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BSD Operating Systems

FreeBSD-4.0 Release Candidate Out 35

shlong writes "Just wanted to let you all know that the release candidate of FreeBSD 4.0 is now available at the usual places. Both i386 and Alpha iso images are available (and both are bootable!). A full list of changes is at the release notes. "
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FreeBSD-4.0 Release Candidate Out

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  • by bluGill ( 862 ) on Thursday February 10, 2000 @06:54AM (#1290584)

    FreeBSD: The most worked on. Closest compition to Linux. Runs fast, many belive faster then Linux, but this depends on many variables, and both are playing leapfrog with speed, and working on different areas. (in particular, until linux 2.2 FreeBSD had better networking, and until FreeBSD 4.0 linux has better SMP, and linux may still be different) If you are a normal PC user and want to try something else this is the best bet.

    NetBSD: The most protable. The NetBSD folks have more useful ports then anything else, and they are all running from the same source. (Note, linux has more ports, but netBSD has more useable ports) If you find a strange platform in a basement someplave netBSD is most likly to run, and probably easiest to get running it it doens't currently run.

    OpenBSD: orginialy a netBSD plus a few minor changes (thus in theory it is easially ported, but most ports are not maintained, so it is less useful on random platforms) OpenBSD has seen several years go by without a remotely exploitable security hole in the distribution. IF security is important, this is the one for you. I should note there that distribution in the *BSD sense is more equivelent to Debian or Redhat in the linux sense, thus even if the linux kernel was perfect if there was a hole in something else suppliled with the kernel openBSD would call it a hole. This isn't to say that linux can't be made secure, or that openBSD cannot be made to leak like a sieve, only that by default it doesn't. (In other words openBSD is a tool that helps security conscience administrators, but the incompitant administrator will destroy that)

    As a programer I prefer the *BSDs. *BSD takes the additude of do it right the first time, while linux is more do it quick, and fix the bugs latter. That isn't to say that nobody takes the time to figgure out the right way in linux, because many do. However a there are also parts that were not well designed. Of course saying that parts of linux were not well designed is not ment to imply that all of *BSD was. Confused yet? Good, you should be because in the end the only thing for sure is you need to try them all and decide for yourself what you like best.

    This is not religion. You won't burn in hell for chosing the wrong one. You won't burn in hell for trying something new once you find out which is the real best OS.

  • The typical FreeBSD user has little need for sound support. I mean, it's normally used as a development workstation or a server.

    And, of course, nobody ever uses their development workstation to play music while they're developing.... :-)

    One of the reasons why my home machine most often runs FreeBSD is that it looked like more work to beat the Linux on its Linux partition (Debian 2.1) into recognizing my PnP ISA sound card than was involved in getting FreeBSD 3.x to handle it (for x = 1, it involved turning PnP ISA support in the kernel, and setting it up to use Luigi's driver; that changed in 3.2 - the "turning PnP ISA support on in the kernel" step was no longer necessary...).

  • Only under FreeBSD does a beta release crush the competition's production releases in reliability :)
  • 4.0 RC is not a stable version, yet. The model is roughly like this: 3.4 is the latest stable release. Development is done on the -stable branch. The idea is that only conservative changes are made in this branch. 4.0 is the first release in the 4.x series, but it's still a release from the -current branch. Consider this branch to be like an odd-versioned linux-kernel: it could be stable, but major changes occur every day, so things might break. Somewhere near 4.1 the -current branch will become the -stable branch. That's the time for most people to start using it. Summary: if you want a really stable system, try 3.4. Once you learned a bit about FreeBSD, try 4.0. It's more sexy, but also more dangerous.


  • Personally, i think it kicks ass when it comes to ease of use, performance and stability, and it sucks when it can't boot a partition beyond cylinder 1024. So i can't actually use it now. Must get rid of that FAT32 kludge that sits in front of my disk first. And UNIX is supposed to be older technology than DOS...

    To be fair, that is a limitation with the BIOS, rather than with FreeBSD.

  • The typical FreeBSD user has little need for sound support. I mean, it's normally used as a development workstation or a server.

    However, work IS progressing on sound support. Luigi's redoing the traditional sound driver stuff using the pcm0 device instead. The code isn't that gnarly, so why don't you check it out and write your own driver? Use the existing linux driver as a guide to how it's done for the SBLive.

    (I hardly think the respect of an OS should be based on sound card support)
  • I have been running 4.0-current for a couple of weeks and it has been nice and smooth. I have noticed an improvement in SMP speed. Very nice all in all.
  • NetBSD has technical advantages over FreeBSD too.

    They had newconfig before we had newbus, our USB came from them, they have things we don't.

    Frankly, it's very difficult to make a case for either FreeBSD or NetBSD, unless you have some particular hardware only one of them supports (NetBSD supports many more platforms than FreeBSD, but compared to the Intel platform it's a drop of water in the river), or a particular software feature (I don't know... PPPoN, maybe? jail? logfs?). NetBSD installation is not up to FreeBSD standards, though, and FreeBSD is much more popular.

  • The more unixy thing to do is make a /var/tmp and symlink it.

    All the kids are doing it =)

  • I've been running -current for quite some time now, and I haven't had any kernel panics for quite some time. Reading the lists no other people have had any major problems either. This stability feels very...odd for something that is SUPPOSED to crash every now and again.

  • Indeed. I've been using it since September. The only times is has chrashed on me was when I tried writing to a corrupted floppy. That problem seems to have magically disappeared now.

    Also, things sometimes tend to get messed up (especially ps) after a make world (without compiling a new kernel). You can't really expect that to work properly though.

  • Ok. im a linux junkie. given my choice every machine would run linux. but i realized that it wont happen. So i decided one day that i wanted to play with BSD, learn how to use it etc. Anyone know which BSD i should use? i guess im more focused on server systems.. but .. what are the benifits of each? This is prob the wrong place.. but i saw that the FreeBSD 4.0 RC was out.. and i was considering downloading it. Id like to see a discussion of the pros and cons or each bsd on slashdot, i dont think that im the only one.

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"