Category: Device support

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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Major USB update arrives


Sascha Wildner has committed Markus Pfeiffer’s port of USB4BSD to DragonFly.   USB network, input , audio, and storage devices (including xhci/USB3 items) may work, though there’s no guarantee for each driver.  This is added but not on by default, so see the first link for instructions on how to rebuild your kernel to use it.  This will be in (but not default) the DragonFly 3.2 release.

(This is shaping up to be a much bigger release than I anticipated!)

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Areca updates


Sascha Wildner’s added updatesfrom FreeBSD for the Areca arcmsr(4) driver; specifically for the ARC-1213, ARC-1223 and ARC-1882 models.

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Notes on smartmontools


Smartmontools will catch impending disk failures about 2/3 of the time, so it’s useful to run it and interpret the results.  The results can be somewhat complex, though.  However, it can be useful to look at other people talking about the output and glean knowledge from the context.

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Do you have an ixbge(4)?


If you are using an Intel 10G Ethernet card with a 82598GB chipset, you’re using ixgbe(4).  You may want to set the net.inet.tcp.sosend_agglim sysctl to a value over 12 in certain circumstances, as described by Francois Tigeot.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     3 Comments

Porting drivers, for future reference


Much of this new document has been around in other forms for a while, but now, there’s a brief guide on porting drivers to DragonFly in the source tree.

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Do you have a SSD yet?


Because here’s some recommendations on good models, and here’s a way to check SSD health.  Seriously, they’re great.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

LSI users, take note


If you have a LSI RAID card, meaning you are using the mfi(4) driver, Sascha Wildner has added  /proc/devices to linprocfs, so that LSI’s MegaCLI configuration utility will run.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     2 Comments

Is your battery smart?


Sascha Wildner has pushed smart battery support, based on a patch from Dmitry Komissaroff and FreeBSD.  He asks people to try it out.  It apparently provides for more accurate battery charge level readings?

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Vendor support is always nice


I noticed that this recent commit from Sepherosa Ziehau is a bug fix for jme(4).  The commit thanks a JMicron employee for help.  It’s always appreciated when a vendor is helpful to an open-source project for hardware support.  It’s also something you should consider the next time you are shopping for computer parts.

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Some more networking chipset updates


Francois Tigeot has updated the ixgbe(4) driver, and Sepherosa Ziehau has added TSO support for bce(4) and additional bge(4) related chips, mostly from the FreeBSD drivers.

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alc(4) now works better, faster


Sepherosa Ziehau has added MSI support and cleaned up the alc(4) driver.  If you’re using a network card with the Atheros AR8131 or AR8132 chipsets, you should see an improvement.

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More RocketRAID support


Sascha Wildner has ported over more RocketRaid support, in the form of PCI IDs for various 4xxx and 3xxx series cards for hptiop(4), and a hpt27xx(4) driver that supports even more hardware.

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Another SSD conversation


Pierre Abbat is curious about using Hammer on an SSD.  The discussion that came from that has some useful points, including notes that a straightforward SSD as disk works for most anything with Hammer other than very intensive database use, due to the history retention.  If space is an issue, swapcache on the SSD and attaching a normal HDD is a fine alternative.  A SSD with Hammer can leave some features off, though I’d argue that dedup is totally worth is.  Also, SSD speed is directly correlated with size.

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More HighPoint RocketRAID support


Sascha Wildner’s added support (from FreeBSD) for the HighPoint RocketRAID 17xx, 22xx, 23xx and 25xx, via the hptrr(4) driver.

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TCP Segmentation Offloading added


Sepherosa Ziehau’s added TSO support (that’s TCP Segmentation Offloading”, or “Large Segment Offload” going by Wikipedia) within IPv4 on DragonFly, pushing segmentation work from the CPU to the network card.  There’s also some DragonFly-specific improvements.

There’s been a lot of commits from him lately focused around network card improvements; they haven’t been easily summarizable, but it’s worth watching if you are interested in high-bandwidth usage and the hardware to support it.

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ciss(4) updates


The ciss(4) device, if you don’t know offhand, is for a variety of SCSI-3 adapters – mostly ones labeled “HP Smart Array”.  Sascha Wildner has imported a large number of driver updates from FreeBSD.

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A note for Atom CPU users


Not all flavors of Atom CPU support frequency scaling, as Sven Gaerner found out.  This means more heat and more power usage.  There’s further details scattered through the thread, but Sascha Wildner found what seems to be the definitive answer of which variants do and do not.

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Even more Broadcom


Thanks to David Christensen of Broadcom, Sepherosa Ziehau was able to add BCM5718 and BCM57785 support in the new bnx(4) driver.

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More Broadcom chip support


Sepherosa Ziehau has added support for a variety of bge(4) chipsets.

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Visible capacitor failures


From a thread on users@, I bring you Visible Capacitor Failures.  If the problems pictured are new to you…  trust me, you will see them up close someday.

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More than you may want to know about BIOSes and partitioning


Someone trying DragonFly couldn’t get it to start, and appeared to have a confused disk.  It looks like the system BIOS were at fault, and Matt Dillon has an explanation of this minefield.  (Including some comments on 4k physical disk sectors.)

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igb(4) and MSI-X


Sepherosa Ziehau has added MSI-X support to igb(4), the Intel PRO/1000 gigabit network card.  What does that mean?  The commit message mentions a default transmit rate of 1.48Mpps small packets, which is good?

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Hardware reports given out


New company Gainframe is offering up OpenBSD dmesg/pcidump/usbdevs output for every system they build.  I was originally going to link to this in a Lazy Reading entry, but then I realized it’s also a new company specializing in BSD-compatible hardware.   Read the interview; I met Michael Dexter at the last NYCBSDCon and he is a decent guy.

We need more of this sort of specifically targeted work.   Sites that rely on crowd-sourced contribution are good, but it’s not necessarily comprehensive, and you need a very large crowd for it to work.

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ixgbe(4) added


Francois Tigeot has added the Intel PRO/10GbE driver from FreeBSD, or ixgbe(4).  A couple features are turned off, for now.

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Watch this, bge(4) users


If you have a Broadcom BCM570x-series gigabit ethernet adapter, Sepherosa Ziehau’s made a lot of commits for the bge(4) driver recently; they may interest you.  (not sure if he’s even done yet; he tends to commit a lot of work.)

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igb(4) added


Sepherosa Ziehau has added igb(4) version 2.2.3 direct from Intel, for support of  their 82575 and 82576 Ethernet controller chips.  It now shares a hardware abstraction layer with the em(4) driver, too.

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“Level/low” USB fix


If you are having USB issues on boot with DragonFly, Sepherosa Ziehau’s sysctl suggestions may help you.

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BSDTalk 213: Paul Schenkeveld and EuroBSDCon


BSDTalk 213 is out, with 14 minutes of conversation with Paul Schenkeveld about EuroBSDCon.  EuroBSDCon is happening in late October, in Poland.  Also, the BSDTalk website has a new layout.

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Virtio drivers, an explanation


Venkatesh Srinivas posted an explanation of the virtio update he’s working on.  I linked to the work before, but not his explanation, which goes into the ‘vm_balloon’ device.

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Update, Asus G2K users


Sascha Wildner’s posted an update to the acpi_asus(4) module, so it’s worth updating if you have an appropriate Asus machine and are running DragonFly-current.

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Virtual IO drivers status


Venkatesh Srinivas has been working on integration of Tim Bisson’s virtio-bhyve drivers into DragonFly.  This would make throughput better in KVM/Qemu.  His bug ticket has some questions that could use answers.

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ichwd(4) added, watchdog watches


Francois Tigeot has added ichwd(4), a driver for the watchdog function on some Intel ICH motherboard chipsets.  Sascha Wildner has also made the kernel option for it on by default.  (Look for /dev/wdog.)

Update: Francois Tigeot sent a link to an excellent page explaining hardware watchdogs.

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em(4) update


Sepherosa Ziehau has updated the em(4) driver from Intel; it only matters if you are using the specific chipsets mentioned in the commit message.

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Have Areca RAID? Now you can use MSI


Thanks to Sascha Wildner, the Areca RAID controller driver, arcmsr(4), now supports MSI.   It should only make things better, but if it doesn’t, you can turn it off.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment

mfi(4) updated


Sascha Wildner has updated mfi(4), the LSI MegaRAID SAS driver , via FreeBSD and LSI.  SAS2208-based controllers are now supported.

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Fixing X video performance


I’ve seen a few people complain about poor video performance in DragonFly, in Xorg.  If you see a bunch of  “contigmalloc_map: failed …” errors in your dmesg, your video card needs more contiguous memory allocated.  Set vm.dma_reserved to 32M in /boot/loader.conf and you should be set.  If that doesn’t work, try 64M.

DragonFly and a Mac


Carsten Mattner wrote out his notes on EFI booting on a Mac.  This gets you closer to booting DragonFly on there, but I don’t think it is completely working yet.

Update: Carsten Mattner has a better summation than what I wrote.

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Do you have an HP laptop?


If you do, acpi_hp could use some testing.  Sascha Wildner just brought some improvements in for that module.   I’ve seen discounted HP laptops show up in various places, recently.

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All that work, vindicated


Notice how the 2.12 release never really happened, and 3.0 came out about 6 months later than usual?  A lot of that delay was caused by a vigorous search for a weird bug.  Multi-threaded buildworlds would crash, seemingly randomly and rarely.  It turns out we have confirmation from AMD that it is, indeed, a CPU hardware bug.

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How low can you go, with RAM?


Is it possible to boot with only 48M of RAM in a DragonFly system?  Probably not.  128M would be better.  I usually talk about the lower memory limit for Hammer, since it’s so relatively low for a snapshotting file system, but the converse applies here.  128M is probably the comfortable lower limit, though it’s pretty hard to find a system that would limit you that way without doing it on purpose.  128M sticks of RAM are practically disposable these days, really.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     10 Comments

Random numbers on nonexistent chips


Alex Hornung added support for rdrand(4), the random number generator built into some Intel CPUs.  That would be Ivy Bridge CPUs, which aren’t released yet, so it hasn’t been tested…  but you’re covered for that day in the future when they arrive.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Anyone have a spare Intel RAID controller?


Sascha Wildner is looking for the donation of a Intel Raid Controller RS25DB080.  If you were able to give him access to one, or even purchase it (ow my wallet), that would greatly assist development on DragonFly.

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mps(4) updated


Sascha Wildner has brought in improvements to the mps(4)driver from FreeBSD.   It’s for LSI Logic Fusion-MPT 2 SAS controllers, and apparently didn’t work very well… until now.  Sascha’s commit message details what’s new, including RAID support that is not yet mentioned in the man page.

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Odd DVD drive issue


Edward Berger found that using a LG/Hitachi DVD drive kept him from successfully booting a DragonFly install CD.  Using other manufacturers worked out fine.  What causes the problem?  I don’t know, but it’s worth mentioning it out loud in case someone else gets bit by it.

Setting up a DragonFly wireless access point


What if you have a DragonFly system that you want to use for an wireless access point?  Andrey N. Oktyabrski did, and he helpfully listed his solution.

Things that have been updated


I need to catch up on some older stuff, so here is a longer list of recent updates: libarchive to 3.0.2, xz to 5.0.3, mfi(4) and mfiutil(8) (LSI MegaRAID driver) updated, ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 AHCI devices (on motherboards I assume) updated, and the PHY ID for the Atheros F1 added.  Thanks to everyone who did the work!  I bet I missed something.

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Better MSI support


That’s Managed System Interrupts, for when your hardware is passing a lot of data and generating a lot of corresponding hardware interrupts.  MSI is what deals with all that traffic.  High-bandwidth (10G) network cards, for instance.  Anyway, Sepherosa Ziehau’s made more commits than what I’m linking to here, for support with various devices.

There’s many other MSIs out there, oddly enough.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     3 Comments

New ECC device


Sepherosa Ziehau has added updated the ‘ecc’ device, for Intel E3-1200 series systems.  What’s it do?  It will report on memory errors, and potentially fix them.

You should have ECC memory in your server already.  If not, you oughta.

Update: as Sascha Wildner pointed out, ecc(4) already existed, but didn’t support Intel controllers.  Also, the Xeon X3400 series is supported now too.

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Remember rcrun?


I think a lot of people don’t realize rcrun exists, and run files in /etc/rc.d directly.  If you’re one of those people, read the rcrun(8) manpage.  Then, notice that Sascha Wildner has extended rcrun to work with the etc/rc.d in /usr/local and /usr/pkg too.

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Video and USB fix


Matthew Dillon has written a contiguous memory mapper, which is designed to fix problems with video cards and USB drives that need a big chunk of memory to keep.  This can affect booting or later on, when disconnecting/reconnecting a USB drive.  If this still doesn’t fix the problem for you, try adjusting the sysctl ‘vm.dma_reserved’ to something bigger, like 64M.  It defaults to 16M.

(Normal mailarchive isn’t updating because of an ongoing upgrade to crater.dragonflybsd.org – sorry!)

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Do you have a Geode? Well, good news!


John Marino added tuning support within GCC 4.4 for the Geode CPU.   Waaaay back when, these were x86 -compatible Cyrix chips.  Nowadays I think they are most common in single-board computers.

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Lazy Reading for 2011/10/30


It’s snowing in the northeast U.S., which makes me happy!  Keep going, sky!

Unrelated link of the week: Manly Guys Doing Manly Things.  Most of the jokes revolve around games you may or may not know, with the occasional realistic experience that I’ve had myself.

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Got an r600-based video card?


That would be a recent ATI card, though I don’t know exactly which model name.  Samuel Greear has imported David Shao’s DRM work, originally for Summer of Code, last year.  Most newer Radeons should work (?).

MMC/SD cards now automatically supported


I did not realize this, but MMC/SD cards are not supported in the default DragonFly kernel.  Or at least, they weren’t until now.  (also committed to 2.12)

Update: PCI-based MMC/SD readers, specifically.  USB ones were already recognized as umass devices.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment

Per-CPU hardware resources


It looks like Sepherosa Ziehau is working on hardware support being split up per-CPU, judging by this commit – one of many, recently.

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GEM/KMS warning


Some newer laptops have Intel integrated video chipsets that require GEM/KMS to work well; they are supported by the vesa driver in X, but performance isn’t great.   Johannes Hofmann found this out the hard way.  GEM/KMS support is on the way for various BSDs, but it’s not here yet.  Just be aware of this if shopping for a new laptop in the next little while…

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TRIM arrives for DragonFly


Tim Bisson’s work on TRIM support has been committed.  I don’t know if it will show in 2.12, but it’s off by default so it would seem a safe move.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Update for ndis(4)


Sascha Wildner has updated ndis(4), the wrapper that makes Windows network drivers usable on DragonFly, with an extensive description of what’s changed.

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safe(4) added


Sascha Wildner has added safe(4), which will help if you have a SafeNet chip on your crypto accelerator card.  Untested, so you know what to do if you have this hardware.

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Try x86_64 again


If DragonFly/x86_64 fails to install on your system, but DragonFly/i386 works, try again.  Sepherosa Ziehau has a fix for the keyboard controller that may make x86_64 systems boot DragonFly when previously they did not.

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New patches for TRIM support


Tim Bisson has posted a new batch of patches putting TRIM support into DragonFly.  He has a graph in there too!

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New HighPoint RocketRAID support


If you have a HighPoint RocketRAID 4321 or 4322 model, Sascha Wildner’s just added support for them in the hptiop(4) driver, taken from FreeBSD.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, FreeBSD     0 Comments

A bounty for rum(4)


It sounds like I’m about to mention something pirate-themed, doesn’t it?  Brendan Kosowski needs the rum(4) driver, for (I think) Ralink RT2501USB and RT2601USB wireless.  He’s willing to offer a bounty of $100 to anyone who can get it working before the next DragonFly release.  Work on it if you can port, or add money if you can use it.

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More network hardware changes: Broadcom


Sepherosa Ziehau continues his relentless network feature improvement/porting: this time, adding the ability for DragonFly to recognize more varieties of Broadcom hardware.

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More msk(4) modification


Sepherosa Ziehau has been making a lot more changes to the msk(4) driver for Marvell Ethernet chipsets.  I link to this commit adding support for Yukon Supreme cards, but there’s a great deal of work from him, recently added.

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LSI driver updates


Sascha Wildner has committed version 3.981 of the mfi(4) driver, for a variety of LSI MegaRAID SAS 92XX devices.  Read the commit message for details on the model numbers.

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More Marvell support


Sepherosa Ziehau has added support for a wider range of Marvell network interfaces; specifically the chips on board, not just card models.  If you’ve got the right chips but they aren’t working for you, you know what to do.

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Various old ISA drivers gone


17 different ISA device drivers have been removed by Sascha Wildner.  The commit message has device descriptions.  This may mean you need to change your kernel configuration file on the next buildkernel, since some of them were in the GENERIC kernel.  If you need any of them, speak up.  (I don’t think I’ve ever used any of them.  Oh darn.)

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, Heads Up!     1 Comment

More Broadcom support


Thanks to Michael Neumann, there’s more supported Broadcom network card chipsets.  There’s some wierdness in setup, though, so look at his commit message.

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Tim and TRIM


Tim Bisson has another status report on supporting TRIM in DragonFly.   It supports UFS and Hammer slices, and trimming swap too.  I’m not sure what else could be done; that sounds pretty complete to me…  In any case, if you have a SSD, his code is available to try right now.

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Smartphone driver


If you happen to use a LG P-500 smartphone to get online via USB, as ‘Romick’ does, he’s got a patch that makes that device work under DragonFly.  (Sorry, the original users@ email seems to have gone missing.)

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     3 Comments

More benchmarks, graphs


Francois Tigeot has repeated his benchmarking, this time changing out the CPU instead of the operating system.  There’s still more graphs, yay!

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Blogbench and Areca RAID tests


Francois Tigeot tested a system under both FreeBSD and DragonFly using various RAID setups with arcmsr(4) and blogbench.   Hooray for graphs!  Like any good benchmark, it quickly went to discussion of how the test was conducted and how the various runs differ.  (Follow the thread.)

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bce(4) firmware update


Sepherosa Ziehau has a firmware update for bce(4) (Broadcom NetXtreme II) cards.  He’s been doing a lot more incidental network hardware updates I haven’t linked; thanks, Sephe!

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     2 Comments

Intel networking updates


Sepherosa Ziehau has been committing a bunch of changes for em/emx(4) and bce(4).  You may have hardware that has suddenly become supported, for instance. Also, credit is due to David Christensen and Broadcom for sending hardware to test out.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment

Instructions for iwi(4)


Do you have a Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG, 2225BG, or 2915ABG wireless card?  The driver is iwi(4).  It requires a kernel module and some downloadable firmware, which makes it slightly more troublesome to set up.   Luckily, ‘ferz’ has written up just how to get it working.

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Who’s listening?


Do you have a DragonFly workstation?  That you play audio on?  Do you have headphones hooked up?  Is it using Intel High Definition Audio?  (snd_hda)  Does connecting the headphones disable the system speaker?

You can probably guess exactly what I’m trying to troubleshoot given the above questions.

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Two SSD things


Here’s two items I meant to post and for some reason did not:

  • Sven Gaerner posted a short description of how he migrated his DragonFly system from a hard disk to a SSD.  This may be useful for anyone considering a move.  Decent-sized SSDs are reaching low prices these days.
  • Tim Bisson posted an update on his work on TRIM support for DragonFly.  The code is available now if you’re feeling lucky.

 

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Say hello to LAPIC and IOAPIC, single processor


Sepherosa Ziehau’s made it possible for uniprocessor kernels to use the LAPIC and IOAPIC functions on x86_64, which means better timer support, less need to fiddle with configs, and more supported hardware.  A win all around!  Set hw.lapic_enable=”0″ if there’s trouble.  The same changes for i386 are on the way.


			
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