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Entries from July 2012.

Colin Percival no longer Security Officer for FreeBSD

Because I still don't have a proper RSS reading system in place I almost missed this. Here goes:

On the 21st of June Colin Percival, FreeBSD's security office for the past 7 years has announced on this blog that he is stepping down from this position due to time constraints involving his day job.

From this dark, cold and forgotten corner of the Internet galaxy I wish Colin all the best with his business and thanks for all the fish[1]!

[1] - Thanks to Colin we have had a pretty secure FreeBSD over the years, a great ports management utility - portsnap, a very secure backup service - Tarsnap and of course scrypt! Also, people enjoying FreeBSD on Amazon's cloud thingy also have Colin to thank.

Virtio drivers for FreeBSD

KVM is quickly becoming the de facto standard in virtualisation (dodge this, Vmware!) and today to make the experience even better I stumbled upon _binary_ virtio drivers for FreeBSD.
(copied here, just in case)

Thankfully virtio drivers have been available in FreeBSD for a while now, but you had to compile them as they are not included in the base operating system yet.
This is a good example of how to do it: btw.

I'm looking forward to official FreeBSD with virtio drivers in the standard base OS.

Borg alert ring tone

Now that I have a genious phone, I wanted a proper, geeky ring tone for it. I finally managed to get one.
It took a little Audacity-ing around, but voila:

Download from here.

For those who have recognized it, yes, it's from StarTrek Voyager, the "contact" alert in the Borg Cube. For those who haven't... well, now you know.


Linux software raid 1 versus hardware raid 1

For years I have used Linux' software raid and had only pleasant experiences with, however I have never actually compared its performance against a hardware raid card; until now.

So here are some numbers. The hardware used is a DELL PowerEdge R210: Intel X3450, 16 GB RAM, 2 x 250 GB WD SATA II. The HW raid card is a DELL SAS 6 (LSI).

- Linux kernel 'make':
	hwraid - 43m
	swraid - 43m 15s

- HDparm:
	hwraid: Timing cached reads:   9944.86 MB/sec; Timing buffered disk reads:  111.68 MB/sec
	swraid: Timing cached reads:   9669.00 MB/sec; Timing buffered disk reads:  108.92 MB/sec

- Kernel 'make' in a '2 CPU, 1 GB RAM' LVM based Centos 6.3 64bit KVM VM:
	hwraid: 50m
	swraid: 53m

- Concurrent kernel 'make' in 5 '2 CPU, 1 GB RAM' LVM based Centos 6.3 64bit KVM VMs:
	hwraid: avg time 84m, avg host load ~4.40
	swraid: avg time 88m, avg host load ~5.30

- Phoronix' disk oriented benchmark (phoronix-test-suite benchmark pts/disk):



In some of the tests the software implementation fared better, in others the winner was the hardware card. The hardware solution seems to have the upper hand, but most of the results only differ by a small margin.

Personally I will prefer using the software implementation as it gives me better control and there's less "vendor lock-in" involved - it's also cheaper, but if a hardware solution gives you a better sleep at night, by all means use it.

Be advised that the LSI SAS 6 card, while decent, is by no means a "high end" piece of equipment. A DELL H700 may have fared a lot better in these tests; should time permit I will try to redo them on more performant hardware.

Stella 6.3 released

Following the release of CentOS 6.3 I finally managed to get Stella 6.3 out as well.
This is more an issue of incrementing the numbers since people running Stella have already received the updates from Centos 6.3. So, what's new in your favourite EL-based remix?

- all the cool new stuff in EL 6.3
- updated multimedia stack:
   new FFmpeg (0.10.4), MPlayer (1.0.14020120205svn) and VLC (2.0.3) (backported from RPMFusion. Thanks guys!)
- updated in nux-dextop repo: 
   Clipgrab (thanks symbianflo!), Minitube, Audacity 2.0 (available as audacity-freeworld)
- new inclusions in nux-dextop repo: 
   Megamario (SuperMario clone), Geeqie, Mumble suite, Phantomjs, Tarsnap and SCrypt

Also, as a bit of a news, is now indexing my repos nux-dextop and nux-misc - as such, searching for EL6 RPMs might give you results from :-)

Download 64 and 32 bit (NONPAE as well) ISOs from a mirror near you:


For any problems with Stella GNU/Linux use the forums (preferred) or email me directly: