OmniOS Community Edition r151038s, r151036as, r151030ds OmniOS Community Edition

OmniOS r151038s, r151036as and r151030ds are now available.

In all releases

  • The __illumos__ pre-processor token is now defined by the gcc compilers.

  • p7zip would truncate passphrases read from the terminal.

In r151036

  • Python has been updated to 3.7.12.

In r151038

  • Python has been updated to 3.9.7 in r151038.

  • It is now possible to provide cloud-init configuration information to bhyve guests. This includes networking configuration and initial passwords/ SSH keys. See cloud-init in bhyve(5) for more information.

  • Windows 11 clients could not connect to SMB shares.

  • was not using a thread-safe errno.

  • LX was not properly configuring DNS settings for Ubuntu guests.

  • The emulated /proc filesystem in LX was improperly representing open directories, causing problems for some applications.

  • smbd could crash when a domain controller normally reached via IPv6 became unavailable.

  • A system with a large number of disks visible through the BIOS (> 64) would fail to boot.

  • Cloning an ipkg zone could fail if the ssh service was not installed.

  • Enabling promiscphys on a bhyve NIC now automatically configures the promisc-filtered datalink property.

  • KVM and bhyve brand configuration now consistently supports the same truth values as bhyve (on/off/true/false/yes/no/0/1) for boolean parameters.

For further details, please see

Any problems or questions, please get in touch.

OmniOS Community Edition r151038q, r151036aq, r151030dq OmniOS Community Edition

OmniOS weekly releases for w/c 23rd of August 2021 are now available.

Security Fixes

For further details, please see

Any problems or questions, please get in touch.

Standalone SmartOS Gets Selectable PIs Kebe Says: Dan McD's blog

So what happened?

We’ve introduced a requested feature in SmartOS: the ability to select a platform image from loader(4), aka OS-8231.

To enable this feature, you must (using example bootable pool bootpool):

  • Update BOTH the boot bits and the Platform Image to this release. Normally piadm(1M) updates both, so please use either latest or another ISO-using installation.
  • Once booted to this PI, utter piadm activate 20210812T031946Z OR install another ISO-using installation (even if you never use it) to have the new piadm(1M) generate the /bootpool/boot/os/ directory the new modifications to loader require.

This represents a minor flag day because an older piadm(1M) will not update an existing /bootpool/boot/os/ directory. The PI-selection menus live in /bootpool/boot/os/, and will in an inconsistent state. It is safe to remove /bootpool/boot/os/ if you wish, as the activated (default) PI always boots correctly modulo actual /bootpool/boot/ corruption regardless.

So Tell Me about the Internals and the os/ Directory!

There were two SmartOS repositories that had changes. The first changeset was in illumos-joyent’s loader(5) Forth files. Alongside some additional support routines, the crux of the change is this addition to the main Joyent loader menu:

\ If available, load the "Platform Image Selection" option.
try-include /os/pi.rc

If the piadm(1M)-generated file /bootpool/os/pi.rc does not exist, the Joyent loader menu appears as it did prior to this fix.

The os/ Directory and illumos Needing platform/

The os/ directory in a bootable pool’s bootpool/boot filesystem contains directories of Platform Image stamps and the aforementioned pi.rc file.

[root@smartos-efi ~]# piadm list
20210715T010227Z       bootpool/boot                  available  no   no  
20210805T161859Z       bootpool/boot                  available  no   no  
20210812T031946Z       bootpool/boot                  next       yes  yes 
[root@smartos-efi ~]# ls /bootpool/boot/os
20210715T010227Z  20210805T161859Z  pi.rc
[root@smartos-efi ~]# 

Each PI stamp directory contains a single platform symbolic link up to the platform-STAMP directory that contains the PI.

[root@smartos-efi ~]# ls -lt /bootpool/boot/os/20210805T161859Z
total 1
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root          31 Aug 12 14:41 platform -> ../../platform-20210805T161859Z
[root@smartos-efi ~]#

The Triton Head Node loader menu has a pointer to the “prior Platform Image” has the explicit path of …/os/STAMP/platform contain the platform image. It was a design mistake of the original standalone SmartOS to not lay out platform imaage in this manner, but given that piadm(1M) must generate the pi.rc file anyway, it is not much more difficult to add symbolic-link construction as well.

The pi.rc File

The pi.rc file includes an additional menu item for the main Joyent loader screen:

Joyent Loader Screen

It also contains up to three pages of platform images to choose from. Here’s an example of page 1 of 3:

Joyent Loader Screen

The default PI is on every page, and up to five (5) additional PIs can appear per page. This means 16 PIs (default + 3 * 5) can be offered on a loader screen. Every time a platform image is activated, deleted, or added, the piadm(1M) command regenerates the entire os/ directory, including pi.rc.

So How and Why Do I Use This?

  • Temporarily revert to and older Platform Image may be useful to check for regressions or to isolate behavior to a specific release.
  • Developers can use *just* platform-image installations (platform-yyyymmddThhmmssZ.tgz to test their new builds without making the bootable pool unusable.

The piadm list output indicates being booted into a non-default PI by its NOW column:

20210114T041228Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210114T163038Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210211T055122Z       zones/boot                     none       no   no  
20210211T163919Z       zones/boot                     none       no   no  
20210224T232633Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210225T124034Z       zones/boot                     none       no   no  
20210226T213821Z       zones/boot                     none       no   no  
20210311T001742Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210325T002528Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210422T002312Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210520T001536Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210617T001230Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210701T204427Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210715T010227Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210729T002724Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210804T003855Z       zones/boot                     available  no   no  
20210805T161859Z       zones/boot                     available  yes  no  
20210812T031946Z       zones/boot                     next       no   yes 

In the above example, the SmartOS machine is booted into 20210805T161859Z, but its default is 20210812T031946Z. It would also look this way if piadm activate 20210812T031946Z was just invoked, as the semantics are the same.

OmniOS Community Edition r151038o, r151036ao OmniOS Community Edition

OmniOS weekly releases for w/c 9th of August 2021 are now available.

Security Fixes

For further details, please see

Any problems or questions, please get in touch.

MTV (originally 'MTV: Music Television') Turns 40 Kebe Says: Dan McD's blog

That I had to explain MTV's acronym... eeesh.

When Cable TV Was Still Young

Set the wayback machine 40 years plus 6-8 months ago (from the date of this post). Cable TV was rolling out in my suburb of Milwaukee, and it FINALLY arrived at our house. Hurray! We didn't have HBO, but we DID have all of the other fledgling basic cable channels... including Nickelodeon, which was then one of the Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Company (WASEC) channels. (WASEC, and its progenitor Columbus, Ohio QUBE project, are its own fascinating story.) Nickelodeon mostly had single-digit-aged kids programming, but at night (especially Sunday night) it had a 30-minute show called PopClips, which would play the then mindblowing concept of music videos... or as one friend of mine called them, "Intermissions" (because HBO would play music videos between movies to synch up start times... I didn't have HBO so I trusted him). There is a YouTube narrative video that discusses the show in depth, including its tenuous link to another WASEC channel that was going to start airing 40 years ago today...

I Want My MTV

Anyone sufficiently old knows that MTV stood for Music Television. At midnight US/Eastern time on August 1, 1981, it played its space-program-themed bumper, followed by, "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles.

Now the local cable company pulled a bit of a dick move with MTV for us. It attached it to HBO. If you didn't have HBO, the cable company scrambled MTV, albeit not as strongly as they did with HBO. They scrambled it by making the picture black-and-white, and cutting out the sound completely. LUCKILY for me, we did have "cable radio" which let us not only get better FM reception, but also the stereo broadcast for MTV. Combine them, and I got to see black-and-white videos with proper sound.

Thanks to people's old videotapes and YouTube, you can watch (modulo a couple of copyright-whiners) the first two hours of MTV here. I'd have embedded this, but I'm guessing the copyright-whiners won that battle too.

There's a lot to unpack about MTV being 40. I'm not going to try too hard in this post, but there are some things that must be acknowledged:

  • MTV was a generation-defining phenomenon for Generation X. I suppose late-wave Boomers (the last of whom were graduating high school or already in college) could make a claim to ownership of MTV's first audience, but as MTV matured, it was very much initially for us Xers.
  • It was initially narrowly focussed. The only Black people you'd see on MTV initially were JJ Jackson or members of The Specials. That changed a couple of years later, however.
  • It spawned at least one knock-off: Friday Night Videos, which unlike MTV didn't require Cable.

Of course MTV doesn't play music videos on it anymore, we have alternatives now: YouTube, DailyMotion, and their ilk. And if you miss your MTV, or want to know what it looked like, you really don't have to look hard; many people have uploaded at least some VHS rips, many alas without music thanks to copyright teardowns. But with artist often putting out their old music on their own YouTube pages, some have taken to curating lists of them. Even NPR has curated the first 100 songs!