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BSD Operating Systems

Is BSD Dying? 43

Posted by AilleCat
from the i-read-it-here-it-must-be-true dept.
Every BSD article posted, trolls come out and post about BSD dying. Naysayers at every turn, mostly pro-Linux, say that BSD doesn't have the marketing and advocacy to succeed. Greg Lehey, author of The Complete FreeBSD and FreeBSD core team member, takes a look at naysayer's claims, the history of BSD, the root of the "quiet" BSD advocates, and the relationship of Linux to it all, in this month's Daemon's Advocate at Daemon News
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Is BSD Dying?

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  • I don't really understand the whole Linux/BSD conflict. If you talk to Open Source developers (real developers, not just Slashdot afficionados), they'll tell you that they're *glad* that more than one Open Source OS exists.

    I know that there are different licenses, but the licenses reflect the development styles of the people involved. That's the whole idea, isn't it? If I want to use a product that was developed by a relatively small team of people working on something they love, how is that different from selecting a product built by thousands of people from all over the world?

    Yes, there are performance differences, but again it's up to the user to select the OS that works best for them. The success of the BSDs and Linux go hand-in hand, because the fact that they co-exist proves that Microsoft's "own everything" style of business is not only unnecessary, but counterproductive.

    I use BSD for some things and Linux for others. I'll almost certainly use OS X for some things, while continuing to use FreeBSD and Linux for other tasks. I'm sure glad I have that choice.

  • I was on an interview last week and we discussed my BSD/Sendmail experience. My host completely dismissed that experience because "companies don't really have a need for technologists that know BSD. They don't know what it is because it's not really used that much." If the look of shock on my face wasn't enough I contested his statement with the assertion that a landslide majority of core internet systems run on BSD. To this he replied "well, BSD is really a set and forget system and doesn't have as many problems as HPUX and Sun."

    I guess he's right. Those of us who use/choose BSD choose it because it's a strong reliable platform that will perform. But that kind of attitude will end up putting us out of work!
    I'll buy my first "flawed system" book this weekend... let's see, are we in the mood for HP, Sun or AIX?
  • It is too bad that an article like this degrades into a flaming troll war. Can't we all just get along? Time likes these make me glad not to be a moderator.
  • Easier kernel config?!? Its 100x easier than linux! you dont have to edit lilo.conf , remember to run /sbin/lilo . And there isnt 10000 different things in the kernel that you have never heard of durring the config.. Whats the point in a standard desktop? opensource is about freedom. =) With a standard desktop you are takeing away freedom. And BSD is more about freedom than anybody.
  • But by releasing it under a license that, while free, does not require it stay free, you are needlessly creating an opportunity for your work to be used to make people less, not more free.

    That is metaphysically impossible. No one can be made less free by my software. It cannot happen. A proprietary fork of my software is still a fork. My own original code is still there and still available. No opportunities or options have been lost, and thus no freedom lost. You can never lose freedom when the only change is an additional choice. Is the user able to modify and redistribute the proprietary fork? Who cares! They can still modify and redistribute MY CODE.

    The only possible drawbacks are to myself. But I still lose nothing in the way of freedom, only a possible disruption of my sensibilities. I may be offended by a Microsoft derivation of my own work, but I am still as free as ever, and so are my users.

    Free Software is not Free Speech. RMS and the FSF have confused freedom with political correctness. P.C. is about eliminating offensive and boorish behavior, and attempts to use restrictions on freedom to accomplish it. Copyleft is is the same way. It is about eliminating boorish corporate behavior they its authors find personally offensive, and it accomplishes this by restricting my freedom in how I may derive from their code.

    On the other hand, if I desire to financially profit off of my software, I would consider putting it under the GPL, as such a move would constrain my competitors. But since my software is not commercial I don't, since no competition can reduce my financial profit.

  • I just love to see these wars. It turns out the supposedly enlightened techie hordes of today manage to include plenty of Catholics and Protestants. Will jingoism and xenophobia *ever* die... By the way, FreeBSD rules...die Linux users ;-)
  • Get over it?
    As a linux user, I was beaten to death with "WINDOWS SUCKS!" I've since moved to FreeBSD, and all I seem to get now is "LINUX SUCKS!" Makes me wonder, it's not often I hear Windows users making such comments about other OS's.
    Who really cares? Why not stop viewing it as "Linux vs FreeBSD" and "Is such and such dying" and start thinking about it as the Open Source community? No matter what, one is always going to have a feature the other doesn't have, or one is going to do something better than the other one does, and while they do, they're not going to die. Each has it's various applications and uses, and people have their personal preferences.
    Aside from this, how much has linux used from bsd code? How much has bsd used from linux code? A little healthy competition is good for the market, however, when it degrades into an immature flame war (as these often do) it serves noone, and get's nothing done.
    BSD is not going to die, there's always going to be people who love and use it.
    I, for one, am sick of hearing this same old rant.
    Peace.
  • Hopefully it will surpass Linux 2.4's SMP once it is done. However, I don't expect it to be done when FreeBSD 5.0 comes out. Instead of trying to push down code locks from the top, FreeBSD is approaching the preemptive kernel stragety a little different. We are using locks on data structures rather than on blocks of code. (Or attempting to at least.) This also involves other weird things like having interrupt handlers run in their own kernel thread context so that they have a context in which to block on a mutex. Unfortunately, it is still very much a WIP, and right now 99% of the kernel still lives under the Giant mutex. As more common structures get locked down, we will be able to start moving parts of the kernel out from under Giant. For example, I'm about halfway through sys/kern in my sweep of locking down struct proc right now. Once that is done, we will be able to remove Giant from several system calls as well as signal handling and ast handling during returns to usermode from traps, interrupts, syscalls and the like.
  • are belong to us


  • At long last, a rant about BSDi that isn't just inflammatory :-)

    As of 4.2 BSD/OS, BSDi has awful multi-threading support (the programming interface bites). I'm not sure what you mean here. It's the plain old pthreads interface (which sort of sucks, but BSDi's implementation is stable and quite fast). There are some things it won't do, and depending on your expectations and your experiences with other implementations (which may have what you want, but blow up in other respects) that may or may not be a show stopper.

    BSD/OS 4.x does not offer much in the way of thread priority, for example. Since pthreads were built on the assumption that apps should be coded to avoid contention in the first place, I'm sort of surprised that this is seen as a major problem by so many in the pthreads field (but it is seen as a problem, and not just by people who run into contention because they misdesigned their app).

    The major claim to fame BSDi has when it comes to SMP is the clean system setup. One single kernel will run in pre-SMP IRQ mode, in single CPU APIC mode, or in multi CPU mode, switchable at run time, which makes for excellent troubleshooting. If you compare this to FreeBSD, where a kernel built for APIC mode won't even boot on a single CPU system, that's quite a difference.

    The major claim to fame BSDi has in general over FreeBSD is the patch system. With the possible exception of the debian potato release, I know of no other Unix like system that is so easy to keep stable if you prefer a stable system to a bleeding edge system. This of course is also BSD/OS's drawback in some peoples minds, because living on the bleeding edge with BSDi means you'll have to do some manual jiggery pokery to make the bits you tack on coexist with what BSDi provides. To me that's a small price to be paid, but if you're in a hurry it can be annoying.

    The horrible things you said about the BSDI shared libraries in the 2.x and 3.x time frames are accurate but there were worse problems (e.g., a hard to fix dependance on argv[0] not changing to make dlsym work) that prompted the replacement. Once again, it's a trade-off, and I valued the stability and performance over the problems (but I jumped at 4.x just to get rid of them). To each his dentifrice, as Opus said.

    As to the original topic of the big BSDi contributions to FreeBSD, well, I'm waiting but not holding my breath. It's not unwillingness on BSDi's part, but there's only so many hours in a day... These days, my company spends its dollars on both the excellent, stable and dull BSD/OS, and the cheap, fast and up to date FreeBSD (oh, and we're also running Linux, Solaris and NT where it makes the most sense -- please don't roast me about the NT part, it was not my choice). The total license cost is negligable compared to the man-hours, and that's where we optimize.

  • Mac OS X is NOT BSD!

    No, it's BSD +.

    It's not like they are taking a BSD and sticking a gui on top of it like X.

    Actually, Apple is doing exactly that - they are takiing BSD and sticking a GUI on it.

    Also - X is not a GUI. X is a toolbox that lets you implement a GUI. Apple is using their own toolbox to implement their own GUI on BSD.

    Microsoft Windows has stolen tons of BSD code too, do they count as a BSD?

    First, the term 'steal' means to take without permisison. Clearly the BSD license gives permission. Therefore it is not possible for Microsoft to steal BSD code.

    Second, Microsft clearly is not BSD. If it was it wouldn't crash.


    MOVE 'ZIG'.
  • by crone (187842)
    [german accent] i like what i see

    boy, she's a piece of ass
  • "Lately though, we have been forced to adopt Linux simply because the latest Oracle & Java 1.3 environments are unavailable on FreeBSD."

    You mean that the stuff in the FreeBSD handbook on get Oracle running on FreeBSD doesn't work anymore? What did Oracle do to thwart the Linux emulation? Hmm.

    BTW, at freshports.org, there's a port of linux-jdk13. Maybe it'll do what you need it to do?

  • As two previous posts pointed out, with the SMP codebase trickling down from BSDi, and the massive increase of BSD users with the release of OS X (and more corporate support), BSD will be rejunenated and will gain much more momentum.

    As a Linux user for over five years, I have made my switch to FreeBSD in November and heven't looked back. The *extreme* ease of keeping a complete FreeBSD system updated with the latest userland security fixes is reason enough to switch.

    Last I looked, Apple was in Sun's good books, so one would have to expect that the ports of Java for BSD would be happening on a much quicker schedule.

    "interest, n.: What borrowers pay, lenders receive, stockholders own, and burned out employees must feign."
  • Solaris being ruled out on cost

    FYI (and hopefully without starting the usual free beer/speech debates) - Solaris is free for use on systems with less than 8 CPU's. Admittedly, driver support is lacking in the x86 version, but you really don't need the latest video card on your server.

    You can even download ISO CD images here [sun.com], and make your own installation CD's.

    Temkin

  • and where is SMP?
    Oh, come on now...
  • IIRC, Sun almost bought Apple when Apple was f*cked a few years back.
  • If you look at the latest smp and kse activities, you might start to doubt if 2.6 is really catching up to FreeBSD (5.x).

    See the SMPng [freebsd.org] and KSE [freebsd.org] project pages.

  • by Metrol (147060) on Monday February 12, 2001 @01:46AM (#439789) Homepage
    Does BSD have anything similar to apt? Not ports.

    Ummm, why not? It automatically pulls in the source code, applies FreeBSD specific patches to it, compiles what you downloaded as well as any other dependencies it may need.

    Ports (AFAIK) are only for installing packages, not upgrading them.

    Yes and no. At present there is no "make upgrade" kind of command for the ports tree. A user must first either perform a "make deinstall" or "pkg_delete" to remove the old app. At this point, all you need do is install the new version.

    On an additional note, there's been a lot of talk about working in an upgrade ability to the ports tree on the FreeBSD mailing lists. I've only briefly been following the conversation, but it seems that a couple of folks have made some serious progress in this regard. It seems that much of the problems with this are with the process rather than a technical difficulty. The devil is in the details sort of thing.

    For example... Say I install bind through ports. Then cvsup my ports, and the new ports contain an upgraded bind. I need to cd /usr/ports/net/bind;make install, to get the new bind. Right?

    Your example actually has a couple of oddities to it that you probably aren't aware of, but you've essentially got the idea. I don't see this as a weakness of the port system, nor as a strength of Debian's manner of doing things. By building this into a directory structure it allows a user to sort of browse through the apps they might be interested in. If anything, it may be time for a wider variety of port categories. For example, I have trouble thinking of StarOffice as simply an editor.

    As to the oddity of your example, I believe you'd have to run a make world on the entire OS for the latest Bind updates, as they are a part of the core system. Perhaps a more experienced BSD'er can help clarify this point for both of us here. Your example is still relatively valid, as this would be the process for pretty much any other port.

    If I ever get back to trying Linux again, it'll most likely be Debian. Darn near installed it to play around a while back. The installation instructions just zoomed over my head at the time, where as FreeBSD was 2 floppies and a handful of menus. Today, FreeBSD is doing pretty much everything I wanted a Unix based box for, so I doubt I'll have a reason to give Debian another try any time soon.

    As you said, each to their own.
  • "I wouldn't call the Linux support in FreeBSD emulation (although I admittedly tend to use that word lacking a better one). FreeBSD simply implements the Linux ABI."

    I know, but like you, I "admittedly tend to use that word lacking a better one". I've also seen the emulation at work, and found it uncanny. Quite a credit for both the FreeBSD developers, for making it work in the first place, and for the Linux developers, for using an open ABI that lets the "emulation" work so well. Kudos all around.

    "And frankly, I don't think Oracle would refuse anyone to run their servers under FreeBSD."

    I doubt that, too, though the previous poster made it appear that the Oracle developers did something that made running Oracle on FreeBSD problematic somehow. That's why I wondered what could be the matter with Oracle that could have thwarted the Linux "emulation".
  • People are still using BSD. Many of them use it for the unencumbered license. Others use it for speed. Still more use it for the fact that it's less obfuscated, and therefore more secure; In the case of OpenBSD, I use it predominantly for security.

    People are also using linux. And Windows. And QNX. And BeIA. Etc etc etc. Big deal.


    --
    ALL YOUR KARMA ARE BELONG TO US

  • You poor guy! Don't you know that there's a whole shitload of stuff in Slackware that are not released under the GPL? Even discounting stuff like XFree86, there's stuff normally from GNU in other distros that licensed differently under Slackware. Take a look at your default install shell, or the default vi editor, and some other stuff.

    People who use the BSD license are not naive. I am one of them and I take great exception to your comment. I am fully aware of the ramifications of my actions. I am in no way naive. I use the BSD license because I want my software to be free. Really free. Not fake free. Not free with a shitload of distribution restrictions. But so damn free it might as well be public domain except for the warranty disclaimer. Take it and do what ever you want with it.

    I'm not doing this to make money. I'm not doing this to change the world. I'm not doing this to make myself feel warm and fuzzy. I'm simply sharing what I wrote with everyone, no strings attached.
  • You can use pkg_version to see what difference you have between installed packages and your up to date ports. In fact you could automate it via a script but that's is *heavily* discouraged.

    Yes, it's not as simple as Debian's method.

    You can check out htpp://www.freebsddiary.org/ and poke around for info on upgrading installed ports.

    I really hope the ports project get's this in. "make upgrade" would be sweet.
  • big kernel lock is not reasonable SMP support. if you deploy that, you're wasting half your hardware.

    You're only "wasting half your hardware" if your system is in kernel mode 100% of the time.

    If your system spends the vast majority of its time executing userland code (and this is the case for most servers) then the kernel lock is not a big issue. Your server will happily run one userland process per CPU. The kernel lock is only an issue in the kernel.

    What is the difference for the typical dual-CPU web server running php/perl/whatever? Five percent? Maybe ten?

    It's only an issue because that 5-10% is wasted and doesn't have to be. It's not "wasting half your hardware". Really, the real issue is the "[OS A] has feature [foo] and [OS B] doesn't" factor, which can get massively blown out of proportion as demonstrated by your post.

  • Apple made a insultingly low merger offer for Sun back in the 1980s, so Sun responded in kind in the 90s with another insultingly low offer.

    If Apple had bought Sun, that would have solved the "modern OS" problem about 10 years early. However, Unix would probably be dead as we know it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Uptime doesn't mean everything. Linux is upgraded and improved much more often than BSD. Therefore, the admin upgrades the kernel and reboots, thus resetting the uptime.

    Don't confuse short uptime values with an unstable system. I've had a linux server sitting here for 2 years now. The only time it's ever "gone down" was when I decided to upgrade the kernel and reboot for the changes to take effect. It's never crashed, it's hooked up to a UPS so even power outages didn't affect it. However, the uptime only shows 19 days because that's when I last upgraded to 2.4.1.

    BSD and Linux are quite equal in their stability. Get the software running, leave it alone, watch it work..
  • If it's 'mission critical' doesn't cost not become an issue? Or am I being naive?
    --
    Peace,
    Lord Omlette
    ICQ# 77863057
  • Popularity?

    I've been using Linux since Red Hat 5.0 was available. Since then I've used it, SuSE, Corel, Mandrake and Debian. I also tried OpenBSD 2.5.

    OpenBSD seems so professional, I don't see why it should die out. If FreeBSD and NetBSD is comparable to OpenBSD, then I think they are very quiet acheivers that don't get anywhere near the attention they deserve.

    Now, I have settled on Debian and OpenBSD. And I have been buying the official OpenBSD CD's since 2.5 because they really deserve MY support for their efforts and commitment to building a high quality OS bent on awesome security and performance and what's more, I use it!

    With all the hype that Linux is getting, and now that it is in reach of geek wanna'bes who probably could'nt install an old Slackware system to save their lives, many suffering from Amiga type syndromes probably don't want to hear that another system that sounds or looks a bit scarey to them, might actually be better in many respects.

    My mind is as open as my OSes of choice, I love OpenBSD and Debian and won't get into a dick measuring contest with anyone between the camps because they're both good in their respects.

    Many "Stable" Linux distro's tend to have an alpha feel to some of the functions as Linux with all it's hype in the press, seems to get pushed hard to compete with the less stable stuff from Redmond, whereas something like OpenBSD goes for quality before quantity and acheives it with high honours.

    They both have their place, and I can't see someone with the passion or ability of Theo de Raadt just up and saying, "ahh fuck it, if ya can't beat em...", because as far as the goals of OpenBSD goes... it can't be beat, especially by some distro like Red Hat.

    The BSD's are going nowhere but forward.

  • by Kwikymart (90332) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @12:02PM (#439799)
    BSD is not dying. I am both a Linux and a FreeBSD user, and I can assure you that its not dying. Those anti-BSD "trolls" are nothing more than ignorant Windows lusers that have carried over their misinformed ideas from anti-apple/mac to anti-BSD. As Linux gets easier to use, there will be an ever growing stream of these morons.

    Just go to netcraft.net and take a look at the top 50 uptimes. Only 3 times does any non-BSD OS appear there (BTW, Linux does not appear once). BSD is not dying, Linux has just stolen the spotlight for a few moments. Sure Linux has the spotlight, but BSD remains running on all of the mission critical servers. It doesnt matter how popular Linux gets, there will always be a place for BSD; this marketshare is not really being stolen from BSD, its being stolen from Windoze and others.

    It doesnt matter how many millions of dollars some useless company is worth, the OS will still be pretty much the same. You cant just pump money into an OS and expect it to be better. BSD is a good product because of its age, and the truley devoted programmers. 1 free programmer doing what they truley love is the equivelant of 10 hired/commerical programmers. Quality, not quantity.

    There are some things that Linux is good at, and some that BSD is good at. No amount of advocacy will change it. Advocacy is not the answer in most cases, it just turns into a flame fest. Once people see the statistics they will know in their heart.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, 2001 @02:36PM (#439800)
    You're assuming that FreeBSD will stand still while Linux 2.6 is in development.

    And you also make the ridiculous assertion that there is some sort of absolute performance metric, that linux 2.4 has narrowed. There is no such thing as "better performance" there is only better performance for your workload. For some workloads, even Linux 2.2 is better. For others, FreeBSD is wildly superior.

    There is no magic "go fast" register that FreeBSD pokes. Its optimized quite well for some tasks, and Linux makes slightly different choices.

    For example, Linux's poll and select implementations are signfigantly faster than FreeBSD's for small numbers of FDs, while FreeBSD's is faster for large numbers. FreeBSD pays the constant up front overhead to lower the per FD overhead. This means that wrt to poll, Linux is better turned for running X clients, which are just loops around poll() with 1-5 FDs. FreeBSD on the other hand is more optimal for the case of a huge number of FDs, as found in large fileservers.

    There is no magic algorithm that will make both cases run optimally. You have to choose one or the other. Another tradeoff is latency vs. throughput. Memory usage vs performance (usually caching or precalculation).

    OS design is an exercise in tradeoffs. There is no one perfect OS, nor can there be. If people are advocating one OS the best (be it linux, solaris or freebsd), question their motives. Perhaps preserving job security and unwillingness to learn new things is the real root of these flamewars. I know I've seen that in DBAs who know only Oracle, and try to tell me its the best for multidimensional OLAP workloads.
  • ...though its users are ostracized daily from Slashdot.
  • by gshanbhag (213944) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @03:45PM (#439802)
    As someone who has worked with Linux, NT4, Win2K and FreeBSD in (yes) mission critical datacenter environments, I would say that FreeBSD is my pick (Solaris being ruled out on cost).

    Lately though, we have been forced to adopt Linux simply because the latest Oracle & Java 1.3 environments are unavailable on FreeBSD. At the end of the day, an OS is as good as the applications it supports. DNS, qmail, Apache rocks on FreeBSD. But where are Oracle and Java App Servers...and where is SMP?

    I don't think the BSDs will die, they will just be relegated to a class of specialized OSes as Linux continues to improve and consolidate it's position as the mainstream Server OS on the X86 platform.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, 2001 @01:41PM (#439803)
    threads?

    You have 'linux companies' that have lost large parts of their market valuations, Linux distros merging, IPO's cancelled, etc.

    In short, if one wishes to portray the 'worst' of the present state of the linux market, it would look like linux is the market that is dying. And, the total money gone in the linux market is far less than the BSD market. I'm betting you could get a link or 2 to the Brett Glass rants about how the GPL works to un-employ programmers. Given all the money that is gone in the Linux market never to be seen again....why not blame the GPL?

    Go one better than the 'BSD is dying' person...provide actual links rather than their handwaving about BSD is dying.

    Remember also that the BSD is dying troll had blown it in the past....declaring BSD dead due to Applixware not having a 5.X version for BSD.

  • by dybdahl (80720)
    Recent benchmarks show that Linux 2.4 narrows the performance gap between FreeBSD and Linux, but Linux isn't there yet. As long as FreeBSD and Linux are different, FreeBSD will exist, BECAUSE it is different (and works, of course).

    On the other side, the difference between Linux and FreeBSD might get very small once Linux 2.6 gets out. This would make FreeBSD a niche-product...

    Lars.
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @02:24PM (#439805)
    It seems silly to propose the death of BSD as March 24 (the release date of Mac OS X) approaches. With one swell foop the installed base of BSD will grow by millions of machines.

    The BSD license will always be attractive to companies who want a free code base unencumbered by a viral license - so as they say, I'm not dead yet.


    MOVE 'ZIG'.
  • I wouldn't call the Linux support in FreeBSD emulation (although I admittedly tend to use that word lacking a better one). FreeBSD simply implements the Linux ABI. In most cases, the implementation is simply a one-to-one mapping between the Linux system call and the FreeBSD system call. In some cases some of the arguments would have to be tweaked or swapped around. In other cases one would have to implement some functionality which is not readily available in the FreeBSd kernel. In any case, I don't see how the FreeBSD implementation of the Linux ABI to differ that much from the Linux implementation of it. And frankly, I don't think Oracle would refuse anyone to run their servers under FreeBSD. They might not give support for it, true, but they would probably not prohibit it.
  • One thing people seem to forget when discussing the future of the Linux/BSD debate is that, although Linux 2.4 has made some great strides and has almost reached parity with FreeBSD in terms of performance, as I write this oodles of code from BSDi (most notably some unreal SMP enhancements) is making its way into the FreeBSD codebase. So, even if Linux 2.6 leapfrogs FreeBS 4.X, just remember that some of the best multitasking/multithreading code is comming to FreeBSD. Considering how fast BSDi is, if some of that magic dust rubs off on FreeBSD, Linux will be hard pressed to compete.
  • As to the oddity of your example, I believe you'd have to run a make world on the entire OS for the latest Bind updates, as they are a part of the core system. Perhaps a more experienced BSD'er can help clarify this point for both of us here. Your example is still relatively valid, as this would be the process for pretty much any other port.

    The Bind included in the base OS is a stable version which only receives updates, not upgrades, during a make world.

    To upgrade to a newer version of Bind, you would use the ports/packages facility to do the upgrade, and then add the requisite line in /etc/make.conf to prevent a subsequent make world from downgrading Bind on you.

    As for the original post, what is the problem with "cd /usr/ports/net/bind;make install"? More characters to type perhaps than the Debian commands, or too slow a PC to compile from source? You can also use the packages facility to fetch and install pre-compiled binaries if needed.

  • Not one of those 50 best uptimes are for servers that appear to get hit very much at all. Just food for thought.

  • by MO! (13886)
    Write a menuconfig-like front-end for kernel customization, or at least make detailed suggestions to those who can if unable to yourself.

    As for desktop, both GNOME and KDE are available during the last stages of an install, or later by /stand/sysinstall and selecting Desktop Customization or something similar (not at a FreeBSD machine right now to verify). There are some minor issues I personally have with both desktops; due though to the development teams for each, not *BSD. Some applets are a bit too Linux-centric, if developers spent more time thinking about portability rather than thumping the "Linux alone rulez!" mantra, they would work much better.

  • Multiple distributions is a Good Thing (TM).
    It's all about Freedom of Choice.
    180+ also sounds like somewhat of an exaggeration, although, I'll admit I've done no research.
    You must realise, however, there is still only one kernel. One "Linux".

    As for BSD... I'm not really a fan. It's a great OS, but Debian sid + the 2.4.1 kernel smoke it.

    Does BSD have anything similar to apt? Not ports.
    Ports (AFAIK) are only for installing packages, not upgrading them.
    For example... Say I install bind through ports. Then cvsup my ports, and the new ports contain an upgraded bind. I need to cd /usr/ports/net/bind;make install, to get the new bind. Right?

    apt-get update; apt-get upgrade.

    Each to their own, I guess.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12, 2001 @07:28AM (#439812)
    Not claiming that FreeBSD is not waaay much better than linux. (Can't say... never used FreeBSD.) But... Netcrafts uptime FAQ [netcraft.com] says:

    Operating systems we can usually work out uptimes for are:

    ...
    Linux 2.1 kernel and later, except on Alpha processor based systems
    ...

    This effectively rules out any Linux 2.0-based systems. And considering the uptimes needed to get on the list (659 is the lowest when I'm writing this), Linux 2.2 has had very little time getting on the list. Should've been up since sometime around the end of april 1999 (somebody check this?). This allows for about 3-4 months from the release of linux 2.2.0, which means that the only admins to put this on their webservers would be freaks who just gotta have the latest bleeding-edge thingy running their server, and I'm very sure that these freaks have upgraded their systems since. Furthermore, this rules out any linux-kernel newer than 2.2.7 (which was released april 27, 1999) Now, if I remember correctly, 2.2.0 - 2.2.4 had *issues*. (and 2.2 didn't get wide acceptance before sometime after 2.2.10 or so... no wait... Red Hat released a version with some 2.2.5-version, I think... Of course, that proves nothing.)

    Anyway, now some FreeBSD-lovin' wise guy wants to know why linux 2.1 isn't on the list of top uptimes. To this I can only offer three explanations: 1) web-admins are unwilling to run their servers on a kernel that is officially unstable. 2) officially unstable *means* unstable. 3) If you run an unstable kernel, you probably do it because the stable lacks support for some of your hardware. In this case, you're probably very inclined to upgrade to a newer stable kernel which supports your hw.

    Don't wanna flame and, as I said, I make no claims regarding the relative quality of the two OS's, but those statistics prove nothing except that they don't prove anything. (Prove me wrong! ;-)

    Now, if any linux 2.4.x-based system was on that list... That would be freaky!

  • This appears to be very similar to the Is Linux Dying? series of story on the main portion of slashdot earlier. Perhap since those didn't generate the fanatical fervor necessary to increase /.'s hits (and therefore CmdrTaco's wallet), the slash team has moved onto BSD.

A motion to adjourn is always in order.

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