Firefox leads!

I’m not using any wonderful scripts on my website, that would measure your “responsiveness” or encourage you to subscribe to newsletters. I only refer to font files and that’s basically it. what I am checking every month is from where, how and on which device you’re browsing my pages using goaccess package. thanks to this, I am not tempted to profile you in any way or serve you some customized content and similar “things”....

February 2, 2024 · Łukasz Bromirski

MacOS & Bluetooth(d)

I’m not a fan of such ‘solutions’ because they hardly qualify as genuine fixes. however, if you find yourself working in MacOS-heavy environment that’s plagued by radio frequency interference, you’ve probably experienced the erratic behavior of Bluetooth-connected accessories. on my mega-desk, I have numerous devices scattered about, not to mention the abundance of Macs themselves. as a result, I encounter this issue quite frequently—almost on a daily basis. some might suggest employing various ‘voodoo’ tricks like “quickly disabling and enabling the mouse, which worked for me” or “updating firmware, shutting down awdl0, and then reading a fairy tale to your children....

June 26, 2023 · Łukasz Bromirski

casual MacOS TCP tuning

ever since the initial tuning of the FreeBSD TCP/IP stack around version 4.x, I’ve found myself occasionally tinkering with the contents of /etc/sysctl.conf just to fine-tune things, you know over time, numerous changes have been made to the FreeBSD TCP/IP stack, including the introduction of modularity. however, MacOS X, being based on FreeBSD, is more conservative and lacks certain options. therefore, on my MacOS systems, I make use of the following /etc/sysctl....

September 3, 2022 · Łukasz Bromirski

installing fresh FreeBSD

as I’m installing FreeBSD boxes and VMs left and right, I typically do some initial setup before doing anything else. while some use cases call for additional ports to be installed (like bird or routinator), there’s pretty standard “intro”. first, make sure the packages themselves are up to date: sed -i '' s/quarterly/latest/g /etc/pkg/FreeBSD.conf pkg upgrade this will trigger initial pkg install. then, it’s my personal minimum set of packages:...

August 3, 2022 · Łukasz Bromirski

multithreaded ZIPping

if you have to pack a lot of things, using sheer power of modern multi-core/multi-threaded CPUs may come handy. unless… the tools you’re using are not enabling that by default, and you suffer running everything on one core/thread. as I spend most of my time recently with FreeBSD and MacOS the tools I typically use are command line. therefore, for every gzip - consider using pigz. and for bzip2 - consider using pbzip2....

May 30, 2022 · Łukasz Bromirski

FLoC and all that mess...

if you, like me, just love corporations that blatantly lie in your eyes about “protecting your privacy”, you’re ready to spend some time to make their lives as hard as possible. one of the new ideas is Google FLoC - Federated Learning of Cohorts. great concept, that apparently was to “increase privacy”, but instead actually decreases it even more. first of all, stop using Chrome. use Brave or Firefox - and make sure that security and privacy settings are properly configured (one of the key is DoH, which may be enabled by default and that actually overrides your configured DNS servers)....

April 22, 2021 · Łukasz Bromirski

freebsd rebuild

one of the most common, but at the same time easiest problems to solve, when you’re working with FreeBSD system installed on too small disk is rebuilding the system. in my specific case, it was very old i386 system initially installed around release 6 on a 20GB HDD. at around release 11 I ran out of tricks to pull and still make it, so had to finally add a disk. fortunately, just before that, the machine was moved from physical box to virtual machine....

February 4, 2021 · Łukasz Bromirski

freebsd and git

FreeBSD just migrated to git, and while handbook is being updated, you can do the migration yourself. first of all, move original src directory (if you’re synchronizing over SVN) away, along with customized kernel config file. for my deployments I do: mv /usr/src /usr/src.old then, let’s install git - it’s not (yet) installed by default: pkg install git last, but not least, you need to invoke git to clone the source repository....

January 20, 2021 · Łukasz Bromirski


recently during casual browsing of WLAN controller i spotted that sometimes users are having problems with receiving responses from DHCP server. i was suprised, as family doesn’t complain - and they’d do that immediately. well, so i went troubleshooting element by element. obviously, switches were primary suspect. why? everything was working, and those DHCP problems were very, very rare - that may mean drops on switch interfaces. Cisco QoS configuration on Catalyst and Nexus switches is far from easy....

August 29, 2020 · Łukasz Bromirski

site migration (again)

as it’s easy to notice, I did a site migration. instead of moving to WordPress however (which was original plan), i decided to follow more ambitious path, and deploy Hugo platform, supported by Go… and static page generation (yeah!). Hugo itself supports i18n, so it provides the most important functionality. it doesn’t hurt that this solution frees me also from continuous tinkering in PHP and SQL :)

February 14, 2019 · Łukasz Bromirski

running FreeBSD on Mac OS X made easy

i just realised, that there’s a port! you just need to install xhyve… and that’s it. you don’t need VMware or VirtualBox anymore. have a great virtualization!

October 8, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

it's hard to be a spammer

…if everyone is trying to make your life harder. couple weeks ago I refreshed my private email server on FreeBSD. for some time spam levels were raising and I had to do something about it. old spamassassin was not handling it accurately enough anymore. enter spamd from OpenBSD. current postfix has built in greylisting server that’s working quite well. for my installation I tuned it a bit, by extending period of time that has to pass from last delivery attempt (to 1200 seconds, which is 20 minutes):...

March 5, 2018 · Łukasz Bromirski

freenas and lsi

my old poor LSI 9211-8i RAID card, that was powering my cache NAS server, decided to die. my spare 9261-8i, to my complete suprise, was halting FreeNAS at the boot… and i was not able initially to troubleshoot the problem. it was dropping mysterious timeout errors: mfi0: COMMAND 0xfffffe000150dc08 TIMEOUT AFTER 59 SECONDS mfi0: COMMAND 0xfffffe000150dc90 TIMEOUT AFTER 59 SECONDS mfi0: COMMAND 0xfffffe000150dc18 TIMEOUT AFTER 59 SECONDS run_interrupt_driven_hooks: still waiting after 60 seconds for xpt_config my google-fu immediately shown me some potential solutions, but they were totally random nad kind of voodoo-magic (‘disable Firewire controller!...

April 17, 2017 · Łukasz Bromirski

FreeNAS and Samba - curious case of MacOS

FreeNAS is special edition of tuned-up FreeBSD, with GUI available over WWW to enable easy setup and maintenance. i had to migrate recently my old Synology 1815+ thanks to well known Intel SNAFU with Atom CPUs. interestingly enough, even Synology own service department declined to RMA the NAS, without even discussing the situation. so i managed to setup quickly 12x 3.5" bay server. i had five 3.5" 8TB HDDs from Synology that i wanted to rescue data from....

January 6, 2017 · Łukasz Bromirski

cleaning up...

getting grip of reality after moving is not easy in some situations. when everything is still fresh, and on the other hand - so well known :) you know obviously that stopgaps tend to last for years after they were put “just for a moment”? my december cleaning started with true horror of moving my emails server from FreeBSD 9-STABLE (just EoLed) to 11-STABLE. traditional make buildworld; make kernel KERNCONF=server; mergemaster -FiU; make installworld; reboot didn’t work, but (WTF?...

January 2, 2017 · Łukasz Bromirski

christmas cleaning part 2

i’m just finishing upgrading my different servers from FreeBSD 9 to FreeBSD 10.1-STABLE. …and i just realized, that my FreeBSD adventure started around 4.1 (well, i may have got older 3.4 CDs, but didn’t install it then yet). and it was 14 years ago today. it was just after i, like thousands of linux users around the world, tried to upgrade glibc libs on the fly on my beloved (at that time and today) Slackware installation....

December 28, 2014 · Łukasz Bromirski

canvas fingerprinting... and unbound

some time ago I changed my BIND at home to Unbound, due to the change of the default DNS server in FreeBSD (yes, I do have my own DNS server at home, and it serves all local queries). actually, I have four right now ;) back in BIND times, i used a lot of scripts to add zones containing for domains serving ads. after switching to Unbound - i forgot about it completely....

July 24, 2014 · Łukasz Bromirski

first new year resolution

don’t start your php upgrade at 2:40 in the morning. as you’ll stay awake until 5am :)

December 29, 2013 · Łukasz Bromirski


interesting enhancement to transport traffic in HTTP sessions proposed by Google is starting to gain popularity and traction. while i don’t use Chrome browser, in Firefox starting from version 11 you can turn the protocol on (about:config -> network.http.spdy.enable=true). on the server side you should run mod_spdy if you’re running Apache server. it also makes sense to install Firefox extension signalling SPDY work. the end effect? SPDY gets the traffic faster (usually), as multiple sessions are initiated at the same time....

April 9, 2012 · Łukasz Bromirski

FreeBSD 9.0

FreeBSD 9.0 did an unannounced appearance lately. it introduces a bunch of different features, two of which are of great interest to me. firstly, we can select different mechanisms to fight traffic congestion for TCP. to do that, you need to change sysctl from the list available under NewRENO, the default one, works quite OK, but in some specific configurations you can select others and check if they’d behave better....

January 19, 2012 · Łukasz Bromirski

pf, altq and benefits of source code access...

…hit me again (in a positive way). i was experimenting in my lab and wanted to define a lot of queues (and i mean a lot of them) in ALTQ. unfortunately, very quickly during parsing of pf.conf pfctl barked out following information: pfctl: DIOCADDALTQ: Cannot allocate memory to overcome the problem, you only need to modify those three files: /usr/include/altq/altq_hfsc.h /usr/src/sbin/pfctl/missing/altq/altq_hfsc.h /usr/src/sys/contrib/altq/altq/altq_hfsc.h where #define HFSC_MAX_CLASSES 64 is defined - to requested value....

January 23, 2011 · Łukasz Bromirski

ipv6 will play with Big Orchestra

traditionally for last couple of years engineering team at Cisco Poland is taking care of securing infrastructure for Wielkia Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy. this year i decided to launch experimental support for IPv6 - while we were not allowed to move all infrastructure to IPv6, it should be possible next year. everyone that has IPv6 access can point browser to everything works based on reverse-proxy provided by Apache, FreeBSD and Cisco MCS server :)...

January 7, 2011 · Łukasz Bromirski

freebsd foundation

we’re nearing end of calendar year. i’d highly recommend to consider donating to FreeBSD project with your own money, if you (like me) are using FreeBSD everywhere, where stability, availability, performance, security and scalability is critical.

December 30, 2010 · Łukasz Bromirski

freebsd 8

there’s a very interesting page that shows what’s upcoming in FreeBSD 8 release.

August 15, 2009 · Łukasz Bromirski

10Gbps... and so on

on the network throughput front, we’re fighting (albeit in distributed manner) for getting throughput from commodity PC hardware on par with dedicated, hardware routing platforms. with OSes like Linux and BSD. to that end, recent document published after last Linux Congress in Hamburg shows that while it’s important to select proper multi-core CPU and motherboard to do fast traffic forwarding, we’re still hitting bottleneck at around 1Mpps. curiously enough, on one of the slides you can spot information, that large FIB in Linux doesn’t impact performance too much....

December 17, 2008 · Łukasz Bromirski

vacations and move

for the next two-three weeks there will be no new posts. i’m preparing move of my server from Białystok to Warsaw. old, tired IBM PII-233 will be replaced by new IBM x306. if everything goes well, you’ll see no change. in the meantime i should be able to push new revision of Cisco FAQ PL plus some other stuff.

July 17, 2004 · Łukasz Bromirski

FreeBSD ;)

let me quote NetCraft with regards to most stable hosting companies: Seven of the top nine sites run on FreeBSD. The exceptions are Datapipe, which is doing a fine job of promoting the reliability of Windows 2003, and German hosting company which runs on Linux. i wouldn’t like to argue which OS is best to hosting… it’s quite obvious ;)

January 27, 2004 · Łukasz Bromirski