• System Crafting


  • A Thread to Post Whatever…

    2021-10-08-21-28-13_1273x1411.png

    Eh, what are you doing now, eh? 🤷 🐕

  • Global Moderator Guru

    @gotwf Show us your top… 🤷‍♂️


  • @phenomlab A bit more to it than that, eh?

    I was checking on a tmux session jacked into my build server whilst it was in the midst of crunching source code for bunches o’ pkgs… Cuz I like to do my own binary knob tweakin’. 🤣 😉 👍

    P.S.; Oh yeah, that and the top displays some interesting info beyond the ordinary, e.g. load average over 47. Nice! This is just an old repurposed Core i7 rig w/some modern upgraded spinners w/whatever good ram I could salvage after a few weeks burnin’ and churnin’ under prolonged Memtest86 runs. Heh… the boxes had been worked hard before coming to me.

  • Global Moderator Guru

    @gotwf Sounds like it !


  • @phenomlab And examination of which may provide insights as to my backup tactics. I am not advanced enough for strategy.


  • Alas… the trusty old corei7 has been put out to pasture. Spurious intermittent and dodgy to track down USB hub whinging. So I cobbled together a clone from various spare hardware. Different serial number on the chassis cuz I was lazy and didn’t feel like swapping main boards. Probably should replace a few case and CPU fans here or there. But for the most part we are back in the saddle again. 🐎

    Software woes preceded the hardware saga above: FreeBSD upgrade from 12.2 to 13.0-RELEASE went wonky for me. The upgrade process is generally quite smooth. Maybe mergemaster some local site changes, new/modified system config tunables. Indeed, all appeared as per normal up to the merge, whereupon on reboot I mysteriously lost my zpools. Yikes!

    Yeah, this brings me to yet more interesting stuff… I love ZFS. Maybe not for all. But a godsend for those of us who get it. Loosing ones zfs pools is quite bizarre indeed, and, I would expect, quite unlikely. That said, unlucky thirteen is also where fbsd transitioned to OpenZFS. So maybe?

    Very interesting Miscellany. Indeed. 🐕


  • Well, so now we begin to understand our priorities:

    1. First and foremost is a very well supported ZFS option in the base OS .
    2. Next up is solid package management tools.

    Those two pretty much whittle down the competition. Leastwise getting them BOTH in concert. The BSD’s all had package management far superior to early day linux. So while I started out on my open source journey with RH once I discovered FreeBSD’s package management tools switching to BSD was a no brainer. OpenBSD’s package manager was very similar and one could easily move 'twixt the two. Meanwhile, NetBSD favored pkg src, which is dandy in and of itself but a bit different. Pkg src gained a lot more traction when Joyent abandoned the python based “IPS” that Sun brought Ian Murdoch in to dev for OpenSolaris in favor of package source for it’s Illumos based SmartOS hypervisor.

    Meahwhile, back at the farm, linux package management was crawling out of it’s infancy. But I still never liked them by and large. Two that I did are Archlinux’s pacman and voidlinux’s xbps/xbps-src. xbps was developed by netbsd dev looking to bring an improved pkg source manager to linux. Void also uses LibreSSL, which comes to us courtesy of the same folks who brought us OpenSSH. The final feather in Void’s cap is runit - Saints preserve us from the systemd hydra.

    I expand upon these ideas in a couple blog articles. Now dated but still relevant as to my workstation oriented quirks.

    So there’s some stuff to ponder fer’ a while. Or at least until next time. Enjoy! 🐕


  • @phenomlab @gotwf Happy Halloween! 🎃


  • Gettin’ creative with’n the quote ‘feature’… Ooh, la, laaaa!!!

    @phenomlab said in New "quote" feature added:

    I’m dying to know what you use for a DE ?

    Methinks I may have to do some new and improved updated bee loggin’ to answer such… But if you have perused the links then you should have a pretty good clue. As for DE’s, I have used them all. But no more. Last decade or more I have favored purpose crafted tweaked and tuned WM’s over full blown DE’s. In addition to having become so bloated and tied to vendor lockin dependency hell, it is difficult to find and assign free keybindings to DE environments.

    So what do I use, eh? First and foremost, five nines of what I do involves editing text in one manner or another. When it comes to editing text we encounter the big vi/m vs. emacs religious war. Well, I live in emacs. To the extent possible. In practice that translates to Firefox for all web thangs related and Emacs, complimented by urxvt terminal for most of all else.

    The components of which, presently weighing in at a whopping 432 pkgs, I season and build to taste with the help of a, preferably dedicated, poudriere build server and the FreeBSD Ports system.

    So I guess, the tl’dr version would be that I am on such a tweaked and tuned personalized reality that few outsiders would even be able to drive this rig. Leastwise w/o some pondering and analysis. But then, if they’re lucky, after a bit… things would start to click. And then… well… they just tend to … smile… 🙂

    Edit: Oh, yeah… That I “live in Emacs” after decades of using vi/m should offer a cluebat. Religious wars optional. And hopefully not required. Just deal with it.

  • Global Moderator Guru

    @gotwf I loathe vim😞 I much prefer nano these days


  • I would recommend being at least “conversational” with Vi/m. Ditto Emacs. The former because it is literally everywhere as part of default installations for most unices and linsux. Emacs because the proficient can do literally every and anything with it. Oh yeah, Emacs has a mode for that… 🌴 🌴

    I suppose I neglected to mention a key component desktop wise: I use StumpWM. Stump and Emacs dovetail nicely. Keybindings, concepts, functions, etc. StumpWM has Rat Poison in its early heritage. Hence you will not find any menus on my desktop. All is cli driven. A minimalist mode line apprises me of the time and date in addition to open apps. Lacking in the kitchen sink department but handles 99% of what I need to do very efficiently.

    I think I posted a few screenshots on the “Show Us Your Rig” thread.

    As for nano, I have rarely used it. Way, way bitd when we installed stuff from floppies, it might be there as default minimalist option until vi/m, whatever could be sucked down from the 'net. Simplistic is good. I do not know how it may stack up to emacs and vi/m in the powerhouse editor class. Newbie, Linux wanna bees… take heed: pick one of above and go about mastering it. I recommend spending 20 days exclusively with each before making a commitment.


  • Yes, I know… I should also mention that I eschew the big x toolkits in favor of a retro lean and mean feel using Xaw3d. Screenshot below shows a center landscape oriented monitor flanked on either side by portrait oriented displays. The black space in the center is filler for scrot and does not actually exist.

    2021-09-29-13-11-21_4720x1920.png

    A poudriere bulk build is evidently in process here. Emacs in dired mode on the right. Full length top on the left. Ooh, la,la!!

    Another “Group”, what some window managers and de’s may refer to as “workspace”:

    2021-09-29-13-21-57_4720x1920.png

    Maybe more going on here than initially meets the eye. Breaking it down from left to right. Emacs split w/three windows, top is my imap client (oh, yeah, emacs has a mode for that), middle is results of an asynchronous command to my sound mixer (yeah, emacs can interact and act as a shell), and the bottom is obviously a calendar. Moc terminal is full screen center stage. On the left is yet another emacs session jacked into a few channels on Libera Chat. Oh yeah, IRC . Did I mention emacs has a mode for that? A few, actually. I favor Circe.

    I like Solarize Light. This happens mostly thru Xresources. I do not use a display manager.

    Have fun! 🐕 🌴 🌴 🌴 🏖


  • Please do change the title of this thread to “System Crafting”. Mayhaps I’ll become inspired to post some more old greybeard drivel here…

    Thx. Bunches. 🌴 🐕 ⛰ 🏔

  • Global Moderator Guru

    @gotwf all done sir


  • @phenomlab Alrighty then, except I’d capitialize Crafting… lol…

    Cuz, I wonder… how much time do/have folks hereabouts spent thinking about/experimenting with fonts? 🤔 🌴 🌴

    Once one has become a disciple of text UI ’s then the font is not moot! Schnay, schnay, schnay!!

    Bleh, blah, bleep… I confess that I am picky about my fonts. Presently:

    • I favor the Goog’s Noto fonts for web, sans, and serif fonts.
    • For monospace text consoles, emacs and browser fonts I favor Camingo Code .

    So there is plenty of thought food therein. Analysis paralysis ahoy! 🚢

    Edit: No surprise that an end luser who lives in their text editor would favor a font optimized for text editors… Go figure…


  • What, what??

    I await with bated breath discussion of dotted vs. slashed zeros (I mean, seriously, zeros and upper case O’s may be too easily confused otherwise). What about “dog house” g’s, eh? Hmm… 🤔 🤔

    Edit: Uh, no surprise that I really did god house g’s? 🐕 🌴 🌴

  • Global Moderator Guru

    @gotwf 😄 I can’t explain the reason I saw “g” then suddenly thought it was /g and had visions of you working with AWK and SED


  • @phenomlab Been long since I did. Rusty would be an understatement. Cool stuff though. And well recommended for the unix traveler.

    I confess to having a strong bias for slashed zeros. Dot in center is a distant second. Distinctive alpha “l’s” from numeral “1’s”. Backtics, apostrophes, quotes. And, of course, any alpha with a tail on it… 🐕

    We got it pretty easy, peasy when it comes to fonts nowadays… Both hardware and soft tech wise. Hence tweaking and tuning hinting, et.al. are mostly moot. My fonts OCD is a carry over from the dinosaur days of displays… 🐊

    Have mercy! 😱


  • Latency

    Perception is nine tenths of reality…

  • Global Moderator Guru

    @gotwf said in System Crafting:

    Been long since I did. Rusty would be an understatement. Cool stuff though. And well recommended for the unix traveler.

    Yes, I tend to use this a lot more than seems to be feasible lately !

    @gotwf said in System Crafting:

    My fonts OCD is a carry over from the dinosaur days of displays…

    No, I’m the same. Very choosy with fonts, and they have to look good in all circumstances. KDE is a bit of a PITA as far as font smoothing is concerned, but…


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