Skip to main content.

Episode 122: The BSD Black Box


Direct Download:

Video | HD Video | MP3 Audio | OGG Audio | Torrent

This episode was brought to you by

iXsystems - Enterprise Servers and Storage for Open SourceDigitalOcean - Simple Cloud Hosting, Built for DevelopersTarsnap - Online Backups for the Truly Paranoid

iX Systems Mission Complete

  • Submit your story of how you accomplished a mission with FreeBSD, FreeNAS, or iXsystems hardware, and you could win monthly prizes, and have your story featured in the FreeBSD Journal!


Life with an OpenBSD Laptop: A UNIX-lover's tale of migrating away from the Mac. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

  • OpenBSD user Isaac (.ike) Levy details his switch from a Mac to an OpenBSD laptop
  • He covers a bit about selecting hardware and dealing with wifi
  • Talks about binary packages and system upgrades
  • Talks about power management, suspend/resume, battery life
  • Show screenshots of some of his favourite window managers
  • Browsers and email clients are also discussed
  • Things he found missing in OpenBSD:
    • A journaling file system, every unclean shutdown means a full fsck(1)
    • UTF-8/unicode was not everywhere
    • Syncing pictures and contacts to his phone
    • Drawing tools

DragonFlyBSD matches its Intel kernel graphics driver against Linux 4.0

  • The DragonFlyBSD DRM stack continues to rapidly advance, now bringing in support from Linux 4.0!
  • Some of the notable features:
  • Basic Skylake support
    • Panel Self-Refresh (PSR) now supported on Valleyview and Cherryview
    • Preparations for atomic display updates
    • Performance improvements on various GPU families, including Cherryview, Broadwell and Haswell
    • GPU frequencies are now kept at a minimum of 450MHz when possible on Haswell and Broadwell, ensuring a minimum experience level for various types of workloads
    • Improved reset support for gen3/4 GPUs, which should fix some OpenGL crashes on Core 2 and pre-2012 Atom machine
    • Better sound/graphics driver synchronization for audio over hdmi support
    • As usual, small bugfixes and stability improvements here and there

A BSD Wish List for 2016

  • Larry over at Foss Force brings us his wish list for BSD support in 2016.
  • Since he has converted most of his daily desktop usage to PC-BSD, he is specifically wanting support for some desktop applications. Namely Google hangouts and Spotify.
  • This is something which has come up periodically among the PC-BSD community. At the moment most users are dual-booting or using alternatives, like WebRTC. However the Google Hangouts plugin is available for Linux, and perhaps this will encourage some developers to see if we can get it running with the newer Linux stack on -CURRENT.
  • Spotify also has a native Linux version, which may need testing on FreeBSD - CURRENT. It may be closer now, and should be updated on the Wanted Ports Page

Hard Float API coming soon by default to armv6

  • Warner Losh talks about upcoming changes to armv6 on FreeBSD
  • “All the CPUs that FreeBSD supports have hard floating point in them. We've supported hard float for quite some time in the FreeBSD kernel. However, by default, we still use a soft-float ABI.”
  • First, “A new armv6hf (architecture) was created, but that caused some issues with some ports, and the meaning of 'soft float' sadly was ambiguous between the soft-float ABI, and the soft-float libraries that implement floating point when there's no hardware FPU”
  • “Over the spring and summer, I fixed so that it can load both soft ABI and hard ABI libraries on the same system, depending on markings in the binaries themselves. Soft float ABI and hard float ABI binaries have different flags in the ELF headers, so it is relatively straightforward to know which is which.”
  • “So, in the coming days, I'll commit the first set of changes to move to armv6 as a hard float ABI by default. The kernel doesn't care: it can execute both. The new will allow you to transition through this change by allowing old, compat soft ABI libraries to co-exist on the system with new hard ABI libraries. This change alone isn't enough, but it will be good to get it out into circulation.”
  • “armv6hf will be removed before FreeBSD 11”
  • A LIBSOFT will be created, similar in concept to the LIB32 available on AMD64

Interview - Alex Rosenberg - / @alexr

  • Former Manager of Platform Architecture at Sony

Beastie Bits


  • Send questions, comments, show ideas/topics, or stories you want mentioned on the show to

Latest News

Two Year Anniversary


We're quickly approaching our two-year anniversary, which will be on episode 105. To celebrate, we've created a unique t-shirt design, available for purchase until the end of August. Shirts will be shipped out around September 1st. Most of the proceeds will support the show, and specifically allow us to buy...

New discussion segment


We're thinking about adding a new segment to the show where we discuss a topic that the listeners suggest. It's meant to be informative like a tutorial, but more of a "free discussion" format. If you have any subjects you want us to explore, or even just a good name...

How did you get into BSD?


We've got a fun idea for the holidays this year: just like we ask during the interviews, we want to hear how all the viewers and listeners first got into BSD. Email us your story, either written or a video version, and we'll read and play some of them for...

EuroBSDCon 2014


As you might expect, both Allan and Kris will be at EuroBSDCon this year. They'll be busy hunting down various BSD developers and forcing them to do interviews, but don't hesitate to say hi if you're a listener!...

Episode 164: Virtualized COW / PI?


Direct Download:VideoHD VideoMP3 AudioOGG AudioTorrent This episode was brought to you by Headlines vmm enabled VMM, the OpenBSD hypervisor, has been imported into current It has similar hardware requirements to bhyve, a Intel Nehalem or newer CPU with the hardware virtualization features enabled in the BIOS AMD support has not been started yet OpenBSD is the...

Episode 163: Return of the Cantrill


Direct Download:VideoHD VideoMP3 AudioOGG AudioTorrent This episode was brought to you by Headlines FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE Now Available FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE is now officially out. A last minute reroll to pickup OpenSSL updates and a number of other security fixes meant the release was a little behind schedule, and shipped as 11.0-RELEASE-p1, but the release is better...

Episode 162: The Foundation of NetBSD


Direct Download:VideoHD VideoMP3 AudioOGG AudioTorrent This episode was brought to you by Headlines What is new on EC2 for FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE “FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE is just around the corner, and it will be bringing a long list of new features and improvements — far too many for me to list here. I think there are...

Episode 161: The BSD Bromance


Direct Download:VideoHD VideoMP3 AudioOGG AudioTorrent This episode was brought to you by Headlines EuroBSDCon 2016 Wrapup Ollivier Robert’s Photos from EuroBSDCon Get your BSDNow die-cut stickers NetBSD for newbies - Develop your own Power PC We don’t get to feature too many stories on NetBSD being deployed as a Power PC (Not PowerPC, you...