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NetBSD 5.0 RC1 Released

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  • Slow news day (Score:2, Insightful)

    by glitch23 (557124) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @05:05PM (#26686999)
    I can't think of anything to say. Of course, the "article" didn't really provide much to talk about.
  • by mangu (126918) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @05:27PM (#26687173)

    I have a lot of hardware that would have been relegated to scrap if it hadn't been for NetBSD

    Recycling is good, of course. But is it worthwile? How much power do all those old computers drain, compared to a new server with the same processing capacity?

    Where I work, we replaced a couple of PDP-11 computers with PCs for the energy savings alone, even if there was a cost associated with migrating the software.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 01, 2009 @06:25PM (#26687593)

    NetBSD has been my choice of operating system for years. I continue to use it both as a desktop and as a secure, stable and mature operating system for mission critical servers.

    If I would have to pick one more reason why, that could be the purity surrounding all aspects of the system. This is evident even when compared to other BSDs. From an engineering standpoint NetBSD is nearly perfectly designed and assembled operating system.

    Keep up the good work.

  • by CarpetShark (865376) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @06:36PM (#26687663)

    The main one is that NetBSD is famous for running on many archictures -- even some toasters. Also, a lot of people would say that Linux is a bit ad-hoc and messy, whereas the BSDs are more thoroughly designed and coherent. For example, instead of lots of messy drivers with different tools that work in different ways, you tend to get a system that includes all drivers of a particular class. Man pages tend to be more up to date and more professional**, which is nice. I'm sure there other benefits to NetBSD too.

    However, Linux has a much larger user and developer base, which tends to mean faster progress. It has better drivers, better support from hardware manufacturers (if proprietary, closed drivers can be called support at all), and the main software and desktops (GNOME, KDE, etc.) are mainly developed on Linux (though they do run on BSD), so essentially you have to wait much longer for the new releases on BSDs. Performance tends to be much better on Linux too, as the big new ideas usually get tried there first.

    That said, BSD (in particular, FreeBSD) is definitely worth a look. 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. OpenBSD is essentially proprietary as they charge for CDs (IIRC), so I just avoid that.

    ** That's largely because the GNU coreutils in Linux abandoned manpages in favour of something else. Ostensibly, that alternative was better; the hypertext (web-like) Texinfo system, but it's now just as old and crusty as manpages, imho. In reality, I never bothered figuring out the navigation system for gnu info, and tend to just google for answers.

  • by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @06:52PM (#26687765) Homepage Journal

    Where I work, we replaced a couple of PDP-11 computers with PCs for the energy savings alone, even if there was a cost associated with migrating the software.

    Especially since your phone probably has more power than a VAX, if not I/O capacity.

  • by zero-point-infinity (918349) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @07:11PM (#26687877)
    OpenBSD sells CDs but you can freely get an image from their FTP servers to burn your own install CD. Giving people the option to pay you for your work (and throwing in extras with the paid option) hardly makes the work proprietary.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 01, 2009 @07:34PM (#26688011)

    How sad. No offense meant, but if you are proud about the OS you use, you really, really, really should try to get a life.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 01, 2009 @09:37PM (#26688785)

    Or security/simplicity - and most importantly in many minds - dedication to a defined vision of code correctness.

    This is why I use NetBSD.

    NetBSD has a focus on correctness, and this has great implications for security, stability, and simplicity of administration.

    I understand that the hodgepodge approach has its benefits in terms of exciting new features, and that's great for those who need them. And I understand that the overfocus-on-security approach generates a good amount of perception of security, and that's great for those who need that. But focusing on correctness is a better way to get security and assures that feature additions won't complexify administration or break the system in weird ways. Oh, features get added a little more slowly than in other OSs, but I want dependability before features.

    I enjoy administering NetBSD systems. They appeal to my OCD-like cleanliness tendencies.

  • by halber_mensch (851834) on Monday February 02, 2009 @11:31AM (#26694603)

    What advantage does NetBSD give me over Linux? Other than avoiding monoculture, of course. People must obviously think it brings some set of advantages if they continue working on it and using it, I'd like to hear what they are.

    It's a different UNIX-like platform. People use NetBSD over Linux/FreeBSD/OpenSolaris/OpenBSD/Windows/Plan9/Darwin/etc. for the same reason you might use one of the umpteen billion Linux distros over the others: it's a personal choice that suits your style, interests, and the way you want to utilize your system. In my experience some Linux users believe that the Linux kernel is the end-all-be-all of computing, and when that view is challenged by the existence, adoption, and successes of other UNIX-like systems they feel threatened and retaliate with snide remarks. It's silly to be that way, considering that we're all in the open source boat together and in-fighting does nothing but distract us from our purpose. Most of us recognize that the monopoly of Microsoft has wrecked the hell out of computing, but there are Linux zealots that will not accept a competitor. Why is that?

    That being said, NetBSD's appeal is in its BSD heritage, its wide portability and small footprint (especially considering the embedded market), and its pkgsrc ports system. There's also a behavior in the BSD culture that many Linux users don't see or understand, in that the permissiveness of the licenses of the various BSD projects allows them to have their own cultures with their own set of goals (portability, security, advanced hardware support, etc.) and operate independently, but also benefit from eachother through cross-system code porting. There are many features of NetBSD, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD that have been swapped back and forth to allow each system to evolve but also retain its own distinct identity. From my point of view, this makes the BSD arena a much more open and inviting environment to some people. But we have to face the fact that Linux and its BSD brethren are competitive as Unix-like platforms, and the advantages one poses over the others are entirely circumstantial and by no means sweeping. They all are capable of running the same open source software, they are competitors that drive eachother forward.

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