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!

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

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.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

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.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

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?

Posted by     Categories: Lazy Reading     0 Comments

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.

Posted by     Categories: Books     0 Comments

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.

 

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In Other BSDs for 2013/11/30

A lighter week for commits probably because of the U.S. holiday, but still plenty of things to link.

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

BSDNow 13: Jordan Hubbard, more OpenBSD router

BSDNow 13 is out, and it includes an interview with Jordan Hubbard of ports/Apple/iXSystems fame.  They also continue the ‘Building an OpenBSD router’ project, and of course, there’s more.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

New pkg 1.2 on the way

pkg 1.2 is coming out.  This brings a number of new features, but as John Marino posted, you may want to delete your old pkg.conf to keep the new version from complaining about an old config file.  This upgrade is a step on the way to signed packages, which is a Good Idea.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly, Goings-on, Heads Up!     0 Comments

Mini roadmap checklist

Remember the ‘mini roadmap’, mentioned last week yesterday?  John Marino put together a Google Docs spreadsheet to track the task status; several items are already cleared off.  Take a look and tackle a task.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, I like alliteration     0 Comments

DragonFly roadmap, post 3.6

John Marino posted a possible ‘roadmap’ for DragonFly, now that we’re past the 3.6 release.  The thread went on for some ways as it was discussed, including my crazy ideas.  Notably, several suggested items have already been tackled – an iwn(4) upgrade has already happened, and an update to bmake, based on John’s vendor branch update instructions.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     2 Comments

Hammer2 status

This is a little old, but Matthew Dillon noted the status of his Hammer2 work a little while ago.  Some highlights: he’s intending Hammer2 to be usable on a single host by the time of the next DragonFly release (summer 2014), the Summer of Code project for compression has already been integrated, and he listed different parts of the work that may be interesting for anyone wanting to chip in.

Slightly related: Matt posted some Hammer2 comments on the DragonFly 3.6 release story on Slashdot that may be interesting.  Don’t bother reading the other comments; they’ll make your eyeballs bleed.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on, Hammer     0 Comments

DragonFly in KVM

If you’re planning to run DragonFly in KVM, remember this post from Matthew Dillon, giving the settings he uses.  This will save you a bit of time.

Good news for iwn(4) users

If you have a recent laptop with an iwn(4) wireless chipset, Matthew Dillon’s recent work getting an updated version of the driver together will probably help you.  It was done specifically to support a Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230, but many more should also now work.


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

Minor upgrade step with dports

If you’re upgrading dports (and you probably are if you are going from DragonFly 3.4 to 3.6), there’s a minor issue in dports, inherited from FreeBSD ports: you need to manually remove perl before upgrading.  It’s all of one command, so it’s not a huge burden.  Joris Giovanngeli spotted it first.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

Newest DragonFly committer: Eitan Adler

Eitan Adler is the newest DragonFly committer; you may recognize his name from some previous commits added by others, where he synced up various work between the BSDs.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

DragonFly 3.6 released

The 3.6 release of DragonFly is available now.  I just put up those images last night, so if your favorite mirror doesn’t have it, give it a few hours.

For those updating from 3.4 to 3.6: there’s an ABI change, so you will have to upgrade all your packages.  If you’re using pkgsrc and ready to switch to dports, now’s the time.  If you already switched to dports on your 3.4 system, binary packages for 3.6 have already been built and you can use pkg to upgrade.

Also for upgrades from 3.4: You can pull the 3.6 source normally:

cd /usr/src
git fetch origin
git branch DragonFly_RELEASE_3_6 origin/DragonFly_RELEASE_3_6
git checkout DragonFly_RELEASE_3_6

But there’s a slight change needed for the 3.4 to 3.6 transition: an extra reboot in the build process:

# make buildworld && make buildkernel && make installkernel && make installworld && reboot

# make upgrade

This is all noted in /usr/src/UPDATING and in the release notes, but I’m taking no chances.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/11/24

There’s some in-depth items to look at this week; pull up a chair and get something warm to drink.  You will be rewarded.

  • James Mickens, who you may remember from The Slow Winter a few weeks back, has written again with The Night Watch.  Gonzo tech writing is the best.  Note to self: a ;login: subscription might not be a bad idea, as apparently there’s more like that.
  • Another note to self: watch the USENIX blog.  There’s some interesting things on there.
  • Citation Needed.   There’s a plausible claim in this that the reason we have 0-based indexing in most languages is because of yacht-racing.  Seriously, read the article, and follow some of the links in it.  (via)
  • Engelbart’s Violin.  Because “a computer system should maximally reward learning.”  Found in that previous essay; good enough I had to break it out.
  • Found in the comments from that previous link: SiWriter.  One-handed phone typing, simulating a chorded keyboard.
  • History of T.  I was wondering if it was something about tea, but no, it’s a discussion about a Lisp implementation.  Lisp all seems to originate from a magical time, when computers were faster, dragons were common, and elves hadn’t retreated across the sea yet, or at least all the stories have that mythical vibe.  See the ycominator link for additional discussion about system languages like Rust, of which I have only heard in passing so far.
  • The video and audio from LISA 2013 has been posted.  There’s lots there; I’m sure you’ll find an interesting topic.
  • I wasn’t kidding about this being a dense week for links, was I?
  • This should have been in yesterday, but I only read about it this morning: Darwin/BSD on ARM.  More ARM work everywhere, please; there’s a tidal wave of these processors washing about.  (thanks, J.C. Roberts)
  • Why I use a 20-year-old Model M keyboard.  See the ycombinator discussion for alternatives.  They all may seem expensive, but it’s equipment you’re going to smash your fingers against for many years; it should be good.
  • That discussion link in the previous item led me to this image.  An old-style Thinkpad keyboard?  Now that would be pleasant to use.  Apparently these existed, though the Lenovo keyboards section doesn’t have anything exactly by that name; the keyboards there look generic.  There’s some on eBay.  Anyone ever used one?
  • The Homebrew Computer Club reconvenes.  A computer club nowadays is “we downloaded some of the same software”, while back then it was “I built a computer.”  A bit more hardcore.
  • chibitronics.  It’s ‘circuit stickers’, and a good idea.
  • mattext, a matrix-style pager.  Does it work on DragonFly?  Haven’t had a chance to find out.  It needs a video demo.  (via)
  • More UNIX script debugging.  Still Bash-specific, but still useful.
  • Puppet vs. Chef  vs. Ansible vs. Salt.  A useful comparison for those not familiar with these types of tool.  (via)
  • UNIX Proves Staying Power as Enterprise Computing Platform.  Gives a short history of commercial UNIX platforms.
  • I find stories about closing cloud companies compelling.  I’d probably feel different if it was my problems to sort out.

 

Your unrelated link of the week: Mr. T PSA.  It’s a parody of the real thing.  I explicitly mention it because you, the reader, might not be just the right age to remember this.

If that’s not confusing enough, watch this.

Posted by     Categories: I like alliteration, Lazy Reading, UNIXish     8 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2013/11/23

I’m working my way up to more than just links to source for the cross-BSD news.  There’s a lot to swim through!

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

BSDNow 12: Collecting SSHells

BSDNow 12, which I haven’t had a chance to watch yet, has the normal roundup of events and an interview with Amitai Schlair of NetBSD.  There’s also a tutorial about ssh and tmux.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, NetBSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

DragonFly 3.6.0 release very soon

As noted on the kernel@ list, it’s tagged but not yet in image form.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     1 Comment

Building lots of storage

Predrag Punosevac asked for good fileserver examples.  Several people answered, including me – the best answer is from Francois Tigeot, but there’s discussion of IPMI support in the thread.

Related: I wonder if the Backblaze Storage Pod would work for DragonFly?

Posted by     Categories: Device support, DragonFly     0 Comments

BSD Magazine: HAST on FreeBSD

The November issue of BSD Magazine is out, with a feature on High Availability Storage (that’s HAST) on FreeBSD, plus more.  (noticed via freebsdnews, since I somehow missed the email/rss from bsdmag.com)

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

BSDTalk 235: Allan Jude

BSDTalk 235 has 26 minutes of conversation with Allan Jude about various topics, including this BSDNow thing I was just on,

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments

i386 dports maintainer wanted

John Marino isn’t interested in supporting the i386 architeecture for DragonFly and dports, so he’s not going to actively work on it.  (Packages for DragonFly 3.6 are already built, so that’s not a problem for release.)  If you feel like taking on a significant but interesting workload, check his message about the work involved.

Posted by     Categories: DPorts, DragonFly     0 Comments

Lazy Reading for 2013/11/17

It’s been snowing this week in the northeast US, which makes me happy.

  • Unix: sending signals to processes.  Signals have always struck me as a somewhat byzantine messaging system that everyone uses for the equivalent of Ctrl-C.
  • Unix: Debugging your scripts.  This will be useful if it’s not already familiar to you.
  • Compatibility is Hard.  Contrary to popular belief, Microsoft Word documents are not backward or forward compatible, from release to release.
  • From that previous link: Why Microsoft Word Must Die.  The worst problems to troubleshoot are when someone says “Word/Excel is acting funny”.  There’s so many intermediate layers of software in those programs that it’s difficult to find the actual data and the actions being performed on it, much less troubleshoot any process.
  • SparkFun.com moved from MySQL/MariaDB to Postgres.  I agree with the sentiments in the article, but I want to know the technical reasons that made Postgres the choice for scaling.  (via)
  • Apple ][ DOS source code.  I don’t have anything I can actually do with the source, but there’s a 1977 price list pictured in the the article that shows some interesting numbers: A 4Kb RAM system costs about $1300, and the prices just go up from there.

Your unrelated comics link of the week: the first four pages of Necropolis.  This comic looks to be fun.

Posted by     Categories: Someday you will need this, UNIXish     2 Comments

In Other BSDs for 2013/11/16

Not as much pulled directly from the source lists this time, which is good.

 

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD, pkgsrc     3 Comments

BSDNow 11: The Gateway Drug

BSDNow episode 11 is up, with conversations about OpenSSH, FUSE, building an OpenBSD router, etc… and a whole hour of me talking about the upcoming DragonFly 3.6 release and this very Digest, too!

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly, Periodicals     0 Comments

OpenBSD talk at Michigan User Group

This appears to be all audiovisual media week, because author Michael W. Lucas gave a talk at the Michigan Users Group about OpenBSD (he’s qualified), and it’s up now in two parts.  He describes it as:

“Among other things, I compare OpenBSD to Richard Stallman and physically assault an audience member.”

Posted by     Categories: Books, BSD, Conventions, OpenBSD     5 Comments

BSDTalk 234: Henning Brauer at vBSDCon

BSDTalk 234 is 30 minutes of conversation with Henning Brauer, taken at vBSDCon 2013.  There’s a correlation between east coast BSD conferences and the number of BSDTalk episodes coming out.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, Conventions, OpenBSD     1 Comment

BSDNow: a livestream that’s already completed

I just finished a whole hour of gabbing on about DragonFly and BSD work in general for BSDNow.  Because I am a ninny, I didn’t post something here earlier today so that people would know to watch the livestream.  Sorry!  However, it should be showing up in the next day or so on the BSDNow site.  When it does, I’ll link it.

Posted by     Categories: BSD, DragonFly     0 Comments

Book review: Sudo Mastery

If you’ve seen my previous two reviews of Michael W. Lucas’s ‘Mastery’ books – DNSSEC Mastery and SSH Mastery - then you can guess what this will be: his newest book, focusing on a single software topic.  This time it’s sudo.

sudomastery-cover

The one downside of reading this book: I now am aware I’m using sudo wrong.  Perhaps not wrong, but not anywhere near its potential.  Sudo – and I’m not the only person who has experienced this – is used as a “Let’s install sudo so we don’t have to tell anyone the root password”.  Sudo works for that sort of thing, but there’s a lot more possibilities.

Sudo is designed to be deployable across multiple systems, as part of a security policy.  It’s an easy way to create purpose-shaped roles with different users, especially with users that have specialized skills and tasks, like database maintenance.

Obviously I think better of sudo after reading the book; there’s a lot of program capabilities of which I was unaware, but it’s the book that sells them.  Michael W. Lucas’s humor is on display again, to break up some very technical material.  Here’s some bits, pulled out.

Remember that “syntactically valid” is not the same as “does what you want.”

Pressing Q tells visudo to break sudo until you log in as root and fix it. Do not press this button. You won’t like it.

Here I create the TAPEMONKEYS alias for the people who manage backups.

And if Carl tries to configure Oracle on the PostgreSQL server, senior sysadmin Thea needs to have sharp words with him. Probably involving a tire iron.

The book is in-depth enough to cover more complex topics like using sudo and Active Directory, and sudo as an intrusion detection tool, of all things.

The usual reasons to buy a Mastery book are all still there: it specifically mentions working on BSD systems instead of pretending Linux is the only system out there.  It’s available through a DRM-free seller (Smashwords) in addition to Amazon.  It’s a self-published effort, not shovelware.  It’s available now as an ebook, and in physical form soon.  Lucas talks about it on BSDNow 010, too.

I have one last nontechnical note.  Since these Mastery books are working into a series, I’d like to see a whole printed run of visually matching books.  Something with the equivalent of the O’Reilly animals or the Pelican or even Little Blue Books common look and feel.

You know the look even if you don't know the publisher

The takeaway: You should be reading this book if you plan to use sudo in any sort of multiuser environment.  It’s available as an e-book direct from the author, via Amazon, via Smashwords, and possibly Barnes & Noble at some point in the near future.  Physical books are available, and you can buy both forms together, apparently.

And of course this sudo joke.

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

Lazy Reading for 2013/11/10

I spent this entire week saying things like “Wait, today’s Tuesday?” and “I thought this was Wednesday, not Thursday.”

  • Welcome to my GUI Gallery, a whole lot of different GUI screenshots.  This mention of the “Salto” Alto emulator brought me there, and there’s some material I’ve never seen before.  Also, there’s Bob.  Not “Bob” the prophet, but Bob, the computer mistake.  Speaking of problematic designs, see the Windows 8 page.
  • 5 Cool UNIX Hacks.  Sounds linkbaity, but it’s useful.  I didn’t realize that CTRL-a is the non-destructive version of CTRL-u.  (via)
  • This seems strange, but I never heard of PLATO, even though it seems to be the precursor to so much.  (via)
  • Goodbye Google“, in terms of switching to your own platform, seems to be a new trend.
  • arkOS, a similar idea.
  • Finding Files Your Way.  I can never remember all the arguments to ‘find’.
  • Google has a Shell Style Guide.  Which equates to a Bash Style Guide, but that’s OK.  Shell scripts are sometimes considered the most disposable form of programming, so it’s good to see a full guide.  (via)

Your unrelated animation of the week: late for meeting.  A followup to going to the store, which I think I posted here years ago.

In Other BSDs for 2013/11/09

Not sure why, but there wasn’t a lot of things this week to pick out.

 

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

Performance tuning

Matthew Dillon did some more performance tuning for DragonFly.  I’ll just pull a paragraph from the commit message, since that will have more impact than anything I say:

Improves fork/exec concurrency on monster of static binaries from 14200/sec to 55000/sec+. For dynamic binaries improve from around 2500/sec to 9000/sec or so (48 cores fork/exec’ing different dynamic binaries). For the same dynamic binary it’s more around 5000/sec or so.

“monster” is a 48-core machine used for testing.

Posted by     Categories: DragonFly, Goings-on     0 Comments

BSDNow 10: Year of the BSD Desktop

The 10th BSDNow episode is out, with the ambitious title, “Year of the BSD Desktop”.  As you can guess from the title, a PC-BSD desktop gets set up as part of the episode, and as you might not guess from the title, they interview Michael W. Lucas.

Posted by     Categories: Books, BSD, PC-BSD, Periodicals     0 Comments