A thread on pkgsrc-users@ reminds me: adding a specific line for bin-install will save time when rebuilding packages; pkgsrc will use existing binary packages instead of rebuilding from source when possible, when this is set. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what it does.
Sandip Jadhav asked if anyone was working on an I/O scheduler. Chris Turner replied with a “no”, but also with a list of places to look for details on writing one, which I’m linking here for posterity.
John Marino is working on a very good idea: bringing bmake into DragonFly as a replacement for the current ‘make’. bmake is going through more active development and apparently also in use/will be used? on FreeBSD, so syncing up with the same make flavor as FreeBSD and NetBSD will help everyone. It’ll also remove the problem where you ‘make’ everything in DragonFly, except pkgsrc packages which you ‘bmake’. It’s not changed over yet.
(What does OpenBSD use for make?)
A conversation about compilers in the DragonFly base system led peeter (must) to describe his group’s use of OpenMPI on DragonFly for physics calculations. Apparently he’s had a significant performance improvement on DragonFly.
John Marino did a bulk build of pkgsrc using gcc 4.7.2, and posted the results. The result? About 1% of packages that built with gcc 4.4 did not build with 4.7.2. Whether that’s a problem with gcc or a problem with how each of those software packages were created by the original authors, I don’t know.
Google is hosting a ‘Doc Camp’, where people get together and write documentation for open source projects. There’s a page that talks about it. Last year’s inaugural event was apparently quite successful. I haven’t been to it, but I think a day just for documentation is a good idea.
I’m planning for DragonFly 3.2 to come with pkgsrc-2012Q3, the most recent release. I’m building binary packages to match, and the build should complete by the time we release on the 22nd…
Notice I said “should” – sometimes the universe conspires against bulk builds.
I branched 3.2 tonight. That means 2 weeks until release, so sharpen your bug-poking sticks!
(I’m very tired and unable to think of good analogies, sorry.)
As I typed elsewhere, my general plan is to branch DragonFly 3.2 on the 8th, and release on the 22nd. That should give the recent scheduler and gcc work a chance to settle, and perhaps get a new version of USB support in too. It will probably be using pkgsrc-2012Q3, also, though we may not have binary i386 packages. 3.2 is shaping up to be a much more significant release than I expected.
The machine that runs www.dragonflybsd.org and bugs.dragonflybsd.org is currently down. While it gets figured out, Alex Hornung has a static copy of the dragonflybsd.org main website available.
Sepherosa Ziehau has some suggestions for anyone looking for some kernel hacking. They’re mostly based around busdma(9).
dragonflybsd.org appears to be down right now so I’m linking to the MARC kernel@ post.
There’s a post on the mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org of currently broken packages for the next quarterly release. It’s not a lot of stuff, but if something you need is on there, don’t worry too much. If you follow the thread through its replies, there’s a lot of fixing going on.
MARC, which stands for Mailing list ARChives, has a lot of mailing lists. It now includes the DragonFly users@ list, along with the others. (It’s not linked in *BSD on the main MARC page yet, but it should be soon.) It’s worth digging through the massive, massive wall of text on that page to find a mailing list you didn’t know existed.
This latest commit for the new scheduler means that on your next update, you will want to build a new kernel, and probably a new world too. This only applies if you’re running DragonFly 3.1, of course.
The old mailing list software for @dragonflybsd.org mailing lists, bestserv, apparently allowed people not subscribed to a list to post to it, after answering a confirmation message for each message posted.
The closest way to duplicate that for Mailman is to sign up for the list you want, and then turn off mail delivery for your email address in the config page for that mailing list. This won’t affect a lot of people, since most people want list output in their mailbox, but there’s at least a few I’ve fixed that way.
Francois Tigeot benchmarked the recent Postgres 9.3 release. Postgres apparently switched to using mmap instead of SYSV shared memory, and Francois has done this to show the performance differences. (view the PDF in his post.) Of course, work has continued since this was posted, so there should be new numbers soon, and new changes I’ll document in a future post.
I haven’t found a reference to the exact decision Postgres made on how to handle memory; please post a link in comments if you know a good source.
See the note on pkgsrc-users@. The next quarterly release, pkgsrc-2012Q3, should be fully baked by the end of the month, if all goes well.
As seen in this pkgsrc-users@ post from Thomas Klausner, the freeze for pkgsrc-2012Q3 starts on Sunday and continues for (probably) two weeks before the release.
NYCBUG, the NY BSD user’s group, has an RSS feed for their speaker events, found via Dru Lavigne’s always useful BSD Events twitter. The next event at the start of October is a talk about SMPng in FreeBSD. Given that it was the project that in part led to the creation of DragonFly, I’d like to hear about it. (and even better, have someone more qualified than I compare and contrast that approach with what’s in DragonFly.)
If you look at new.pkgsrc.org, you will see what may become a new site. This is apparently a test, so don’t react as if this was the actual site.
If you ever wanted to read an extensive discussion about the scheduler, today’s your day. Mihai Carabas, who posted the details of a long discussion he had with Matthew Dillon about how the scheduler works. You may recall Mihai’s name from the very successful GSoC scheduler project that recently finished.
(look, a link to the new Mailman archive!)
If you’re on any of the dragonflybsd.org mailing lists, I’m converting them over from bestserv to Mailman. I’ve done bugs@, commits@, hammer@, and test@ so far, and I’ll move the old archives over to the same format as soon as I find an actual mbox file with the old messages in it. The remaining lists should be tomorrow.
(If you got a note tonight from a list you were sure you were unsubscribed from, that was my fault; sorry! I didn’t understand the format of the bestserv user lists.)
DragonFly user varialus has created a page on the DragonFly website (it’s a wiki, after all) with all the notes taken from trying installation, etc. There’s far more notes than I expected there, so it’s worth a read.
I’ve uploaded DragonFly 3.0.3 disk images, both ISO and IMG. They should start appearing on a mirror site near you in the next 24 hours. This took a while after the tagging, I know, but I wanted to make sure every one of them booted. I didn’t on a previous release, and regretted it.
Francois Tigeot benchmarked several different operating systems using Postgres 9.2b3, including DragonFly, and published the results. I have a local copy of the PDF since the attachment didn’t really survive the archiving. Follow the thread for discussion. The Linux results look abnormally high, so it is possible that something different is happening on that platform…
DragonFly had a successful Google Summer of Code even this year. It marks our 5th time participating, 7th if you count Google Code-In events.
Mihai Carabas worked on adding SMT/HT awareness to the DragonFly scheduler. This project was very successful. The original goal was just to take advantage of threading with the scheduler, but the benchmarks published by Mihai show in general a 5% speedup from these scheduler changes. His work has already been committed.
Vishesh Yadav implemented an inotify interface in DragonFly. inotify is an originally Linux-based system for monitoring files and directories for changes. A specific use for this is an inotify-aware locate program, so that a list of file locations can be kept ‘live’. His code for the inotify interface should be committed to DragonFly very soon.
(This was written in part for Google to use on their Open Source Blog.)
I’m working on building new images, but: DragonFly 3.0.3 has been tagged. If you’re running 3.0, you can update and get some of the recent bug fixes.
3.2 is the next major release of DragonFly, which will be relatively soon by the every-6-months release schedule. John Marino’s put together another catch-all bug report for that release.
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 email@example.com 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.)