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BSD Operating Systems

FreeBSD 5.0 RC3 Now Ready 300

Dan writes "Scott Long announces that FreeBSD 5.0 RC3 has been released and available at all mirrors sites. Release notes can be viewed here, you can download 5.0 RC3 from or from one of your favorite mirror sites. Many thanks to the FreeBSD Release Engineering team for their work efforts!"
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FreeBSD 5.0 RC3 Now Ready

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:17AM (#5072504)
    So it can't be completely dead!
  • You know... (Score:5, Funny)

    by sofo ( 18554 ) < minus threevowels> on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:25AM (#5072578)
    ...saying *BSD is dead is dead.
  • UDF Support (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vasqzr ( 619165 ) <> on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:28AM (#5072604)


    Now I don't have to copy my clients Adaptec DirectCD's to the network on a Windows machine before I can use them.

    Why people mail me $3 CDRW's instead of $0.03 CDR's I'll never know.

  • Excellent System (Score:5, Interesting)

    by martinmcc ( 214402 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:31AM (#5072625) Homepage
    I've just changed my Desktop OS from Mandrake to FreeBSD - I'd been running FreeBSD as my server OS for a few years now and have always been impressed by its stability (NEVER had a crash) and ease of configuration. I was unsure about it as a desktop system since in that I want something that just works without any fuss, and Mandrake seemed to do the job. After 4 hours I had FreeBSD running kde with kdm, my mail/news/browsers, sound etc. all set up and working without any touble at all. All I have left is to get my scroll mouse working and I have everything I need, and I am confident I will have much less problems then with Mandrake (a fair few crashes and awkward to troubleshoot).

    I would now recommend FreeBSD as the unix of choice for any purpose, it may not have a fancy graphical install program, but you will really appreciate this simplicity when you come to make changes/ do something a little out of the ordinary.

    My OS catagories -

    Windows XX - For the clueless masses, and often a neccassary evil (esp. games)
    Linux Mandrake - Good when it is good (i.e. installs without a problem and no strange configurations), but a hog to troubleshoot.
    FreeBSD - The king of server OS's, and by the look of things a great Desktop system.
    • Re:Excellent System (Score:4, Interesting)

      by marvin ( 5198 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:37AM (#5072695)
      FreeBSD is king on uniprocessor server or workstation. Even 5.0 SMP support is too young to be
      compared to Linux.
      • I dunno about that. 4.6 works great on some dual processor Dell PE2550 servers and a dual processor Compaq proliant. They're all pretty quick and have some bitchen' uptime. In fact, the last time I rebooted them is when they moved from test to production. (Around 5 months)

        OTOH, the other OS being used for similar boxen on the same project is Nutware 5.0 which has the uptime of a mayfly when groupwise is running on it.

      • I was under the impression that while FreeBSD may not effectively utilize as MANY processors as Linux, it was more efficient with the ones it DID utilize.

        i.e. BSD doesn't really work well with more than 4 processors, but it has more efficient utilization of the additional processors (~%83 I think) than would Linux (~%75 I think)

        I wish I had a link to this doc, it was on another /. discussion a while back...

      • Re:Excellent System (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Zeio ( 325157 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2003 @06:51AM (#5079523)
        I've actually found cases where the SMP on FreeBSD 4.x was superior to Linux. In order to test Linux's networking performance vs. FreeBSD, I changed a program for an algorithm to just run in the background calculating the Ackermann Function [].

        Anyways, the base rate was to run two Ackerman's at once, thus causing 100% USER CPU usage on both CPUs. The base rate for FreeBSD 4.62 was 15.5 Ackerman's per time period, vs. Linux's v2.4.18 14.0 during the same time period. Now this isn't a smoking gun, but the hardware was identical, and they were both running on custom compiled thin as possible kernels under the same duress.

        Why would anyone do this? Well, my goal was to eat up all USER CPU and see how much I could rob from user with system under severe network abuse. Needless to say, that both OS's did very poorly, with FreeBSD having a clear edge, when the interface was brought to promiscuous mode to listen to a packet flood. FreeBSD degraded less, but in both cases an almost useless amount of CPU was left over for USERland. FreeBSD with RX polling turned on - a feature that practically seems unique to FreeBSD, from the XORP router project []. I am aware of polling endeavors in Linux but was never able to get them working. As usual with FreeBSD, 'features' aren't creeping in, so they tend to work. I even changed the polling to work under SMP (it wasn't designed to) and it worked in a situation where it shouldn't have. The usefulness of RX polling cannot be stressed enough, its imperative to consider the live-locking of interrupt driven kernels when dealing with massive amounts of bandwidth. If interested, see: 'Eliminating Receive Livelock in an Interrupt-driven Kernel' [], USENIX 1996, its amazing to me livelock still happens over 5 years after stuff like this gets presented to the public.

        So, how bad is FreeBSD SMP? As far as I was concerned in my test, 2.4 Linux SMP seemed inferior (in my case) to FreeBSD on identical hardware. Are people touting Linux's big bad SMP zealots. Most probably, most good kernel hackers think highly of FreeBSD, particularly the VM. I find it amusing that RedHat is not porting to SPARC or Alpha anymore, and yes FreeBSD 5 is planned stable on IA64, IA32, SPARC64, PowerPC [stable planned a bit later, probably when a real PPC gets offered by IBM - die Motorola PPC, die] and Alpha. Clean code and standards compliance begets portability.

        As far as saying "SMP" is better. Linux may have a better approach, but like my example, and I am sure there are others, empirical tests say a whole lot more. It's important to keep the machinery well oiled and coherent, which is something I think FreeBSD does rather nicely. Empirical tests such as mine prove that approach and theory and real life are different.

        FreeBSD - it's coherent, well documented, "thin," bloody fast, BSD licensed so call it your own. You can see that well written code goes across architectures; the FreeBSD discipline is allowing them to easily stay stable on several platforms. I have run several tests that suggest that even FreeBSD 4.X is 'better' than Linux at various things, let alone 5.0. The VM subsystem is superior [2.5 is catching up]. Most big companies provide virtual servers with FreeBSD, such as Verio. The biggest irony of all is how small the FreeBSD community is compared to legions of hackers and companies trying to improve Linux. Yet why is Linux fragmented so horribly? You will eventually come to understand why this is the only free and open commercial grade OS there is. You will know what you are missing when you finally get a coherent UNIX. GCC, the C library and the kernel are all a matched set, not of this he said she said GNU-of-the-day distribution crap or fake compilers from RedHat and frozen broken CVS snapshots of the C library [RedHat again, with a fake C-lib on RH8]. FreeBSD is used by Juniper as the core OS, with network processors instead of 'real' network cards. It's beautiful. A full version of FreeBSD, relabeled JuneOS, with an IOS-like CLI for those who need it and superior design and interfaces. The UFS2 filesystem is also incredible. I really, really like XFS for Linux, but the Linux kernel maintainers won't merge it in [to 2.4] but have a myriad of vastly inferior filesystems merged into Linux [ext3 fake journaling, Reiser fsck for fun FS, JFS which is robust but slow]. RedHat's refusal not to embrace XFS with open arms boggles my mind. UFS2 addresses this problem. A fast, robust logging filesystem that is stable and in the kernel. I think UFS2 is a far superior improvement to UFS than was ETX3 to EXT2.

        Anyways, I don't think I'll wait for Linux kernel 2.6 or any of the flavors of Linux distributors to come out with something stable, well documented, coherent with UNIX as a standard and each other. Don't be fooled, LSB is a standards base, but you don't get decades of discipline, you get maybe a years worth of un-actualized planning. FreeBSD 5.0 is here. This project needs a better installer, and some 'for workstation use' cleanups, and probably a better package system, although, there are lots of people who like PKG and PORTS much, much better than RPM or DEB. Another annoying omission [and yet another Sun self-screwing maneuver] it that it is difficult to get a JRE/JDK to run natively [1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 are available as ports] and Sun does not provide one [they are apparently planning one]. People have lots of luck though using the Linux binary emulator, FreeBSD can run everything Linux does in binary form and it's easier to port to. Another good reason to develop for FreeBSD is this: Linux has /usr/include/linux. That in and of itself is a reason not to start there for development work. World, see a more beautiful future, one which was paved with the golden road made of FreeBSD - Certainly FreeBSD has a place, and in my opinion it clearly deprecates Linux in some situations. Particularly if you need to have a nice server box stay up forever or stay GPL-virus-free. [this said affectionately, I like the GPL, but you may not be able to afford giving your intellectual property to the world but would like to contribute in some way nevertheless. If it's a non-novel concept, the "community" will just implement it out of need/demand, if it's too difficult for the hackers to trivially add, then it might just be worth calling intellectual property.]
    • Re:Excellent System (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tyler Eaves ( 344284 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:49AM (#5072798)
      Edit in rc.conf:


      moused_flags="-z 4"



      In your XF86Config:

      Section "InputDevice"

      Identifier "Mouse0"

      Option "Protocol" "auto"

      Option "Device" "/dev/sysmouse"

      Option "Buttons" "5"


      That's my setup in 4.7-RELEASE with an MS Optical. Should be generic though.
      • Re:Excellent System (Score:3, Informative)

        by MattBurke ( 58682 )
        my XF86Config for a ps2 microsoft wheelmouse:

        Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier "Mouse0"
        Driver "mouse"
        Option "Buttons" "5"
        Option "Protocol" "Auto"
        Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
        Option "Device" "/dev/psm0"

        no configuration needed elsewhere
      • You need the ZAxisMapping option as well in order to get the scroll wheel/button working.

        And for those that don't want a mouse at the console, don't start moused, and change the mouse device in XF86Config to point to the mouse device (/dev/psm0, /dev/ums0, /dev/sio0, and so on).
    • Re:Excellent System (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <brian&wylfing,net> on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:01PM (#5072924) Homepage Journal
      Linux Mandrake - Good when it is good (i.e. installs without a problem and no strange configurations), but a hog to troubleshoot.

      This is what keeps Mandrake from being a great OS -- desktop, server, or otherwise. If something doesn't come out of the box from Mandrakesoft, you can pretty much forget about it. I have moved every machine that once had MDK to something more, er, alterable like Debian or FreeBSD (which really shines in the turning-old-machines-into-dedicated-servers department).

    • I would now recommend FreeBSD as the unix of choice for any purpose, it may not have a fancy graphical install program, but you will really appreciate this simplicity when you come to make changes/ do something a little out of the ordinary.

      Well no offence but I hope you don't recommend it to newbies. I've had friends tell me Linux was still in the dark ages because it lacked a friendly install program and they couldn't figure out how to configure it. It turned out some smartass had recommended Debian because "it's so cool, everyone uses Debian, and it's free", ignoring the fact that newbies want simplicity perhaps at the expense of reliability.

      • It may not be graphical, but after no more than an hour or two I was very comfortable with installing packages. I've not looked back to the package hell that's associated with rpms since.
      • Well no offence but I hope you don't recommend it to newbies.

        i think freebsd is a better choice for newbies who actually want to learn about unix, and i say this from experience. when i started playing with *nix, i tried linux and freebsd, and i found freebsd to be much more consistant in general. in linux, things tend to vary drastically between distros and versions, but freebsd has pretty much stayed the same over the last few years that ive used it. i've also found the freebsd handbook [] to be very helpful, since it doesnt become obsolete with every new release (unlike a lot of linux documentation).

    • After 4 hours I had FreeBSD running kde with kdm, my mail/news/browsers, sound etc. all set up and working without any touble at all.

      Sadly for you... it takes me about 45min to get to the same spot, but with a working scroll mouse and 802.11b running fine using Mandrake 9.0. This is on a P3 500MHz ThinkPad. If it had taken 4hrs... I would be using something else. And yes, the thing hasn't crashed yet (2 weeks or so of use, don't keep it on all the time being that it is a laptop). When the battery dies, it goes into sleep mode fine, and powers up again running again right where it left off. Overall, a nice experience so far.

      Even RH 6.0 didn't take 4hrs on my old Cyrix 300MHz system. And that thing was a royal pain in the ass.
      • by martinmcc ( 214402 )
        Well I'm quite happy to spend four hours - The reason I moved from Mandrake was becuase I want to know exactly what is going on with the system - so I spend my 4 hours reading the docs and checking out the config files to make sure I know just that. My philosophy is spend the time when you have it (as I did) to save time when you don't (sooner or later I will need to do something out of the ordinary and be in a big rush), but yeah there is no reason why you can't get it all up much quicker if your not to fussed on what is going on (or already know).
      • I've got you beat! I've done a full install of FreeBSD, including KDE, etc, in about twenty to thirty minutes.

        But I usually take the full four hours on an *clean* install. Why? Because that how much time it takes to rebuild world, read the release notes, and verify my configuration. I don't know how long it takes to do an upgrade install, because I'm using the system with full productivity while I'm upgrading...

        Careless installs are bad installs.

        p.s. If you're top priority is how long an OS takes to install, switch to QNX. Five minutes!
    • Windows XX - For the clueless masses, and often a neccassary evil (esp. games)

      Or for those who use a computer and don't tinker with them.

      These type of comments make you guys look clueless to ordinary people.

      I'm not clueless and can handle Linux better than most. I've developed Linux device drivers, built my Linux system from scratch before (ugh), and am a seasoned Unix systems developer in industry. I use Windows 2000 and I like it. Fast, never-ever crashed before, and works with all of my hardware.
    • Re:Excellent System (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SILIZIUMM ( 241333 )
      I am considering myself using FreeBSD on my computer as desktop OS. I am using Mandrake 9.0 right now. After using Linux for a while now, I found that :

      - Linux is a real nice OS;
      - The *nix system is great (never used *nix before);
      - I don't want to have any other MS product, thank you;
      - RPMs are making me sick (deps);
      - apt-get is really nice, but Debian packages are always outdated (no, I don't want to run Debian unstable..);
      - A bit of standartization would be nice (install dirs, etc.). If you install something not for your distrib, it will more likely fail;
      - Linux community is great;
      - I want to get some latest packages (ie. KDE) instead of compiling them myself;

      So my two choices are either :
      a) find the Linux distribution that meet my needs (Slack? Gentoo? others ? imputs welcome.);
      b) try FreeBSD because it seems to fit my needs (it even has the nVidia drivers, hmmm:) ).

      I'll wait until FreeBSD 5.0 Release will be out and I'll try it.

      Any others comments on FreeBSD on desktop ?
    • Re:Excellent System (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I went through a similar process, 'maturing' in the *nix world. Now I'm an OpenBSD user, and I doubt that'll ever change.
      Linux is very stable and clean compared to windows.
      FreeBSD (and NetBSD too) is even more stable and clean than Linux (though maybe some distro's approach FreeBSD's level of 'cleanness')
      And OpenBSD takes that cleanness and correctness even further, sometimes being paranoid about it, but I like that.
      If you like FreeBSD, give OpenBSD a shot. I'm sure you'll like it.
      (And now a few dozen of linux users will start trolling that OpenBSD doesn't have . To them I say: You're just using Linux because it's 'l337', not because it's a good OS. Go and use windows, because that best fits your needs)
      • Re:Excellent System (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bishop ( 4500 )
        While I love OpenBSD and use it daily, it is lacking in the desktop department. Mozilla can be made to run, but it is not in ports. I also found it a little unstable. The Gnome and KDE ports under FreeBSD are more mature. OpenBSD has a smaller development group whose priority is secure well written code, not desktops.

        That said I encourage every one to install OpenBSD twice to get a feel for it. OpenBSD is one of the easiest and fastest installs once you have done it 1-2 times. (Most people screw up their first install of OpenBSD.) If I need a generic unix machine (server or workstation) on the test bench I will always grab my OpenBSD CD.
    • All I have left is to get my scroll mouse working and I have everything I need,

      Use mouse type "Auto" in your XF86Config file in your Mouse section and your mousewheel will work. Don't forget to put the ZAxisMapping to "4 5". Oh, do use /dev/sysmouse. It'll play nice with moused in the console that way :)

      There, now you have nothing left :)

  • Great! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tyler Eaves ( 344284 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:34AM (#5072655)
    Really looking to 5.0-RELEASE, which is getting quite close now. FreeBSD really is a nice OS> I'd really encourage all linux users to give it a try!
  • by indyracing ( 640777 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:40AM (#5072712)
    I have used FreeBSD in past and like it, but have usually chosen Red Hat because in my opinion it is a lot easier to install and get configured. Hopefully they have improved on this for 5.0. Has anyone who has tried the RC noticed any changes in this arena?
    • The installer is very similar to that of 4.7, which is probably not as easy to setup as RedHat is. FreeBSD still requires you to know a bit about what hardware is installed, and how you want the system to function (disk partitioning, package installation, user creation, X setup are all still a manual process within the installer).

      That being said, I still find it quite easy to install and it works great on newer hardware (FINALLY!! CardBus and ACPI support). Besides, I still think the ports tree is perhaps the easiest and most complete package management system around, light-years ahead of RPM.
  • by Spotless Tiger ( 467911 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:40AM (#5072725)
    From the changelog:
    1/10/2003: Integrated Java VM into kernel and replaced /usr/bin and /bin with keithw's java byte-code versions. Platform independence, here we come!
    This is great news, although as I understand it, this doesn't mean Java itself is integrated, just the byte-code JVM part of the thing. /bin/sh, for example, uses BSD type calls, but it's compiled Java byte code (using jgcc) rather than i386 code.

    And this is great because it's a start on making binary formats less of an issue. Sure, there's always going to be those who want the fastest versions of, say, "rm", but for the rest of us, being able to compile something on one system and then just move it across anywhere will help tremendously.

    Does anyone know if the OpenBSD and NetBSD projects are doing anything similar?

    • Ha ha! What's with the moderators today? Ummm, can you say "troll"?

      Where are you getting your (dis)information? Provide links or don't start rumors.

    • I would strongly bet against openbsd ever putting java in the base system, as I am 99.9% certain it won't ever come near their open and free requirements.

    • by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:39PM (#5073210) Homepage Journal
      You forgot to include the second bullet point:
      • 1/10/2003: Dropped floppy based installer for CD only approach to accomodate the extra 55MB of compressed kernel needed for boot.
      • 1/10/2003: Upped minimum requirements from a 386 with 5MB of ram to a Pentium II-400 with 64MB of ram, 128MB of ram if you want to run X.
      • 1/10/2003: Upped minimum reccomended size of root partition to 1 GB to fit new kernel and associated files
      • 1/10/2003: Redirected FreeBSD download page to Sun's site. Users wishing to download FreeBSD will need to click through badly worded and or hidden links on 5 different pages, sign up twice, and click through at least three liceneses, then do it all again for the patch set.
      • Does this include floppy boot for network installs? ( or those with non booting CDROMS ).

        1gb recommended? ack! blows the old mini installs.. quite a lot of wasted space just to run a simple smb server.

    • by jayed_99 ( 267003 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @01:06PM (#5073394)
      Damn! I missed that commit message! Thanks for pointing it out!

      It must have come fast on the heels of the following commit message that so enthralled me:
      From the changelog:
      "1/10/2003: Replaced our TCP/IP stack with one licensed from Microsoft. Work continues on porting over the Linux virtual memory management system. "

      No wonder I missed it.

      *grumbles at the trolls -- even the funny ones*

  • by kwerle ( 39371 )
    What happened to the Java Distribution that was supposed to ship with FreeBSD 4.5?

    Yes I know you can run the linux one, and yes, I know that you can build the 'native' one, but it's a royal pain in the ass. The point was that FreeBSD was going to ship with a version - what happened?
    • It's still pretty much a pain. However recently I've never had a problem building and installing the FreeBSD native jdk. Only problem is that its the 1.3.1 jdk which is quite old now. However, there's really no reason not to run the Linux binary.
  • by Leimy ( 6717 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:45AM (#5072759)
    when I compiled it on RC2.. So far pretty nice.. I think we might need another RC before it goes into release status though. I have had some header file issues when compiling stuff like kdenetwork.

  • by skrowl ( 100307 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:46AM (#5072769) Homepage
    Unlike full releases, RCs seem to be immune to slashdotting! I'm currently pulling over 200K from a Canadian (eh!) FTP mirror site. The day of the last full release, you were lucky to pull over 5 K from ANYWHERE.
  • by Newer Guy ( 520108 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:48AM (#5072791)
    After all, you're an OS that runs on a computer. They have a patent for that you know!
    • No worries. Any code derived from BSD4.4-Lite (e.g., FreeBSD) is indemnified of any SystemV-related intellectual property claims, as per the settlement between Novell and BSDI/UC-Berkeley of the infamous lawsuit begun by AT&T. This is the same SystemV intellectual property that SCO is waving around.
  • Darn! (Score:5, Funny)

    by leomekenkamp ( 566309 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @11:52AM (#5072826)

    My prediction [] is one day off...

    Can anyone recommend a display cleaner?

  • Hi,

    I can't boot my laptop with the RC2 and RC3 floppies, because it claims it cannot find said module.
    The install hangs at this point.
    (in a late stage of probing, after having found the network-card etc.)

    4.7 runs OK.
  • by AssFace ( 118098 ) <> on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:06PM (#5072958) Homepage Journal
    (however one spells "fogey")

    I can recall my days in college where I would always install the newest, latest and greatest stuff on my pc and then learn it and think I was cool... well, I don't know if I ever thought I was cool.

    but nowadays I'm constantly just thinking "why should I upgrade? this stuff works just fine for me the way it is now!"

    I think it is because I'm more business minded now and the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality has an effect on costs in that world.

    after reading through what is new in FreeBSD 5, I see no reason for me to change. it looks like things that I don't have much need for in my world.
    4.whatever works just dandy for me.
    • I agree with you for most of your post..the upgrade cycle can get painful at times.

      On a personal note, on my desktop computer I've gotten much better sound/video performance on current than stable--I don't know why, but that's a big thing for me.

      On the server side, Samba ACL's are the big thing..can't wait to upgrade the servers for that (probably will wait until at least 5.2 or more).

      Also it's nice to have devfs and the new RCng boot system (from NetBSD) imho.
  • Before posting yet another Linux-is-ghod rant, why not consider this: We are all so lucky to have more than one freeware Unix to choose from. That choice provides the needed competition to force both variants to improve in meaningful ways.

    Without that competition, Unix would eventually stagnate. Or worse, innovation would be driven into the same kind of useless creeping featurism we've come to expect from the folks in Redmond.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    So does MySQL under 5.0-RC3 use native threading and are those threads efficient enough that large shops can move back from Linux to FreeBSD on their MySQL servers? We use FreeBSD almost exclusively except for on our multi-CPU SMP MySQL database servers where FreeBSD just couldn't deliver due to threading inefficiencies. We would LOVE to move back to FreeBSD since systems maintenance is very easy and it would also mean having a uniform OS on all our servers.
  • No open source project is dead as long as there is ONE hacker out there willing to hack on it. Everyone has been screaming FreeBSD is dead for a long time now and guess what? Here comes 5.0. The success of an open source project is not measure by it's use, but by whether or not someone is still willing to hack on it.
  • by FrandGunk ( 146027 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @12:57PM (#5073350)
    FreeBSD 5.0 is as important a milestone
    as ever seen in the *NIX world. Many new
    features and core technologies are
    incorporated in this release.

    The main problems with this release will be
    caused by the "Chicken or Egg Conundrum",
    in that the release will spur many new 5.0
    users, whose input will come "after" the
    pre-release testing process, finding bugs
    that are not apparent in the release candidate
    series due to limited testing on the incredibly
    varied hardware and software systems found
    in the "wild".

    This is not a FreeBSD specific problem, this is
    a reflection of the reality of a volunteer based
    project with limited resources.

    The incredible speed that FreeBSD developers,
    contributers, and users update and solve
    problems is amazing. Just check the mail
    list archives for *many* examples of this!

    IMHO many of the best and brightest minds in
    the *NIX world have gravitated to the BSD's
    stability and more structured development
    model. For younger readers a "structured"
    development model may seem to be a turn off,
    but a few years of real world experience
    will certainly temper this argument.

    Thanks and Best Wishes to the BSD community,
    and when the dust settles FreeBSD 5.X will
    be the standard others are compared to.
  • ... is driver support. I run my entire home network (12 hosts) on token-ring, but was forced to switch to redhat due to a buggy oltr (OC3140) driver. Beside this, FreeBSD never had another token-ring driver.

    Even Linux has its own problems, not counting TX packets and lots of Soft errors on heavy traffic pausing sometimes for upto 10 sec. This is a bummer for online games.

    It seems I'll be further forced to use Solaris x86 which naturally has drivers MADE by the madge/olicom people themselves. I dont yet know the quiality of their SNAT code, neet testing. Then again, I run a website on PHP/MYSQL on the same server (one ip ), and theres no PHP for Solaris. Adding GNU GCC and compiling PHP isnt a very tested solution and I'll have trouble there, but gotta try that before switching.

    Would have been nice to have ONE real token-ring driver for FreeBSD. I miss its simplicity and standard on Linux, but am discovering so many new networking features on Linux its mind-boggling.

    Hardware companies should release a standard driver code (based on XML) that can be translated to C for the platform and natively compiled. Token-ring equipment isnt bad for its price, but only the VERY proprietary OSes get drivers from hardware OEMs. Companies like SUN just sit back while the driver list grows (stability is also the manufacturers problem). *BSD and Linux have to rely on the developer community which is increasingly getting splintered between Linux distros and BSD flavors.
    • I feel like I'm stating the obvious, but:

      Why are you still running token ring?

      Cat5 is way cheap. Even good 10/100 ethernet adapters are less than $20. Hubs, switches, and other connection hardware sells for approximately one dime per dozen. And the drivers, generally speaking, don't suck; I've been throwing random ethernet adapters at both Linux and FreeBSD for years, and have never had a driver issue. (YMMV.)

      Over at, a week or two ago, I noticed they were selling a kit with crimpers, strippers, a bag of ends, and a 1000' box of Cat5 for ~$45.

      At these prices, which I realize are non-zero, you can probably afford to pull extra pairs for telephone or video at the same time. There's no shortage of applications which directly use Cat5, and baluns are available for most of the rest (probably token ring, too).

      This makes for good infrastructure for the home, and would probably help quite a bit with resale value.

      And yet, I'm sure you know all of this already. So I'll ask again, because I'm really quite curious: Why are you still running token ring? If it's that cool, I might want to look into it myself...

      If you really want to run FreeBSD and the driver support is too horrible to use (due to the problems you state), just set up a Linux box to route IP between the two networks. This'll give you infinite time to transition the rest of the network (or not), while remaining OS-agnostic and allowing you to plug in any of the myraid of Ethernet-equipped devices available today. Minimum hardware required: Two ethernet adapters, one crossover cable. Total investment of less than $10, if you don't mind buying used hardware and are willing to do some legwork.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @01:02PM (#5073380)
    Will there be a reasonable upgrade path from 4.X-STABLE to the 5.X STABLE branch, when it becomes available?

    There was from 3.x->4.x, although it may have stretched some people's idea of reasonable. I pulled it off without problems on two boxes, although both were soon replaced with new hardware and fresh installs of 4.x.
  • by Hu Phlung Pu ( 640798 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @01:44PM (#5073688)

    ...there is no way in hell I'm installing 5.0 on anything important, even though it's going to be a "production" release. 4.8, 4.9 all the way baby.

    Why you ask? There's far too much new code for 5.0 to be stable yet. I was using 5.0-CURRENT SMP in November and December of 2001, and was very impressed. Alas, it was running on an IBM DeathStar 75GXP, which died (lol--like the name suggests)...

    I unsubscribed from the -current list a month or so later because Matt Dillon (the real one) was being his usual dickheaded self and causing a massive flamewar.

    Anyway, I resusbscribed to -current in October cause I knew they had slipped the release date to somewhere around November, January, etc. and I wanted to find out how things were going (i.e. is this good enough that I should install it and have more fun with it). Ooh boy. Since I left, we've added GEOM, GDBE, a new init script system, IPFW2, UFS2, etc. vn has been replaced by md, devfs hasn't gotten any better, and as far as I can tell, they still have background fsck turned on by default, which tends to hose you when the least thing goes wrong with your fs (background fsck was FreeBSD's bitter parting shot to me when my GXP died -- it murdered my filesystem before I had a chance to save my valuable data -- admittedly this was a "for fun" desktop system, but that's typically considered Naughty). On -current today we have a couple people posting about panics. I enjoy the response in this one:

    From: (for those who don't know, Poul-Henning Kamp is one of the wisest, most respected, and ancient of all FreeBSD hackers)
    Subject: Re: FreeBSD 5.0 RC3 now available

    "Roderick van Domburg" writes:

    I would like to point to a currently unresolved issue
    The thread is titled "panic: trap: fast data access mmu miss" and is about an error causing the sym SCSI controller to fail to mount root at best, and panic at worst.

    Mr. Henning-Kamp's response:

    Well, we all want our pet bug fixed before the release rolls, but at some point we simply have to call it quits and ship the release.
    In the meantime we _really_ have to ship 5.0-RELEASE, we keep slipping it.

    Commentary: I agree, they really need to get 5.0 out the door, and I don't necessarily disagree with phk's opinion. But it does say massive Bad Things(tm) to me about the quality of this software that release engineering is leaving *known panics* in the software cause it is so late and over-schedule!!! Ah, and don't even get me started on not being able to install new boot blocks or run fdisk on a mounted filesystem, crashdumps overwriting people's disklabels, etc. etc.

    Another one just came in: "PANIC in tcp_syncache.c sonewconn() line 562" about an easily-reproducible (from user mode) kernel panic. Come on people, this is worse than Windows NT ever was! (well, except the guy who could bluescreen it by printing tabs and backspaces).

    So, no thanks to 5.x for me, for now.

  • NVIDIA graphics card (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rhanneken ( 130840 )

    I have a graphics card that uses the NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4400 chipset. I gather that XFree86 doesn't support it. There's an official NVIDIA driver for FreeBSD 4.7. Will it work with 5.0? I don't care about 3D graphics.

    • I have a graphics card that uses the NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4400 chipset. I gather that XFree86 doesn't support it.

      XFree86 "supports" it, if you mean, it'll work with Nvidia's closed-source driver. Runs fine here...

      Sorry, but I just can't get my ideological blood churning over a video driver..

  • Wait for Stable (Score:3, Informative)

    by Azoth's Revenge ( 82601 ) on Monday January 13, 2003 @03:02PM (#5074327)
    It seems some people are confusing Stable and Release branches. 5.0 Release will not be a Stable branch according to Release Engineering. The stable branch will emerge around 5.1 or 5.2.
    Just something to keep in mind.

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