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Upgrades Operating Systems Software BSD Linux

Depenguinator "Upgrades" Linux to BSD 616

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-thats-just-creapy dept.
cperciva writes "Many systems around the world have been possessed by penguins and dead rats. It would be nice to exorcize these evil spirits, but this can be difficult without physical access to the machines in question. Thanks to a new depenguinator, it is now possible to upgrade Linux systems to run FreeBSD 5.x without requiring anything more than an SSH connection." Clever idea.
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Depenguinator "Upgrades" Linux to BSD

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  • Hmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RobKow (1787) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:23AM (#7834256)
    How do you moderate an entire article as flamebait? ;)

    Cool stuff, but the write-up is a little, uhm, polarizing?
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the uNF cola (657200) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:25AM (#7834268)
    Yup. No different from the linux polarized messages we see from time to time. Nothign to see here.. just some people proud of their work :)
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by technoid_ (136914) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:26AM (#7834277) Homepage Journal
    Just think, if it was about "upgrading" windows boxes to Linux it would not be considered flamebait. It would be applauded by the slashdot sheep.

    Gee, could it be that we have some double standards...naah, couldn't be that....

    technoid
  • by Fizzl (209397) <<ten.lzzif> <ta> <lzzif>> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:32AM (#7834310) Homepage Journal
    So, it writes a bootloader, ramdisk loader scripts and a bare bones BSD image to the beginning of your disk, trashing the partitioning (not sure about the last bit. That's the impression I got).

    Effective, yet mischievously evil.

    Well. Uhoh.. I don't know what to think about this. I mean, it's kinda neat. It's called depenguinator to make clear it's going to get rid of your linux, butbut...
    I still think the way of operation is very crude and evil.

    It says:
    This code is beta-quality at best. Do not use this unless you know what you're doing.


    I'd personally go as far as saying:
    Do not use this unless you are reallyreallyabsolutely sure you want to permanently destroy your current system.
  • by e_AltF4 (247712) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:34AM (#7834321)
    >5. Make sure that the first 40MB of space on your hard drive is not being actively used. ...
    I'm afraid that is NOT a trivial thing in 99.9% of all machines
  • by bobthemuse (574400) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:50AM (#7834427)
    So all this does is write to the boot partition and load a barebones copy of bsd on a ramdisk? Not terribly impressive. Now if there was a script which could make a list of my RH packages, backup all my config files, generate an BSD install script, then most importantly, intelligently copy my config files from their old RH default location to the new BSD location, then I would be impressed.

    Not really difficult, just time consuming. Of course, this assumes the RH system was installed through packages only, would break on most anything compiled, but the script described above would be a start.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tim C (15259) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:53AM (#7834453)
    All of that, to upgrade a machine from Windows to Linux?

    Still, perhaps you actually meant it that way round - while I've never had a virus or worm on my Linux boxes, I've never had one on my Windows boxes, either.
  • by cattail.nu (724860) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @09:11AM (#7834558) Homepage
    The concept of an upgrade is dying. We all know we can switch out operating systems just like we can change what pair of shoes we are wearing. Each OS has good and bad points and I'm in favor of anything that makes it easy to shuffle between them. We should be bright enough not to destroy our production machines anyway. Isn't the ability to play with different things key to the evolution of open source software?

    Ancient Anguish [anguish.org]

  • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by molnarcs (675885) <molnarcs&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @09:17AM (#7834592) Homepage Journal
    I'm a freebsd user (5.1 - cvsupping to 5.2rc2 at the moment) and I love it. Contrary to some myths, it is great on the desktop. There are some things that just work. Put one line in your kernel config file (devce pcm) and you can just plug any supported sound card in, and it will just work, without the need for any configuration. The same goes with digital cameras: plug it in, and mount_msdosfs /dev/da0s1 /mnt/camera and there you go. Configuration is no more difficult than slackware (in fact, its easier, with automatic dependency checking/resolution ala apt-get, or by simply using the ports system). On the other hand...

    I agree with parent post ... sadly, this announcment will be considered as flamebait. I don't understand this, really. I signed up to bsdforums when switched to BSD, and I must say its one of the friendliest forums I ever been to (including mandrakeusers.org or pclo which are also great). I don't find the hostility against linux in bsd users there the way I find hostility towards bsd users from linux users here on slashdot or recently, even osnews.In fact, there is a linux section (other os) on bsdforums, and I saw people helping out with fedora install or whatnot there without any 'use bsd instead' notes. I wish this continual flamewar would end, but frankly, I believe (mod me down if you wish) that most hostility comes from linux users. If you find some bsd folks here a little touchy, considering the amount of trolling every bsd announcment gets, it is a small miracle that people still come here for bsd news, that they are not as bitter as one would expect (but than, they - warning, flamebait! - seems to be more mature.

    This is not because BSD is better or something. I like linux as much as I do BSD, I just like to use the latter better, because it is more interesting/fun to _ME_. I believe the linux crowd can be (and maybe it is) as 'mature' as bsd folks, but it is a more diverse group as well as considerably larger, so I think there is more room for a small but vocal minority to ruin the relationship and raise ill will towards each other. I wish that more considerate linux users would help out modding down trolls, afterall, we both have profited from each other's work.

    Unfortunately, due to licencing, code exchange is mostly a one way road (BSD > Linux), but still BSD has to thank for GCC (well, not specifically linux) or the ULE scheduler (which is partly based on a linux developer's work - more linux specific) without which our beloved OS would be poorer.

    Anyhow, the point I was trying to make is that this article can sadly be considered a flamebait, although we see similar announcment without anyone fearing that it is on the 'other' side. It would be nice to live without fears that such announcments would attract a large amount of trolling, to think that the article (read it!) has its on technical merits that can be interesting to anyone who visits slashdot (nerds?) no matter what OS they use.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by secolactico (519805) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @09:17AM (#7834594) Journal
    He. I tought it was more funny than flamebaiting.

    How long before it gets added to debian or gentoo as a package?

    "apt-get install freebsd" or "emerge freebsd".

    There goes my productive day... Now I *have* to try this. I'll set up a linux box and see if I can depenguinate it.

    He... even the name's funny.
  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @09:27AM (#7834661) Homepage
    What's up with BSD "demonizing" linux like that?

    Actually, it's a fairly neat hack, even if the rivalry is somewhat silly.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zathrus (232140) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @09:29AM (#7834668) Homepage
    Care to show a recent main page /. article that praised Linux while bashing BSD at the same time?

    Sorry, while the tool is interesting, the article is flamebait. You can be proud of your work without being childish.
  • excellent! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kevin lyda (4803) * on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @09:35AM (#7834707) Homepage
    this is a good thing for linux and bsd. it would be nice to see a dedemonizer to go with it. this shows to people what "open systems" REALLY can be.
  • by shani (1674) <shane@time-travellers.org> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @09:57AM (#7834872) Homepage
    You've obviously never used FreeBSD... The most unstable and buggy version of FreeBSD is a dramatic step-up from any Linux distro.

    This is no troll, it's a fact, and extremely hard to dispute ("Linux never crashed for me" does not count).


    My experiences with FreeBSD have been universally bad.

    From the fact that it didn't support the built-in network card on my laptop (worked fine in Linux and Windows) to the fact that no less than 3 versions of the FreeBSD boot CD *and* floppy hard-locked on my desktop on install (worked fine in Linux and Windows). Then there's the fact that the POSIX threading support was bad enough to make our core application unusable on all versions of FreeBSD (up to 4.9, and it works fine on Linux and Solaris).

    I also find the whole CURRENT/STABLE/RELEASE naming a little confusing, but I could live with that if FreeBSD actually provided any real-world benefit. The only areas where I've seen a real, measurable benefit to FreeBSD is in high-volume UDP servers (which is to say: DNS, or possibly NFS) or the IPv6 stack (thanks to the KAME [kame.net] project).

    The fact is the FreeBSD technology is playing catch-up to Linux, and even if the technology were great, the childish "my OS is better than your OS" attitude of most FreeBSD users that I've met is what really makes FreeBSD stand out.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Paradise Pete (33184) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @09:59AM (#7834894) Journal
    Just think, if it was about "upgrading" windows boxes to Linux it would not be considered flamebait. It would be applauded by the slashdot sheep.

    So you can't see how saying one thing is flamebait, but saying the opposite is not?
    Example:
    You're a moron.
    You're no moron.
    It also depends on your audience. Saying "Abortion is murder" at a pro-choice meeting might well be flamebait, but saying it at a pro-life meeting certainly is not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @10:16AM (#7835030)
    I'm not sure how much of the Slashdot crowd woudl have decided to actually visit the page (your famous /. effect)... but I'm sure the server woudl remain up, as compared to other OS'es I've seen get /.-ed.

    I ran a LOTR promotion on my site a few months ago that brought a signifigant number of eyes to the page, in effect, a /. of my own making. Damned OS (FreeBSD 4.9) stayed up and chugging along...

    I've seen both Windblows and Linux creak under the same type of stress. You may label this as a troll post, but there is a bit of cheer for this "depenguinator"... I'm surprised the Linux community hasn't developed a "downgrade" tool for *BSD (etc.) to pop Linux back on a system posessed by the Daemon! ;-)

    Cheers folks...
  • * Put one line in your kernel config file (devce pcm) and you can just plug any supported sound card in.
    * The same goes with digital cameras: plug it in, and mount_msdosfs /dev/da0s1 /mnt/camera and there you go.

    You mention this as if it demonstrated how easy freebsd was to operate!

    Whilst the above steps might seem trivial to the experienced users, you have to admit it's not the kind of intuitive setup proccess you would reccommend to your grandma.

    Whilst win32 is a joke to advanced users, you generally plug in supported hardware, and it just works. This is probably the main, and only, reason why windows continues to have it's widespread popularity amongst newcommers.
  • Stupid flaming (Score:2, Insightful)

    by juhaz (110830) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @10:47AM (#7835248) Homepage
    Maybe it's a neat hack (well, it's dead simple actually, nothing just about anyone couldn't do), but the way it's presented is a gigantic flamebait.

    RedHat bashing is especially transparent and nothing short of insulting, really.

    Editors continue to happily let trough "articles" that have obviously been written by someone who is at mental level of five years old. Way to go.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @11:35AM (#7835676)


    I wish this continual flamewar would end, but frankly, I believe (mod me down if you wish) that most hostility comes from linux users. If you find some bsd folks here a little touchy, considering the amount of trolling every bsd announcment gets, it is a small miracle that people still come here for bsd news, that they are not as bitter as one would expect (but than, they - warning, flamebait! - seems to be more mature.


    I don't think its so easy to point to the source of hostility.

    Around '97 I was becoming interested in Unix/like systems. So I got myself an old 486 and was trying to decide to load it up with - FreeBSD or Linux. I was coming from a very Windows-centric viewpoint, so I asked around for advice. One friend suggested Linux (Slackware to be exact). Then I went to chat up the folks at the ISP I had a part-time helldesk job.

    The ISP in question was almost an entirely BSD shop. They were great believers in FreeBSD and, of course, suggested it. When I asked them about Linux I almost got my ear chewed off - and not with helpful reasons why to pick one over the other. I was shocked at how much animosity they had for the system.

    I can understand animosity towards Windows and Microsoft. I have shared some of the experiences that build up that contempt. But I can't understand why there is this friction between BSD and Linux users. Maybe its the old "Ford vs. Chevy" thing. Or maybe I just haven't experienced things as a BSD fan.
  • by Chromodromic (668389) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @11:42AM (#7835744)
    The Slashdot crowd needs this. It justifiably makes many of them look like rats picking fights with their tails. So many of these Slashrodents are so myopic by virtue of their unceasing "promotion" of Linux that it's as if they don't know what to do now when you show them something that isn't Windows, but isn't Linux, but it isn't Windows! but it isn't Linux! So they default to ATTACK! AAUUUGGGHH! It might be friendly but we can't afford to take the risk! ATTACK!

    Even now, throughout these posts, there are a ton of "off-topic" posts that didn't get moderated as such. "Personally I prefer this ". They're not commenting on BSD, they're just moving their mouths and out comes LinuxLinuxLinuxLinux in a neverending, mindless blather. Most of them are like the Scientologists on Hollywood Blvd. "Would you like a free personality test? Oooohhh, we see here you need Linux. Linux will make you whole ..."

    It shows that many of these nits can't distinguish between understanding computers and software as tools or understanding computers and software as religion. Here's a hint guys: This isn't religion. Or it shouldn't be. And Linus isn't God. He's just an egotistical programmer that made some nice software. And, because I've never read it anyplace else, I'll just say this: He looks as dorky as hell.

    Get a freakin' clue, guys. BSD is amazing. Stop being sheep and start using the brains you were born with. Learn what BSD is about and then, perhaps, you'll stop stuttering "DebianDebianDebianDebianDebian ..."
  • by fubar1971 (641721) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @12:50PM (#7836567) Homepage
    Correct! If by "just works" you mean:
    1. load the driver from the supplied cd (where is that damn thing)
    2. reboot
    3. recover from blue screen of death
    4. reboot in 'safe mode' (thanks MS, for protecting me from evil!)
    5. Remove outdated, incompatable driver
    6. Spend six hours reading forums and newsgroups about other users experience with how the device failed for them, and what they did.
    7. Hunt down an obscure driver that is not intended for use with your device, but will give you some functionality without conflicting with your other drivers.
    8. Download and install driver from a less than reputable source
    9. Watch a worm run rampant through your system
    10. Finally learn your lesson and install Linux or buy a Mac


    I am definetily no fan of WinBlows. I use linux everyday. Unfortunately, installing *new* hardware on Linux can be just as inconveinent as any othe OS.

    The same thing can be said about most Linux distros as well....

    1. find the driver on some obscure website or news group.
    2. Recompile the kerenel to include the driver(Damn it has errors)
    3. Fix code problems
    4. Recompile
    5. Repeat steps 3 and 4
    6. Write patch for incompaitable gcc version
    7. Repeat steps 3 and 4
    8. Restart with new kernel
    9. kernel panic
    10. reboot old kernel
    11. Remove incorrectly compiled kernel.
    12. Spend six hours reading forums and newsgroups about other users experience with how the device failed for them, and what they did.
    14. Download and install beta or (shudder alpha level)driver.
    15. Repeat steps 2 - 12
    16. Compile driver as loadable module.
    17. Repeat steps 3 - 7
    18. Start Daemon or reboot
    19. Kernel Panic
    20. Reboot in 'interactive mode', 'different run level' or 'using emergency boot media'
    21. Remove loadable module
    22. spend 6months writing your own driver
    23. Overlook security flaw in your own code.
    24. Watch your box get r00t'ed.
    22. Finally learn your lesson and install Windows or buy a Mac.

    Those that live in glass houses should not throw stones.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shaitand (626655) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:53PM (#7837285) Journal
    Well for one thing this site is news for nerds. Nerds are educated and therefore run englightened technically superior operating systems such as linux and BSD and all form of *nix.

    Windows is out of place here and therefore upgrading windows to pretty much anything would be quite on topic with the theme of the site. Since although you may disagree on other points, surely you wouldn't claim that windows is on par with any of those systems in a technical aspect (security, stability, performance, hackability (as opposed to crackability)).

    People who disagree with the theme and don't find it interesting should fly fly away and leave us geeks and nerds in peace.
  • by mnemonic_ (164550) <jamec@@@umich...edu> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @03:53PM (#7838600) Homepage Journal
    I'd consider the article flamebait because of the baiting way in which it is written. A more mature way to describe the purpose of this software might be "a tool for migrating from Linux to FreeBSD", leaving out the controversial "upgrade" part. The author could have written the description in a neutral (in my opinion at least) tone, but decided on an inflammatory one.
  • Re: IS free (Score:1, Insightful)

    by JShadow (192326) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @04:21PM (#7838973)
    Not sure what you're talking about.

    If you are refering to the BSD license, well, you're just wrong, because I'm even free to take FreeBSD and change it and sell it as my own, as long as I mention that it's based on FreeBSD code.

    If you're refering to the fact that the CD ISOs are not free, that doesn't keep you from downloading everything that's on the CD...for free.

    So FreeBSD==Free
  • by JDWTopGuy (209256) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @07:17PM (#7840887) Homepage Journal
    If you're going to disable all access to SSH, why not just stop sshd?

    DUH.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:36PM (#7841502) Homepage Journal
    You're approaching FreeBSD from the wrong direction. At the risk of over-generalizing, the problem is that Windows, Linux and FreeBSD people approach problems in three different ways.

    Windows people want to know "what". What do I do to use a digital camera? What are the exact steps I need to take to make a picture I just took with my camera be my desktop wallpaper? And don't leave out any trivial steps, or I'll get confused. A good example is my mom. She doesn't know how to use Internet Explorer if it isn't running in a maximized Window. And even though she knows how to save a document she wrote, she doesn't know how to save a document someone sent to her in the mail. Although my mom is an extreme example of Windows users, I've seen similar attitudes amount highly experience Windows developers and administrators.

    Then there's the Linux approach. It's focused on the "how". Witness all the HOWTO's polluting the documentation space. While a much better approach, it's still limiting. The Windows user is stuck with eating out at restaurants and ordering take out food, but the Linux user has a recipe book, so they can cook their own food. But if there's a recipe they want that's not in the recipe book, they're still stuck. That's your problem. You're searching the Linux recipe book (newsgroup after newsgroup) for a recipe on how to use digital cameras.

    The FreeBSD (and traditional UNIX) approach is "why". Why do we do what we do when we mount a filesystem? When we know that, then we know how to use a digital camera. Because it's the same damned thing. We don't need a recipe book with ten thousand recipes for ten thousand different kinds of bread. All we need is a primer on baking bread. The rest we can figure out.

    Notice your use of the phrase "sure, that's an easy command, once you find it". You're looking for a specific recipe. A specific HOWTO. A FreeBSD user would say "that's an easy command, once you know why." The "why" is that a digital camera is a filesystem. So you mount it just like any other filesystem. If you don't want to type in the resulting command each time you use the camera, then do the same thing you do with all your other automounted filesystems, use an automounter! It's no different.

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