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Developers’ Weblog

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I seem to have a sort of fan club, mostly related to mksh, but also to jupp. Interesting.

Benny has built 1503 binary packages, amounting to about 954 MiB of data. Uploading…

We just got an email about Metalinker, which looks interesting enough to try, from its primal developer Anthony Bryan. We now have it ☺

This night, my internet connection failed every so few minutes (returning a PAP failure, despite me being in midst of a session). I took the chance to upgrade herc’s software (kernel, userland, a few packages) and spotted that sendmail(8) bug. I also took the chance to rebuild the two RAID 1s (one for /, the other for /MirOS and the CVS repositories), which took me a while and about a dozen attempts, but finally I succeeded.

Other than that, I didn’t hack much. I walked about 5‥6 km (single way) to buy myself a Döner though ☺ bad weather doesn’t have to mean stay inside.

We should be at way more than 1500 downloads in total by now… 1405 on the Germany 1 mirror, more than 100 on Germany 2, an unknown lot on Japan, more than 60 BT downloads from me and friends… that accumulates quite.

Happy Spring Equinōx to everyone!

I merged the crypto improvements to HEAD: we now have improved Rijndael CBC code for UVM swapencrypt, and this code uses the VIA C3/C7 PadLock™ ACE if existing — whose code contained a now-fixed data corruption bug.

Next on the TODO list is: make vnd(4)’s encryption use the same code if AES is chosen as cipher algorithm. Allow selection of Blowfish (stay compatible), AES-128, AES-192, AES-256; other algorithms may follow. We will need a new keyfile format and stay backwards-compatible, but this is not a problem.

We got a PUA assignment from U+F900‥F97F (tentatively) for our encoding proposal, and should use “one of the various non-characters” for the NUL encoding. But: “Emoticon U+FDD0 is actually Unicode for the eye of the basilisk…” — U+F000‥F7FF are now reserved for Linux’ straight-to-font map (and some subranges are used by Windows® and Mac), and F800‥F89F for Mac (and possibly, Linux). — Although I got scolded again for chosing a 16 bit wide character type, I believe this compromise with all its good and bad sides is the right way to go for us at the moment. As for how to codify this, I still do not have a final answer, but I think using wrappers for SUSv3 functions which cannot fully support the proposal is a good idea. Most use cases should work with the SUSv3 functions, anyway.

I still haven’t ported mksh to BSD/OS 3.1, OSF/1 V2.0 and Ultrix V4.5…

I’m impressed — 1377 full downloads from the Germany 1 mirror, add to that the partial downloads (wget -c or so-called “download managers”), these from the Germany 2 and Japan mirrors, BitTorrent (which is 36 times from myself, and a couple of dozen times from my friends, and even more from the unknown peers) and you won’t think of us as irrelevant any more.

I’ve hacked on the crypto improvements branch again. I decided that getting tear up and running would be my priority target. It turned out to be a great way to hone my programming skillz as well: I got a lession about pointer aliasing.

Except the actual VIA C7 part, I now tested it quite well on i386-qemu and sparc, where the latter took about one third the time compiling… the new CPU and RAM pay off.

Oh yeah, and hacking on stuff always points out unrelated bugs… such as NO_GZIP=Yes for kernels not working, or <> being out of date (I had to MFC that, even). And that src/kern/z needs tender care — the transition is still not finished even for zlib.

I hope the discussion about our charset/encoding proposal will find a solution… I feel like constructing a bikeshed, as you get about that much feedback there too ☺ Benny said he doesn’t grok the SUSv3 functions, like mbrtowc(3), enough to follow — and I can totally understand that. Maybe a Unicode guru person like Markus Kuhn can help — I asked him.

My primary SPARC build box demo now has a HyperSPARC 150 MHz ROSS CPU, instead of a SuperSPARC 75 MHz, and 512 MiB RAM instead of a mere 128 MiB (and with that, twice the RAM of my primary i386 box).

But then, I got three SCSI HDDs from the same stone age, and each of them has a different connector. This sucks.

gecko2@ just called me. He operates and got a little surprise on his daily traffic report. Summing it up, his server and myself, and a friend of mine, together, adding HTTP and BitTorrent transfers, have had about 500 GiB traffic in the 3½ days the #10 release is now available. Alone the HTTP direct downloads of clients that got the ISO in one piece (not HTTP 206) number sits at 861 at the time of this writing (850 five minutes ago, 825 ¼h ago).

As an immediate measure protecting his server against being taken offline for traffic limit trespassing, I redirected to for direct downloads on getting.htm and suggested him to install bandwidth throttling/limiting for apache. Don’t be surprised.

Update: half an hour later, it’s at 867, so I think the change of the direct link helped. Sorry for the inconvenience at both gecko2 and our downloaders — but then, to the latter group: You should’ve used BitTorrent anyway.

Oops. Changed the wrong link. 923 downloads… 927…

2008-03-19 by tg@

Tags: geocache

In addition to my primary geocaching site,, and the commercial crap site,, which has most users, I now also registered at, which is a semi-closed site providing “high-quality” caches. Stats bar gallery:

(statpics moved here)

Of course, I didn’t find any TCxxxxx caches yet. I need to get fully registered (“sponsored”) at the site first. This isn’t a big issue tho.

Update: I’m in. Nearest caches are in Blankenheim, Neuwied and België…

The Unicode Release

2008-03-15 by tg@

MirOS ξ (MirOS xi) is not only our eleventh release (as I started counting at zero), it is also the Unicode release. While it finally makes sparc a fully supported platform, the real focus is on Unicode, and bsiegert@’s girlfriend seems to have realised that better than I did.

However, in fact, that was only a start. We need to change the character set in order to be able to handle binary files transparently with Unicode-enabled applications — col(1) and tr(1) in MirOS #10 — before converting more applications to use Unicode.

Please give feedback on the thread linked above, if you can.

MirOS #10 does come with everything needed by applications for full Unicode support though, and in contrast to OpenBSD, things really do work. This justifies calling the release like this, even with a Unicode character in its codename.

For the first time, the “tag line” comes without a “WTF?”. You may take this as a sign that we are not confused about ourselves, have gotten over the initial cause to make MirOS and now no longer merely are a team that wants to improve OpenBSD. We are a small but powerful operating system project, with goals (already met or new ones) of our own. We still track OpenBSD, but that’s no longer the focus. Benny’s girlfriend also got that right. And her mouse did attract the users, and stayed topic on the other BSDs’ websites. Wow.

The MirPorts Framework can now be used on MidnightBSD out of the box, no special patching needed. MirMake, MirCpio, MirCksum and the package tools have been updated appropriately.

However, MirLibtool support is still missing. This is trivial, I just don’t have the time to do it right now, as I should be doing the release at the moment. Still, feel free to play with it.

Yeah. I did port MirLibtool to mnbsd, and found a bug (in upstream, even) while doing it. Nicey. Both devel/glib1 (autoconf-2.13) and devel/libtool (autoconf-2.61) seem to work (regarding libtool build systems, shared library building/naming, etc.) for now. I’m a little bit unsure about shared library naming conventions, but you can follow FreeBSD’s, even though Todd Vierling and I think they are weird and/or not what one wants. (For insiders like Benny: they do not use current/age/revision, set the third number to 0.)

We have a new “p5” port module, which must now be referenced by any users of ${P5ARCH} which do not include the “perl” module.

pvalchev@obsd replied to my issues with the UMAC64 hash that I might want to report the bug in libgcc’s umoddi3 implementation upstream. This shall be my TODO, someone please remember me to do it (check how to reproduce on $common_os, with $latest_gcc, etc).

miod@openbsd is helping me with the tvtwo(4) card — unluckily, I’m unable to test diffs because my monitor is too small… Doesn’t anyone happen to want to give away a TFT that can do 1152x900 for free? ☺


2008-03-14 by tg@

As written in my earlier entry (still to be ok’d by benz) about GPLv3, editors/nano is okay (for now). This means that rsync 3 is probably ok to go in now too (especially since we have no patches). It’s said to be much faster and less RAM-hungry, which is especially nice.

Besides from my TODO on MirPorts (and the portable subprojects) and MidnightBSD, and the release engineering process, and my other want-to-do hobbies like hercules(4) wsfb(4) support (and an XF86 module, and emulation support for a HGC in qemu), and a couple of other things, Waldemar has made a point:

MirOS definitively needs to shift away from “we want to make OpenBSD better, and we do X, Y and Z” towards “we want to do X, Y and Z, specialise on W, support V, and while doing all that, we are of course as secure as OpenBSD and track their goodies, and by the way, we have GNOME and Frozen-Bubble”. This would give the MirOS Project an actual face, which could attract users and development capability/potential. (And it would imply a re-design of the Flyers’ and website’s content…) We’ll have to think about it, but he is probably right.

The new cksum port sets a variable HAS_CKSUM, which will be used really soon now in the MirPorts infrastructure to replace all the old cruft (_CKSUM_A, _CKSUM_SIZE, _HASHES). From RSN on, you will either have our current cksum(1) from MirOS #10 or MirPorts, or you won’t, in which case it will only use the “cksum” algorithm of the OS’ own cksum program (which is rather ubiquitous).

We have a new sample file, “portmdoc”, and I’ve converted yet another manpage to be fixed with regards to GNU groff, like I did with mksh(1) after the R33 release. Expect this to continue.

The FSF is now mistaking that lazy moronic finnish student’s excuse for a patch management system for a version control system as well… the config.{guess,sub} files are now in git. Yuck!

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