John Marino has updated libncurses, libedit, gdb, libgmp, and zlib. The release notes are helpfully contained within each commit. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also added terminfo, a future replacement for termcap, if I understand correctly.
Category: Committed Code
A few recent updates imported to DragonFly from FreeBSD: Francois Tigeot updated amdsbwd(4), an AMD south bridge watchdog. Sascha Wildner updated arcmsr(4), the Areca RAID controller driver, and Peter Avalos updated pw(8).
In the other direction, FreeBSD now has GNU hash support for rtld, based on John Marino’s work in DragonFly.
Sepherosa Ziehau added ”Rescue Retransmission for SACK-based Loss Recovery Algorithm” in a commit, where he details just where this would be handy. It’s on by default and the sysctl net.inet.tcp.rescuesack can be used to turn it off.
Francois Tigeot has followed up with a description of how to enable and disable quotas on DragonFly, which will work for most any local file system, unless rebooted. There’s also the vquota(8) man page.
DragonFly now has a optimized scoreboard for SACK, thanks to Sepherosa Ziehau. What’s that mean? SACK is a way to make sure only the needed parts of a TCP transmission get retransmitted, when multiple packets are lost. The scoreboard is where the packets needing retransmission are tracked. So, the result of these improvements is better performance in packet-lossy situations.
(Please correct me if your understanding is better than mine; my explanation is based on stumbling around the Internet for a few minutes of reading.)
Sepherosa Ziehau has made changes to the initial TCP congestion window, based on a number of papers he links to in his post. The immediate effect is if you’re on DragonFly-current, you will need to do a full buildworld on your next upgrade. The long term effect could be improvements in latency by improving reactions to bufferbloat. Or not; this is pretty technical.
If you’re trying DragonFly 3 in a virtual machine, you may have noticed some issues in booting in (for instance) Qemu. Sepherosa Ziehau committed a change that sets the sysctl hw.ioapic_enable to 0 in virtual environments. It can always be turned back on, but the recent MSI/MSI-X improvements seem to cause trouble in some virtual environment. You can also set that tunable at boot to get an initial install going.
(I haven’t had trouble in Virtualbox or VMWare, so you may or may not need this.)
Here’s an interesting side effect that came up in Hammer 2 development: deleting files can potentially require modification of only one parent element. If I’m reading it right, that means deletion always takes about the same time, independent of the amount of data being deleted. Your ‘rm -rf /largedrive’ could complete, removing multiple terabytes of data before you realize it. I suppose it’s silly to complain about speedy results. Of course, being Hammer, it would still be available in history.
Thanks to John Marino’s work, it’s now possible to build the DragonFly kernel and world using gold, and have it work. You just have to set WORLD_LDVER to make it work. I don’t think there’s any user-visible change from this, other than a tiny speedup in building. I don’t know if any other BSD is using gold yet.
For the curious and technically oriented, Hammer 2 development can be watched directly by looking for any commits marked ‘hammer2′. There’s been a lot, and if you want to see the code as it flows in, here’s your chance.
John Marino has made it possible to build world and kernel on DragonFly using GCC 4.6 in the form of gnat-aux. (We’re currently on GCC version 4.4) Note that version 4.6 isn’t included with DragonFly, so you would need to download and compile
GCC 4.6 a very recent version of lang/gnat-aux, and set CCVER=gcc46 before building world and kernel to try this out.
Update: John Marino points out in comments that you need to set WORLD_CCVER, not CCVER as his original message said.
ISDN support has been removed from DragonFly. It was not useful at this point, because it’s rarely used any more. It does make me feel a little sad; this was the technology everyone said was the future before cable modems and DSL were figured out.
A bit of symmetry in that title, there. Old ATA, which was replaced years ago, is finally gone. This should affect nobody…
Matthias Schmidt found a discussion about DragonFly’s password encryption. The result, if I am reading it correctly, is that brute-forcing the password from available hashes is quicker than it should be. Matthias also found a contributed fix. Samuel Greear updated to match the reference SHA implementation also in Linux, with this very pertinent warning.
Matthew Dillon has a very detailed commit message with changes to make sure Hammer will run overnight cleanups in situations as low as 256M of RAM. I think you can find that much RAM in breakfast cereal boxes these days.
What happens when you break enough things in DragonFly that you become a source of test cases? As Antonio Huete Jimenez (AKA “tuxillo” on IRC) found out, you get a stress test named after you.
There’s been a rare segfault present in DragonFly for quite some time. It’s been difficult to reproduce, and the 2.12 release due some months ago was held up specifically to fix it. Matthew Dillon was, after many days (months?) of work, able to replicate it reliably and eventually find a way around what appears to be a new AMD-specific bug. Read his very detailed explanation of what he did to get to this point.
Francois Tigeot benchmarked his accounting work with blogbench, and posted a PDF with the results. Dmitrij D. Czarkoff made a simpler graph, which can be used to draw the conclusion: blogbench didn’t work well for estimating the impact of VFS accounting. If you want to try accounting yourself, put
vfs.accounting_enabled="1" in your /boot/loader.conf.
(The normal DragonFly mailarchive isn’t updating because it feeds from DragonFly NNTP, and that’s not updating, so I’m using Gmane for post links.)
There is now a NO_BINUTILS221 option, added by Sascha Wildner, that will keep your system from building binutils 2.21 during a buildworld. The system will still build binutils 2.22, so there will still be a functioning ld on the system. Use this along with NO_GCC41 (so only gcc 4.4 gets built) to speed up your buildworlds, if you like.
Francois Tigeot has been working for quite a while on a VFS accounting system. It doesn’t restrict to a quota (yet), but it will give you byte totals for each mounted filesystem. It has been committed, so it looks like a good way to tell which PFS is eating your disk.
Update: Francois pointed out he’s still adding parts for this. So it’s not quite done yet, but soon.
Buildworlds are now much faster, because they can run themselves in parallel. Invoke it using the -j option to make. Matthew Dillon saw a 25% reduction in time when using ‘make -j 12 buildworld’ on a 4-core system. You may need to manually update xinstall and mkdir:
cd /usr/src/usr.bin/xinstall make clean; make obj; make all install cd /usr/src/bin/mkdir make clean; make obj; make all install
It’ll also use more memory than a non-parallel build, but heck, that’s cheap these days.
Venkatesh Srinivas made a minor change to a ddb backtrace – it now prints the raw instruction pointers. On x86_64, a backtrace would not print the correct objects out, so this is better. It’s a minor change, but I’m pointing it out because it totally helped solve a problem for me on a package-building machine.
The general rule of thumb is that if you have a function written in an interpreted language (Perl, Python, etc.), it’ll be faster in C. If you need it faster than that, you go to assembly. Prepare to have your world rocked: Venkatesh Srinivas found that strlen() in libc was actually slower written in assembly than in C. His commit message has numbers to back that up.
It’s another throughput tweak from Sepherosa Ziehau: soaccept is run differently when pulling in network data from a socket. The commit message once again shows the results of the change using httperf.
Binutils in DragonFly is now up to version 2.22 – the commit linked is one of several.
Some time ago, Matthew Dillon worked on a bulk build system that built as much of pkgsrc in parallel as possible. It’s in the tree now as ‘fastbulk‘, for anyone wanting to try it out. I used it a bit; I didn’t measure the degree of speed increase, but was able to get about 70% of the packages built.
Sepherosa Ziehau has implemented another networking speedup. Read the commit message for details on what he changed, since it’s rather in-depth. He shows an 18% improvement in netperf results.
If you’re tracking DragonFly current, you will need to do a full buildworld on your next update. Sepherosa Ziehau made some changes in route(8) that a quickworld will not catch.
Alex Hornung has created ‘dfregress’, a test framework designed to be as simple as possible for adding tests to DragonFly. This would make it easier to verify an upcoming release is correct, for instance. See his commit note for extensive details, and add a trivial test for anything you value.
This is another one of those features that I bet goes away, and nobody would notice because nobody uses it any more. Sascha Wildner has removed AppleTalk from DragonFly.
DragonFly has a new memory allocator, called (not surprisingly) “dmalloc“. It’s only present on x86_64, not i386, because it could eat up more VSZ (virtual memory) than an i386 kernel may have available.
The presence of /usr/include/crypt.h in DragonFly (starting in December 2010) meant that some programs compiled during that time will expect that file to always be there. It was recently removed, so any programs compiled in that timeframe will also need to be recompiled. Right now, this affects you only if you are running DragonFly 2.13 , since that’s the only place crypt.h was removed. This may be an issue for the release, but we’ll worry about that when we get there… I’m kicking off new 2.13 bulk builds now.
You can now have, in theory, up to 32 terabytes of RAM on your 64-bit DragonFly system, from a change made by Matthew Dillon. I’m curious to see if anyone has even 1 terabyte, as that’s at least feasible.
Matthew Dillon wrote up an explanation of how performance on systems with a lot of CPU cores has been significantly improved – up to 300%! (He says 200%, but I think he’s treating it as a percentage of a whole rather than percent changed.) Apparently finally getting rid of lock contention is the trick.
Antonio Huete Jimenez’s ‘libhammer‘, a library to make various Hammer functions available to userland programs, has been added. It implements ‘hammer info’ only at this point, if I understand correctly.
From what I can tell, Sepherosa Ziehau’s made some changes where you can control TCP timeout and keepalive timing on a per-tcpcb basis, or at least that’s what I gleaned from the docs. He’s been doing a lot of work lately, but it’s hard to link to because so much of it is at a basic level that makes it difficult to summarize in terms of how the features affect the user.
Sascha Wildner updated time zone files again. It’s a regular thing, but I wanted to draw attention to this little change:
Samoa moves from east to west of the international date line (changes from UTC-11 to UTC+13). It will skip December 30, 2011.
2011/12/30 in Samoa will never exist or have existed, which is entirely odd.
If you’re running 64-bit DragonFly, and you’re on version 2.11, you will want to rebuild with the latest sources. Peter Avalos found a bug with file descriptor passing, and Venkatesh Srinivas fixed it. It will require a quickworld/kernel build – maybe a full buildworld and kernel? I’m not sure. Some pkgsrc packages might need recompilation, too if they also passed file descriptors around.
Well, if you tell it to do so. Matthew Dillon has added a user-settable limit to the amount of memory used during deduplication, so if your Hammer-using system is low on RAM, you can conserve. This is probably most useful if you are running DragonFly in an extremely small VM, or if your name is Venkatesh.
(inside joke; Venkatesh has a crazy old desktop for DragonFly.)
I really just like that phrase and the action movie feeling of using it, like “Watch out! The pulse-width modulated time-domain multiplexer is targeting us!“ Sorta like a PU-36 space modulator. It’s actually a recently-committed mechanism to improve write performance in Hammer, but my idea sounds more exciting.
Alex Hornung has made a pile of changes for disk encryption, including adding libdm, a “simple BSD-licensed libdevmapper“,and adding tcplay, a 100% compatible implementation of TrueCrypt. This should make you very happy if you like running from an encrypted disk.
Update: Alex has written an in-depth explanation of this work. It’s a huge change!
Update update: Hey, it’s showing on Hacker News too!