1. 6

      down and it looks like archive.org doesn’t have the page :(


      anyone have a copy?

        1. 3

          Lobsters’ built-in “cached” button worked for me just fine: https://archive.is/https%3A%2F%2Friscv-basics.com%2F

          I wonder if they got embarrassed and took it down permanently.

          1. 2

            It works if you prepend “https://” to it: https://web.archive.org/web/*/https://riscv-basics.com

            There’s actually quite a few snapshot over less than 48 hours, I guess there were lots of people who though this might get taken down pretty quick.

          1. 1
            1. 23

              I think that ARM do not realizes what they just did.

              Besides stupid idea aka ‘Get the Facts’ from Microsoft now people start to acknowledge what RISC-V is and that its an alternative to ARM.

              Before ARM made that site people did not even knew RISC-V existed :)

              1. 9

                Before ARM made that site people did not even knew RISC-V existed :)

                I’m just one data-point and I’m more of a software rather than hardware person, so I don’t really matter, but yes. I had no idea about RISC-V before Matthew Garret tweeted about this page. Nice to see an open design. This would definitely be something to consider if I ever have to deal with hardware at this level.

                1. 4

                  I’m a little new to RISC-V but I see a whole lot of very familiar names up on this wall: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DgyJOMwX0AAeSgx.jpg:large

                  So while it might not be as mainstream as ARM, my impression is that the industry knows about RISC-V and is watching it very carefully.

                1. 2

                  OP: Do you know the history of this project? First I’ve heard of it.

                  1. 8

                    From the Wikipedia

                    Waterfox is an open-source 64-bit web browser, with an aim to be speedy, ethical, and maintain support for legacy extensions dropped by Firefox, from which it is forked on 27 March 2011.

                    Waterfox differs from Firefox in a number of ways by:

                    • Disabling Encrypted Media Extensions (EME)
                    • Disabling Web Runtime
                    • Removing Adobe DRM
                    • Removing Pocket
                    • Removing Telemetry
                    • Removing data collection
                    • Removing startup profiling
                    • Allowing running of all 64-bit NPAPI plugins
                    • Allowing running of unsigned extensions
                    • Removing of Sponsored Tiles on New Tab Page
                    • Addition of locale selector in about:preferences > General
                    • Defaulting to Bing as the search engine instead of Ecosia, Google or Yahoo![7]

                    IMHO it should default to DuckDuckGo search instead of Bing.

                    1. 5

                      I am okay with Bing default if it funds Waterfox development. I can easily change the default search engine myself, but maintaining those features require real resource.

                      1. 1

                        Wow, I had no idea! Thanks for the detailed response!

                        1. 1

                          Welcome ;)

                    1. 2

                      Not bad, good introductory info overall. Just one nit:

                      In any modern shell an alias(1) can also have arguments,

                      I’m not sure to which shell the author is referring, it doesn’t look to me like either bash or zsh (both of which I consider modern shells) support arguments to alias. The example that the author gives is:

                      alias lsg='ls | grep $1'

                      This is exactly the same as:

                      alias lsg='ls | grep'

                      because any arguments you pass to the alias are always appended to the expanded alias. If you try to put the argument parameter anywhere else in the alias, it doesn’t work:

                      $ alias foo='echo one $1 three'
                      $ foo two
                      one three two
                      1. 1

                        Thanks for input, fixed.

                      1. 2

                        thanks – I’ve been enjoying this series.

                        1. 1

                          Thanks, good to hear that, now I will ‘move’ to more hands-on articles when real configuration would be made instead of theoretical thoughts.

                        1. 1

                          Remember to rebuild VirtualBox kernel module after upgrade.

                          After upgrade from earlier version (11.1-RELEASE-* / 11.2-BETA* / 11.2-RC*) loading the VirtualBox kernel module will provide you an instant reboot. Disable loading that module at start (if you do) and rebuilt the /usr/ports/emulators/virtualbox-ose-kmod port.

                          From what I recall You will need to have FreeBSD sources at /usr/src to do that.

                          1. 1

                            Any reason not to use xidle to trigger xlock? At least in OpenBSD, it’s included in the X-sets, whereas xautolock is a separate package.

                            1. 1

                              I did not know xidle existed.

                              Besides being in OpenBSD xbase does it has other features over xautolock?

                              1. 1

                                Other than being pledge(2)‘d on OpenBSD, not many :) I didn’t realize it was a replacement for xautolock when I started using it.

                                1. 1

                                  Thanks for explanation ;)

                              1. 17

                                FreeBSD was used in 1999 to render The Matrix on 32 Pentium II boxes because the software in Linux Compatibility mode on FreeBSD was faster then natively on Linux, that is a fact:


                                FreeBSD can be several times faster then Linux when it comes to network stack:


                                But often Linux is faster, you just need to find benchmark that favorites one or another, both are fast in general.

                                1. 2

                                  Thanks for the link. I missed it when studying Beowulf clusters. The link doesn’t support your claim about Linux compatibility mode on FreeBSD for rendering, though. In the link, they said “reliability and ease of administration” were the benefits that made them choose FreeBSD. Do you have a reference showing FreeBSD ran Linux software better than Linux at that time or that this is why they chose it?

                                  1. 3

                                    I can personally attest that at one point it was faster. I originally switched from Linux to FreeBSD for a performance gain in the FPS game America’s Army. On the same hardware and Nvidia driver version the game on FreeBSD would get an increase of ~15fps.

                                    1. 1

                                      Interesting. Re AA, I quit that game pretty early since I couldn’t get enough practice to get better without a single-player mode. I’d have about a few minutes of moving/shooting, die from a distant headshot, and then watch others play. It was a neat game, though.

                                    2. 1

                                      I have read it somewhere on the FreeBSD Mailing Lists but do not have the source.

                                  1. 1

                                    Only I read it as UNIX tricks against GDPR (and users)? :)

                                    1. 1

                                      I’ve considered building a small ITX NAS. My roommate paid like $700+ for a fancy one plus disks. I’ve found a couple of ITX cases with 4 trays/bays, but the difficulty is finding reasonably priced motherboards with 5 SATA ports (one for the boot disk and 4 for the caged drives) … although I could just buy a SATA3 PCI-E card and go with a cheaper board.

                                      1. 4

                                        I’d seriously consider this HP Microserver Gen10. I’m running one (bought for more $ at CDW a month back). I’m not sure why this is so cheap, so read the fine print. Mine was diskless and I added another 8GB HP RAM and ended up around $625, shipped.

                                        4 full-sized cold-swap disk slots plus space for either an optical drive or a laptop drive, 5 SATA ports, ECC RAM, two GigE ports, many USB ports, …

                                        It has two problems, both of which are pretty easy to work around.

                                        1. It doesn’t get along with those little SanDisk USB Flash Drives (I tried several models, sigh…). It’s quite happy with the analogous drive from Samsung and works with various full sized SanDisk sticks I have (but the full sized one stick out and are an accident waiting to happen).

                                        2. There’s a problem that keeps it from booting from the current FreeBSD and FreeNas media. The fix described here, I used option 1 is to stop grub as it’s booting from the installer image, add a tunable in the boot menu, then continue. Once you have FreeNAS installed you make the change permanent through the Web UI. If you’re running FreeBSD you’d just make it in the loader.conf.

                                        I’m not sure how it does on the performance front. I have a 16GB Gen8 server right next to it on a GS105ev2 switch, both configured with 4 not-cutting-edge SATA drives in a RAIDZ config. When I replicated a large filesystems I was seeing sustained network traffic of 300Mbps between them.

                                        It’s not silent, but I have to listen carefully hear it.

                                        1. 2

                                          Thanks for informative comment.

                                          I have also considered HP/HPE MicroServer in the past, I even got very similar own made setup with the same Intel G1610T CPU inside, but that was also with active cooling, both for the CPU and PSU as this CPU has TDP of 35W.

                                          I like that GEN8 has IPMI but it does not have any ‘modern’ graphics output such as HDMI or DisplayPort, so its for NAS mostly, one can put AMD Radeon 5450 PCIe x1 there which is well supported under FreeBSD to get the needed display.

                                          As I checked the dual-core version of GEN10 it has same performance as G1610T GEN8 (which is ok) and uses only 12-15W but the GEN10 lacks IPMI with dedicated LAN port (which is very pity in that hardware class) but also offers now TWO DisplayPort ports and this is very nice addition, also has two PCIe ports which also broads optional features.

                                          I did not find the information about the PSU format in the HP/HPE MicroServer boxes, is it SFX type? Can You confirm or check what is the PSU type in the GEN8/GEN10 machines? Thanks in advance if that is not a problem.

                                          I also see that people sometimes change their PSU in MicroServer to Pico PSU like here for example: http://www.thespicers.net/microserver

                                          1. 1

                                            I don’t miss the IPMI, for my “home use” needs it was a waste of resources on the Gen8. There’s something incongruous about the desktop cube form factor and remote management, but your mileage may vary.

                                            The powersupply is not SFX type, but the motherboard connector appears to be standard. The PSU is a ‘Delta Model DPS-200200PB-209 A’. I can’t find any exact matches searching for it, but that did lead me to this site , https://post.smzdm.com/p/595585/, (which I can’t read…) that has a good series of pictures showing the internals, including the power connector.

                                            1. 1

                                              Thank you for the provided information and the link.

                                          2. 1

                                            One other point, the Gen10 does not use disk carriers, you simply screw some posts into the drive and it slots right into the chassis. I spent an embarrassingly long time looking for the posts and was convinced that they were missing from my shipment until an online post’s stray comment made me realize that they’re shipped screwed into a series of holes in the chassis, right above the slots. They’re clearly visible in the images I link to in my comment below. It’s a great place for them to live, once you’re aware of it. They’re proprietary and there aren’t any spares though, which might become a problem some day.

                                          3. 2

                                            I would install the system on a USB stick as talked in the article, or even on two USB sticks as ZFS mirror.

                                            But if You insist on using a SATA drive for the system, then I would get ASRock J4105 ITX motherboard which comes with 4 SATA ports and is priced new at about $100 and would get SYBA SY-PEX40039 SATA III Controller PCI-e 2.0 x1 Card with 2 additional SATA ports for about $22 for the total 6 SATA ports.

                                            That means that You would be either to have two disks for the system (mirror) or a SPARE drive for the 4 drives pool.

                                            There are also cheaper ($60-80) Mini-ITX boards that have 3 SATA ports, with that 2 SATA ports controller that would also fit your goal.

                                            Here is up-to-date list with tested controllers for FreeBSD: http://blog.zorinaq.com/from-32-to-2-ports-ideal-satasas-controllers-for-zfs-linux-md-ra/

                                          1. 2

                                            I have added 𝗨𝗣𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗘 𝟭 - 𝗠𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗯𝗼𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗘𝗖𝗖 𝗥𝗔𝗠 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 to the 𝗦𝗶𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗙𝗮𝗻𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗙𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗕𝗦𝗗 𝗗𝗲𝘀𝗸𝘁𝗼𝗽/𝗦𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗲𝗿 article to cover setup with ECC RAM support.

                                            1. 1

                                              What wifi USB dongle is that? Also, what chipset does it use?

                                              I currently use an Intel NUC for my desktop and almost nothing except Ubuntu carries drivers for the wifi in the installation media. I’d also like to GNU Guix which doesn’t include Intel wireless drivers at all.

                                              1. 2

                                                He mentions the chipset lower in the article. It’s a RTL8188CUS.

                                                1. 1

                                                  Yep, as jturner said, sorry if it wasn’t obvious.

                                              1. 3

                                                The AutoAddDevices option is set to restore the old bahavior of handling the input devices (keyboard/mouse/…). Without this there is big chance that You will have to mess with hald(8) which is PITA.

                                                This is no longer needed. Xorg now has a devd(8) backend it can use to get informed about hotplugged devices instead of hald(8): https://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-x11/2017-March/018978.html That’s working fine for me, even without moused(8).

                                                1. 1

                                                  Thank you for that information, I added UPDATE 1 to the post regarding that case.

                                                  I also modified the original post to not confuse future readers.

                                                1. 3

                                                  OK, OK, great, nice, really helpful.

                                                  But all of those tutorials about desktopping on *BSD lack a single convincing point, which I don’t need (I use OpenBSD on desktop more or less actively) but others would appreciate:

                                                  How such BSD desktop solution would be appealing for some casual Ubuntu user who just clicks “ok” button and gets on with things? I don’t want to deprecate or make it feel worse in any way, just looking for some points or features which can be nice for people using some mainstream Linuxes (Ubuntu, RHEL, CentOS, Fedora) on they work/private machines just to click things?

                                                  The only thing like that I’ve seen was “OpenBSD is not for you if…” paragraph in OpenBSD desktop practives howto. But it’s actually an opposite for what I’m looking for :)

                                                  1. 5

                                                    How such BSD desktop solution would be appealing for some casual Ubuntu user who just clicks “ok” button and gets on with things?

                                                    I think we need to find a difference between a ‘desktop’ term for regular people (not IT related) and a ‘desktop’ term for technical IT people.

                                                    My guide is definitely for the second group, such FreeBSD Desktop is not suited for a regular user, the NomadBSD may be suited that way, the TrueOS Desktop may be suited that way but definitely such ‘custom’ setup.

                                                    I am sharing this knowledge as I use FreeBSD on the ‘desktop’ since 15 years and when I wanted to have FreeBSD desktop it was not such easy task as it is now, but still requires some configuration and that I wanted to share.

                                                    Is CentOS/RHEL better suited for the ‘desktop’ then FreeBSD? Depends, Linux has the advantage here that a lot of software out of the box supports these distributions, yet when you compare the freshness and count of packages between these system families its on the FreeBSD side - https://repology.org/statistics/newest - you have to configure many additional repositories with CentOS/RHEL like EPEL and on FreeBSD you just type pkg install so its more friendly here.

                                                    CentOS/RHEL has graphical installer on which You can select to install X11 desktop which is easier for less advanced users, that is the CentOS/RHEL advantage over FreeBSD, but when we compare it that way, OpenIndiana based Illumos distribution is even easier to use and install then CentOS/RHEL as its installer is more easy then the CentOS/RHEL one ;)

                                                    So its a long discussion without end really :>

                                                    1. 4

                                                      How such BSD desktop solution would be appealing for some casual Ubuntu user who just clicks “ok” button and gets on with things?

                                                      The real selling point is “fearless upgrades”. Pushing the upgrade button in Ubuntu feels like russian roulette, you never know what’s going to break this time.

                                                      ZFS is nice - RAID-like resilience, LVM-like convenience, and filesystem snapshotting for history/“undo” for the same amount of admin effort it would take to set up one of those things on Linux - but the biggest feature of BSD for me is more of an anti-feature: they just don’t keep randomly breaking everything.

                                                      1. 3

                                                        The real selling point is “fearless upgrades”. Pushing the upgrade button in Ubuntu feels like russian roulette, you never know what’s going to break this time.

                                                        A somewhat relevant data point: the Fedora folks have been working for a while on atomic workstation, now Team Silverblue. It uses OSTree for atomic updates/downgrades. You pretty much boot in an OS version, similarly to FreeBSD boot environments (of course, the implementation is very different). The idea is to use Flatpak for installing applications, though you can still layer RPMs with rpm-ostree.

                                                        Although it is probably not a solution for a tech user’s desktop. It seems interesting for the ‘average’ user in that it provides updates that don’t fail when yanking out the plug in the middle of an update and offers rollbacks. The OS itself is immutable (which protects against certain kinds of malware) and applications are sandboxed in by Flatpak.

                                                        ZFS is nice - RAID-like resilience, LVM-like convenience, and filesystem snapshotting for history/“undo” for the same amount of admin effort it would take to set up one of those things on Linux

                                                        Ubuntu also supports ZFS out of the box. With some work, you can also do ZFS on root.

                                                        but the biggest feature of BSD for me is more of an anti-feature: they just don’t keep randomly breaking everything.

                                                        I think this is the biggest selling point for BSD. I have given up on Ubuntu for my personal machines a long time ago. Stuff breaks all the time and Ubuntu/Debian/etc. are so opaque that it takes a long time to get to the bottom of a problem. Arch Linux is a reasonable compromise, stuff breaks sometimes due to it being a rolling release, but at least it’s fairly clear where to look. Moreover, the turnaround time of submitting reports/patches upstream and trickling down to Arch is pretty short.

                                                        But I would switch back to BSD in a heartbeat if there was good out-of-the-box support for amdgpu, Intel MKL, CUDA, etc. But apparently (haven’t verified) the Linux amdgpu tree has more lines of code than the OpenBSD kernel.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          I order to be able to easily undelete files I’ve setup zrepl to snapshot my system every 15 minutes. I have these snapshots expired after a while. In combination with boot environments this means I can mess with my system without having to worry about breaking it. I can simply reset it quickly and easily. This is very convenient.

                                                        2. 1

                                                          It’s been so long since I used it that it’s changed names, but TrueOS is the “I just want to have FreeBSD with a desktop and don’t want to learn how to edit kernel modules with vi” answer.

                                                        1. 1

                                                          Tangential comment: I used iocage for awhile but the big rewrite really soured me too it. It didn’t get updated for months and was missing some features. The iocage rewrite was also not backwards compatible with existing jails (or was not for a time) which left me in a bad spot. iocage also grew a bunch of functionality as part of whatever work iX is doing with it that I just didn’t want and didn’t feel the need to use a tool much more complicated than my needs required. After some reading though, I came across this document and realized that managing my own jails by hand just using the tooling that comes with the OS was extremely easy. Maybe if I was doing it at scale I would want a little bit of tooling but that would probably just be to make jails from templates, using jail and jexec to run things on them is pretty intuitive.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            I also prefer to use ‘plain’ jails as in here for example:


                                                          1. 5

                                                            The attitude to not reflash your device with independent (not even saying anything about FLOSS here) software is just childish. If the device is going to be returned, I’ll just turn it back to stock firmware (+ re-lock the b/l in some edge cases) and it will look like nothing ever happened.

                                                            If you care about warranty, don’t worry (at least in EU), it’s not void unless the manufacturer can prove your custom FW did some physical damage to the phone (which is pretty much impossible these days, except Samsung Knox eFUSEs, but let’s not talk about this).

                                                            1. 5

                                                              My Nexus 4 once broke. I reflashed the stock OS but I forgot to relock the boot loader. The store refused to warranty my Nexus 4 (fun fact, you can’t ship it to LG. The manufacture pushes the warranty to the store, which is fucking bullshit).

                                                              New Zealand has consumer protection laws and my coworkers told me I shouldn’t let the shop get away with it. I had to go to court, had two hearings, and eventually the arbitrator found in my favor and awarded me the $400 for the phone.

                                                              It’s pretty bullshit I even had to go through that process. You can install Linux, FreeBSD, etc. on your Windows laptop and not void the warranty. The US FTC reticently put companies on notice for their warranty stickers.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                But that’s part of the point I guess. If it’s a work phone and you -like the author- don’t really want to customize it 100% to your needs (with your apps) why bother with flashing another OS?

                                                                On the other hand looking at what the end result of that phone was - how will the author use it? Only websites? Only phone calls? Then it really wouldn’t matter to me, with that usage pattern I wouldn’t even have a preference of Android or iOS or Windows Phone I guess.

                                                              2. 3

                                                                Its not about the warranty, the root or custom ROM are not allowed by owner of the phone, not allowed during my usage of it.

                                                                In other words - not my device not my rules ;)