Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 8th Oct 2001 16:15 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews Matt Dillon, not the famous actor but the kernel/VM FreeBSD hacker also well known for writting the Dice C compiler for the Amiga, is here with us today for an in-depth interview about everything regarding FreeBSD 5.0. This is the OS that all the techie people are waiting for and presenting it as the most advanced, technically-speaking, free OS of today. Additionally, we also include two mini interviews with Theo de Raadt, the OpenBSD founder, and Jun-ichiro "itojun" Hagino from the NetBSD Core Team.
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Excellent article, nice read & good Q & A
by CD Baric on Tue 9th Oct 2001 00:38 UTC

Enjoyed the article and am looking forward to trying FreeBSD 5.0 - Glad to see recent events with Windriver haven't stifled to forward progress. Well done & keep up the great work. CD

by Anonymous on Tue 9th Oct 2001 01:36 UTC

Excellent article!!! Really answered a lot of questions I was wondering about! Great work, glad to see more talk about the *BSD's.

by Kevin on Tue 9th Oct 2001 02:04 UTC

Yeah, I agree with Anonymous that was a great article. I never knew that the various BSD distros sometimes shared codes, cool. NetBSD on a PS/2? Cool! I'd love to see a review of that when it comes out...

An interview with thre people that unarguably know exactly what they are talking about. My somewhat wavering confidence in FreeBSD is restored and I am happy to again promote it armed with new and useful information. An interview with Mr. Greenman would be a perfect compliment to this. I'm going to buy something from this banner just out of appreciation for such an excellent article with such well thought-out questions.

perfect timing
by Anonymous on Tue 9th Oct 2001 03:27 UTC

This interview is very informative and comes at a great time, shortly after the WindRiver news. The level of focus shown by each BSD project gives a comforting feeling of stability.

too many acronyms!
by ellyn on Tue 9th Oct 2001 04:01 UTC

Great article, no fluff. It would be nice to have all the abbreviations explained. MFC? QOS? UFS? FFS? Give me a break here- I'm no kernel hacker, but I do undertstand words.

Re: Interview
by Eugenia on Tue 9th Oct 2001 04:01 UTC

Guys, thank you all for your nice words about the article. ;)

by grifter on Tue 9th Oct 2001 04:59 UTC

I've been a linux user for many years now and occasionally touch the BSD's, but as of late I've really been pondering the thought of just switching over completely. I really enjoy the way the BSD's are developed and how specific issues are handled. I believe this article made my decision clearer. I am also happy to see that the recent events with riverwind didnt impact BSD as much as what I first thought after reading some of the news stories lately. Anyways, I'd like to thank everyone who had a part in this article for their time.

by Anonymous on Tue 9th Oct 2001 06:02 UTC

<p>MFC = Merge From Current (ie, v.5 > v.4.x) <p>QOS = Quality Of Service <p>UFS = Unix File System <p>FFS = Fast File System <p>I switched to FreeBSD last winter after 5 years of Linux. Glad I did. <p>I liked the article and will be back for more.

by Anonymous on Tue 9th Oct 2001 06:05 UTC

mfc - merged from current. changes add to -stable(4.4 now) from -current(5.0 now) qos - quality of service ufs - freebsd filesystem ffs - fast filesystem

Linux to *BSD and back?
by Cuba++ on Tue 9th Oct 2001 07:28 UTC

Thanks for a good article, but can you help me with migrating from Linux to *BSD systems? I played with OpenBSD a bit, but for real purposes Debian Linux is very easy and quick to install and easy to administer. I'd like to test it with *BSD systems. Any hints for me? Anyway thanks god for *BSD and Linux systems ;-) Thank you, guys.

More mature developers and code.
by Shane Pearson on Tue 9th Oct 2001 07:39 UTC

I've been using Linux, since Red Hat 5.0 was released, coming on 4 years. After trying a few distros out, I've settled on Debian. Though I have also been using OpenBSD since 2.5 and now FreeBSD 4.4 Release. It seems to me that the BSD's are so much more mature and clean, from looking at file structures and man pages to config files. The attitude of the BSD developers also seems to be far more bent on practicality than the Linux camp, which feels on the whole like rushed unfinished work (with some exceptions within Debian). I plan on moving over to FreeBSD for my desktop OS, keeping OpenBSD for what it does best (Firewall) and keeping Linux for my education and employment opportunities. After 8 years of supporting Microsoft systems, I find them so un-inspiring to work with or try to keep going for that matter. The future of the BSD's seems so bright. Thanks to the developers!

FreeBSD feels good
by Maxlor on Tue 9th Oct 2001 08:03 UTC

I have to agree, great article. The future is bright... Its odd though. If I observe myself now I find that I have a much stronger emotional bondage towards my old Pentium 90 running FreeBSD than my Athlon 1.4 running Win2k. I mean, both are good OSes, but FreeBSD feels just better. You know whats happening on the system. You can play around with networks like an artist can with his brush. Not to mention that it doesn't matter much whether you sit at the machine or are ssh'ing in... Mmmm FreeBSD. Love it ;)

by David on Tue 9th Oct 2001 08:54 UTC

I like the greater BSD emphasis on trying to find a good design. A classic case in point would be the rc system. NetBSD migrated from the old 4.4BSD rc+netstart+rc.local to a single directory rc.d in which the scripts contain tags that determine the other scripts on which they depend. No mess of symlinks, and sane use of shell functions so it is easily parsable by humans. On other systems I have fought through too many insane twisty little passages of massive rc.d files, all alike, and all calling at least five of their friends to do anything. Don't even start me on configuration details scattered all over the place, some in this file, some in that directory, some stuffed behind the sofa... and the old favourite "Now S99foo needs to start before S99bar, but they both need to start before S98zonk and buddies" I believe FreeBSD has pulled across the rc.d changes into a branch, I'm looking forward to my FreeBSD boxes catching up with the NetBSD ones ;)

You asked Theo the wrong questions.
by tftv256 on Tue 9th Oct 2001 12:29 UTC

<p>I personally would have asked Theo about how secure the new packet filter is. Every programmer knows that when you introduce a new piece of code, issues arise. As an OpenBSD 2.7 user, I would like to know: how tested is the new packet filter in comparison to the tried-and-true pre-3.0 ipf? Will the new packet filter be secure enough, or should I hold back the upgrade for a few point releases?</p> I would have specifically asked the FreeBSD guy about the Linux VM, too. Everybody knows that the Linux 2.4 VM is quirky, and it would be interesting to hear the FreeBSD VM author's take on it, beyond "I've been following it" and "I disagree with the flames".

by click46 on Tue 9th Oct 2001 19:54 UTC

Going on a year of FreeBSD usage, I really enjoyed this article. Even though I had read and heard of everything discussed here, I feel more enlighted after reading it! Keep up the excellent work!

FreeBSD... A Whiff of Fresh Spring Air
by Michael on Tue 9th Oct 2001 19:58 UTC

Outstanding article. At work I help maintain a department of RedHat boxes. I keep seeing ways we could improve stability/performance of our network if we migrated to FreeBSD. We have a few Alpha machines, and half of the Linux kernels we try to compile on them... don't. Until we switch at work, I'll continue happily running FreeBSD at home... and loving it.

What's old is new again.....
by Howard Harvey on Wed 10th Oct 2001 05:02 UTC

After far too long hacking away on SunOS, and then Solaris with an alcohol sodden drug addled detour into Linux just to see what the penguinistas were up to, getting back to NetBSD and then to FreeBSD was like coming home. Everything just feels good, cvsup is a dream to work, and the inherent _righteousness_ of the OS is a soothing balm upon old wounds laid open and raw by the noxious pox of microsoft. BSD - because sometimes doing it right is worth it than for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.

by Manfred Morgner on Wed 10th Oct 2001 07:46 UTC

I'm using Debian GNU/Linux for some time now, and there are lots of properties that I love and - I depend on. The main point for me is the really easy way for updating/upgrading of the system and installing/removing of software packages. Some month ago, I played with BSD and found it really amazing. It is ultrafast, stable, supports lots of devices and son on. Really great! But I'm a simple developer and I'm not interested in to know system administration and all related tasks as more as neccessary. As we all know, security is the primer problem of us netpeoples. And installing security patches is a important thing. In Debian it is a simple commend line to install updated software on my gateway/firewall. What is to do in the same case in FreeBSD?

wow GREAT article - who'da known?
by SKULL CRUSHER on Wed 10th Oct 2001 12:05 UTC

Not only is Matt Dillon a great hacker, but his performance in Rumblefish and, of course, Drug Store Cowboy was great. Who'd have known that, like, he could have a totally successful movie career (with a few flops of course), and then go on to be some totally rad *bsd hacker! Awesome!@! I thought he was kinda silly in The Flamingo Kid, myself. But I am glad he is giving back to the open source community now. Check out some of his long list of works, if you don't believe me:,+Matt -Skull

by Anonymous on Wed 10th Oct 2001 18:15 UTC

Sweet article! Loved it! *BSD rules.. Also like what that guy said about the SYS V init system, S99foo, etc.. LOL, so true.. What a mess.

Think of a big green doobie...
by An0onymous on Thu 11th Oct 2001 04:48 UTC

I respond to all the linux-converts and *BSD newbies who say "wow man, its like the source code is so much cleaner and mature..." Think of where BSD came from. Berkeley. UC Berkeley + 1970's (even up until today) grows some prime greens. (unix source code,, and the developers who wrote/taught it). Do some history on Unix, and things in ALL of todays OS's are completly obvious. Do some history on Berkeley, and things in ALL of todays *BSD are now obvious. ....Just picture those "summer of '69" albums where there are passing around a big green fattie and pondering the future... ...if you still don't respect the 20-30 (depending on how you look at it) year old BSD source tree, just ask Linus where he got his TCP stack from, ask cisco where their IOS came from, ask Cap'n Bill where alot of his NT kernel and quite a bit of other parts came from... It is obvious when "all 99 out of 100 vendors have parts of the same telnetd overflow bug". ThankYou: Department of Defense, UC-Berkeley, A,W,K, and of course Ritchie... [I hereby BSD copyright this message, and override the OSNews copyright, therefore giving anyone/everyone full permission to duplicate/modify/redistribute any or all parts of this message for any use the see fit, except to make me liable for anything outcoming] --try that with the GPL... ;)

One small problem with article.
by Andy on Fri 12th Oct 2001 03:54 UTC

I just have one pet peeve with printed information... Could someone change the spelling of independant to independent? :-)

Sounded familiar
by Jason on Tue 16th Oct 2001 20:38 UTC

"What goodies the next version of OpenBSD is scheduled to going us?" Is that English? I had to read it about 10 times to make sense of it. Might as well have said: All your kernel patches are belong to us.

Good article, but OSNews needs an editor
by Ben on Mon 22nd Oct 2001 11:39 UTC

That was an excellent interview. I had no idea FreeBSD's vision reached so far in to the future. (Process migration? Was he kidding? I've heard people say Linux is the "Microsoft-killer"; If Matt Dillon was serious, Linux better hurry up, cause there's not going to be much left of Microsoft to kill once *BSD gets through with it.) However, the article was badly marred by flaws that any copy editor would have spotted. The acronyms that weren't expanded. The atrocious spelling. And the grammar, my God. It's a good thing Strunk & White are dead, because this would have killed them. I don't know about you, but I spent a while trying to figure out what exactly had been "seized" in the following sentence: <ol> After the open source bubble bursted recently, a lot of companies seized support and stoped contributing code to both Linux or BSD. </ol> (If you can't figure the puzzle out, here's a hint: nothing was "seized"). --Ben

Great Article
by Steve on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 03:26 UTC

Just wanted to congratulate you on a great article!

I've been setting up OpenBSD for firewalls but never really thought of using FreeBSD for much. Now I can see that I've been missing out. I'll be evaluating moving servers onto FreeBSD (or NetBSD which I know next to nothing about), rather than my normal choice of Linux for all.

This would have taken longer for me to realize if it was not for this article!

Thank You!