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NetBSD 5.0 RC1 Released

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  • by yttrstein (891553) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @05:18PM (#26687095) Homepage
    NetBSD is small, stable, and fast as hell. It is not really meant for use on the desktop, though many people do (including me). I mainly use it to build small, single purpose servers that I never want to have to look at again, and it's perfect for it.

    It's also where a lot of neat code sees its first light of day in the *BSD systems; over the years NetBSD has lent parts of its code to the other two BSDs, and therefore (de-facto) to Windows, Linux, and OS X.

    But no, it's probably not going to make you very happy as a desktop operating system.
  • by larry bagina (561269) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @05:19PM (#26687109) Journal
    • It's BSD. Some people may prefer that over the linux/gnu hodgepodge.
    • It's BSD licensed. Some people may prefer that for philosophical or legal reasons
  • Re:Wrong logo (Score:5, Informative)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @05:25PM (#26687157) Homepage Journal

    The BSD daemon, "Beastie", is not the FreeBSD logo. It is the BSD mascot, suitable for all BSDs. Even some official NetBSD flyers use it.

  • Re:Wrong logo (Score:4, Informative)

    by pondermaster (1445839) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @05:59PM (#26687409)
    That's increasingly not the case. openbsd has the blowfish, netbsd the stupid flag and freebsd the devil.
    When the occasional BSD lurker sees a devil, he thinks FreeBSD.
  • Re:Red story is red (Score:3, Informative)

    by CarpetShark (865376) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @06:24PM (#26687587)

    The topic is a BSD variant, which gets the BSD category on Slashdot. BSD's logo is a red demon, so the color scheme for this category is red.

  • Re:Slow news day (Score:5, Informative)

    by LizardKing (5245) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @06:27PM (#26687607)

    I can't think of anything to say. Of course, the "article" didn't really provide much to talk about.

    Here's the Changelog [netbsd.org]. To summarise, there's a new 1:1 threading implementation, as the previous M:N one was too complex to maintain. Along with this change has come a considerable performance boost and improved scalability, especially on SMP machines. Impressively, most of this work has been down to one developer, Andrew Doran. The second most important change is a switch to Xorg on most platforms. This took so long because NetBSD had a large number of changes in their tree for more obscure platforms - changes that were not integrated back into XFree86 before the Xorg fork. There is also a journaled filesystem that essentially obsoletes the troublesome softdeps. Like ext3 in the Linux world, the new journal features were added to the existing ffs ("fast file system") rather than being an entirely new filesystem. Other changes include a plethora of new device drivers and updated third party applications.

  • Re:Wrong logo (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 01, 2009 @06:42PM (#26687695)

    Actually, it is decreasingly not the case. Beastie hasn't been the FreeBSD logo since 2005. They have a new logo now. [wikipedia.org] Beastie is moving more towards being a BSD-in-general icon like he's supposed to be.

  • by langelgjm (860756) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @07:04PM (#26687829) Journal

    The main problem is that they're such a hassle to install, compared to a modern Linux distro. Last time I checked it out, NetBSD was worse than FreeBSD in this regard, and probably tied with OpenBSD.

    I installed NetBSD a few weeks ago, and it's not all that bad. It doesn't seem any worse than Debian. Sure, you have what size partitions you want and stuff like that, but if you can't handle that, you probably shouldn't be installing a new operating system.

    OpenBSD is essentially proprietary as they charge for CDs (IIRC), so I just avoid that.

    Huh? Pretty much everyone charges for CDs, but you can of course download OpenBSD free of charge.

  • by CarpetShark (865376) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @07:09PM (#26687863)

    I installed NetBSD a few weeks ago, and it's not all that bad. It doesn't seem any worse than Debian.

    Ah, that's good to hear :)

    Huh? Pretty much everyone charges for CDs, but you can of course download OpenBSD free of charge.

    No, with OpenBSD, they actually won't make public ISOs for download even. They charge you for an installable image. They claim to "copyright the CD layout" of the official CDs. Which "Theo does not permit people to redistribute images of". According to their FAQ, which I just checked, they do provide ISOs since 4.2, but that stuff I just quoted is still there, which, personally, is enough to put me off.

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @07:17PM (#26687915) Homepage

    There are Via Eden's clocked at 400MHz draws 2.5W maximum, whereas a Pentium I clocked at 200MHz draws almost 16W.

  • by setagllib (753300) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @08:24PM (#26688353)

    Yes, the CD layout is proprietary, NOT the source or documentation. You can build a custom install CD layout which produces the exact same on-disk system, and it's then up to you how you use it, and they make this explicitly clear.

  • by onefriedrice (1171917) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @11:02PM (#26689437)
    I was interested, too. I googled around a bit and looked at quite a few benchmarks. I couldn't find any benchmark where NetBSD was faster than FreeBSD or Linux 2.6. From the benchmarks I saw, the performance of FreeBSD compares well with Linux 2.6 (which is really fast) in terms of scalability, while NetBSD and OpenBSD both lagged behind.

    My five minutes of googling may not be able to conclude much, but what they say about the various BSDs seems to be true: NetBSD for portability, OpenBSD for security, FreeBSD for performance. Broad categorizations, but it seems accurate from what I've seen.

    On an unrelated note, I have run NetBSD before on an "Old World" Mac and was impressed with it. Not only could it make my old computer useful again, but it really felt like a solid OS. It's been so long that I don't remember specific experiences, just my overall impression with it. If I ever became dissatisfied with gentoo, I think I'd feel just fine switching to one of the BSDs rather than a different linux distro.
  • Re:Slow news day (Score:3, Informative)

    by LizardKing (5245) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:41AM (#26692869)

    What's troublesome with softdeps? Genuine question.

    Soft dependencies were originally written as a FreeBSD feature, and then ported to NetBSD. I don't know how reliable it is on FreeBSD, but it has proved troublesome for some people on NetBSD, and getting to the bottom of it has been problematic since the code is rather complex. There hasn't been much enthusiasm to continue looking into the problems, and that's increasingly the case now that NetBSD has its own journaled filesystem.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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