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BSD Operating Systems

Summary of Changes to NetBSD's Packages Collection 33

Dan writes "NetBSD's Alistair Crooks indicates in his December 2002 report that there are 3402 packages in the NetBSD Packages Collection, up from 3327 the previous month, a rise of 75. The Package of the Month award goes to pkgsrc/pkgtools/pkgdepgraph, nominated by Andrew Brown - you'll need graphviz to look at the dependency graph that it produces, but the output is quite fascinating."
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Summary of Changes to NetBSD's Packages Collection

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  • the pkgsrc is supposed to be portable, anyone have any experience on usng it on a Linux distro ?
    • Re:pkgsrc on linux (Score:5, Informative)

      by jschauma ( 90259 ) on Saturday January 25, 2003 @01:10PM (#5157226) Homepage
      Yes, it works beautifully. There have even been reports of a Linux installation that is _entirely_ managed by pkgsrc (that is, including the base system, glibc, kernel etc.). Certainly beats rpm, apt and the like.

      Furthermore, pkgsrc also works under Darwin, FreeBSD, IRIX, OpenBSD and Solaris. See ges.html#bootstrap [] for details.
      • Cool.

        Do you have any documentation of a strict pkgsrc Linux install?

        I was looking to use Open Packages [], but that project seems to have stalled. I will give this a try instead. Thank you for the pointer.
        • Re:pkgsrc on linux (Score:3, Informative)

          by jschauma ( 90259 )
          Search the NetBSD mailinglists for ``linux pkgsrc'' (Google powered NetBSD searches are here []). One helpful message should be this one [].
          • Even more fun would be a pkgsrc-ized *NetBSD* system! Death to the monolithic base system! That is one thing, at least, that Red Hat got right.
  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 )
    the output is quite fascinating.

    The output is quite *large*. I saw a full dependency graph of the (smaller) set of RH packages once, and that isn't as many packages by a long shot. Ick.

    There was some program (forget the name, and isn't free) that lets you examine large graphs, hundreds of thousands of nodes, and get useful information from can view all nodes/edges N hopes away from a given node, and things like that.

    I don't think there's a free equivalent, though.
  • 5 comments? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dr. Photo ( 640363 ) on Saturday January 25, 2003 @03:56PM (#5157966) Journal
    Hmm... this story's been up for 3 hours, and has garnered a total of 5 comments.

    I think NetBSD wins the award for "Most Underrated Operating System"....

    IMHO it's really worth a try, and it's a shame that it's gone so largely unrecognized, at least here in the States. I for one, have fallen in love with the clean and elegant design, and with the general philosophy that keeps it that way. This plucky little OS [] deserves to win.

    So, get the spare parts out of the closet, cobble together a working system, and set up a webserver or something, dag-nabbit! :)

    • ...which file system on install do you recommend, and why? And try 1.6 stable first, or a newer release?
      • by LizardKing ( 5245 ) on Saturday January 25, 2003 @05:09PM (#5158365)
        The 1.6.1 release will be out shortly, in a matter of a few weeks judging by credible reports. I would strongly suggest you go with that release for a first taste of NetBSD. The "stable" CVS branch is akin to Debian testing, and is the branch from which 1.6.1 will be cut. With the release so close it's not really worth rolling your own, although pre-compiled binaries are available on

        The equivalent of Debian unstable is known as "current" in NetBSD land. It is the cutting edge CVS branch, and contains notable new features like scheduler activations (the cool threading support just merged from another branch), and major SMP changes. Given the scale of these changes, installing current is definitely not a good introduction to NetBSD. I'm running 1.6 on the machine that I'm typing this, and 1.6M (the official version of current as we speak) on another machine. The 1.6M machine has been very stable for me, but there are a few quirks with things like Mozilla.

      • Well, I'm running with the default "FFS" filesystem, and I have no complaints. :)

        I'm running 1.6 stable with all the patches, but I suggest NetBSD-1.6-release [], which is basically the formal 1.6-stable release, but with all the patches already applied for you. The link I gave you is for the most recent daily snapshot, which is probably what you'll want.

    • Re:5 comments? (Score:5, Informative)

      by LizardKing ( 5245 ) on Saturday January 25, 2003 @05:01PM (#5158331)
      I have to second this recommendation to try out NetBSD. I've used various Linux distros and all three of the free BSD's on a regular basis, but keep on coming back to NetBSD. It just exudes quality, and even a cretin like me can understand large chunks of the codebase.

      The package system is brilliant, and has really come into its own now that broadband Internet is affordable. I can do a CVS update of my pkgsrc tree once in a while, and then just update the handfull of apps I need. In the process, any underlying libraries also get updated. Debian users get all smug about the apt* suite of tools, but frankly they leave me underwhelmed in comparison to NetBSD.

      Finally, the mailing lists are well organised with a list for each port and others for key features of the system. The subscribers are friendly, informed and rarely descend into the sad bickering that's all too frequent in the Linux world.

      • May I ask.. does netbsd come with everything like kde3 etc?
        Also how would you rate all the gnu-tool equivalents? I mean, don't they have their own version of things like even "ls" ?
        • Re:5 comments? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Dr. Photo ( 640363 )
          May I ask.. does netbsd come with everything like kde3 etc?

          Yes. It's in the package tree. When you first install, you have the base system by default; then you decide which packages you wish to install (available both as binaries via pkg_add, or as source via the pkgsrc tree [downloadable via ftp or CVS]).

          Also, the GNU tools are available, and in most cases enabled by default in the base system. And the rest are available as packages (frankly I would have gone insane if I didn't have my bash :-)

          And yes, they have their own version of 'ls', though I don't see any reason why you couldn't replace it, if you really wanted to.

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly