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Go maintainer for DragonFly needed


We’ve got Go builders running for DragonFly, but nobody actively maintaining Go itself on DragonFly.  The dports version builds, but there’s a Go release coming up and having native support would be much better than relying on chance FreeBSD build compatibility.

The current error as I type this is a TLS problem that sounds like a simple fix, if only I knew where it was.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDTalk 238: NYCBSDCon


For BSDTalk 238, Will Backman has recordings from NYCBSDCon 2014.  I think I’m in there, even though I haven’t listened to it yet.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, Periodicals     0 Comments

BSDNow 024: The Cluster & The Cloud


BSDNow episode 24 is up, with a recap of NYCBSDCon’s events, an interview with Luke Marsden of hybridcluster.com, a chrooted SFTP tutorial, and of course more.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

For Summer of Code: >63 CPUs


Here’s a potential DragonFly and Summer of Code project: adding support for more than 63 cores to DragonFly.  Matthew Dillon has already outlined how.

HOPE X this summer


HOPE X, the 2600 conference, is happening July 18-20 in NYC.  It’s not specifically BSD-themed, of course, but given that I heard about it at NYCBSDCon means there will be BSD people there.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions     0 Comments

ACPICA-20140114 added


There seems to be a lot of ACPI-related updates lately: Sascha Wildner has updated ACPICA in DragonFly to what I think is the very latest version.  See his commit for the differences.

There really is a daemon in there


John Marino updated daemon(8) on DragonFly.  For some reason, I didn’t know it was a standalone program.  I knew about the idea of daemons as helpers based inside the computer, which is why so many server programs end with a ‘d’ – sshd, ftpd, and so on.  Inexplicably, I never actually saw the program itself.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

Lazy Reading for 2014/02/09


A low week this week, but I have been on the road… I will hopefully have a large NYCBSDCon report up later today, to make up for a skimpy Lazy Reading.

Bit rot, circa 1998.  Enjoy looking at the old technology options and prices.  (via)

The Industrial Internet of Things.  Most of what’s out there that should be wired isn’t, and it’s because the companies making the equipment like to pretend the Internet never happened.  Also, modbus is horrifying.

Bluetooth Low Energy: what do we do with you?  I’m surprised more people aren’t excited about BLE; it has a lot of potential.

Your unrelated link of the week: a new Cyriak film!  Starts cute, ends horrifying, but that’s no surprise.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     2 Comments

My NYCBSDCon trip


Here I think out loud about NYCBSDCon, presented from my cleaned-up notes taken on my phone during the event.  Get ready, cause there’s a lot of words here.

The event was very popular, to the point of overflowing the venue, Suspenders.  The venue was excellent, though.  The entire bar/restaurant was turned over to the convention for the day, and it made it easy to eat and drink – especially with the drink tickets that came with admission.  The food was fantastic.

New York City is a huge city with lots to see, so I imagine anyone visiting from out of town could bring along family and have the family be entertained while the conference is going on.  I managed to sneak in a trip to The Compleat Strategist and Desert Island Comics on the day before the convention, for example.

There were enough “famous” BSD people here that having, say, the roof fall in would have been a serious community setback.  One good explosion would have taken out the people behind this digest, BSDTalk, PC-BSD, BSDNow, etc.

The NYCBUG people are very open about how the whole process works, to the point of posting how the finances worked out.  “Excess” money is getting split up between the various BSDs, too, to the tune of some hundreds of dollars.  This was increased by Michael W. Lucas auctioning a signed copy of his Absolute OpenBSD 2nd edition book, which ended up being bought for $500.  I expect the financial results will be posted on the NYCBUG website at some point soon.

I nabbed a printed copy of the brand-new FreeBSD Journal, which just launched.  George Neville-Neil said that this is the only printed version that will ever exist, because printing is awful – I completely agree.  I need to cover this more in a separate post.

I experimented with not bringing my laptop and typing everything through my phone. It reduced my typing speed, but I was able to take notes and pre-write large chunks of this post as things happened. I have been thinking more and more in terms of setting things up with a tablet or phone as my ‘client’ and keeping.all useful data on my server, rather than work on a laptop with BSD installed. I’d like to be working in a BSD environment, but that’s hard to accomplish natively in a handheld format. Running things remotely from a BSD system might provide the equivalent, though. Not sure how well that would work – probably good content for another post.

The first presentation was ZFS/PC-BSD/FreeNAS, from Dru Lavigne. The PC-BSD Life Preserver application is a really nice way to view filesystem snapshots.  ZFS is really feature-rich, though it has high resources requirements compared to Hammer.  (of course I would say that.)  Dru Lavigne’s ZFS presentation slides are already up.

Ray Percival came all the way from Dallas to present “Interconnections with BSD”. Ray pointed out at dinner the night before that he is effectively able to autodeploy a firewall or other network device by remotely installing a BSD.  From Ray’s presentation : “Network engineers are discovering automation and calling it software defined networking.” That is talking about the configuration side only though, not control plane, as an audience member pointed out.  I still like the idea.  Ray made this point about support: you can buy expensive support from commercial vendors and talk to hit or miss support. With open source, you can usually talk directly to the person who makes the software itself. That doesn’t happen with vendors.

Something I took away from that and from the conference in general: BSD helps you avoid vendor lock-in. I was worried about having UNIX-familiar workers as backup at work, but: it doesn’t get better with proprietary tools.

Andrew Wong’s presentation about ZFS+FreeBSD+PostGres is from a software engineer point of view, not a sysadmin view. He described himself as “the enemy”.

Scott Long gave some details about how much traffic NetFlix pushes out (about a third of the Internet) and how much of it is on FreeBSD (almost all of it, yeesh).  The NetFlix plan is to deploy multiple relatively low-end FreeBSD systems out to ISPs to act as local content caches.  No virtualization, a light set of management tools through AWS, and when a box goes bad, they just take it out; no RAID or ZFS or other fancy steps.  They have 5 people managing 1000 machines.  

Scott made the point that they are aggressively talking to hardware vendors about support, and getting good responses back.  If you’re involved in some commercial venture with FreeBSD, talk to George Neville-Neil about the BSD hardware consortium; they’re working on a coordinated conversation with vendors to make sure BSD (probably FreeBSD only, but that’s a start) gets treated as a first-class citizen.

Jeff Rizzo described the many ways that NetBSD can be build, on most any supported platform and even not on NetBSD.  It sounds like the up-front work of getting build.sh to work in every circumstance has saved a lot of labor, later.

Michael Lucas had a very entertaining talk about DragonFly where he managed to name-drop DragonFly.  One of the points he made: when you write out a detailed justification for using open source products at your workplace, share it with the world, please.

I bought the lower-priced-than-they-needed-to-be shirts and stickers they had available, and managed to not win one of the cool PCEngines PFSense systems, with a fancy etched case.

There was also a number of demos going on during the afternoon break, though the only one I took any notes on was the one that I need to replicate at work: a PF /CARP failover setup.  They look like this on the inside.

Like I said for the last NYCBSDCon in 2010, it’s totally worth going.  I now have a long, long list of things I want to do and ideas to try, all from meeting people face to face and talking about what we can do.  It’s energizing, far more than meeting over IRC.  A third of the people there had no prior BSD experience.  George Rosamond mentioned that he was thinking they could do this perhaps every 6 months.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     1 Comment

NYCBSDCon, livestreaming now


The NYCBSDCon event is being livestreamed right now. I encourage watching them if you can’t make it there in person. If you don’t have time to watch the live streams, they should be available as recordings later. I will of course link to the recordings as soon as I know where they are.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/02/08


As you read this, I’m at NYCBSDCon – or at least should be.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, pkgsrc     0 Comments

eBook sale for 48 hours


Michael W. Lucas is selling his work at a temporary discount during NYCBSDCon, which means you have today and tomorrow to get 3 books (Sudo Mastery, DNSSEC Mastery, and SSH Mastery) for $20 total, $7 less than normal.  Head to his site to get the coupon code.  He’s speaking at NYCBSDCon tomorrow, too – you should go.

 

Posted by     Categories: Books, BSD     0 Comments

BSDNow episode 023: Time Signatures


Episode 023 of BSDNow is up, with an interview of  Ted Unangst about the new signing mechanism in OpenBSD, a NTP server tutorial, and of course more.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, OpenBSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

C-state sysctl followup


Probably because of the C-state changes, Sepherosa Ziehau wants people to use a new set of sysctls instead of the hw.cpu_mwait* ones – at least on x86_64.  This won’t affect you if you aren’t already familiar with them, probably.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

New C-state possibilities


It’s now possible to reach deeper power-saving C-states  with DragonFly, thanks to work from Sepherosa Ziehau.  It’s possible to have it auto-adjusted by setting two sysctls.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Summer of Code application in


I put in the application for Google Summer of Code 2014, for DragonFly.  Will we get in for a 7th year?  I hope so!

(I still want more mentors; contact me if you’re interested.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Google Summer of Code     0 Comments

Win a stuffed BSD


I managed to miss this because of reasons: BSDNow is running a contest.  Come up with a tutorial that can be used ‘on-air’, and you can win a custom-made pillow showing the boot screen of the BSD of your choice.  It’s bizarre but cool.

Edit: the body text of the contest notes that the contest ends January 31st.  Hmm…  might be too late for a winning entry.

Posted by     Categories: BSD     2 Comments

DragonFly and Google Summer of Code 2014


I already asked this question on kernel@, but I’ll repeat it here.  Who is interested in mentoring for DragonFly, for Google Summer of Code 2014?  The org application period is starting today, and it would be neat to do this for a seventh year in a row.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Google Summer of Code     1 Comment

Lazy Reading for 2014/02/02


Lots of randomness this week.  That’s great!

Your unrelated link of the week: it’s two links, for the two very rare German episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     1 Comment

In Other BSDs for 2014/02/01


For once, I got this mostly done before late Friday night!

BSDNow 022: Journaled News-Updates


The latest BSDNow video is up, with the normal array of recent events and an interview of George Neville-Neil.  The interview is about the new FreeBSD Journal, which should be out… today?  The site says “Coming in January”, so it must be soon.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

Better ACPI C-State support


If you have an Intel-based system, and are running DragonFly master, there’s new c-states (power-saving modes) for you to try.  Sepherosa Ziehau posted a note about testing and feedback.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, Please test     0 Comments

Did I mention new USB?


There’s been periodic commits updating the USB4BSD support in DragonFly; I haven’t been linking to them because they are generally incremental. However, it’s good to (re?)mention just how you can build DragonFly with that new USB support.

Intel video users, please note


xf86-video-intel-2.21.15 should now work on your DragonFly system.  I don’t see it in dports, yet, though.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     2 Comments

Time zone changes


Recent updates to tzcode apparently fixed a long-standing time zone bug in DragonFly.  POSIX says the America/New_York timezone is picked as default if nothing else has been selected.  That didn’t happen in DragonFly – until recently.  If your timezone seemed to suddenly jump to U.S. Eastern time, that’s because you never picked before.

Installfest, NYCBSDCon tickets tonight


There’s a (rescheduled) BSD installfest happening in an impromptu fashion at Suspenders Bar in New York City, tonight at 6:45.  You can also buy tickets for NYCBSDCon there, for less than the online price since it’s direct.  There’s another chance to buy them for less on Wednesday at Ear Inn, nearby.  (See first link for details.)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2014/01/26


Finally, a relatively quiet week.

Writing more efficient shell scripts.

.  Piped shell commands seen as a set of relations.  This is the most analysis I’ve ever seen of a command line.  (via)  Also related.

Perl Secret Operators.  (via)

As a followup on last week’s Curse of the Leading Zero link, Thomas Klausner points out Python 3.0 explicitly stopped reading leading zeros as the prefix for octals.

The current Humble Weekly Sale (through the 31st) is all roguelikes.  Dunno how many of them run on non-Windows. though.

Mastering Vim in Vim.  Lots more ‘learning Vim’ suggestions where I found this link.

Not possible to have happen; I don’t believe it.  (via)

Your unrelated link of the week: 50 years of tape.  Cassette audio tapes, that is.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, roguelike     0 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/01/25


Back to relatively normal volume, this week.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, pf, pfSense     0 Comments

BSDNow 21: Tendresse for Ten


Episode 21 of BSDNow is up, with the usual variety of material.  There’s an interview with Colin Percival, known for work on FreeBSD and Tarsnap, along with other content.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

ACPI update


There’s a new ACPI version in DragonFly, and Sascha Wildner wants you to update your BIOS, just to be sure.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

DragonFlyBSD.org status page


Antonio Huete set up a DragonFly status page on status.io.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Go testing for DragonFly


Brad Fitzpatrick showed up on the users@ list and mentioned that for DragonFly to be supported in Go, it needed to show up in the Go Dashboard with building reports.  I now have the Go builder running on pkgbox32/pkgbox64.dragonflybsd.org.  Check the builder page to see status.

Note: Installing the port of Go from Dports works just fine; this is the mechanism for testing Go on a per-commit basis for the people who work on Go – so a ‘fail’ notice on the builder page doesn’t necessarily mean anything, unless you are developing Go itself.  This may already be clear to you.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     2 Comments

DragonFly has ASLR


Address Space Layout Randomization, since 2010.  Carsten Mattner asked, and Alex Hornung answered.  (Set the sysctl vm.randomize_mmap to 1 to enable it.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

BSD Installfest in NYC tomorrow


If you happen to have a laptop, some flavor of BSD on media, and are near New York City tomorrow night, there’s an impromptu installfest happening at Suspenders at 6:30.  NYCBSDCon tickets will be available there, and you can now register online.

Update: canceled!

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

BSDCan 2014: last chance for paper submission


I missed this for the “In Other BSDs” section yesterday, so I’m adding it today.  It’s time dependent.  BSDCan 2014 is happening May 14-17 at the University of Ottawa, with those first two days being tutorials.  If you want to get a paper in, you have to do it today.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2014/01/19


The Internet overfloweth with good links, lately.  Nothing this week that requires a lot of reading, but plenty of things to click.  Enjoy!

Your unrelated link of the week:  Fail Forward, a collection of writing about pen and paper RPGs.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, UNIXish     0 Comments

Convention addendum


I’ve got a buildup of convention dates to mention, so I’ll do it now: John Marino, one of the folks behind dports, is talking about Ada and BSD at FOSDEM, in Brussels, February 1-2.   George Neville-Neil is talking about BSD to NYLUG in of course New York City, on I think February 13th.  Ike Levy will be talking to the Tokyo FreeBSD Benkyokai Group, on February 17th, about pfSense.  And of course, NYCBSDCon is happening February 8th, and I think I’ll be there.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/01/18


I didn’t even need to find source links this week.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD, RetroBSD     0 Comments

The cheapest possible DragonFly


With everyone buying tablets lately, the low end of computers is getting pretty low-cost indeed.  Creating single-purpose computers is possible, and I was thinking of doing that to create a Go-testing system.  (Though probably not necessary for me.)  It got me to thinking, though…

How low-cost a system could run DragonFly?  The master-slave and low system requirements of Hammer lead to some interesting possibilities.  There’s no Arduino equivalent for DragonFly because there’s no DragonFly on ARM, despite all my wishing.  DragonFly has been run on Soekris systems before, and might work on a PCEngines ALIX board.  Ebay, my basement, or Craigslist are options too, but not as fun.  Who has suggestions?

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     6 Comments

BSDNow 20: Bhyve Mind


The 20th episode of BSDNow is up.  The interview is with Neel Natu and Peter Grehan, about Bhyve, and there’s of course more, including a bhyve tutorial.  There’s other material, including the new-to-me Spiderinabox.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

ACPICA update for testing


If you want to test out the latest (20131218) update to ACPICA, Sepherosa Ziehau’s got a patch for you.  This will be good for anyone who wants to use less electricity.  (updated to reflect this doesn’t enable deeper C-states as I thought it did.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Please test     0 Comments

ACPI updates and power states


ACPI has been updated in DragonFly by Sepherosa Ziehau, to potentially support the very low-power sleep states available with Haswell CPUs.

Note: Sepherosa clarified that the lower power states are not available – yet.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

32-bit DragonFly 3.7 and dports


There are no binary packages built for dports, on DragonFly 3.7, for 32-bit machines, at this time.  Pierre Abbat found this out.  You can build from source, of course, or just use 3.6 packages.  Don’t forget -DBATCH to avoid getting asked for build options when building from source.

OpenBSD and electricity


The OpenBSD Project (Foundation?) needs to pay a large electrical bill for their hosting location.  I had mentioned this in a weekend BSD report just before the end of 2013, but the problem is still there and deserves a special mention.  It’s possible to contribute directly, or to the I-assume-nonprofit-so-tax-deductible-for-many-people OpenBSD Foundation.  You can set up a low but reoccurring Paypal payment for the Foundation, which would be probably unnoticeable for you but very helpful for the organization.

Even if you aren’t booting OpenBSD on anything, you’re using a technology that came out of that project – OpenSSH, pf, your dhcpclient, etc; or using 3rd-party software that received fixes from OpenBSD work.  Putting dollars towards this software development is one of the more effective things you can do with your money to help open source.

 

Posted by     Categories: OpenBSD     4 Comments

Testing USB4BSD


Markus Pfeiffer has added more of his work on USB4BSD to DragonFly, and a reminder: if you want to try it out, there’s just a few options to set.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Trackpad support summary


I didn’t post this before, and should have: Matthew Dillon posted a summary of all the trackpad improvements he added, and how to make use of the various features.

Other network improvements


Sepherosa Ziehau is continually trying to squeeze more network performance into DragonFly.  I’m not always so good at pointing it out, but here’s several commits from him that improve performance on several chipsets.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Hal, dbus, and VMWare tip. Also pkg locking


Warren Postma found that hal and dbus caused a crash in VMWare for DragonFly.  The answer is to use moused, not dbus.

Also, if you want to keep a custom or just older package from dports on your system, as karu.pruun did, ‘pkg lock’ is the answer.

Lazy Reading for 2014/01/12


There’s a lot this week, so let’s get started:

Git Reference.  Not that there isn’t a lot of other documentation out there, but much of what you find is people asking specific questions rather than explanations of procedure.  (via)

Movie Code.  At least most of these are using legit code, even if it’s often the wrong application.  It’s been worse.  (See ‘state of the art video’ item)  (via)

Unix: 14 things to do or stop doing in 2014.  These tips are actually useful and contain no buzzwords.

TrewGrip, another item in my quest for interesting keyboards I don’t use.

4043 bytes to recreate a mid-80s IBM PC.  There are less bytes of data in the program than there were transistors in the CPU that it emulates.  It can run MS Flight Simulator.  It was for the International Obfuscated C Code Contest, which should surprise you not at all.  (via)

The World’s Most Pimped-Out ZX81.  I don’t think it can run Doom, though.

The Unix Shell’s Humble If.  For once, an article that doesn’t just pretend bash is the only shell that exists.  (via)

Unix Shell RPG Tutorial.  It’s exactly what that combination of words means.  (via)

Scientists tell their favorite jokes.

Best programmer jokes, found here where there’s more.

I find these animations slightly hypnotizing.  (via)

Technology used to suck even when it was cutting-edge, and we’ll still feel that way in the future.  (via)

How did we end up with a centralized Internet?

Software in 2014.  The summary is: server side is great, client is not.  (via)

Able to be turn on, and that is it.  Sci-fi movies ignore where technology comes from.

True Nuke Puke Story.  My mine coworkers once did something similar to a copier repairman; got him so worried about going underground that he had a panic attack when he had to step on the hoist.  We had to get a new repairman.

Your unrelated link of the week: BIG ENDING FACES!  (via)

In Other BSDs for 2014/01/11


Running late putting this together…  Back to bullets!

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, pkgsrc     0 Comments

cyapa mousepad support grows


Matthew Dillon is continuing his work on chromebook hardware, and he’s been playing with the multi-touch touchpad.  There’s a number of new features based on position and the number of fingers used.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDNow 19: the Installfest


BSDNow episode 19 is up, titled “The Installfest“.  They install DragonFly along with other BSDs, and I haven’t even looked at it yet.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

Netmap on the way


Franco Fitchner is bringing in netmap to DragonFly.  I don’t think it’s complete yet.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

GSoC: SysV IPC code added in


Markus Pfieffer has committed Larisa Grigore’s Google Summer of Code work, “SysV IPC in userspace”.  It’s been a bit since the event finished, but it’s in DragonFly now.

BSDTalk 237: FreeBSD Journal


BSDTalk 237 has 22 minutes of conversation with George Neville-Neil about The FreeBSD Journal.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

NYCBUG meeting tonight with talk and tickets


For those of you near the NYC area, there’s a NYCBUG meeting tonight at 7 Eastern, with Brian Callahan giving a security-focused crash course in OpenBSD.  Tickets for NYCBSDCon 2014, happening on February 8th, are going to be available there for the first time, starting at 6 PM.  (and cheaper if you buy in person, too.)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, OpenBSD     0 Comments

DragonFly on a Chromebook c720


Matthew Dillon acquired one of the Acer c720 Chromebooks recently.  There were changes needed for the boot process, for the keyboard, an update from FreeBSD for the ath(4) wireless (g), smbus, and trackpad… but it works now, and he detailed exactly how to get it running, and even upgrade the drive.

 

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

RTL8191SE support


‘M M’ had trouble with his “Realtek RTL8191SE Wireless LAN 802.11n PCI-E NIC” on DragonFly some time ago.  He was able to get it working, and he documented the somewhat convoluted procedure here.

Tracking the bleeding edge of DragonFly


If you want to track the bleeding edge of DragonFly, which is currently version 3.7, I happened to describe it in a reply to Filippo Moretti, on users@.  Long-time users will know this/do this already, but it’s worth repeating just because new users may not realize how easy it is.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Someday you will need this     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2014/01/05


The holiday break for most people at the end of the year translated to a lot more material showing up now.  We all benefit!

The Year Megaplatforms Ruled The Internet.  Online companies aren’t ‘disruptive’ any more; they are the establishment.  That didn’t take long.  Is it a cycle?  I hope so. (via)

Intel XDK.  Should be cross-platform enough to work on DragonFly, I bet.  (via)

On Hacking MicroSD Cards.  Bunnie Huang from 30C3, so it’s in-depth.  “In reality, all flash memory is riddled with defects — without exception.”  The microcontroller on the cards is exploitable.  (via)

Speaking of 30c3, the recordings are up.  (via same place)

Bignum Bakeoff contest recap, from 2001.  512B to return the largest number possible.  (via)

Owlbears, Rust Monsters, and Bulettes, oh my!  The origin of some of the AD&D Monster Manual monsters.  (via)

The Postmodernity of Big Data.  I don’t know about the text, but I like the punchcard images.

You are going to be using IPv6, whether you are ready or not.  (via, with good discussion)

End Paper Maps.  This is ephemera that shan’t survive the Internet, I suppose – but I always did enjoy it.  (via)

Understanding the Galaga No-Fire Cheat.  I would have loved to do this as a child, but surviving 15 minutes in a coin-op video was nearly impossible, barring (for me) one strange exception.  (via)

Creative usernames and Spotify account hijacking.  (also via)

Remember, The Cloud means that even if companies last, their services may not – even if there’s no other service to replace it.  (via)

Eventually, will every program have its own internal upgrading and management code?  It seems like it.

New Year’s Resolutions for Sysadmins.  Some of these resolutions look forward, some look backward.

Mommy, why is there a server in the house?

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     0 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/01/04


Things are picking up again after the break.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD     0 Comments

ixgbe(4) updated


The ixgbe(4) driver, for a number of Intel 10Gb network cards, has been updated by Sepherosa Ziehau to version 2.5.15.  Note that this changes the interface name to ‘ix’ by default.  This driver is actually written by Intel.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

mdocml updated to 1.12.3


Franco Fitchner has updated mdocml in DragonFly to 1.12.3.   The changelog is right on the front page of the vendor site.

Update: Undeadly has a nice summary of the changes.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDNow 18: Eclipsing Binaries


BSDNow 18, first of the new year, is up.  Among other things, it mentions my crazy ‘OpenPF’ idea, and there’s an interview with Baptiste Daroussin.  He’s one of the people working on pkg, so whatever he does there affects both FreeBSD and DragonFly.

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A reminder about 32-bit dports


A reminder based on a question from Pierre Abbat: John Marino isn’t working on 32-bit packages for dports; there’s a volunteer who will, but until the volunteer is ready, 3.7 users will want to build from source.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/12/29


Last of the year!  You’ll want to take some reading/watching time this week.

Can you be arrested for what’s on your computer?  Yes, of course.

Making SSH connections easier.  If you don’t know it, you should.

Ansible vs. Salt and Creating a new Ansible node.  BSD-focused.

Vim in the hands of a Real Maniac.  Damian Conway, the speaker, is a man of complicated skill, and a good speaker.  It gets pretty crazy by the end.  (via)

The Saddest Moment, James Mickens talking about Byzantine fault tolerance.  (via)

The via link on that last one led me to Dadhacker, with some excellent entries like this Eject button at Apple or Fuctuation.

Digital restoration and typesetter forensics.  Brian Kernighan, Ken Thompson, and Joe Condon reverse-engineering hardware because the vendor won’t reveal how it works – in the 1970s.  The letter to the vendor is hilarious.  The story of how it was recovered, also linked there, is a good read, too.  (also via)

Over-Extended Metaphor for the Day.  Could quibble, won’t.  I like the Emo Phillips followup joke quoted here, where I found it.

Oldcomputers.net.  There’s some neat old things there – and they’re selling/buying!  (via)

Console Living Room; more old game systems resurrected via JSMESS.  First reaction was that it was neat, second reaction: these old games were horrible, compared to what we have now.  (via multiple places)

exabgp, human-readable BGP messages.  (also also via)

The Grand C++ Error Explosion Competition.  I had a student who excelled at this, involuntarily.  (via)

We’ve run out of closed-source things to re-implement as open source, and now we’re reinventing the open-source wheel.

How open source changed Google – and how Google changed open source.  Their open source group is essentially about license compliance, not evangelism.  That is the way it should be.  The last paragraph about Summer of Code is spot-on.  (via)

Readers of a certain age will recognize the global vector map theme.  (Here’s more.)  It makes me think of the old Apple ][ game, NORAD.  (incidentally, I was way better at it than the player in that video.)

Your unrelated comics link of the week: not a comic, but a magazine that includes comics: Mineshaft.  I’ve heard about it many times, and I keep meaning to get a subscription.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     2 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2013/12/28


Again, quiet from the holiday break.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD     0 Comments

BSDNow 17: The Gift of Giving


BSDNow has a new episode for Christmas; this contains an interview with Scott Long of (among other things) Netflix.

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BSDTalk 236: NYCBSDCon and 8 years too


BSDTalk, which is hitting its 8th year, has 20 minutes of conversation with Ike Levy and Brian Callahan about NYCBSDCon.  (which is coming up on February 8th; will you sponsor?)

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My DragonFly 3.6 upgrade adventure


Here’s how my upgrade from DragonFly 3.4 to 3.6 for this server went.

The system install went normally.  I rebooted before performing ‘make upgrade’, as noted in UPGRADING and elsewhere.

I already have dports installed, so a binary upgrade should be possible.  I had heard of people with older version of pkg, having trouble getting it to notice upgrades.  I rebuilt pkg, and ran ‘pkg upgrade’.  A number of the updates coredumped.  Here’s one example:

[156/160] Upgrading gtk2 from 2.24.19 to 2.24.19_2...Segmentation fault 
(core dumped)

After the upgrade, I had two problems: PHP wasn’t working for the website, and some programs would segfault.

The random segfault was fixable by forcing a binary upgrade of all packages.  Since there were some programs on the system that were still new enough that the version number was the same as on the remote repository, pkg didn’t upgrade them.  Those packages were linked against old versions of system libraries that predated the locale changes in DragonFly 3.6, so they’d crash.  Forcing the update for all packages fixed the issue.

The other problem, PHP on the web server, is not new to me.  The binary package for PHP does not include the module for Apache.  The solution is to build from source with that option selected.  I understand that pkg is destined to support (some?) port options in the future.  There’s also an immediate workaround for locking it.

However, the port would not build because of a security issue.  The binary package installed without any warning.  This, I am told, will change to pkg giving you the option to install if you are aware of the security problem, and whether it really affects you.  (which is just what I want, yay!)

Anyway, other than the system changes biting me because I didn’t realize some packages weren’t updated, it went very quickly.  That is the reason for binary updates through pkg, or at least a major one.

Lazy Reading for 2013/12/22


Still quiet out there, but I found some good reading.

PHP functions originally named for string length and sorting.  Yeesh.  (via)

A great old-timey game programming hack.  There’s an initial speed hack in this story, and then there’s another clever trick to fix memory corruption.  (via)

My hardest bug.  This was a pretty fiendish problem.  (via)

Gitdown: don’t commit when drunk.  I’ve done that.  Actually will use an Arduino-based breathalyzer.  (via)

Another Perl One-Liners review.

Zeno of Elea, a game.  It’s based on a classic… (via)

Vim plugins you should know about.  From that One-Liners author.

Speaking of Perl, here’s a Larry Wall interview.  An old-school hacker – he wrote patch, too.

Moonpig: a billing system that doesn’t suck.  An in-depth review of system design.  More Perl, too.

Three Books You Should Read…  Mostly BSD content.

How to use Tor wrong, in multiple ways.  It’s not for petty crimes, and it’s not any use when you’re using it from a monitored network.  (via)

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Cookie Puss.

In Other BSDs for 2013/12/21


Odds and ends for the quieter holidays.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DPorts, OpenBSD, PC-BSD, pkgsrc     0 Comments

BSDNow 16: Cryptocrystalline


As you can kinda sorta guess from the show title, BSDNow 16 is about encryption.

One of the things noted there that I hadn’t heard of is that FreeBSD ports is getting a ‘stable’ branch for the first time – I suppose I need to read even more mailing lists.

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Who’s for an OpenPF?


Things are very quiet this week; I’ve had nothing to post for some days – DragonFly or even for other BSDs.  The end of the year has most people distracted, I think.  This makes it a good time to bring up something that’s been bothering me: the state of software firewalls in BSD.  The pf utility is a BSD advantage; I’ve heard people say “I used iptables on Linux and pf is a much better alternative.”  I know that’s anecdotal, but there it is.  Here’s the question, and the reason I’m writing this: which pf?

DragonFly has a version of pf equivalent to what was shipped in OpenBSD 4.4.  FreeBSD has a version equivalent, I think, to OpenBSD 3.8 4.5′s pf, and it has been further modified.  NetBSD has a similar, older pf, but there’s people working on a NetBSD-specific version called npf, which isn’t yet ready.  And of course, OpenBSD has its version of pf.  If you feel good about these different alternatives, you call it divergence.  If you don’t feel good about it, you call it fragmentation.

Compare this to OpenSSH – it works the same on each platform.  There’s no confusion on how to configure it, or interoperability problems.  It would be wonderful to have the equivalent for pf, where other BSD platforms would import a portable version.  This software firewall is a strength, and it’s much easier to tout it when there’s only one.

I doubt there’s a way to bring it all back to one source tree.  There’s a lot vested in the different forks out there.  You know what would take a lot less effort: a compatibility test suite.  Agreeing on a common syntax and set of functions would make life easier for every end user.  It would incidentally make vendors a lot happier, too.  Even if a user or vendor wasn’t hoping to move between BSD flavors, a test suite would still guarantee a certain known level of functionality for any BSD release.

How likely is this?  I don’t know.  But I want to bring up the notion before it gets missed.  Now is a good time, with each pf version still being relatively close to one another.

Update/note: Henning Brauer is willing to help.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Someday you will need this     7 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/12/15


Halfway to Christmas; time to buy presents if you haven’t already!

DragonFly on Hacker News.  I haven’t read through the comments fully.

The Meaning of “Doom”.  This article makes a very good point; Doom was one of the first game that encouraged user participation in the creation of the game.  Not the creation when it was first made, but the endless recreations as mods.  It’s sort of the same mechanism as open source, but as an activity and not a license.

Alphabet of the Obsolete.  Also known as “Things my children don’t know and don’t care about.”

Now is a good time to donate to the Internet Archive.  (via many places)

The Development of the C Language.  Dennis Richie was good at telling stories about some otherwise very dry subjects; his histories are enjoyable.  Maybe you have to have a certain kind of temperament or interest to really like them.  (via)

The Birth of Standard Error.  It was a smelly typesetting machine where it first started.   (via EFNet #dragonflybsd)

There’s some other interesting articles on that site, including “Programming Languages vs. Fat Fingers” and “The Importance of Being Declarative“.

Better and Better Keyboards.  Continuing the keyboard theme from previous weeks.  (via)

Building the Commodore C-128.  I never used one of these, but I’m sure there’s a few readers that will be gripped with nostalgia.  (via)

The Amiga 500 as a Chrome add-in.  Nostalgia, again.  (via)

Running 4.3BSD Quasijarus with simh VAX.  It’s apparently 4.3BSD for Vax hardware.  I did not know of this, or at least I don’t remember it.

When a Bash script asks, “Where am I?”.

Have you heard the axiom that every program grows in scope until it reads email?  It’s really all programs grow in complexity until they have their own auto-updater.  (Also, XScreenSaver is awesome.)

Vim, in Javascript.  Or maybe the axiom should be ‘Everything eventually is rewritten in Javascript’.  (via)

Did you see that interstitial?  It was dope!”  (via I forget, sorry)

Your unrelated animated gif of the week: Happy talking boat.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     3 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2013/12/14


Another week where I could get away without any commit links, just cause there’s so much BSD stuff out there.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD     0 Comments

BSDNow 15: Kickin’ NAS


BSDNow episode 15 keeps the pun titles going.  Josh Paetzel is apparently replaced by Santa Claus in the interview?  There’s also FreeNAS coverage, and lots else.

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Holiday shopping guide 2013


For those of you doing last-minute holiday shopping – like me: see previous years of gift links.  There’s also a number of comics lists, book lists, and game guides.  And of course, donations.

Posted by     Categories: Off-Topic, Someday you will need this     0 Comments

Go APE for bge and bnx


The bnx(4) and bge(4) network drivers now have APE support, thanks to Sepherosa Ziehau.  What’s that mean?  Other than an opportunity for punning jokes, I don’t know.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, FreeBSD     2 Comments

A pkg fix for 3.4 upgraders


If you have a DragonFly 3.4 system that has already been switched over to dports, and you upgrade it to DragonFly 3.6, you might see an odd problem.  Rebuild pkg, and it will work.

I’ve only seen a few reports, so I don’t know if this is even likely to happen to most upgraders.