Why did you choose DragonFly?

Siju George sgeorge.ml at gmail.com
Fri Sep 24 03:32:01 PDT 2010

On Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 1:03 AM, Samuel J. Greear <sjg at evilcode.net> wrote:

> What has drawn you to use the DragonFly BSD operating system and/or
> participate in its development by following this list?

For me it was a Journey in search of the right software for the Job I
had in my hands.

I first heard about BSD itself when I was learning Windows NT at a
local institute because of my father's compulsion.
I had flung my BTech exams due to riotious living and having memory
loss etc due to hashimotto.
I went to this institute not because I liked it but so that there will
not be further criticism about the church I started attending during
those days to get up and walk a clean life from the mess I made out of
Read in a magazine that hotmail ran on FreeBSD initially. Also yahoo
runs FreeBSD.
In India at that time ( 2000 ) Internet was a rare thing for common
people and I could not learn much about BDSs.

I was given a oppourtunity to go and learn in a newly started IT firm
which had 4 computers and 3 programmers working in PHP. I was told to
manage the Windows 2000 Server that was there which was the
development machine running apache/php/mysql. I soon migrated the
Apache/PHP/Mysql stuff to Redhat then Mandrake then PCQLinux and by
about Redhat9 I was fed up with it and switched to Debian.

After an year or so we had around 7-8 programmers working on PHP and I
was taken in the rolls of the company.
Slowly I replaced the Windows 2000 firewall with OpenBSD and PF and wrote this.


Later a similar BTech flunk guy ( he passed later ) from BSD-India
mailingist joined to work with me :-)

We replaced the Windows 2000 Domain Controller with FreeBSD and Samba 3.x

Slowly the company started growing and we had more people and I
started administring our client's Servers on the Internet.
We had a Debian Backup Server with backuppc running on it for backups
and wanted to use 120GB hard disks on it at a later stage but No Linux
or BSD distros would detect the disks except OpenBSD at that time. So
I installed OpenBSD with RAIDFRAME and got a kind soul in the
openbsd-misc mailinng list make a backuppc port for me.

I loved OpenBSD because it was very faithful for every thing we
needed. But there was a problem after an unclean shut down it took a
lot of time for fsck and riad parity checks of the mirrored disks. The
RAID parity checks could be run in the background so the problem was
partially solved. OpenBSD served us well and for any purpose OpenSBD
it is my first choice even now. It survived many freequent power
failures and still kept the Data safe.

I started hating FreeBSD after a portupgrade broke in between and well
it was trouble :-( OpenBSD booted faster, had /etc centralized and
detected any hardware I presented to it.

So when we had to upgrade our backup server's hard disk from 120GB to 500GB

1) FreeBSD was not a choice though ZFS was persuasive
2) OpenBSD/RAIDFRAME/fsck was not a choice
3) Linux/RAID/fsck was not a choice

I new about DragonFly BSD, had read about hammer but was not sure any
one was using it in production so a google search brought me to


and I asked the list


So I tried this in a qemu :-)


Matt jumped ni and Gave me ideas and I implemented it.

Now I just love the DragonFly OS due to the following features

1) Rolling release :-)

Development branch is stable enough for me. If I keep an eye on the
[Heads UP] mails sent to the DragonFly users list I can avoid
troubles. There is no need for every six months major upgrades. Just
upgrade little by little weekly or monthly as I have time.

2) 2 500GB disks but no fsck after unclean shutdown.

It is pure pleasue to show Linux admins how I can pull the plug and
get the OS and  file system up and running in less than a minute ;-)

3) Sufficient Redundancy without RAID parity checks

Matt Introduced me to mirroring and I could do away with RAID
completely in my setup.

The Data are kept in a Hammer Partition/Volume ( Backup1 ) on the
first disk. PFSes are made with differrent snapshoting and prune-min
settings according to the storage needs. These PFSes are mirrored
using ( mirror-stream ) on to a Hammer Partition/Volume ( Backup2 ) on
the second disk.

4) Insant every 5 mins backup for Windows/Mac OS X/BSD/Linux/Solaris
users. Just drag and drop the files you need :-)

This part was the greatest success in the company among developers.
They have become very relaxed about backups now :-)

I wrote this but due to my lack of WiKi editing knowledge it still
needs to be refined.


I not only share www files but also mysql sql dump files like this every hour.

So now Developers dont have to approach admins for any backup requirements.

Suppose if they accidently over write the latest files with a backup?

well they get the changes that was there till 5 mins back. Just drag
and drop the right thing again :-)

This is how a Windows User can browse a snapshot through Samba


5) Variable File System snapshoting Schemes for Master and Slave PFSes

6) Remote Encrypted File System Mirroring using hammer mirror-stream using SSh

7) Able to Add Volumes to Hammer File System on the Fly.

What I am looking forward to?

1) CARP implementation whereby I can run 2 systems on the same IP

2) Qemu support so I can make DragonFly my main Desktop hosting many
virtual machines in which I experiment new stuff

I follow this porject fully hoping that one day Dragonfly will provide
easy clustering support :-)

thanks for asking


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