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DragonFly BSD (dragonflybsd.org)
86 points by lelf on Dec 7, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 54 comments

Not to be that guy, but this doesn't line up with a release or any actual changes with the fork. What are we looking at here?

It looks like a late 10 years birthday. Your not wrong for bringing it up so don't worry for being /that guy/

http://www.dragonflybsd.org/release36/ last week if you utterly need it

Surely the server hosting this is running.. DragonFly BSD? Then it is quite ironic that the page called "performance" doesn't even load :-)

Well. It's near the top of HN right now, the server's probably getting hammered.

Also.... maybe not:

  Server: Apache/2.2.24 (FreeBSD) mod_ssl/2.2.24 OpenSSL/1.0.1e DAV/2
  Server: Apache/2.2.25 (FreeBSD) mod_ssl/2.2.25 OpenSSL/1.0.1e Phusion_Passenger/4.0.23

I don't know why apache says freeBSD, but i'm pretty sure that the server is running DragonFly

So Dragonfly BSD is the WinNT* of UNIX world, interesting!

  "One big part of the goal set will be the creation of a 
  middle 'emulation' layer which is managed by the kernel
  but runs in userland, which will take over all primary 
  system call entry points (in userland) and convert them 
  to syscall messages that the kernel understands. 4.x, 
  5.x, SysV, Linux, and other compatibility sets will be 
  moved out of the kernel and into this middle layer."
-- Matthew Dillon (main dev): http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-current/2003-July...

* think about subsystems like Win32, POSIX, OS/2 of the WinNT series operating system (XP, Vista, 7, 8, Xbox, ReactOS)

And look where it got NT. POSIX gone. OS/2 gone. NTVDM gone (on 64-bit).

Ultimately we are left with an abstraction layer which abstracts nothing because Win32 is the base level abstraction for all the other abstractions now. Metro, WP etc run on top of it all like a massive house of cards throwing 0x80004005 around to piss off devs. If you know the difference between Nt and Zw you'll get what I mean :)

It's all a big shame because the NT native API[1] and NTFS are absolutely flipping marvelous.

Compatibility layers got destroyed by virtualization as well.

Whole emulation layer thing was a bad idea for NT and this as well.

[1] Totally undocumented other than the leaked Windows NT/2000 source code a few years ago.

No it's just BSD UNIX proper.

quoted from: http://www.dragonflybsd.org/history/

"the logical continuation of the FreeBSD 4.x series"

NetBSD does that as well.

Any BSD does that.

I remember Matt Dillon's DICE C compiler for the Amiga. It was only a trial version so only stdlib stuff. I wrote a little HTML viewer in it which used ANSI codes to display bold text, italic, underline etc.

I was wondering where I had heard the name "Matt Dillion" before. Years ago I was a big Amiga user and a budding programer. I tried the DICE compiler a couple of times but never built anything much, mostly because it was the trial version too.

I wonder what type of computing world we would be in if OSS were more prominent back in the late 80's / early 90's. Imagine what we could have built with an open source compiler (GCC) and a bunch of example code (Github) for the Amiga. Wow! :)

FWIW you can run AmigaOS on pre-intel based macs:


I don't get the reason for the post, but since it's here, I've always had questions about HAMMER:

    Can one use the HAMMER FS on Linux? Is there any guide for this? Is it reliable?

Unique to DragonFly, which is a shame[1], since it seems to have implemented everything one could possibly want, including replication.

[1] In the sense it's a great filesystem that could be more widely used.

Currently, I don't think there's a fully working HAMMER implementation for Linux - there may be a read only one floating around though, IIRC

Maybe with fuse. No one has ported it too FreeBSD either which is to bad because having choices is a good thing™

Genuinely curious... why is there a "™" at the end of "good thing"?

"Good Thing" is often capitalized, or as above italicized, for emphasis in hacker circles. The idea is that it's established jargon [1] suggesting more specific meaning than a casual goodness remark (whether that's true or not, I'll let you decide). The TM is another such intensifier, with the informal meaning of "distinctive or characteristic", rather than literally trade-marked.

[1] http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/G/Good-Thing.html

i.e. Meme-marked.

It's very much the inverse of making a statement like /replacing all domain specific languages with bike shed driven development/ would be a bad thing™

It's a slang.

Never used any BSD, but probably used in some form through various entertainment devices (playstation, maybe others).

So can anyone point what is are the most negative things about BSD, and DragonFlyBSD in compared to Linux, OSX and Windows.

I'm really curious, and I would like to try it out - possibly on my Chromebook C7100 if it allows it so, or maybe my very old MBP (6 years), it's time to get rid of the dual booted Windows XP there.

This is a classic piece we generally give hackers new to FreeBSD: http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/08

Something to consider, which I should point out because your new, is that without BSD you wouldn't have OSX. There's a little BSD in everything (even windows). Another worthy article you should definitely read which explains that BSD is the The single Greatest Piece of Software Ever, with the broadest impact on the world, was BSD


To all intents and purposes, FreeBSD is dead. If not yet dead, FreeBSD is a carcass whipped out by Apple and friends to say they "support" open-source.

OS X and others have leeched off BSD and made billions, yet every December, this year being the same, FreeBSD has to whip out the begging bowl to raise funding.

Yes, some large corporations employ some of the FreeBSD folk, but what would happen if they stopped employing them? Would FreeBSD be able to build a strong community of developers to accelerate development? I doubt it.

Linux is in a much healthier place and I attribute much of that to licensing as well as technical excellence. The GPL has helped foster an active community around Linux, one that does not allow corporate vultures to simply scavenge off the best bits and usurp direction of the project.

This entire statement seems rather disingenuous; to claim that Linux is not molded by corporate interests is questionable if not outright wrong (e.g. http://www.linuxfoundation.org/sites/main/files/publications...).

I think BSD lost momentum because of the AT&T litigation back in the early 1990s and that momentum helped and continues to help Linux achieve the success that it has.

It is possible to praise Linux without burying BSD.

The only piece of BSD in Windows I know of was the network stack up until Vista (when MS rewrote it completely). There's nothing left by now.

Not true: http://www.silug.org/lists/silug-discuss/200403/msg00165.htm...

I'm pretty sure the ftp.exe client program had some BSD bits at one time. There might have been some small things like that. Nothing big.

An intern could rewrite that over the weekend. What's your point?

I don't quite understand your question. ygra asserted that the Windows network stack was taken from BSD. This was never true and was kind of a pernicious rumor for a long time. I just assume Greg Lehey's word on it is enough for most people.

There were a few little odds and ends that popped up with BSD license notifications over the years, like the ftp client IIRC. As you say, little utilities that don't amount to much. What is YOUR point?

I believe the choice of BSD kernel of OS X was laregely due to the permissiveness of the BSD license v. GPL, not underlying kernel advantages.

Main negatives about BSDs: more fiddly, not necessarily as well performing as a stable well optimised Linux release (read RHEL/CentOS), some compatibility problems (usually due to crappy programming by Linux-heads), you might have to compile a load of stuff yourself.

The big wins are however: rock solid, wonderful documentation, entirely cohesive base system, small, big enterprise features (ZFS, mandatory access control, tracing frameworks, awesome network stack, security, ACL support and better hardware support.

When I say better hardware support, I mean the drivers all work rather better than their Linux counterparts rather than being plentiful and the supported platforms are plentiful and reliable.

I can drag a 17 year old SPARC64 machine out of the cupboard and just use it.

Not better performing?

Whatsapp had an interesting presentation @ Erlang Factory worth considering -- http://www.erlang-factory.com/upload/presentations/558/efsf2...

It depends on the workload. Linux seems to scale to higher workloads slightly smoother without masses of tuning.

Both DragonFlyBSD and FreeBSD have improved their scalability on SMP systems over the past year or so. FreeBSD's improvements started in 9.1 and continued in 10; DragonFlyBSD claims to have eliminated nearly all lock contention within the kernel as of it's recent 3.6 release, and initial results look very promising.

Yeah I noticed that on 9.1. I tried it on one of our "monster" 48 core boxes and it was pretty good with some sysctl poking.

Waiting for 10 before serious evaluation starts when pkgng is default. That and freebsd-update pretty much nail it then for me.

Dragonfly is basically a glorious parallel universe in which the Amiga never died http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DragonFly_BSD

Pretty much. When I saw the early releases I was wondering iis that the Matt Dillon? And sure enough, it was.

All is clear now. Thanks for pointing this out :)

OS X uses portions of FreeBSD including the userland so if you're used to that you probably won't find too many gotchas when using FreeBSD in that regard. I've never touched a straight *BSD install to know the practical differences in configuration and maintenance vs OS X and Linux.

I occasionally get caught by a difference between the BSD and GNU userlands so I've often contemplated giving one of the BSDs a go rather than my typical OS X/Debian/Ubuntu Dev/prod web server preference.

if you look through their drivers, they use a sort of c++ without exceptions, but last i remember from debugging network drivers on osx, they looked like they were forked from freebsd a fairly long time ago, but were for a long time close enough to be able to see the roots(i don't know if it's still like that)

I think OS X uses NetBSD's userland.

It's a classic. I posted Chaos vs Order

I am a big fan of ZFS, but after looking over the pages I have to admit to wanting to give the HAMMER filesystem a try. ZFS performance under Linux is "good" but not great.

Sorry to spoil your fun, but HAMMER doesn't work on Linux, at least nowhere as well as ZFS.

Sorry, I should have mentioned I meant HAMMER under DragonFly, in the sense I can either run a virtualized storage VM or use it on a standalone server. Yes, I don't think there is a working port for Linux.

Site is down or it's only my problem? (I can't open it)

It is not just you.

Does anyone else see weird links on the "features" page?

Yes, spam links in part about kernel memory allocator.

what the hell? I wonder if they know about it?

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