Mihai Carabas has posted his weekly results, showing a 5% improvement in pgbench resultswhen using his scheduler. Vishesh Yadav is working on IN_MOVED_TO/IN_MOVED_FROM flags (part of inotify, I assume). Ivan Sichmann Freitas I haven’t heard from yet. (Ivan, where are you?)
Juraj Sipos wrote me to describe MaheshaDragonFlyBSD, a live DragonFly image that has additional software preinstalled, and can easily be set to understand Sanskrit. It’s available in DVD and USB versions.
If you want to put something towards DragonFly, and you don’t have time or hardware, cash is now an option. (It’s not tax-deductible.)
The release announcement for pkgsrc-2012Q2 is out. New in this quarterly release: statistics about clang and pkgsrc. A surprisingly large number of packages build just fine with clang instead of gcc.
Attention students and mentors: the Summer of Code midterms open up on July 9th. This means students fill out an evaluation, and mentors also fill out an evaluation. Don’t forget, because completed evals from mentor and student both are necessary for a project to continue being funded.
More benchmarks, in this case a comparison of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD and DragonFly. I’m not even sure how to derive meaning from it.
It’s almost an all-Vim week.
- Unix as IDE, a 6 part completed series. (via)
- VimOrganizer, Emac’s Org-mode for Vim. (via)
- The Vim Clutch. This is hilarious. (via) Also see “Chindogu“, though this might be too useful.
- Those who know UNIX are doomed to reinvent it. (via same place)
- Falsehoods programmers believe about time. Taken from the same thing about names. (via) Also, when someone says, “Oh, I can just look for email addresses using a regular expression”, you’re stepping over a similar cliff.
- Welcome image in your terminal. (via) Will this work in an xterm? rxvt? I don’t know…
- CanI make this Lazy Reading post more nerdy? Yes! Arbitrage and Equilibrium in the Team Fortress 2 Economy. I already enjoy economics writing, and this one is about virtual economies and games. The only thing I know of close to this is the economist that works on EVE Online.
If you have an Intel processor with multiple cores and hyperthreading support, you can compile a new kernel and try out Mihia Carabas’s GSoC work already; he’s created a test using the OpenSSL test case to time scheduling performance vs. number of threads.
I know I already posted that this was on the way, but this time, the quarterly pkgsrc freeze is starting with a detailed announcement. 2 weeks until the next release, if everything goes well.
The freeze for pkgsrc-2012Q2 starts on the 16th of June, as recently announced. Freezes are usually 2 weeks, so that means 2012Q2 should be tagged at the end of June.
Pkgsrc already runs on a large number of different platforms, but that’s not what I’m talking about. In this case, Joyent, which uses pkgsrc internally, has a suggested change that makes binaries usable on both 32 and 64 bit systems. I don’t know if this will go into pkgsrc proper, but it’s interesting to see.
There’s a number of packages out there that assume you are using the GNU versions of ls, wc, and so on. However, you aren’t when using a BSD system. Pkgsrc has historically dealt with this when GNU tools are needed for a package by prefixing them with a ‘g’. ’ls’ becomes ‘gls’, and so on. Aleksey Cheusov proposed a fix to keep these utilities under their original names, which I think will go into the next quarterly pkgsrc release.
Pkgsrc packages that have source files that can’t be redistributed, and go missing for the length of an entire quarterly release, will get removed. They are effectively broken at that point anyway.
That policy is now formally in place; I don’t think there was a clear prescription before.
I think I’ve mentioned building DragonFly with clang before, but not pkgsrc. There’s two variables to set, plus some special handling for libf2c. Thomas Klausner has details. This is not tested on DragonFly.
Takahiro Kambe is bringing PHP 5.4 into pkgsrc, probably as lang/php54. Follow the whole thread for a discussion of version numbering. As a side effect of this, PHP 5.2 will leave pkgsrc by the next quarterly pkgsrc release. If you’re using that older flavor, you’ll want to upgrade.
TUI mode is available now for kgdb on DragonFly, thanks to John Marino. It’s apparently a Text User Interface for debugging core files. I haven’t used it, so I’m relying on the testimony of others.
Here’s a post by yours truly, on how to move to pkgsrc-2012Q1 though building from source. This is for anyone sick of waiting for me to finish the binary build of pkgsrc.
Matthew Dillon posted a followup on that fix for clustering I noted yesterday. It describes the exact problems better than I could, though the result is the same: you should update if you’re running bleeding-edge DragonFly.
A fix for cluster_write() issues reported by multiple people is now available, so if you’re running a version of DragonFly newer than 3.0.2, you’ll want to update.
Each of the 4 DragonFly participants for Summer of Code have posted an introductory email and details of their projects. Here’s direct links to their posts for your reading convenience:
- Vishesh Yadav - Implement inotify interface and Indexing Service for Filesystem
- Mihai Carabas - Add SMT/HT awareness to DragonFlyBSD scheduler
- Loganaden Velvindron - Privilege Separation in DragonflyBSD
- Ivan Sichmann Freitas - 32 bit API for 64 bit kernels
(Yes, same format as my last post, but now the links are to their posts, not the sparse Google info pages.)
There’s a few pkgsrc packages that might be going the way of the dodo, soon. There’s a few more that need love, so speak up if you use them. Maybe you can be the Somebody™ that fixes them?
Welcome our newest committer: Markus Pfeiffer. He’s ‘profmakx’ on EFNet #dragonfly, and has been working on a port of FreeBSD’s USB infrastructure – which I am looking forward to, tremendously.
I’m still working on building them. I kept getting panics, which seem to be fixed by this commit, so I should have something soon. Sorry!
Michael Lucas’s worthwhile book, SSH Mastery, is currently having one of those sudden price cuts on Amazon – for the paperback version, about 25%. Now it a good time to nab it before the price bounces back up.
Julian Fagir has put together a graphical – meaning it works under curses in a terminal, or under X - interface to pkgin, the binary package manager. Can someone try it and describe how well it works?
The next quarterly release of pkgsrc, pkgsrc-2012Q1, has been branched. I’ll start building binary packages momentarily.
The branch should show up in DragonFly git later today. Once available, you can change any references to ‘pkgsrc-2011Q4′ in /usr/Makefile to ‘pkgsrc-2012Q1′, and then to switch to it:
- cd /usr/pkgsrc
- git branch pkgsrc-2012Q1 origin/pkgsrc-2012Q1
- git checkout pkgsrc-2012Q1
- git pull
At that point, you can start building and installing newer applications. For more details on that, check the pkgsrc guide on the DragonFly website.
Note that you don’t have to do that; you can stick with the 2011Q4 (or earlier) packages you have installed now, if you don’t want to deal with software changes right now, or if you want to wait for the binary packages to become available. Upgrades/security fixes only happen for the latest quarterly release, though.
Note: don’t assume I tested this before advising you to do it, or anything like that. I mean, come on.
There’s been some discussion of packages that have been broken for a long time in pkgsrc, over on the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list. It’s interesting to see just what breaks these packages, though it still seems up in the air whether any will be removed or not. (Follow the thread if you have time.) I don’t think the discussion has ended yet.
I’ve been working on a small house project over the past few days. My house has a basement workroom, which I use for whatever I need to do involving pliers or a saw. I’ve been slowly outfitting it over the past few years, and one thing I wanted to do was to wire it for music.
Not just a radio, but a computer that I could play sound file from, and stream audio. You can buy hardware for just that, but I’m cheap. I also wanted to keep it from looking like a computer desk; I have enough of that in my life already. This is a minor project; nothing like what you’d find on Instructables, but entertaining because it let me use DragonFly.
I purchased a set of cheap speakers from Newegg. You’ll notice that the speakers have a metal frame that forms a loop at the bottom – that’s important later. I bought the speakers and hooked to a tiny netbook, running DragonFly 3.0.2. It works fine for playing music, though the case speaker doesn’t shut off when external ones are attached. That’s not a problem here, though, since it’s not loud enough to be audible over the separate speaker output.
Those metal loops on the bottoms of the speakers turned out to be handy. I found some scrap wood, and built a small armature to fit inside the loop and hold it offset from the ceiling joist. Both of these wooden blocks could have the speaker slide over it, upside down.
I stained both of the blocks so that they wouldn’t stand out against the dark wood of the workroom ceiling.
I affixed the wooden hangers as far out as the cord on the speakers would let me, and slid the upside-down speakers onto them. There’s enough length in the cords to place the separate volume control dial on the workbench, and I’m done.
You can see the ceiling speaker in the upper corner. How’s the sound? Okayish. You aren’t going to get much out of a set of speakers this cheap, but at least I don’t have wires over my work area, and I don’t have to worry about puncturing a speaker with a screwdriver by accident, or something similar. I can close the laptop to keep it at least somewhat protected.
This is not a terribly complex project, but it makes me happy to have a DragonFly-based jukebox when I’m home. (This laptop usually travels with me.) I’m playing the music with mpg123, which is a surprisingly capable command-line player for files and for streaming audio.
(Yes, that is a large black velvet painting of a bullfight in the background. It was a wedding present. I also have black velvet paintings of Kenny Rogers as the Gambler, Fat Elvis, and Jesus blessing a tractor-trailer. I don’t know why.)
I just removed old pkgsrc binary packages for DragonFly 2.6/2.7 from avalon, so if somehow you are running a version of DragonFly that old, and still using binary packages, you’ll want to upgrade. I’m pretty confident that describes nobody.
Also, I have plans for coordinating the next pkgsrc release of 2012Q1, due April 6th, with the probably next minor upgrade of DragonFly, 3.0.3. I wrote out my plans already, so go read. (plus followup)
John Marino has changed the default search path for ldconfig; it no longer looks along /usr/lib/gcc* since that’s already included via rpath. The end result: you will need to do ‘make upgrade’ after your next
A torrent for DragonFly 3.0.2, found via Google search. Which ISO or img files does it include? I don’t know. Which architectures? I don’t know. Is it legit? I don’t know. Click at your own risk, just like any other link.
DragonFly 3.0.2 is out, and you can update (see /usr/src/UPDATING) an existing install or download a new one. This release turns off I/O APIC when booting in a VM because it caused issues for some users.
Matthew Dillon also pointed out there’s a workaround to fix it, with no performance impact, it’s only found on revision 10h CPUs (not Bulldozer), and it’s extremely hard to duplicate. Why draw such a heavy line under that? The news of this bug rippled out through various news sites and was almost universally misreported, in a way that made it look bad for AMD without actually realistically quantifying the problem. Remember, it took 6 months just to find it – and he was looking for it!
It runs from now to April 6th, so nothing but bug fixes in pkgsrc until then. If you have any package fixes you needed, now’s the time to ask someone.
The freeze for the next version of pkgsrc, 2012Q1, will start March 22nd and end with the quarterly release being released on April 6th.
(I hope someone gets the joke.)
John Marino’s updated DragonFly’s version of GCC 4.4 to 4.4.7, apparently the final version of GCC 4.4. What’s next? I imagine GCC 4.6 at some point. It’s always a fun (maybe bikeshed-ish) conversation on which compiler to install, and which to have in base.
For the curious, I recently sent a bulk build report for pkgsrc-2011Q4 to the lists. Other than ruby-193 (which is fixed in pkgsrc HEAD thanks to John Marino), we’re looking pretty good! I’m curious if KDE or Gnome could actually get installed via binary; that’s sort of an ultimate goal due to the number of packages involved.
Speaking of Ruby, the default in pkgsrc may change soon, along with some of the involved Rails packages.
As several people have told me, there’s benchmarks of DragonFly 3.0 vs. 2.10, available on Phoronix. CPU performance shows a significant improvement, in tests that actually test it. (I’d think a file compression test would be disk-limited, for instance.) Disk performance isn’t as great, but that may be in part because Hammer no longer will starve reading to benefit writing; that makes benchmarks look worse but improves real-world interactivity. I’m sure there’s more quibbling to do, since it’s
lies, damn lies benchmarks.
If for some reason you needed DragonFly 2.6 ISOs, or older, there’s a mirror.
If you want to build Firefox 10 out of pkgsrc, make sure your DragonFly system is up to date; there’s a recent fix needed to make that happen.
I tagged these when they happened in previous months, but I forgot to post them:
If you’re in New York City or the UK, there’s two new DragonFly mirrors for your downloading pleasure. Check the mirrors page for details.
The default version of Python in pkgsrc is going to become 2.7. This will mean the 2012Q1 release will use that version by default. Older versions, meaning Python 2.4 and 2.5, may be going away. At least, that’s how the linked thread started but I’m not totally sure about it as I read farther through.
See the release page for details. This release took longer than normal because of a crazy bug hunt, but the payoff is that this version performs better than ever.
Note: The x86_64 GUI ISO image had a problem due to file size (over 2G); redownload if you’ve had trouble booting it.
I was reading an article about how Tumblr scaled to handle the huge amount of data it’s regularly pushing out. Apparently, it started life as a traditional LAMP stack, but they’ve since moved on – to software packages I have not yet needed to ever use. Being open source software, it all has crazy names. Some of these packages are perfectly familiar to me now, but others are completely new.
Anyway, for fun, I decided to see how many of these sometimes new-to-me packages were present in pkgsrc. I’ll reproduce a paragraph from the story that lists the software they use, and link each one that I found in pkgsrc.
- PHP, Scala, Ruby
- Redis, HBase, MySQL
- Varnish, HA-Proxy, nginx,
- Memcache, Gearman, Kafka, Kestrel, Finagle
- Thrift, HTTP
- Git, Capistrano, Puppet, Jenkins
That’s actually more than I thought I’d find, though I can’t articulate why. Anyway, if any of the names are unfamiliar to you, now is the time to follow up. Redis, for example, looks more interesting to me at a casual glance than the normal NoSQL models I’ve heard about.
If you’ve noticed the main dragonflybsd.org website being down, that’s because both network connections (on different networks!) serving it are down. This makes the website unavailable, and the source code, but you can still pull down images, packages, and the like from avalon.dragonflybsd.org. Hopefully this warning will be out of date soon.
Note: It’s back.
Hey, it’s snowing here! Finally.
- I remember when fractal zooming would bring a desktop computer to its knees. Now, you can do it in a web browser. (via) This exists as a standalone application (x11/XaoS) too.
- I see content from here get splogged, from time to time, and I think that’s what’s happening here. Someone throws “BSD” into a content generator, with ads slapped on top of it? Honestly, I’m not sure what it is. (via)
- Hammer 2 work is starting, as noted earlier this week. Let’s see some details on a similar filesystem project, btrfs. (via)
- You should quit Facebook because privacy etc. you’ve heard it from me before. The arguments are getting more thorough, though.
- Here’s an article from independent game developer Jeff Vogel about serving a niche with your independent work. I like his writing, plus if you squint your eyes and sorta look at that article’s point sideways, you could construe it as relevant for BSD.
- For fun, spot the two things I mention/link to here frequently, in this somewhat hypey article about Tumblr. (via)
- An Economist article about shifting from computer to computer. I read that and realized the one computer constant for me isn’t my desktop – it’s “~”.
- If you ever played games on the Amiga, you may want to watch this movie. It’s clips from a lot of Amiga games. By a lot, I mean an hour and a half of footage total. There were some really advanced games for the time there. (via)
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Shut Up About Cats. The rest of that site’s good too.
Also! On a related link, Venkatesh Srinivas, one of the DragonFly developers, is participating in a bike ride to raise cash for the Ulman Cancer Fund. If you’d like to pledge some money, he’ll feel better as he cycles a ridiculous 4,000 miles across the US.
There’s 7 bug reports to close before releasing DragonFly 3.0. Most of them have dumps to go with them, so each one should be solvable. Please take a look if you have the time and inclination,
There’s a Hammer 2 branch in the DragonFly git repo now, for the next generation of DragonFly’s native file system. Don’t get too excited; as Matthew Dillon explains, it won’t be operational for months, and features won’t get added until much later this year. It’s neat to see the work happening, though, and there’s a new design document to show what’s coming.
If you were thinking about implementing DNSSEC, Michael Lucas did it himself and wrote down his notes. You can read them and either follow along to implement it yourself, or just spectate. The one disadvantage is that it uses BIND 9.9, and I only see 9.8 and 10 in pkgsrc.
I’ve reviewed Michael Lucas’s book here before, so when he offered a chance to read his newest, SSH Mastery, I jumped at the chance. Michael Lucas has published a number of technical books through No Starch Press, and started wondering out loud about self-publishing. This is, I think, his first self-published technical volume.
It’s a very straightforward book. The introduction opens with a promise not to waste space showing how to compile OpenSSH in text. Chapter 2 ends with the sentence, “Now that you understand how SSH encryption works, leave the encryption settings alone.” This stripping-down of the usual tech-book explanations gives it the immediacy of extended documentation on the Internet. Not the multipage how-to articles used as vehicles for advertising, but an in-depth presentation from someone who used OpenSSH to do a number of things, and paid attention while doing it.
It’s a fun read, and there’s a good chance it covers an aspect of SSH that you didn’t know. In my case, it’s the ability to attach a command to a public key used for login. It even covers complex-but-oh-so-useful VPN setups via SSH.
If you’re looking for philosophical reasons to buy it, how about the lack of DRM?
The physical version is not available yet, but the electronic version is available at Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), or from Smashwords (every other format ever, including .txt). The Smashwords variety of formats means that you’ll be able to read it on your phone, one way or another; I’d like to see more books that way in the future.
Ulrich Habel wants to update some of the Perl 5 modules in pkgsrc. He published a request for comments, describing what he plans to do for changing some dependencies. He does note that Perl 5 in pkgsrc is at 5.14.2, which is very recent.
I was talking to a relative today who works at a large financial company, which is standardizing on Red Hat Enterprise. I find it strange that Red Hat, which has a lot of money behind it, still ships a years-old and arguably broken version of perl. By using pkgsrc, you’re getting more up-to-date software than people that actually shell out money for the privilege of compiling software.
They are located in the normal place, in .img (USB) and .iso (CD/DVD) formats. I haven’t made the desktop DVD yet; let’s see how these untested versions do…
If you need to use ISDN with DragonFly, speak up now. I think it may get tossed otherwise.
I received an email from No Starch Press about reviewing this book, and my first reaction was to say no. I assumed this was essentially a book about using Bash, and therefore probably not useful to people reading the Digest.
I read it despite my knee-jerk reaction, and I didn’t need to reject it so suddenly. Almost all of the book will apply to any Unix-like system.
My first real experience with something that wasn’t Windows or a Mac was at a summer job during college, sitting in front of a SparcStation 5 editing files and processing data for real estate. Much of my muscle memory about vi and file manipulation dates from then. This book, even though it’s technically for a different operating system, would have been just what I needed. There’s no system administration in the book, just making your way around a filesystem and the tools you need to get results. It’s the kind of skills I think people lose out on when they boot to a graphical interface in Ubuntu, for example, and then never experience these tools.
Negatives: a few areas won’t be of use to most BSD users, like the section on packaging, or the bash-centric instructions in the shell programming area. There’s the occasional off comment, like that OpenSSH originates from “the BSD project”. There’s surprisingly little of this however, and I had to think a bit to write this negative paragraph.
Positives: The book puts the proper focus on some complex but rewarding aspects of command line use, like using vi (alright, vim) and understanding regular expressions. Much of what it covers is the same material I’ve learned to use over time, and explained to others.
There’s clearly two areas to the book; the first half is about using the command line to accomplish work, and the second is about shell programming. Making it at least through the first half will result in being able to work at a prompt with little issue, with the shell programming a nice bonus. It’s not the normal mix of admin tasks and introductory text; it’s about working at the command line. I imagine giving it to new software testers in a lab, or to a Windows user that has to deal with the occasional unfamiliar environment. There isn’t an equivalent BSD-centric book like this, so it wouldn’t hurt a BSD user, either.
It’s available now at the No Starch website.