trend for many tech sites that start out focused on a topic (Let’s cover this area of interest!) and eventually diffuse (Let’s cover all our reader’s areas of interest!). It may be because that seems to bring greater subscriber numbers? Slashdot would be a good example of this generalization.
- Note to self: Try to not do that with the Digest.
- This page has a lot more good places to visit, but I’ll just link directly cause I don’t have any more commentary to associate with it.
- Did you know there’s open source software for managing conferences? Not conference calls, but full-on have-speakers-with-papers-and-attendees-with-a-schedule conferences? It’s called Pentabarf, and it’s used for BSDCan, among other things. I find the name funny, and it has funny origins.
- Well, if I’m going to have a Discordian link, I should have a BSD-related Subgenius link. By the way: I can perform weddings. You know, just in case that comes up.
- You know you’re important when the IETF needs to come up with a plan to deal with your retirement. (via) This is why it’s neat. Go, look, because this is one of those parts of the Internet that will not exist this way again, ever.
- This article at The Register about how open source isn’t making it very far in app stores is more aggressive than exploratory, as Register articles usually are, but there are some good points: phone app stores are able to charge money because of the ease of the delivery system, which apparently trumps ‘free’. It’s also more purpose-built; pkgsrc I bet would work on an Android phone, but there’s not many applications you could interact with, easily.
Michael Lucas’s “BSD Needs Books” talk from NYCBSDCon 2010 is online, in video form. I got to see this as it happened, and it was a excellent talk. Mr. Lucas is able to put some reasonable arguments together as to the why of things, since he’s been published multiple times, plus his sense of humor keeps it moving.
Hey, wait – there’s more from the conference on BSD TV! How did I miss this? Hopefully even more will show up; the facility was perfect for recording.
Joe Talbott has some changes for both Intel and non-Intel wifi NICs; please try out his branch and report the results.
A full buildworld/buildkernel is probably the best strategy. I’ll be rebuilding all the pkgsrc packages for 2.9 using gcc 4.4… This will take at least a week.
I forgot to mention it when I did this opening night, but: DragonFly’s application to Google Summer of Code 2011 is in. We find out if we’re accepted on the 18th.
If you’re curious, I have a bulk build on DragonFly 2.9/x86_64/pkgsrc-current finished. Work on the programs that don’t build is always welcome. It’s pretty good for bleeding-edge, though!