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Announcements Operating Systems BSD

FreeBSD 4.4-RELEASE Is Ready 267

Posted by Nik
from the coming-full-circle dept.
ocipio writes: "The FreeBSD team announced that 4.4-RELEASE is available for download. There are a whole bunch of changes and notes. Please be sure to use a mirror." Those installing for the first time will no doubt find chapter two of the Handbook invaluable.
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FreeBSD 4.4-RELEASE Is Ready

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  • Thank you for not linking directly to the ftp server here on slashdot!
  • but one thing that open source people haven't learned that MS and Apple and such have learned are to answer the following questions:

    1. is it faster?
    2. does it do more/kewler stuff?
    3. will it crash less frequently?
    4. will it boot faster?
    5. will i still have to spend hours trying to install new programs and hardware?
    6. does it come with new/more/kewl goodies like MS Office (or equivalent), a dictionary and thesaurus, 100 free hours of internet access, etc.?

    only when an open source OS states these things in their press release will the general public listen.
    • only when an open source OS states these things in their press release will the general public listen.

      Or will _anyone_ listen. Who is going to do something as major as upgrade an OS if there is no easily explainable benefit.
    • only when an open source OS states these things in their press release will the general public listen.

      The fact that FreeBSD is being released is of no importance to the "general" public. It is however important for the technical savvy who are allready looking into things.

      The fact that a press release is issued does not mean it's targeted at the mainstream masses.. it's just that... a press release for the press that is interested in this kind of news... wether it be online of in print.

      But the points (except numbers 3 and 6) are course of equal importance to the techies...

    • Well, when you can't answer positively to any of the questions you don't mention them at all. After reading the release notes, it's pretty obvious this fixes minor bugs and adds more/better device support.

      The FreeBSD people may say some things about wanting more public use but it's still extremely targetted at technical people who already use unix. It's definitely not for general public consumption. It's a much more word of mouth operation even among techies.
    • but one thing that open source people haven't learned that MS and Apple and such have learned are to answer the following questions:

      People who are most likely to use FreeBSD, are more likely to test for themselves, rather than just blindly believe what some press release tells them or just keep using what works for them and only patch security and stability problems as they arise.

      1. is it faster?

      Typical question from an MS user (can you blame them?), but nix users tend to be practical people, interested more in flexibility and stability. If it works for them, they keep using it.

      2. does it do more/kewler stuff?

      cat /usr/share/dict/words|grep -ixc kewl
      0


      Maybe I need an MS spell checker?

      3. will it crash less frequently?

      Less frequently than practically never?

      4. will it boot faster?

      You think most people here care about how fast their OS boots?

      5. will i still have to spend hours trying to install new programs and hardware?

      You? Probably.

      6. does it come with new/more/kewl goodies like MS Office (or equivalent),

      Yeah, because computer science is just not science without Microsoft Office, eh?

      a dictionary and thesaurus,

      I quite like gdict thanks.

      100 free hours of internet access, etc.?

      Yeah, because what is an OS without a hook into some crap ISP that demands credit card details for a free service that you'll need a top lawyer to get out of after the free bit ends. Chances are, those ISP's are built with a free nix like FreeBSD.

      only when an open source OS states these things in their press release will the general public listen.

      Whatever. Talk to the hand, 'cause the face aint list'nin.

    • I think the point is that what the techies need to know are what's given. What the CEO needs to know is the benefits, but the features are ultimately what's important, because that's where the rubber meets the road.

      I could give you a list of 10 reasons to use it, but it would be pointless, because what really matters are the practicalities, which only your local geek can tell you. Yes, it may have a dictionary, but is it usable? Does it cause your printer to slow down unexpectedly? Will it modify your documents without permission?

      Unfortunately, there are two major problems with the way IT is handled:

      1) non-technical people make the decisions that technical people should be making

      2) technical people have no idea what makes a good system

      Since noone is trained on both sides of the issue, you end up with noone being able to make a sensible decision. Hence the number of installations of Oracle Applications in the world.
  • Why I use FreeBSD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by smnolde (209197) on Wednesday September 19, 2001 @11:08AM (#2319721) Homepage
    1. cvsup r00lz for updating the OS
    2. ports collection
    3. single file (/etc/make.conf) for managing compile-time options and a master ftp server
    4. VM
    5. ports collection
    6. no rpm or deb files
    7. ports collection
    8. linux binary compatibility
    9. ports collection
    10. softupdates
    11. securelevel
    12. make world

    I converted all my computers from linux to FreeBSD about six months ago and never looked back. I find FreeBSD much simpler to manage, automate, and secure than any other *NIX (I haven't given OpenBSD a try yet).

    There is no "journaled" filesystem since softupdates does a really good job and imporves the fs performance.

    Oh, BTW, did I mention the ports collection?

    'nuff said
    • Give OpenBSD a try, it's great for certain roles since it seems geared more to servers than FreeBSD. As of 2.9 I believe that it shares the ports collection with FreeBSD too. Highly recommended for firewalling or other network services.
      • As of 2.9 I believe that it shares the ports collection with FreeBSD too.

        I am not sure this is right. The number of ports increased in 2.9 and the ports originally came from FreeBSD (way back) but I am pretty sure that OpenBSD doesn't simply share the FreeBSD ports tree.
      • OpenBSD is focused on security.

        FreeBSD is geared towards i386 server stability (with security too).

        NebBSD is geared towards maximum platform support (with security and stability too).
    • You forgot to mention the ports collection!

  • the developers should have delayed this release until October so they could steal some of WinXP's thunder...
    • OR it's better that they get it out now, so when people start jumping off the XP bandwagon like a ship on fire, they have something people have a bit of experience with.
  • As a rather novice Linux user, I've been curious as the differences between it and BSD. Can somebody point to a link that goes into some rather sophisticated detail between the two? (More than "Supports themes, is cool, etc.")

    Thanks.

    • by Noxxus (259942)
      As a rather novice Linux user, I've been curious as the differences between it and BSD. Can somebody point to a link that goes into some rather sophisticated detail between the two? (More than "Supports themes, is cool, etc.")

      This article might be a good read for you:

      http://www.daemonnews.org/199907/d-advocate.html [daemonnews.org]
    • Unfortunatly, finding such hard data is almost imposible. I've been searching for years for data to back up claims of networking superiority from one camp or the other.

      To give a short answer, *BSD's are all offshots of the historical 4.4BSDLite code, the final inheritance of Berkeley's system distribution. This is different from the SysV distribution, who's roots lie within ATT. Linux's philosophy has always been "That's a nifty idea... how can we do it?" so it is a hybred of BSD and SysV. (Free|Open|Net)BSD are 'true' BSD. Something like Solaris2 is going to be a more 'true' SysV. Some linux distributions are more BSD (like slackware) and some are more SysV (like Redhat and Debian).

      The main, user visable, differences between SysV and BSD are in the flags that 'ps' takes. :-) There are a lot of differences at the syscall level, but most people don't see that. There are also significant differences in the boot procedure (one of the things that I prefer about SysV). BSD has one file (script) per runlevel. SysV has one script per service, organized in 1 directory per runlevel. Want to stop a service in sysv? '<service script> stop'.

      The best thing you can do to learn more about it is to download it and give it a try yourself.
      • There are also significant differences in the boot procedure (one of the things that I prefer about SysV). BSD has one file (script) per runlevel. SysV has one script per service, organized in 1 directory per runlevel. Want to stop a service in sysv? ' stop'.

        FYI, NetBSD has the script per-service (incl ' stop', and ' status') scheme. FreeBSD is experimenting with it as well (but have not decided for sure if they should adopt it). There is a Usenix [usenix.org] paper about it, try the 2001 procedings.

        Neither has the concept of runlevels though, other then single-user and multi-user that is.

      • Your information about the rc scripts is wrong. Generic BSD doesn't have run levels at all. FreeBSD, for example, has a main rc script (/etc/rc) and a bunch of subsidiary scripts: rc.network, rc.firewall, rc.sysctl, etc. These don't correspond to runlevels but rather to general areas of functionality.

        NetBSD and Darwin, like SysV-derived systems, have one script per service, but instead of encoding dependency information in the filenames, they put it in the files themselves. Each comes with a program that examines the files and determines what their order should be, based on the dependency information. This is a lot more flexible and intuitive than the SysV method, in my humble opinion.

        FreeBSD developers have begun the work of converting FreeBSD to the NetBSD system, by the way.
    • I can give you a quick run down of the basic differences, at least wrt to Linux vs. FreeBSD - the other BSD's have a slightly different set of pros and cons but are largely similar to FreeBSD:

      • Licensing - FreeBSD uses the BSD license for its core, which allows incorporation of the code into proprietary, binary-only products. The Linux core components use the GPL or LGPL licenses, which disallow such incorporation.
      • Distribution and development - the FreeBSD core is developed and distributed as a complete OS. There is only a single FreeBSD distro, and it comes straight from the FreeBSD team. Linux is developed piecemeal by lots of different groups - the kernel group is quite separate from the libc group, which is quite separate from the group that develops the standard command-line utilities. With Linux, it is up to each individual distributor (of which there are many) to integrate all the various pieces into a coherent OS.
      • Maturity - the BSDs have a history that goes all the way back to the 70's, and in some places it shows - notably in the virtual memory subsystem, which takes a long time and a lot of fiddling and testing to get right. Currently the FreeBSD VM system is much better than that in Linux. However, Linux gets a lot more active development due to its popularity. Only two or three years ago, Linux was far behind FreeBSD in terms of its TCP/IP stack. Things change very fast in the Linux world however, and it is arguable that Linux 2.4 now equals or surpasses FreeBSD in this department.
      • SMP scalability - this is an area that FreeBSD is working on heavily, but currently Linux is far in the lead with this, scaling well up to 8 processors, whilst FreeBSD does relatively poorly even with just 2 processors. This will change when FreeBSD 5.0 is released, which incorporates much of the very good BSDi SMP code.
      • Packaging systems, ports vs. apt - the BSD ports tree is an exceptionally powerful way of automatically distibuting and updating software, far in advance of anything commercially available. Debian's (and now Conectiva's and Mandrake's) apt system rivals or surpasses it, but it is not standard in all Linux distros. Plus, in Linux, there is still a great divide over which back-end packaging system to use - either RPM or deb, and the overall layout of the filesystem, which, despite standardization efforts, still varies from distro to distro.
      • Portability - Linux has been ported to just about every architecture you could think of, and can be used on everything from a wristwatch all the way up to a big IBM mainframe. FreeBSD has... not, preferring to concentrate almost entirely on the Intel architecture. NetBSD rivals or surpasses Linux in terms of its portability, but is quite distinct from FreeBSD and has its own set of pros and cons in other areas.
      • Ease of installation - the commercial Linux distributors have it here. With some, it is as simple as powering up, inserting a CD, and getting a fully-working desktop or server system 20 minutes later. FreeBSD requires a significant amount more work to install it. However, this is no more difficult than the noncommercial Linux distros (Debian or Slackware).

      Well, that's just a quick list off the top of my head, anyone care to add more?

    • by Metrol (147060)
      First off, this is not meant to be any kind of definitive list of items, nor a flame on any other OS. Nothing more than what has kept me using FreeBSD rather than Linux.

      Not too long ago I decided to get NT off of a laptop I've got here and get a *nix on there. Although I'm far more familiar with FreeBSD I figured that a Linux distro would have a better chance of having hardware support. After reading many a glowing review of Mandrake, I decided to give it a try on here.

      The Mandrake installer is every bit as nice as folks claim, and then some. Very professional layout, wicked easy drive partitioner, and all the rest of the steps that get you through the install. It picked up on the proper video settings, handled all the X, Gnome, and KDE installation without a hitch. It's pretty impressive stuff.

      Then I got to mucking around with the software updating utility. Darn thing takes as long to load up as a full cvsup of the FreeBSD ports tree. It also didn't seem to store my settings when I didn't want to load software off a CD, constantly demanding for an install CD to be inserted before continuing. Aside from all that, even when I did manage to get it to pull from a network source, the packages seemed to not be updated very often. I guess I'm just spoiled by the constant, daily, hourly, updating of the FreeBSD ports tree.

      All this I was willing to deal with to some extent, but then I ran into another small problem. I'll disclaimer this up front by saying that had I put the time into it I'm sure I could have fixed it. For some reason the fancy network config settings for Mandrake kept changing my IP address. It was about then that I decided to dig a bit into the actual config files to see about fixing this problem.

      After a couple of hours staring at a large number of these files, in which each of them seemed way too complex for their own good I'd had enough. I just kept saying to myself, "This is nuts!" Even the Apache config got busted up into multiple files, adding complexity rather than removing it. This pretty much defined my next course of action.

      FreeBSD boot floppies in, re-format to UFS, and a new OS on. The FreeBSD install is pretty straight forward for anyone to follow, but some of the hand holding isn't there. For instance, if you're looking to put a newer version of X on, you get to do a manual config. It does take longer to run through the install up front, but what I keep being reminded is that once it's all in there it's far faster and easier to tweak on things, and to keep them up to date.

      In less time than it took to type this out this here laptop completed an update of the source files and ports tree. Later tonight I'll run the make world process and be up to date with the latest stuff. A new release is nearly a non-event for an already running system.

      From a user's point of view, one of the biggest differences between FreeBSD and a Linux distro is that FreeBSD doesn't have any specific GUI tools for administration. There is no such thing as a "linuxconf" or "HardDrake" utility. This is offset by what I feel are far simpler and fewer config files that the user can edit directly. Where I feel lost even looking at some of the start up scripts in a Linux /etc/rc.1, I feel totally comfortable going in and working with FreeBSD's scripts and config files.

      I've heard a number of arguments stating the opposite of my view on this, but I'll leave those to the folks that hold that viewpoint. This is pretty much how I see it, if that perspective at all helps your understanding of some of the differences.


    • Since I almost never use my Linux box I can't give you a good comparison. But just try it out; it's free after all! But basically you can do anything on BSD that you can do on Linux, it's just how you get it done that differs. You might find that you prefer the BSD style if you try it.

      IMHO a strength of FreeBSD is that there is JUST ONE of them. No distro wars. I realize that distros are an advantage themselves for some folks, but especially when I was a BSD newbie I really appreciated how easy it was to get answers to my questions. One OS, one core team, one great product.
  • As a core consultant developer for the *BSD kernel for 6 months last year I can't believe they are releaseing this. There are many issues which have not been resolved and are not being publicized to the public. The issues as I see them:

    1) The implementation of threads still uses fine grain kernel level locking which does not adhere to POSIXX IEEE 811.2b level requirements, meaning this software is not, nor could it ever be certified for level 4 security.

    2) The hash implementation which was used for prior backdoor's still exists and the modules which access it have not been auditied by third party engineers. This is a serious security violation which the dev team refuses to address. In fact they are doing all they can to sweep it underground, hoping people will just forget about it.

    3) There is still no credible evidence that the new implementation of the TCP/IP stack is an improvement over the broken one they are trying to replace from the 4.3.xx series. The benchmarks I saw before leaving were just short of horrible and the potential for data loss was rated as QQQ on the topenhiemer algorithm.

    I am currently petitioning the core dev team to remove my code from the project due to my differences with them, but they are the most pious and insufferable people I have ever worked with, so I doubt they will. Use this product at your own risk.
    • Posts like this are the primary reason why children shouldn't be allowed to read slashdot without being superwised.

      It's complete junk. I'm sorry if somebody was fooled.

      On the other hand, it would be appropriate on the 1st of April, much more than the idiotic jokes that slashdot was running.

    • Why would you ever want your code removed from the project? If there are no problems with your code, then wouldn't you be helping this project become better? If you cared so little about it so as to want your code removed making it worse, then why complain about it at all?
    • Why do BSD articles always attract trolls like dung beetles to crap?
    • Sorry guys, but this one really is a troll. We've never even heard of this guy nor is there even any such position as "core consultant developer." Nobody has petitioned the core team for a code removal action, either, so it would difficult for us to be "pious and insufferable" in response to a non-event. In short, this guy's posting is a complete fabrication.
      • Where are moderation points when you need them?

        While I've got your ear Jordan, not that I have, I thought we might be looking at XFree4 in this release? Is the support still not really there?

        Sorry to hear about the delays on SMPng. If I could help I would, but as you are aware this is kinda specialist work.

        Hope you're enjoying Apple.
        Dave :)

  • by c.r.o.c.o (123083) on Wednesday September 19, 2001 @11:23AM (#2319797)
    The FreeBSD 4.4 news haven't been posted for more than a few minutes, there are (were when I started writing) 6 posts, and already people are following a very annoying thread. What I mean is the stupid (IMO) advice that *BSD (or Linux or any open source project) should do this and that, be like this and that in order to be more average user friendly and to gain more market share.

    PEOPLE! Do you think that the people, or the companies developing with those OSes are not aware of those problems? That they have no clue whatsoever as to what the general public wants? That they simply refuze to make their OSes user friendly, just to spite the users, and stay in a tiny share of the market?

    They want more users, and they're doing everything possible to make their experience as pain-free and easy as possible. That they haven't reached perfection is not a surprise. But don't give such stupid advice on /., and most of all, don't complain so much about it. Instead, do something about it. Mail the developers this advice, or better yet, help code the OS, write the documentation, and in general, help improve it.

    But even this is not very relevant, for I'm using Linux because it suits me, and I like it, no matter how small its market share. And no matter how user (un)friendly it is. I like it (and I've been running it for the past 4.5 years)

    I know, I know. My complaining does not help either. But I'm not doing it every time such a story is posted (check my posts if you don't believe me). I'm just getting fed up with all this useless noise. I'd much rather hear about the technical issues with FreeBSD (I haven't tried it yet, I'm running Linux and OpenBSD), the user experience, the major apps that have been ported to it, etc. THAT would help me, and others.
  • by Florian (2471) <cantsin@zedat.fu-berlin.de> on Wednesday September 19, 2001 @11:23AM (#2319798) Homepage
    What I like:
    • better responsiveness under heavy load - Linux 2.4.x with its VM problems is particularly bad in comparison
    • smaller base software/dependencies; BSD libc is much smaller than glibc; /bin/sh points to ash, so all shell and system scripts are ash processes (and not bloated bash processes); classic Unix tools are less heavyweight than GNU tools (Remember: you can use GNU tools, bash etc., but they're not a dependency)
    • mature device file system
    • Clear separation of what belongs to the core OS & third party software (=ports system)
    • Best package management for installing/compiling from source (Debian's apt-get src isn't there yet)
    • Kernel features are fewer, but proven & tested (as opposed to many experimental or not-yet-mature drivers/subsystems/filesystems in Linux)
    • standard file system is 64 bit, allowing big single files
    • Package selections show that FreeBSD maintainers are real Unix afficionados (vim 6.0 available etc.)
    • the whole system is/feels very solid and mature
    What I dislike:
    • distribution/ports mixes free and non-free software (Motif etc.) without prompting the user what is free and not; bad not only for Free Software zealots, but also for people who want to make sure they can use software without limitations in their environment (FreeBSD looks as it is made by people for whom software freedom is a secondary concern)
    • available for a smaller no. of hardware architectures than Linux (or use NetBSD on non-x86 platforms, but that's already a different OS)
    • no journalling filesystems (no ReiserFS, no XFS), a very small number of filesystems supported
    • no /proc, no framebuffer device, no ALSA sound drivers, no hardware accelerated graphics in the kernel
    • much worse SMP support than current Linux kernels
    . GNU/Linux feels more "modern" than FreeBSD, while FreeBSD is comparatively "conservative", but also more solid. Draw your own conclusions.
    • by elbuddha (148737) on Wednesday September 19, 2001 @12:16PM (#2320185)

      BSD's FFS with softupdates could be considered to obviate the need for journalling.

      Read Journalling Versus Soft Updates [usenix.org] for a good Usenix 2000 paper comparing both approaches, which concludes that:

      Soft Updates holds the promise of providing stronger reliability guarantees than journaling, with faster recovery and superior performance

      and that

      journaling alone is not sufficient to "solve" the meta-data update problem.

      Both methods achieve the same goals by different means.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      "No journalling filesystem."

      Thats correct but they have "soft updates", thus making jounalling unnecessary. Different religion, solves same problem...

      http://www.mckusick.com/softdep/
    • Nice post, but I've got a couple of comments:
      • FreeBSD does have /proc, but it's just less featureful than Linuxes proc (and implemented differently).
      • I'm not sure if I'd call devfs "mature". Lots of FreeBSDers don't turn it on, so it doesn't get the kind of user testing that it should.
      • Is no hardware acceleration in the kernel a big deal? I always thought that was a giant hack. My FreeBSD machine does have 3D acceleration with my Matrox G200 (it's still does the job).
      • Just so people don't get the wrong idea, FreeBSD doesn't have ALSA support, but it does have it's own sound drivers (newpcm) that work ok and are voxware compatable.

      Conservative is a good word for the FreeBSD project. They don't like instability, and they're willing to give up cutting edge technology support to get it. To be fair, most of the developers are aiming at the ISP and server markets where crashes are completely unacceptable and having 3D acceleration code in the kernel is considered a liability rather than a feature. Still, that doesn't prevent people from using FreeBSD on the desktop, where it actually does a pretty good job IMHO.

    • no /proc

      beastie$ df
      Filesystem Size Used Avail Capacity Mounted on
      ...
      procfs 4.1K 4.1K 0B 100% /proc
      linprocfs 4.1K 4.1K 0B 100% /usr/compat/linux/proc


      no ALSA sound drivers

      Of course there are no "Advanced Linux Sound Architecture" drivers, since they are rather Linux-specific and FreeBSD has its own sound driver implementations.

      no hardware accelerated graphics in the kernel

      Granted, but this issue is complicated [freebsd.org] by non-disclosure agreements on code from NVidia which has turned out to be less portable than claimed.

      much worse SMP support than current Linux kernels

      All of the work on FreeBSD's SMPng is being done in 5.0-CURRENT, and has inherited a lot of code from BSD/OS's widely-renowned SMP.
    • smaller base software/dependencies; BSD libc is much smaller than glibc; /bin/sh points to ash, so all shell and system scripts are ash processes (and not bloated bash processes)


      FreeBSD's /bin/sh is one of the buggiest and brain-dead Bourne shells in existence. No thanks.

    • by fm6 (162816)
      BSD libc is much smaller than glibc;

      There seem to be a lot of issues with glibc, including simple code bloat and a nasty loader bug [redhat.com]. Is moving to another code base something Linux people can/should think about? In theory it shouldn't be that hard -- it's all just Posix. Of course, theory and practice are two different things.

      • Yes, there was a serious bug in the GNU loader. Borland fixed that bug and provides updated builds of glibc at

        http://www.borland.com/kylix/

        The loader bug is also fixed in glibc 2.2.x.

        [Amusing note: If you read the release notes of the Nvidia Linux drivers, you notice that Borland fixed the same bug that Nvidia just complains about]
    • What I dislike: distribution/ports mixes free and non-free software (Motif etc.) without prompting the user what is free and not; bad not only for Free Software zealots, but also for people who want to make sure they can use software without limitations in their environment (FreeBSD looks as it is made by people for whom software freedom is a secondary concern)

      Then go for OpenBSD - they have performed (and are still performing) a licence audit. Which I think is very clever!

      /Alex

    • >(FreeBSD looks as it is made by people for whom
      >software freedom is a secondary concern)

      Since when was software freedom a primary concern?
      The primary concerns are always reliability, robustness and maintainability. I think FreeBSD does a very good job on these regards.
  • I'd really like to upgrade my FreeBSD 4.3-RELEASE firewall now that 4.4-RELEASE is out, but to save bandwidth, and for simplicity's sake, I'd like to do it via FTP upgrade. However, I'm wondering if there are any security issues involved in doing so. Normally, IPFilter is running to provide packet filtering, but during the FTP upgrade, I would assume that I'd be relatively unprotected. I have done a lot of searching into this situation and haven't come up with a good answer yet. Does anybody have any opinions on this matter?
    • cvsup [freebsd.org] is your answer. It grabs the newest sources, and then you can compile them and install them on your own with make world. It saves bandwidth and is pretty cool in general.

      A change in your firewall rules to allow cvsup will not affect your security.

      • Thanks for the suggestions, but my firewall has a ~515MB hard drive, so CVSUP is likely not an option (I knew everybody would tell me to CVSUP.) Plus, a make world would put my 486 firewall to work for a long time. So, back to my question, let's say I was doing an initial installation; what would the security risks be in that case? I'm assuming that there wouldn't be any services running during the install/upgrade, and no listening ports, so my guess is that I'd be relatively safe during the process, but I want to be sure.
        • I'm assuming that there wouldn't be any services running during the install/upgrade, and no listening ports, so my guess is that I'd be relatively safe during the process, but I want to be sure.

          I have relied on cvsup; make world for so long I'm not too sure what goes on with a fresh install. I can only guess that you would be safe using an ftp upgrade/install, I'm not sure exactly what is on the bootdisk. Sorry.

          If you have a freebsd machine inside of the firewall you can use that to grab the latest sources and run make buildworld. Some pointers can be found here [freebsddiary.org]. That would allow highest security and the least downtime.

    • Re:FTP upgrade (Score:3, Informative)

      by Maditude (473526)
      FTP upgrade? Use cvsup, it fetches all the changed source files for you.

      When it's done, you'll want to take a look at your /usr/src/UPDATING file, which will describe the significant things that have changed.

      After that, it's just a matter of doing a:
      make buildworld
      make buildkernel KERNCONF=GENERIC (or whichever kernel you are building, if you have a custom one)
      make installworld
      make installkernel KERNCONF=GENERIC (or whatever)
      reboot
      • Re:FTP upgrade (Score:2, Informative)

        by glwillia (31211)
        FTP upgrade? Use cvsup, it fetches all the changed source files for you.

        When it's done, you'll want to take a look at your /usr/src/UPDATING file, which will describe the significant things that have changed.

        After that, it's just a matter of doing a:
        make buildworld
        make buildkernel KERNCONF=GENERIC (or whichever kernel you are building, if you have a custom one)
        make installworld
        make installkernel KERNCONF=GENERIC (or whatever)
        reboot


        You should also run mergemaster after make installworld, or else you'll get weird errors (like the PAM errors from 4.2->4.3)
        • You should also run mergemaster after make installworld, or else you'll get weird errors (like the PAM errors from 4.2->4.3)
          Mergemaster fscked my box over real well going from 4.0 to 4.1 (I can't say that I truly knew what I was doing back then), and ever since, I've religiously avoided mergemaster.
      • I haven't tried this recently, but is there a way to get cvsup to work through a firewall? I have always had to use the ftp method because it is the only one that allowed access via passive HTTP firewall.

        Thanks,

        Lac
      • Re:FTP upgrade (Score:2, Informative)

        by _dim (15419)
        No, this is not the proper order! You need to install the newly built kernel before running installworld, ie:
        • make buildworld
        • make buildkernel KERNCONF=YOUR_KERNEL_HERE
        • make installkernel KERNCONF=YOUR_KERNEL_HERE
        • reboot (preferably to single user)
        • make installworld
        • mergemaster
        • reboot
        Please read the /usr/src/UPDATING file very carefully, it explains this process in detail.
  • Dumb noob question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2001 @11:26AM (#2319813)
    I was skimming over the Handbook and I noticed something about an option to install Linux compatibility binaries. Question for BSD users: how good is this compatibility? Perfect, so-so, or somewhere in the middle?
    • The Linux compatibility is excellent in my opinion. It runs my linux java and netscape binaries just fine.
    • Almost perfect (Score:3, Informative)

      by flynn_nrg (266463)
      In the ports directory you will find applications such as StarOffice (5.1 and 5.2), Netscape (linux version), linux version of Flash Plug-in and some more that work perfectly with Linux compat mode. What FreeBSD does is install a package (currently based on Redhat 6.1) and user a kernel module to provide binary compatibility, so it's no emulation. I've successfully ran Quake3 with h/w accel and all IPlanet products. Some other linux stuff you might run is e.g. acrored4 and the linux jvm. I'm posting this on a FreeBSD box using no other than Opera for linux.
      • > I'm posting this on a FreeBSD box using no other than Opera for linux.

        Ditto, and doesn't it just rock? (=

        There are several things I like about FreeBSD that gets it my vote over Linux, the ports collection and Linux binary compatability being two of the biggies. However, my main, most influencing factor in choosing it over Linux is very simple: I know more FreeBSD gurus than Linux gurus.
        Really, this should be high on anyone's list of considerations when starting to use a UNIX-alike OS - who do you know, and what do they use? Having expert help you can call up and ask dumb questions of, who you can repay in beer, is worth a lot more than SMP considerations when you're first getting going.
    • I'm a BSD enthusiast, and concur with the other posts that state that Linux compat is nearly perfect. For most OSS, you won't even notice the difference (except that it's easier to get software running, due to the Ports system). Also, consider that most linux apps are really just unix apps, and can be compiled natively in FreeBSD.

      Just a word of warning, if you're interested in running Oracle for Linux on your BSD box, you probably won't get it to work. There's a howto that will get Oracle 8.0 running on FreeBSD, but I'm not aware of anyone getting 8i or 9i to run on a FreeBSD installation. The main problem seems to be Oracle's Java-based installer. Linux Java on FreeBSD is generally very good, but Oracle's installer doesn't quite make it.
    • The Linuxulator is excellent. 95% of all Linux apps "just work". The only problems I've run into are with apps that require funky custom kernel modules to be loaded.

      Besides, most Linux apps come with the source, so you can compile the native FreeBSD version instead. (which is what the ports tree is good for)
      • The one program that impressed me the most was VMWare 2.0 for Linux running flawlessly under FreeBSD. It requires a kernel module but somebody ported that to FreeBSD and it works like a charm. One of the many, many reasons I switched to FreeBSD permanently after running Linux for 7 years.
  • A balanced OS (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    FreeBSD is a wonderfully consistent OS, great job!

    The only woe I have is the plugin support for browsers. Most of them are binary only and built for Linux. Never seems to work for Mozilla (running under linux emulation) so I have to resort to buggy Netscape.

    A lot of stuff out there uses Java or Shockwave...I just hate not being able to view them.
  • How often is ports updated? Is it like Debian stable where you never get a new version of something like Apache? Or does ports get updated fairly regularly? I ask because as much as I like running Debian on my servers I really hate not getting recent releases of Apache/PHP/etc... My mail server actually runs FreeBSD at the moment but it's an ancient version and the machine is too slow for a cvsup (48mb ram, cyrix p150+, 8gb IDE ata33 drives, it grinds). I've got a way faster replacement and I'm just getting ready to go the Debian route with it but...


    (and before anyone says I'm reckless for running recent releases of apache/php/etc on my server - it's for my own use)

    • The FreeBSD ports system is maintained seperately to the OS itself, and so you can generally install what ports you want. For popular software, the ports are normally updated within about one week of the release of a new version, although this varies heavily, epecially if the new version has some problems on FreeBSD.

      For a lot of ports, you'll find that there are two versions in the ports tree, a "stable" version and a "devel" version. For example, the stable version of Apache is currently 1.3.20, and the devel version 2.0.16.

      If your machine is slow, then you can install packages. These are built fairly frequently for the -STABLE branch, and can be found at http://www.freebsd.org/ports/ [freebsd.org]. Or you can use 'pkg_add -r apache' (for example), which will fetch the latest stable package for apache and install it.

      Hope this helps. If you have more questions, then try reading Chapter 4 of the FreeBSD Handbook (linked in the story above).

      Regards,
      -Jeremy

  • by JDizzy (85499)
    Man... I've been waitting at least two week for this... Originally thsi was supposed to be released at about the time Jordan made the infamous press release about the 5.0. To make things worse they would allow their website to have a bad date on the release page. Making things appears as if they forgot to release the new version, and also forgot to update the website.
  • I have an Alcatel speedtouch USB ADSL modem, which I spent monthes trying to get working reliably under Linux. The damn thing would lock up after about 200 packets went through it, either using the open-ish source Alcatel driver (utter, utter, c**p), or the real open source user-land driver.

    In the end I tracked the problem down to the UHCI controller code in the 2.4.x Linux kernel and after some brief hacking about I gave up trying to fix it. I was just about to fire up windows/winroute when I thought I might try a *BSD.

    3 days later I had a pretty well locked down NAT/IPFilter gateway machine, which has been connected to my ISP for well over 100 days at a stretch (I turn it off when I go away). It operates well under load and I get excellent ping times - even with the user-land ppp - better than windows.

    My only gripe with FreeBSD is the amount of documentation available. You pretty much have to work out most things for yourself, there aren't the sheer number of different HOWTOs available like there are with Linux.

    Now if only I could get my wireless card to work in it...
    • My only gripe with FreeBSD is the amount of documentation available. You pretty much have to work out most things for yourself, there aren't the sheer number of different HOWTOs available like there are with Linux.

      One thing you should remember is FreeBSD is better about keeping their manpages up to date and useful. One of the things that drove me nuts with RedHat was the sheer lack of manpages for many of the commands and almost all of the drivers (try running man 4 pcm in FreeBSD and it will tell you all about the sound driver). FreeBSD doesn't have as many HOWTOs because it doesn't need them, the manual has all the information you need in many cases.
  • From the Readme, slightly reformatted:

    This directory contains FreeBSD ISO images that can be used to burn a complete set of FreeBSD installation and package CDs. Starting with FreeBSD 4.4, 5 CD images are provided:

    • 4.4-mini.iso
      Minimal bootable 4.4 installation CDROM image.
    • 4.4-install.iso
      4.4 ISO 9660 bootable (El Torrito) CDROM image.
    • 4.4-disc2.iso
      Live filesystem "Fix it" CD and CVS repository.
    • 4.4-disc3.iso
      Extra packages for FreeBSD 4.4
    • 4.4-disc4.iso
      Extra packages for FreeBSD 4.4

    Only 4.4-install.iso is required for the "standard FreeBSD installation experience", e.g. FreeBSD 4.4 + XFree86 3.3.6 + an essential (but minimal) package collection. If you want just FreeBSD 4.4 and little else, the 4.4-mini.iso image can also be used. The other ISO images are more or less self-explanatory as listed above and purely optional.

    Previous to this, you had two options:

    1. Download the floppy images and FTP the files you needed during system setup (which SUCKS when you're setting up a machine which may not have net access during setup), or
    2. download the -install.iso, customize your kernel using it, and then depend on ftp sites for ports.

    Now you can just burn and go. This is excellent for anyone who wants to install on a lot of machines at once.

    Also, the mini ISO gives some access for dialup users who don't want to leave their modems on all night ;)

    Maybe with 5.0 they will give us UDF images. :)

  • I tried FreeBSD for about a month and found the ports collection to be too unstable. too many things just didn't compile.

    I'm used to using Debian where apt-get install on the stable distro just works. and when I want to compile from source, I can use apt-get src.

    however, I did notice that FreeBSD's responsiveness under load was much better than Linux (compared to 2.4 AND 2.2). also, installation was MUCH easier than Debian's.
  • The release announcement is not linked from the FreeBSD home page (which still says the current release is 4.3), and it has tomorrow's date on it.
  • Brand new final release of FreeBSD 4.4
    Update to KDE 2.2.1
    New even more stable Mozilla release

    cvsup cvsup cvsup make install!!!

    Tasty!

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