Dragonfly BSD 6.4 is right here, with diversified updates and unique sides, together with the next hypervisor, improved toughen for AMD GPUs, and extra.
Dragonfly helps the Lumina desktop from the defunct PC-BSD challenge, on the opposite hand it be pretty rudimentary
DragonFly BSD – or factual DragonFly for transient – is the youngest and most experimental member of the BSD family. Its most up-to-date release got right here out on the penultimate day of 2022. Even supposing it be now now not a distinguished version, right here at The Reg FOSS desk we concept it turned into as soon as time to purchase a undercover agent at DragonFly, as we now like unbiased now now not too long ago checked out the pretty loads of participants of the BSD family – as we describe within the sidebar.
The broad-tag item on this version is hardware-supported virtualization within the NVMM hypervisor. NVMM (now now not to be puzzled with NVMe) looked in DragonFly version 6.1.
The name, pretty of unusually, is immediate for the NetBSD Virtual Machine Show screen, attributable to this hypervisor turned into as soon as ported over across from that sibling challenge, as described on the NetBSD weblog.
Mission lead Matthew Dillon began Dragonfly BSD in 2003 as a fork of FreeBSD 4.8, the closing release of the 4.x series. No longer like the pretty loads of BSDs, Dragonfly BSD helps factual one platform: x86-64. Its designers emphasize efficiency and scalability. It helps 128 CPU cores, 256 hardware threads, and up to one million processes, and claims multiprocessor scaling to rival Linux – a kernel with some distance extra builders and investment than the total BSDs build together.
To keep this in level of view, compare the scale of the Dragonfly crew with that of FreeBSD.
DragonFly bought started began attributable to differences in knowing about guidelines on how to implement symmetric multi-processing (SMP) toughen within the then-unique FreeBSD 5. Here on the Reg FOSS desk, we must confess that we would barely checked out FreeBSD encourage then, but from up to the moment accounts, we score that while FreeBSD 4.x turned into as soon as procure, 5.x had a severely shaky birth.
Used Amiga coders with long recollections might perhaps well well well purchase into consideration that Dillon wrote the DICE C compiler for AmigaOS. As the challenge’s historical past page says, section of the long-established idea turned into as soon as to implement AmigaOS-inspired message-passing to carry out an OS aimed at single-system-image clusters – a tech defined by Reg sister dwelling the Next Platform.
DragonFly has a diversity of desktops, together with Xfce 4.16, plus somewhat mainstream apps such as Firefox
SSI clusters like severely fallen out of model, as the Next Platform additionally explains. Accordingly, Dragonfly BSD’s dreams like moved, and the level of interest now might perhaps well well most likely be extra on enhancing the effectivity of many-core scaling, to boot to on its storage subsystem. A flagship characteristic right here is HAMMER, a up to the moment COW-snapshot marvelous filesystem which might perhaps suppport volumes up to an exabyte in size: that’s 1,000PB, or 1,000,000TB. HAMMER looked in DragonFly 2.0, and HAMMER2 with 3.8.0 in 2017. DragonFly 5 might perhaps well well boot from HAMMER2 and it grew to change into the instructed filesystem in DragonFly 5.2.
All of it sounds factual, but how it is in consume? We tried inserting within the latest version in VirtualBox, and we hit about a issues.
The factual news is that we discovered it vastly simpler to set up than either FreeBSD or NetBSD. Maybe that is attributable to the give consideration to 64-bit PC hardware, but set up is very easy: it be basically a subject of accepting defaults, and we did now not resolve on to terminate most of the steps within the pretty of daunting documentation pages about set up and configuration. For disks of decrease than 50GB, it be easiest to e book certain of the love HAMMER2 filesystem, and factual consume horrible old model UFS.
As we discovered first time, it be distinguished to total all the steps within the set up program earlier than rebooting. 2nd time we build in, the community got right here up automatically. The next steps are inserting in utility, and right here we did hit a wrinkle very early on. The
pkg direct is build in and configured automatically, so the principle steps are to change its bundle database, and then set up updates:
pkg change pkg toughen
The snag is that the principle component the
pkg direct upgrades is itself, and in so doing, it right away deleted the configuration file for its online repositories, and we had to write a brand unique one, thanks to this e book. So, earlier than you terminate that first toughen, produce a backup copy of the
/usr/native/and loads others/pkg/repos/df-most up-to-date.conf config file, so that you’re going to be in a predicament to without problems build it encourage.
As with NetBSD, direct-line editing is now now not pretty as easy as we now like come to anticipate of from Linux, so enabling SSH entry makes lifestyles simpler. Then you are going to be in a predicament to set up X.org and a desktop ambiance. We were gay to take a look at the Lumina desktop from the unhurried lamented PC-BSD as an choice. We build in it:
pkg set up lumina
… however the bundle would now not rely on the X server, so it be distinguished to set up that separately:
pkg set up xorg
The cease consequence labored completely, even supposing it be extremely traditional. So, we build within the
slim desktop supervisor for a graphical login, and rebooted… easiest to bring together that as soon as the GUI launched, our keyboard stopped working. So, we reinstalled the OS a third time, and this time build in Xfce 4 as a substitute. That got right here up completely, but all as soon as more, the keyboard stopped working.
Such are the fun of making an try out experimental working systems, but unfortunately, the pressure of online publishing closing dates meant that our step-by-step direction of of learning by making an try it and breaking things had to cease.
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DragonFly is an intelligent OS, and what we now like learn of the HAMMER2 file system, such as very broad volumes spanning a pair of media, snapshot toughen, and instantaneous publish-fracture reboots without desiring
fsck, all sound very intelligent. Given the licensing points around ZFS in Linux, and the unhurried growth around different subsequent-gen filesystems such as bcachefs and Crimson Hat’s Stratis, perhaps HAMMER2 deserves wider consideration.
On the opposite hand, for now, if you rupture up shopping for a doable Linux substitute, FreeBSD ought to doubtlessly be your first candidate. DragonFly has expansive doable, on the opposite hand it be now now not pretty willing for its 2nd within the spotlight but. ®