Heartbleed and BSD

If you didn’t know what the Heartbleed bug is, here’s your explanation, plus details.  (via).  You should probably update your systems.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, FreeBSD, Heads Up!, NetBSD, OpenBSD     0 Comments

Rescue RAMdisk to test

Francois Tigeot’s rescue ramdisk work is ready for testing.  You can pull it directly from his repo and try it out.  It’s surprising how small the ramdisk can be crunched.

Note: he now has a newer branch than what is in that linked message.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

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.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Still hiring

Just to remind people: I’m hiring a system administrator.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Off-Topic     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2014/04/06

This is the first Lazy Reading in a while that I hadn’t already started before the previous week’s Lazy Reading was displayed.

Your unrelated comics link of the day: The Very Hungry Rust Monster.

 

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, UNIXish     0 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/04/05

Another week.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, pkgsrc     1 Comment

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.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDNow 031: Edgy BSD Users

BSDNow 031 is online, with an interview of Pierre Pronchery of EdgeBSD and many other things.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     2 Comments

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.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Random Number Generators at NYU/NYCBUG

NYCBUG is presenting Yevgeniy Dodis at NYU (Warren Weaver Hall, room 101, 251 Mercer Street, NYC) at 7:15 PM tonight, speaking about building your own random number generator in both correct and incorrect ways.

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Editor too big

Normally I don’t bother linking to things on/around April 1st, but these two are good and arrived early.

Update: apparently fake source changes is a thing.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD     2 Comments

For the next DragonFly release

I wrote up some thoughts for the next release of DragonFly.  There’s some project work in there for anyone interested.  The next release should be near the end of May.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

Hiring a syadmin

I’m hiring a sysadmin at my workplace:

http://rochester.craigslist.org/sad/4400416990.html

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Off-Topic     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2014/03/30

I suddenly can’t remember if I pad my dates with zeros.

Your unrelated link of the week: The creepiest animatronic work I’ve seen yet.  (via Orbital Operations)

 

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     2 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/03/29

A quiet week this week.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD, RetroBSD     0 Comments

BSDTalk 239: Baptiste Daroussin

BSDTalk 239 is 55 minutes of talk with Baptiste Daroussin at vBSDCon 2013 about ‘pkgng’ on FreeBSD.  The BSDTalk post doesn’t mention it, but it is the same pkg tool that DragonFly uses, so Baptiste’s plans are relevant to DragonFly too.  (I haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast yet so I don’t know how much he talks about DragonFly, specifically.)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Periodicals     0 Comments

BSDNow 030: Documentation is King

BSDNow episode 030 is out with an interview of Warren Block about FreeBSD documentation, along with a conversation on a number of other topics, including setting up a BSD machine as your access point (highly recommended, along with home router setup) and setting up a BSD (FreeNAS) as a Synology replacement.  They also totally scooped me on Michael W. Lucas giving an OpenBSD talk – which might be because I forgot to sign up for his announcement mailing list.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     1 Comment

Timezones and political reality

Timezones are a human invention to describe the natural world, so they are changed according to human whims.  That’s a grand way to note this change in timezones that is global but I noted in a DragonFly commit of tzdata2014b – look at the last entry.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly     0 Comments

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.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

NSS/LDAP and DragonFly

One of the requirements to get NSS/LDAP working on (most) any unixlike system is to have dynamic binaries; meaning they are dependent on various libraries to run.  Since you’re talking about programs for login when you’re talking about NSS/LDAP, that means if the libraries aren’t available, you can’t log in.  DragonFly has static binaries just to avoid that problem.

Francois Tigeot proposed switching to dynamic binaries and building a /rescue directory with static backups, as is the case with I think FreeBSD and NetBSD.  If you follow the thread, it looks like the best path is to use initrd instead.  Initrd stands for INITial Ram Disk, and is the first volume the computer sets up to boot from BIOS.  Since initrd gives the computer enough space to load all the needed modules (like Hammer2…), it works without making the computer dependent on various libraries or having a bloated /rescue directory.

(Someone correct me if I have the details wrong.)  As long as we’re talking about things that would help DragonFly in a larger environment, can someone work on a VM balloon memory driver, too?

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

Lazy Reading for 2014/03/23

Aaaaaaaaa link overflow!

Your unrelated link of the week: Space Replay.  A very good use of an Arduino board.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     1 Comment

In Other BSDs for 2014/03/22

I have a list of commits I’ve saved between the various BSDs of licenses getting corrected to the 2-clause BSD license; that would definitely be a good cross-BSD project to sync.

BSDNow 029: P.E.F.S

BSDNow episode 029 is up containing a full slate of material.  There’s an interview of Gleb Kurtsou, along with a PEFS tutorial and several other items that are new to me.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

GUI images for DragonFly 3.6 sort of

If you noticed the lack of a GUI DVD image for the 3.6 release of DragonFly, I posted a followup note on the users@ list that talks about the steps to get X installed.  It’s not much work, with pkg set up.

IPv6 test patch

Sepherosa Ziehau has an IPv6 patch for you to try.  What’s it do?  I think it improves performance under multiple streams of traffic, but that’s from looking at the code and totally guessing.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Please test     0 Comments

Hammer 2 work and notes

Matthew Dillon committed the start of a Hammer 2 cluster API. I noticed, while looking at the commit, that there’s a design document, a freemap design document, a changes list, and – most important for anyone interested – a TODO list.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Hammer     2 Comments

tcplay updated to 2.0

Alex Hornung has updated tcplay in DragonFly to 2.0, and cryptdisks is updated to match.  If you have a short memory, tcplay(8) is the tool on DragonFly to manage TrueCrypt volumes.  Is DragonFly the only BSD to have this?  I think so, based on very few seconds of googling.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

Lazy Reading for 2014/03/16

A lot of this was done early; last week had a lot of interesting stuff turn up.  Maybe because we’re coming out of a extreme winter in the northern hemisphere, and people are feeling a bit more energetic?

Your unrelated link of the week: The Conet Project, recordings of numbers stations, at the Internet Archive. (via the Orbital Operations newsletter)

Bonus timewaster: 2048.  (via multiple places)

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     1 Comment

In Other BSDs for 2014/03/15

Another week with lots of links.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, pkgsrc     2 Comments

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.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDNow 028: Ghost of Partition

Uh oh, I don’t get the pun this time.  Anyway, the newest BSDNow episode is an interview with Eric Turgeon of GhostBSD, and a disk concatenation tutorial for NetBSD and a tutorial that isn’t uploaded yet.  (Wait, now I get it.)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

Connection speedup for x86_64

A recent commit from Sepherosa Ziehau has a 5% improvement in the number of network connections per second a x86_64 machine can accept.  He’s also reducing the number of IPIs during network activity.  If this seems somewhat esoteric, it’s because network speeds are getting so fast that the benefits come from reducing the accompanying CPU load.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

tzdata2014a and an odd thing

Sascha Wildner updated the time zone database on DragonFly to tzdata2014a.  The odd thing isn’t that update – Sascha updates like clockwork, haha! – but the release notes.  Apparently Even Microsoft is starting to support time zone names, sorta, finally.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Building world for 3.7 users

If you’re on DragonFly 3.7, you will need to build world before building the kernel again if you are updating to some point in the last 24 hours.  Sascha Wildner points out the related commit.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly, Heads Up!     0 Comments

Setting up Poudriere

Poudriere is the tool for building all of ports/dports, and Michael W. Lucas has written up his experience using it to build a custom ports set.  He’s doing on FreeBSD, but if you ignore the geom-specific parts, it should generally apply to DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly, FreeBSD     0 Comments

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.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, Please test     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2014/03/09

This week blew up with links fast.

Your unrelated video of the week: This trailer for Crawl.  This is a roguelike multiplayer cross-platform game, though I don’t know if it would work on BSD.  The important thing: the voiceover narration is fantastic.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, roguelike     2 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/03/08

Links everywhere this week!

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD, pkgsrc     1 Comment

Backing up Hammer to non-Hammer volumes

Hammer’s ability to stream to remote disks is great, but what if you have storage that uses some other file system?  Antonio Huete Jimenez put together a shell script that will dump out the contents of a Hammer PFS, for upload to whatever.  Read the README for the details.

Note for docbook and upgrading

If you are upgrading packages on your DragonFly 3.6 system, and you have docbook installed, there’s an extra step needed because of the moving around of several docbook packages.  If you don’t have docbook installed – nothing to see here.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDNow vs. BSDTalk

Episode 27 of BSDNow is an interview with Will Backman of BSDTalk.  It is unfortunately a straight-ahead interview, and not an Epic Rap Battle.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     2 Comments

Open source classes at RIT

Normally I’d save this for Lazy Reading, but I’m indirectly involved: the Rochester Institute of Technology now has a minor in Open Source and Free Culture.  Here’s the press release.  I taught one of the precursor classes, Humanitarian Free/Open Source Development (essentially open source development methods) last spring.  Steve Jacobs was my advisor years ago and Remy Decausemaker was my (best) student from the HFOSS class.  In any case, the courses are definitely worth it.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: Goings-on, Off-Topic     0 Comments

Summer of Code 2014 followup

I followed up with Google on why DragonFly isn’t in Summer of Code this year.  It is exactly as I suspected: they want to get new organizations in.  DragonFly’s been doing it for 6 years, so they are picking new orgs over returning ones.  This is apparently the same reason NetBSD isn’t in this year, either.

(Honestly, I can use the break.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Google Summer of Code     3 Comments

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.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Bugs site now supports OpenID

bugs.dragonflybsd.org, the bug reporting site for DragonFly, uses Redmine.  It’s been updated and now can take OpenID for your login.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

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.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSD Magazine for 02/2014

BSD Magazine for February is out.  I’m a bit late posting this since it’s now March; I assume it’s been out for a while.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     1 Comment

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.

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

Lazy Reading for 2014/03/02

A public service announcement: Check your backup power systems when the weather is bad.  It has been so cold that the always-running heater blocks cooked away the coolant in my workplace’s backup generator in between the weekly inspections, and when the power died a few days ago, the generator failed to start.  This led to the paradoxical sensor warning: “High coolant temperature” when the outside temperature was below freezing.

Your unrelated link of the week: Muppets, NYC, and tea.  I know it’s an ad, but it fits my interests perfectly.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     3 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/03/01

Another week where I barely need to look up source code commits.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions, DragonFly, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD     1 Comment

BSDNow 026: Port Authority

Let’s see… 3 digits in the episode number, so they’re planning to make at least 973 more BSD-related pun titles.  Anyway, BSDNow’s latest episode has an interview with Joe Marcus Clark, along with more material including this item that I missed, of getting some ancient hardware to run OpenBSD.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

pfi and authorized_keys support

pfi, the automated installer that nobody knows about, now supports installing an authorized_keys file as part of an install.  Credit goes to Alex Hornung for adding the functionality.

ACPICA 20140214 brought in

Sascha Wildner brought in ACPICA 20140214, and his commit message has a list of the updates.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     3 Comments

Spreading DMA

The DragonFly Mail Agent is being suggested as a possible sendmail replacement for FreeBSD.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, FreeBSD     1 Comment

BSD Events to suggest

I’m helping out at the BSD Events website.  If there’s upcoming BSD-linked events, please tell me.  Speaking of which: the call for papers for EuroBSDCon 2014 is out, as is the BSDCan 2014 schedule.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions     0 Comments

BSDNow 025: A Sixth pfSense

I am late posting this: the most recent episode of BSDNow has, along with the regular array of items, an interview of Chris Buechler, of the commercial support company behind pfSense.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     1 Comment

No DragonFly in Summer of Code

DragonFly wasn’t accepted for Summer of Code, which frankly I expected to have happen last year – we’ve been participating every year since 2008.  However, FreeBSD and (for the first time) OpenBSD are listed as participating mentoring institutions, so you can still get your BSD/GSoC going.

Posted by     Categories: Google Summer of Code     3 Comments

DragonFly 3.6.1 released

I’ve tagged version 3.6.1 of DragonFly, and built ISO/img files of it.  They should be available by now on mirrors if you need them, or you can just upgrade as normal.   See the linked tag commit message for what’s changed.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2014/02/23

Pardon me as I wander through a lot of topics.

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Top Shelf is now selling their excellent comics without DRM, so they can be stored/read however you like.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, UNIXish     0 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2014/02/22

Read the first item, if nothing else.

 

 

 

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Do you have ACPI _PMM?

Grep /var/run/dmesg.boot for PMM, and if it turns up, Sepherosa Ziehau has a patch he’d like you to try.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Please test     0 Comments

Clockmod replaces p4tcc

See the announcement, and the commit.  I’m not totally sure what this affects.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

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.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

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.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     2 Comments

Tokyo meeting and Open Network Hardware

I was remiss in not posting this before it happened, but Issac (.ike) Levy of NYCBUG went to Tokyo to talk about the translation efforts for pfSense, on the 17th.  He posted a summary of his talk and slides.

Normally I would be posting this in an “In Other BSDs” Saturday item, but the summary page includes links on Open Network Hardware, which .ike and I talked about at NYCBSDCon.  I wanted to create a separate post for it, but he’s got all the links piled in with his talk summary already.

The hardware I want to see as a real product is the Intel ONP Switch Reference Design.  (PDF)   Having a device that looks like a switch but is actually a normal computer with a lot of network ports – that can run BSD – opens up a huge range of network possibilities.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, FreeBSD, pfSense     0 Comments

DragonFly 3.6.1 soon

As I mentioned on kernel@, I’m going to roll a point release of DragonFly soon.  Push in your changes if you want to get them in!

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

3.8 release goals

Antonio Huete put together a list of goals for the next release on the DragonFly bugtracker.  Some of them are pretty ambitious, some of them are relatively easy, but they are all very useful.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     3 Comments

IPv6 enabled for shiningsilence.com

This site, shiningsilence.com, is now available on IPv6.  Thanks to Markus Müller for getting me to actually complete the process.

Posted by     Categories: About This Site     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2014/02/16

Trivia fact that I told someone about at NYCBSDCon: the habit of using (via) to correctly attribute links comes from a still-online-but-not-functioning site called The Nonist.  The fellow putting it together had the most wonderful ability to find esoteric, interesting items to read about.  I can’t match his talent for images.  The Wayback Machine has a copy of the Nonist site so you can see it in its original glory.

To the (text-only) links!

Your unrelated link of the week: If I met you at NYCBSDCon last week, did I seem like a mature adult?  I’m not.  Here’s Deer Fart.wmv.  

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     1 Comment

In Other BSDs for 2014/02/15

Lots of links, yet again.

Posted by     Categories: Books, BSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, pkgsrc     0 Comments

Short outage, sorry

I knocked my own server out of commission today – sorry!  I thought it was because I was experimenting with an IPv6 tunnel – but no.  It appears to be a long-running Minecraft server.  Once that was gone, it all got better.

Posted by     Categories: About This Site     0 Comments

Go maintainer for DragonFly needed

We’ve got Go builders running for DragonFly, but nobody actively maintaining Go itself on DragonFly.  The dports version builds, but there’s a Go release coming up and having native support would be much better than relying on chance FreeBSD build compatibility.

The current error as I type this is a TLS problem that sounds like a simple fix, if only I knew where it was.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDTalk 238: NYCBSDCon

For BSDTalk 238, Will Backman has recordings from NYCBSDCon 2014.  I think I’m in there, even though I haven’t listened to it yet.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, Periodicals     0 Comments

BSDNow 024: The Cluster & The Cloud

BSDNow episode 24 is up, with a recap of NYCBSDCon’s events, an interview with Luke Marsden of hybridcluster.com, a chrooted SFTP tutorial, and of course more.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

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.

HOPE X this summer

HOPE X, the 2600 conference, is happening July 18-20 in NYC.  It’s not specifically BSD-themed, of course, but given that I heard about it at NYCBSDCon means there will be BSD people there.

Posted by     Categories: Conventions     0 Comments

ACPICA-20140114 added

There seems to be a lot of ACPI-related updates lately: Sascha Wildner has updated ACPICA in DragonFly to what I think is the very latest version.  See his commit for the differences.

There really is a daemon in there

John Marino updated daemon(8) on DragonFly.  For some reason, I didn’t know it was a standalone program.  I knew about the idea of daemons as helpers based inside the computer, which is why so many server programs end with a ‘d’ – sshd, ftpd, and so on.  Inexplicably, I never actually saw the program itself.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     1 Comment

Lazy Reading for 2014/02/09

A low week this week, but I have been on the road… I will hopefully have a large NYCBSDCon report up later today, to make up for a skimpy Lazy Reading.

Bit rot, circa 1998.  Enjoy looking at the old technology options and prices.  (via)

The Industrial Internet of Things.  Most of what’s out there that should be wired isn’t, and it’s because the companies making the equipment like to pretend the Internet never happened.  Also, modbus is horrifying.

Bluetooth Low Energy: what do we do with you?  I’m surprised more people aren’t excited about BLE; it has a lot of potential.

Your unrelated link of the week: a new Cyriak film!  Starts cute, ends horrifying, but that’s no surprise.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     2 Comments

My NYCBSDCon trip

Here I think out loud about NYCBSDCon, presented from my cleaned-up notes taken on my phone during the event.  Get ready, cause there’s a lot of words here.

The event was very popular, to the point of overflowing the venue, Suspenders.  The venue was excellent, though.  The entire bar/restaurant was turned over to the convention for the day, and it made it easy to eat and drink – especially with the drink tickets that came with admission.  The food was fantastic.

New York City is a huge city with lots to see, so I imagine anyone visiting from out of town could bring along family and have the family be entertained while the conference is going on.  I managed to sneak in a trip to The Compleat Strategist and Desert Island Comics on the day before the convention, for example.

There were enough “famous” BSD people here that having, say, the roof fall in would have been a serious community setback.  One good explosion would have taken out the people behind this digest, BSDTalk, PC-BSD, BSDNow, etc.

The NYCBUG people are very open about how the whole process works, to the point of posting how the finances worked out.  “Excess” money is getting split up between the various BSDs, too, to the tune of some hundreds of dollars.  This was increased by Michael W. Lucas auctioning a signed copy of his Absolute OpenBSD 2nd edition book, which ended up being bought for $500.  I expect the financial results will be posted on the NYCBUG website at some point soon.

I nabbed a printed copy of the brand-new FreeBSD Journal, which just launched.  George Neville-Neil said that this is the only printed version that will ever exist, because printing is awful – I completely agree.  I need to cover this more in a separate post.

I experimented with not bringing my laptop and typing everything through my phone. It reduced my typing speed, but I was able to take notes and pre-write large chunks of this post as things happened. I have been thinking more and more in terms of setting things up with a tablet or phone as my ‘client’ and keeping.all useful data on my server, rather than work on a laptop with BSD installed. I’d like to be working in a BSD environment, but that’s hard to accomplish natively in a handheld format. Running things remotely from a BSD system might provide the equivalent, though. Not sure how well that would work – probably good content for another post.

The first presentation was ZFS/PC-BSD/FreeNAS, from Dru Lavigne. The PC-BSD Life Preserver application is a really nice way to view filesystem snapshots.  ZFS is really feature-rich, though it has high resources requirements compared to Hammer.  (of course I would say that.)  Dru Lavigne’s ZFS presentation slides are already up.

Ray Percival came all the way from Dallas to present “Interconnections with BSD”. Ray pointed out at dinner the night before that he is effectively able to autodeploy a firewall or other network device by remotely installing a BSD.  From Ray’s presentation : “Network engineers are discovering automation and calling it software defined networking.” That is talking about the configuration side only though, not control plane, as an audience member pointed out.  I still like the idea.  Ray made this point about support: you can buy expensive support from commercial vendors and talk to hit or miss support. With open source, you can usually talk directly to the person who makes the software itself. That doesn’t happen with vendors.

Something I took away from that and from the conference in general: BSD helps you avoid vendor lock-in. I was worried about having UNIX-familiar workers as backup at work, but: it doesn’t get better with proprietary tools.

Andrew Wong’s presentation about ZFS+FreeBSD+PostGres is from a software engineer point of view, not a sysadmin view. He described himself as “the enemy”.

Scott Long gave some details about how much traffic NetFlix pushes out (about a third of the Internet) and how much of it is on FreeBSD (almost all of it, yeesh).  The NetFlix plan is to deploy multiple relatively low-end FreeBSD systems out to ISPs to act as local content caches.  No virtualization, a light set of management tools through AWS, and when a box goes bad, they just take it out; no RAID or ZFS or other fancy steps.  They have 5 people managing 1000 machines.  

Scott made the point that they are aggressively talking to hardware vendors about support, and getting good responses back.  If you’re involved in some commercial venture with FreeBSD, talk to George Neville-Neil about the BSD hardware consortium; they’re working on a coordinated conversation with vendors to make sure BSD (probably FreeBSD only, but that’s a start) gets treated as a first-class citizen.

Jeff Rizzo described the many ways that NetBSD can be build, on most any supported platform and even not on NetBSD.  It sounds like the up-front work of getting build.sh to work in every circumstance has saved a lot of labor, later.

Michael Lucas had a very entertaining talk about DragonFly where he managed to name-drop DragonFly.  One of the points he made: when you write out a detailed justification for using open source products at your workplace, share it with the world, please.

I bought the lower-priced-than-they-needed-to-be shirts and stickers they had available, and managed to not win one of the cool PCEngines PFSense systems, with a fancy etched case.

There was also a number of demos going on during the afternoon break, though the only one I took any notes on was the one that I need to replicate at work: a PF /CARP failover setup.  They look like this on the inside.

Like I said for the last NYCBSDCon in 2010, it’s totally worth going.  I now have a long, long list of things I want to do and ideas to try, all from meeting people face to face and talking about what we can do.  It’s energizing, far more than meeting over IRC.  A third of the people there had no prior BSD experience.  George Rosamond mentioned that he was thinking they could do this perhaps every 6 months.

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