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GNOME GUI Operating Systems BSD

FreeBSD an officially supported GNOME platform 133

GlockaDe writes: "FreeBSD is now a supported platform for the GNOME project. This means that now, new GNOME releases will not ship unless they successfully build and run on FreeBSD. The actual note is buried in these minutes."
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FreeBSD an officially supported GNOME platform

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I installed fbsd this morning (as an experiment, interests sake etc etc) on my gateway. So far it's performing great. I must admit that part of my motivation for installing fbsd (please, no flames here) was to get away from the linux crowd. I love linux but lately (I guess the last year or so) I've become dis-illusioned. So many "newbies" installing linux and even developing on it. While this is not a bad thing, I feel that Linux has entered the "mainstream" and hence I am looking for something else to sink my claws into. A challenge if you like. Every man and his dog seems to have at least tried linux these days... heck even Katz installed it. As I said, this is a good thing(tm) for linux, but I have an itch to boldly go where no man has gone before. Maybe it's *BSD or maybe it's HURD... I'm not sure yet, but I'll bet it will be a fun adventure.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is this just to say that Linux runs on Alpha? Since Windows NT runs on it, LInus automatically feels it also needs to run on it? I hope this isn't the only reason. I guess it's a good thing to be platform independant.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Unless it's an SMP system, that is... :)

    Er, no. FreeBSD SMP isnt the best in the world (5.0 will fix that) but it works well enough and, coupled with all its other kernel advantages over Linux, an SMP FreeBSD machine is still faster [] than the same machine running Linux. This dovetails quite nicely with my experience as well. Given that there are no other "benchmarks" than those I've linked to, your belief in Linux's superiority remains just that, belief.

  • Saying any free software is "officially supported on this-or-that-system" is a huge mistake, and it totally jeopardizes the "release early, release often" philosophy.

    Free software projects depends on someone building and submitting system specific patches.

  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Monday March 26, 2001 @05:23PM (#338501) Homepage Journal
    Wow, you'd better tell all those FreeBSD users running vmware that. They're probabally going to be annoyed that they have to stop using vmware simply because you aren't allowed to port kernel modules?

    I'll give you half credit though, vmware had problems in prior to 4-STABLE as of the beginning of the year, and won't run at all on anything prior to 4-STABLE.

    Rant mode: On
    By the way, what is the deal with everybody in Linux using /proc for everything? It's kind of like old DOS programming in that it's almost completely tied to the OS (and is not actually a standard, so it can change at any time) and platform. I can see using /proc occasionally when you don't have any other options, but it seems like some Linux programmers (not Unix programmers) like to use it in every damn program. It's really annoying for those of us who port applications.

    Rant mode: Off

    Down that path lies madness. On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with melting snowballs.
  • "If I'm not mistaken, you could run Gnome under FreeBSD with Linux compat"

    Why would you want to? Linux compatibility is primarily useful for running closed-source apps built to run on Linux. GNOME can simply be compiled for FreeBSD by whoever maintains the FreeBSD packages for GNOME.
  • "Whoever thought it was only for Linux?"

    From assorted remarks I've seen on Slashdot and Linux Today, it seems that a lot of people seem to think of KDE and GNOME as Linux projects rather than Unix projects. Go figure.
  • Here are some desirable closed-sources apps for Linux:

    WordPerfect, StarOffice (not the OpenOffice beta), Adobe Acrobat Reader, RealPlayer, Java from Blackdown or Sun.

    Some people like to run these.
  • by J. J. Ramsey ( 658 ) on Monday March 26, 2001 @04:38PM (#338505) Homepage
    GNOME is supposed to be a Unix desktop, not just a Linux desktop, so portability across Unices would be a goal anyway. I doubt that KDE had much to do with it.

  • This is slightly off-topic, but anyway...

    I recently sent an email to Eazel support regarding some problems I was having with Nautilus. The response made it sound like there was something wrong, the email thanked me for my support at this "challenging time", yet I have not heard that Eazel was having any problems.

    It is not my intention to start rumours, but it would be a real shame if they were having problems since Nautilus has so much potential, but is still somewhat unusable (too bloated, and too difficult to install).


  • Hi,

    Just thought I'd write a line about my experiences with FreeBSD. I recently ran (up until yesterday, actually) FreeBSD. I was up to 4.3-BETA.

    My experience with XFree (and I was using 4.0.3) was that it was actually easier to set up under FreeBSD than it was on the various Linux distributions I've used. Apps ran great, everything worked more or less fine.

    In the end, though, I wanted cdparanoia without getting involved in a major porting project (it's in the OpenBSD ports tree, but there are some differences between OpenBSD and FreeBSD) and I was tired of waiting for DRI support. Heck, maybe it was there, but I couldn't find it and anyone I asked was too busy being l33t to help (and hell, while I'm at it, there are just some times when telling someone you used to run Linux is a bad idea.)

    I wish the FreeBSD crowd all the luck in the world because they've got a potential Linux killer, but they're going to have to step up the development process' speed.
  • Nautilus may not be supported, but it builds and runs. It's an easier build on FreeBSD-release than it is on, say, Slackware-current.
  • I switched my wife to FreeBSD a few months ago. The only thing she noticed was that her system no longer seems to freeze for a few seconds at a time under heavy loading.

    This is mainly because FreeBSD was designed from the start with the attitude of "let's do it the Right Way", rather than "let's get this working, and re-write it later". That has the disadvantage that you don't necessarily get nifty new features as quickly as the Linux folks. Linux seems to support every piece of hardware ever made to varying degrees. However, if a feature is including in the current release, then you can bet that it works - I've yet to find an alpha-quality driver or system in FreeBSD.

    Anyway, she runs Netscape, Mozilla, Gnome, Enlightenment, ESD, and pretty much all of the other apps that you'd want on a Linux desktop. She can't tell that she's not the Debian system that it replaced, except for the never-freezing difference.

  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <> on Monday March 26, 2001 @05:16PM (#338510)
    except vmware needs linux kernel modules to run. Those can't be run inside the BSD kernel, so vmware won't run at all.

    Yes, it will; this FreeBSDzine article [] discusses it. (Hint: just because it requires help from the kernel, that doesn't mean FreeBSD's kernel can't provide that help, even if the kernel modules in question had to be written by somebody other than the people at VMware.)

  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <> on Monday March 26, 2001 @05:06PM (#338511)
    For instance, Windows VMWare under Wine?

    No, that's not good enough - Wine runs native on FreeBSD.

    You want to run Linux VMware on the FreeBSD running on VirtualPC, and then run NT on VMware.

    Then you can run Hercules [] on NT (yes, it runs on Linux as well, so you could run Linux on VMware instead)...

    ...and boot the S/390 version of Linux on that.

    No, wait, you do want to run Linux on VMware. Then you'd run the NT version of Hercules under Wine....

  • i have used gnome/enlightenment under freebsd since the dawn of time. get out of my face with that kde.
    Just one man beneath the sky,
  • by ink ( 4325 )
    and can run Linux binaries faster than Linux does

    Unless it's an SMP system, that is... :)

    Give the BSD drum a break and just enjoy the article for once; I like BSD as much as the next guy, but you needn't belittle everyone else to promote your "OS of choice" (whatever that is). Heck, Windows is great for many things that neither Linux nor BSD is good at.

    The next time someone comes trolling for BSD flames, just ignore them; especially an AC on /. ; Every OS is a hobbiest's system to someone else.

    The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.

  • Well, they did lay off most of their staff (1/2, IIRC) two weeks ago or thereabouts. The /. story is here. []
  • Well, I noticed that current FreeBSD does seem to be a bit more responsive than Linux 2.2.x (haven't tried 2.4.x yet), but 14 times as fast? No way, not even close.

  • Be cautious if you dual-boot with Windows, though. Both Open and Net BSD trash your partition table with their "disklabels", making your system unbootable if you later uninstall them and try to boot into Windows. fdisk /mbr doesn't work, I had to delete all partitions and start over.

    If there is a way to prevent this please let me know, I'd like to try OpenBSD again.

  • Man, you and the post you replied to must be IT management. One can tell by the way that you just don't get it and probably never will.

  • by GypC ( 7592 )

    vim builds in DOS, but I don't think gvim (the GUI version) would run there.

  • by GypC ( 7592 )

    I agree. Slack and FreeBSD are my personal favorites as well. They are both developed in the classical Unix style... KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

  • I did set the bootable partition back to Windows... "No operating system found".

    Didn't try GRUB, but I'm not exactly hopeful enough to go through reinstalling Windows again :P

    Thanks for the non-answer Mr. Smartypants.

    BTW, I've done this with Linux and FreeBSD dozens of times with no problems.

  • by Locutus ( 9039 )
    I got to get around to trying this BSD....

    There's just so much to explore and so little time.

  • Back when I ran OS/2 I once fired up a Win/OS2 session running a dos box running a commodore 64 emulator, on a 486.

    The cursor blinked about once every fifteen seconds.

    These days, I could probably do that all that under Plex86 from within Linux. I'm just trying to figure out how to squeeze Wine into there...

  • I swear this bastard cuts and pastes this post along with the other "BSD is dead" post. If I ever run into an M$ PR guy; I swear to fucking god; it's the crips and bloods all over again.


    Hail the sign of the DEVIL!.
  • Three system calls to read something from /proc:

    One system call to read a sysctl:
  • by domc ( 11897 )
    Yeah, but at a certain point it begins to feel like a Windows install -- i.e. having to remove layers of cruft. Even decent systems like Debian suffer from this.

    FreeBSD has a certain elegance to it.

    I recently installed FreeBSD on my Vaio SuperSlim because it was the only free *nix that would install painlessly. I figured that I'd move it to linux once the distributions stabilized on 2.4, but it works nice, and feels nice, so I really don't think that I'll put linux on it.

    Of course linux has certain benefits like greater hardware support, but FreeBSD is definetly catching up.

  • by domc ( 11897 )
    Actually, I run Slackware as my primary linux distro; currently on three machines (two at work, one at home). Slack was my first linux distro, and it will most likely be my last.

    I've used Redhat, Debian, etc, but I always come home to Slack.

    I can see myself moving in the direction of using Slackware for my dektop, and FreeBSD for servers. Two very elegant platforms!

  • Personally, I use BNOME.

    It's faster, more stable, and inherently superior. It's also authentic NOME, not some piddly work-a-like. It's also way more obscure, which makes it very 31337.

  • To run the only usable web browser available for any Unix (save OS X, natch): Opera?

  • I'll try another KDE build tonight, but the last time I tried it (a 2.0mumble build, out of /usr/ports) Konqueror was totally unstable. And how good is Konqueror's keyboard-ability? The reason I started using Opera is that everything is keyboard controlled, which is important as I don't like to stress my poor RSI wrists any more than is absolutely necessary.

  • Yea and Debian ARM
  • I don't think you have a clear grasp of the situation at all. As a member of the Gnome 1.4 release team, I'll just say this: Expect an announcement within a week regarding 1.4 -- and it will have nothing to do with "strong arming" or /. pressure. The Foundation and the release team make decisions based on good technical merit and other factors contributing the betterment of the Gnome platform and what will benefit users as a whole.

    Also, there hasn't been a "schedule" until recently (i.e. the last couple of months). There were goals and rough dates to shoot at, but no hard and fast schedule--you can't schedule that far in advance, you can only set goals. But in the last few months we have set a schedule and have done a pretty good job of sticking to our primary goal which was to release Gnome 1.4 before GUADEC. Barring any major issues this should happen.

  • by Skeezix ( 14602 ) <> on Monday March 26, 2001 @05:04PM (#338532) Homepage
    GNOME has run on BSD for quite some time; that's not the point. The point is that now it's part of the GNOME project's list of reference platforms. I avoid the use of the word "support" since there's no support in the traditional sense of the word from the GNOME project itself, but BSD is a compatible platform and officially considered in the release plans.
  • From the Gnome (Ximian) Download Page:

    "Please note: Ximian GNOME is not currently available for Mandrake 7.2. Users of Mandrake 7.2 are cautioned not to try to install Ximian GNOME on their systems."

    I find it odd and infuriating that they can branch out to FreeBSD - a platform that GNOME was not originally designed to serve - when they haven't even gotten this right in one of the most popular linux distro's (in the US, anyway) yet.

    "These are the thoughts that kept me out of the really *good* schools." --George Carlin
  • Whoever thought it was only for Linux? Linux is not GNU, and GNOME is a GNU project. If it can't run on any other platform besides Linux when happens when TGS is finally released?
  • What is it with you and BSD? Why should you even care what other people are running? Did Theo insult you or something?

    You spend so much time dissing BSD that it's like you're trying to compensate for some unknown inadequacy. Small dick? Small brain? What?
  • And GNOME is different how?
  • Okay, I'll feed the troll 'cuz I hate to see the little buggers starve to death...

    although the source is open, the development team is not.

    I seem to recall that only Linus Torvalds gets to bless kernel code with "officialdom". Funny, I heard that GNU operates in a similar way.

    Furthermore the license allpws proprietary software to "steal" source code and use it.

    The oldest FUD in the book. You cannot steal what is free. Try it sometime if you don't believe me. No matter how hard you try, you cannot take FreeBSD away from the FreeBSD Core Team. No matter how much you close, fold, spindle and mutilate it, it will still be there untouched and as pristine as before!

    "Steal" is definitely not the right word.

    What must be done is an opening up of the development process OR a GPL-style restriction on redistribution.

    So, you're saying that they either need to be LESS restrictive or MORE restrictive? Which one is it!

    Recently I became aware of two GPLd projects that are using some of my BSD licensed code. Fantastic! Great! Go Bulldogs! It didn't bother me one bit that my code was being used in alternately licensed projects. However, if the shoes were on the other foot, it could not have happened.
  • This is the problem. People just don't understand. GNOME and just about every other package/application runs under FreeBSD w/ minimal effort compaired to GNU/Linux. Packages/library upgrades are one of the most easy things with FreeBSD. [].

  • by jslag ( 21657 )
    Hey man, wherever gvim builds and runs, I'm there.

    So you're into using DOS? What a glutton for punishment.

  • Um? It would seem to me that the version of Aqua they shipped did compile on Darwin. A quick 'uname -a' reveals the following.

    Darwin localhost 1.3 Darwin Kernel Version 1.3: Thu Mar 1 06:56:40 PST 2001; root:xnu/xnu-123.5.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC Power Macintosh powerpc
  • Many times i've had a great deal of "FUN" trying to compile the latest gnome on FreeBSD...

    Same goess with kde2.1.... on which kdeinit still hangs on some "QT mutex issues "

    These projects need a very strong lesson into wirtting portable code. Portable code's benefits are not only in the portability, but by writting portable code, you're force to write better and cleaner code.

    And this, is the unix way...

    QT: Woah, by judging by the previous comments, slashdot has really turned into a place of uninformed/fanatic trolls...

    there really needs to be a tronger registration system...

    heck, even a micropayment slashdot is starting to look good.
  • woah, great.. i actually hadn't tried since since last friday... so it works with Xfree 4.02?

    no more stalls?

    i was actually jus rright now reverting to 3.3.6...

    this is great news indeed ;)
  • dude, am running from kde2.1 right now...

    damn... it Rocks... they have com ea long way since i first used them in '97...

    Damn, gnome panel+sawfish no more forme...

    Plus Konqueror.... damn, the mozilla guys should be ashmed....
  • by Lazaru5 ( 28995 ) on Monday March 26, 2001 @07:13PM (#338544)
    KDE2.1 and the QT threading issues under X4 have been dealt with. Will@FreeBSD.Org committed fixes this past weekend.

    Things have been fine under X3, and things were even ok under X4 for the first few days after KDE2.1's release.

    I stopped using GNOME since KDE2's first release, so I can't comment on that.

  • fprintf is not a syscall. It's a C library function.
  • gvim build on freebsd, heck there is a port.
  • Debian PPC while they're at it....:-D
  • > Silly me, for thinking the data from a BSDi staffer would be 'inflammatory'. But hey, obviously you have better data. So, post it.

    "Better data" implies a comparison. You've provided no data to compare against. Maybe you should actually post something substantial before you start getting defensive.
  • yah! and you only have to download 400 packages or update your compiler and compile a metric buttload of source to get it working and it trashes your old 1.x kde install!

  • Have you tried Slack?
  • by bugg ( 65930 )
    Apple has an interesting hobby.
  • Personally, I like the central development model that FreeBSD uses as opposed to Linux. FreeBSD uses CVS for the entire tree of code. This is the kernel and the user-land software. The ports system is quite easy to use.

    For me, the only thing I miss from Linux is some of the drivers. The nVidia driver would be nice, especially if they would just license the source under the MIT license for inclusion into XFree86. I am not bitter at nVidia! Grrrr!!! :)

    For a true comparison, you would have to try it out yourself as my needs are probably different than yours. I had nothing to hold me on Linux. FreeBSD had everything that I needed. As for you, I don't know your requirements for a Unix system.

    Your first step is to check on the FreeBSD website [] for hardware compatibility []. You should do this for any operating system. I learned that lesson when I first started using Linux during the 0.99.14? days. Anyone else remember the SLS distribution? :)
  • Enlightenment (BSD licensed) works for me. Does that help you?
  • Hey man, wherever gvim [] builds and runs, I'm there.

  • echo 1> /proc/sys/rant
    . [ do some ranting ]
    echo 0> /proc/sys/rant

  • At this point, both HP and Sun have announced plans to (eventually) phase out CDE and replace it with Gnome as their primary desktop. HP, at least, has even committed to shipping Gnome with the next update to HPUX, due sometime mid 2nd half of this year...
  • Proc probably isn't as fast or portable as a system call. But last I checked, system calls are hardly portable as well. Maybe you could help me out on this one, because I probably dont know everything I should. Wouldn't it be just as hard to port a syscall as a filesystem read from /proc?
  • I forgot the Linux users' mantra. "Free over Useful".

    Come on that's pretty much a troll and a mistatement of GNU philosophy. The goal of GNU is to make Free software that is every bit as useful as proprietary software. If everyone just gave up on that vision there wouldn't be any free software. Whenever you give up your freedoms you have to weigh the decision very carefully. Proprietary software is sometimes unavoidable, but the long term goal is to not need it at all.
  • Call it a difference of opinion, however I think that the best tool for the job is always the one that should be used. If there is a free-as-in-source replacement on the way that is wonderful

    That's good and well. This attitude doesn't rule out trying to advance free software. You say you'd use free software if it gets the job done (weighing in of course cost matters and development concernes). But you haven't said if you think the long term goal of the GNU project is good. To give users like yourself a Free alternative to proprietary software. If you're only a user of software (as you imply) then I would encourage you to try to use Free software and help advance it. If the philosophy of free software is something you don't really care about, then I can understand, and call that a difference of opinion. But you really haven't opined on that.
  • Is this just to say that it runs on BSD. Since KDE runs on it, GNome automaically feels it also needs to run on it? I hope this isn't the only reason. I guess it's a good thing to be platform independant.
  • Nah, I was trying to point out that there seems to be a bit of a pissing match between the KDE and GNOME teams. It seems kind of a waste of time to put the effort into it unless there are other good reasons to do so.

    Since BSD is more of a server operating system is there many people the would even need this. It seems viable for Linux to get a piece of the desktop market but BSD??? I don't think so.

  • Just because there's a product available doesn't mean it will be a hit. I would think most people would agree that Linux is (for now) the more popular desktop system compared to any of the BSD variants. Maybe with GNOME and KDE support, BSD will surpase Linux as the choice for the future, but for now just look at companies like NVidia, they're supporting Linux not BSD, I'm sure there are other examples like this. BSD can't surpase Linux on the desktop if it doesn't get the hardware support, but it certainly can compete on the server.
  • I switched my wife to FreeBSD
    Man, that's sick. Marrying a computer.
  • by iso ( 87585 ) <> on Monday March 26, 2001 @04:29PM (#338564) Homepage

    what a co-incidence! Apple recently stated that they wouldn't ship any future version of Aqua until it compiles on Darwin! go BSD! ;)

    - j

  • by mr ( 88570 )
    I find it disheartening that people actually believe things without researching them.

    Find it all the dishearting you want.

    give some quantitative proof of your claim

    I was told this by Bob Bruce, the gent who's Walnut Creek was bought by BSDi.

    Really, inflammatory remarks are exactly that

    Silly me, for thinking the data from a BSDi staffer would be 'inflammatory'. But hey, obviously you have better data. So, post it.
  • I would think most people would agree that Linux is (for now) the more popular desktop system compared to any of the BSD variants

    I don't agree.
    Which of the 180 versions (called distros by others) is more popular?

    Simple statistics says the majority of linux distros have less marketshare than FreeBSD.

    If you like lumping seperate versions together, then after Mac OS X ships for a year, its volume will outstrip the 180 linux versions.
  • by mr ( 88570 )
    BSD is lumped in the "other" category with about 1% of the market.

    Really? You have proof of that? Less informed people like Tiger Software, Comdex and CompUSA have a 'linux section' with BSD placed there. How about Twocows placing BSD under a GPL license.

    Why would the garder group be better?

  • Regardless I think you need to take a look at BSD isn't even close to Linux.

    Really? What page? I see a 404 error.
  • by mr ( 88570 )
    The problem is that BSD is marginal.

    Considering of the Open Source OS market, FreeBSD has 20% marketshare, and can run Linux binaries faster than Linux does, I don't consider that marginal.

    But, I guess the kool-aide they give out at RedHat is rather good, if you consider 20% marketshare marginal.
  • by mr ( 88570 )
    Maybe you should actually post something substantial

    As opposed to what? The majority of /. posts?

    To have the data the 20% number from Bob Bruce is based on, you'd have to post links to IDC, netcraft or other data. Data you pay $$ for. Links from /. to data people pay for...hrrmmm not gonna happen.

    What is MORE interesting is this:
    slashdot post []
    Here a claim of 'falling IDC numbers', yet you have not posted calling THAT into question.

    If you don't like "bad data", then why not a post to that reply.

  • by mr ( 88570 ) on Monday March 26, 2001 @05:59PM (#338571)
    Since BSD is more of a server operating system

    Really? Then can you explain this product?
    FreeBSD the desktop version []
  • by Arker ( 91948 )

    Debian is very BSDish..

    Uh... huh?

    You must have been thinking 'Slackware' and somehow typed 'Debian' instead by accident, right?

    "That old saw about the early bird just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."
  • Now we just need Ximian [] Gnome!

  • having tried, and currently using, freebsd (and net/open, but neither had pcmcia support when i tried to install on my laptop) i can say that there is definitely an elitist tone that creeps into my view of linux, especially in terms of *perceived* stability and presentability. (all right, not just perceived, but actual. i've never had my freebsd machines die swapping, while my 2.2.16 linux machine went down nobly one evening for no apparent reason in january. so much for 100 days uptime.)

    geekiness is a worthy goal, and it's no surprise that elitism becomes a problem. but look at it this way: bsd people (hopefully) never need help with their systems, so tech support people won't get any calls from bsd users!

    (for the record, i tried installing plan9 over the summer, but it didn't recognize my voodoo3, so i gave up. so much for uber-geekdom.)

  • by Offwhite98 ( 101400 ) on Monday March 26, 2001 @08:19PM (#338575) Homepage
    The Linux boom is leveling off and people are realizing that there are other systems like FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD which are all rather nice.

    Sure the BSD's do not focus on being desktop workstations but that does not mean the Gnome and KDE developers cannot make it work nicely as one. At times it is hard setting up X under BSD, but once it is running it is pretty sweet.

    I use FreeBSD since it seems well rounded with tons of ported applications and many performance enhancements for the x86 platform while the other two main branches are happy producing a great server OS which runs on all kinds of hardware. I am unsure how well X and Gnome runs on those systems. I doubt many NetBSD users would feel bad if someone said XFreeBSD is hard to install onto NetBSD. One place that I know is using NetBSD has it running several large printers. I think they manage them through SNMP.

    Pick the right OS for the job. I am glad FreeBSD works well as a server and can do the job as a workstation so long as I do not mind tinkering with it till the sound works.

    FreeBSD continues to improve nicely. I cannot wait to see when 5.0 is released sometime in the next year or so. The integration of BSDi features like fine grained SMP will be great, even for a single processor. A nicely threaded kernel will be good for everything. Take that along with more development on KQueues and you will have a fine desktop platform and a database/web server.
  • Linux procfs usually provides information in plain text usually. That is evil since making text output similar between two operating systems is unpractical, especially when these operating systems tend to change their interfaces often. And why spending valuable processor time converting _binary_ data from text and then back? Or do you really think that the developer who puts essentially device interfaces like AGP under /proc really knows what he is doing? I hope you do not really advocate the idea that BSD's should follow that strange at best path?
  • Procfs on Linux does things it should not do at all. What the hell 'process fs' has to do with device control? TCP/IP stacks paramaters? That _is_ strange no matter what you are trying to come out to justify Linux' flawed design. Regarding NIH accusation in one of your previous postings let me note that BSD's have procfs for a time longer than Linux but quite successfully managed not to turn it into a kitchen sink it is on Linux. If text is the 'Unix way', then why syscalls live statfs, stat, etc are all returning binary structures? Pretty non-Unixy :) Let me repeat myself - given the fact, that Linux procfs has no business representing information better exposed by other means, discussion about in what exactly format it is exporting data is moot. Yes, sysctl.conf will most likely not work as expected across all the BSD's. I never claimed that it is portable. Neither will be linprocfs text interface. What I actually was saying that given the differences between the operating systems, adding unnesessary and hard to syncronise interface just for the sake of Linux compatibility will only double the burden. Sysctl is present and is doing its jobs adequately, so there is no point adding yet another feature which does not provide you any signficicant gain (if any at all). And questionable justification behing Linux procfs implementation very unlikely to inspire BSD developers. Their energy will be better spent somewhere else. Binary to text conversion is slow. I am not sure I follow your argument where you trying to convince me otherwise. Each open syscall on procfs node will involve text string formatting and possible parsing back into binary form in userland, while corresponding sysctl will not have this overhead at all. Yes, while not touched, procfs does not spend your processor time but each access retrieval from it is order of magnitude slower than binary only syscall. > It still seems like a case of favouring tradition over a superior design. That I am ready to agree with, except for that 'superior' word. 'Slow and redundant' might be a better word choice. And yes, you did not state any sigle advantage Linux procfs has over sysctl excpept for some 'Unix way' religious mantras.
  • Sorry, that was /proc/mtrr
  • Is is as bloated in Plan 9 as it is in Linux? Well no :) Remote filesystem sharing - does it even make sense for _procfs_? Plan 9 has nice private namespaces consept, but how does that prove anything in this discussion?
  • It's just as braindead and retarded to avoid something because it's popular as it is to get into something because it's popular. Either way, you're basing YOUR actions based on what "everyone else" thinks.

    If you're into FreeBSD because of what it does for you, that's great. If you're into it because Linux isn't "weird" or l33t enough for you, you're a dumbass.

  • No.. System calls TEND to be portable. I mean fprintf is fprintf is fprintf. So are a LOT of system calls. You can get at MOST of the info in /proc by other means (/proc/net is available from netstat... /proc/uptime is available /proc/loadavg is available.. Its a pain.. Or people use LINUX system headers instead of the more generic STANDARD system headers...

    I think its more an issue of lack of knowledge.. People are too hyper focused on Linux and not thinking UNIX in general.

  • Correct.. Sorry.. thats what I get for writing at 2am.p>?!?!?! I was replying to someone's post correcting me.. WTF is up with that ??!?!?!
  • The only BSD that matters now is MacOSX

    BSD operating systems have a history of being licensed under free software terms. Mac OS X is not free software; on the contrary, it's proprietary software that runs on proprietary hardware, and you don't know how much copy "protection" is in the hardware and software.

    It takes a visionary company like Apple to wash and scrub an awful GUI like X away.

    X is only a network-transparent graphics subsystem. The GUI is provided by X toolkits and clients such as GTK+ apps and Qt apps. (The Qt [] (not QT []) logo looks too much like a hammer and sickle.) I agree that the GNOME people have a lot to learn from Apple, and vice versa.

  • by Karma Sucks ( 127136 ) on Monday March 26, 2001 @09:53PM (#338584)
    Way to go Slashdot in pressuring the GNOME Foundation to make sure GNOME 1.4 works on FreeBSD.

    The above link is more than a month old, and what's noteworthy now is that Nautilus is not supported on FreeBSD. Nautilus is GNOME 1.4. To complicate matters, GNOME 1.4 is way behind schedule, and before this article on Slashdot, I don't think FreeBSD was a priority at all!

    In short, this article should strong-arm the GNOME Foundation into delaying GNOME even more, for better or for worse.

  • VMware is one reason.
  • It's because it's much more sensible and true to the UNIX philosophy than sysctl is (everything is a file), and I wish more people would use it, if just to convince the xBSD developers to support it in addition to the traditional sysctl framework.

    Linux supports both, and developers choose to use /proc rather than sysctl because it is, to them, a superior interface. I have to agree with this, using file I/O is a whole pile easier and unix-like than mucking around with sysctl.

    There's no reason why any of the BSD's can't support it other than developer inertia, and for the BSD traditionalists, it doesn't have to be the primary kernel config interface, merely a compatibility option. However, believe me, once /proc support is in there, it will quickly become popular. It just works better!
  • Procfs represents data as text because again, that is the UNIX way. There are two things that are basically unique to UNIX systems, and they are that, in userland, everything is a file, and that plain text is a universal data format. Procfs adheres to this, sysctl does not.

    You misunderstand the AGP files in /proc - those are control and information files (which belong in /proc), not the device interfaces. The actual device read/write interfaces are, as you'd expect, in /dev - /dev/agpgart on my Linux box. That's not strange at all.

    The format (and location) of the data does change in /proc from time to time, yes, but not that often. In any case, sysctl has a similar problem - kernel interfaces do change, and the changes in the kernel are reflected in the sysctl interface. In fact, I'd argue that the fact that procfs forces a conversion to plain text makes it _more_ likely that the data format will stay the same, as it adds a layer of abstraction that sysctl does not.

    As for cross-platform issues, tell me, does your /etc/sysctl.conf work flawlessly across FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD and BSDI? I thought not, and that's even though they originate from the same codebase.

    And to your most relevant point, that binary to text conversion is slow and memory intensive. Well, this would be a problem if procfs was a real in-memory filesystem... but it isn't. The data inside /proc is not actually generated from the kernel until the relevant file is open()'ed. So, the /proc tree takes precisely zero extra processor time and zero extra memory until you read or write something to it.

    Are there any other arguments for sysctl and against procfs? It still seems like a case of favouring tradition over a superior design.
  • How come you got modded +4 funny and I didn't, when I pulled the first joke?

    OK, technically I was wrong, but
    Life sucks.

  • now how about a ximian gnome release for freebsd?
  • Here is a 1992 conversation between linus and Tenanbaum
    Tanenbaum had two points: that monolithic kernels were obsolete and that Linux was not desinged for portability. Monolithic vs microkernel is really a religious war, but I think it's safe to say that monolithic kernels are faster to develop than microkernels. Speed of development is probably the fundamental reason Linux caught on - Linus was able to get it to a usable state by himself. On portability Tanenbaum clearly had a point, but one which is meaningless in todays context. The bits of Linux that made portability difficult in the early versions are long gone and indeed Linux has extremely good portability now. It's also quite clear that Tanenbaum does not understand Open Source / Free Software. He particularly focuses on the mutation myth that Microsoft is so fond of. In conclusion Tanenbaum's comments made a lot of sense then (and I'm sure Linus took them on board), but with the benefit of nearly 10 years of hindsight I'd say he was almost dead wrong.
  • why is this even news? gnome has been the the freebsd portlist for a while now. how many freebsd users do you know that would rather download something and do it by hand rather than use the port collection. btw, gnome compiles on freebsd fine. it's not a matter of worry if it's gonna compile, because it will. btw, to all you trolls, this has nothing to do with "bsd dying", as you so bluntly put it. this isn't even a linux vs. bsd war. this is a kde vs. gnome war. maybe all you linux users just wanna take jabs at a faster, more stable OS. you don't realize that most of us freebsd users could care less about what list we are on for being supported. check if you would like to see what the freebsd community ports to itself without having to wait for lil announcements like this one.

  • If I'm not mistaken, you could run Gnome under FreeBSD with Linux compat, so I guess the only news is... Gnome won't be shipped if it doesn't compile? Sounds good but that doesn't do much for downloads of Gnome and all the dependancies, and if your on dialup ... (ouch). Either way its nice to see developers still focusing on the BSD's contrary to beliefs that BSD is dying.

    csh-2.04# uname -snrm
    FreeBSD 4.1-RELEASE i386

  • I was making a statement in general, so there was no need to state this, I for one have been using FreeBSD, and OpenBSD since FBSD 3.2 and Open 2.6 so I'm pretty familiar with ports, the purpose of my initial post was to point out what I understood, Gnome wouldn't ship unless it compiled which is what I took it to be.
  • it is primarily a hobby operating system

    Well maybe you're right. I installed fbsd this morning for exactly that reason though. A passion. A hobby. I code at work for money. At home it's for fun. Work can dictate what OS('s) I develop for, but at home it's all about choice, and what _I_ think is fun. The fun seems to have gone out of Linux (for me). Don't get me wrong, Linux is GREAT! But I think that, perhaps, it's heading in the wrong direction.

    I first installed linux in 1995 (Yggdrasil Linux) and have used it predominately since. The reason I installed it was because I like hacking. Linux these days seems to have moved away from hacking to "World Domination". I don't give a flying monkey's tail about World Domination. I want to hack, and feel as though I am doing something for the pure passion of it. The fact that compilation on fbsd is now a gnome requirement (if it doesn't compile on fbsd it's considered a serious bug) seems, to me, to confirm that other people think like me.

    Hacking is (as you said) a hobby. A labour of love. I get paid for programming. In my spare time I hack.
  • "...FreeBSD has 20% marketshare, and can run Linux binaries faster than Linux does..."

    Usually I don't respond to trolling but I find it disheartening that people actually believe things without researching them. Please, if you will, give some quantitative proof of your claim. Really, inflammatory remarks are exactly that, no matter which side you choose.
  • by journalistguy ( 398433 ) on Monday March 26, 2001 @04:13PM (#338626)
    ...I can run BSD in emulation using Virtual PC in Mac Classic mode while using OSX as my main operating system?

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger