Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:11 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews One of my popular articles shortly after I joined OSNews in 2001 proved to be "the big *BSD interview" and so it is only appropriate to end my serving at OSNews with a similar theme. Today we are very happy to host a Q&A with well-known FreeBSD developers John Baldwin, Robert Watson and Scott Long. We discuss about FreeBSD 6 and its new features, the competition, TrustedBSD, Darwin etc.
Order by: Score:
What?
by Buck on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:18 UTC

End your serving?

Really Good
by Frankye on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:20 UTC

Really Good stuff, it's just a pity you're leaving...

But let's get back IT: any chance to have some other big bsd interview in the future? If so are you accepting requests for the favorite bsd hackers to interview? (my votes goes to jkh and phk of Darwin and FreeBSD)

RE: What?
by Eugenia on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:22 UTC

>End your serving?

Yes. I will be sending some articles for publication every once in a while, but I won't be 'a regular' anymore. I will only be contributing occassionally.

looking forward to OpenBSM
by tech_user on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:24 UTC

"OpenBSM provides us with a implementation of both kernel event auditing, as well as a BSD-licensed user space audit library implementing Sun's BSM audit file format and service API. "

looking fwd to it - but the trusted bsd sebsd ISO is very out of date, and the freebsd60c from june 2005 won't install!

linux also needs OpenBSM.

Code sharing
by Tyr on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:33 UTC

Good to see that the interview also emphasises the code sharing going on between FreeBSD and the other BSDs and OSX.
I think the BSD flavours actually feed of eachother more than the different Linux distros do (concerning new technologies).

The journaling question would have been a good time to ask their opinion on some of the new ideas in Dragonfly, but still a nice interview.

Eugenia : thanks and good luck with your future project(s).

Original article
by Tyr on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:39 UTC

I just read the 2001 article : it's Matt Dillon commenting on all the 'goodies' in FreeBSD 5.0. How's that for irony.

OSnews wont be the same
by Ankit Malik on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:43 UTC

Osnews wont be the same...w/o Eugenia.

Eugenia's insightful articles, and comments and moderations[ok ok we hated some of the moderations but most of them were rational!!] will be missed.

Great interview
by emagius on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:44 UTC

After the spate of content-less interviews, it's good to see something with some meat. Looking forward to 6.0-RELEASE!

cam + ipod
by Ravnos on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:45 UTC

I wonder if 6.0 will fix the issue that prevents me from using my iPod with FreeBSD while atapicam is compiled into the kernel? It's really the only issue I have with the OS at the moment, and while it's not a deal breaker, it would certainly be nice to have.

Other than that, I'm glad to hear there's a bright future for FreeBSD.

*cue "BSD is dying" comments*

Impressive...
by An on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:55 UTC

I really look forward to see 6.0 out in the field. One thing though that I like to point out. Notice how humble these guys are and how enthusiastic they are about the actual technology. they also seem so not care about the hype of media... I mean, they're honest about Sun and their role in the software industry...

It feels really good to know that these guys are out there working on one of the most technologically evolved operating systems out there.

Good Luck, Eugenia
by Randi Joseph on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:58 UTC

May you be sucessful wherever you go.

let's wait and see...
by Anonymous on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:58 UTC

This interview raises my expectations for FreeBSD 6.x considerably.

Let's hope FreeBSD 6.x won't be such a big disappointment like 5.x.

Does anybody know what's the benefit of these countless new security "features"? Will they render buffer overflows ineffective or do they just add more complexity? How do they compare to OpenBSD's exploit mitigation techniques?

RE: Good Luck, Eugenia
by Randi Joseph on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 19:00 UTC

... and by the way, this was a great ending. All things start and end with FreeBSD!

article
by Myrd on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 19:04 UTC

Great article, this is the type of stuff that makes OSNews awsome!

RE: let's wait and see...
by Frankye on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 19:18 UTC

> Does anybody know what's the benefit of these countless new security "features"?

As an end user, or even as an advanced user you really do not use them a lot, the basic unix security is usually Good Enough(tm).
However, for bastion hosts, and the paranoid sysadmins (no, wait, *every* sysadmin is paranoid ;) they provide good entertainment. I guess they have much more sense in really big setups (e.g.: hosting providers) or really small black boxes.

I'm a bit disappointed there's no plan to port over launchd from macosx, it seems a really nice thingie... one of these days I'm stealing a coworker's ibook to check it out ;)



ps: to osnews staff: please open up an empty newsline or somesuch so we can all tell eugenia how much we love her without going ot ;)

Very well said
by Anonymous on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 19:23 UTC

Thanks Eugenia for this post I was really waiting for a FreeBSD 6 article to be posted.

FreeBSD is so promising in many ways. I cannot wait for the release.

what....
by Anonymous on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 19:25 UTC

eugenia leaving.... why, what aww come on.... throw us a frickin bone.....

cant just drop a line like that and not tell us more....

v E
by Anonymous on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 19:29 UTC
diplomatic
by netpython on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 19:41 UTC

Good diplomatic and professional response by the interviewed.

RE: RE: let's wait and see...
by Anonymous on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 19:49 UTC

> Does anybody know what's the benefit of these countless new security "features"?

"As an end user, or even as an advanced user you really do not use them a lot, the basic unix security is usually Good Enough(tm).
However, for bastion hosts, and the paranoid sysadmins (no, wait, *every* sysadmin is paranoid ;) they provide good entertainment. I guess they have much more sense in really big setups (e.g.: hosting providers) or really small black boxes."

Then it probably won't provide more security in the end. Few of last year's OpenBSD security "problems" were really exploitable in practice. The same isn't true for vulnerabilities found in FreeBSD. On the other side, even in OpenBSD's heavily audited code a vulnerability in the "sudo" tool was found - so I suspect that all these new security "features" in FreeBSD will introduce more vulnerabilities than they fix. In my opinion, good security "features" should be as simple as possible and they should be enabled in the default configuration, without requiring any user interaction. This prevents the user from introducing new holes by misconfiguration.

FreeBSD now has jails, chroot, ACLs, MACs, CAPP, OpenBSM, FLASK/TE, blablabla - this sounds way too confusing for average users in my opinion.

Eugenia
by Luis Lima on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 20:09 UTC

Did you get tired of the 'same old, same old', nothing new, the lack of imagination of the developers and their implementations based on their narrow mindness?

I, for one, will miss your courage to face these nincompoops, and your good faith in trying to improve the open source movement. Gracias, my friend.

Xen
by iGZo on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 20:20 UTC

I was just happy to see Xen mentioned. ;-)

I really like FreeBSD, just installed 5.4 on a P200/64MB (X Terminal), it's come a long way since I started using it back at 2.1.5.

As a side note, 5.4 now defines "5" for me, I was an earlier adopter of 5.x, and was disappointed (some laptop problems not seen in 4.x). Hope 6.x is a smoother transistion.

Great work guys!

Dragonflybsd
by benjithedog on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 20:27 UTC

Great interview. I wish you would have asked about Dragonflybsd. I know it's not directly relevent to the topic, but I would've liked to know their opinion on how the project is progressing. A lot of interesting work seems to be taking place in Dragonfly, and yet I haven't seen any news on any porting of novel solutions from DFBSD to other BSDs.

FreeBSD 6 and scalability
by slash on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 20:28 UTC

I thought the interview was mostly worthless. There are countless real questions people want real answers to that were not asked. These are questions I would like the FreeBSD team to answer:

1) When will they replace the installer?
2) How come SMP is taking so long? Is the light at the end of the tunnel near? How much longer until Big Giant Lock is removed?
3) Do they find anything interesting from Linux, Solaris, or DragonFlyBSD's SMP approach? Where do they expect FreeBSD to excel when compared to these other projects?
4) What possible short comming do they see in their approach to SMP? How scalable will their OS become?
5) Why has 5 proven so troublesome? Where is 6 in terms of SMP and stability?
6) How is the code quality? Are there plans to revisit things later on and simplify/fix things? Are junior developers involved in cleaning up code?

I love the FreeBSD project so I don't mean to put them down with these questions. I just am so confused as to where the entire project is.

@Eugenia
by Jason Becker on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 20:35 UTC

I've been coming to OSNews for so long I know you tried to leave before... is it for real this time? ;-)

Cheers

It is one of the things that I have been watching closly for the last 2 years. In some ways I have been surprised by the fact that performance seems to be an afterthought to many BSD people. I agree that I would rather have security and stability first, but sometimes in talking to BSD people they almost seem to use that as an excuse to say that the performance is "good enough". I'm happy to hear, Matt at least, more bluntly address the kernel performance issues.

Re: FreeBSD 6 and scalability
by Scott on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:03 UTC

1) When will they replace the installer?

A) When someone does it. There are proposals right now for basing a new installer on the DragonFly one. But that is just one of many possibilities, and we encourage anyone to start some real coding.

2) How come SMP is taking so long? Is the light at the end of the tunnel near? How much longer until Big Giant Lock is removed?

A) This was talked about in the interview.

3) Do they find anything interesting from Linux, Solaris, or DragonFlyBSD's SMP approach? Where do they expect FreeBSD to excel when compared to these other projects?

A) A lot of the SMP concepts in FreeBSD have been borrowed from Solaris, others have been borrowed from BSD/OS. One of the goals of DragonFly is to do SMP with a totally different approach, and we are eagerly awaiting their results.

4) What possible short comming do they see in their approach to SMP? How scalable will their OS become?

A) This was answered in the interview.

5) Why has 5 proven so troublesome? Where is 6 in terms of SMP and stability?

A) (1) We tried to do too much with 5.x. If you look at the feature list, it's quite impressive. M:N threading, SMPng, UFS2, NSS, MAC, GEOM, sparc64, amd64, etc, etc. Those are all complicated projects, and fitting them together was an incredibly difficult task. While there were some bumpy releases, the fact that we've held together and improved says quite a bit about the skill and committment of our developers and users.

A) (2) Answered in the interview.

6) How is the code quality? Are there plans to revisit things later on and simplify/fix things? Are junior developers involved in cleaning up code?

A) We've been working closely with Coverity and their static analysis tools for the last few months to clean up common hidden mistakes in the tree. Every fix that comes from these analysis tools is attributed to Coverity in the CVS tree, so it's quite easy to see how successfull it has been.

Thanks a lot for this interview!
by Alexandr Kovalenko on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:07 UTC

Really, really promising. I'm FreeBSD user since 2.1.5, I'm pretty deep in FreeBSD internals, but this interview makes me fell much more better ;)

Just nothing more to add. They've said it all.

@slash
1)When will they replace the installer?

Why do you need replacing installer? Is it harder for you than Debian/WindowsNT/2000/XP/anyother installer? If yes - please, use OS that you have preinstalled on your PC.

Truely - I do not see the reason for replacing installer. Could you give me a one, please? If people cannot read English - I suspect that they cannot read any language...

awesome
by Anonymous on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:09 UTC

even though I'm a Linux user, I totally enjoy seeing the *BSDs move up. I want to see a party of Open OSes.

Hm, as I can see, at least Scott reads and answers comments.

I have a question:

We had some talk with a friend of mine, who is http://www.altlinux.ru/">ALT (Debian-Mandrake-like Linux distro) user. We've talked about something like RELENG_X_Y (security branch)-tied ports/packages trees. Is there any plans on making such thing in FreeBSD?

Hyper-Threading vulnerability
by Dog's_Breakfast on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:27 UTC

As was mentioned in the article, HT vulnerability is a real issue with all OSs, and not just FreeBSD. I'm just wondering how, as a user, I might be able to defend against it. Is it the case that if I'm just run a single cpu (no SMP), then I'm safe? Or can I recompile the kernel to turn it off? Or is it turned off by default? (but what about other OSs - is it turned off by default?).

Seems like this would be a major issue.

Bye Eugenia
by Amish on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:29 UTC

Sorry to see you go. ;_;

I guess I also have to say I like where FBSD is heading, keep up the good work.

The installer
by Ravnos on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:38 UTC

I'm inclined to agree with Alexandr. The FreeBSD installer is not pretty, but it works. The only problem I've ever come across with it is the infamous geometry bug. Aside from that it does exactly what I expect it to. I don't need Anaconda to install FreeBSD on my machine.

@Scott
So, like I asked, will the iPod/atapicam problem be fixed in 6.0? (Re: http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=80420) Like I said, not a deal breaker, just curious.

Good luck and thanks!
by Anonymous on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:40 UTC

Eugenia, too bad you're leaving - just hope that the people left in charge of OSNews will still keep it OSNews and not make it LinuxNews.

I can't blame you for wanting out - infact I've been wanting out of the software world as well. I need to figure out what else I'm good at.

It's too bad that you now need to prove that you're a worthy software developer by bending over and having the zealots ram GPL up you bu**

RE: RELENG_X_Y-tied ports/packages tree(s)
by Scott on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:43 UTC

We had some talk with a friend of mine, who is http://www.altlinux.ru/ ALT Linux(Debian-Mandrake-like Linux distro) user. We've talked about something like RELENG_X_Y (security branch)-tied ports/packages trees. Is there any plans on making such thing in FreeBSD?

I can't speak for the ports or the security teams, but I will say that maintaining the ports across such a wide range of releases is a very hard task, and I think that the only way that they manage it is by not branching. Also, with 12,000 ports to deal with, tying them to security releases every time a port gets fixs would likely become very cumbersome very quickly. With more resources it might be possible to batch ports updates together into more coherent security releases. If you're interested in working on something like this, you should definitely contact the ports team.

RE: The installer
by Scott on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:47 UTC

@Scott
So, like I asked, will the iPod/atapicam problem be fixed in 6.0? (Re: http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=80420) Like I said, not a deal breaker, just curious.


I honestly cannot say. I only have a firewire iPod, not a USB one, so there isn't much I can do to help you debug this and get a resolution (not that I don't want to try, but my free time is getting shorter every day). Maybe you can contact the ATAPICAM maintainer (Thomas Quinot) and work with him?

sorry to see her leave
by Evert on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:51 UTC

But I wish Eugenia the best. She has done a wonderful job for osnews!

Re: The installer
by Ravnos on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:54 UTC

I'm afraid I don't know enough about the underlying system to really be much help, I was just curious. Maybe it's time I stopped being so cheap an picked up a firewire card. ;)

RE: looking forward to OpenBSM
by Robert Watson on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 22:10 UTC

> "OpenBSM provides us with a implementation of both kernel event auditing,
> as well as a BSD-licensed user space audit library implementing Sun's BSM
> audit file format and service API. "

We're very excited about this, and hope that we'll see transfer of this source to other open source systems as well.

> looking fwd to it - but the trusted bsd sebsd ISO is very out of date, and the
> freebsd60c from june 2005 won't install!

There's a new SEBSD snapshot that's almost ready to go out the door -- it should be there in another week or so. It's based on a much more recent 6.x snapshot, and we hope to start release packages instead of ISOs soon.

> linux also needs OpenBSM.

OpenBSM is intended to build and run on FreeBSD, Darwin, Solaris, and Linux. It should easily also build and run on NetBSD, OpenBSD, etc. Obviously, you need the kernel side in order to generate many of the audit records of interest, but our BSM code is a good place to start.

Thanks for the comments!


My hard hitting questions
by slash on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 22:18 UTC

Sheeze, I saw a whole bunch of writing but noone answered my questions. Reminds me about the President and the War in Iraq. All I want to know is where exactly does SMP stand at the moment? It's not a difficult question. Go to www.freebsd.org/smp. Look at what's in progress:

Newbus In progress, VM In progress, Buffer cache In progress, VFS In progress, Processes and thread operations In progress, Scheduler In progress, TTY subsystem In progress, IPv4, IPv6 In progress, IPX/SPX In progress, netatalk In progress, Network stack infrastructure In progress, NFS Client Not Started, NFS Server In Progress.

That's a big list of "In progress." A lot of the stuff are extremely important for scalability too. The list barely gets updated so we have no idea when to expect something to be checkmarked. It would be nice to know.
I can't see how FreeBSD 6 will scale much better when NewBus, VM, Buffer Cache, VFS, Processes and Thread Operations, Scheduler, IPv4, IPv6 and the Network stack are all under Giant Lock. At the moment, it seems that the project is getting the worst of both worlds, all the negatives of being under giant-lock and being multithreaded.

About the installer, I don't really care when or if it gets replaced. I am used to it, and it works. But if there are no plans to replace it, they should not bring it up in so many discussions. They should just say there are no plans to replace it and leave it at that.

adios
by ram on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 22:20 UTC

so long, and thanks for all the fish ;)
please do continue to write your comments and editorials , especially like the one about gnome devs not being open enough;
thanks
cheers
ram

eugenia...
by Anonymous on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 22:21 UTC

Sorry to see you leave. I got hooked on OSNews when I was a BeOS fanboy (as it was dying) and OSNews always carried the latest and greatest BeOS news (and the attempt of OpenBeOS et al to revive it). At first I wondered who this Eugneia person was and why she was causing so much havoc on the forums. :-)

Now I'm a MS/Linux/OSX/Solaris fan boy and my love for OS stuff has increased because this site is *not* a linux-only or OSS-only site. Keep it this way.

I wish you the best of luck...

RE: Xen
by Mark Williamson on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 22:49 UTC

It's very nice to see the FreeBSD people are excited about Xen. The guy who ported FreeBSD to run on Xen has, I understand, recently got commit access on the FreeBSD CVS tree, so hopefully we'll see an official merge soon. NetBSD has always had excellent Xen support also.

Interestingly, I noticed there was a Google Summer of Code project to make the FreeBSD installer work nicely in a Xen guest.

v Re: Eugenia
by Zenja on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 22:53 UTC
Eugenia
by Mehigh on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 23:03 UTC

Where did she said she's leaving? Jesus ;)

http://slashdot.org/~Eugenia%20Loli/journal

Things have changed a lot in the past 3 years or so - and not for the better. Looks like there is going to a new moderation system in place too.

RE: My hard hitting questions
by Robert Watson on Fri 24th Jun 2005 00:41 UTC

> I can't see how FreeBSD 6 will scale much better when NewBus, VM,
> Buffer Cache, VFS, Processes and Thread Operations, Scheduler, IPv4, IPv6
> and the Network stack are all under Giant Lock. At the moment, it seems
> that the project is getting the worst of both worlds, all the negatives of
> being under giant-lock and being multithreaded.

I think your comments may come from a mis-understanding about the process of removing Giant from the kernel, or at least, how this is illustrated in our SMPng development web page. Removing Giant is an incremental process, in which progressively fewer sections of the kernel run with Giant. With each release of FreeBSD as of 5.0, fewer and fewer sections are covered--in 5.3, for example, the "big deal" was that the vast majority of the network stack ran without Giant. The exceptions were largely in the form of "edge cases" in the stack, or less commonly used components in IPX/SPX. In FreeBSD 5.4, IPX/SPX ships without Giant over it. The developer-centric SMPng web page tracks "done" in the sense of 100% completeness, as it has centered on whether tasks remain to be done by developers so that developers can identify new work that must be done. So if something runs 95% of the time without Giant, the 5% being unusual configurations or rare cases (such as loading a network device driver), it will still be listed as "in progress".

Of the above subsystems, all run without Giant in the performance-centric paths and common cases. For example, the complete top-to-bottom I/O and name space paths for the UFS file system, but not, for example, the MSDOS file system.

Another interesting property of the Giant removal process is that as Giant falls over less and less of the system, contention on Giant is improved, improving performance for components of the kernel that remain under Giant. For example, if a device driver runs with Giant still, it will see lower contention in 6.x as it will no longer contend with Giant over the buffer cache, VFS name space, file system, etc, since it is no longer held there, resulting in lower latency in processing the disk interrupts.

In practice, all of the components you identified in your post, from the scheduler and threading code, to VFS/VM/buffer cache, to IPv4 and IPv6 network stacks, run without Giant. This means entirely Giant-free operation for our important network and file system loads, such as multi-threaded web server operation.

Thanks

Ah, Eugenia
by anymouse on Fri 24th Jun 2005 01:38 UTC

I'm gonna miss ya, Eugenia. Don't go!

re: Robert Watson
by slash on Fri 24th Jun 2005 01:40 UTC

Thanks Robert, that's all I really wanted to hear. It just seems like it's much harder to find information about the status of SMP and FreeBSD these days. Looking forward to test driving FreeBSD 6.

FreeBSD, good os, mostly good installer
by nick on Fri 24th Jun 2005 01:58 UTC

I only have a limited experience with FreeBSD and the little I have played with it I was very pleased overall.

However, I do have one complaint... overall the installer is fine, but... fix that damn geometry bug and maybe go with a more straight forward less confusing partitioning program (I like cfdisk).

Otherwise.. quite pleased with FreeBSD, and I may be replacing my Slackware box with FreeBSD

will be hard to pry me away from Gentoo on my other systems though..... ya never know.

Thanks to all
by Anonymous on Fri 24th Jun 2005 02:08 UTC

First, thank you Eugenia for all the time dedicated to this site, I wish you the best. Thanks to the FreeBSD developers for taking the time from their precious schedule to give this interview and posting coments here. All of you have a good luck.

Take some time out
by Swaroop C H on Fri 24th Jun 2005 02:09 UTC

Eugenia has done a lot for OSNews, seems appropriate that she gets a break from it all ;)

Maybe she'll find it more fun to do only editorials.

Have fun, Eugenia.

Great OS, Greet Interview, Greet community
by Anonymous on Fri 24th Jun 2005 02:54 UTC

Thanks John Baldwin, Robert Watson and Scott Long! For taking the time to answer all the questions and even reply to our comments here. I monitor the freebsd stable,ppc,current closely and I can tell you I cannot wait to see version 6. It should show how hard you worked on 5.

It is really amazing to see all these features coming together ;) Good luck and thanks again.

v eugenia, you'll be missed
by sdfsdfsdfsd on Fri 24th Jun 2005 02:58 UTC
Well Done Eugenia Loli-Queru
by zam4ever on Fri 24th Jun 2005 03:06 UTC

This is very nice interview. Well done and good job from Eugenia Loli-Queru.

cheers

Re: Luis Lima
by Celerate on Fri 24th Jun 2005 04:05 UTC

"Did you get tired of the 'same old, same old', nothing new, the lack of imagination of the developers and their implementations based on their narrow mindness?"

It's very eays to criticize when you are the one reading the news instead of one of the people that makes the news; what you said was not constructive criticism, it was a very non-specific rude remark followed by an insult.

When you are ready to write complicated programs and innovate software as we know it then you can say something, until then keep your ignorant and rude remarks to yourself. One of the most discourating things about any job or hobby is that it can not only be thankless, but also a constant excuse for ignorant people to insult you and your work; if that is how you want to be, you don't deserve to use software someone actually worked hard to write.

snap004
by javajazz on Fri 24th Jun 2005 04:09 UTC

That article is above my understanding.

But I can say that the installer is fine with me.

i have been running the freebsd6.0-current-snap004 and all is much as when i started with freebsd back in 5.0, Except mplayer and realplayer now work.

i watch freshports.org and do my cvsup and portupgrade as needed.

keep growing and going FreeBSD!!

Hope this osnews is the same without Eugenia.

photo
by your name on Fri 24th Jun 2005 07:15 UTC


Robert Wilson looks like one really nice guy - and is that a Grolsch he's drinking? Excellent!

s/Wilson/Watson/
by your name on Fri 24th Jun 2005 07:16 UTC


whoops.

OT: Thanks, Eugenia
by Deadfish Man on Fri 24th Jun 2005 07:28 UTC

While I disagreed with Eugenia´s opinions and some of her moderation criterias more than often, and even engaged on one heated discussion with her once, she donated so much time to maintain this website that I wonder how she makes up time to treat JBQ and her other personal matters... :-)

I truly wish you the best and also am looking forward to see more content of yours on this site in the future.

Best regards,

DeadFish Man

New design and implementation ?
by gregg on Fri 24th Jun 2005 07:54 UTC

Waow.
I thought 6.x was to be a mere evolution from 5.x but not that different, and reading the interview I had the impression of a huge amount of work though. Of course, it is just an impression, and thus fairly subjective.

Will that justify writing a new "Design and implementation of the freebsd system" ? :-)

Anyway thank you for all the work (and time to tell us all ;-)
++

@Eugenia
by Paulo Pinto on Fri 24th Jun 2005 08:19 UTC

Thanks for creating OSNews.

I guess it won't be the same without you but I understand that
things sometime need to change.

Once again thanks for your articles and the creation of the site.

Good luck for your next projects

FreeBSD 6.0
by Hakkinen666 on Fri 24th Jun 2005 08:32 UTC

My two cents:
1. Keep the installer the way it is.Clean,fast and reliable.
2. I think Scott Long has stressed multiple times now how 6.X will reap the benefits of the 5.X branch,I've beta-tested 6.0-snapshots for a while now, ranging from platforms as varied as PIV Prescotts to v20z SunFires,running processor-intensive software such as Mathematica and let me just tell you it's been quite impressive, especially compared with 5.X and any other OS I've tested so far, performance wise I can tell that 6.X picks up where 4.X stayed, sacrificing performance for stability is always the way to go, keep it up guys and thanks for all your wonderful work.

Great interview
by ulib on Fri 24th Jun 2005 09:07 UTC

I'll join the others in saying a big thank you to the FreeBSD developers, for their work and for informing us about it in this interview and comments.

Also, a big thanks to Eugenia for posting great stuff like this. I really hope the leaving thing isn't definitive!

Thank you
by Anonymous on Fri 24th Jun 2005 09:40 UTC

John, Robert, Scott and other FreeBSD developers: thank you. Eugenia thank you.

RE: Robert Watson
by Robert Watson on Fri 24th Jun 2005 10:42 UTC

> By slash (IP: ---.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net) -
> Posted on 2005-06-24 01:40:40
> Thanks Robert, that's all I really wanted to hear.
> It just seems like it's much harder to find
> information about the status of SMP and FreeBSD
> these days. Looking forward to test driving FreeBSD 6.

Yeah -- I have to say that we've put a lot of effort into the code, and a lot less into the documentation so far, as 6.x is still a new thing. One of the concerns here is actually figuring out how to target status documents -- most of the status information is targetted at people actively involved in or following development, with less frequent information as part of the bi-monthly developer status reports. I'll try to take a pass through the SMPng web page and update it in the next few weeks, so that people sitting somewhere between "tracking CVS" and "tracking releases" can follow things better.

Thanks for your comments!

Great work
by James on Fri 24th Jun 2005 11:02 UTC

Thanks Eugenia for all of your hard work. I check this
website daily and have really enjoyed your articles. I use FreeBSD and Linux daily and am very excited to see that
FreeBSD 6 is going to rock. I tried it a couple of months ago or so, but switched to 5.4 recently again until all of the "kinks" are
worked out. Great work guys- can't wait to see it!

Thanks for info
by vivek on Fri 24th Jun 2005 11:20 UTC

Yup freebsd is gr8 os. With all these new stuff I'm sure it will be move to desktop too ... Right now i'm using on servers. Thanks for info and feature of upcomming OS version!

v Farewell
by Anand on Fri 24th Jun 2005 12:10 UTC
RE: RE: Robert Watson
by Frankye on Fri 24th Jun 2005 12:31 UTC

> I have to say that we've put a lot of effort into the code, and a lot less into the documentation so far, as 6.x is still a new thing. One of the concerns here is actually figuring out how to target status documents

The weekly freebsd cvs-src summaries (http://excel.xl0.org/FreeBSD/) were great, imo that was a really good way to keep people abreast with current development.
If someone else could take up the whole thing you'll probably solve the problem. (I'll volunteer myself but most of the time I'm not understanding a single thing discussed in cvs-src or hackers ;)

ps: leave sysinstall alone, this year we had sun opensourcing solaris, and apple switching to intel, we are seriously risking to deep-freeze hell here ;)

I'm a late comer to FreeBSD as I started on 5.0.
Having always used Linux, I had this thing to try out FreeBSD and for that 5.0 was choosen (Actually it was an article here on OSNews announcing 5.0 Release that got me started ;) )

But what kept me using it?
- Documentation: Having never used FreeBSD I found the Documentation awesome, which is by itself a VERY IMPORTANT plus over many other OSs.
I read current, stable and sparc on a daily basis and find those mailing lists another good source of information (some deserved to be documented).
- Ports: I have to put up with RPM hell @work. Give me ports/packages any day of the week!
- It just works: most new technologies are supported or will be (WPA on 6.x for example) and will continue to be supported. I recall having to patch every linux kernel with a patch for pptp support(multiple connections) with nat on netfilter that took ages to get incorporated.
- User experience: FreeBSD is an OS. Complete. Everything tied together (kernel + userland), applications (ports/packages), Documentation. It's this one stop shopping that makes it very appealing and friendly to the user. At least for me ;) (1)
I'm a Linux user because of the machines I admin @work but if given the chance I would use FreeBSD, definitily.

Most of my machines now run FreeBSD: I dual boot XP/FreeBSD 5.4 on my laptop (P4m) and my home PC(AMD XP), my firewall/router/proxy is an old Sun Ultra 5 running 5.4
I have some other servers (Web, ftp, fileserver, network monitoring, postgres) running FreeBSD as well.

I've seen the differences from 5.0 all the way to 5.4 and they are noticeable, and from what I've been reading the last few months I'm most eager to upgrade to 6.0!
My congratulations to the Dev Team for they're work, support on the mailing lists and even responding on OSNews ;)

Note: I didn't try to bash Linux. I use Linux and it's great, but from an user experience point of view, mine, FreeBSD comes out in 1st place. Of course, your mileage may vary ;)

A very big thank you.
by Marco van Lienen on Fri 24th Jun 2005 13:22 UTC

Robert, Scott, John and all other FreeBSD developers; a very big thank you.
I bought the 2.2.8 set a long time ago and have been using FreeBSD ever since.
I'm using -CURRENT on a couple of systems and the progress does show IMHO compared to the previous and current 5.x releases.
IMO the OS is more logical and thought through than many other unix-like OS'es I've worked with.
My loyalty towards FreeBSD is well founded.

v Bye Eugenia (what a na
by John Mullay on Fri 24th Jun 2005 13:29 UTC
Installer
by Jud on Fri 24th Jun 2005 13:41 UTC

The FreeBSD installer feels quite natural and useful to me at this point (it had better, I've been installing various versions since around 4.0!). That doesn't mean it can't be improved.

The BSD Installer folks have put out a new tech preview; I haven't tried it yet, but previous versions have seemed to me to do a good job at selecting which decisions can be automated and which should be left to the user. If the FBSD project is looking at this as something it may want to adopt or model its own new installer upon, I'd be pleased about that.

@Eugenia
by Jefferson "ReZ" Ietto Novo on Fri 24th Jun 2005 13:52 UTC

Thank you Eugenia,

I'll be missed for sure.

Thanks for all your contribution and your views.

Good Bye, Eugenia
by Alex Hitech on Fri 24th Jun 2005 14:04 UTC

Thank you very much for very interesting articles, Eugenia! Good luck! I hope your future will be bright and shiny!

BTW, this is my first comment on OsNews. :-)

@Eugenia
by Anand Pandey on Fri 24th Jun 2005 14:14 UTC

I read a couple of negative comments about Eugenia, I am infuriated. The reason osnews has been my favourite website since 2001 when it started was because it shared the news that mattered to me. I applaud Eugenia effort thus far, my only concern is when she used to take a vacation the news items were kind of "soso", how would it fare when she leaves for good.
I at least expect a parting article sharing her experience at OSnews.

I think I get it now!
by Someone on Fri 24th Jun 2005 15:27 UTC

FreeBSD 5.x == GCC 3.0.x == GCC 4.0.x: a lot of long needed infrastructure changes and integration of new ideas, to be improved upon once the new stuff has been proven and the old stuff removed. But it won't be t3h r0xx0r until the next version.

FreeBSD 6.x == GCC 3.3.x == GCC 4.1.x and up: wherein the new stuff is proven and tested to work, remaining old stuff is removed and consigned to history, and the deeper improvements begin to shine as they are optimized and perfected.

FreeBSD 5.x was a necessary step to get to 6.x, which promises to be t3h sn4ppy, and now with 5.4, it's really nice in it's own right. Just like we needed to get through the initial release series of GCC 3 and GCC 4 before we really reaped the benefits of what the teams have done.

Now, I shan't get into whether either project required a whole new version number or not, but the point is moot because the respective development models determine that.

Thanks for the interview, Mrs. Loli-Queru! Way to go off on a high note! Personally, *I* think you made this place one of the most respected geeky news sites on this here new fangled inter-web and you will be missed.
--JM

Who CARES - FIX THE INSTALLER!!!!!
by Matt Edlund on Fri 24th Jun 2005 15:57 UTC

NONE of what was in the artical matters one bit until the FreeBSD installer is fixed. It fails to reslove DNS 50% of the time, if you have to go back and correct a mistake the install fails. The package untility is a total failure and useless. You use the FreeBSD installer to create a minmum install and even THEN you are crossing your fingers it works! It is inconcivable to me that "improvments" like hyperthreading support are more important than the basics.

"Use simple, effective and reliable methods and tools in order to achive complex solutions" -Theo De Rault at the Calgary Linux Users Group Meeting during Hack-a-thon 2005.

RE: I think I get it now!
by Robert Watson on Fri 24th Jun 2005 16:16 UTC

> FreeBSD 5.x was a necessary step to get to 6.x,
> which promises to be t3h sn4ppy, and now with 5.4,
> it's really nice in it's own right. Just like we
> needed to get through the initial release series of
> GCC 3 and GCC 4 before we really reaped the benefits
> of what the teams have done.

Part of the problem with the development and maintenance of multi-million line source code bases is that some changes take half a decade or longer to complete. You can't do them outside the tree or you get left behind, and you can't stop doing releases for the duration, because then no one gets other necessary features and updates. The result is that they're rolled in in a staggered manner, with overlapping branches and releases. Similarly, old and new Apache versions overlap, old and new Linux kernel versions overlap, and even Windows versions overlap. This exact same pattern turns up in hardware -- the chip that's the bleeding edge computation cluster today will be in your toaster oven in a few years, but there's no reason to put it in the toaster oven today (if nothing else, it's a very expensive heating coil).

When you look at the FreeBSD front page and the release information, you'll see we are careful to mark which releases are "production", and which are "technology preview" or "developer snapshot" releases, so as to try and give a bit more information to the user about where it's appropriate to use various versions. Third party product developers will who are building embedded or derived products, such as firewalls or storage appliances, will often want to remain towards the head of the curve, because their product life cycles will often match our product life cycle. Large web hosts might track further back, as they'll have a less immediate need for the bleeding edge features.

One of the nice things about open source is that there's a lot of visibility into the intermediate steps in the development process -- you can see inside the product, how things are going, the bug report databases, etc. You don't get this openness with closed source products. Interestingly, this actually has a cost for open source in the enterprise: because people can see under the hood while it's being built, they assume that it's always in a state of being built. FreeBSD "-STABLE" production branches have quite long life spans during which they are *not* being built, and sometimes there are misunderstandings about when it's appropriate or not appropriate to grab a version. If you grab a developer snapshot, it will crash!

I think the world is becoming a lot more aware of the positive and negative sides to an entirely open development process, and so is able to take better advantage of it than they were a few years ago.

So long
by Tom on Fri 24th Jun 2005 17:57 UTC

So long, Eugenia. We hardly knew ye.

Eugenia
by turtlehat on Fri 24th Jun 2005 19:52 UTC

Eugenia can't leave!!!

So long Eugenia..
by Richard Tough on Fri 24th Jun 2005 21:40 UTC

I've been coming here every day for a couple of years, I've enjoyed many of your editorials, and like how you've spoken out on issues in the past when you've felt stuff isn't right. Its a shame the vocal minority here are screwing it over for the rest of us and have caused you trouble and pain, I don't think the site will be the same without you. And GnomeFiles will surely take a hit ;)

Good luck in whatever you choose to do, I hope you find something enjoyable and productive to do in the hours OSNews used to fill. So long, and thanks for the ride ;)

OpenBSM
by Darren Moffat on Fri 24th Jun 2005 23:02 UTC

I really wish that Apple and the TrustedBSD people had talked to Sun about BSM before cloning the existing Solaris stuff. Why ? because it would have been much more useful for us to develop an open standard and open implementaion of this rather than them just cloning the existing interfaces.
In Solaris we have developed a new set of higher level and much more useful interfaces, we have also added support for XML output. Until very recently we didn't even know that Apple had BSM support and had cloned our interfaces and file formats.

So if any of the people working on OpenBSM are reading please contact me, darren dot moffat at sun dot com, so we can work together - it will be faster and better for all of us and all of our users if we do so.

Even if you choose not to contact Sun about this, then I wish you good luck it will be really nice to have a compeditor for Trusted Solaris again.

I'd also like to point out that all the code for Solaris BSM is already open in OpenSolaris.

Userland: http://cvs.opensolaris.org/source/xref/usr/src/lib/libbsm/

Kernel:
http://cvs.opensolaris.org/source/xref/usr/src/uts/common/c2/

OK Guys lets bring her back
by Anand Pandey on Sat 25th Jun 2005 00:23 UTC

Lets see Eugenia got offended but a minority of people. More here in her blog @ http://slashdot.org/~Eugenia%20Loli/journal

Now let us bring her back to OSNEWS. I want every one supporting Eugenia to say "EUGENIA PLEASE COME BACK TO OSNEWS" either here or on all the comments that you leave.

RE:OpenBSM
by Pedro on Sat 25th Jun 2005 04:10 UTC

Admitedly there's a lack of communication among different OpenSource projects, and it's been a many years since I last heard about SUN wanting to contribute with the BSDs. It would be nice to see SUN adopting some FreeBSD stuff like netgraph, kqueue and eventually maybe even GEOM and KGI. <BR>There are issues though ... taking code from Solaris into the BSDs (or Linux) is not really an option because of the license. Apple has been very flexible with the BSD guys on that.

RE: RELENG_X_Y-tied ports/packages tree(s)
by Mark Linimon on Sat 25th Jun 2005 04:13 UTC

Scott, you're a little behind on the ports count, it currently stands at 13135. (For what it's worth, all but a few of these are source-based.)

As per the initial question: although people occasionally ask about branching the ports tree, in practice we don't feel we have enough manpower to do it The effort of keeping the ports tree up-to-date on the various combinations of major releases and architectures is as much as we care to handle, even with the automated ports building cluster (IMHO FreeBSD's "secret weapon").

So for the moment there is no plan to do anything to the ports trees for releases, other than CVS tags, which we already do.

Tangent: Mike Smith and Apple
by FUD-Buster on Sat 25th Jun 2005 04:45 UTC

Howdy,

First off, how cool of these guys to take this time out and then to come in here and answer questions. Very much appreciated (as is all the work you do for FreeBSD). And 6.x looks very interesting. I remember getting into this back at 2.1.5 and even then the "philosophy" got me.

Through the years, Mike Smith had helped me tremendously with various scsi/raid issues on the mailing lists. Really great guy who took time to explain how he was using the data I supplied him in my bug reports/troubleshooting. I learned so much just from short interactions with him. He was also incredibly kind and patient.

I saw in the article that he's at Apple. What type of work is he doing there?

Lastly, of those that work at Apple now (JKH, Mike), I'd love to see either of these folks write an article along the lines of "A tour of my OS-X workstation" - love to see what they do for virtual desktops, and what they find are "must haves" as far as little utilities and hacks.

Hangs Up
by DrAk0 on Sat 25th Jun 2005 07:25 UTC

I've been using FreeBSD for 3 years now and I _LOVE_ it and I'm impresive how developers track the comments and even respond, however I have a quick shot, since FreeBSD 5.2 I've been testing OpenOffice.org and well it CRASH the whole system that wont even reply the pings, same in 5.3 and now in 5.4 and since 1.1.2 to 1.1.4 on 3 diferents machines diferent hardware, someone should look at it.

Ubuntu spirit for BSD
by Blip on Sat 25th Jun 2005 13:09 UTC

I recently installed Ubuntu in one the computers of my office, I is amazing how simple, easy and nice it is designed/arranged ... with Synaptic, easy to update ....

I would like to know if there is an equivalent in the BSD world. I found PC-BSD difficult to install ... much more than Ubuntu.

Any suggestion?

Thx

theres no person like eugenia
by Anonymous on Sat 25th Jun 2005 15:36 UTC

* clicks heels together *
theres no person like eugenia, theres no person like eugenia, theres no person like eugenia,

she just needs to step back and tkae things in stride and realize this is a VERY public place and people are going to express themselves, dear dont let it get to you...... water off a ducks back.....nothing more..... people being the assholes they are, myself included..... In real life I am the most "to each his own" kind of person.... But I love to argue like I am a devout christian on a soul saving quest... ;) all in good fun....


i am looking for a job if anyone is interested ;)
souneedalink (at) yahoo

RE: Wish u luck in future Eugenia
by Raj on Sat 25th Jun 2005 18:04 UTC

Your edits and stories have been main source for OSNEWS and certainly I could see the efforts you put in for it. Your views about GNOME Developers were right on. Instead of listening to users, if they keep on being adamant, they will lose in the end. I love Open source software but people like them make me stay away from it at times. I hope u will continue to contribute to OSNEWS otherwise I might not be that interested in this news site

FreeBSD Performance
by James Cornell on Mon 27th Jun 2005 13:02 UTC

FreeBSD 5.x Performance does well considering all the other features implemented into the 5.x releases. I did a benchmark on a Compaq Proliant 8500R with Quad 550MHz Intel Pentium III Xeons (2MB L2), 1GB Ram, 64MB Compaq SmartArray (IDA), Hotswap SCSI, Hotplug PCI, etc. The conditions were not timed via a watch, but by eye. Compiling a fully fledged server setup using MySQL 4.1.12, PHP 4.3.11, Apache 2.0.54 w/ OpenSSL, all from source on 2.6.9 enabled Slackware and Gentoo 2005.0, verus FreeBSD 5.3. FreeBSD on MySQL for instance, took a substantially less period of time to complete, I'm guessing 15 minutes to do MySQL 4. Linux took twice that on both distributions, Gentoo being faster then Slackware for obvious performance perks. Although it is on top with speed, I still think they are right about the locking mechninism. I look forward to 6-RELEASE. The reason I stick with FreeBSD as my server platform lies within its maturity. http://www.levenez.com/unix/ have some fun looking at BSD going all the way back to the 1970's. Good review, thank you for your work.