BSDNow episode 023: Time Signatures

Episode 023 of BSDNow is up, with an interview of  Ted Unangst about the new signing mechanism in OpenBSD, a NTP server tutorial, and of course more.

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C-state sysctl followup

Probably because of the C-state changes, Sepherosa Ziehau wants people to use a new set of sysctls instead of the hw.cpu_mwait* ones – at least on x86_64.  This won’t affect you if you aren’t already familiar with them, probably.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

New C-state possibilities

It’s now possible to reach deeper power-saving C-states  with DragonFly, thanks to work from Sepherosa Ziehau.  It’s possible to have it auto-adjusted by setting two sysctls.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Summer of Code application in

I put in the application for Google Summer of Code 2014, for DragonFly.  Will we get in for a 7th year?  I hope so!

(I still want more mentors; contact me if you’re interested.)

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Win a stuffed BSD

I managed to miss this because of reasons: BSDNow is running a contest.  Come up with a tutorial that can be used ‘on-air’, and you can win a custom-made pillow showing the boot screen of the BSD of your choice.  It’s bizarre but cool.

Edit: the body text of the contest notes that the contest ends January 31st.  Hmm…  might be too late for a winning entry.

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DragonFly and Google Summer of Code 2014

I already asked this question on kernel@, but I’ll repeat it here.  Who is interested in mentoring for DragonFly, for Google Summer of Code 2014?  The org application period is starting today, and it would be neat to do this for a seventh year in a row.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Google Summer of Code     1 Comment

Lazy Reading for 2014/02/02

Lots of randomness this week.  That’s great!

Your unrelated link of the week: it’s two links, for the two very rare German episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

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In Other BSDs for 2014/02/01

For once, I got this mostly done before late Friday night!

BSDNow 022: Journaled News-Updates

The latest BSDNow video is up, with the normal array of recent events and an interview of George Neville-Neil.  The interview is about the new FreeBSD Journal, which should be out… today?  The site says “Coming in January”, so it must be soon.

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Better ACPI C-State support

If you have an Intel-based system, and are running DragonFly master, there’s new c-states (power-saving modes) for you to try.  Sepherosa Ziehau posted a note about testing and feedback.

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

Did I mention new USB?

There’s been periodic commits updating the USB4BSD support in DragonFly; I haven’t been linking to them because they are generally incremental. However, it’s good to (re?)mention just how you can build DragonFly with that new USB support.

Intel video users, please note

xf86-video-intel-2.21.15 should now work on your DragonFly system.  I don’t see it in dports, yet, though.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     2 Comments

Time zone changes

Recent updates to tzcode apparently fixed a long-standing time zone bug in DragonFly.  POSIX says the America/New_York timezone is picked as default if nothing else has been selected.  That didn’t happen in DragonFly – until recently.  If your timezone seemed to suddenly jump to U.S. Eastern time, that’s because you never picked before.

Installfest, NYCBSDCon tickets tonight

There’s a (rescheduled) BSD installfest happening in an impromptu fashion at Suspenders Bar in New York City, tonight at 6:45.  You can also buy tickets for NYCBSDCon there, for less than the online price since it’s direct.  There’s another chance to buy them for less on Wednesday at Ear Inn, nearby.  (See first link for details.)

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Lazy Reading for 2014/01/26

Finally, a relatively quiet week.

Writing more efficient shell scripts.

.  Piped shell commands seen as a set of relations.  This is the most analysis I’ve ever seen of a command line.  (via)  Also related.

Perl Secret Operators.  (via)

As a followup on last week’s Curse of the Leading Zero link, Thomas Klausner points out Python 3.0 explicitly stopped reading leading zeros as the prefix for octals.

The current Humble Weekly Sale (through the 31st) is all roguelikes.  Dunno how many of them run on non-Windows. though.

Mastering Vim in Vim.  Lots more ‘learning Vim’ suggestions where I found this link.

Not possible to have happen; I don’t believe it.  (via)

Your unrelated link of the week: 50 years of tape.  Cassette audio tapes, that is.  (via)

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In Other BSDs for 2014/01/25

Back to relatively normal volume, this week.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, pf, pfSense     0 Comments

BSDNow 21: Tendresse for Ten

Episode 21 of BSDNow is up, with the usual variety of material.  There’s an interview with Colin Percival, known for work on FreeBSD and Tarsnap, along with other content.

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ACPI update

There’s a new ACPI version in DragonFly, and Sascha Wildner wants you to update your BIOS, just to be sure.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

DragonFlyBSD.org status page

Antonio Huete set up a DragonFly status page on status.io.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Go testing for DragonFly

Brad Fitzpatrick showed up on the users@ list and mentioned that for DragonFly to be supported in Go, it needed to show up in the Go Dashboard with building reports.  I now have the Go builder running on pkgbox32/pkgbox64.dragonflybsd.org.  Check the builder page to see status.

Note: Installing the port of Go from Dports works just fine; this is the mechanism for testing Go on a per-commit basis for the people who work on Go – so a ‘fail’ notice on the builder page doesn’t necessarily mean anything, unless you are developing Go itself.  This may already be clear to you.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     2 Comments

DragonFly has ASLR

Address Space Layout Randomization, since 2010.  Carsten Mattner asked, and Alex Hornung answered.  (Set the sysctl vm.randomize_mmap to 1 to enable it.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

BSD Installfest in NYC tomorrow

If you happen to have a laptop, some flavor of BSD on media, and are near New York City tomorrow night, there’s an impromptu installfest happening at Suspenders at 6:30.  NYCBSDCon tickets will be available there, and you can now register online.

Update: canceled!

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BSDCan 2014: last chance for paper submission

I missed this for the “In Other BSDs” section yesterday, so I’m adding it today.  It’s time dependent.  BSDCan 2014 is happening May 14-17 at the University of Ottawa, with those first two days being tutorials.  If you want to get a paper in, you have to do it today.

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Lazy Reading for 2014/01/19

The Internet overfloweth with good links, lately.  Nothing this week that requires a lot of reading, but plenty of things to click.  Enjoy!

Your unrelated link of the week:  Fail Forward, a collection of writing about pen and paper RPGs.  (via)

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading, UNIXish     0 Comments

Convention addendum

I’ve got a buildup of convention dates to mention, so I’ll do it now: John Marino, one of the folks behind dports, is talking about Ada and BSD at FOSDEM, in Brussels, February 1-2.   George Neville-Neil is talking about BSD to NYLUG in of course New York City, on I think February 13th.  Ike Levy will be talking to the Tokyo FreeBSD Benkyokai Group, on February 17th, about pfSense.  And of course, NYCBSDCon is happening February 8th, and I think I’ll be there.

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In Other BSDs for 2014/01/18

I didn’t even need to find source links this week.

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

The cheapest possible DragonFly

With everyone buying tablets lately, the low end of computers is getting pretty low-cost indeed.  Creating single-purpose computers is possible, and I was thinking of doing that to create a Go-testing system.  (Though probably not necessary for me.)  It got me to thinking, though…

How low-cost a system could run DragonFly?  The master-slave and low system requirements of Hammer lead to some interesting possibilities.  There’s no Arduino equivalent for DragonFly because there’s no DragonFly on ARM, despite all my wishing.  DragonFly has been run on Soekris systems before, and might work on a PCEngines ALIX board.  Ebay, my basement, or Craigslist are options too, but not as fun.  Who has suggestions?

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     6 Comments

BSDNow 20: Bhyve Mind

The 20th episode of BSDNow is up.  The interview is with Neel Natu and Peter Grehan, about Bhyve, and there’s of course more, including a bhyve tutorial.  There’s other material, including the new-to-me Spiderinabox.

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ACPICA update for testing

If you want to test out the latest (20131218) update to ACPICA, Sepherosa Ziehau’s got a patch for you.  This will be good for anyone who wants to use less electricity.  (updated to reflect this doesn’t enable deeper C-states as I thought it did.)

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Please test     0 Comments

ACPI updates and power states

ACPI has been updated in DragonFly by Sepherosa Ziehau, to potentially support the very low-power sleep states available with Haswell CPUs.

Note: Sepherosa clarified that the lower power states are not available – yet.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

32-bit DragonFly 3.7 and dports

There are no binary packages built for dports, on DragonFly 3.7, for 32-bit machines, at this time.  Pierre Abbat found this out.  You can build from source, of course, or just use 3.6 packages.  Don’t forget -DBATCH to avoid getting asked for build options when building from source.

OpenBSD and electricity

The OpenBSD Project (Foundation?) needs to pay a large electrical bill for their hosting location.  I had mentioned this in a weekend BSD report just before the end of 2013, but the problem is still there and deserves a special mention.  It’s possible to contribute directly, or to the I-assume-nonprofit-so-tax-deductible-for-many-people OpenBSD Foundation.  You can set up a low but reoccurring Paypal payment for the Foundation, which would be probably unnoticeable for you but very helpful for the organization.

Even if you aren’t booting OpenBSD on anything, you’re using a technology that came out of that project – OpenSSH, pf, your dhcpclient, etc; or using 3rd-party software that received fixes from OpenBSD work.  Putting dollars towards this software development is one of the more effective things you can do with your money to help open source.

 

Posted by     Categories: OpenBSD     4 Comments

Testing USB4BSD

Markus Pfeiffer has added more of his work on USB4BSD to DragonFly, and a reminder: if you want to try it out, there’s just a few options to set.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Trackpad support summary

I didn’t post this before, and should have: Matthew Dillon posted a summary of all the trackpad improvements he added, and how to make use of the various features.

Other network improvements

Sepherosa Ziehau is continually trying to squeeze more network performance into DragonFly.  I’m not always so good at pointing it out, but here’s several commits from him that improve performance on several chipsets.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

Hal, dbus, and VMWare tip. Also pkg locking

Warren Postma found that hal and dbus caused a crash in VMWare for DragonFly.  The answer is to use moused, not dbus.

Also, if you want to keep a custom or just older package from dports on your system, as karu.pruun did, ‘pkg lock’ is the answer.

Lazy Reading for 2014/01/12

There’s a lot this week, so let’s get started:

Git Reference.  Not that there isn’t a lot of other documentation out there, but much of what you find is people asking specific questions rather than explanations of procedure.  (via)

Movie Code.  At least most of these are using legit code, even if it’s often the wrong application.  It’s been worse.  (See ‘state of the art video’ item)  (via)

Unix: 14 things to do or stop doing in 2014.  These tips are actually useful and contain no buzzwords.

TrewGrip, another item in my quest for interesting keyboards I don’t use.

4043 bytes to recreate a mid-80s IBM PC.  There are less bytes of data in the program than there were transistors in the CPU that it emulates.  It can run MS Flight Simulator.  It was for the International Obfuscated C Code Contest, which should surprise you not at all.  (via)

The World’s Most Pimped-Out ZX81.  I don’t think it can run Doom, though.

The Unix Shell’s Humble If.  For once, an article that doesn’t just pretend bash is the only shell that exists.  (via)

Unix Shell RPG Tutorial.  It’s exactly what that combination of words means.  (via)

Scientists tell their favorite jokes.

Best programmer jokes, found here where there’s more.

I find these animations slightly hypnotizing.  (via)

Technology used to suck even when it was cutting-edge, and we’ll still feel that way in the future.  (via)

How did we end up with a centralized Internet?

Software in 2014.  The summary is: server side is great, client is not.  (via)

Able to be turn on, and that is it.  Sci-fi movies ignore where technology comes from.

True Nuke Puke Story.  My mine coworkers once did something similar to a copier repairman; got him so worried about going underground that he had a panic attack when he had to step on the hoist.  We had to get a new repairman.

Your unrelated link of the week: BIG ENDING FACES!  (via)

In Other BSDs for 2014/01/11

Running late putting this together…  Back to bullets!

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cyapa mousepad support grows

Matthew Dillon is continuing his work on chromebook hardware, and he’s been playing with the multi-touch touchpad.  There’s a number of new features based on position and the number of fingers used.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDNow 19: the Installfest

BSDNow episode 19 is up, titled “The Installfest“.  They install DragonFly along with other BSDs, and I haven’t even looked at it yet.

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Netmap on the way

Franco Fitchner is bringing in netmap to DragonFly.  I don’t think it’s complete yet.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

GSoC: SysV IPC code added in

Markus Pfieffer has committed Larisa Grigore’s Google Summer of Code work, “SysV IPC in userspace”.  It’s been a bit since the event finished, but it’s in DragonFly now.

BSDTalk 237: FreeBSD Journal

BSDTalk 237 has 22 minutes of conversation with George Neville-Neil about The FreeBSD Journal.

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NYCBUG meeting tonight with talk and tickets

For those of you near the NYC area, there’s a NYCBUG meeting tonight at 7 Eastern, with Brian Callahan giving a security-focused crash course in OpenBSD.  Tickets for NYCBSDCon 2014, happening on February 8th, are going to be available there for the first time, starting at 6 PM.  (and cheaper if you buy in person, too.)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, OpenBSD     0 Comments

DragonFly on a Chromebook c720

Matthew Dillon acquired one of the Acer c720 Chromebooks recently.  There were changes needed for the boot process, for the keyboard, an update from FreeBSD for the ath(4) wireless (g), smbus, and trackpad… but it works now, and he detailed exactly how to get it running, and even upgrade the drive.

 

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

RTL8191SE support

‘M M’ had trouble with his “Realtek RTL8191SE Wireless LAN 802.11n PCI-E NIC” on DragonFly some time ago.  He was able to get it working, and he documented the somewhat convoluted procedure here.

Tracking the bleeding edge of DragonFly

If you want to track the bleeding edge of DragonFly, which is currently version 3.7, I happened to describe it in a reply to Filippo Moretti, on users@.  Long-time users will know this/do this already, but it’s worth repeating just because new users may not realize how easy it is.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Someday you will need this     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2014/01/05

The holiday break for most people at the end of the year translated to a lot more material showing up now.  We all benefit!

The Year Megaplatforms Ruled The Internet.  Online companies aren’t ‘disruptive’ any more; they are the establishment.  That didn’t take long.  Is it a cycle?  I hope so. (via)

Intel XDK.  Should be cross-platform enough to work on DragonFly, I bet.  (via)

On Hacking MicroSD Cards.  Bunnie Huang from 30C3, so it’s in-depth.  “In reality, all flash memory is riddled with defects — without exception.”  The microcontroller on the cards is exploitable.  (via)

Speaking of 30c3, the recordings are up.  (via same place)

Bignum Bakeoff contest recap, from 2001.  512B to return the largest number possible.  (via)

Owlbears, Rust Monsters, and Bulettes, oh my!  The origin of some of the AD&D Monster Manual monsters.  (via)

The Postmodernity of Big Data.  I don’t know about the text, but I like the punchcard images.

You are going to be using IPv6, whether you are ready or not.  (via, with good discussion)

End Paper Maps.  This is ephemera that shan’t survive the Internet, I suppose – but I always did enjoy it.  (via)

Understanding the Galaga No-Fire Cheat.  I would have loved to do this as a child, but surviving 15 minutes in a coin-op video was nearly impossible, barring (for me) one strange exception.  (via)

Creative usernames and Spotify account hijacking.  (also via)

Remember, The Cloud means that even if companies last, their services may not – even if there’s no other service to replace it.  (via)

Eventually, will every program have its own internal upgrading and management code?  It seems like it.

New Year’s Resolutions for Sysadmins.  Some of these resolutions look forward, some look backward.

Mommy, why is there a server in the house?

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In Other BSDs for 2014/01/04

Things are picking up again after the break.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD     0 Comments

ixgbe(4) updated

The ixgbe(4) driver, for a number of Intel 10Gb network cards, has been updated by Sepherosa Ziehau to version 2.5.15.  Note that this changes the interface name to ‘ix’ by default.  This driver is actually written by Intel.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

mdocml updated to 1.12.3

Franco Fitchner has updated mdocml in DragonFly to 1.12.3.   The changelog is right on the front page of the vendor site.

Update: Undeadly has a nice summary of the changes.

Posted by     Categories: Committed Code, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSDNow 18: Eclipsing Binaries

BSDNow 18, first of the new year, is up.  Among other things, it mentions my crazy ‘OpenPF’ idea, and there’s an interview with Baptiste Daroussin.  He’s one of the people working on pkg, so whatever he does there affects both FreeBSD and DragonFly.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

A reminder about 32-bit dports

A reminder based on a question from Pierre Abbat: John Marino isn’t working on 32-bit packages for dports; there’s a volunteer who will, but until the volunteer is ready, 3.7 users will want to build from source.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/12/29

Last of the year!  You’ll want to take some reading/watching time this week.

Can you be arrested for what’s on your computer?  Yes, of course.

Making SSH connections easier.  If you don’t know it, you should.

Ansible vs. Salt and Creating a new Ansible node.  BSD-focused.

Vim in the hands of a Real Maniac.  Damian Conway, the speaker, is a man of complicated skill, and a good speaker.  It gets pretty crazy by the end.  (via)

The Saddest Moment, James Mickens talking about Byzantine fault tolerance.  (via)

The via link on that last one led me to Dadhacker, with some excellent entries like this Eject button at Apple or Fuctuation.

Digital restoration and typesetter forensics.  Brian Kernighan, Ken Thompson, and Joe Condon reverse-engineering hardware because the vendor won’t reveal how it works – in the 1970s.  The letter to the vendor is hilarious.  The story of how it was recovered, also linked there, is a good read, too.  (also via)

Over-Extended Metaphor for the Day.  Could quibble, won’t.  I like the Emo Phillips followup joke quoted here, where I found it.

Oldcomputers.net.  There’s some neat old things there – and they’re selling/buying!  (via)

Console Living Room; more old game systems resurrected via JSMESS.  First reaction was that it was neat, second reaction: these old games were horrible, compared to what we have now.  (via multiple places)

exabgp, human-readable BGP messages.  (also also via)

The Grand C++ Error Explosion Competition.  I had a student who excelled at this, involuntarily.  (via)

We’ve run out of closed-source things to re-implement as open source, and now we’re reinventing the open-source wheel.

How open source changed Google – and how Google changed open source.  Their open source group is essentially about license compliance, not evangelism.  That is the way it should be.  The last paragraph about Summer of Code is spot-on.  (via)

Readers of a certain age will recognize the global vector map theme.  (Here’s more.)  It makes me think of the old Apple ][ game, NORAD.  (incidentally, I was way better at it than the player in that video.)

Your unrelated comics link of the week: not a comic, but a magazine that includes comics: Mineshaft.  I’ve heard about it many times, and I keep meaning to get a subscription.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     2 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2013/12/28

Again, quiet from the holiday break.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD     0 Comments

BSDNow 17: The Gift of Giving

BSDNow has a new episode for Christmas; this contains an interview with Scott Long of (among other things) Netflix.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

BSDTalk 236: NYCBSDCon and 8 years too

BSDTalk, which is hitting its 8th year, has 20 minutes of conversation with Ike Levy and Brian Callahan about NYCBSDCon.  (which is coming up on February 8th; will you sponsor?)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, Periodicals     0 Comments

My DragonFly 3.6 upgrade adventure

Here’s how my upgrade from DragonFly 3.4 to 3.6 for this server went.

The system install went normally.  I rebooted before performing ‘make upgrade’, as noted in UPGRADING and elsewhere.

I already have dports installed, so a binary upgrade should be possible.  I had heard of people with older version of pkg, having trouble getting it to notice upgrades.  I rebuilt pkg, and ran ‘pkg upgrade’.  A number of the updates coredumped.  Here’s one example:

[156/160] Upgrading gtk2 from 2.24.19 to 2.24.19_2...Segmentation fault 
(core dumped)

After the upgrade, I had two problems: PHP wasn’t working for the website, and some programs would segfault.

The random segfault was fixable by forcing a binary upgrade of all packages.  Since there were some programs on the system that were still new enough that the version number was the same as on the remote repository, pkg didn’t upgrade them.  Those packages were linked against old versions of system libraries that predated the locale changes in DragonFly 3.6, so they’d crash.  Forcing the update for all packages fixed the issue.

The other problem, PHP on the web server, is not new to me.  The binary package for PHP does not include the module for Apache.  The solution is to build from source with that option selected.  I understand that pkg is destined to support (some?) port options in the future.  There’s also an immediate workaround for locking it.

However, the port would not build because of a security issue.  The binary package installed without any warning.  This, I am told, will change to pkg giving you the option to install if you are aware of the security problem, and whether it really affects you.  (which is just what I want, yay!)

Anyway, other than the system changes biting me because I didn’t realize some packages weren’t updated, it went very quickly.  That is the reason for binary updates through pkg, or at least a major one.

Lazy Reading for 2013/12/22

Still quiet out there, but I found some good reading.

PHP functions originally named for string length and sorting.  Yeesh.  (via)

A great old-timey game programming hack.  There’s an initial speed hack in this story, and then there’s another clever trick to fix memory corruption.  (via)

My hardest bug.  This was a pretty fiendish problem.  (via)

Gitdown: don’t commit when drunk.  I’ve done that.  Actually will use an Arduino-based breathalyzer.  (via)

Another Perl One-Liners review.

Zeno of Elea, a game.  It’s based on a classic… (via)

Vim plugins you should know about.  From that One-Liners author.

Speaking of Perl, here’s a Larry Wall interview.  An old-school hacker – he wrote patch, too.

Moonpig: a billing system that doesn’t suck.  An in-depth review of system design.  More Perl, too.

Three Books You Should Read…  Mostly BSD content.

How to use Tor wrong, in multiple ways.  It’s not for petty crimes, and it’s not any use when you’re using it from a monitored network.  (via)

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Cookie Puss.

In Other BSDs for 2013/12/21

Odds and ends for the quieter holidays.

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

BSDNow 16: Cryptocrystalline

As you can kinda sorta guess from the show title, BSDNow 16 is about encryption.

One of the things noted there that I hadn’t heard of is that FreeBSD ports is getting a ‘stable’ branch for the first time – I suppose I need to read even more mailing lists.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

Who’s for an OpenPF?

Things are very quiet this week; I’ve had nothing to post for some days – DragonFly or even for other BSDs.  The end of the year has most people distracted, I think.  This makes it a good time to bring up something that’s been bothering me: the state of software firewalls in BSD.  The pf utility is a BSD advantage; I’ve heard people say “I used iptables on Linux and pf is a much better alternative.”  I know that’s anecdotal, but there it is.  Here’s the question, and the reason I’m writing this: which pf?

DragonFly has a version of pf equivalent to what was shipped in OpenBSD 4.4.  FreeBSD has a version equivalent, I think, to OpenBSD 3.8 4.5′s pf, and it has been further modified.  NetBSD has a similar, older pf, but there’s people working on a NetBSD-specific version called npf, which isn’t yet ready.  And of course, OpenBSD has its version of pf.  If you feel good about these different alternatives, you call it divergence.  If you don’t feel good about it, you call it fragmentation.

Compare this to OpenSSH – it works the same on each platform.  There’s no confusion on how to configure it, or interoperability problems.  It would be wonderful to have the equivalent for pf, where other BSD platforms would import a portable version.  This software firewall is a strength, and it’s much easier to tout it when there’s only one.

I doubt there’s a way to bring it all back to one source tree.  There’s a lot vested in the different forks out there.  You know what would take a lot less effort: a compatibility test suite.  Agreeing on a common syntax and set of functions would make life easier for every end user.  It would incidentally make vendors a lot happier, too.  Even if a user or vendor wasn’t hoping to move between BSD flavors, a test suite would still guarantee a certain known level of functionality for any BSD release.

How likely is this?  I don’t know.  But I want to bring up the notion before it gets missed.  Now is a good time, with each pf version still being relatively close to one another.

Update/note: Henning Brauer is willing to help.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Someday you will need this     10 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/12/15

Halfway to Christmas; time to buy presents if you haven’t already!

DragonFly on Hacker News.  I haven’t read through the comments fully.

The Meaning of “Doom”.  This article makes a very good point; Doom was one of the first game that encouraged user participation in the creation of the game.  Not the creation when it was first made, but the endless recreations as mods.  It’s sort of the same mechanism as open source, but as an activity and not a license.

Alphabet of the Obsolete.  Also known as “Things my children don’t know and don’t care about.”

Now is a good time to donate to the Internet Archive.  (via many places)

The Development of the C Language.  Dennis Richie was good at telling stories about some otherwise very dry subjects; his histories are enjoyable.  Maybe you have to have a certain kind of temperament or interest to really like them.  (via)

The Birth of Standard Error.  It was a smelly typesetting machine where it first started.   (via EFNet #dragonflybsd)

There’s some other interesting articles on that site, including “Programming Languages vs. Fat Fingers” and “The Importance of Being Declarative“.

Better and Better Keyboards.  Continuing the keyboard theme from previous weeks.  (via)

Building the Commodore C-128.  I never used one of these, but I’m sure there’s a few readers that will be gripped with nostalgia.  (via)

The Amiga 500 as a Chrome add-in.  Nostalgia, again.  (via)

Running 4.3BSD Quasijarus with simh VAX.  It’s apparently 4.3BSD for Vax hardware.  I did not know of this, or at least I don’t remember it.

When a Bash script asks, “Where am I?”.

Have you heard the axiom that every program grows in scope until it reads email?  It’s really all programs grow in complexity until they have their own auto-updater.  (Also, XScreenSaver is awesome.)

Vim, in Javascript.  Or maybe the axiom should be ‘Everything eventually is rewritten in Javascript’.  (via)

Did you see that interstitial?  It was dope!”  (via I forget, sorry)

Your unrelated animated gif of the week: Happy talking boat.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     3 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2013/12/14

Another week where I could get away without any commit links, just cause there’s so much BSD stuff out there.

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

BSDNow 15: Kickin’ NAS

BSDNow episode 15 keeps the pun titles going.  Josh Paetzel is apparently replaced by Santa Claus in the interview?  There’s also FreeNAS coverage, and lots else.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

Holiday shopping guide 2013

For those of you doing last-minute holiday shopping – like me: see previous years of gift links.  There’s also a number of comics lists, book lists, and game guides.  And of course, donations.

Posted by     Categories: Off-Topic, Someday you will need this     0 Comments

Go APE for bge and bnx

The bnx(4) and bge(4) network drivers now have APE support, thanks to Sepherosa Ziehau.  What’s that mean?  Other than an opportunity for punning jokes, I don’t know.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly, FreeBSD     2 Comments

A pkg fix for 3.4 upgraders

If you have a DragonFly 3.4 system that has already been switched over to dports, and you upgrade it to DragonFly 3.6, you might see an odd problem.  Rebuild pkg, and it will work.

I’ve only seen a few reports, so I don’t know if this is even likely to happen to most upgraders.

ISA support is really gone

ISA device support is really gone.  Well, except for keyboard and some spots where it can’t be be removed.  I don’t think I’ve even seen an ISA card in some years…

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     1 Comment

Binutils update to 2.24

John Marino has moved DragonFly from binutils 2.22 to 2.24.  I think this may require a full buildworld when upgrading…  not sure.  Anyway, binutils has a changelog if you are curious.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

BSDNow 14: Zettabytes for days

BSDNow episode 14 is up – and actually has been for a few days; I’ve been on the road.  There’s an interview with George Wilson about OpenZFS and a bunch more stuff I haven’t had a chance to watch yet.  (see previous note about being on the road.)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

A BSD plan: license summaries

I had a sometimes-great, sometimes-difficult trip to New York City over the past few days, and while I was there, I met the ball of energy that is George Rosamond of NYCBUG (which is having a huge party right now.)  He and I talked for a bit about various aspects of the BSD ecosystem, and one thing he noted was that people aren’t generally aware of all the licenses in use for the different software packages on the system, or even the individual licenses in the system files.

There is an ACCEPTABLE_LICENSES setting in pkgsrc, where software licensed under terms not in that list won’t install.  That’s useful, but frustrating, because it keeps people from getting what they asked for – a software install.  Something that would be useful – and it could be cross-BSD very easily – would be a license audit summary.

There’s meta-data on every package in FreeBSD’s ports and DragonFly’s dports and pkgsrc and OpenBSD’s port system.  Why not say ‘pkg licenses’ in the same way you can say ‘pkg info’, and get a summary of the licenses you have installed in the system?  (or pkg_licenses, etc.  You get the idea)  This wouldn’t prevent people from installing software, but it would give a very quick view of what you were using.


> pkg licenses

Software package    License
----------------    -------
foo-2.2.26          Apache license
bar-7.999999        Donateware
baz_ware-20131209   MIT
quux-silly-6.5      BSD

It could be extended to the base system, but I’d like to see this in all the packaging systems as a common idea, in the same way that ‘info’ in a packaging command always shows what’s installed.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DPorts, DragonFly, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, pkgsrc     4 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/12/08

Links are a bit rushed this week cause I’ve been on the road, but here you go.

explainshell – help for arbitrary shell commands.  It’s a really good idea, implemented in a pretty way.  (via)

True X-Mouse Gizmo for Windows.  I’m also saving this for later, just like the person who found this link.

From the same place: The ARPANET IMP Program: Retrospective and Resurrection.  Recreating the entire Internet, when the Internet could be summed up as a list of 5-6 locations.

How ALL CAPS and punctuation is now used to communicate mood.  Communication methods still tied down by ASCII, and then UTF-8.

I miss USENET.  (via)

A Testament to X11 Backwards Compatibility.  Watch the video at the end.   (via)

Your unrelated comics link of the week: There are more comics and illustrated works out there than there ever have been.  A decade ago, I could buy a few art comics and a reprint each month and feel like I was keeping up.  Now, it’s like a firehose of minicomic, self-published books, and prestige reprints that completely refreshes every week.  The Comics Reporter 2013 Holiday Shopping Guide is huge but barely touches on it all.  Read through and order something you aren’t familiar with; I can almost guarantee there’s several items in there you’ve never heard of.

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     0 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2013/12/07

Happy birthday to me!

Book Review: Perl One-Liners

No Starch Press noticed that I keep talking about Michael W. Lucas’s BSD-related books, and I’ve linked to Peteris Krumins’s catonmat site before, so they sent a copy of Krumins’s new “Perl One-Liners” book to me.

Stole image right from the site.

 

Here’s the hook for me: Perl was the first language I wrote a program of any real use in.  Years ago, I had the Perl Cookbook.  It was a pretty simple formula, where I’d have a problem.  I’d look it up in the Perl Cookbook.  If there was already a recipe that matched what I needed, I was set.  I ended up having to stuff the book into a binder because the spine broke.

This reference is essentially what the Perl One-Liners book is, though this is less about  programming and more about the solution you need right now. The book realizes this and it’s laid out like a menu.  Flip through the index to find your problem, and then type the answer.  The book even includes a link to a text file that you can copy down and grep for answers – I won’t link to it because it’s not mentioned on the author’s page, though he does include example chapters.

It’s not about learning Perl, and it’s not about technique – these are one-liners, after all.  If you are doing the sort of thing Perl excels at, like text mangling, this will be a book full of tools for you.  I think the author is going to continue in this style; he’s done a lot of one-liner articles and even some previous e-books.

Probably a good idea to make this disclaimer: As with other books, I get no reward for this review, unless you count me having another book in the house.  That’s more of a problem than a benefit for me.

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Remember: manually clean up offline Hammer volumes

If you have a Hammer volume that is offline, meaning that you don’t have the pseudo-file-systems null-mounted anywhere, it won’t get cleaned up in overnight processing.  You just have to manually specify it.

A bge(4) fix for some hardware

If you have a bge(4) network card and it’s giving you problems every time you configure it, there’s a fix on the way.

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

Someone for i386 and dports work

Rett Kent has volunteered for maintaining i386 support under dports.  Good luck!  3rd-party software management is difficult.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

Minimal installation notes

This post from Konrad Neuwirth asking how to do a minimal installation of DragonFly led to this list of all the ‘knobs’ you can set to make your installation smaller, from John Marino.  (And your buildworld faster, if that’s appealing to you.)  I also pointed at rconfig and PFI, which are criminally underdocumented.

Lazy Reading for 2013/12/01

Now that I’m going into more descriptive detail with these, I’m going to try without the bullet points.  It’s less of a Wall Of Text that way.

Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Learning How to Code.  Really, very good advice.  (via)

‘vr’ mentioned the Space Cadet and Symbolics Macivory keyboards in comments for last week’s Lazy Reading keyboard links.  I didn’t know what they were, so searching around found me this Symbolics keyboard image (the model itself is apparently dearly missed)and the inevitable Wikipedia Space Cadet entry.  I also found this study of keyboards that mentions some other ‘special’ modern models I’ve heard of in passing – Das Keyboard and Happy Hacking models.

Also found as part of that search: one man’s quest to get his own Lisp Machine.  That appears to be about 10 years old, so my guess is that you’d go for emulation these days.

Sorting information that isn’t quite numeric.  This bites everyone sooner or later.

The death and life of great Internet cities.  “Whatever we may ultimately make of our move towards sites like Facebook, it’s almost certainly the case that, for the average netizen, it was a movement away from online literacy.”  An excellent article about how communities are no longer built online – at least not through social networks.  (via)

Farming hard drives: 2 years and $1m later.  Data-driven analysis of hard drive prices, and how they’ve recovered poorly from the Thailand floods.  I always like it when a company takes data from doing something on a large scale – something very few people are doing or could do – and releases it.  (via)

Systems Software Research is Irrelevant.  Rob Pike pointing out how the system ecosystem was becoming monocultural.  It’s over 10 years old, so some of the problems have changed.  The interesting thing is to look at it and see which parts were identification of upcoming trends.  (via)

DragonFly 3.6 video review.  This person doesn’t realize the shell is tcsh, not bash, and it really, really messes him up.  I had to stop watching about 6 minutes in.  (via blakkheim on IRC)

Your unrelated link of the week: The Church of the Subgenius is selling 2-for-1 deals on ordainment.  It’s really a legal ordainment, too, at least in the U.S.  You can perform weddings, funerals… circumcisions?  Not sure about the legal restrictions on that, and maybe I don’t want to know.  Anyway, you get an entertaining pack of literature which you can take either completely seriously, or not at all.

 

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     0 Comments