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NetBSD 5.0 RC1 Released

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  • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by yttrstein (891553) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @05:05PM (#26686993) Homepage
    FTP: too many connections!

    Haha just kidding.
  • Slow news day (Score:2, Insightful)

    by glitch23 (557124)
    I can't think of anything to say. Of course, the "article" didn't really provide much to talk about.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Of course, the "article" didn't really provide much to talk about.

      It's NetBSD. It's 100% Hype Free [netbsd.org]!

      They don't believe in hype. Hence, for the 'article', you get nothing more than "We released 5.0 RC1".

    • 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.

      • by Jim4Prez (1420623)
        Can the 64-bit Fast File System support more than 4TB yet? FFS has been 64-bit for a long time, yet is still stuck at a 32-bit limit of only 4TB with a 2KB frag size.

        Why only 2^31 fragment blocks with the 64-bit FFS? XFS is 64-bit and can support 9 exabytes.
      • by MrHanky (141717)

        What's troublesome with softdeps? Genuine question.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by LizardKing (5245)

          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.

  • Wrong logo (Score:5, Funny)

    by pondermaster (1445839) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @05:09PM (#26687033)
    Accompanying the article with the FreeBSD logo is slightly tasteless, no?

    I for one is laughing my devilish ass off.
  • by AuMatar (183847) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @05:13PM (#26687061)

    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.

    • 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.
      • NetBSD is small, stable, and fast as hell.

        Small and stable, I'll grant you. Fast as hell though? Got repeatable benchmarks for that? I'll accept benchmarks comparing to the speed of Linux, FreeBSD, XP, OS X, or yes, Hell --- which ever you prefer ;)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by onefriedrice (1171917)
          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,
        • by CAIMLAS (41445)

          THe fact that it's small helps contribute to its speed, I imagine.

          Having not run to NetBSD on a desktop and compared it to linux, I can only guess that it's for similar reasons to why previous linux kernels (2.2, 2.4) were faster than the current one: they weren't primarily being developed by people looking to create a fast server, but hobbiests who's primary metric for "speed" was the responsiveness of the system it's running on. This is great for people who want a responsive, fast system.

      • I've never used it, but am wondering, what does it lack on the desktop? Does it have a browser, chat clients, email stuff, office applications, etc? Skip games, besides that, why is it disappointing?

        • Hi zogger long time no see ;)

          You can run gnome or kde on netbsd but a lot of the nice integrated tools like user management probably won't work. I run ubuntu on my laptops because all those things do work there but I also have a unix workstation which I use for quietly plugging away on development or administration. I mainly run standard X tools, though GTK applications run fine, I just have to remember to start dbus as a daemon, and I have to pull in a lot of packages.

          For me the best thing about netbsd
      • by toby (759)

        Just sayin' [opensolaris.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        I second the "small and stable" argument.

        I have used NetBSD for the same purposes as yttrstein, I think. For example, my firewall, which uses ipfilter on a bridge interface.

        There's not much besides the kernel and the most basic packages. The system fits in a few megabytes and runs from a CF card (a spare 128MB card I had in my old digital camera), no swap.

        I don't have any window servers and the only way to access the machine is from a serial console.

        Works like a charm: over 2 years uptime now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by larry bagina (561269)
      • 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
      • It's damn hard to imagine a BSD system going anywhere these days without gcc, autotools, GNU make (especially)... OS X certainly wouldn't be OS X without GNU.

        • by LizardKing (5245)

          The GNU toolchain is increasingly unpopular in the BSD world, both from license and technological perspectives. The switch to GPLv3 and the whole modular framework stuff with it's attempt to make everything a derived work is annoying from a license perspective. I wonder how many people would have contributed to GCC if they'd known that their work would be used as part of such an ideological stunt - at least Linus removed that "later version" crap from the copy of the GPL license Linux is under. From a techn

          • by Deagol (323173)
            This is indeed true. The stock gcc compiler in FreeBSD now is 4.2.1 (20070719, according to gcc --version), which is supposedly the last GPLv2 version. Of course, you can grab any number of older or newer versions from the ports collection. Nonetheless, it's a bit worrisome that the FreeBSD core is setting itself up to stagnate (somewhat) by sticking to an older compiler in the name of ideology. I'm not certain what the core developers are up to in this regard. Maybe they're waiting for clang (the LLVM
    • What advantage does NetBSD give me over Linux?

      You get to be a big fish, because the pond is so little?

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

      That's my .02troll.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

      • any specifics on how the design is better? its nice to say that but i think GP was looking for information not anecdotes

    • by langelgjm (860756) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @06:28PM (#26687611) Journal

      If you have old or somewhat unusual hardware, NetBSD does quite well.

      I have a Sun Ultra 1, circa 1995, that I pulled out of the closet for fun recently. Debian installs on it, but 1) is sluggish, and 2) doesn't support certain hardware. My machine has a PCMCIA adapter in it, and I have an old 802.11b PCMCIA card, so I thought I'd be able to use wireless on this machine.

      Turns out no Linux drivers exist for the PCMCIA adapter, whereas in NetBSD they do. After a kernel recompilation, the Ultra 1 is up and running on the wireless network.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CarpetShark (865376)

      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 NetBS

      • 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.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by CarpetShark (865376)

          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

          • Uhm.... Just that you know.... Creating a OpenBSD ISO is as easy as Googling a bit around. You don't need to. You can do a net install...

            Burning a OpenBSD CD is as much as taking their bootloader and burning the directory structure of their FTP server. I've done it, it works...

            • Just that you know.... Creating a OpenBSD ISO is as easy as Googling a bit around

              Yes, but the same could be said for Windows or OS X.

              • Except you can do it legally.... Especially, I can just tell you: take that and that file one the Openbsd file-server and burn them on CD. Heck, I've installed my Soekris net5501-70 by using SFTP and that was it. I do not understand your gripe. They copyrighted the ISO. So what? Anyone able to use OpenBSD is able to actually make a CD... heck, most of us don't NEED a CD.

                As for creating a Mac OS X or Windows CD.... Well, you're only going to manage that if you download an ISO file. With OpenBSD you d

                • They copyrighted the ISO to make people's lives more difficult, so they would just pay. To me, that's not OK.

          • ftp://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/4.4/i386/install44.iso [openbsd.org] OpenBSD has been posting the install ISOs since at least 4.3. If you want the fancy 3 disc package (that boots multiple architectures on a single disc, you'll have to buy the official distribution.
          • There is nothing stopping you from forking OpenBSD and having your own policy on ISO distribution. But my opinion is that OpenBSD is nothing without Theo, it's not that great of an OS (it's not fast) and it suits only a narrow purpose (running a secured system without much effort on the admin's part). It seems popular for name servers, which are attacked frequently, yet is not very performance sensitive.

      • Hmm, no. From their website:

        OpenBSD is freely available from our FTP sites, and also available in an inexpensive 3-CD set.

        And paid isn't proprietary, as long as they give the source-code.

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by CarpetShark (865376)

          From wikipedia: "The word proprietary indicates that a party, or proprietor, exercises private ownership, control or use over an item of property."

          From the OpenBSD faq: "The official OpenBSD CD-ROM layout is copyright Theo de Raadt. Theo does not permit people to redistribute images of the official OpenBSD CDs."

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by setagllib (753300)

            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.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        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 RLiegh (247921)

        >OpenBSD is essentially proprietary as they charge for CDs (IIRC), so I just avoid that.
        You're a moron. You can get the source to OpenBSD from their ftp site (pub/OpenBSD/$RELEASE), as well as a boot cd that includes everything you need to install it, minus third-party packages (pub/OpenBSD/$RELEASE/$ARCH/install$RELEASE.iso).

        • I can get everything I need by writing lots of ones and zeros in a binary editor too. Doesn't mean the person who wouldn't give me a CD image is a good guy.

      • by J. J. Ramsey (658)

        "The main one is that NetBSD is famous for running on many archictures -- even some toasters."

        I didn't know Cylons could run NetBSD. :P

    • by aliquis (678370)

      I haven't used either of the BSDs for some while now so I may not be up to date but classic advantages has been BSD license obviously, clean reusable and easy to read code and (maybe therefor?) portability.

      Though nowadays Linux probably runs as many or more platforms, which don't mean NetBSD runs on few:
      http://netbsd.org/ports/ [netbsd.org]
      http://netbsd.org/about/portability.html [netbsd.org]

    • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Monday February 02, 2009 @02:32AM (#26691043) Homepage

      Here are some reasons:

      1) Linus "Testing is for someone else" Torvalds isn't running the show, and therefore you're more likely to get a properly tested kernel.
      2) You can download an official kernel and expect for it to not only build using your old configuration, but to not have a previously-working driver not work any longer.
      3) It has nice tools for doing #2, whereas in Linux, 'make oldconfig' has been seemingly abandoned in the name of progress and "let the distros handle it"
      4) Slower, more thorough release cycle which is still aware of "development" and "stable" branches
      5) You can still run a usable system on top of old hardware that only has 64Mb of RAM (or 32Mb, as I did recently with netbsd 4 - and yes, 32Mb is 'just barely' functional)

      • by Kjella (173770)

        A little bullet point inflation, yes?

        Points 1), last half of 2) and 4) can pretty much be summed up as "stuff breaks".
        First half of 2), 3) and 5) can pretty much be summed up as "kernel config"

        To the first point, I'd say it's easy to not break anything by not touching anything - support of new hardware is little and slow.
        For better customization I'm sure you're right - I'll take the kernel with all the bells and whistles though.

        32MB? Let's see now, my current PC has 4GB of RAM. The last one had 2GB, and the

        • by LizardKing (5245)

          support of new hardware is little and slow.

          Bullshit. Go and read the changelogs. For instance, OpenBSD supports far more wireless ethernet chipsets than Linux - and by "support", I mean it that it works unlike Linux where kernel releases regularly result in broken drivers, and don't get me started on that madwifi shite.

          32MB? Let's see now, my current PC has 4GB of RAM.

          Yes, and judging by how much RAM my companies CentOS servers need to accomplish the same things as our NetBSD ones I'm not surprised. Bac

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Raenex (947668)

            Back in the 80s my first computer had 640k of memory. After having owned this computer for some years, I remember talking to another kid in school and he said he was going to build a PC with 8 megs. I couldn't fathom such a thing, either that it was possible or why you would want all that memory.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        What happened to 'make oldconfig'? Last time I compiled a kernel (to get the new ath9k driver in 2.6.27) I'm sure I used it, and it worked fine.

        Granted, we could use something a little nicer than 'make oldconfig'.

        • by CAIMLAS (41445)

          'make oldconfig' has worked inconsistently over the past several years due to the kernel devs changing config locations of various devices or renaming them. Sometimes it's as 'simple' as a needed driver not building, sometimes it's as irritating as the kernel not booting at all (and then having to dig through the config to find what it was that caused it).

          I noticed this largely because I have/had a script which would automatically build and package new kernels as they became available, and it stopped workin

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by halber_mensch (851834)

      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 syst

  • NetBSD is awesome (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wandazulu (265281) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @05:14PM (#26687069)

    I have a lot of hardware that would have been relegated to scrap if it hadn't been for NetBSD. Hmm...can I still do anything useful with that Mac SE/30? Sure, I'll run a small mail server for internal use so I can learn how Postfix and Sendmail work. And the multitude of bots trying to hack my Internet-facing machine wouldn't know what to do with a Vax-based NetBSD machine even if they got in.

    That said, of course these machines are outrageously slow by today's standards; the Vax alone has been relegated to the basement 'cause it's so freaking loud. But hey, I happened to have the hardware, and since of course it runs NetBSD, it's a learning experience if nothing else.

    • 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.

      • How much power do all those old computers drain, compared to a new server with the same processing capacity?

        Good question in theory, in practice you just can't find a PC with Pentium I power (is VIA making any?). And if that is more than enough, why upgrade?

      • by langelgjm (860756)

        But is it worthwile?

        You're thinking too practically. Is it worthwhile for me to spend $20 in components on a project attempting to modify the value on the stored-value copy cards I use? Considering I can count on one hand the number of photocopies I've had to make, no. But it's fun :-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ConceptJunkie (24823)

        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.

        • 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.

          It depends what you mean by IO capacity. DEC machines (PDP-11s, VAXen, Alphas) had fantastic IO capacity in their extensible backplanes. These days you would use an external multiplexer. With a DEC machine you just load up the bus with devices.

          How does that go? Ah yes.

          Bus address, then interrupt vector
          160010 400
          160020 410
          160030 430
          160040 440
          160050 450
          160060 460
          160070 470
          160100 500
          160110 510
          ...and so on

          • That's what I was saying. A modern phone probably has more raw MIPS and maybe even more RAM, but it doesn't have the I/O. Of course, it doesn't need it.

        • by Draek (916851)

          Plus, your phone can probably run NetBSD too ;)

    • would probably buy you an entry-level modern PC.

      • by LizardKing (5245) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @06:15PM (#26687513)

        A month's worth of electricity for your VAX would probably buy you an entry-level modern PC.

        Depends on the model. Not all VAX machines are huge beasts like an 11/750 or an 8600. My VAX are a 3100 Microvax and a 4000 VLC Vaxstation - the former is the size of a desktop PC and the latter is the size of a medium pizza box. Power consumption is lower than the quad core PC sat next to them, even though the Microvax has three SCSI drives in it (with /, /usr and /home split across them). The VLC was a web server in the not too distant past. Why? Low power consumption and minimal noise.

        • by rindeee (530084)
          Indeed. I wrestled with this recently for my home UTM box and finally had to just move it all to a low end (sub $300 brand new) Dell desktop. I love my old Sun box (V100) but if one throws a "Kill-a-Watt" on it, it makes for pretty easy decision making. The fascination with being able to run whatever-nix/BSD on a box is cool and all, but I will save money wherever I can these days. Anyone wanna buy a V100 on the cheap? ;)
        • A month's worth of electricity for your VAX would probably buy you an entry-level modern PC.

          You should throw the rubbish in a bin before you start the vax. If you don't, you'll just waste lots of electricity, with the thing running forever and making no progress, because there's a bag stopping the suction.

        • Back when I worked on VMS one of our windows developers trotted up with a VLC. Apparently his friend had bought one at an auction, and assumed he could throw windows on it. Its a shame I didn't know about NetBSD at the time (it would have been in version. 1.* or so).
      • I <3 my VAX-11/750

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fackamato (913248)
      What's wrong with virtual machines?
    • But hey, I happened to have the hardware, and since of course it runs NetBSD, it's a learning experience if nothing else.

      As another learning experience you should try finding practically any PC made in the last 7-8 years, get virtualization software set up and do all of that in VMs and learn how to save a bunch of time and electricity.

      • by LizardKing (5245)
        Cool, but where can I get this mythical virtualisation software that allows me to replace a PDP-11 or VAX? Oh, I can't. And no, SIMH doesn't count - it's emulation software, not virtualisation software. Not that either can provide the kind of hardware support that many industrial applications for PDPs and VAX rely on - ever tried sticking a card designed for a PDP backplane into a PC? As for "any PC in the last 7-8 years", the x86 platform only got basic hardware support for virtualisation a couple of years
        • Not that either can provide the kind of hardware support that many industrial applications for PDPs and VAX rely on

          Industrial applications? A Niagra or IBM 360?? Hardware virtualization on X86?? Not sure what you're talking about here, but we're talking about somebody installing NetBSD on ancient hardware to play with sendmail. A cheap junk desktop PC will accomplish that a lot more easily.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://www.xkcd.com/518/

  • raises his glass (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Danzigism (881294) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @06:44PM (#26687707)
    I'm a proud NetBSD user for sure. I still use 3.1 on an old HP Omnibook 800ct. It works wonders on that Pentium 133 with 16mb of RAM. Boots in about 30 seconds or so, and WiFi works too. Not only is a great learning tool for aspiring people wanting to learn a good Unix, but it has a lot of good factors that experienced users look for in a good OS. Pretty decent driver support, a super small and quick installation, powerful security, a great list of binary packages, a large /usr/pkgsrc similar to /usr/ports, not to mention an excellent community of developers that are always willing to help a brotha out. Thanks to the dudes on Freenode and the NetBSD mailing lists for all their help. I'm looking forward to this release.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 Danzigism (881294)
        takes one to know one I guess. If we all had lives, would we even be spending time on Slashdot in the first place?
  • Cool! (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    My toaster, pocketcalculator and my wristwatch desperatly need an update.

Is a person who blows up banks an econoclast?

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