The following section provides some background information on the project, including a brief history, project goals, and the development model of the project.
Matthew Dillon, one of the developers for FreeBSD, was growing increasingly frustrated with the FreeBSD Project's direction for release 5. The FreeBSD 5 release had been delayed multiple times, and had performance problems compared to earlier releases of FreeBSD.
DragonFly was announced in June of 2003. The code base was taken from the 4.8 release of FreeBSD, which offered better performance and more complete features.
Development has proceeded at a very quick rate since then, with Matt Dillon and a small group of developers fixing longstanding BSD bugs and modernizing the new DragonFly system.
DragonFly is an effort to maintain the traditional BSD format -- lean, stable code -- along with modern features such as lightweight threads, a workable packaging system, and a revised VFS. Underpinning all this work is efficient support for multiple processors, something rare among open source systems. Because DragonFly is built on an existing very stable code base, it is possible to make these radical changes as part of an incremental process.
DragonFly is developed by many people around the world. There is no qualification process; anyone may submit his or her code, documentation, or designs, for use in the Project. Here is a general description of the Project's organizational structure.
Source for DragonFly is kept in CVS (Concurrent Versions System), which is available with each DragonFly install. The primary CVS repository resides on a machine in California, USA. Documentation on obtaining the DragonFly source is available elsewhere in this book.
The best way of getting changes made to the DragonFly source is to mail the submit mailing list. Including desired source code changes (unified diff format is best) is the most useful format. A certain number of developers have access to commit changes to the DragonFly source, and can do so after review on that list.
The DragonFly development model is loose; changes to the code are generally peer-reviewed and added when any objections have been corrected. There is no formal entry/rejection process, though final say on all code submissions goes to Matt Dillon, as originator of this project.
DragonFly is a freely available, full source 4.4BSD-Lite based release for Intel i386™, i486™, Pentium®, Pentium Pro, Celeron®, Pentium II, Pentium III, Pentium 4 (or compatible), and Xeon™ based computer systems. It is based primarily on FreeBSD 4.8, and includes enhancements from U.C. Berkeley's CSRG group, NetBSD, OpenBSD, 386BSD, and the Free Software Foundation.
A number of additional documents which you may find very helpful in the process of installing and using DragonFly may now also be found in the /usr/share/doc directory on any machine.
The most up-to-date documentation can be found at http://www.dragonflybsd.org/.
Matthew Dillon happened to take a picture of a dragonfly in his garden while trying to come up with a name for this new branch of BSD. Taking this as inspiration, "DragonFly" became the new name.
Contact the Documentation mailing list for comments, suggestions and questions about this document.