Michael Lucas has a writeup on how he debugged his RANCID setup. I link to it for the technical details, and also because if you have to manage more than a few switches or other network devices, RANCID is very useful.
Category: Someday you will need this
- I like the sentiments here about Instagram. (via) I can see why it was popular, but not how it represented anything but a cosmetic tool, dependent on other services.
- Waxy.org turns 10. I relink (reblog? I don’t know) material from the links page on waxy.org, because Andy Baio has a keen eye. That article has links to various high points over the last 10 years, so it’s worth setting aside some of your time and looking at previous features. Come to think of it, he started that only a year before I started this Digest.
- Supercomputers installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. All the way back to UNIVAC. (via swildner on EFNet #dragonflybsd) This picture is one of the more realistic I’ve ever seen about rack installation.
- RFC6540: IPv6 Support Required for All IP-Capable Nodes. (via) YES.
- The Story of BSD and Open-Source Linux, unfortunately incorrect, starting with the headline.
- 40 years on: Why Unix standards still matter. A brief note about the Single Unix Specification. There’s some implication that Unix was involved in the moon landings; was that the case? I didn’t think so, since at least a chunk of the moon landings predate Unix existing. (i.e. before the Epoch.)
- A photo followup on the one PHP article from last week. (via aggelos on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- From the same site as the PHP article, tmux is sweet as heck. It’s nice to see the positive points of tmux defined outside of licensing. Also, it serves as a good tmux configuration checklist.
The links are all over the map this week, which is fine. Enjoy!
- This makes me laugh every time. (via)
- Etsy has an astonishingly good internal development practice. And open source code? (via)
- For contrast, Facebook’s release engineering process. (via I lost it, sorry) Not as interesting but I can’t tell why.
- Mosh, a program designed for the persistence of screen but differently. (via) Dunno if it builds on DragonFly, but it looks neat.
- “I just ran emacs. LOL!“
- 0x10c, a sci-fi game set in the future with spaceships running a 16-bit CPU. That you can program.
- I wish I could write here with the same mix of loathing and excitement found in this comics review. Warning: mildly… gonzo?
- The journey from user to contributor, a NYCBUG talk in mp3 form. (via)
- I’ve mentioned RetroBSD before, but here’s an example of it being installed on a Duinomite board. 2.11 BSD on a super-cheap, super-small Arduino-style board! (via) I don’t know what I’d do with it, but I want one. It even has keyboard and VGA ports.
- At some point, this CPU database will be handy. (via)
- A new, slow form of brute force ssh attack. (via) What I find interesting here is not so much the new attack itself, but Peter Hansteen’s careful gathering and analysis of data around it.
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.
I’m making sure I post this Lazy Reading on the right day. A nice full week’s worth of stuff.
- Bandwidth used when loading different web pages. (via) The largest one is also the most surprising.
- Do you have an IBM x3550? Turn ACPI off.
- The recent TCL presentation at NYCBUG is available in audio form.
- Did you want to know a lot of detail on how to do journaled soft updates in UFS? You want detail, you got it. (via, via) (Is that a repeat link? I don’t think so…)
- This is totally useful if you’re using ssh from a Windows machine.
- SSH is used as a noun and a verb, I just realized. No link, it’s just me noticing verbification.
- BSDCan 2012 registration is open. (via Michael Lucas’s Twitter feed) Conventions are awesome. You should go.
- Michael Lucas talks about book promotion with his recent book. There’s a graph, so it’s automatically great.
- Speaking of books, Modern Perl: The Book is free to download in PDF form.
- A story about _why. (via) I’m not so interested in his identity, but in what he did to get people to program.
- My git habits. (Not mine; that’s just the title.) Speaking of learning, I’ve always thought the next steps past learning the basics of anything is to then see how experienced people approach it, idiomatically.
- Why Juniper Gives Back to the FreeBSD Community. I link to this because I like what they are doing, and also because in a perfect world I would rather have a BSD-ish interface on my networking equipment than fiddle with IOS. Oh well.
- Bunnie Huang always builds neat stuff. This time it’s a Geiger counter. (via)
Hello new DragonFly 3.0 users! This is my not-about-DragonFly weekend link roundup. I’ll be back to regular DragonFly-ish stuff tomorrow.
- Vim anti-patterns, Gnuplotting, and Computing History At Bell Labs. I’m combining what would normally be 3 separate points because I stole them all from Christian Neukirchen’s blog. I wish I had found them first.
- I mentioned Dungeons & Dragons last week, which led Michael Lucas to point out Dungeon Crawl Classics in the comments. Along that same theme, here’s some 70′s role playing game illustrations. (via) There’s a parallel between computing in the late 1970s and fantasy; expert programmers were called wizards, understanding computers was an esoteric art… I could develop the heck out of that thesis, but let’s just look at the pictures and feel nostalgic instead.
- And then everything got a lot more weird-looking, 20 years later! (via)
- Hey, that time zone lawsuit mentioned here before was dismissed. That’s good news. (via lots of places)
- Hyperpolyglot: Scripting. Look for your favorite scripting language and compare it side-by-side with others. (via ferz on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- The text of the DragonFly 3.0 announcement gets copied around to a lot of sites, far more than I’m linking here. However, I found this one entertaining because it kind of makes it sound like DragonFly is just what I happened to come with.
- Custom 3D printing is becoming accessible enough that I’m trying to think of things I could get printed that way, even though I don’t need it. (via I lost it, sorry)
Your unrelated link of the week: Quigley’s Cabinet. Read her books if you have a fascination with old dead things.
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.
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.
If you’re running DragonFly on a very low-end system, you may be wondering about memory requirements for Hammer. Hammer is much less RAM-hungry than ZFS, so it looks like you can get away with 128M, as long as you don’t mind the occasional error message. You can manually tweak settings for it if you like. 256M is plenty.
It still strikes me as odd to consider systems with less than 1G of RAM as “low-memory”. What rich times we live in!
There is now a NO_BINUTILS221 option, added by Sascha Wildner, that will keep your system from building binutils 2.21 during a buildworld. The system will still build binutils 2.22, so there will still be a functioning ld on the system. Use this along with NO_GCC41 (so only gcc 4.4 gets built) to speed up your buildworlds, if you like.
Getting close to 2.12 release…
- Steam and Team Fortress 2 running on a BSD – PC-BSD with an NVIDIA driver, in this case, but it may apply to other cards and other games. Using Wine is always so intricate, it seems.
- Remember how suddenly a large chunk of Internet traffic was suddenly routed through China, briefly in early 2010? Apparently it’s happened a few more times since then. This article at the Economist talks about that and the SCION project, in an accessible way.
- The 2011 Interactive Fiction Competition has released this year’s entries, and almost all of them can be played online. (via) There goes a few hours of your life. Sorry.
- Speaking of hours, there’s apparently a civil lawsuit that has rendered timezone data unavailable. Here’s a good summation. It’s a frustrating scenario. (via multiple places)
- World’s best introduction to sed.
Yep, fall hits and it’s easier to find links.
- DragonFly morphology. The insect, not the operating system, though that would make an interesting diagram.
- Stick your pinkie in the corner of your mouth, Dr. Evil style, and say, “One MEEELion TCP connections on BSD!“. (via several retweets)
- Sudo vs. SSH public keys.
- The app store concept is taking over. Not that it’s a totally bad thing! We could implement one for pkgsrc, and should. (via)
- A nice (OpenBSD-centric) walkthrough of routing. (via)
- Ooh, decent disk benchmarks. I wish there were graphs, of course.
- I think this happens to most CS grads; you sit around one day and say to yourself, “Hey, I could write an operating system!” This forum post shows someone getting that idea and then realizing it’s not necessarily the goal he wanted. Why do I link to it? I appreciate the optimism.
- Or you can just build a functioning computer in Minecraft. This sort of thing has been happening for a while – this movie is just a link to the craziest example I’ve seen so far.
Your unrelated link of the week: Scientific Illustration. Not a comic, but still visually interesting.
At some point, you may want to generate binary programs that are unstripped of debugging information. You may want to generate them with pkgsrc. Here’s a little note on what options will make that happen.
It’s almost the end of summer here, or at least the traditional end of summer in North America. About time, too! I don’t like the heat. Anyway, as people trickle back to school, some more interesting doodads should show up for these weekly Lazy Reading posts…
- Yet another git cheatsheet, this time for KDE. (Via TGEN on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- What’s wrong with sort and how to fix it. I will enthusiastically link to any article that mentions letters like þ. (There’s others that this stupid blogging software just eats when I write out the HTML entities.)
- Did you wake up this morning and say, “I wonder if I could run some really old software. Like 4.1c BSD?” Well, today’s your lucky day.
- Creating new Linux base and infrastructure ports on FreeBSD. Interesting to see just how complex it can be.
- Distributed computing at Google. (PDF, via) I like the description of the error/failure rates and how they escalate as an architecture scales up.
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Jack Kirby art on what would have been his 94th birthday. I have trouble communicating how dramatic and influential his art has been.
As part of a larger thread, Chris Turner went into a longer explanation of how PPTP connections work. Do you have PPTP working on DragonFly? Please share details!
If you’re committing something to DragonFly, or even just working on your own Git repository so as to submit a patch, the new-to-me-and-not-actually-secret committer(7) man page has a lot of tips. I’m linking to it because it holds a lot of information that otherwise would be something you’d have to soak up over time from the community, maybe.
Lazy reading is easy when it’s been this hot out. In fact, I may melt before this article gets published.
- Ecdysis – a NAT64 gateway program. I link to it for two reasons. 1: You will probably need to NAT 6-to-4 sooner or later, and 2: it uses PF and so is BSD-compatible. (via)
- Don’t not copy that floppy! (also via) My original Apple ][ disk for Castle Wolfenstein is probably no longer functional. Not that I have equipment to play it on…
- World timezones, as a visible map. (via) I mention time zone updates here on occasion, and this is a immediate guide to what a strange patchwork of zones it is. You can’t even see some of the really tiny/crazy ones.
- A crappy way to start your day. Nobody ever enjoys that call from work…
And now, a link that has nothing to do with this.
Background: You may remember some time ago, I posted a review of Michael Lucas’s Network Flow Analysis. He’s written several BSD books and so I figured it was worth reading further, knowing that this network-specific book would be BSD-friendly. Also, he made it easier by sending me a copy.
No Starch Press, the company that published all the books linked in the previous paragraph, asked if I’d read/review another book from them. This would be Practical Packet Analysis, 2nd edition. (Review continues after the break…)
I happened to stumble on this: the DuckDuckGo search engine will take you directly to a DragonFly man page, if you type ‘!dfman’ at the start of your query. For instance, “!dfman hammer“.
I didn’t think of this, but I needed it: if you have an older Hammer system that now can perform deduplication because you upgraded to DragonFly 2.10, make sure to add it to the configuration for that file system, or else it won’t run.
You can probably infer the new (to me) blog I found this week from some of the links…
- Adding IPv6 to a FreeBSD Mail/Web Server – from Michael Lucas, repeat BSD author. I link to this because we’re all going to have to do something similar in the next year or so, I bet..
- A visual guide to TMUX, part 1 and part 2. tmux has usually been introduced to me as “It’s BSD-licensed and not screen”, which is good, but not compelling on its own. The first of the articles linked here goes over the comparative differences in some detail. (via)
- Speaking of screen-ish things, do you leave an irssi session running in screen so that you can rejoin IRC conversations at any time? I sure do. Sometimes I even reconnect through ConnectBot on my Android phone. There’s now a Connectbot variation for irssi, just for people who do such a thing. Don’t forget: #dragonflybsd on EFNet.
- Also still on the topic: forgetting to use screen and then being stuck with a long-running process is lousy. There’s ways to deal with it, though. (via, from a blogroll link)
- Hey, it’s neat to see a new business built on BSD – OpenBSD, in this case: Tunnelr. (via)
- We’re still doing great in terms of pkgsrc packages building successfully on DragonFly.
- An hour+ recording of the recent NYCBUG meeting about BSD networking is online. (Link is to a MP3 – via)
- How not to comment code.
- AT&T -> BSD -> AT&T.
This is one of those scenarios that I’m noting because it might bite someone, some day: if your root partition is encrypted, you can’t fit in a different keymap. However, kernel options to build in a different keymap will fix this issue.
Normally I hold this for Sunday, but I’ve got a good batch of links already. Something here for everyone, this week.
- A git cheatsheet, and another git cheatsheet. I may have linked to the latter one before, as it looks vaguely familiar. Anyway, bookmark. (Thanks, luxh on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- What should you do about bad blocks on a disk? Get a new disk.
- If you ever wanted to port software, there’s a pkgsrc developer’s guide (thanks Francois Tigeot) that shows you how.
- It’s NOT LINUX, for the billionth time. It’s BSD UNIX (certified, even) under there!
- “Children of the Cron“. An entertaining pun. (via)
- Nothing to do with BSD, or even computers, really: Gary Gorton, interviewed about the recent financial crisis, at a Fed bank website (!?). Interesting because I like economic matters, and because it’s the first web page where I’ve ever seen pop-up links added usefully, as a sort of footnote that you don’t have to scroll. (via)
- Michael Lucas recently had a machine broken into. Since everything on the machine is suspect, he’s using Netflow data to figure out when it happened, and how, which is not surprising given his most recent book. He has two posts describing how he backtracks his way to the probable source.
I never really noticed this before, but it’s possible to include your own patchsets into pkgsrc and have them picked up as part of the build process, using $LOCALPATCHES.
If you were dying to have less behave like more, it’s possible to do so with these tips from Oliver Fromme. I don’t know if it’s that desirable, but it’s an interesting thing.
Somehow I ended up with a zillion links for this week’s Lazy Reading. I hope you’ve got some spare time for this… Let’s get right into it:
- Michael Lucas, BSD book author (see links on site), has started Twittering. He’s also found the Wikileaks/NetBSD association that I didn’t know about, as Julian Assange even shows up in the NetBSD fortunes file. Also, while linking to his blog, I’ll point at his post on “Write what you don’t know“. Think of that article next time you feel you don’t know enough to contribute to something – especially open source.
- There’s a lengthy dialog on the email@example.com mailing list about pkgsrc, and “Making it easier to get and use pkgsrc“. You can follow the whole thread on the listing page. I am all for the idea. Everybody and their brother has an App Store these days. Ports/pkgsrc are perhaps the original app store ideas, and I’d like to see them brought to the same level as these commercial entitites. This is important: pkgsrc is perhaps the only app store equivalent in existence that is not tied to a platform; that exists only to get you software rather than to provide a way to tie a platform into its developers profits.
- Hey, a roguelike zombie apocalypse game! Aw, it’s Windows-only.
- Mikel King has an editorial that sums up the many places BSD serves as an underpinning to products – a good checklist, if you don’t know of them. He’s also written an instructional article on passwordless/SSH setup.
- Along the same lines, Promote Perl by Building Great Things. This applies to BSD products too; telling people it’s great doesn’t work as well as making something great and showing that a BSD system is part of what makes it so.
- Did you know there are even BSD Certification classes in Iran? I really need to do that… though probably not at that location.
- Yacc is not dead. (via) I link to this because I had a moment of nerd excitement realizing that blog’s title is intended to look like a bang path.
- Database design ideas. There’s been a good series of posts there lately, good for anyone wanting to move beyond the basic CRUD details.
curl http://betterthangrep.com/ack-standalone > ~/bin/ack && chmod 0755 !#:3'
fetch’ would work just as well on a BSD system. The interesting thing is that it’s a one-liner for installing software that doesn’t make any assumptions about having an existing framework like pkgsrc or aptitude or anything like that – it just grabs the code and plops it in place. It wouldn’t work for more complex software, but the simplicity is intriguing, to match the Unix-like single, chainable program idea.
For those who haven’t seen it, ‘ack‘ is a grep replacement that automatically takes care of common activities around searching – skipping files that would cause duplicate matches, binary files, etc., handles a larger range of regular expressions, and runs startlingly fast.
Siju George noticed that his mouse would stop working in X, perhaps every hour. Restarting X would fix it, but he didn’t have a clear cause. Antonio Huete Jimenez suggested turning the sysctl ‘debug.psm.loglevel’ to 9 to at least see what messages cropped up, and that seemed to fix it. I don’t think it’s a good long-term solution, but it’s worth mentioning in case this odd bug bites someone else.
A number of people have encountered this: while installing some larger pkgsrc package, the process stops on a strange DocBook error. Alex Hornung has a fix: symlink /usr/pkg/etc/xml/catalog to /usr/pkg/share/xml/catalog.
Alex Hornung is having trouble getting his power consumption as low as it could be on his DragonFly laptop. A side effect of this problem is that when he posts about it, he also manages to enumerate all the various ways you can reduce power consumption and heat usage on a laptop. (Follow the thread for more.)
If your system has trouble when APIC_IO is enabled, and you’re tracking DragonFly 2.9, you may have trouble on your next build. The fix is putting this in your loader.conf:
I know this has already been covered, to some extent, but one can never be too clear with solutions.
Something that always got with with Linux binary support was that I couldn’t get the Linux /proc filesystem to automatically mount on boot. I’d end up doing it by hand later, right after I tried to start a Linux binary and had all sorts of issues. Pierre Abbat had this same problem, and Sascha Wildner has the answer: “
linux_load=yes” in /boot/loader.conf.
When compiling software on DragonFly but outside of pkgsrc, and you have trouble with configure, remember you can always manually pull down new versions. You’re welcome, future me.
I’m linking to this commit message from Matthias Schmidt simply because it has the correct invocation for installing a vkernel, and I know this will come in handy, someday.
Link dumps just so I can get caught up.
- Michael Lucas was interviewed about his new Network Flow Analysis (previously reviewed) book, in two parts. Also, he’s speaking at NYCBSDCon, this November 12th-14th.
- Dru Lavigne gave a talk on “Getting Started in an Open Source Community“. (via) In other video news, MeetBSD 2010 videos are available now.
- Random Google searches turned up a DragonFly installation video on Via hardware.
- Back to convention items: Kirk Russell has a short BSDCan recap. (via)
- Also, cluster ssh.
- Stathis Kamperis updated DragonFly’s One True Awk. (Huh. Brian Kernighan’s not at Bell Labs anymore.)
Using ‘serno’, meaning specifying disks by serial number rather than path, is a good idea. If you have a machine that started out as an older DragonFly installation, it may be a good idea to use this feature.
I apologize; I’ve been missing. Here’s some misc links while I get back in gear:
- A very good reason to be interested in Hammer over ZFS: nobody will threaten lawsuits over Hammer.
- 10 tricks for admins. I’m posting it cause I can never remember that thing with tunneling ssh out. (via)
- This Gaming Life, as a free download. An excellent book that is in physical form on my shelf right now. Yes, unrelated.