Friday, October 26, 2007

Large cats, ZFS and you

Like many, I got my copy of OSX 10.5 "Leopard" today to install on my MacBook. The upgrade went relatively smoothly and I was presented with the new UI in all it's flashy glory.

After doing the standard explorations: Coverflow in my images/ folder, new OSX supports ACL's now, that makes me pretty happy. Then, I decided to start playing with the OpenSolaris-derived features.

Dtrace. works like a charm. Colloquy spends an inordinate amount of time in syscall::read. A lot of Mac apps don't use syscall:::, that's interesting to note but not terribly surprising considering the way XNU is designed.

ZFS. Now, the version of ZFS that ships with OSX is read-only. My server, an Athlon64, and my workstation, a Blade1000 run SX:CE b74.

So, I pull out my USB stick, put it in the SPARC, and turn it in to a zpool named 'test'. export.
Put it in my MacBook.
$ sudo zfs import -a

The ZFS version is too new. OSX can't import it.

So I decide "what the hell..." and I log in to my ADC account, download the read/write beta of ZFS from Apple. Install it. Reboot. Put the USB stick in.
$ sudo zfs create newpool disk1

'newpool' shows up on my desktop. So far, so good.
$ sudo zfs create newpool/test

still good so far. I copy a small image over to the new pool, it does what you'd expect. So I unmount the volume. Won't unmount because it contains other volumes. that's silly, but okay... it's a beta and OSX doesn't really grok ZFS yet. Fire up again
$ sudo zpool export -f newpool
no dice, dataset busy. unmount it's mountpoint then. Try again. No feedback, it must've worked.
yank the USB key. The Mac gives me the multilingual kernel panic window ( it's not a blue screen, that means it's better than Windows, right? ). Whatever.
I plug the key in to my Blade1k and run a
# zpool import -a
I/O error reading dataset 'test'. Kernel Panic. That's interesting... shouldn't the old dataset been destroyed when the new dataset took the device over?

So, I bring it back over to the Mac and run disk util, maybe I can just destroy the EFI partition table and try again from scratch. Disk util somehow mounts 'test' to my desktop and sits there spinning forever. I can't unmount test at all because it's in use. Force Quit Disk Utility. Nothing. kill -9 it. Nothing.
$ sudo umount -f /Volumes/test
could not unmount. yank the drive. kernel panic.

At about this point I decide that my best course of action with respect to this USB key is to find a machine that doesn't support ZFS and format it there, and give up trying to coax OSX to behave like Solaris.

Casualties: one USB key.
Conclusion: When Apple says "beta", they mean it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I appear to have caught some sort of nasty California virus on the airplane back that's left me quite incapacitated.

I've managed to wake up this morning, but that's about the extent of my ability.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Developer Summit: Day 2

Day 2 went well, with the exception of the naming&branding discussion which ended up a little bit heated. Garrett did a GLDv3 conversion talk & there was a talk on moving core Sun processes such as ARC out in the open, streamlining them, etc.

It felt a bit short today. I'm not sure why, because we didn't get out that much earlier, but it did. Not to say today was entirely unproductive though, because it wasn't.

I think overall, this weekend was a good thing. Whether or not decisions were made that wouldn't have otherwise been is irrelevant, I think it was a fantastic idea to get everyone in the same place at the same time so that the community could all meet each other face to face.

I know I for one learned a lot, and I imagine others found some useful information to take out of the conference. It's also done a lot to dispell some of my fears with respect to Project Indiana.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dev Summit. Day 1

Today was the first day of the developer summit & I think it went over fantastic. Jesse, Sara, Glynn and the rest of them have done a fantastic job organizing the thing.
Stephen Hahn's presentation on the packaging system was quite informative and did a lot to calm some of my fears of the chaos of network install. After that I left the main presentation room in favour of seeing Garrett's presentation on fixing a driver to include suspend/resume funcionality, which was great, and then proceeded to Sun Labs' room to plan out the next course of action for the PowerPC port.
I'll organize some notes later & publish them

Friday, October 12, 2007

Early morning Chaos time

I'm sitting on the incredibly overpriced wifi at YXS. I should be on an aircraft headed to YVR, but the airport shuttle heard "7am" instead of "6am".

Sara was an awesome help, so my flight was changed around and instead of YXS->YVR->LAX->SJC I'll be flying straight from Vancouver to SFO and meet someone at the Sun Menlo Park offices.

Dealing with problems at this hour is never fun. Thank you so much guys...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Closer and closer

nightly(1) now successfully compiles through my code on x86.

It dies with the linker now, which is a vast improvement over the previous situation.

I want this done, debugged & integrated or at least the ARC process started by Christmas, if only to be able to give it as an xmas present to OpenSolaris.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Status, conferences and the likes

So, In case anyone was curious, nightly manages to build most of emancipation-gate's libc, but I've been monkeying around with it because evidently O/N demands warning free code, and that's causing my code to not build. Lots of it comes from FreeBSD where they use gcc, for one, and are less strict about the build throwing warnings (especially in the regex stuff)

That out of the way, I'm excited to be going to the OSol Dev Summit next week, particularly in light of the recent thread on the mailing list which seems to imply a bunch of us want to break off from the packaging/install/community stuff in favour of more hard technical discussions.