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BSD Operating Systems

Bringing xMach To Life 77

jmallett writes: "xMach, the microkernel BSD Operating System, first made an announcement on Daily DaemonNews stating that there were some new source and binary snapshots available. Also, OsOpinion has an article I wrote about my experiences so far, entitled 'Giving Birth to xMach'. Development of xMach currently is limited to the microkernel and its servers, but a userland (based on that from the good people at OpenBSD) will be worked on shortly. Some of the primary focuses on xMach are data storage, security, and non-bloat."
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Bringing xMach To Life

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    BeOS was a great idea that got bogged down by Jean-Louis Gassee's ego.

    BeOS has an IP stack in-kernel. That ain't no micokernel, Jack.

    The fact is that BeOS was "forced" onto Intel hardware because they weren't willing to suck it in and use the information that was already out there in the form of MkLinux

    Oh BS. Hmm, I wonder which platform has a bigger market for alternative Operating Systems, PPC or x86? That's a real noodle-scratcher.

  • You know that commercial software vendors have got to be feeling like they are in a precarious position when 16 year-old highschool dropouts can successfully write their own Unix microkernel based operating system.

    Seriously, the programming team for this xMach thing consists of some punk kid and 5 or 6 other people (none of which stuck the project out to the end). That is insane (in a good way). Honestly, if uneducated volunteers can accomplish a feat like that and give the results away then you almost have to feel sorry for those people in the business of creating proprietary operating systems. Basically they are screwed.

    Congratulations to the hackers working on xMach.

  • Clearly you are educated. After all, how many CS students can say they have written their own Mach based BSD kernel (at 16). But the corporate world puts a pretty strong emphasis on formal education. And it isn't just the suits either. Heck, you no doubt have seen the education bigots on Slashdot talk about how someone who is self taught could "never really grasp CS."

    Apparently they don't realize that CS textbooks are available to everyone.

  • It's impressive that they've gotten a tiny piece of a modern operating system up and running. But commercial OSes have LOTS more functionality. And they have a little something called support. By and large, you are paying for support with most software (news flash: shrink-wrap software for consumers is a tiny bit of the entire software market. The real software industry is business software).

    When they add the OpenBSD userland to this kernel they will have a pretty impressive amount of useability. In fact, I would be interested in a list of the LOTS of extra features that commercial OSes have.

    As for your insinuation that only commercial OSes can survive in the business market, well the numbers would seem to disagree. Linux seems to be doing fairly well, and it was written by a Finnish college undergraduate. In fact I still have the text of the flamewar between Linus and Prof. Andrew Tannenbaum in which Prof. Tannebaum told Linus that he would flunk him if he turned in Linux as a project. Now unless you happen to think that commercial OS == Windows, then I think that you would have to admit that somehow, despite its humble beginnings, Linux has managed to be pretty darn useful. There are plenty of commercial OSes that would love to have Linux's growth rate and market penetration.

    I don't think the dropout and his buds are going to be an impressive support organization for companies in the Fortune 1000. Or, heck, the Fortune 10,000.

    I would actually agree with you there. It will certainly be a harder sell. But if the software is good, it will find users. Heck, there are all kinds of uses for such a beast.

  • Mach=another layer before the hardware.. so if something heads south in the kernal (as you know it) it would mean that it's father (to speak) would just restart it.. or at least fail gracfully. OS's that use a mach design would be..


    The WHOLE POINT of a microkernel based architechure is to have this layer. It's another thing that can break, yes, BUT unlike the rest of the 'kernel' it is small, and it has very very limited goals in life. (things like schedule tasks, map memory, provide some ipc primitives, etc....) Small means debugable. Small means TESTABLE. Like formal qualification tests. Regression test suites. You can beat the hell out of a microkernel. Then you have known stable base to build your OS services from.


    Look at QNX as a real example. (not to say it's perfect, however, it works quite well. You can pull hardware drivers in and out on the fly.)


    Enough of this. I need to do some work here ... :-)

  • Unless I am mistaken this project revives a project that I've actually used. BSD lites is a single server (as opposed to HURD which is a multiserver model) on top of the Utah Mach4 microkernel. The Mach4 microkernel from Utah itself is not significantly different from the CMU Mach3 except for a new build system (using GNU make) and lots of Linux drivers. I am glad the project is coming to life. I used it a long time back (1996-97) as part of my Master's Thesis. At that time I was running Lites on top of a NetBSD user land. I was also able to get it running on top of a FreeBSD user land. Unfortunately the web site doesn't seem to have too much technical content (yet).
  • Any Idea if they intend to use this streamlined BSD for any type of handhelds or Internet appliances?

    And if so, how would they make it work?
  • wow, "non-bloat" as a goal. Everyone should jump in and help to add their favorite features!

    At least that's what I've seen happen to all other projects with non-bloat as an original goal. (linux, mozilla, kde, gnome, etc..)
  • It's basically Mach 4 (from Utah) with a BSD
    kernel hacked to run as a server, the latter is
    taken from lites.
  • Honestly, if uneducated volunteers can accomplish a feat like that and give the results away then you almost have to feel sorry for those people in the business of creating proprietary operating systems. Basically they are screwed.

    No, they aren't.

    It's impressive that they've gotten a tiny piece of a modern operating system up and running. But commercial OSes have LOTS more functionality. And they have a little something called support. By and large, you are paying for support with most software (news flash: shrink-wrap software for consumers is a tiny bit of the entire software market. The real software industry is business software).

    I don't think the dropout and his buds are going to be an impressive support organization for companies in the Fortune 1000. Or, heck, the Fortune 10,000.

    -jon

  • BeOS is pretty good. but i'm starting to belive it's abadonware; about 2 months ago i tried porting my streamripper program to it. the posix end of it worked out fine...

    I'm interested in hearing more about the issued you had porting Streamripper [sourceforge.net] to BeOS. The link to the BeOS binary from BeBits [bebits.com] seems to be broken. I'll cvs it and take a look at it tonight. Any major brokes, besides the panics while debugging?

    , but the GUI was beyond me. all of the same code i could find wouldn't even compile. Also i got constant kernel panics when debugging threads. real shame...

    Well, Be's native gui is unique. In other words: BeAPI != win32API != gtk/qt/motif/whatever. The BeBook [be.com] is available online, if anyone's interested in the API. Programming for BeOS is a great way to learn C++, IMHO.

  • If you're referring to O'Reilly's Programming the Be Operating System [oreilly.com] by Dan Parks Sydow, then yes, that book is very very outdated.
    It does not mean that BeOS is broken. Sheesh. Software evolves, paper decomposes. Fortunately, there *is* current documentation available.

    Try the current version of the BeBook (available online), or join #bedev on irc.elric.net :-)

  • by Kartoffel ( 30238 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2001 @10:05AM (#349515)
    Darwin may not be ported to x86 yet

    Uhmm.. it sort-of is. Check out darwinos.org [darwinos.org], or read Apple's FAQ [apple.com].

    "Darwin is processor-independent and is built for PowerPC and Intel platforms, enabling Open Source developers to work on Darwin projects on the widest choice of computer systems."

  • by Zurk ( 37028 )
    hey -- heres a wake up call for you. no one is going to help you if your projects are neither interesting nor useful. you should write the software you write because YOU want to write it not because open source is a good idea or you want people to help you. ive always started my projects with no help and it usually takes between 4 months to a year before anyone helps out. on the other hand ive had three "one person" projects where people have helped out even though i didnt expect them to...some for a loong time (over a year) and even have taken over some of my projects when i lost interest. there is NO NEED for world class software. if it works for YOU thats all thats important -- after all thats what you wrote it for right ? do NOT write open source software if you want "recognition" or to push the "open source" philisophy or any of that utter crap. write it if YOU want to see it work. and dont expect anything other than the fact youre software does what you wanted it to do.
  • by Zurk ( 37028 )
    exactly. a need for who ? im quite happy with my linux box the way it is and if i need something else i write it. where is the need for "world class" software and who wants it ?
    lets face it -- most people are happy with a web browser and an office (wordprocessor, spreadsheet,email) package. both of which and more can be provided by any OS. programmers need dev tools - well, gcc is pretty "world class". servers need web browsers/dns/smtp all of which are filled by "world class" open source tools.
    now what other "world class" software were you talking about ?
  • BeOS has an IP stack in-kernel.
    >>>>>
    Not yet.

    That ain't no micokernel.
    >>>>>>>>>
    That might sully its definition as a "true" microkernel, but I'd argue that BeOS is more of a microkernel OS where it counts than any other Mach-based OS, except maybe HURD. First, many microkernel OSs have networking integrated, I believe QNX4 had it in the kernel. Second, Most Mach based OSs use a monolithic system server, which throws many of the benifets of a microkernel OS out the window. In BeOS, for example, if the net_server crashes, it can be restarted without too much trouble. If networking in the BSD system server crashes, then the OS is down the tube anyway.
  • A) BeOS doesn't yet have networking in the kernel. Even with BONE, its microkernel-nature isn't effected too much since microkernels that do networking in userspace (such us QNX4 which, contrary to my previous post, does indeed do networking in userspace) use highly-optimized shared-memory paths to communicate with the kernel. These paths are much easier to corrupt and thus cause crashes than normal messaging interfaces. Besides, BeOS (and arguably NT) is more of a microkernel than NeXT, OSX, or whatever. Mach or not, they use a single system server, which gets rid of a lot of the benifets of the microkernel design. As for USB devices, how does that make it not a microkernel? Its a bus just like the ATA or PCI busses, and I have yet to see anybody propose to do PCI outside the kernel.
  • I don't know about you, but (aside from when I was writing a kernel driver) Linux (X actually, but since I use the GUI, its all the same) has crashed on me more often than BeOS. Not to mention that it hosed ext2 twice... BeOS is probably a little less stable than Linux, but I only reboot my machine once every few weeks and neither OS crashes on me. As I said, net_server is pretty unstable, but that's why its being replaced.
  • I can think of lots of reasons not to contribute to hurd.

    1) it IS a fundamentally different thing from this.
    2) It's design is insane... Not in that it's not a good idea, just that it's very diffacult to grok the interactions correctly.
    3)I don't like RMS, he's funny looking.
  • Why does the life of Linux have to rely on the commercial health of a few Linux-related companies?

    Linux was around before the commercial distros. If there is a need for an alternative OS to MSFT, Linux will have a future.

  • Hurd(aka vaper): ya... opensource solves everything.. yeah..... sure...if you actually release something within a decade, maybe...

    If you really believed this, why did you release your project as open source?

    GNU/Hurd is not an "open source" venture as I understand RMS to define it.

  • by iso ( 87585 )

    certainly not! the best hoovers [hardnrg.com] by far are those on the Roland Alpha Juno 2.

    - j

  • by sigmond ( 88934 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2001 @09:48AM (#349525)
    Am I missing something here, or is Darwin already what xMach is trying to be? Darwin may not be ported to x86 yet, but it is the foundation for a comercial product and as such has seen a great deal of development. And if the goal was to create a free implementation of OPENSTEP why not work on porting GNUStep to Darwin?
  • A properly secured linux box won't be "script-kiddied". And to be honest, considering the fact that you'll only be pushing 128Kbit/sec MAX, a BSD server could be considered overkill. You just need something to pass a little data...you're workstation could easily handle such a load in the background. OTOH, if you haven't played with *BSD yet, I say go for it. Any learning experiance is worth having.
  • by bmajik ( 96670 ) <matt@mattevans.org> on Wednesday March 21, 2001 @02:41PM (#349527) Homepage Journal
    W2k is not based on mach, and the rumours that its stability lessened significantly when win32 and others were allowed to run in kernel mode are unfounded when considered more carefully.

    Give the book "Inside Windows 2000" a read sometime.. but basically, i'll paraphrase

    "Is Windows 2000 Less Stable with Win32 USER and GDI in Kernel Mode ?

    ...the reason the impact on system stability has been minimal is that prior to windows NT 4 (and this si still true today), a bug (such as an access violation) in the usermode Win32 subsystem process (csrss.exe) resulted in a system crash. This crash occures because the parent process of Csrss (the session manager, smss) does a wait operation on the process handle to csrss, and if the wait ever returns, smss crashes the system, because the win32 subsystem process was (and still is) a vital process to the running of the system....

    there is one additional danger that did not exist prior to moving the windowing and graphics system into kernel mode.. because this body of code is now running in kernel mode, a bug (such as the use of a bad pointer) could result in corrupting kernel mode protected data structures..prior to nt4 such references would ahve caused an access violation because kernel mode pages aren't writable from user mode, but a system crash would ahve then resulted, as described earlier.. with the code now in kernel mode, a bad pointer ref that caused a write op to some kernel mode page might not immediately cause a crash, but if it corrupted some data, a crash would likely result soon after..

    .. another area of impact can come from moving the graphics drivers into kernel mode.. previously some portions ran in csrss, and others in kernel mode.. now the entire driver runs in kernel mode..

    ... finally, running the windowing system and graphics drivers in kernel mode is not _fundamentally_ risky... many other device drivers (network cards, hard disk drives) have always run in kernel mode on every version of NT, with a high degree of reliability.."

    his little analysis goes on an on.. talking about the scheduling impact on smp and non-SMP boxes about these moves, and many other cool issues..incase you cant tell i think anyone that uses w2k at all should have this book.. its pretty sweet (and comes with a cd full of neat make-NT-stink-less tools like a self-hosted kernel debugger, etc..)

    its "Inside Microsoft Windows 2000", by Davide Solomon and Mark Russinovich...
  • I'm game..


    I'm thinking FreeBSD because it's less likely to get script kiddied.


    If that is your only concern go with OpenBSD, As for FreeBSD or Linux.. doesn't matter. they'll both hold up just fine.

    Go with FreeBSD is you want a sane install, meaning the ports collection, nothing weird of out of place.

    Go with Linux if you want to install lots (and lots) of different stuff, play with new things, runa CS or q3 server, etc... It's not that these can't be done in FreeBSD, but if somethings not in the ports collection it can be a serious pain to get running.

    -Jon

    Streamripper [sourceforge.net]

  • ...Microsoft Corp has just filed in court an injunction again X-Files for infringing on their trademark "XBox" Video came console. When asked to comment, the lawyers for Microsoft said, "we think that media companys need to learn that they can't name their shows after hyped up products and not expect legal action."

    Streamripper [sourceforge.net]

  • by jon_c ( 100593 )
    Um... ya.

    Mach=another layer before the hardware.. so if something heads south in the kernal (as you know it) it would mean that it's father (to speak) would just restart it.. or at least fail gracfully. OS's that use a mach design would be..

    WinNT/2k
    BeOS
    OSX/NeXT
    Hurd(aka vaper)

    Win2k IMO is the best out of these. and it's not a true mach design.. they started off doing that, and since then have punched holes in it to make graphics and multimedia faster.. damm shame because thats where about 95% of the crashes come from.

    BeOS is pretty good. but i'm starting to belive it's abadonware; about 2 months ago i tried porting my streamripper program to it. the posix end of it worked out fine, but the GUI was beyond me. all of the same code i could find wouldn't even compile. Also i got constant kernal panics when debugging threads. real shame...

    OSX/NeXT: dono haven't played with it.. don't know much really.. i have a feeling that they are keeping it 100% microkernel design.. which will be nice, if they don't have any bugs in the core.. it'll also mean the multimeda stuff will lag, but maybe not to bad, anyone know anything solid so i can stop talking out of my ass?

    Hurd(aka vaper): ya... opensource solves everything.. yeah..... sure...if you actually release something within a decade, maybe...

    -Jon

    Streamripper [sourceforge.net]


  • I'm interested in hearing more about the issued you had porting Streamripper to BeOS. The link to the BeOS binary from BeBits seems to be broken. I'll cvs it and take a look at it tonight. Any major brokes, besides the panics while debugging?


    get the binary from the home page, the CVS for it probably won't compile.. i've been focusing on the win32 port and haven't done any backporting.


    Well, Be's native gui is unique. In other words: BeAPI != win32API != gtk/qt/motif/whatever. The BeBook is available online, if anyone's interested in the API. Programming for BeOS is a great way to learn C++, IMHO.


    Ya I own both books, they are way fuckin out of date, not one of the examples compiled. It's a great design, to bad it's broken!!

    -Jon

    Streamripper [sourceforge.net]

  • WTF? he repeats whay I said BUT WITH CAPS and get's a +1, thats fucked up.

    Streamripper [sourceforge.net]

  • yo dumbasss, I way replying to..

    WHY I MADE IT OPENSOURCE

    not why I wrote the program in the first place.

    here's a wake up call for you there IS A NEED for world class software, all I was saying is that I haven't seen much come from open source.

    -Jon

    Streamripper [sourceforge.net]

  • Lots of reasons: the (dying) hope that other people will help me, protection of the idea if the law comes down on it, free hosting at sourceforge, the (dying) hope that OpenSource is a good idea.

    But i'm also a critic, mainly of people who blather on about how people should stop compaining and write code for X etc.. it JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN! Very few open source project are more then a single person hobby. it's hard to make a world class large project out of this. There are exceptions, Linux or instance, but not many.

    -Jon

    Streamripper [sourceforge.net]

  • "Non-Bloat"? "Non-Bloat" is now a concept? It's like an enhancement, a feature, like white wall tyres?

    Anybody ever remember qualified programming?
  • I think you are confusing "Mach" and "Microkernel". Mach is a specific implementation of a microkernel and unless I'm horribly mistaken, neither the NT "micro"kernel nor the BeOS microkernel specfifically use Mach.

    Assuming you meant microkernel and not Mach, you missed one commercial (though admitedly not widely used) Unix OS that uses a microkernel: Unicos/mk, which runs on Cray T3E systems. Of all the OS's you list, I think Unicos/mk wins hands down - it scales to almost 2000 processors and you can reboot individual processors without taking down the entire system.

  • Clearly you are educated. After all, how many CS students can say they have written their own Mach based BSD kernel (at 16). But the corporate world puts a pretty strong emphasis on formal education. And it isn't just the suits either. Heck, you no doubt have seen the education bigots on Slashdot talk about how someone who is self taught could "never really grasp CS."
    I can totally relate with what you're saying.
    I sometimes get the impression that these education bigots think that immediately after creating the earth, sky, Adam, and Eve, that God created a professor in every field of knowledge.
    It's as if they forget that Einstein was doing his work as a hobby, after the education system at the time had failed to spot his talent.

  • by yerricde ( 125198 )

    set yourself up as a tin-pot dictator of your own website -- then you can decide what stories get posted.

    Or just go to Kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org], where the community chooses the stories.

  • That's only true of the 2.2 Linux kernel. Read up on the question Hans Reiser, of reiserfs fame, asked the linux-kernel list regarding performance diffs between BSD and linux. The answers were informative. The people that answered know their shit.

    See:
    http://kt.zork.net/kernel-traffic/latest.html#2

    no link cuz I'm truly sick of phony ones.
  • Why on earth has this been moderated as a "troll" -- just because he suggested something might do a better job than Linux.

    I seriously think some people here think that Linux would make a better vacuum cleaner than a Hoover branded one!

  • I'm not so sure -- it seems like a legit question. It wouldn't be modded down if it asked "Should I use Linux instead of Windows for a NAT server"
  • amazing how these open source places keep churning out software to publish when no one wants to work on them and they're not 'commercially viable' according to certain software companies.

    DanH
    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • Look at netcraft.com's statistics. xBSD just about owns the entire 'max uptime' and 'number of servers' catagories.

    Apparently someone likes xBSD enough to use it as their servers.

    I, personally, prefer linux as I'm used to that. Solaris would be my second choice.

    DanH
    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • If it's 'too easy to crack' then look at OpenBSD. Out of the box security supposedly and it's a BSD, what's not to like?

    Solaris x86 IS a dog, that's true, but for web serving, SPARCStation2 is fine up to a point. Cheap too.

    DanH
    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • Within the FreeBSD community, it is extermely necessary to RTFM completely before you step forward and ask a presumably stupid (all newbies are presumed stupid until proven smart) question on the mailing list.

    I don't think it's the FreeBSD community, per se, but rather the newsgroup community in general. Just think about all of the BW that is wasted when NG-lurkers with big heads critique every word in your post before telling you to Read the FAQ/Manual/Earlier posts. Just spend a day reading comp.lang.perl.misc and you'll get my point.


    --

  • I think you want OpenBSD. If you want security, OpenBSD has security on the order of a booby-trapped bank vault guarded by snipers. FreeBSD is a good server system in general (just ask Yahoo) but if you want bulletproof use OpenBSD; everything has been source-audited to death.

    /Brian
  • There are basically two reasons I can see for xMach to even exist:

    -Lites is Not Ready for Prime Time (which I have no knowledge of), or
    -someone wants to see a GPL'ed BSD.

    I don't know if either situation applies; xMach as it stands is BSD licensed, so the second possibility is currently out. Apart from that, why do we need a fifth BSD to begin with except to satisfy someone's hacker itch?

    The thing is, Yet Another Microkernel BSD is not what we need. We already have Lites. We already have Darwin. If you're going to create a Mach-based OS, why not do something non-Unixy? Why not do a freeware clone of Solaris or some other Unix with a lot of specialized features?

    That said, I may offer to help out anyway, I don't know...

    /Brian
  • Wow. Can you moderate someone down -3/4 for being 3/4 of a troll?

    Last time I checked, the OS of choice for Mach is pretty much any Unix you care to port to it; the most important of these would be OSF/1 (aka Compaq Tru64) and MacOS X/NextStep (there may be others). The Hurd fits loosely into that category as it's meant to be more or less a Unix act-alike, though its architecture is drastically different from any Unix or Linux system available.

    (IMHO the Hurd is obsolete except as a teaching tool anyway -- the world marched on without it while it was still vapor. But that's my personal bit of flamebait and I invite others to disagree.)

    /Brian
  • I've seen this before... does someone have an autopost script that pops this up on every BSD article or something? (And a Linux version now...)

    /Brian

    (ps To those not really in the know, it's a crock anyway -- I'm not going to get into it, but someone is clearly missing the point...)
  • Hurd is overkill for most projects, and its long delay in seeing the light of day stands as a monument to cathedral hubris. And it's not developed from scratch anyway -- it shares the Mach kernel with a number of other OSes. The only thing really innovative about it is the multiserver design and the architectural intricacies that follow from it. The Hurd is basically a huge toy for the OS geek, and will not gain the kind of momentum that Linux and BSD have.

    And yes, you BSD-is-dead, people, BSD has massive momentum. Just ask Apple, and Compaq, and Yahoo, and...

    /Brian
  • Failure schmailure. BSD has been going for over twenty years now -- that's got to be some kind of Open Source record.

    /Brian
  • by connorbd ( 151811 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2001 @10:55AM (#349552) Homepage
    WinNT/2K is a joke as far as microkernel design is concerned -- you're right about Microsoft blowing massive holes in the design to do things. They've fixed a lot of that in W2K, but it's still Windows.

    BeOS was a great idea that got bogged down by Jean-Louis Gassee's ego. The fact is that BeOS was "forced" onto Intel hardware because they weren't willing to suck it in and use the information that was already out there in the form of MkLinux (granted that would require some creative interpretations of the GPL, but I'm sure Apple could get away with GPLing Darwin without doing the same to X).

    OS X is very much like what xMach is doing, though it's already been there for maybe ten or twelve years now (or is it longer?). It doesn't have the holes NT has, and it has one of the best object frameworks in the business (even if you do need to know ObjC or Java to use it).

    The Hurd, finally, is not actually vaporware. What it is is a monument to Stallman's hubris in thinking that he could create a cutting-edge OS (and it's bleeding-edge, at the very least, if you know anything about its internals). The problem with the Hurd is that it's an extraordinarily complex piece of software with a limited appeal; where Linux pays little attention to the state of the art and follows the classic Unix philosophy of "just make it work right, dammit", the Hurd from what I've read tries to be the most advanced system out there; almost everything is customizable, and the kernel architecture itself is a Mach-based multiserver. (Read up on it -- you'll grok instantly why it took ten years to get it to daylight in any form at all...)

    There are a few others, I believe. Minix is said to be a microkernel architecture, though I don't know much about it. PalmOS is microkernel-based, but the Palm userland doesn't really pay much attention to it. MacOS uses something called a nanokernel, which I think is nothing more than a very low-level HAL (exactly what use it is I don't know).

    /Brian
  • It was a troll because it was quite evidently an attempt to start an extremely off-topic operating system religion flamewar. Despite being modded down (apparently, it didn't get modded down quickly enough), the troll succeeded. All these posts (including mine) are off-topic, and should be modded down.
  • I think you are confusing "Mach" and "Microkernel". Mach is a specific implementation of a microkernel and unless I'm horribly mistaken, neither the NT "micro"kernel nor the BeOS microkernel specfifically use Mach.

    They don't, and neither are micokernel based anyway. Both have an IP stack in-kernel. BeOS talks to USB devices in kernel land. Need I go on?

  • Just my experience...

    I have been using Red Hat Linux for a couple years now for my firewall/router and my servers. I have yet to be script-kiddie'd and the firewall is controlling a modem link AND a DSL link just fine and it's only a low end pentium machine.

    Linux can be set up very securely and will cope with the load extremely well IMHO.

    I would much rather use Linux and spend time learning about security than install something "secure out of the box" and not be aware of the issues.
  • You forgot Minix vs. Linux. This kind of _evolution_ is VERY productive. No, I will not write for HURD. Why? Because it's completely different ideas, a completely different goal, etc. And also, I don't necessarily feel very pro-GNU 99% of the time. In fact, most of the time, I don't like the GNU project very much. By the way: HURD didn't have to exist either. rtmach was doing basically what xMach is intended to do, before HURD. In fact, if Bushnell et al. had just contributed to Mach4 @ Utah, or Lites from jvh, we'd just have Mach4 + Lites. Or better still, Mach MK83a + UX, and lots of encumbered code. Yeah, diversity is bad. Let's kill _every_ Linux distribution too. It's not like they could have individual markets, users, ideals, goals, etc., If it's similar, it should be consolidated. We should have 'World Auto' instead of 'Ford, Toyota, Honda' etc. Maybe if I had called it 'GNU/xMach' you wouldn't have minded so much?
    --
  • That is indeed what we're doing. I never had the luxury of using the original BSD Lites when it was new, but we're working onward, which arguably is better :) A rumor I've heard is that JVH (read: That guy who wrote BSD Lites) had intended to make Lites a multiserver as we have proposed, but that Microsoft Research got the best of him =) So hopefully, we can make him happy.
    --
  • Yeah, let's compare qualifications. You're a regular Slashdot reader posting flamebait/troll comments to a news item. You insult me, probably because you don't like yourself, or maybe just because you have nothing better to do. Yes, I am doing something useful, yes I left highschool to pursue xMach, Perl, C, Compiler Design, Device Drivers, and happiness. I love my job, and I write pretty decent code. If you want to talk about 'qualified programming' (probably the worst phrase I've heard ever, I think you need to be informed about 'qualified writing' or 'qualified english-use') let's talk about the people who originally ported Unix to C; At the time they didn't even have real guidlines for C, according to history. What kind of qualifications would you like? A highschool diploma? I could have passed the GED when I was in 6th grade; I know, I took practice versions, etc. So once I get my GED I'll be a 'qualified programmer'? If you say I have to be a CS graduate, I'll point out that research for almost all of the code that is the basis for xMach was written by undergrads at universities. So I have to be in college first? Sorry, maybe if you give me the money, and do all my classwork, and I get to keep all the knowledge at no cost. Otherwise I'll stick to reading college textbooks, doing real-world research and development, and writing code for xMach as I hereby officially qualify myself to do.
    --
  • Thanks =) But I'm hardly uneducated. What I neglect to mention is why I dropped out... You can only miss so many days for reading Perl books, going to cons, debugging code, writing an OS, etc., before you have to decide that there's one direction to go, and that you have to choose. I chose what was best for me.
    --
  • To be honest, source code is easier to grasp than teaching materials. However, 4.4BSD D&I is an excellent book. But I've never really read a book on C or Unix programming, other than straight os-devel stuff. I plan to buy a few more books in the next weeks, though =)
    --
  • It wouldn't be modded down if it asked "Should I use Linux instead of Windows for a NAT server"

    It should be... And since that isn't what was asked, how the Hell do you know if it would or wouldn't have been modded down?

    Ranessin
  • Basically its a dog, its a pity it had to be the most famous.

    Its a shame something like L4 doesnt get more publicity. Or Eros for that matter, although that wont ever be suited as just a lite weight server to build a *nix on.
  • The HURD is developed from scratch, a pure design, a working microkernel with an up-and-coming Debian distribution, and officially supported by the GNU project.

    xMach appears to fall short of the HURD in each of these areas, if I'm not mistaken: it's not developed from scratch, has a more mingled design with existing BSDs, in partially-working state and is not part of a funded project.

    Not to disparage the xMach team, but as an honest question, how is this use of resources better than simply contributing to the HURD? Is it simply ego?

    That brings up another point. How often do free software projects suffer from ego? Not the make-things-better-because I'm good ego, but rather splitting projects, wasting time on personal conflicts, etc. NetBSD vs. OpenBSD, GNU Emacs vs. XEmacs, KDE vs. GNOME, and now xMach vs. HURD; do these competing forks serve a productive purpose in the free software community, or are they simply reminders of the inherit inefficiency prevalent in any organized human endeavour?

    Just some thoughts... thanks.

  • Well, correct em where I am wrong, but:

    While the xMach kernel has a BSD license, it is not a BSD Unix OS. It is a kernel. Ideally this kernel could be used inside any OS; in a way, it is already - there are daemons for linux similar to mach or hurd.

    While a unix would be easier to do for the mach kernel than, say, make windows run on it, the OS of choice for mach is the GNU hurd.

    Some would consider darwin to be the reverse-engineering of a dead operating system, while mach is supposed to be a well-thought-thru design.
    In addition, the apple open license 244C2.

    See also: http://www.debian.org/ports/hurd/ [debian.org]

  • It depends.

    What do you feel comfortable with? FreeBSD is my personal preference, but you have to be very aware of the huge cultural difference between Linux and FreeBSD communities. Within the FreeBSD community, it is extermely necessary to RTFM completely before you step forward and ask a presumably stupid (all newbies are presumed stupid until proven smart) question on the mailing list. Clueless lusers are not very welcome. (I'm just stating what I see as the attitude on the various FreeBSD mailing lists.)

    That said, the technical qualities of FreeBSD make it outperform Linux in all cases. Linux suffers from the disease of the least common denominator--i.e., they let anyone hack away and contribute poor quality software to the effort. With FreeBSD, there is a lot of attention to doing things the right way, where the right way is defined by the people on the committers list.

    So, if you think that you can install and start up the system on your own, go for FreeBSD. If you need help from the get-go, better stick with Linux. After you get the system up and running, and you have thoroughly R'd TFM, and you have spent at least 2 weeks reading freebsd-stable mailing list, then ask for help.

  • I'm curious how xMach compares to Mach 3.0 from CMU. Is there any relation at all besides sharing a microkernel architecture and the word "Mach?" Does anyone have a summary of the interesting features of xMach? Is this doomed to be yet another operating system?

  • It was marked "troll" because the FreeBSD philosophy is to make a high-performance x86 server, and it probably is the highest performance server you can set up on an x86 box.

    Whether the poster knew this or not is another question altogeather.

    Trolls throughout history:

  • Here's what I know. A coworker of mine used Linux to set up his PacBell DSL line while I used FreeBSD for mine. His was recently hacked by some sort of script that gave the kiddie super user privleges. The worst I have seen on my box is people attempting to access my SAMBA share (unsuccessfully I might add). In my case I got rid of them by configuring the firewall to disallow those ports on the Internet.

    My machine runs NATd, DHCPd, SAMBA, APACHE, IPFIREWALL, VNC, SSHd (preinstalled!!!), FTPd so on and so forth.

    His runs telnetd and FTPd.

    What's my opinion? Either box could end up secure, but mine was secured with most of the services I need right out of the box. In my opinion this saves me from potential user error while installing this software. On top of that, I have yet to hose a BSD machine whereas Linux machines were always falling apart at the seams. I guess what I am trying to say is, how many Solaris/HP-UX/BSD machines that you have heard of get reinstalled every 2 months, or even at all? I know of another OS that does that. It starts with a Win and ends with a Dows.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Flame on, I don't care.

  • I'm wondering how closely related to Mac OS X this is.


  • BSD makes a better server than Linux PERIOD. Note I said SERVER. I am personally running OpenBSD as my firewall/router and have seen a few attempts to exploit it, but the box has never been compromised. FreeBSD is also a good choice; you just have to make sure that you close up some default security holes.

  • I got question for all you knowledgeable FreeBSD folk.

    Would FreeBSD make a better DSL web server than Linux?

    My situation: I just got DSL, and it rocks. I only have 10 megs of homepage space with my ISP, and I want more. I figure I could jsut set up a web server at home, and live with the 128k upload speed (I need something to bypass my corp. filter, and a little cgi-perl should do the trick).

    So, Linux or FreeBSD for the server? I'm thinking FreeBSD because it's less likely to get script kiddied.

    What do you all think?
  • so I don't want to be saddled with Slolaris.

    Now, if I took an extra Sparc home, it would be different.

    I figure Linux is too easy to crack, see the honeypot article.
  • It's an Oranges/Apples (or rather Oranges/Orange pips) thing. xMach is a BSD Lites server based on BSDLite 4.4 running under (CMU) Mach 3.0. Mach is a microkernel providing little usable functionality by itself. It's only when you add Lites, or other servers like GNU's Hurd to it, that it starts to become useful.

    I hate to say it, but this is pretty much the first thing you learn about xMach when you're told what it is! You can read up, a little, on this at http://www.xmach.org/. Links to the GNU Hurd can be obtained via http://www.gnu.org/
    --
    Keep attacking good things as "communist"

  • If my opinion matters (don't answer that) Open BSD gets my vote as the easiest OS I have ever installed. I don't currently use it but I played with it and I had it installed and running on a P133 with 16m ram via the Internet in about 40 minutes.
    Adding packages was equally easy.
    I've just about talked myself into another go.
    (Even though I'm over 40 and therefore not capable of downloading software. Haven't been for ten years.)

  • ...FOX Broadcasting has just filed in court an injunction again xMach for infringing on their trademark "X-Files" TV show. When asked to comment, the lawyers for FOX said, "we think that popcorn manufacturers need to learn that they can't name their kernels after TV shows and not expect legal action."

    Come on.. It could happen.

  • "BSD makes a better server than Linux PERIOD. Note I said SERVER. I am personally running OpenBSD as my firewall/router and have seen a few attempts to exploit it"

    According to that criteria, Linux would make a good server as well. I have a firewall/router running Linux 2.4 and also see many breakin attempts without success.
  • So why does BeSO crash so much?
  • because many people attempt to start flame wars by asking such questions. "i heard windows makes a better server than linux?" - "what should i use - iis or apache?" - "gnome is better than kde, right?" - questions that are generally asked not to get an answer so much as to start debate. it's called trolling. and that's why it was moderated as such.
  • Just wanna let you know that...

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford

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