Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

DragonFly 2.4 Released

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the four-wings dept.

BSD 73

electrostaticcarrot writes "DragonFly — that fourth major BSD — has had its 2.4 release. The 'most invasive change' is the addition and usage of a DevFS for /dev; building on this, drives are now also recognized by serial number (along with /etc/devtab for aliases) as listed in /dev/serno. This is also the first release with a x86-64 ISO, stable but with limited pkgsrc support. Other larger changes include a ported and feature-extended (with full hotplug and port multiplier support) AHCI driver (and SILI driver based on it) originally taken from OpenBSD, major NFS changes, and HAMMER updates. A pkgsrc GIT mirror has also been set up and put in use to make future pkgsrc updates quicker and smoother. Here are two of the mirrors."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

But can it help lengthen Rob's micropenis? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29466343)

Because as you may or may not know, Rob Malda is hung like a toddler.

Re:But can it help lengthen Rob's micropenis? (1)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466505)

Aye, that is the MOTD in the Dragon Fly 2.4 release.

Maybe in 5 years I will buy x64. When Win 32S no longer works on Win 3.1

very nice BSD distribution (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466433)

I've used DragonFly to build some appliances for remote network monitoring, like having something as solid as FreeBSD 4.x from which it was forked but with ability to compile latest BSD packages and small footprint. I've kind of lost faith in FreeBSD after 5.x and 6.x shakiness under high load, maybe they've fixed it.

That said, I've yet to use Hammer and wonder if/when it's production stable like some of the other parts.

Re:very nice BSD distribution (1)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466545)

Thor uses Linux. Stability only requires "not flying off the handles". Thankfully, Kanye does not have his own "Hammer" brand.

Re:very nice BSD distribution (4, Informative)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466827)

I've never experienced "shakiness" under high load on 6.x, but 7.x saw the introduction of a much improved SMP, and a new scheduler which saw dramatic performance increases under many usage types.

Early 5.x was a bit flaky, though it was fairly stable by the end of the line. 6.x was late in coming though, so many were eager to migrate. 5.x is in many ways too old to be a valid comparison anymore though, as I don't see many complaints about linux kernel 2.4.x even though they had their own set of issues. Every OS I've ever used has had it's own sets of gotchas, but stability on BSD has never been one with proper planning.

Re:very nice BSD distribution (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467487)

I couldn't get 5.x to install. 6.x and 7.x have been very stable fore me under high load. That being said, from what I hear the problem requires an 8+ CPU system and most/all of the CPUs under high load. I've only got single and dual core systems.

Re:very nice BSD distribution (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 5 years ago | (#29468743)

I've had no load issues with 6x or 7x so far, though I have it primarily on quad-core boxes under moderate load (firewalls and such).

I should look into this "shakiness" and find out what it entails, and if there are some things i need to consider if I plan to scale. I might have just lucked out.

Re:very nice BSD distribution (1)

mosch (204) | more than 5 years ago | (#29471365)

I use it on 8 and 12 systems, under constantly high load, and haven't experienced instability.

Not saying it doesn't exist, but this is the first I've even heard of such a problem.

Re:very nice BSD distribution (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#29471609)

That being said, from what I hear the problem requires an 8+ CPU system and most/all of the CPUs under high load.

Our 8-core database server has been marching along happily under a heavy load for many months now.

Re:very nice BSD distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29474289)

8-core != 8 processors. They're managed entirely differently.

Re:very nice BSD distribution (5, Informative)

m.dillon (147925) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466883)

HAMMER is considered production-stable now. It was usable a year ago and what few bugs existed were found and fixed since then. Performance is much improved though we are still not happy with small file lookups, and fsyncs are still quite costly, but there isn't much we can do about it without some major on-media changes and those will probably not be made until after the cluster work ramps up. In anycase, HAMMER has been the default filesystem for a while. There is really no other choice for DragonFly (just as ZFS is the only real choice for FreeBSD) when it comes to dealing with today's huge drives. UFS (and UFS2) don't cut it.


Re:very nice BSD distribution (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467905)

Go Matt go. Your decades of providing truly great software do not go unnoticed.

In other news: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29466441)

Who the fuck cares? I thought this project died months ago..

Re:In other news: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29466461)

Well certainly not you, dear Linux user with blinkers on!

Re:In other news: (1)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466563)

Yo AC, I'm happy for you and I'm going to let you finish, but that's what x64 said about DragonFly 3 years ago.

Re:In other news: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29466673)

Just so you know, Mac OS 11, NT kernel 7.0, and Android 2.0 will all be forks of this.

I guess you don't read too much do you? Then again the New York Times is written at the 5th grade level, and that's too tough for you.

Re:In other news: (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467515)

And where, pray tell, did you get THAT load of tripe? I'm a BSD fan and all, but to think that NT will switch to a BSD base, is absurd, Android less so, but still ridiculous, and Mac I can't see switching from it's Mach/FreeBSD hybrid that works so well for it.

Re:In other news: (1)

cbraescu1 (180267) | more than 5 years ago | (#29472943)

You got it all wrong. He meant to say they will all "borrow" the code for their own use (since any BSD operating system is using the BSD license).

Re:In other news: (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467419)

Now Now AC. Other children are present. Wouldn't it be kewl to run this CMS [] on dragonfly bsd. Maybe they can port this web server from the mainframe to bsd: []

Re:In other news: (1)

silent_artichoke (973182) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467813)

That would be some hot dragonfly on dragonfly on dragonfly action!

step-by-step, right? (0, Troll)

flex941 (521675) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466447)

devfs? and the next release will switch to udev presumably?

Re:step-by-step, right? (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466691)

devfs? and the next release will switch to udev presumably?

Additionally it will be called 'Dreamy DragonFly,' and feature a suspiciously familiar-looking brown GNOME theme....

Re:step-by-step, right? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29467077)

Isn't it funny that at the very moment there is a discussion about including devtmpfs into the Linux kernel to get rid of udev?

Re:step-by-step, right? (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467507)

LOL, I'd mod you up if I could +1 Informative.

Fourth major BSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29466539)

DragonFly â" that fourth major BSD

Mac OS X doesn't count as a BSD?

Now that I think about it, BSD users should use OS X to brag to the Linux users how they have 10x more users.

Re:Fourth major BSD? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29466633)

Why would it count? Mac OS X is a Mach kernel with a BSD userland half-ass thrown on top of it to get the Unix certification.

Re:Fourth major BSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29466695)

And clearly you know all of this from thorough experience with the system, and not at all from being a flaming anti-Apple zealot out of a "fashion perspective".

And to the dullard in the top of this tree: NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD - the three majors.

Re:Fourth major BSD? (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466823)

Mac OS X doesn't count as a BSD?

No. Mac OS X doesn't use a *BSD-derived kernel and is therefore not a *BSD. Mac OS X's kernel is called 'XNU' and it's based on Mach 3.0. It does have a BSD subsystem in the kernel, and the userland is a mix of BSD and GNU utilities, but it's not *BSD. (The BSD subsystem itself is derived from FreeBSD 5.x.) I guess you could say Mac OS X has stuff that is derived from BSD, but on whole I'd have to say OS X is something other than BSD.

Re:Fourth major BSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29474949)

Mac OS X's kernel is Mach. Mac OS X's operating system is XNU. Mac OS X's development platform is Darwin. Mac OS X is complete software system.

1. Mach > 2. XNU > 3. Darwin > 4. Mac OS X.

1. Microkernel > 2. Operating System > 3. Development Platform > 4. Software System

It is just very simple.

Same things for other OS's.

1. Linux > 2. GNU/Linux > 3. example Ubuntu

1. Operating System > 2. Development platform > 3. Software System

1. FreeBSD > 2. FreeBSD

1. Operating System > 2. Software System

I do not know that there is any grazy people on BSD side who would start calling development platform as OS like GNU people tried. While the FreeBSD kernel is the operating system like Linux is.

Problem is that most people do not understand that monolithic kernel is the complete operating system, while microkernel-based (server-client/layered) OS's are build with microkernel + modules (called servers) together.

Mac OS X is not counted as *BSD OS, because XNU OS has only a few parts from FreeBSD OS. XNU has lots of other parts as well.

And people might not know that XNU is a result from Apple playing around with Linux. Apple's first open source project was MkLinux, what was to make Linux as microkernel based OS from monolithic. They got lots of infos from that and then they build up own OS around Mach microkernel and they got developed XNU. And you can run XNU without compile tools from Apple what are on Darwin package (darwin is XNU + compile tools) but you do not get Mac OS X services working with XNU then.

XNU operating system is Mach microkernel. FreeBSD's networkstack, filesystems and so on. I/O Kit drivers and so on.

It is just sad that people falls to the marketing of "hybrid kernel", what is technically just same as microkernel structured OS. The modularity is same as server-client.

Re:Fourth major BSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29554205)

MacOS X is based on the NeXTStep OS, which was acquired when buying NeXT. The company was founded in 1985 and the OS was released in '89 (but previewed prior). Apple's mkLinux project began in 1996 and was mostly a failure. History indicates that the BSD and CMU communities influenced XNU, but that Linux did not. The leadership of the kernel team has never had any Linux notables, but later acquired figures like FreeBSD's Jordon Hubbard. I agree with you that MacOS X isn't a BSD-derived operating system, but it has zero Linux influences from what I can tell.

Re:Fourth major BSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29466831)

1) FreeBSD
2) OpenBSD
3) NetBSD

Mac OS and DragonFly would be 5 and 6.

Re:Fourth major BSD? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467607)

PC-BSD /is/ FreeBSD with some extra userland tools added on. I'm not sure it's worth calling another BSD. The rest at least have significant differences at lower levels of the OS, and not just a few extra packages installed.

Re:Fourth major BSD? (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 5 years ago | (#29468775)

PC-BSD is *not* a different version or a fork. It is, just like ByOhTek said, just FreeBSD with some additional user tools.

Even 7.1 still identifies as BSD 7, and they are quite clear about it in their documentation. It *is* FreeBSD.

Re:Fourth major BSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29466845)

Yes, OS X is "Busted BSD" -- I use it pretty regularly and it has some really cool features, but it doesn't work so smoothly and elegantly on the CLI as FreeBSD.
BTW, DragonflyBSD's new 2.4 amd64 (x86-64) installer/livecd won't even boot on my core2duo Mac Mini, nor will OpenBSD 4.6. Also I'm disappointed that the BSD community apparently doesn't consider GPT a priority, considering it's superior to MBR and getting to be quite common. FreeBSD breaks my GPT, then when I use testdisk to fix it I can't boot FreeBSD. So no more BSD on the desktop or laptop for me -- it was sweet while it lasted, but AFAIK there is no more BSD (other than OS X) for anything but legacy MBR disks now, unless you're willing to wipe GPT (and/or maybe forgo dual booting). FreeBSD claims to have GPT support, but it sure doesn't work from sysinstall.

Re:Fourth major BSD? (0, Troll)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467571)

They won't be admitting that because they know OS X is gay.

Re:Fourth major BSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29507709)

LOL, I meant to post that as AC, oh well it was still funny

Re:Fourth major BSD? (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#29475139)

Mac OS X doesn't count as a BSD?

It's Mach with bits of BSD and GNU welded on, and good bits of BSD completely broken (kqueue).

A Good Release (1)

foldingstock (945985) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466791)

The DragonFly BSD project is one I have followed with great interest. I am a long time Free and Open BSD user, and DragonFly has brought a lot of new ideas to the table.

I'm glad to see another fine release by their team. It is really amazing what just a handful of people have accomplished with DragonFly. Great work guys!

How close are we coming to blending Linux and BSD? (2, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466875)

I'm not up on the beastie's progress these days, but reading about the /dev filesystem reminds me of the penguin. Does this bring them closer together? Are things coming closer together in other ways as well?

I think it would be phenomenal to be able to select between Ubuntu Linux and Ubuntu BSD, for example.

Debian GNU/* (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29467065)

Then select among Debian GNU/Linux, Debian GNU/NetBSD, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD and Debian GNU/Hurd.

Re:How close are we coming to blending Linux and B (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29467525)

I'd say Linux is almost as wide as BSD is afar from it. Meaning there are a lot of differences between different Linux distributions. BSD is not much more different than the two least similar Linux distributions.

Arch is probably the most BSD-like Linux there is. Compare that to your favorite Linux distribution and you get an idea of that.

Re:How close are we coming to blending Linux and B (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473623)

This unholy abomination called System V will have to be sliced out ipcrm by ipcrm from the body of the penguin before any merger can be contemplated!

Fear (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#29466947)

that fourth major BSD â" has had its 2.4 release

Six more BSDs and they will officially go from "mindless roving undead" to "collectively intelligent zombie horde."

Can someone enlighten me why (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467175)

..why there are so many BSD variants while the linux kernel only has one? Is it more difficult to get patches in, or is the different BSD variants more like distributions with a (more or less) shared kernel? Or is it that the BSD kernel lends itself more easily to more radical experiments? I see from wikipedia that DragonFly dabbles in microkernel'ism.

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (0)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467379)

Licensing? From Wiki:
"The licenses [BSD] have few restrictions compared to other free software licenses such as the GNU General Public License or even the default restrictions provided by copyright, putting it relatively closer to the public domain."

"The GPL is the most popular and well-known example of the type of strong copyleft license that requires derived works to be available under the same copyleft."

If you tell me I can do what ever the hell I want to with your code when I work on it I'm more apt to work on code than if you tell me I have to follow your rules when I use it.

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (2, Interesting)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#29469295)

If you tell me I can do what ever the hell I want to with your code when I work on it I'm more apt to work on code than if you tell me I have to follow your rules when I use it.

Maybe *you* would be more likely to work on the code, but that's not very relevant. Most of the heavy lifting in Linux kernel development is done by corporations.

If you analyze the situation with some basic game theory, it's clear that corporations are unlikely to publicly license the source to any of their significant development efforts unless GPL-style restrictions go along with it. They don't want their competitors taking their hard work and going proprietary with it. (I'm talking about writing new code as open source here. This doesn't count the common case of companies dumping unprofitable proprietary products into unrestrictive open source licenses, often in a last-ditch attempt to devalue their competitors' proprietary products. (See Sun Microsystems.))

This may be why the Linux kernel is less likely to fork. All of the big players are in the same boat, and they enjoy a network effect by sticking together and adding all the improvements to the same codebase. Having to sync improvements between multiple forks (even if they were all GPLd) would add significant overhead to the process. Thus the big contributors would tend to shun any fork.

Basic game theory: *always* publish tactical code. (1)

tlambert (566799) | more than 5 years ago | (#29472835)

Basic game theory: *always* publish tactical code.

You cite "basic game theory" as a reason to not publish code, but in fact "basic game theory" dictates that you *always* publish non-strategic code; this accomplishes a number of things for you:

- community good will
- you offload ongoing maintenance costs
- you establish your interfaces and data structures as a de-facto standard, disadvantaging your competitors

The first some companies have decided they can live without; however, if you want a ready pool of people to hire from, then like many other companies, you won't discount the idea.

The second is practically priceless; a lot of comapnies have done this with Linux (Microsoft just joined these ranks).

The third is also priceless; certain SQL language constructs were published into the SQL standard because they were specifically difficult for Sybase and other Oracle competitors to implement them with the same level of performance. Bot VMWare and Parallels have also tried getting their VMM interfaces adopted by Linux, not because they want to be good guys, but because if their APIs get adopted, it makes it harder for their competitors to compete in the market.

You also publish strategic code under some circumstances:

- When the value of the strategic position is exceeded by the ongoing maintenance costs
- When the value of the strategic position is less than the value of the cost to competitors of keeping up with a strategy not their own

TiVO is one well-known company that has done the latter, keeping only those items with high strategic value back (and separate from the kernel to avoid licensing encumberment of the GPL), so it's possible to do the same thing there on Linux as it is for companies like RedBack Networks or F5 to modify the BSD networking stack for their L3/L4 switches.

So if you are going by "basic game theory", then you get the same things not given back to Linux as are not given back to BSD, with a couple of things not being given back to BSD by unenlightened companies (and then their interfacing and reintigration costs get higher and higher over time until they release the code or they go out of business because they are non-competitive).

-- Terry

Re:Basic game theory: *always* publish tactical co (1)

epine (68316) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473693)

If you define "basic game theory" as game theory reduced to whatever extent necessary to yield a single dominating strategy against all eventualities, then I agree with you.

It has been a presumption of intellectual property law that no intellectual property claim endures forever (at least until Mickey Mouse discovered the non-convergence of infinite series). I know very few claims to IP that lapse in less than a century. So, clearly, over a sufficiently long term, a company that continues to invest in the maintenance of a software base that is necessarily commoditized in the world around them, is unlikely to declare much profit.

All of your claims are asymptotically true. That's just dressing up what everyone already knows in a new notation.

I guess then that non-basic game theory is figuring out precisely *when* each of these moves make sense. I bet over the mid term (three years to a decade) it looks a lot more like the Texas Hold'em game tree than slot-machine simple scenario you portray.

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29467387)

Because of the Linux cult, a variant would get shot down, ridiculed and belittled regardless of its technical merits by people who never used it (or Linux for that matter)

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (2, Interesting)

foldingstock (945985) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467485)

Because Linux is just a kernel, it is rather trivial to take Linux, bolt on some programs, and call it a "new distribution." The design philosophy of Linux enables and encourages this kind of behavior.

The major BSD systems (FreeBSD*, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and DragonflyBSD) have all been carefully designed from the original 386BSD codebase. Originally, there were just FreeBSD and NetBSD, based off of the 386BSD codebase. Developer conflicts within NetBSD caused a split, spawning OpenBSD. A similar thing happened in FreeBSD, spawning DragonflyBSD. I will not go into details as you can research that for yourself, but this is how we got from 386BSD to where we are now. Keep in mind that there was a rather large uproar in the NetBSD community before OpenBSD was created; it was certainly not done on a whim.

Most *BSD developers believe their time is better spent working on new problems than re-inventing old problems. Why take 10 developers and spread them out, all to work on their own version of X when together they could collectively build X, Y, and Z. This is not always the case (see the NetBSD conflict which spawned OpenBSD), but for the most part this is the reason you do not see hundreds of *BSD variants.

As I said earlier, it is relatively easy to bolt together your own Linux distribution. In fact, something like LFS can have a complete novice building his own "distribution" in a very short time span. Basically, anyone can make their own distro. What about *BSD? Could a complete novice take FreeBSD, fork it, and make his own JoeBSD variant? Yes, but he wouldn't get very far. Unless he knew what he was doing and had a good knowledge of the code, most of the *BSD crowd would simply ignore his efforts. Not because they're mean, coldhearted, etc., but because they aren't going to waste time on JoeBSD when it is a fork of FreeBSD, which still works perfectly fine.

If JoeBSD brought something genuinely new to the table, people would support it. If JoeBSD was just a copy of FreeBSD with a different package manager, people would ignore it. *I did not include DesktopBSD or PCBSD because they are not separate derivatives, they are FreeBSD with easy-to-use installers and pre-configurations. Think Ubuntu and Xubuntu.

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (0)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467643)

I've always wondered whether the reason that the linux kernel has so few forks is due to the gpl. My reasoning is that with a bsd license a company/person could easily want to extend say the freebsd kernel but want to keep that difference to itself so that they can produce something with 'value added'. The result is the further they move from the official freebsd kernel the harder it is to patch it with their updates and you end up forked.
At some later point they might end up open sourcing it again resulting in a diverse unix kernel environment that we currently have.

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#29509361)

I've always wondered whether the reason that the linux kernel has so few forks is due to the gpl.

The Linux kernel has loads of forks. Every actively maintained Linux distribution has its own fork of the kernel with a particular set of configuration changes, build tweaks, and source code patches. Additionally, many high-profile kernel hackers maintain their own public kernel tree to vet or test patches that might eventually make it up into the mainline kernel.

BSD has only a handful of forks by comparison.

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467677)

Mostly ancient history. Free and NetBSD split off from the original Jolix project (NetBSD split off early; the FreeBSD guys tried to work within the system until it was unfeasible), OpenBSD started up when Theo de Raadt got kicked from NetBSD, and DragonFly happened with the whole FreeBSD 5.x Royal Mongolian Goatfuck. They never had one benevolent dictator like Torvalds or RMS, so personality conflicts had the potential to split systems.

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (5, Informative)

m.dillon (147925) | more than 5 years ago | (#29468273)

BSD distributions tend to be full vertical integrations. Linux distros tend to be horizontal integrations. There are, in fact, dozens of linux distros in various states of repair or disrepair. It's very easy for anyone to slap stuff together and call it a linux distro. It isn't so easy to slap together a BSD system and call IT a distro.

The various BSDs focus on different things though they do try to stay within shouting distance of each other. FreeBSD focuses on performance, OpenBSD on security, NetBSD on portability, and DragonFly focuses on a lofty filesystem clustering & SSI goal.

The HAMMER filesystem is a major stepping stone towards that goal. There is really no reason to use DragonFly if you do not also intend to use HAMMER, so it is probably lost on people who expect a pretty GUI and just want to play with DragonFly a little in a VirtualBox or VMWare or other VM with a tiny little virtual disk (VirtualBox doesn't even implement proper disk synchronization!). Real DragonFly consumers use it primarily for the filesystem, secondarily for the stability, and are willing to spend the extra time tuning the typical server applications that any UNIX-like OS can run in the mean time.

The differentiation here is that while something like ZFS focuses on redundancy, it does so using a monolithic filesystem model which is still vulnerable to software failures. HAMMER is designed to evolve into the core for DragonFly's clustering goals... HAMMER does not focus on individual filesystem redundancy but instead focuses on the components that will be needed to make the future multi-master clustering work efficiently. This also means that HAMMER must be rock solid and essentially bug free, which is a major task unto itself.

Thus HAMMER's mirroring components are designed to support live streaming replication (with near real-time backups being a convenient side effect) at the logical layer (HAMMER's B-Tree) as well as designed to become the bulk data transport component for the future clustering. This is very different from the discrete snapshots which numerous other filesystems support, and also very different from the traditional block-level mirroring slap-on model used to implement (for example) numerous Linux redundancy solutions.

In order to realize this multi-year goal we still need to provide what is basically a complete system solution in the mean time, otherwise there simply would not be enough users to keep the system well tested. And, unfortunately, keeping all the other components of a major distribution up-to-date take a huge amount of time just by themselves, but there's really no other way to do it. Politics make it virtually impossible to make the necessary changes to core OS structural mechanics required for the goal using someone else's distribution, so we have our own.

I've been around enough to know that no software lasts forever. Algorithms survive the test of time, but actual software typically does not. Small monolithic programs tend to survive the test of time too, simply because they are easier to port. A great deal of the linux infrastructure today is not small or monolithic and while it provides a very valuable service to its users it is also extremely vulnerable to obsolescence. If a linux distro dies all the work that went into it also tends to disappear. If a BSD distro dies the components are at least small and compact enough to survive in other forms. So in that respect the point of doing it should be obvious.


Re:Can someone enlighten me why (1)

bigbrownepaul (794162) | more than 5 years ago | (#29469995)

Matt, you and the teams work is excellent to take on such a huge project with highly defined goals from day one and essentially reinvent the clustering model is valuable research that I am sure will pay dividends to all free software advocates.

Well Done on the new release.


Re:Can someone enlighten me why (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29471677)

HAMMER is designed to evolve into the core for DragonFly's clustering goals...

How is this 2nd goal coming along?

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (1)

strikethree (811449) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474793)

I am curious. Are you the same guy who wrote DICE, a C compiler for the Amiga?


Yes, it's the same Matt Dillon (1)

Sits (117492) | more than 5 years ago | (#29481909)

Yes it's the cool Amiga stuff Matt Dillon [] . I still remember getting DICE on two Amiga Shoper coverdisks and the ever useful FMS [] (thanks Matt!). It's interesting to note that Dave Jones [] (who later tweaked FMS) is a Red Hat Linux kernel hacker.

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (4, Informative)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29468485)

..why there are so many BSD variants while the linux kernel only has one?

Because BSDs are operating systems and linux is just a kernel. If you look at distrowatch, you will realise that there are HUNDREDS of Linux distributions.

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29475083)

Wrong. BSD's are operating systems just like the Linux is too.

All BSD's are monolithic kernels like Linux. The monolithic kernel is complete operating system. While the microkernel is just part of the operating system.

In history, the operating system has be always the kernel, what was called supervisor, master program, core and so on as well.

Then there came new idea to build OS as modular what would be more stable and secure. So born the server-client arcitechture idea what is called microkernel. The monolithic Operating System is sliced to parts. Small microkernel + it's servers. The servers can be moved to userspace or kept on the kernel space. But they are not part of the kernel itself anymore.

The distribution is not operating system. It is the term used for one operating system what is used on multiple different /software systems/.
The Linux kernel, is raped by GNU propaganda by trying to make it look like microkernel. GNU people is trying to twist the truth about Linux and Hurd. Hurd is operating system like the Linux. But what GNU people do not like to tell, is that Hurd's kernel is microkernel called GNU Mach. They try to tell that kernel has kernel inside it. Hurd is microkernel + OS servers. There is no such operating system called GNU/Linux or GNU/Hurd (or GNU/kFreeBSD). There is development platroforms called GNU/Linux (Linux OS + GNU compile tools), GNU/Hurd (Hurd OS + GNU compile tools) and GNU/kFreeBSD (FreeBSD OS + GNU compile tools).

Everytime you say that "linux is just a kernel". You mean that Linux is a microkernel. That is just pure lie. If you want to be correct, you speak about Linux and you can call it as Linux operating system or Linux kernel, but it is always only the operating system. Monolithic kernel. []

People does not know that *BSD's are monolithic OS's as well. Just like Linux. BSD's own good thing is that they do not have grazy group of people like GNU to spread own propaganda for fame hunting.

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 5 years ago | (#29470051)

Re:Can someone enlighten me why (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 5 years ago | (#29470071)

err and forgot to mention, it's like Linux Distro's (which btw, linux does have different kernels available, RT's, VM's, regular x86, regular x64

So? (0, Troll)

Godji (957148) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467595)

Not trolling here, but why would I care? What focus or unique features does this operating system have?

Virtualization (1)

Samus (1382) | more than 5 years ago | (#29467843)

How well does it work under virtualization? I've tried it in the past with various versions of virtual box and didn't have a lot of success. I know part of it was due to vbox not being complete enough but that was because DragonFly was using some older not well supported "chips".

Re:Virtualization (1)

Foozy (552529) | more than 5 years ago | (#29469557)

Runs very well under QEMU. I've also tried it on VirtualBox. Works Ok, but VB doesn't support all BSDs equally well. Here's a shot of all 4 BSDs under QEMU []

Interesting factoids-

Host: IBM T40 laptop with 1GB RAM. running FreeBSD 7.1-RC1. Guests: FreeBSD 7.1-RC1, (two VMs) NetBSD 4.0.1 OpenBSD 4.4 DragonFlyBSD 2.0.1-RELEASE. QEMU version 0.9.1. AQEMU version 0.5 (01/09/2008)

I'm working on using it for BSD Professional Certification lab exams.


Jim B.

DragonFly=Kernel-based-clustering (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29468313)

Most people commenting here are not clearly aware why there is DragonFly BSD, how it is different from the other BSD/etc.

In my view, DragonFly BSD is unique, timely and exceptionally forward thinking system.

You can see these days somewhat incoherent approaches to scalability in Google MapReduce, Apache Hadoop, etc -- basically rewritting existing technologies such that with less functionality and new code the processing can be scaled
across multiple computers at the same time.

Commercial offerings such as TerraData and Netezza have been doing parallel clusters for Data mining for years and built I guess profitable business around it. Then Google hypes MapReduce, and then Hadoop project (and the small companies) around Hadoop startup to be the 'next-best-thing' for cloud computing.

Of course MPI library (allowing applications to share data across multiple computers) have been available for long time.

However all of theses things above, force a complete rewrite (or a major rewrite) of the application or paying gazzillions
of dollars to TerraData/Netezza if you have 'Database-like' processing needs

I think that the job of process scheduling/priorotirzation/caching/memory sharing across multiple machines
is a job of an operating system.

That is exactly what Dragon Fly's ultimate goal is (with its file system and kernel design).

There will be time, hopefully soon. When I can configure 4 Dragon Fly machine to be presented as SSI,
install on that image postgres (or MySQL if it is still around), apache (or lighthttpd) -- and have
a endlessly scalable system that I can just add more inexpensive computers to increase performance.

I do not have rewrite anything, use obscure libraries and tools -- instead I just keep programming my C++/PHP/Java stuff
accessing databases when I need to, service web requests, open up files -- all being managed by the OS designed for this.

Linux is used in some projects to achieve SSI (Single System Image)

but nothing at the scale and deepness of the architecture as Dragon Fly BSD.

torrent? (1)

DragonDru (984185) | more than 5 years ago | (#29470253)

Why do groups releasing open-source operating system projects seem to not like to offer torrents of their wares?
OpenBSD and Ubuntu do not seem to offer them either.
I may not be able to host a mirror or contribute much money, but I can leave a torrent running for weeks.

Re:torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29471017)

Ubuntu definitely has torrents. I remember them being difficult to find in the past, and afaik they were only in an http directory listing, but now there's a link on the main download page.

Re:torrent? (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 5 years ago | (#29472927)

from the OpenBSD FAQ [] :

3.3 - Does OpenBSD provide an ISO image for download?
Starting with OpenBSD 4.2, for select platforms, yes!

Users of the alpha, amd64, hppa, i386, macppc, sparc and sparc64 platforms can now download and install ISO image which can be used to create a CD-ROM that can boot and install all of OpenBSD.

Note, this ISO is not the same as the official CD set. These images are for single platforms, and do not include any of the pre-compiled packages, stickers, or artwork that the official CD set does.

As before, however, ISO file installation is NOT the optimum installation method for many people. It is still usually faster and simpler to download the boot media and then install just the portions needed. However, for those who wish to do a number of installations, or can not figure out how to drop ten files on a CD-ROM or set up a local FTP server, ISOs are available.

The OpenBSD project does not make the ISO images used to master the official CDs available for download. The reason is simply that we would like you to buy the CD sets to help fund ongoing OpenBSD development. The official OpenBSD CD-ROM layout is copyright Theo de Raadt. Theo does not permit people to redistribute images of the official OpenBSD CDs. As an incentive for people to buy the CD set, some extras are included in the package as well (artwork, stickers etc).

Note that only the CD layout is copyrighted, OpenBSD itself is free. Nothing precludes someone else from downloading OpenBSD and making their own CD.

For those that need a bootable CD for their system, bootdisk ISO images (named cd45.iso) are available for a number of platforms which will then permit the rest of the system to be installed via FTP. These ISO images are only a few megabytes in size, and contain just the installation tools, not the actual file sets.

Re:torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473861)

A new BSD-based distro coming, Tomahawk Desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473961)

If you are looking for another BSD-based distro, Tomahawk Desktop ( is worth looking at.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?