Category: Device support

bwn(4) added


You know what always makes me happy?  When someone shows up out of the blue and says “Here; I did this cause I needed it; everyone can share.”  The latest example of that is Imre Vadasz porting bwn(4), for the Broadcom BCM43xx wireless chipset over from FreeBSD to DragonFly.

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Video cards on DragonFly


In a thread about video cards on DragonFly, Francois Tigeot listed good ATI cards to try, and pointed out the VESA driver is probably your best bet right now with NVidia cards.

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Thinkpad users: update for ACPI


The acpi_thinkpad module (section?  code?) has been updated.  Update if you are on DragonFly 3.7, or be patient if you are on 3.6.

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Various USB drivers added


I’ve been away because of some home construction taking up time, but this has actually been happening for a while: plenty of USB device drivers have been getting ported in to work with the new USB4BSD stack.  My links for that are not comprehensive.

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Some 10G results on DragonFly


In part because I asked him, Sepherosa Ziehau benchmarked 10G ix(4) with 2 ports on DragonFly.  The results?  Good, both for bandwidth and for CPU usage.

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New USB on by default


DragonFly has moved from the old USB stack to USB4BSD by default.  That means:

  • If you are already using USB4BSD, you will want to remove WANT_USB4BSD from your kernel config.
  • If you have trouble, switch back to the old USB.
  • There’s some drivers that are not yet converted; help with them would be appreciated.  
  • A full kernel/world build and ‘make upgrade’ will be needed in either case.

Sascha Wildner’s announcement email has all the gory details, including the kernel config changes to move back to the old USB setup.  This is of course in master; 3.6 users are unaffected.

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arcmsr(4) update


Sascha Wildner has updated arcmsr(4), which brings in support for the Areca ARC1214, ARC1224, ARC1264, ARC1284, and ARC1883 models, from FreeBSD.  Please test if you have the appropriate hardware.

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coretemp available on DragonFly by default


Coretemp is now in the default kernel configs for DragonFly, so you can use coretemp to see your Intel CPU temperature.

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For Intel graphics users who can’t find a monitor


If you’re using the i915 driver for xorg, and xorg dies with a “No monitor specified for screen” error, there’s a config change to fix that, or you can just update.

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i915 users: lose your monitor?


If you have i915 chipset-based video on DragonFly, and you get a “Output xxx has no Monitor section” complaint in your xorg logs, look at this fix using xrandr.

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Two AMD changes


Here’s two recent changes in DragonFly that may interest you if you have an AMD processor: Compute Units are now supported, thanks to Mihai Carabas, and Imre Vadasz ported over km(4), for temperature monitoring on 14h and 15h CPUs.  I’m still not totally clear on what Compute Units are.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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ACPI update


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

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

 

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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.

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.

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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.

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ISA support is really gone


ISA device support is really gone.  Well, except for keyboard and some spots where it can’t be be removed.  I don’t think I’ve even seen an ISA card in some years…

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A bge(4) fix for some hardware


If you have a bge(4) network card and it’s giving you problems every time you configure it, there’s a fix on the way.

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DragonFly in KVM


If you’re planning to run DragonFly in KVM, remember this post from Matthew Dillon, giving the settings he uses.  This will save you a bit of time.

Good news for iwn(4) users


If you have a recent laptop with an iwn(4) wireless chipset, Matthew Dillon’s recent work getting an updated version of the driver together will probably help you.  It was done specifically to support a Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230, but many more should also now work.


			
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Building lots of storage


Predrag Punosevac asked for good fileserver examples.  Several people answered, including me – the best answer is from Francois Tigeot, but there’s discussion of IPMI support in the thread.

Related: I wonder if the Backblaze Storage Pod would work for DragonFly?

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Multiple TX queue support for mxge(4)


Multiple transmission queues are possible for the mxge(4) driver; I’m mentioning it because Sepherosa Ziehau’s post about this describes the exact tunables to configure this.

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Clock explanations


Chris Turner was curious about clock skew when running under a VM, and Sepherosa Ziehau very kindly explained the different types of internal clock for DragonFly, and how to control them – a topic I’ve never understood deeply.

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Multiple queues support for GigE


I stole Sepherosa Ziehau’s email subject for the title of this post, because that’s exactly what has happened.  Gigabit networking cards under DragonFly will perform very well under extreme load – all of them.

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Radeon KMS driver added


The Radeon KMS driver from FreeBSD has been imported to DragonFly by Francois Tigeot.  It still has problems with ttm, but don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of it.

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mxge(4) improvements


When Sepherosa Ziehau decides to improve something, he goes all out.  For example, he recently improved the mxge(4) driver for Myricom 10G network cards – which is for relatively older hardware – and improved performance by 150Mbps.

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Radeon and KMS branch to try


Francois Tigeot posted his work on the KMS driver for Radeon video cards.  He’s looking for help since he’s low on time for the immediate future, and this is a project that could benefit everyone.  (Well, everyone with the right video card.)

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mxge(4), ecc(4) updated


mxge(4) and ecc(4) have been updated by Sepherosa Ziehau.  Not sure what’s new for mxge(4), a 10G network card driver, but ecc(4) now supports the memory controller for new Haswell systems.

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i915 support summary


Francois Tigeot wrote up a summary of DragonFly’s support for newer Intel video chipsets. (short summary: much better recently)  KMS support is now the default in DragonFly.  There’s still work ongoing.

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A bunch of network hardware changes


I’m just going to roll all these updates from Sepherosa Ziehau together into one post, because it’s a lot:  He’s updated igb(4) to 2.3.10, updated em(4) to 7.3.8, merged the hardware abstraction layer of those two drivers, enabled TSO on all PCI-E em(4) chipsets, and added support for a whole slew of Realtek chipsets in the re(4) driver.  Whew!

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AHCI update for NVIDIA


If you’ve got a MCP79 NVIDA-chipset board, Sascha Wildner’s commit of Ed Berger’s port from OpenBSD has you covered.

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i915 supports vs the terminal


You may have trouble switching back to a vty if you’re running a recent Intel video chipset and using KMS.  It’s a side effect of the new KMS support, but it is being worked on.

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Details on dragonflybsd.org hardware


If you’re curious about the hardware being used for the colocated dragonflybsd.org servers (this includes the website, the repository, the mailing lists, dports build machines, etc.), here’s the ‘MicroCloud’ product page.  DragonFly’s model was purchased from iXsystems.   Apparently those Haswell processors have a fantastic power consumption to performance ratio.  (via)

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USB support improves


I’m a bit slow in posting this, but that’s OK since it’s a work in progress: Markus Pfeiffer has added some more work on USB4BSD porting to DragonFly, including some device-specific changes.

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Do you have a Cyrix processor?


I’d be really surprised to find this affects anyone, but it’s possible: some kernel options specific to Cyrix processors have been removed, by Sascha Wildner.

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Power savings and Haswell chips


If you have a computer with one of the very-very-new Haswell processors from Intel, Matthew Dillon has made some changes that will interest you.  They shave off (in the example given) about 20% of CPU power usage without much effect on performance.

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KMS and i915 support in DragonFly


Thanks to the effort of a number of people, DragonFly (-current) now supports KMS and accelerated video on Intel 915 chipsets.  It’s 2D and x86_64 only for now, but it’s much, much better than just using the vesa driver.

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Intel KMS support coming soon


Thanks to the efforts of a large number of people, KMS support is showing up in DragonFly.  This supports accelerated video on the new Intel graphics chipsets that seem to show up on many recent laptops.

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Emulex OneConnect support added


Do you have a Emulex OneConnect 10Gb NIC?  Well good news!  Sascha Wildner brought in updated the oce(4) driver from FreeBSD to support Skyhawk models in DragonFly.

(My bad; looked at the wrong oce(4) commit originally and re-reported the import instead of the update.)

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Emulex card support


If you have an Emulex BladeEngine 2 or 3, or an Emulex Lancer, it should work in DragonFly, thanks to Sascha Wildner’s recent commit.   Emulex has 10Gb network cards, in case you were like me and not familiar with the name.

(You thought I was going to type “Sepherosa Ziehau”, didn’t you?)  

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mps(4) users, take note


If you have a mps(4) device (LSI Fusion-MPT 2 SAS disk controller), you may be interested in Matthew Dillon’s large commit of bugfixes from FreeBSD.  Specifically, he notes that the drive gets ‘overtagged’, and performance can be greatly improved by reducing the number of tags used.

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BSD Hardware ideas


PC-BSD now has a hardware store, with equipment known to work under PC-BSD.  Chances are good that if it works for PC-BSD, it’ll work for other BSDs or could be ported to do so…  (via)

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tpm(4) module added


The tpm(4) driver has been added by Sascha Wildner, ported from FreeBSD.  What’s it do?

From the man page: “The tpm driver provides support for various trusted platform modules (TPM) that can store cryptographic keys.” Crypto keys stored in hardware, where they are in theory unmangleable, instead of on the disk. At least, that’s my impression after 30 seconds of research.

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More IP forwarding performance


Sepherosa Ziehau has posted some numbers showing improvements in ip forwarding rates.  He’s done this before, except this time it’s with bnx(4), probably because of his recent commits.

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sili(4) testers needed


If you have a sili(4) device, Francois Tigeot needs you to run a particular patch and tell him what happens.  He’s testing a larger I/O request size, and wants to see how it will work out “in the field”.

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i386 end-of-life appears on the horizon


John Marino brought up a point every operating system project will have to think about: when does support for i386 (i.e. 32-bit x86 processors) stop?  Follow the thread for details.  There’s no final answer, yet.

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SSD/swapcache note


Matthew Dillon wrote a note about SSDs, HDDs, and swapcache that may be useful for anyone building a system soon.   Conversations about SSDs, swapcache, and so on have happened before.

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USB4BSD: not yet


The upcoming DragonFly 3.4 release will not include the USB4BSD port from Markus Pfeiffer; he’s hoping for it to become default in the next release after 3.4.

You can still try it, as it’s present in DragonFly but not on by default.  Help with driver porting is always welcome, of course.

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mfi(4) users and foreign configs


If you have a mfi(4) device – in other words, a LSI MegaRAID SAS driver – you can now see/import/clear/etc. foreign configurations, thanks to this commit from Sascha Wildner, tested by Francois Tigeot, and originally from FreeBSD.

For the confused, ‘foreign’ means any disk hooked to a RAID controller that isn’t part of a configuration the RAID device already knows about.  A replacement disk, or more worryingly, a good disk gone bad/unrecognizable.  (I’ve had both.)

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Do you have a wpi(4) or iwi(4) device?


If you have an ath(4), wpi(4) or iwi(4) wireless network link, and you’re running DragonFly-master, please update.  Sepherosa Ziehau has pushed Johannes Hoffman’s wlan_serialize branch, which means bringing up wlan0 is a bit easier – and less crashy.

It needs to be tested for wpi(4) and iwi(4), however, so if you have success or failure with those devices, please say so in reply.

(new post category starting now: “Please test”)

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MSI in more places


MSI (Message Signaled Interrupts) has been enabled by default on the re(4), msk(4), and et(4) networking chipsets, by Sepherosa Ziehau.

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Multiple ring support on Broadcom 5709/5716


It seems Sepherosa Ziehau won’t rest until he’s reached peak performance for every network card in DragonFly; he’s added multiple ring/MSI-X support for Broadcom 5709/5716 chipsets in DragonFly.  In more concrete terms, this means better speeds when transmitting and receiving multiple streams of data.

(at least, I think so.)

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Software RAID options


Following this recent thread, it looks like the best answer for software RAID is: buy hardware.  I’d be interested to hear what people have experience with in the realm of cheap but OK RAID hardware.

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More IP forwarding stats


Sepherosa Ziehau has posted more statistics on his ifnet/ifaddr per-CPU stats work.  It’s doing so well that he’s very close to reaching the maximum physical capacity of the 4x gigabit ethernet hardware he’s using.

 
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Comings and goings


Added: Peter Avalos has updated OpenSSL to version 1.0.1d – see the changelog.

Removed: support for ISA sound cards, by Sascha Wildner.  Goodbye sb16; I’ll remember you fondly.

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Multiple TX queue support for emx(4), sort of


The emx(4) driver now has support for multiple TX queues, but it’s not on by default.  There’s scenarios where multiple queues work out with that hardware, but you have to be sure you are actually in the right setup for that first.  Check Sepherosa Ziehau’s commit message for the details.

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Intel network chipset improvements


Sepherosa Ziehau has merged the hardware abstraction layer (HAL) for em(4) and igb(4), along with updating em(4)/emx(4) to version 7.3.4 and igb(4) to version 2.3.7.

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Multiple transmit queue work results


Sepherosa Ziehau has posted a detailed message showing the speeds he gets with multiple transmission queues, using igb(4).  The short version:

Quick summary, the multiple TX queue support gives me:
+200Kpps for 2 bidirectional normal IP forwarding (now 4.40Mpps)
+160Kpps for 2 bidirectional fast IP forwarding (now 5.23Mpps)

 

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BSDTalk 222: 8 minutes of tinkering


Will Backman has a new BSDTalk episode up, with a bit of Peter Salus from BSDCan 2011 and a bit of Raspberry Pi on FreeBSD.

We need more fiddling-with-BSD-on-hardware stuff out there.  That would be a good thing for Youtube – hint, hint.

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Network fairness changes and what they mean


Sepherosa Ziehau makes commits almost daily to DragonFly’s network infrastructure, but I have a hard time quantifying it into Digest posts in part because it’s often very technical.  His most recent commits come with an explanation, however.  He has done plenty of work to improve overall transmission speeds in DragonFly, and now he’s working on ‘fairness’.  Fair, in this case, means ensuring that packet transmitting and receiving happen without either one monopolizing the connection.  In real world terms, this translates to much more constant speeds.  His recent commit details what he’s doing and some numbers to prove it.

Remember I said he’s improved speeds?  Note that in his example, he’s reaching stable peaks of 981 Mbps.  This is on a line that I assume theoretically maxes out at 1000.

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HAMMER best practices, and RAID


Dave Hayes asked for some “best practices” ideas for setting up a HAMMER (1) system.  I replied, and the conversation turned to RAID, as these often do.  If you’re thinking of purchasing disk hardware in the near future, this will be useful to you.

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Virtio and virtio-block drivers added


Venkatesh Srinivas and Tim Bisson have been working for some time on a port of FreeBSD’s virtio and virtio-block drivers.  (see man page commit)  They’ve now been committed.  This should make your virtual disk perform better, if nothing else.

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AVX support added to DragonFly


Adam Sakareassen submitted a patch for AVX support for 64-bit DragonFly, and Alex Hornung has committed it.  If you’re like me and have only the vaguest idea what AVX is, it’s a set of processor instructions added by Intel to Sandy Bridge and later CPUs.

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IFQ packet staging mechanism added


I’m not sure what IFQ stands for, but Sepherosa Ziehau’s added it.  It appears to be based on an idea from Luigi Rizzo called ‘netmap‘.  In this case, network packets are grouped together before being placed onto the network interface’s hardware queue.  That means better packet per second performance without a corresponding increase in CPU usage, as Sepherosa Ziehau’s report lists, along with needed sysctls.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, Device support, DragonFly     3 Comments

IP Forwarding Performance


Sepherosa Ziehau has been making a lot of commits to increase packet-per-second rates without increasing CPU usage.  He’s published a sort of progress report/benchmark to show current performance levels.  It sounds like he’s expecting even better performance in the future, though I’m not sure how much more he could push out of it, since the bulk performance appears to be close to the rated capacity of the copper…

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment

Still using ISA cards? A few more drivers removed


The stl(4), bt(4), aic(4), and cy(4) drivers are now PCI-only, which means no COMPAT_OLDISA kernel option, and a time to upgrade your hardware if you’re actually using these devices.  Does anyone even still have ISA slots?

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     3 Comments

More HighPoint support


Sascha Wildner recently brought in support from FreeBSD for HighPoint’s RocketRAID 4520 and 4522 SAS/SATA RAID cards.  It’s in the hptiop(4) driver.

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SMBIOS access now possible


Sascha Wildner has added system management BIOS (SMBIOS) support, visible with kenv, from FreeBSD.  Use it for getting things like the BIOS revision, system manufacturer, and so on.  For example:

smbios.bios.reldate="12/04/2006"
smbios.bios.vendor="Dell Inc. "
smbios.bios.version="2.1.0 "

This may seem minor, but this can be very helpful when dealing with hardware you aren’t physically able to access.

MSI-X for the masses


Sepherosa Ziehau is switching a number of network cards over to use ifpoll, which means they will have capabilities similar to MSI-X, even if the network card doesn’t support it.  My suspicion is that it will make these cards perform better in busy situation where they would otherwise get bogged down… but that’s based on hunch rather than empirical testing.  As Sepherosa Ziehau pointed out, it certainly can’t hurt.

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BSD Magazine for November 2012


November’s PDF issue of BSD Magazine is out, with a number of articles including a hardware review of the  Netgear Universal Wifi Adapter.  We need more BSD-centric device testing.

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