Archive for the 'BSD' Category

My First FreeBSD Port

A nice surprise last week: textproc/libcrm114 became my first official FreeBSD port.  :-)

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System hardware requirements

Just some random observation: At LinuxTag a surprisingly frequent question was “what are the hardware requirements for BSD?”. Read the rest of this entry »

Sizing a Swap Partition

It is still one of the first questions when installing a unixoid OS: do you still need a swap partition and how big should you make it. In the old days™ this was an important question because disk space was expensive and the OS memory management had several constraints.

Today both memory and disks are cheap enough to make this question insignificant in many cases. One can usually buy enough memory to prevent swapping, and with terrabyte disks it makes no real difference whether the swap partition is 1 Gb or 4 Gb in size.

I still use the old rule of thumb and allocate twice the size of RAM for a swap partition. But the intention is not so much to swap memory pages but rather to always have enough space for kernel core dumps. My basic reasoning is:

  1. In case of kernel errors I want to get a core dump.
  2. A later RAM upgrade is relatively cheap and easy, thus probable over a system’s lifetime.
  3. A later disk re-partitioning is more difficult, thus to avoid.
  4. Disk space is cheap, allocating ≤ 5% for a mostly unused swap partition has no significant cost.


Dying ‘try’ processes

Note: This syslog entry is puzzling if the system has no program named try, but no cause for concern:

2011-11-19T01:31:21 frodo kernel: pid 47812 (try), uid 0: exited on signal 10 (core dumped)

Source of the program is Perl’s Configure script, which compiles its C library test cases into programs named try. And apparently amd64 systems need to use the function va_copy() because the test case without this function leads to a segfault.

OpenSSL und so

OpenSSL ist beständiger Quell der Verzweiflung für alle Netzwerk-Programmierer und Admins. Noch steigern lässt sich der Spaß aber mit zwei parallel installierten OpenSSL-Versionen (unter BSD häufig anzutreffen, weil das OS noch v0.9.x mitbringt und man sich dann ein v1.0.x aus den Ports dazuinstalliert).
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BLIT2010 Programm online

Das Programm des Brandenburger Linux-Infotag 2010 ist jetzt online.

M0n0wall vs. pfSense vs. NanoBSD

Recently I replaced my office’s filtering network bridge which still ran on an old FreeBSD 4.11 box for the last eight years or so. The new system is based on a Soekris 5501, and because it took some time to choose the right software I decided to publish my notes on the tested BSD firewall products.
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simple log event histograms

Just to preserve it, here’s a useful shell command line to print a histogram of frequent log events:
grep -h 'expr' files | cut -d ' ' -f 1,2 | uniq -c | awk '{step=5; bar = ""; for(i = $1; i>=1; i = i-step) bar = bar "#"; printf $2, $3, bar; }'

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