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BSD Operating Systems

The Case for FreeBSD 406

Posted by Zonk
from the i-don't-want-to-go-on-the-cart dept.
essdodson writes "Scott Long of FreeBSD release engineering team describes some of the finer points where FreeBSD continues to innovate and display its mature development environment. Items such as netgraph, geom and incredible desktop support by way of Gnome and KDE." From the post: "While I strongly applaud the accomplishments of the NetBSD team and happily agree that NetBSD 2.0 is a strong step forward for them, I take a bit of exception to many of their claims and much of their criticisms of FreeBSD."
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The Case for FreeBSD

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  • hmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Quasar1999 (520073) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @02:39PM (#11795211) Journal
    I just installed FreeBSD this morning... I must say, straight off the iso, a quick install had me up and running pretty darn fast... much quicker than any linux distro I've tried in the recent past... Now if only I could figure out how to get visual studio to run under it, I could ditch windows... stupid work... stupid requiring development on Windows...

    One serious thing about FreeBSD over linux distro's... It feels like it has more of a structure, especially when installing utilities and apps... I find with linux distros, the stuff included feels like it's all over the place, hard to find where things end up installing... but I'm really a vxworks fan... so take what I say with a grain of salt... ;)
    • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @02:41PM (#11795232) Homepage Journal
      Some linux distributions are more fragmentary than others. Gentoo linux in particular tends to put things in the same place every time; /etc/conf.d for commandline and environment options, and /etc/ for that package's config files. On the other hand I've been mulling over the possibility of putting QNX on my laptop, which has only 128MB ram :)
    • by bcmm (768152)
      As you say, Visual Studio is a real killer...
      I am forced to program in VB for an AS level course, and Visual Studio is what keeps me dual-booting (Linux and Windows).
      • Conceivably, you could run an emulator such as bochs or qemu. I agree this isn't the best situation, but when you're dealing with VB in any capacity, you're pretty much doomed to disappointment.
    • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sentry21 (8183)
      I find with linux distros, the stuff included feels like it's all over the place, hard to find where things end up installing... but I'm really a vxworks fan... so take what I say with a grain of salt... ;)

      Generally this is true - this is the reason I restrict myself to Debian. With Debian, everything is packaged in the same manner, to the same standards, and it all makes sense. The structure makes it the only Linux distribution I'm willing to spend any time on.

      When I tried FreeBSD, I felt that it had mu
    • Oddly enough, I actually did my first FreeBSD install early this morning. I just got an AlphaServer yesterday, so I figured I'd try something new. While the basic OS setup went fine, it just rebooted itself when I tried to get into X. Dunno why. :( And, aparently, lynx isn't part of the base install, so I just gave up, and tried to install debian. For some reason the debian installer is fine, but I get a kernel panic when I reboot after the initial install. I guess BSD wins on ease of installation on
      • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Funny)

        by MPHellwig (847067) *
        I guess you didn't followed the excellent FreeBSD handbook?

      • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Informative)

        by DrSkwid (118965)
        getting lynx installed is a real pain

        # cd /usr/ports/www/lynx
        # make install

        or perhaps you'd prefer a pre-compiled binary

        # pkg_add ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/i386/packa ges-stable/All/lynx-2.8.5.tgz

        n.b. you'll have to remove your own spaces though =)
    • Spend the $180 for VMware Workstation 4.5. No only can you run Windows, but every version of Windows out there, DOS, etc...
    • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Informative)

      by DrSkwid (118965)
      OpenBSD installs quickest, and that includes X & Apache

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @02:39PM (#11795215) Homepage Journal
    I don't see why people are so worried about advocacy. If you're not making money, what is the difference? Continue to refine the thing and get what you want out of it, and if other people don't get it, who loses? Personally I have a use for only a couple of operating systems now, and they are Linux and netbsd. netbsd because it runs on just about everything, and Linux because it's most supported. It's nothing against FreeBSD, which I simply don't need. The point is, I use whatever fits the job and if that was FreeBSD then I'd use that. The best fit is determined partially by functionality and partially by familiarity...
    • by thepoch (698396) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @02:48PM (#11795287)
      You see, people are worried about advocacy because these create mindshare. Without advocacy, people won't understand what the advantages are with using/supporting whatever it is you are advocating.

      Without advocacy, your product/whatever will seem inadequate, small, meaningless. This will make your whatever simply useless in the eyes of those who have not decided for themselves at the moment.

      People who are not making money out of this have all to lose if they don't get the advocacy they need. They don't have marketing might, and advocacy is all they have. The moment they lose advocacy, they lose mindshare, they lose users. They will them either wither and cease to exist, or become mediocre and simply unimportant, a relic of the past, with the people unwilling to just move on.

      You have already decided what you need/want. This makes advocacy useless for you. For the rest of those who have not finalized that decision, they need this stuff to understand the advantages as viewed by those who use the stuff.

      Of course, you are also advocating Linux and NetBSD by stating you use those. You didn't give hard facts, but it's still advocacy in a simpler form.
    • Advocacy is to free software what marketing is to commercial software: the driver to bring in currency. In free software, that currency is warm bodies, both users and people who actively contribute to the product. Free software projects benefit mightily from community involvement, to the point where a lack of involvement can kill an otherwise promising project.
      • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @03:22PM (#11795494)
        Advocacy is to free software what marketing is to commercial software

        Actually there's a key difference. Most marketing is carefully directed at potential new customers. Most "advocacy" takes place in forums specifically designed for advocacy (comp.*.advocacy, slashdot, ars technica battlefront, etc), where a tiny number of relatively knowlegable users quibble amongst themselves for kicks.

        Let's take this very article as an example. Both FreeBSD and NetBSD have relatively small userbases which primarily consists of Unix and BSD-saavy users. Neither project has very much to gain by converting the other's users. (Unless there really is some threat of one or the other dying.) Either project would have much more to gain trying to convert the HUGE market of fleeing commercial UNIX users instead of arguing amongst themselves. You'll notice that's what RedHat is doing rather than trying to pick off Debian customers.
    • I don't see why people are so worried about advocacy. If you're not making money, what is the difference?

      Donations. Many (maybe most) FOSS developers don't get paid, this is especially true of FreeBSD (or any of the BSDs) since there's less corporate backing than with Linux. A more vocal advocacy will surely change that by drawing more companies' attention to FreeBSD (look what IBM does for Linux) and get them to support the development, and a larger userbase will surely increase much needed donations,
    • by cperciva (102828) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @03:00PM (#11795357) Homepage
      [If other people don't know about FreeBSD], who loses? Personally I have a use for only a couple of operating systems now, and they are Linux and netbsd.

      To answer your question: You lose.

      Linus Torvalds has said that the idea behind Linux is "do it yourself". The idea behind BSD -- coming, as it does, from an academic background -- is "there's lots of trash out there. Let's give people something better".

      As far as providing people with a better alternative is concerned, writing FreeBSD doesn't accomplish much if everyone keeps on running the Linux distribution of the day.
    • Advocacy in open source is important because it indirectly affects the speed of development and ultimately the survival of the project.

      If hardly anyone were using FreeBSD because they thought it "sucked", then there would be far fewer people willing to develop FreeBSD.

      Those who are developing it would find their efforts less fruitful, because fewer people would exist to fix bugs and improve on their work... eventually FreeBSD would go the way of the Amiga... a few diehard users stll existing, but essenti
    • Who knows? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by roystgnr (4015)
      When I was on an "advocacy kick", I spent a year (well, a few minutes every day for a year) answering Linux questions on Usenet. A year after that, I took a good part time job offer from someone who remembered seeing my name and college in those newsgroups. A year or two later, when I was hunting for finite element software to help with a class project, I downloaded the most appropriate program I could find and was surprised to find my name on the acknowledgements page, because apparantly I'd helped fix t
  • by elid (672471) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (dopi.ile)> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @02:40PM (#11795221)
    ...FreeBSD is getting a new logo (well, 0 submissions to date [freebsd.org], but still !
    • by ulib (816651)
      .. it's a *logo contest*. Kinda difficult to submit a new logo 2 days after the official announcement, I think.. :)
      Anyway, for NetBSD's logo contest over 400 logos [netbsd.org] were submitted. Given FreeBSD's much wider user base, the numbers will probably be higher - and making a choice will be even harder.
      --
      Requiem for the FUD [slashdot.org]
  • by Kip Winger (547075) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @02:41PM (#11795224) Homepage
    Repeat a lie enough, and it becomes true. That lie, mostly being, that FreeBSD is dying, or is some arcane system only to hack around on, similar to Plan9.

    In fact, for those who haven't tried it, it's quite an excellent full-featured Unix, with everything you'd find under Linux. In fact, it's fully binary compatible with Linux.

    The only difference is that it does things the old way -- vi is vi, not vim, and you get sh, csh or tcsh instead of bloated bash. It doesn't have anyone pushing for "ease of use," though it's about at the level of slackware, except with ports, the greatest package management system known to man. Gentoo's portage doesn't even come close to the flexibility and reliability of ports.

    Internally, it runs great, because it's not doing things the kernel shouldn't do to boost benchmarks. It's not deeply involved in corporate America, but remains strong due to good management.

    Plus it's far more secure. With how much Linux websites are hacked these days -- see http://zone-h.org/ [zone-h.org] and check out the statistics section, at least 70-80% of website hacks are Linux based -- I wouldn't run it on Linux. FreeBSD is the obvious choice, as it runs its services flawlessly.

    • Amusing that you should mention gentoo, in which vi is vi, not vim. It's not installed with the system by default, though. I also don't know why you say that ports has more flexibility, but it probably does have more reliability.

      As for linux websites being hacked, that's because they're not updated. If you fall behind on your FreeBSD updates, you'll get rooted too. Usually it's not a kernel hack, it's an application hack that would probably happen to FreeBSD too.

    • "Gentoo's portage doesn't even come close to the flexibility and reliability of ports."

      Portage's flexibility is considerably better.

      However I agree on the other point. Portage's reliability is much, much... much worse.
    • Until I can run the latest VMware under FreeBSD, I'll be sticking with Linux. The same holds for IvTV (hardware PVR) support under FreeBSD.

      I generally like BSD but it suffers even worse than Linux when it comes to available software (Linux being worse than Windows).

      Plus it's far more secure. With how much Linux websites are hacked these days -- see http://zone-h.org/ and check out the statistics section, at least 70-80% of website hacks are Linux based -- I wouldn't run it on Linux.

      Yeah, but isn't thi
    • >it's fully binary compatible with Linux

      It's not just compatible, it actually runs Linux programs faster than Linux does.
      • I was benchmarking *native* binaries on my old rig (dual PIII Xeon 700MHz 2MB w/ 640MB PC100 DRAM) on both Gentoo 2004 (gcc 3.3.2) and FreeBSD 5.2.1 (gcc 3.3.3) using:

        nbench
        - FreeBSD slightly faster on memory & integer (3% and 1% respectively)
        - Linux much faster on floating point (17%)

        scimark
        - FreeBSD faster on FFT (11%), SOR (3%) & LU (5%)
        - Linux faster on Monte Carlo (2%) & Sparse Matmult (16%)

        stream
        - FreeBSD faster on copy (1%) & scale (2%)
        - Linux faster on add (7%) & triad (10%)

        u
    • With how much Linux websites are hacked these days -- see http://zone-h.org/ [zone-h.org] and check out the statistics section, at least 70-80% of website hacks are Linux based

      Without being able to state what % of that market Linux is, your percentages mean nothing. For example, if Linux is 70-80% of that market, then it would say that they're all pretty equally hackable. I'm not saying they are equally hackable, I'm just saying your statistics don't provide any reference by which to measure.
    • "vi is vi, not vim, and you get sh, csh or tcsh instead of bloated bash"

      I have bash on my FreeBSD installs. vim is in the ports collection. So it doesn't install everything by default. That's a good thing isn't it?

      -----
      Happy user of FreeBSD, Slackware, Solaris 10 and OSX. I still have Windows 2000 Server to remind me why I use the others.
  • I agree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @02:41PM (#11795225)
    Yes, because the BSDs continue to shine where Linux and Windows seem to fall short IMHO. This is software pakgage management. I am using Debian now and was shocked to find that even for Debian, with its much acclaimed apt tool, Debian got confused and made my system unstable when I decided to upgrade it.

    I also heard that Windows used or at least used some BSD work in it's internet capability push years ago. One question will always dog me: Why aren't the BSD's as popular with their very good license at least in the eyes of the IBMs and HPs?

    • I use both FreeBSD and Debian regularly, and have to say that I've had my problems with the ports collection as well. Has anyone tried to upgrade perl lately? Here is an excerpt from /usr/ports/UPDATING on how to upgrade perl (just a minor version upgrade)

      * run some magic incantations to upgrade all ports depending on perl,
      that is run something like :
      portupgrade -f `(pkg_info -R perl-5\* |tail +4; \
      find /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.[68].[1245] -type f -print0 \
      | xargs -0 pkg_which -f


      • Yup.. My Perl has been semi-broken ever since the 5.6.8_2 release several weeks ago. I had to rebuild all Perl modules myself ( which should have updated themselves as dependancies if they are dependant on a specific version of Perl, right? ), and I still have 4 Perl modules that refuse to rebuild at all. I thought RELEASE was the most stable version of FreeBSD, that's why I upgraded from 4.10. I gotta say 5.3 isn't living up to the name as far as I can tell.

        • I thought RELEASE was the most stable version of FreeBSD

          You are not running RELEASE, if you updated your ports tree :). At least, not *exactly*.

          Good luck with the remaining Perl modules.

    • Why aren't the BSD's as popular with their very good license at least in the eyes of the IBMs and HPs?

      One view from Why Researchers Should use a BSD-style License Instead of the GPL [63.249.85.132] :

      Linux is most attractive commercially to (1) small companies selling CDs primarily to end-users, not developers, in an environment where ``buy-low, sell-high'' may still give the end-user a very cheap product (this does not mean that Linux is not attractive to programmers); (2) hardware companies that intend to undermine

  • Requiem for the FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 27, 2005 @02:43PM (#11795242)
    // Please *don't* mod this up. It has [slashdot.org] already [slashdot.org] been [slashdot.org] done! [slashdot.org] Thx

    ... facts are facts. ;)

    FreeBSD:
    FreeBSD, Stealth-Growth Open Source Project (Jun 2004) [internetnews.com]
    "FreeBSD has dramatically increased its market penetration over the last year."
    Nearly 2.5 Million Active Sites running FreeBSD (Jun 2004) [netcraft.com]
    "[FreeBSD] has secured a strong foothold with the hosting community and continues to grow, gaining over a million hostnames and half a million active sites since July 2003."
    What's New in the FreeBSD Network Stack (Sep 2004) [slashdot.org]
    "FreeBSD can now route 1Mpps on a 2.8GHz Xeon whilst Linux can't do much more than 100kpps."

    NetBSD:
    NetBSD sets Internet2 Land Speed World Record (May 2004) [slashdot.org]
    NetBSD again sets Internet2 Land Speed World Record (30 Sep 2004) [netbsd.org]

    OpenBSD:
    OpenBSD Widens Its Scope (Nov 2004) [eweek.com]
    Review: OpenBSD 3.6 shows steady improvement (Nov 2004) [newsforge.com]

    *BSD in general:
    Deep study: The world's safest computing environment (Nov 2004) [mi2g.com]
    "The world's safest and most secure 24/7 online computing environment - operating system plus applications - is proving to be the Open Source platform of BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) and the Mac OS X based on Darwin."
    ..and last but not least, we have the cutest mascot as well - undisputedly. ;) [keltia.net]

    --
    Being able to read *other people's* source code is a nice thing, not a 'fundamental freedom'.

  • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @02:45PM (#11795270)
    It has taken the FreeBSD team literally years to get 5.x to an acceptable stage, which is reminiscent of the 3.x issues. Contrary to popular myth, FreeBSD goes through sustained periods in which the latest release is a very weak product.

    Also, the development is getting very political, this also scares off people.

    • the development is getting very political

      It is?

      Ok, I can't say that I'm the most politically savvy of people, so maybe there's a lot of politics which has whooshed over my head, but... jeez, I had no idea.

      It's a sad day when a FreeBSD committer learns something about the internals of the FreeBSD project from slashdot.
    • It has taken the FreeBSD team literally years to get 5.x to an acceptable stage, which is reminiscent of the 3.x issues. Contrary to popular myth, FreeBSD goes through sustained periods in which the latest release is a very weak product.
      Sure, there have apparently been a lot of very difficult problems with SMP in 5.x. But why is that an issue that we should be concerned about as users? Personally, I don't use SMP, and 5.3 has worked great for me as a desktop system. If 5.x doesn't work for you, keep runni

    • You still sound a bit like you're posting by the light coming through the planks in the bridge, but this one is a little more fair.

      I've used all twelve versions of the FreeBSD 4.x OS. I've tolerated ... briefly ... the first three releases of the 5.x OS. I now have a 5.3 box in production, which I'd slay this afternoon with a 4.11 install disk if I were just a tad less lazy.

      4.x good. 5.x becoming good, but not yet ready for prime time.
  • by HEMI426 (715714) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @02:50PM (#11795295) Homepage
    Scott has several good points. FreeBSD still has the same level of polish, the same amount of "professional" feel as it always has and it's just as consistent as before. The documentation is fabulous, Netgraph can do a lot of neat tricks, GEOM handles storage pretty well, vendor support is improving, etc. However, I think the most important one is discovered if you read between the lines: "don't focus on microbenchmarks."
  • Getting defensive? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by idiotnot (302133) <sean@757.org> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @03:02PM (#11795371) Homepage Journal
    NetBSD 2.0 is a higher-quality release than FreeBSD 5.3 on the IA32 platform. There's just no other way to put it.

    My experience with FreeBSD is that the 4.x branch is rock-solid stable, fast, and everything works as it's supposed to.

    NetBSD has basically reached that level of quality, with better performance.

    FreeBSD 5.x has been unstable for me at best. While the userland programs are pretty much the same, the kernel-level changes have killed reliability. Furthermore, some of the much-touted new features simply do not work yet. I'm sure the SMP performance is much better, but I don't have many SMP machines. I've had problems with hard lockups, just doing things like trying to combine vlan and pf. The bridge interface, afaik, also, still doesn't work with pf.

    As far as packages go, ports has more packages, true. Still, rarely has there been something not in pkgsrc that I absolutely needed. Pkgsrc is also much easier to work with, and far more friendly when it comes time to upgrade things. Portupgrade is an abortion, especially compared to even *gack* portage from ricerloonix.

    There are reasons there's a buzz around NetBSD these days -- and reasons FreeBSD isn't getting the love it used to. I don't know whether the FreeBSD developers bit off more than they can chew, or if they just are rushing things out the door. But until they get their act together and put out a 5.x-RELEASE that truly is release-quality (by which I mean, all the features *work*, and the drivers are supported the same way), I'm going to be using NetBSD and advising my friends to do the same.
    • by krreagan (173259)
      All I know is that I use FreeBSD 5.3 on three different machines, A laptop, a server and a workstation and on all three they are _very_ rock solid.

      I use the portupgrade facilities all the time and have not found anything else as easy to use. On several occations since 5.3 was released I'd set off my workstation to upgrade all userland ports (portupgrade -a) on Friday as I leave and have come to work on Monday and have a complete updated system. This is with both KDE and GNOME being updated along with many
    • As far as packages go, pkgsrc just doesn't cut it. The quarterly branches simply do not get updates in a timely manner if at all; there's no other way to put it. Upgrading packages was a pain - there are several utilities to help with the process, but none of them do a particularly good job, certainly not like portupgrade does. Getting the newest versions of sotware is also a mess - some people test things in pkgsrc-wip on sourceforge, others just put it in the tree.

      FreeBSD-5.3 wasn't the most successfu
    • Yeah, they may have been a lots of problems with 5.3-release - I don't know any for I didn't experience them, but still. On the other hand, most of those problems have been solved in STABLE, and 5.4 will be a kick-ass release. I described one improvement here [slashdot.org]

      As to FreeBSD not getting the love it used to - well, the massive amount of flames developers/users get by anonymous cowards might have given you that impression, but I don't think this is the case. The community/user-base is growing at a fast pace (

  • Anyone know where I can get root on FreeBSD for ~$20/month? Right now I'm using a Linux hoster and I'm happy with it but I'd be happier with FreeBSD for something on the Internet.
    • i use jvds.com and have had no problems in the year and a half i've had a freebsd vps there.
      • That looks like a great price on hosting. I am very much interested. I would like to know more about your experiences with that service so far. I have been hunting for a new hosting service on FreeBSD. Once they can run FreeBSD 5.4 with Mono and Java 1.4 I am going to switch.

        Currently I run my own server and co-locate it. It is 4.10 now and I really, really want to run Java and ASP.NET apps.
        • well i've never actually noticed any downtime, to be quite honest. i initially used the service to learn FreeBSD, and while the service isn't so managed that they'll hold your hand, they are extremely helpful with support by email or AOL IM. i'm currently on an unmetred freebsd vps for $30/m, i get transfer rates of about 150kb/s. they're true to their word about no more than 16 VPSs per CPU, which gives me pleanty of processing power for my needs
  • This is BSD. Sod avocacy if it means in-fighting, mud-slinging, politics and such. We're not Linux or Microsoft so just STFU, code and enjoy. Don't make me come over there... ;-)
  • just to be clear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mqx (792882) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @03:15PM (#11795455)
    The NetBSD team were not criticising FreeBSD: basically, NetBSD stepped up their advocacy as part of NetBSD 2.0 release, including some whitepapers on performance comparision between NetBSD and FreeBSD. If anything, the BSD camps all have decent respect for each other, and honestly, Scott suggested that there was more animosity from the NetBSD camp that I think is the case in reality. All of the BSD camps could do with better advocacy, and Scott's post is more an indication that none of them are doing very good marketing, and as soon as NetBSD stepped up the marketing, the other camps (i.e. FreeBSD) felt they weren't getting a good rap: but really, the issue is, that FreeBSD guys just haven't been out there pushing their case as hard as they should really be.
  • by Zedrick (764028) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @03:40PM (#11795604)
    I've been using Linux since around '96 something, first Redhat, then Slackware and recently Gentoo when I got my AMD64. I tried FreeBSD for the first time a few months ago when I had an old 200mhz machine that I just wanted to use for something, and since that seemed to work ok (a very basic install, no X or anything like that) I decided to give FreeBSD/AMD64 a try when I had to do a reinstallation due to hardware changes.

    I downloaded a minimal boot CD, burned in, booted installed the base system over FTP and then X, KDE etc via ports...

    After only a few hours I was totally confused. Everything just worked!! Well, almost everything. I had some problems with the soundcard, that was solved thanks to great documentation pointing me to a very logical solution.

    I'm still a bit lightheaded. An operating system just can't be this good, I'm probably going to wake up soon.
    • Zedrick, you are not alone. I'm not a comp sci student (what I do is on my user page), but a few years ago I got curious about linux. So I installed rh 7.3 (which just came out fresh at that time). Later, I went through two mandrake releases (9.0 and 9.1). By that time, this whole nix thingy picked my interest, so I decided to learn the unix way - with the intent of setting up my first server. So I installed debian. Everytime I switched, I was presented with different sets of problems (different places for
  • Coincidentily (Score:3, Informative)

    by defile (1059) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @03:51PM (#11795694) Homepage Journal

    I just posted an article that's been sitting around on my hard disk for awhile now (I'm testing out nanoblogger). It's about how I'd improve LAMP, but it ended up becoming an advertisement for FreeBSD.

    Have a look [bacarella.com] if you can stand an honest critique of Linux (I love and run Linux on everything, so don't accuse me of FreeBSD shilling).

  • by JustNiz (692889)
    Linux appears to be way more popular than BSD these days, and there appear to be more apps and hardware drivers available for Linux than BSD.

    So why would anyone consider BSD over Linux?
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Redundant)

      by ulib (816651)
      Already gave my answer to this - right here. :) [osnews.com]
      --
      Being able to read *other people's* source code is a nice thing, not a 'fundamental freedom'.
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hicsuget (860036)
      Windows appears to be way more popular than Linux these days, and there appear to be more apps and hardware drivers available for Windows than Linux.

      So why would anyone consider Linux over Windows?

      Furthermore, 27 million AOL users can't be wrong.

  • I've been nothing but disappointed with FreeBSD's inability to get a binary ditribution of Java for the platform. I have used, and continue to use, FreeBSD for my main server, but next round will be OSX.

    There are plenty of reasons why it hasn't happened, and plenty of workarounds - but I don't care (welcome to the customer).
    • Re:Where's the Java (Score:3, Informative)

      by ririarte (529205)
      Yes, but there is a very dedicated team that manages to produce a very high quality J2SDK implementation, even if the installation involves compiling Java from scratch. 1.4.2-p7 runs a production Tomcat site like a dream here. I am very happy with OS X as as desktop OS, but i would not rate Apple's SDK as highly as FreeBSD's one, YMMV, of course. BTW, nobody knows if Apple intends to ship a 64bit JVM with Tiger, au contraire, FreeBSD's Java team has an already working, if early one, for AMD64.

      --------Quick
  • GEOM IS BLACK MAGIC (Score:3, Informative)

    by QuietRiot (16908) <cyrus@nOSPaM.80d.org> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @04:49PM (#11796086) Homepage Journal
    Where are all the geom HOWTOs?

    The linked man page is "tasty" n'all, but details on implementing such magical wonders, until recently, have been rather scarce.

    This man page [freebsd.org] is better than the one linked to in the original post. There's also some information from committer (read: major contributor to ggate [freebsd.org]) Pawel Jakub Dawidek in Poland [freebsd.pl].

    Not that the info isn't there now, right under man, but for a while it was all very vague.

    When searching about all that is BSD, don't forget Google's special google.com/bsd [google.com] section.

    You can also search the freebsd-geom [freebsd.org] mail list archives to learn more.

    geom-gate [kerneltrap.org] sure looks nifty! [freebsd.org] It's akin to block-level NFS (though that's most likely an extremely oversimplified view). All the fun things you can do with geom you can do over your network. Need worldwide distributed, encrypted, multi-level RAID? Go right ahead!

    Pretty slick. We'll be hearing more about this.....
    • Geom howtos (Score:3, Informative)

      by dougnaka (631080) *
      Root software raid via geom. http://people.freebsd.org/~rse/mirror/ [freebsd.org]

      And the short version of the same thing, but using a recovery CD instead of a live system http://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/01/24/freebsd-howt o-gmirror-system/ [toldme.com]

      Kind of a coincidence that this gets posted today on /., as I've spent most of the morning setting up geom on a new 5.3 box, had used Vinum in the past on 4.x, and have loved FreeBSD for servers since 2.2.5

      • Spectacular. Parent deserves a "+1 : Something". Many thanks for the link.

        Have never used Vinum but have always been a fan of FreeBSD since my first intro (3.4??). Two production 4.x boxes in service at the moment with uptimes peaking above 200 days; downs due only to scheduled power outages and required hardware additions. Not overly impressive, but I certainly don't stay awake at night worrying about them.

        [....Psst.....((random /. reader))..... If you haven't tried it, "the beast[ie]" makes a __rea
  • zerg (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Omlette (124579) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @04:59PM (#11796176) Homepage
    I'm happy that the FreeBSD people like their OS. Call me when they fix SMP.
  • I think the other messages in the thread on FreeBSD-current are also worth a glance, especially this one [freebsd.org] by Robert Watson, which stresses the strong cooperation and code sharing that is actually connecting the BSD projects.
    --
    Being able to read *other people's* source code is a nice thing, not a 'fundamental freedom'.
  • pros and cons (Score:3, Insightful)

    by discogravy (455376) on Monday February 28, 2005 @11:30AM (#11802609) Homepage
    Like all OSes -- including Microsoft Windows and Apple's OS X as well as the various Linux distributions and other BSDs-- FreeBSD has it's pros and cons. Choosing which to use boils down to prioritizing what you need the system to do and what's less hassle for you. If you're a Windows admin primarily, it's going to be immeasureably easier for you to set up LDAP on an AD box; if you're primarily a unix admin, you can just as easily do the same thing on a *nix.

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