DragonFly BSD

DragonFly BSD

DragonFly 6.4.0 released

DragonFly version 6.4.0 is released. The 6.4 series has hardware support for type-2 hypervisors with NVMM, an amdgpu driver, the experimental ability to remote-mount HAMMER2 volumes, and many other changes.

The details of all commits between the 6.2 and 6.4 releases are available in the associated commit messages.

Go to the 6.4 release page page for details on the release, and download via one of the mirrors.

See recent news from the DragonFly Digest

Recent CI build reports

What is DragonFly BSD?

DragonFly belongs to the same class of operating systems as other BSD-derived systems and Linux. It is based on the same UNIX ideals and APIs and shares ancestor code with other BSD operating systems. DragonFly provides an opportunity for the BSD base to grow in an entirely different direction from the one taken in the FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD series.

DragonFly includes many useful features that differentiate it from other operating systems in the same class.

The most prominent one is HAMMER2, our modern high performance filesystem with instant (and mount-writable) snapshots, compression, and de-duplication.

Virtual kernels provide the ability to run a full-blown kernel as a user process for the purpose of managing resources or for accelerated kernel development and debugging.

The kernel uses several synchronization and locking mechanisms for SMP. Much of the work done since the project began has been in this area. A combination of intentional simplification of certain classes of locks to make more expansive subsystems less prone to deadlocks, and the rewriting of nearly all the original codebase using algorithms designed specifically with SMP in mind, has resulted in an extremely stable, high-performance kernel that is capable of efficiently using all cpu, memory, and I/O resources thrown at it.

DragonFlyBSD has virtually no bottlenecks or lock contention in-kernel. Nearly all operations are able to run concurrently on any number of cpus. Over the years, the VFS support infrastructure (namecache, vnode cache), user support infrastructure (uid, gid, process groups, sessions), process and threading infrastructure, storage subsystems, networking, user and kernel memory allocation and management, process fork, exec, and exit/teardown, time keeping, and all other aspects of kernel design have been rewritten with extreme SMP performance as a goal.

DragonFly is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the wide availability of affordable Solid Storage Devices (SSDs), by making use of swap space to cache filesystem data and meta-data. This feature, commonly referred to as "swapcache", can give a significant boost to both server and workstation workloads, with a very minor hardware investment.

The DragonFly storage stack comprises robust, natively written AHCI and NVME drivers, stable device names via DEVFS and a partial implementation of Device Mapper for reliable volume management and encryption.

Some other features that are especially useful to system administrators are a performant and scalable TMPFS implementation, an extremely efficient NULLFS that requires no internal replication of directory or file vnodes, our natively written DNTPD (ntp client) which uses full-bore line intercept and standard deviation summation for highly-accurate timekeeping, and DMA, designed to provide low-overhead email services for system operators who do not need more expansive mail services such as postfix or sendmail.

A major crux of any open source operating system is third party applications. DragonFly leverages the dports system to provide thousands of applications in source and binary forms. These features and more band together to make DragonFly a modern, useful, friendly and familiar UNIX-like operating system.

The DragonFly BSD community is made up of users and developers that take pride in an operating system that maintains challenging goals and ideals. This community has no reservation about cutting ties with legacy when it makes sense, preferring a pragmatic, no-nonsense approach to development of the system. The community also takes pride in its openness and innovative spirit, applying patience liberally and always trying to find a means to meet or exceed the performance of our competitors while maintaining our trademark algorithmic simplicity.

For more information, visit the Features and History pages.


DragonFly provides a welcoming environment for those looking to participate in open source. See the Projects, Research Projects, and Code Bounties pages for project ideas. If you are looking for an easy way to get your feet wet, you might find something suitable in the Bug Tracker. Or bring up your own idea on the appropriate mailing list or IRC!