[nycbug-talk] my sysctl quest

Isaac Levy ike at blackskyresearch.net
Tue Feb 28 16:57:35 EST 2012

Hi All,

In the spirit of the dmesg db, I need your sysctls!

Off-list, just send me the output from:
# sysctl -oa ; echo '--' ; dmesg

Or, if your host has local mail facility:
# echo "`sysctl -oa ; echo '--' ; dmesg`" | mail -s "ike sysctl quest" ike at blackskyresearch.net

Why do I want sysctl dumps?!?

Recently, I was reminded of how many times we've discussed sysctl documentation (and the lack thereof).
(e.g. commonly, 'is FOO.sysctl in bits or bytes?' 'is that bootonly, or runtime-configurable?' etc...)

Some other people have had this thought too:
I'm diving into this project.

Why I want your sysctls?

I'm finding there's particular differences in architectures, hardware drivers, defaults which are different for different hardware resources, etc…
I want to get an idea of the possible variance right up front, so, as many sysctl dumps as possible, from as many places as possible.

Again, just send me the output from:
# sysctl -oa ; echo '--' ; dmesg

WARNING: you may divulge systems information which you don't want to, if so, don't send the sysctl at all!  (After all, I am just some dude on a list!)
Your sysctl info/values could eventually end up in public view, or shared with other developers.  If so I'll do my best to anonomize the data, but if you have sensitive systems info, just don't send it.

What I want:

I'm focused on FreeBSD, but NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFlyBSD, and even dumps from other UNIX'es are quite welcome to me right now.  Jailed systems, Xen/VmWare/Etc instances, AWS systems, whatever.  Running on an obscure architecture? Running legacy systems? Even better!

Later, I've got thoughts on what to *do* with the sysctl documentation, some way to collect and maintain docs across projects even.
Perhaps a big man page will suffice.  Perhaps some utility in the spirit of perror(1) would be more satisfactory.

In the meantime, I want to get a good view of how much variance there actually is in sysctls themselves- and for that, I need data!

Thanks in advance for any sysctls!


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