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Arch GNU/Linux Ported To Run On the FreeBSD Kernel 79

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the joining-wheezy-on-the-other-side dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Arch Linux distribution has been modified to run off the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel as an alternative to using Linux. The developer of Arch BSD explained his reasoning as enjoying FreeBSD while also liking the Arch Linux philosophy of a 'fast, lightweight, optimized distro,' so he sought to combine the two operating systems to have FreeBSD at its core while being encircled by Arch. The Arch BSD initiative is similar to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD."
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Arch GNU/Linux Ported To Run On the FreeBSD Kernel

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  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @11:56AM (#42669915)

    I probably wouldn't actually use a Linux-distro-now-with-BSD-kernel for regular usage, but the porting efforts tend to do a good job uncovering not-quite-portable parts of supposedly portable code, which makes everything more robust. So I like that they exist, because the fact that they work at all gives me some more confidence that portable code is working like it's supposed to.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @11:59AM (#42669957)

    As a longtime FreeBSD user, I am wondering why bother? I can run Linux binaries through the built-in compatibility layer since at least 7.x

    How is using the FreeBSD kernel with the GNU userland any better than running the GNU binaries directly on a full FreeBSD system? If this is to improve "desktop" usability, how does this compare to something like the PC-BSD distribution of FreeBSD?

    • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @12:07PM (#42670051)

      I would imagine various privilege escalation attacks are microscopically more complicated, at least for skript kiddies and automated systems, on a mixed system. Security via obscurity should never be your only line of defense, but it is "a" line of defense.

    • by aliquis (678370)

      Maybe they like the GNU userland better but most likely it's about getting some features from the FreeBSD kernel to Arch.

      I assume there's still plenty of GNU stuff in FreeBSD to? Or? I know the various BSDs has argued and switched to BSD licensed compilers previously.

      Personally I would like to have what I'm used to and have it work like I'm used to regardless of OS.

      OpenSolaris didn't had the GNU utilities and wasn't build the OS wasn't built for things like open sound system and things wasn't made to build

      • by devman (1163205) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @12:19PM (#42670203)
        I'm liking the idea of using ZFS on an Arch BSD system, also I agree, pacman is awesome.
        • by aliquis (678370)

          I would had seen that as a reason good enough to do it to but since Linux got btrfs (and even if it's not perfect now it will improve) I never mentioned it.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I used arch and I am still using FreeBSD. Pacman can yield some nasty surprise if you have a seldom powered up computer. Arch really needs a tight update schedule or you might have missed a step that breaks upgrading. If you want a BSD kernel and gnu tools, just install them from ports.

        • by aliquis (678370)

          My only experience with Arch Linux was back in 0.7 and then it wasn't good. But that doesn't mean much now so I can't comment for how Arch work now. I tried Chakra Linux during early 2012 but I don't remember if there was anything else wrong with it except the bundle system for GTK-applications. Applications? =P

    • 64-bit Linux binaries don't run under the compatibility layer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, I'd be interested in the opposite. A Linux kernel (wider hardware support) with BSD userland & BSD init.

      • by toejam13 (958243)

        Same here. As somebody who does not use ZFS, I see more benefit in using a Linux kernel than a *BSD one. But I greatly prefer the FreeBSD userland over any GNU userland, which has firmly kept me in the Beastie camp.

    • by smash (1351)
      Why bother indeed, when the BSD userland is more unix-defacto-standards compliant, and often faster. Like sed, for example which runs >2x faster than the GNU version. ref: http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-stable/2011-January/061084.html [slashdot.org]
      • when the BSD userland is more unix-defacto-standards compliant

        I'm not sure it is anymore. The prevalance of the GNU userland via GNU/Linux has effectly made it the standard. I gave up using ksh a decade ago because of the number of scripts etc that required bash's features, even when supposedly written for generic Bourne.

        Now, of course, it'd be easy to argue that more Unixes implement something closer to BSD than GNU, but the counter argument to that is that GNU/Linux seems to be, by the far, the most c

  • I'm not quite dead yet. Think I'll go for a walk. I'm so happy, SO HAPP....<thud>

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I always used Arch primarily for setting up servers ... the FreeBSD kernel is an interesting addition.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm wondering how they'll go about the init system now that Arch has decided to move to systemd and drop support for initscripts. Last I heard systemd uses a lot of Linux specific features and cannot easily be ported to a *BSD.

    Too bad the site is down at the moment.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @01:06PM (#42670755)

    Headline makes it sound like Linux has been ported to BSD. Ten years ago I would have said "That doesn't make any sense," but then User Mode Linux came along (where other operating systems, rather than just hardware, become the port platform target). If you RTFA, though, this does not involve User Mode Linux. It doesn't involve any Linux at all, so it should be left out of the name; it should be called Arch GNU/BSD.

    To put it another way, when you run a certain multimedia player on your NOT-AN-XBOX hardware, you might call that app XBMC. You don't (ever) call it X Box Multimedia Consoleorwhateverthelastwordis, because there's no XBox involved.

    Another analogy (because this is Slashdot where we love such things). I once heard a funny story about an English man who had dark skin, being called an "African-American" by some PC-non-thinker. The dunce would call him African-American, and the English dude would say, "No, I'm not American. I wasn't born in American, I don't live in America, I've never been there. Don't call me American," and the PC guy would think "but you're black, except I'm not allowed to label a person 'black' because the pc police say I have to blindly search-and-replace 'black' with 'African American' so..." and then he'd repeat the mistake.

    That is what you're doing when you call this project "Linux." You sound just as dumb as the "You're African-American" dolt. It's not Linux, just as the black Englishman is not an African-American.

    • by _Sharp'r_ (649297)

      Even better are all the white folks I've met in America who were born in Africa (South Africa, mostly).

      They tend to be confused why certain people look at them oddly when they claim the title of African-American, even though it much more applies to them than to someone who happens to have dark skin and has no known relations in Africa...

      So yeah, Steve Nash is technically the only "African-American" currently playing for the Lakers, using the "American" part loosely...

    • by kyrias (2773479)
      The linux distribution is still called Arch Linux so it would be weird if it said that they ported Arch BSD to FreeBSD
    • by Sigg3.net (886486)

      African-American is problematic.
      The term really denotes descendants of American slaves. But what if you are a descendant of a French slave in Paris just visiting USA? Are you African-French? And how about the descendants of French colonists in a former colony? Do these countries have French-Africans and African-Africans?

      It means black.

  • by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @02:42PM (#42671987) Homepage

    In December I had the opportunity to try Arch out while attempting to get Xen working on a newly built pc. The Xen experiment failed but I did find myself liking the way Arch did things enough to install it on a SD card for my laptop just a week ago, replacing a FreeBSD 8 install. I really keep it there mostly for emergencies so perhaps I'll wipe and reinstall with this new BSD variant. But I'll still be keeping 9.1 on my desktop, at least for now.

  • "The Arch Linux distribution has been modified to run off the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel as an alternative to using Linux. The developer of Arch BSD explained his reasoning as enjoying FreeBSD while also liking the Arch Linux philosophy of a 'fast, lightweight, optimized distro,' so he sought to combine the two operating systems to have FreeBSD at its core while being encircled by Arch. The Arch BSD initiative is similar to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD."

    Well, if you want it "encircled" you're gonna need another Arch. Or
  • When googling for some Linux answers there often comes up rather insightful posts from the Arch Linux bulletin board. I don't use the distro myself, but I see the smart people in their community as a positive thing.
  • Does this maen it will now be possible to run Arch in a FreeBSD jail like we can currently do with Debian?
  • And why don't they take FBSD userland, put it on top of the HURD kernel, and try it out?

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