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BSD Operating Systems

OS News Interview with Robert Watson 14

An Anonymous Coward writes: "OS News is carrying an interview with Robert Watson about FreeBSD 4.5, due out almost immediately, and FreeBSD 5.0, due out later this year. He talks a little about the related kernel development work between Linux and FreeBSD, including kernel preemption. Apparently he even reads the linux-kernel mailing list, although he complained about the volume."
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OS News Interview with Robert Watson

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  • Maybe part of the problem with Linux patches being dropped on the floor is that there is too much going into the 2.5 series.

    Perhaps planning upon (and starting in parallel) a 3.x series with major changes is the way to go.

  • Looks great (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LunaticLeo ( 3949 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @04:55PM (#2921423) Homepage
    I am a long time Linux/RedHat user. I definitely plan on trying out FreeBSD 4.5 and 5.0.

    I believe 5.0 will bring FreeBSD's kernel up to rough parity with the Linux kernel. FreeBSD's KSE and Security infrastructure will definitely be ahead of Linux equivalents. Kqueue is already ahead of linux async IO. I'd like to find out how far
    and how good FreeBSD's kernel module system works.

    But as I've said before fine grained locking is HARD. It'll take some time to settle out.

    Also, from the interview, I didn't quite understand his use of the term "Preemptable Kernel". On one had he said they are adding more scheduling points in the code. But that isn't strictly a "preemptable kernel" ala Robert Love's work in the Linux kernel.

    I have also heard that FreeBSD is going to integrate the NetBSD init dependency rc system. Which, depending on how you look at it, is catching up to what SysV init does, or accomplishing the intention of Sysv init in a better way. Does anyone here know if FreeBSD is committed to adopting NetBSD's rc system by some specified release? 4.5? 5.0?

    FreeBSD/Linux cross polination will be interesting.
    • Re:Looks great (Score:2, Informative)

      by xphase ( 56482 )
      Does anyone here know if FreeBSD is committed to adopting NetBSD's rc system by some specified release? 4.5? 5.0?

      According to JKH, there is no definate plan for the integration, so it may never happen. There is currently an rc system used by FreeBSD, and it(as well as NetBSD's) are completely different ideas than the way SysV init works. There are some that don't like the way init works.

      I believe 5.0 will bring FreeBSD's kernel up to rough parity with the Linux kernel.

      Many will agree that in some areas FreeBSD's kernel is superior to the linux kernel, and in some areas it is lacking. I don't think that there will ever be a rough parity between the two. I think that FreeBSD will always be better at some things while linux will be better at others.

      blah
      --xPhase
      • Re:Looks great (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ded Bob ( 67043 )
        According to JKH, there is no definate plan for the integration, so it may never happen.

        Actually, it might. From the JKH interview:

        [23:39] I think the NetBSD startup stuff, for example, is pretty cool
        [23:39] we're just trying to find enough bodies to finish that
        [23:39] (the merge)
  • I really love the effords of the TrustedBSD project. I hope a lot of it gets merged to Free 5.0. IMHO some of the things they do are probably the only reasonable way to work around the flaws in usual UNIX design (like the omnipotent root).

    If it only were possible to have both the advantages of TrustedBSD and OpenBSD... To bad they are, at this point, mutually exclusive. I hope the Open guys find the time to integrate some of TrustedBSDs features - of course after a thorough auditing :)

  • Hey all,

    It is nice to hear him talking about a preemptible kernel, as it will seriously help on older machines, (where it already runs well.)

    I can't seem to find any info on pcmcia/pccard development though. I read somewhere that they were working on expanding the support for cardbus cards...

    Unfortunately I'm stuck using a cardbus card (till I come up with more moola...) and FreeBSD doesn't have any way to handle it. Pretty standard realtek 8139 card too. Damn!

    So I am using Debian. Not ideal but it'll play. If anyone out there has info on the freeBSD networking progress in this area, I would love to hear it.

    Regardless, I'm sure that lots of us out here are eager to see 5.0, and will welcome 4.5 happily. Good work- keep it up!

    Cuchullain

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