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BSD Operating Systems

FreeBSD used to generate Matrix effects 149

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the forget-titanic dept.
chris sent in a link to this story which reports on FreeBSD being used on 32 dual-processor machines to render special effects for The Matrix. With 32 dual-processor machines, I doubt there's much that they couldn't render.
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FreeBSD used to generate Matrix effects

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here is a quote of a quote by pestal on the last /. article.

    According to Charles Henrich who works for Manex he chose FreeBSD over Linux because he prefers it and found it more stable. I was trying to find his post describing this but the mailing list archive on www.freebsd.org hasn't been updated recently enough. Ooops - I found it, at least one of them. Here's a quote:

    Basically we used a collection of 32 Dual Proc P-II/450 systems w/ 1GB of memory and 9GB Ultra2/LVD drives (Dell Precision 410's), as well as 40 MIPS R10k processors (the P-II's in general outperformed the fastest R10k). We used Pixar's Renderman under Linux emulation (yeech, maybe next time I can get them to give me a native FreeBSD port) on the FreeBSD systems. With the exception of some wackyness caused when our renders started to exceed 1GB of memory (FreeBSD got real grumpy then) things were pretty darn smooth. Easily as good as the IRIX machines, , and infinitely more simple to maintain IMHO.

  • It would be helpful if the students running Slashdot took a journalism course as an elective. People who run "news" sites should know the difference between an advertisement/press release and a true news story. An example of a responsible news site that knows the difference is the Linux Weekly News [lwn.net]. There you will find the hype press releases segregated from true news stories. It is made clear to the reader so that the reader knows s/he is not being suckered by advertizer/advocacy agit prop.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm surprised nobody's commented on the fact that a big reason why a lot of companies like bsd's for their projects like this is that the effects house can take their whole freebsd-based shooting-match, box it up, and SELL it to the next bunch of people who want to buy their rendering-farm franchise.

    It's the license. Depending on what you want to do with the product down the line, your choice of operating systems just might come down to "can i sell a product i produced based on this?" With GPL, an entrepeneur's options are limited... especially if the BSD can run the same (non-gpl'd) linux software under emulation... renderman's not gpl'ed...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Matrix is the coolest because of the people involved and not because of pieces of hardware or software.

    Let's not forget the human factor!

    It's the Hong Kong and Kung Fu movie style with the sci-fi and human elements that made this film a successful film.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ummm... might we recall Titanic... I don't remember seeing many (if any) posts on here saying "Guys, this really doesn't mean anything. This could be done on other OSs."

    In fact, quite a few people who post on here seem to feel Linux is THE one perfect OS and everything else is worthless and/or flawed.

    The media happened to choose Linux as the OS to focus on and consequently it's gotten much more popular. They may have choosen Linux over *BSD at random, there are multiple flavors of *BSD which could make it difficult to focus on one, or because Linux is an entire new thing developed more recently... while *BSD has older roots (although they are all based off of UNIX to some extent). Basically, what I am saying is that this site, and a lot of people on here may be using and advocated *BSD over Linux if it wasn't for all of the media exposure it got. As far as I can tell from using Linux and several BSDs, there really is no large difference between the two that would justify one being much more superior to the other (I am in no way an expert though). Meaning all of the recent things going on could have just as well happened on FreeBSD.

    And anyone who judges the quality of an OS by it's more outspoken and biased advocates is a fool. There are plenty of Linux bigots, Mac, bigots, Windows bigots, *BSD bigots, Solaris bigots, etc. The wise thing to do is evaluate the OS for your own personal needs. Does it do what you want it to do? Does it do it better than the other choices available? Does it have the software available for you to do that? (This last one is an unfortunate one for BeOS which may never be able to get off the ground now that Mac OS X, Windows 2000, Win NT5, more user friendly Linux, revival of Amiga (?) are all around the corner).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here are 2 postings on comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc and comp.os.linux.advocacy by Matt Dillon (I believe he's a FreeBSD kernel hacker). I think it's a pretty good comparison. Sorry Matt I didn't ask you for permission to post it.

    ===First post========================================
    :In article ,
    :Navindra Umanee wrote:
    :>I never realised that it was possible to sysadmin Linux fully from a
    :>GUI these days, what do they use? Linuxconf or something? Most (if
    :>not all) sysadmins I know who do Linux don't use a GUI. Besides,
    :>aren't these GUIs supposed to be a frontend that simply modifies the
    :>underlying text files?

    You can't, really. You can configure the major pieces ... enough
    for a typical user to configure his linux box. But for any serious
    work you have to get under the hood just like with other UNIXs.

    The configuration files needed by Linux are very similar to the
    configuration files needed by FreeBSD and other UNIXes. Surprise
    Surprise! Maybe it's because both platforms use virtually the same
    servers. inetd, popper, imap, sendmail, fingerd, bind, talk.
    Ifconfig, route, pppd, samba, XFree86. Etc etc etc.

    Most of the differences at this level are superficial. Linux puts
    config files in different places. The startup script works
    somewhat differently ( though not as different as some people seem
    to believe ).

    The biggest differences are under the hood -- the kernel core itself.
    While the syscall set is similar between the two OSs, the kernel cores
    are very different from each other. I think this is one of the greatest
    strengths of the open-source movement. Protocol interoperability gets
    very well-tested in mixed environments, and this has resulted in many
    bugs being found and fixed on both platforms ( and vs Solaris, too, when
    it comes to NFS V3 interoperability ).

    Linux is, in many ways, a cleaner design. But FreeBSD pays more
    attention to detail. KISS is the mantra, but that doesn't mean that
    simpler is *always* better. Linux often goes for algorithmic simplicity
    to the detriment of performance. FreeBSD uses multi-stage queues for
    buffer cache ageing for a damn good reason, and multiply-linked structures
    as well - getting an O(1) result to any operation is as important as
    choosing the right page to push out. Because every wrong decision made
    has a terrible price to pay in performance. Making the right decision
    (e.g. what to page, how to order I/O, when to start async I/O, how much
    to do, how to balance memory between RSS, discrete I/O, and VM, when to
    eat a page fault in order to get better useage stats on the page, etc)
    is worth a modicum of extra complexity.


    Matthew Dillon Engineering, HiWay Technologies, Inc. & BEST Internet
    (Please include original email in any response)

    =======Second Post==================================
    :In article ,
    :Navindra Umanee wrote:
    :>Matt Dillon wrote:
    :>> Linux is, in many ways, a cleaner design. But FreeBSD pays more
    :>> attention to detail. KISS is the mantra, but that doesn't mean that
    :>> simpler is *always* better. Linux often goes for algorithmic simplicity
    :>> to the detriment of performance. FreeBSD uses multi-stage queues for
    :>Ahh, but has anyone proved this detriment of performance by actual
    :>testing and comparisons? Nice article, btw.

    Yes. There are a number of well known facts about both FreeBSD and Linux.
    It's not a matter of 'proving' anything -- these are things that the
    developers tend to agree on ( verse the 'rabble' who like to argue over
    everything ).

    Lets see if I can drag up a few.

    * Linux syscall overhead is lower then FreeBSD's. e.g. 1uS vs 2uS,

    * FreeBSD VM management tends to perform considerably better when
    memory is stressed. Mainly oweing to better selection of pages
    to page-in and page-out. ( FreeBSD's reputation for running
    well under load is not exaggerated ).

    Under 0-stress situations, Linux's simpler algorithms provide a
    small benefit.

    (i.e. FreeBSD does more work figuring out what to page out or clean,
    but it gets it all back by choosing the 'right' pages whereas Linux
    does less work figuring out what to page out or clean, but loses
    the advantage by choosing the 'wrong' pages).

    * FreeBSD scales I/O load better, mainly oweing to clustering and
    dynamic readahead. Linux does a little read-ahead, but it isn't
    smart about it. For example, it does not attempt to avoid extra
    seeks on read-ahead blocks. FreeBSD goes overboard trying to avoid
    extra seeks ( a little too overboard in some cases :-) ).

    * Linux VM management currently depends on mapping physical memory
    into KVM, which limits the amount of physical memory that can be
    accomodated on 32 bit machines to approximately 2G. FreeBSD will
    operate on 32 bit (Intel) boxes containing up to 4G of memory.

    * A number of core Linux VM routines depend on scanning page tables,
    which is very inefficient due to two things: First, shared pages
    are scanned more then once and, second, scanning for page
    classifications ( such as 'clean' or 'dirty' ) across the entire
    set rather then keeping track of page classifications via separate
    lists or queues. This is probably the single-biggest problem the
    Linux VM system has.

    This rears its ugly head when running programs that fork a lot,
    such as web and news servers, sendmail, popper, and so on.

    FreeBSD uses VM algorithms that are, roughly, independant of
    its page tables and which tend to be O(1).

    * Linux has been ported to a number of platforms. FreeBSD currently
    only runs on Intel and Alpha, and the Alpha port still needs a lot
    of work.


    Matthew Dillon Engineering, HiWay Technologies, Inc. & BEST Internet
    (Please include original email in any response)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 25, 1999 @07:42PM (#1917547)
    Here's a question for the some posters out there.

    Occasionally I see someone post that *BSD is "in trouble" and will disappear sometime in the near future as other OSes take "market share."

    Why do people make such claims? Is there any really strong evidence to support this? Please explain why *BSD is "in trouble."

    Keep in mind that having little market share doesn't mean it will die. Imagine linux in .01 days, before all the commercial support. It still survived. And OpenBSD and NetBSD seem to be still alive, although they seem to be less popular than FreeBSD. Also, FreeBSD does have commercial users, and a more flexible license for businesses.
    Aside from the often quoted examples of Yahoo! and Walnut Creek, there is a list of some others at the FreeBSD Gallery [freebsd.org]. And of course, this is not a complete list.

    Please, just use the OS you like for the job you want to do, and don't pray for the death of excellent operating systems (OSes from unscrupulous companies like M$, bash all you want).
  • This is definitely good news for FreeBSD. I long to try it out and see its advantages for myself. I currently use Linux, and looking into FreeBSD is always a good idea. Linux helped render Titanic's CGI, and now FreeBSD helped render the Matrix's CGI. This is great for both operating systems!

    I don't care too much for the differences between Linux and *BSD. They're both Unix-like systems (*BSD more so), they're both completely Free Software, and they're not Microsoft!

    The only thing I noticed about the press release was the fact that they said it wouldn't be possible with another OS. It would probably be possible with Linux, but not practical if the people they hired are more familiar with FreeBSD.
  • ...because, for example, running the linux binary of Netscape on freebsd 2.2.x was *extremely* slow. Not to mention the shockwave plugin, which was at least 10 times slower than it was on my Linux box (it got like 1 frame per second. I could watch it redraw). I imagine things have changed, though.

    (Before people tear my head off for dissing their OS, yes, I did do everything right with regards to setting up binary compatibility, no, the slowness wasn't my fault, and, no, I haven't used 3.x much.)

    - A.P.

    "One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

  • The line that goes something like "we couldn't have done it with any other operating system" seems a little suspicious.

    - A.P.

    "One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

  • "I don't believe it would've been possible had we chosen to go with any other Operating System solution."

    I wish they would have elabortaed on this a bit so that I could understand where Linux would have not worked or explained why FreeBSD shined.

    Maybe this is just PR and I should remember that.
  • Is that the evolution of rendering algorithms, of computer systems, or the fact that the Matrix required less computational power than Titanic? After all, weren't 100+ Alphas used for Titanic?
  • As the subject says. You sure it was POV?
  • by gavinhall (33)
    Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    I don't know if getting credit for such movies as Titanic and The Matrix is really all that great. What's next? Teletubbies?
  • by valis (947)
    [quote]With 32 dual-processor machines, I doubt there's much that they couldn't render.[/quote]

    Actually thats a very small amount of power considering the effects in "The Matrix."

    Very interesting...
  • Having worked with video on Linux, I see why they went with FreeBSD. Linux got really fast with the memory management in 2.2 but at the expense of stability. Any video compositing, large memory usage, or sneezing for that matter around a Linux box crashes it.
  • I'd like to see a comparison of NetBSD, Linux and even Solaris x86, amongst others, for use in rendering farms.. I'm not sure how much the OS actually MATTERS in these cases, and it would more depend on the software running on the OS then the OS itself.. Most OS's could connect to a network and do something over and over without much of a problem..
  • I'd like to know what basis there is for that as well.. I'm betting NT could have done it, not to mention Linux, Solaris x86, etc..etc..
  • Tell me about it.. I'd like to see some technical information as was published when they used Linux on Alpha's to do the Special Effects for Titanic.. The guy in charge must have been a BSD lover to start with..
  • Lesse, 32 x 200$, that'd be 6,400$? Now, what was the budget for the matrix? Millions you say? ;-P
  • The 3d Rendering software they are refering to is PovRay, and is available on every platform imaginable, so that was a pretty dumb thing to say..
  • Software used = Renderman. Software refered to with 'Thousands of freely available ports, includeing 3D software' = Povray..
  • The FreeBSD operating system is a powerful, completely open-source system based on the Berkeley Software Distribution of UNIX. It is available free of charge from numerous Internet websites and also on CD-ROM from Walnut Creek CDROM, and includes thousands of ported applications including 3-D graphics rendering and many other equally powerful tools.

    That's my guess why. Even if it was just source in ports, something as complex as 3-D graphics rendering software can be a bytch to compile... But, port's always seem to compile.

    Linux on the other hand... :-) Well, I must say it's getting a little better lately, and I'll just shut up now...

  • Sorry, didn't know. Didn't read that. Never used it.
  • by BadlandZ (1725) on Sunday April 25, 1999 @01:01PM (#1917565) Journal
    "was truly an amazing effort on everyone's part, and I don't believe it would've been possible had we chosen to go with any other Operating System solution."

    *SMACK*, suddenly, I understand EXACTLY what FreeBSD users feel like when they read about Linux in the news....

    This is impressive, and, they deserve the credit, both the Manex Visual Effects and FreeBSD. If I might add, SGI deserves historic credit for pioneering this stuff (hope they can make a comeback to the way I remember them with thier new Linux/Intel project, and porting OpenGL, etc...)

    Dell, well, uh... Dell did deliver the boxes speedy, I guess :-)

  • You know, it figures that some good press for FreeBSD gets into slashdot, and half of the idiot posters either put the OS or the movie down, because dammit, IT WASN'T LINUX!!


    When are idiots like these going to learn that just because the OS name isn't Linux that it doesn't suck. I myself am happy just using Unix, whether it is *BSD, Linux, Solaris, etc... some of you idiots are beginning to sound like Microsoft advocates ("Everything but our OS SUCKS!!!").

    Screw world domination for any platform, I'm glad I have a choice.

  • (start sarcasm)

    Yeah, because we all know that solaris is EVIL, and that the PC architecture is SO MUCH BETTER than that of a Sun machine.

    (end sarcasm)

  • Um, one word: price. They didn't make the "ultra" sparcs have ide drives and pci buses because they are better than SCSI and S-BUS, respectively. They wanted to get more sparcs on the desktop, and dropping the price (and crippling the systems, in my book) was a good way to do that.
  • However, it's one which I see in a lot of platforms. They claim many things but won't (can't?) back it up with anything specific. *BSD users aren't the only culprits of this; all of the Unices do it to each other (though Linux is better about this than most). The Windoze crowd sort of does it too (they do say stuff to back their claims up; it's just that all of it's wrong).
  • nah, IRIX is BSD flavoured...
  • That's nice, and the makers of "The Matrix" should have waited for the new compilers or written them themselves?

    even though ecgs isn't as optimised as DU cc, Alpha binaries it creates will still be 1.5x+ faster than a same generation P11.

    "The Matrix" is already a reality, in business you just can't wait.

    and when was the alpha cluster used for titanic a reality? when was the avalon cluster a reality?

    Perhaps the performance gain isn't "measly" but it just can NOT compete price/preformance ratio

    rubbish. you can buy 533MHz Alpha's for the price of a P11 300MHz. You can buy 600MHz alpha's
    for less than the price of a P111-500. Both of them kick Pentium11's into park when it comes to floating point. a 533MHz alpha has nearly double the floating point power of a p11-450.

    Sure alpha is faster and really cool, but when people are concerned about price and performance.

    An Alpha 533MHz and motherboard with onboard network and scsi costs approx £600. (~$900) which is comparable to the cost of a p111 500 and motherboard. plus most 533mhz alphas will clock to at least 600mhz reliably (i'm told).

    the only excuse for going with a high-end p11 setup instead of alpha is ignorance.

    you can't beat cheap intel hardware for clustering, get over it.

    you clearly havn't checked out prices. go to the alphalinux [alphalinux.org] site and follow the links to the vendors, and ask them for quotes. I think you'll be surprised.
  • Most open source projects dont need large
    market share to survive. As long as there is
    a critical mass of users that are willing to
    maintain and contribute to the project,
    it will survive. Most open source projects
    can survive without market share (thats how they
    all started, isnt it?). And I dont see BSD
    interest falling below that critical mass.
  • by luqin (3559)
    This article appears to be based on a different article that I saw about two weeks or so ago. The original article said that they specifically didn't use linux because it couldn't handle the load or something to that effect. If i find the url, I'll post it.

  • Hey folks, FreeBSD is Free Software. Linux is Free Software. KDE is Free Software (Qt's license has been fixed and I endorsed it). GNOME is Free Software.

    What the heck are you fighting about??? FreeBSD and Linux should have good natured competition that goads their developers into further improvements, as should KDE and GNOME. Let's save the nasty messages for non-free software.


  • note to self, quoting a message on slashdot stinks... :)

    >> 1) gcc/egcs has terrible optimization for it
    > Right now Alpha doesn't have the compilers to do the job well but in the very near future compaq
    > will be releasing their ported DU compilers for Alphalinux and their cost will range from very little to nothing.
    > So that's on the way.

    That's nice, and the makers of "The Matrix" should have waited for the new compilers or written them themselves?

    >> 2) price/performance trade off
    > How does complete Alpha systems running at 500 -
    > 800 Mhz starting at under $1000 sound? It'll be a reality very soon.

    "The Matrix" is already a reality, in business you just can't wait.

    >> If you are going to build a cluster system, why
    >> grab the most the overpriced system for a measly
    >> gain in performance.
    > Measly? Yeah, tell the guys at Digital Domain that.

    Perhaps the performance gain isn't "measly" but it just can NOT compete price/preformance ratio

    >> Like I said, other archs may have more
    >> performance, but at what cost?
    > The cost is comming down drasticly. You're gonna
    > see Alpha's for around the same price a PII 450 system real soon.

    Interesting, "The Matrix" came out 2 weeks ago right? So instead of promising all these features... how about using a platform that offers it all right now? Sure alpha is faster and really cool, but when people are concerned about price and performance.....

    >> oh, and if you do have alpha...
    >> http://www.freebsd.org/
    > I like *BSD and I've used Alphas for years. I like to have a X server too ;)

    diffs to get XFree to compile on alpha:

    Stop with the hype, you can't beat cheap intel hardware for clustering, get over it.

    Please research or think twice about responding to my posts. It'll make for more interesting conversation. :)

  • Perhaps FreeBSD isn't keeping up with the internet growth, but I doubt that the userbase of FreeBSD is shrinking.

    Here, have a cookie, can I have some real statistics now?
  • Feels good to see a BSD-related "success"-story again ... ;-))

    It's hard for the Daemon .. to Live in the Shadow of the Penguin ...

    and would this actually be my first chance to have an actual first post !?
  • I don't care which OS is better, but, for me both of its are very good OS, way way way better than M$ Window$. I hope both OS developers learn from each other, unite ideas and improving both OS kernel.

    By the way,
    No one and nothing is perfect.
  • Charles Henrich uses FreeBSD in preference to Linux. He's contributed code/docs to the project, but he doesn't have commit access. This is a somewhat strange definition of "hardcore freebsd guy" you seem to be using.

    No, it seems like a natural one. While contibuting code to a project doesn't mean you're "hardcore" (neither does commit access), it does indicate that's a definite possibilty.
  • That URL states it all right :)

  • If you follow the anonymous posting above by me (see one article above this) you might see the exect posting abot renderman. This was posted on the last freebsd posting (click on more freebsd postings here on slashdot to see that :) )
  • If i'm nost mistaken the rendering software used was linux based and thus emulated on the freebsd machine. Doing so was just cause the main person in charge was a hardcore freebsd guy and didnt really like going linux. They did sacrifice a lot of preformance due to that (refering to an older /. article on this subject). Also, that article went on to state that if they had freebsd based tools it would have done a better job.

    Now, the fact that freebsd was used was just cause the guy in charge has a hardon for it, nothing more nothing less. It would have been different if Rob was in charge of that project. (I believe he'd use Mac OS ;) )
  • AFAIK IRIX is System V.
    I run a FreeBSD system and I have been very satisfied with the performance, btw.
  • The FreeBSD operating system is a powerful, completely open-source system based on the Berkeley Software Distribution of UNIX. It is available free of charge from numerous Internet websites and also on CD-ROM from Walnut Creek CDROM, and includes thousands of ported applications including 3-D graphics rendering and many other equally powerful tools. FreeBSD is optimized for use on the Intel x86 processor line that is the heart of today's versatile commodity personal computers. Infinitely customizable, FreeBSD is at the heart of such Internet powerhouse applications as Yahoo! and U.S. West because is unencumbered by commercial license restrictions and can be copied and modified freely.

    Is it my imagination, or does this 'article' seem to be more akin to advertising?

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • Normally I hate it when people argue like you do. But at this point, I agree profusely.
  • I hope you're not trying to say that there is false information being provided in the press release.
  • 45% of it is denial.
    45% of it is ignorance.
    5% is sheer and utter stupidity.
    5% is unexplainable/unknown.

    That's roughly correct regarding the posts that are against this press release.

    I'd like to see more FreeBSD stories on slashdot. Hopefully one of these days those who knock FreeBSD without a very good reason will realize how wrong they were.

  • Is it because you're in denial or is it because you're jealous that you (you being all of the people who have had negative comments) decide to post such things about this press release?

    I hope to see more FreeBSD-related articles on slashdot.
  • Don't worry, when FreeBSD finishes (or starts? I don't know anything about the sparc progress...) its Sparc port, we can have more quality movies made on quality hardware. :)
  • Aren't you talking about iMacs?

    Or are they the same things? ;)

  • It's 64 processors, though. And remember, that's in addition to the SGIs they already had. I believe Titanic only used SGIs for modelling.

    For modelling, yes, but IIRC there were articles at the time stating that LinuxAlpha was used for the (CPU-intensive) rendeing.

    (And Sun/Solaris for Toy Story... notice a decisive lack of NT here? :-) )

  • Overall, FreeBSD continues to be in freefall

    Very true. freefall.freebsd.org holds the master copy of the CVS repository, and runs the web server. We used to have a machine called thud as well. This is because Rod Grimes is/was a skydiver (I think it was Rod that was responsible for the names, but I could be wrong).

    Now they have names like beast, kickme, and bento.


  • by nikc (11398) on Sunday April 25, 1999 @01:03PM (#1917594)
    If i'm nost mistaken the rendering software used was linux based and thus emulated on the freebsd machine.

    Correct. Renderman.

    Doing so was just cause the main person in charge was a hardcore freebsd guy and didnt really like going linux.

    Charles Henrich uses FreeBSD in preference to Linux. He's contributed code/docs to the project, but he doesn't have commit access. This is a somewhat strange definition of "hardcore freebsd guy" you seem to be using.

    They did sacrifice a lot of preformance due to that (refering to an older /. article on this subject). Also, that article went on to state that if they had freebsd based tools it would have done a better job.

    False. A cite/URL for this /. article would be appreciated so I can respond to its FUD. If you don't have one, please don't bother repeating these allegations, because they're false.

    And to others who've pointed it out; the description on this /. post is deceptive -- it's not a story about the Matrix, it's a Press Release (the words "Press Release" in the title of the web page and in the heading should have been a tip off to the more alert amongst you). This is why it's light on technical details. A more detailed story will hopefully be forthcoming for DaemonNews.


  • Great, so FreeBSD gets some decent press, and all the linux ditto-heads come out of the walls to say how much better linux could have done, how FreeBSD is "in trouble", and not offering any evidence to back up their claims. Even though I generally dislike Linux(for political and technical reasons), I'm happy when I see an article about corporations switching from NT to Linux, or Linux sneaking its way into the workplace. It's good to see at least SOME open-source coverage, that people are beginning to realize they have choices when it comes to OS, and that people are getting away from Micros~1 products.

    It's reactions like this that ruin the Linux community's credibilty, and why I find Linux so distasteful. Maybe if the community can grow up a little and start LEARNING from other open-source projects, and sharing with them, you'd be able to make a killer OS. Right now, your close-mindedness does you a disservice.


    Linux: the Windows of the UNIX world.
  • It's good to see other open-source OS's getting some spotlight too. I love Linux, but BSD is also a really good OS to run. I just hope that one day the war between distros/Linux/BSD calms down to the point where we can all just get along. :)
  • by saska (13691)
    What's "ABI compatibility"?


  • It will be a fantastic day when the next Pixar flick is done on an OpenSource platform. Somebody tell 'em to loose those Suns.

  • Nope....can't say that I would be. If they'd used SGI/IRIX, I would have thought nothing of it. It seems to me to be a reasonably intelligent move. I don't think Linux can compete with a higher end Cray (not that 5.5 million dollar Cray that it equalled). If I was doing 3D rendering for a $100 million dollar movie, the first thing I'd think of doing, hardware-wise, is see if I could rent a Cray.
  • Meaning no criticism of FreeBSD itself, it does no good to an OS to include as absurd a statement as "I don't believe it would've been possible had we chosen to go with any other Operating System solution", even in an advocacy piece. This is so patently false that the kindest thing one could say about the speaker (assuming that he was quoted accurately) is that he had been carried away by his enthusiasm for his favorite OS.

    Misinformation is not good advocacy. All it accomplishes is the destruction of credibility. I suggest it would be best for the entire Open Source community if we were to leave such tactics to the commercial world.
  • Just as future advice, for mission crital, and for ANY server that's inportant, you BUILD the machine for the OS, not the other way around.

    FreeBSD's raid is quite mature, just does not support every damn card. As a radi example, look at the 12terrabyte raid setup over at ftp.cdrom.com

  • You won't be sorry ;) btw, if you want help trying to setup a firewall, router for a small network, try FreeBSD Diary [freebsddiary.com] and also try FreeBSD Zine [freebsdzine.org]
  • Sorry i meant 1/2 terrabyte
  • by keepper (24317) on Sunday April 25, 1999 @05:26PM (#1917605) Homepage
    What the hell has happenned to slashdot, this used to be an INFORMED forum. These days is nothing more than a bunch of kiddies arguing how linux is superior over something they HAVE NEVER USED.


    ( sorry if this offends the people that do not fit in the description above, i know there's a great deal of very smart and knowledgeable people still left here in slashdot and i hope that number grows
    because we need you)

    On the comparison of "LINUX" Vs " FreeBSD" you are all pretty wrong, FreeBSD is both a Distribution AND a kernel, not one like linux. if you want to compare distributions then go ahead, compare Redhat 5.2 versus fBSD 3.1-RELEASE.

    The fact of the matter is that Linux distributions are for the most part ( with the exception of Debian all the way ) still bleeding edge and not the most stable systems without a GREAT deal of tweaking. As you can see from FBSD, this is way different as there are three current distributions
    aimed at different purposes. ( -RELEASE , -CURRENT, and --STABLE )

    Say all you may, but my experience with both a customized redhat with the 2.2.x kernell versus a 3.1 -RELEASE has shown me that FreeBSD still handles networking load quite better than a normall linux distribution. How can i tell this...
    well, from about 25 hsoting servers that i administer. a great deal of them started as Linux boxes but, we only needed to test one freeBSD machine with the load of TWO linux boxes and we were converts.

    as for the linux emulation in freeBSD....
    first, is not "emulation " persay, is much more closer to what wine does, which is binary compability. To this day linux threads still perform better in FreeBSD. Of course some things are a bit slower, but , hey, this are things that were not originally aimed at freeBSD, is a god damn good show at the prowness of FreeBSD programmers.

    I love linux, i use it a smy personal workstation at both home and work, but there's no question in my mind that in terms of squeezing that last drop of performance out of a x86 machine, fBSD does it much better than linux. Not only is the kernel more mature, but, even linux zealou shave to agree with this, linux distributions to date just plain suck ( for lack of a better word).
    I mean, when was the last time you used a system as clean as the ports collection ... when was the last time you TOTTALY rebuilt all the programs in your system quite flawlessly with one command.

    Linux has a lot of promise, but , FreeBSD still handles load better, because it is a kernel totally tuned for the x86 arch.
  • by corB (26284)
    Thomas was pointing out that FreeBSD's claimed support of 3D rendering packages is in reference to povray, which is obviously not what they used. He said this because the poster before (BadlandZ) quoted this support as a possible reason that they chose FreeBSD. No one suggested that they used PovRay to render the movie scenes.

  • Maybe this is why so many(at least some) feel BSD sux, not to bring up the previous BSD discissions again but BSD people are very bad at proving their os is as good as they say, and they never fail to promote it as THE BEST in the world.

    I for one beleve it definitley could be done with any UNIX system, especielly linux but any would do just as well, hell maybe even NT or Win95 or MacOS could have done it, the BSD attitude is the thing that is damaging BSDs reputation most I would say...

    Well, i guess I should know betten than get offended by this but...............
  • Well well well, who is the "coward" - you or me:)

    if you only beleve *BSD can do anything you should open your eyes and trie to look beyond the propaganda. To say it should not have been possible to do the rendering with any other os is just stupid, imature and at least pisses my off.
  • Agreed.
    *BSD is an extremely valuable resource.
    One size does NOT fit all.
    Expect to see a transition: NT to Linux to *BSD.
  • by Tony-A (29931)
    Application Program Interface.
    This is how the application program interfaces to the operating system.
    AFAIK, *BSD can be compiled to accept system calls from native SystemV and Linux binaries.
  • Thanks for the correction.
  • hi,
    What type of software was used for these profesional projects? I heard they had renderman running on the freeBSD boxes. What did they use for the modeling? SGI stuff?
  • Can you tell me what software they used? - was it a commercial product,
    or someting OSS-like?
  • Great article, and good pblicity for OpenBSD, however the length of the article was lacking, as was the whole of it. It lacks mention of the software used for the rendering, the technical aspects of the systems udes versus the SGI's. All around it look like a newsbyte not an article. Even though it was on the FreeBSD advocacy site, you'd think they would have hyped the programs used or maybe the technical superiority of FreeBSD.
    ________________________________________ ________________
    Can We trust the future - Flesh99
  • I know NT couldn't have done it. I work for a large company and all of our CAD and rendering work is done on Unix/Linux machines because our NT evaluation showed that it crashed to frequently, did not handle multiple processors as well as Unix/Linux based solutions. The software available for NT is by no means comprable to the software available for other OSs. So in answer to at least one of your suggestions, nope NT could not have handled it.
    _____________________________________________ ___________
    Can We trust the future - Flesh99
  • I will commnt on one piece of architecture, SCSI vs. SBUS SCSI, I can max out a PC SCSI controller with two DLT drives and a single strem to each, SBUS will handle 3 drives with four streams. Get real, SUN beats PC any day
    _____________________________________________ ___________
    Can We trust the future - Flesh99
  • Here it is again... "FreeBSD is dying".. and what, prey tell, great all-knowing source of information are you getting your "facts" from?? Other than that Linux's user base is increasing, as told in many IT magazines in many forms, where did you see some numbers that show that FreeBSD's user base is decreasing?? I very rarely see the BSD's mentioned in the mainstream press... much less any mention of number of current users of any of the BSD's.

    Sorry, but it sure seems to me that there are calm and rational responses to this thread from both the Linux and *BSD people, and then there's people like *you*... from both sides, I admit... that lash out with "venomous" "name calling and childish attacks on the message bearers" as you so aptly put it.

    Its time for *you* to face reality and grow up. You may drive a Ford, I drive a 4WD Chevy... if you think your Ford is God's gift to the earth, so be it.. but I like my car, and don't try to shove yours down my throat. There's room in this world for both. I'm not going to use my old '82 280ZX to haul a trailer, and my 4WD truck isn't exactly a nice "night on the town" car. Each has their uses, and there is room for both in my life.

    I use Linux, NetBSD, and OpenBSD for UN*X boxes at home, plus a Mac/OS system and a Win/95 system. Each has there purpose, and each does some things better than others.

    NetBSD is by far the most portable, and widely ported, although Linux is getting better. Before someone jumps down my throat over this, I should add that I have two VaxStation 3100's, two MicroVAX's, several DecStations, two 68K Mac's, a Sun Sparc 1+, and several old Sun/3's, and NetBSD supports them all, today. Yeah, I can wait for a working Linux/Vax to show up someday... I can wait for a Linux that runs on my DecStation 5000... or Linux support for my Sun 3/260... or I can run NetBSD now, full multi-user support.

    Linux is more mainstream, and has more available apps for it (although a good # of them run under the BSD's compatibility mode). Like M$ Windows, more available apps does *not* necessarily mean a better OS, although I hate to make that comparison since Linux is a far better OS than M$'s. My biggest beef against Linux to date is not the speed, the underlying code, or anything to do with the software, its the "Linux zealots" that think that their "Ford" is the best there is.

    I just installed OpenBSD a few weeks ago, and haven't had time to play with it much, but the codebase forked from NetBSD, so I presume its fairly close (w/ better crypto, being out of the US). My NetBSD systems have been rock-solid.

    I haven't tried FreeBSD, but from the "non-zealot" comments I read on these threads, I may give it a try. The comments about better VM usage seemed knowledgeable.

    To those of you who want to blow off "zealot" steam at me about how Linux is the "best" kernel, I have only one question:

    How many of you have a programming background and have looked at the actual kernel code for Linux and the BSD's? (I have).

    One of these days I'll try out FreeBSD...
  • I somewhat agree with this. I personally use Linux, but I am not going to put another OS down simply because I don't use it, and especially if I haven't had any experience with it (if someone wants to send me an hd or two and a cd i'm willing to try whatever UNIX derived OS you've got). I think the more important issue here is that UNIX and UNIX clone OS's are getting favorable media exposure. I believe that the good press will lead more people down the, IMO, right road in computer OS's. Just drives home the point that you don't need proprietary code to make great sfx.
  • hahaha, true...maybe some one should make a BSD Advocacy HOWTO...
  • Because of many of the posts I've seen, some quite disgusting as ill-informed linux advocates bashed freebsd (as if it was another microsoft), I'd like to set the track straight.

    A friend of mine saved the thread on the FreeBSD lists on the Matrix (unfortunatly, I was not on that one at the time), and I have uploaded them, and for anyone still squabbling, I encourage you to read them. There are 55 in total. Unfortunatly, they are in Netscape's format (yeah, I use pine so its pretty sad..). If even one person asks, I'll convert to text.

    So, for all of those bsd-bashers (as I saw no linux bashers), please read. Some of you knew what you were talking about, some had no clue. I personally am a member to both a LUG and FreeBSD listings, and run fbsd, linux, and Solaris (personal copy) on my desktop. So, I understand every view, but open-source "advocates" bashing open-source is just plain sickening.

    In any event, please go to http://www.crl.com/~anarchy/download/ for the 55kb zip file (for win users, put it in x:\Program Files\Netscape\Users\anarchy\Mail, and rename it from matrix to inbox/drafts/etc).

    And remember, people, if you want to truely support the cause (GNU/BSD/OSS), just fight the uninformed media and make the software second to none - just don't get in petty ego wars. It will be worse enough when we get in fights about who has the best 'sex robot'. =)
  • It's just the usual FUD from the kids here on Slashdot everytime a *BSD story/news is posted.
    Sad really but what do you expect from a Linux advocacy site like Slashdot.
    FreeBSD is in fact growing and using the download stats and CDROM sales, the userbase is
    growing tremendously.
    I also think that it isn't just about apples and oranges ;)
  • I forgot to login lasttime cuz i had to take a
    dump real bad.

    Have to go feed the dogs now.



  • I just tried out a script I saw that apparently crashed Linuxen (unless login.conf restrictions are in effect, but I don't know if that even exists in that form) and it used up 115M of memory. And then some part of the kernel (or the swapper/pager) killed it.

    I (heart) FreeBSD.

It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.