Thursday Jun 25, 2009

Late feature addition - to the KCA speaker list

In case you weren't quite convinced about just how cool, uuuuber, and just plain old fantastic an opportunity Kernel Conference Australia is, then you should consider this. We've got one more speaker coming along:

Brendan Gregg, member of the Fishworks team, author of the DTraceToolkit, co-author of Solaris Performance and Tools.

Naturally, he'll be talking about DTrace and all the serious and crazy (and seriously crazy) things he's done with it over the years.

Dates15 - 17 July, 2009
VenueQueensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland
Conference homepage
Full abstracts
Registration page
regular price$300

Thursday Jun 11, 2009

Kernel Conference Australia - earlybird price closes \*TOMORROW\*

Just a short reminder that if you want to come to Kernel Conference Australia at the earlybird price of $195, then you've got until the end of this Friday, 12 June, to get your registration happening.

If you're interested in any of these areas:

  • linux kernel crypto services

  • ZFS deduplication

  • cross-architecture OS and driver porting

  • packet filtering and QOS

  • TCP/IP protocol security

  • bug finding tools for OpenSource Operating Systems

  • network virtualisation, or

  • how a DB engine can really hurt your system

then Kernel Conference Australia is definitely for you.

Dates: 15 - 17 July, 2009
Venue: Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland

The student price is still $95, too.

For full abstracts please see

For the conference homepage, see

And for registration, Go Without Delay To

I look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday May 24, 2009

Mild annoyance for snv_110 to snv_115

When LU'ing a buildbox from snv_110 to snv_115, I saw that 71 packages failed to add correctly to the new BE. The failure on pkgadd came with a message like this:

Doing pkgadd of SUNWgtk2 to /
28453 blocks
/a/var/sadm/pkg/SUNWgtk2/install/postinstall: /a/usr/share/desktop-cache/restart_fmri:
not found
pkgadd: ERROR: postinstall script did not complete successfully

Installation of failed.
pkgadd return code = 1

The workaround for this was to pkgadd the SUNWdesktop-cache package to my new BE's root (/.alt.snv_115 in my case), and then run

yes |pkgadd -R /.alt.snv_115 -d /net/installserver/export/nv/x/115/Solaris_11/Product `cat var/sadm/system/data/upgrade_failed_pkgadds`

KCA2009 - earlybird registrations close in 1 week!

It's only one week before the earlybird registration period for Kernel Conference Australia closes.

As a quick reminder, in addition to our excellent keynote speakers Jeff Bonwick, Bill Moore and Max Alt, here are the people who you'll be able to meet, listen and learn from at KCA:

Fernando GontResults of a Security Assessment of Common Implementation Strategies of the TCP and IP Protocols
Henning Brauer (OpenBSD)Faster Packets: Performance Tuning in the OpenBSD Network Stack and PF
Gavin Maltby (Sun Microsystems)Hardware & Software Fault Management Architecture
Pawel Dawidek (FreeBSD)GEOM - The FreeBSD way of handling storage
John Sonnenschein (Sun Microsystems)Driver and Filesystem Development with the Solaris and OpenSolaris DDI/DKI
David Gwynne (University of Queensland)MCLGETI: Effective Network Livelock Mitigation and More
Cristina Cifuentes (Sun Microsystems)Finding Bugs in Open Source Kernels Using Parfait
Sherry Moore (Sun Microsystems)Fast reboot support (and more) for OpenSolaris
Max Bruning (Bruning Systems)Porting USB HID Device Drivers Between Linux and OpenSolaris
James Morris (Red Hat)Linux Kernel Security Overview
Percy Pari-Salas (Bond University)Automated Testing of OpenSolaris
Vivek Joshi (Sun Microsystems)Porting OpenSolaris across architectures
Jayakara Kini (Sun Microsystems)Crossbow for OpenSolaris Developers
Garrett D'Amore (Sun Microsystems)Boomer: the new OpenSolaris audio system
Pramod Batni (Sun Microsystems)Debugging and Diagnosing Interesting Kernel Problems
Stewart Smith (Sun Microsystems)(Ab)use the Kernel: what a database server can do to your kernel

So what are you waiting for? Hurry up and

Friday May 15, 2009

KCA2009 - first media contact

KCA received its first media hit with a query from the editor of An interview (via email) with me! New and exciting :-)

I was nervous about how the answers I gave to her questions might get transformed into an article - I've never dealt with a media enquiry before - so I was relieved to see that the article that popped up just before lunchtime today was true to the answers I'd provided: Sun shines more light on Open Source Kernels.

On the registration front, people are starting to register for the conference (cue sigh of relief) and there's still plenty of time (well, another 2 weeks) to get your seat at the early bird price. So don't be shy, decide that you really do want to meet, learn from and hang out some of the finest minds in Open Source software. You Know You Want To!

Tuesday May 12, 2009

KCA2009 - registrations are NOW LIVE (also, agenda posted)

About 15 minutes ago I was ecstaticly pleased to see that the KCA2009 website had gone live with the confirmed agenda, speaker bios and most importantly, registrations.

Wednesday May 06, 2009

KCA2009 - we've finalised the accepted presentations

After a lot of back-n-forth in the committee, we've finally come up with a list of presentations that we have accepted for the 16 speaking slots at Kernel Conference Australia 2009. Hopefully all the presenters will get back to me asap so I can finalise the schedule and say who they are.

Saturday May 02, 2009

KCA2009 - Call for Papers is now CLOSED

I'm pleased to announce that the official Call for Papers for Kernel Conference Australia 2009 is now closed. Over. Finito!

We've had a great response to the CfP, and the review committee will be meeting in coming days to nut out just which presentations we'll take.

Personally, I'm very happy that given the event is new, and economies around the world are in turmoil, we've had so many presentation proposals (and of a very high quality) submitted.

The review committee will be working hard to ensure that we get the accepted papers finalised as soon as possible, but either way we've still got enough of the schedule mapped out already (keynote speakers and panels) that when registrations open on Monday you'll have a fair idea of how it'll all go.

If you are planning to register and attend, please join our Facebook Event.

Monday Apr 27, 2009

Less than ONE WEEK to go for KCA2009's Call for Papers

I woke up with a shock this morning, realising that there's less than ONE WEEK to go before the KCA2009 Call for Papers closes!


If you're going to submit a presentation proposal, please get it in as soon as possible - you don't want to miss out on being part of this conference.

Here are the links, just link case you'd misplaced them:

Official Conference Website

Call for Papers (all pretty)

Call for Papers (original, dry and technical)

The Facebook event

If you're a potential sponsor, please contact myself, Claire or Gabriele (details on the Official Conference Website).

I've also put together a flyer which you could print out and post around your workplace. Please do - the more the merrier!

Don't forget, registrations open in one week, on 4 May 2009. Save The Date

Friday Mar 27, 2009

KCA2009 - event website NOW ACTIVE

I'm really pleased to announce that the KCA2009 conference website is now active. Registrations open on 4 May 2009. The Call for Papers / (original CfP page) is still open and we're really keen to get your presentation suggestions. We're also very keen to get more sponsors on board - this isn't just a Sun event, it's an Open Source event - and Innovation Happens Everywhere(tm).

Monday Mar 09, 2009

KCA2009 - facebook event and IRC channel now active

Over the weekend I realised that I should organise both pre-Web1.0 and a Web2.0 thingies for KCA2009, so I've now registered the


channel on, and

Kernel Conference Australia 2009 event on

Please join!

Friday Mar 06, 2009

Kernel Conference Australia - Call for Papers issued

More movement at the station when it comes to KCA2009 - we've now got a Call For Papers which I've started emailing to various people and groups.

I'm still on the hunt for sponsorship to help things along, so if your org can help, please contact me directly.

One other thing - you might look at all the details for KCA and think "but I don't use OpenSolaris why should I bother?" - to which the response is that we're interested in Open Source, which is not limited to just one kernel or company. So please, don't think KCA2009 is not for you.

Friday Feb 27, 2009

Kernel Conference Australia - it's coming!

Over the years it's been a source of frustration for me that the conferences which I wanted to attend were either too expensive (time, travel, registration etc) or not covering topics I was interested in.

Late last year I realised I should stop grumbling about it and fix it myself.

So it is with great pleasure that I can announce that this July 15th to 17th in Brisbane, there will be an Open Source kernel-focused conference: Kernel Conference Australia. We don't have absolutely all of the organisational bits together yet, but here's what we do have:

World class speakers

Fantastic location

Our venue is the Queensland Brain Institute, within the University of Queensland.

Excellent climate

The University is situated in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Yes, it will be winter... but winter in Brisbane is a beautiful time to visit.

Call for Papers

The Call for Papers is not quite ready (still a few details to be ironed out), but if you'd like to be considered for a presentation spot you should be thinking about a topic in any of these areas:

  • Cross-architecture kernel development

  • Porting an OS to a new architecture

  • Filesystems

  • System performance visualisation (DTrace, SystemTap?)

  • Image visualisation (GPU kernels)

  • Fault Management

  • (globally) Distributed kernel development - how to make it work

  • Virtualisation

  • Clustering (HPC and High Availability)

  • Distributed systems

  • Kernel Testing - methodologies, interesting problems found

  • Traps and pitfalls found when porting drivers between OSes

  • Realtime performance and scheduling

  • Embedded OSes and drivers (including control systems)

  • Patents and Open Source

  • The state of OS kernel research / what's new / work in progress

Apart from the above, we expect that pretty much any kernel-focused topic for an Open Source licensed OS will be considered by the organising committee.

Target OSes

If you would like to help with sponsoring the conference, please let me know via email (jmcp at my employer . com).

Tuesday Feb 24, 2009

It's a small thing, but pretty

For a while now I've been wanting to switch from CDE to gdm as my login manager - part of the whole "getting ready for OpenSolaris" thing. When I LU'd to 106 I thought I'd give it a try, but svcadm disable cde ; svcadm enable gdm just wasn't giving me any gui lovin'.

Today in #opensolaris on freenode, alanc pointed me towards 6768573 GDM refuses to start if Xinerama is present but not active, which referred to a workaround in the nVidia doco:

Section "Device"
Option "NoTwinViewXineramaInfo" "True"

I added this to each Device section of my xorg.conf, logged out, ran

svcadm disable cde ; svcadm enable gdm

and lo + behold, gdm started up!


A quick change of login theme accomplished via running /usr/sbin/gdmsetup and I'm a heckuvalot happier. Of course, I can't get a command-line login screen option any more (gdm limitation), but I think I'll live :-)

Thursday Jan 01, 2009

The quietest NYE ever...

This bundle is the reason is why


I work at Oracle in the Solaris group. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and neither Oracle nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.


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