Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 7th Oct 2006 22:43 UTC
NetBSD NetBSD is the oldest and least-used of the three major BSD derivatives. David Chisnall takes a look at how it's survived for so long and where it's going in preparation for the next release.
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NetBSD is a nice OS
by twenex on Sat 7th Oct 2006 23:39 UTC
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

And this is a good overview.

If it had better hardware support (in terms of the peripherals it supports) and didn't use the BSD licence I would almost certainly be running NetBSD instead of Linux.

Reply Score: 0

RE: NetBSD is a nice OS
by jlarocco on Sat 7th Oct 2006 23:43 UTC in reply to "NetBSD is a nice OS"
jlarocco Member since:
2005-09-14

What's wrong with the BSD license?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by twenex on Sat 7th Oct 2006 23:46 UTC in reply to "RE: NetBSD is a nice OS"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I don't like the idea of someone taking code and being able to change it, or add to it, without giving anything back - either money, or the changed/added code.

EDIT: Also, and getting back to the subject of NetBSD itself, I've found that one cannot use precompiled packages and source without setting and unsetting an environmental variable in between installing them. This is annoying.

Edited 2006-10-07 23:51

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by jlarocco on Sat 7th Oct 2006 23:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
jlarocco Member since:
2005-09-14

Fair enough.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by Brandybuck on Sun 8th Oct 2006 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
Brandybuck Member since:
2006-08-27

In the mortal words of RMS, "Software just wants to be free". So make it free! Take off the damn leash you keep around its neck and let it go! If someone doesn't "give back", so what? Stop being your software's chaperon.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by bubbayank on Sun 8th Oct 2006 02:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
bubbayank Member since:
2005-07-15

Stop being your software's chaperon.

So GNU is a chastity belt? ;)

Reply Score: 3

v RE[5]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by axel on Sun 8th Oct 2006 04:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
RE[5]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by l3v1 on Sun 8th Oct 2006 08:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

So make it free!

Yes, that would be nice, but, and this is a huge but, many people - who don't like the bsd style licenses - don't like the idea of making "free" software and giving it to the public to see someone who doesn't share their ideas about "free" software pick that up sell it and take some people's money to become rich based on the "free" works of the original software creator. I don't especially like this idea either. "Make it free" should read and mean "make it free for everybody to use and modify freely", not "make it free for everybody else to sell".

Reply Score: 1

v RE[6]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by twenex on Sun 8th Oct 2006 13:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
RE[3]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by NotParker on Sun 8th Oct 2006 03:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

I don't like the idea of someone taking code and being able to change it, or add to it, without giving anything back - either money, or the changed/added code.

So much for free!

Viral is so much more accurate when describing the GPL. Kind of like a blood sucking Vampire.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by monodeldiablo on Sun 8th Oct 2006 06:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

... then don't use it with any OSS you write! There, that was easy.

Or are you just another armchair programmer with a dirty diaper and a bitter grudge that somebody donated boatloads of good code and didn't ask you how *you* wanted to use it before slapping a license on it? Judging by your past commentary, I'm inclined to you are.

Let's talk about NetBSD, please.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by l3v1 on Sun 8th Oct 2006 08:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

blood sucking Vampire

So if someone gives you code freely, and says you can do whatever you want with it if you also contribute back your changes, that's blood sucking. Then, what would you call that if someone can take a freely given code stick his logo on it and sell it without contributing anything back ? I guess that would mean fair use to you. Well, many people believe that and that's why they use bsd-style licenses. And that's what you also should do, and stop complaining about GPL's this and that.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by NotParker on Sun 8th Oct 2006 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

So if someone gives you code freely, and says you can do whatever you want with it if you also contribute back your changes, that's blood sucking.

They have every right to put thousands of conditions on their own code ... but stop being hypocrites and calling it free.

If I hand you a candy bar and say its free but tell you that you can only eat it between 5pm and 6pm, and when you are done with it you have to mail back the wrapper and a photo of your stool, it isn't a "free" candy bar. Its an unfree candy bar.

When it comes down to the core of the GPL is lying. You have a to lie to people to con them into using the GPL. The GPL is not about freedom at all. Its about conning people into joining a cult.

Edited 2006-10-08 17:30

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by sbergman27 on Sun 8th Oct 2006 17:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""If I hand you a candy bar and say its free but tell you that you can only eat it between 5pm and 6pm, and when you are done with it you have to mail back the wrapper and a photo of your stool, it isn't a "free" candy bar"""

Pervert. ;-)

Edited 2006-10-08 17:31

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by twenex on Sun 8th Oct 2006 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Someone whose posts have the the low signal to noise ratio that yours do should be very careful about accusing people of lying.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by sbergman27 on Sun 8th Oct 2006 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""Someone whose posts have the the low signal to noise ratio that yours do should be very careful about accusing people of lying."""


I disagree with NotParker for the most part.

But I would hardly call his signal to noise ratio low. He makes some very valid points.

GPL is a license with sharp teeth. And whether it is more or less free than BSD depends upon whose freedoms you are concerned about. Developers? Users? Someone else?

Inevitably, the the term "freedom" is thrown around as though the recipient of the intended freedom is a given.

It's not. You have to explain whose freedoms you are talking about when you use the term.

That would make these threads much less confusing, show how silly some arguments really are, and put arguments that otherwise would seem silly into a context that highlights how brilliantly conceived that they are.

Edited 2006-10-08 18:55

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by dylansmrjones on Mon 9th Oct 2006 23:27 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Bullshit.

Of course the GPL is free. It's free in the same sense that democracy is freedom. You can do whatever you want to, as long as you don't take those rights away from others.

The BSD-license is more akin to anarchy (not bad at all), where you can do anything, including limiting the freedom of others.

One could say they are both free, in two different ways.
One is protective of the freedom (as in democracy), while the other is unprotective (as in anarchy).

Which one is best to use depends on the situation.

Reply Score: 0

RE[7]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by dylansmrjones on Tue 10th Oct 2006 11:09 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Oh yeah, the anti-GPL gang is out - or perhaps it's the anti-BSD gang.. who knows?

What I posted is factually correct, and in no way offensive. And no more OT than the parent post.

Fact is the BSD is unprotective and the GPL is protective, essentially giving two different kinds of freedom.

Disagreeing with me is no reason to mod down, so stop that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by orestes on Sun 8th Oct 2006 05:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't like the idea of someone taking code and being able to change it, or add to it, without giving anything back - either money, or the changed/added code.

It's not like the GPL prevents people from doing that either, unless they feel like distributing the result.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[4]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by twenex on Sun 8th Oct 2006 13:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
RE[5]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by sbergman27 on Sun 8th Oct 2006 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""Exactly. Choosing a BSD project/licence because you want to sell modified, binary-only code is just freeloading."""

No. It is simply respecting the license terms.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by twenex on Sun 8th Oct 2006 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: NetBSD is a nice OS"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

So is giving back the code. The difference is, those who don't want to reward other coders for their efforts will use the BSD's to avoid it, those who do will use the BSD's and give back, or use the GPL to make sure they are also compensated.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by Soulbender on Mon 9th Oct 2006 09:40 UTC in reply to "RE: NetBSD is a nice OS"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"What's wrong with the BSD license?"

Can we just NOT go there again? There are enough license flamewars already.

Reply Score: 2

RE: NetBSD is a nice OS
by Babi Asu on Sun 8th Oct 2006 03:44 UTC in reply to "NetBSD is a nice OS"
Babi Asu Member since:
2006-02-11

You are qualified to make this statement if you can do more than "./configure && make && make install". Most of vocal supporters of GPL (if term zealot is too harsh) usually don't know what to do if apt-get doesn't work or code doesn't compile.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by santagada on Sun 8th Oct 2006 03:52 UTC in reply to "RE: NetBSD is a nice OS"
santagada Member since:
2005-07-06

Let's get back to NetBSD and let the unfunded remarks out ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: NetBSD is a nice OS
by twenex on Sun 8th Oct 2006 13:02 UTC in reply to "RE: NetBSD is a nice OS"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I'm perfectly well aware that you can do that. What I'm saying is that you should be able to install precompiled packages without unsetting variables needed for ports.

Reply Score: 1

heh
by bytecoder on Sun 8th Oct 2006 01:15 UTC
bytecoder
Member since:
2005-11-27

The title made me laugh.

Reply Score: 2

Please no license war
by Seth Quarrier on Sun 8th Oct 2006 02:23 UTC
Seth Quarrier
Member since:
2005-11-13

Every one knows the different license religions, now lets talk about NetBSD the OS.

Reply Score: 5

NetBSD is NOT the least-used
by tecneeq on Sun 8th Oct 2006 03:54 UTC
tecneeq
Member since:
2006-08-27

I mentioned that yesterday on the #netbsd blog (http://blog.onetbsd.de/?p=258).

The BSD vs GPL question is easy to solve: use what you like, both are fine. NetBSD was supported in it's early days by the FSF and uses a lot GPL'ed software (gcc for example). Many GPL'ed projects use BSD code.

Reply Score: 5

RE: NetBSD is NOT the least-used
by l3v1 on Sun 8th Oct 2006 08:55 UTC in reply to "NetBSD is NOT the least-used"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Problem is, many people just can't stand neutrality. They just strive for something to be against. No friggin' way they could stand by one and let the others alone. Hell, the other day I was almost yelled at by some idiot for trying to be objective in a political question, demanding that I take sides. People are people.

Reply Score: 2

RE: NetBSD is NOT the least-used
by silicon on Sun 8th Oct 2006 12:08 UTC in reply to "NetBSD is NOT the least-used"
silicon Member since:
2005-07-30

Right on track. The only thing I hate is non-free software/content/media/<put_whatever_string_you_like>

Reply Score: 1

DevL Member since:
2005-07-06

Such comments always gets me started.

Reply Score: 1

jjmckay Member since:
2005-11-11

Right. That's what the comment was meant to do. His comment on the BSD license wasn't even on topic, imho. What does the license have to do with the fact that BSD runs on more than toasters or how NetBSD has survived so long.

It's an ego thing to start that fight. It is a self enhancing thing to do. People feel more themselves if they can feel greater separation from 'others' this way. "This is ME and my opinion!" It is a self seeking thing to do, what the ego is constantly doing. Read up on Eckhart Tolle or google video his talks to see what I'm talking about. Some of his book chapters are on the net which is probably easier to start with.

This is something that would be nice to have more tech savvy people know about. That is: egoic arguements about OS/licenses/software/etc etc....

If you know the mental mechanics behind the statement, you'll perhaps gain a deeper perspective on what and why the person is saying that. Hope this helps.

Edited 2006-10-08 10:11

Reply Score: 4

vlado Member since:
2005-10-26

I think a definition is needded:
"One's freedom is limited by the freedom of the others".

Reply Score: 1

NetBSD
by happycamper on Sun 8th Oct 2006 10:41 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

I liked the article so much that. i'm installing NetBSD on one of my computers, so I can tinker with it.

Reply Score: 4

least used
by justin.68 on Sun 8th Oct 2006 11:49 UTC
justin.68
Member since:
2006-09-16

The OS is clean and compact, but it gives you a real hard time to set it up to be useful if you're a novice. I guess this is why NetBSD is the least used of the BSD's despite its portability.

Reply Score: 1

RE: least used
by twenex on Sun 8th Oct 2006 13:10 UTC in reply to "least used"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Try the NetBSD guide. I followed that the second time I set it up and it felt a lot easier to do than the first time.

Reply Score: 3

BSD
by JohnX on Sun 8th Oct 2006 12:00 UTC
JohnX
Member since:
2005-11-06

BSD source has been much more successful than GPL will ever be... BSD has found its way to Windows, Mac, Linux, embedded systems and god knows what else.

That's the difference between GPL and BSD. GPL fans want to convert by force. BSD however has other goals... The goal is to provide to everyone quality software. In that respect, BSD is much more useful and that can be seen by the numbers of users using BSD software compared to the ones using GPL.

Reply Score: 4

v RE: BSD
by twenex on Sun 8th Oct 2006 13:07 UTC in reply to "BSD"
RE[2]: BSD
by bservies on Sun 8th Oct 2006 15:13 UTC in reply to "RE: BSD"
bservies Member since:
2006-05-27

GPL users don't care about "success", they care about freedom.

Ha! Thanks for the laugh. GPL users care deeply about spreading their cult and have defined "success" as eliminating the jobs of people who think differently from them for decades now. I knew in the mid 80's that RMS didn't want me to make a living at my chosen profession.

As for "don't care about success," just look at all the fanboys who cheer every time some idiot pundit declares that Linux will take over the world "any time now". And you people have re-defined "freedom" to mean, "think like we do." No, I say.

As for "success", if people can freeload off your code, I'd hardly call that being successful. I'd call that being duped

I use NetBSD because the code is beautiful. It is functional art, designed and written by serious engineers. It is a pleasant respite from my day job, where I am required to use Linux.

And if someone wants to use anything I submit back and get paid for the effort they put in to producing a product (which is damn hard work, no matter what you start with), more money to them. They deserve it.

Reply Score: 3

v The toasters run on NetBSD? Frak.
by robilad on Sun 8th Oct 2006 12:42 UTC
Licenses and a bit on NetBSD ...
by MacTO on Sun 8th Oct 2006 13:15 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

There's an old line about rights and responsibilities. The GPL tries to find a balance between the two, while the BSD license is mostly concerned about rights. Is it surprising that the GPL has produced this amazing kernel, compiler, and so much more?

As for the rest of the article, it pretty much goes to show why I don't use NetBSD anymore: it simply does not mesh well with my needs as an end user. I could care less if NetBSD is more portable if it does not run on my hardware. I could care less if the package system supports distcc, because I don't have the resources to use it nor do I want to build a significant number of packages. And Xen simply won't interest me until it cooperates with a guest host that I'm interested in.

If your opinion and needs differ, then fine. But I suspect that the majority of people share my opinion, albeit for their own set of reasons. That is why the majority use Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X. Claiming that it is about the hype is a cop-out. Oh sure, hype can influence popularity. But when you've been unpopular for over a decade, you probably have much deeper problems.

Reply Score: 2

In a perfect world ...
by deb2006 on Sun 8th Oct 2006 14:34 UTC
deb2006
Member since:
2006-06-26

... I'd be using the BSD license. Since the world is at it is - often stinking rotten - I use the GPL.

Reply Score: 0

v RE: In a perfect world ...
by twenex on Sun 8th Oct 2006 14:55 UTC in reply to "In a perfect world ..."
Why I use NetBSD
by wanderer on Sun 8th Oct 2006 16:03 UTC
wanderer
Member since:
2006-10-08

I recently started building a jukebox for my stereo system, and chose NetBSD. I've been using Linux for 12 years, so Linux would have been the obvious choice. But after doing some research on the BSDs, I decided on NetBSD.

Why?

1. Simplicity
After coming from Linux, NetBSD (or any BSD) feels like "old school" UNIX (very minimal). It takes some getting used to. But after a bit, I began to appreciate it. NetBSD's base system is smaller than just about any minimal Linux system these days. It's small enough I can wrap my head around the whole thing. I remember running Linux 10 years ago; it felt about the same way. Since then, everything including the kitchen sink has gotten added to the "core" of most distributions. (Example: What's the preferred scripting language for a base Linux system? Python, Perl, bash, tcsh, and others are probably used. Most Linux distros pull them all in. Bloat, and maintenance headaches.) I appreciate that NetBSD keeps the base system simple; you can of course add what you want via pkgsrc, but that choice is yours. This is one place that NetBSD stood out compared to the other BSDs: The base system seemed smaller.

2. Cohesiveness
I'm a stickler for detail. It drives me nuts when man pages on Linux haven't been updated in years, or are from a different distro, or don't quite describe the system I'm running, or the man page chastises me for even using man instead of info. Those types of things make the system less useful to me. I want a single system that is a single, cohesive whole. Things work better together if they were designed together. This extends far beyond man pages, of course, but here's another example: I wanted to learn about the audio driver: "man 4 audio". Linux distros don't (typically) ship man pages to cover each kernel subsystem -- they can't; the kernel evolves too rapidly and it is a separate entity. I would prefer to trust the man pages shipped with the system than something I find via google.

3. Quality
I don't speak for my employer (I actually work at a Linux company...) but from what I've seen, the quality of software that goes into Linux distros is far more variable (and on average, lower quality) than what's in the BSDs. I think most engineers would agree that designing a system as a whole leads to better quality than trying to stitch together many other people's code and apply patches to fix it up. It's commonly accepted that you can't add security after the fact; it has to be designed in from the start. I feel the same way about quality. The fact that NetBSD is so portable is an indicator of good design, which in turn is an indicator of quality.

I know many people will disagree with me... that's fine. I've grown past Linux. Use what works for you; I'll use what works for me.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Why I use NetBSD
by sbergman27 on Sun 8th Oct 2006 17:20 UTC in reply to "Why I use NetBSD"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""I don't speak for my employer (I actually work at a Linux company...) but from what I've seen, the quality of software that goes into Linux distros is far more variable (and on average, lower quality) than what's in the BSDs.

...

The fact that NetBSD is so portable is an indicator of good design, which in turn is an indicator of quality."""


Not to knock NetBSD's quality, but Linux runs on more platforms than NetBSD. More diverse ones, as well.

This has been true for about 3 years now.

http://os.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=06/07/23/1212252

Just out of curiosity, if you've "outgrown Linux" like you say, why are you not working for a NetBSD company?

Edited 2006-10-08 17:24

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Why I use NetBSD
by Babi Asu on Sun 8th Oct 2006 20:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Why I use NetBSD"
Babi Asu Member since:
2006-02-11

From the article

You should understand that "portability" is not the same as "number of ports," though. Making an actual port still requires 1) manpower and 2) hardware, thus money, both of which NetBSD certainly has much less than (for example, Linux). And Linux ports are often quite "brute forced," involving a lot of code rewriting.

...

The primary reason why a lot of companies are choosing Linux over NetBSD, though, would be hype: Linux gets a lot more media attention; many people donít even know that NetBSD exists. As a consequence, there is a lot more commercial software and support for Linux, and unfortunately this seems to form a closed loop. Fortunately, there are a number of companies that look beyond the latest hype and recognize the strengths of NetBSD: companies like Avocent, Sony, Brocade, Force 10, Wasabi Systems, NEC, Ricoh, and others.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Why I use NetBSD
by twenex on Sun 8th Oct 2006 21:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why I use NetBSD"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Could it also be that Linux peripheral hardware support is much wider than any of the NetBSDs'?

Reply Score: 0

orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

and a big group hug - now, doesn't that feel better?

Reply Score: 0

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

ROTFL. Oh, bravo!

Reply Score: 0

Not at all like the article
by Cloudy on Sun 8th Oct 2006 22:31 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

Cloudy has just finished porting NetBSD to a new CPU architecture.

Cloudy read the Informit article.

Cloudy has not laughed so hard at stupidity in years.

Cloudy would like to thank Eugenia for posting references to such cluelessness. Cloudy is very much amused.

Cloudy, however, hopes no one reads that article thinking they are going to learn anything about NetBSD, because they aren't.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not at all like the article
by sbergman27 on Mon 9th Oct 2006 01:08 UTC in reply to "Not at all like the article"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Cloudy would be more understandable if Cloudy stopped referring to Cloudy in the third person.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not at all like the article
by Cloudy on Mon 9th Oct 2006 04:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Not at all like the article"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Cloudy was making a joke, because Cloudy routinely points out that Informit articles are anything but informing, and Cloudy was looking for a fresh way to say it.

;)

Reply Score: 1

3.1?
by ebasconp on Mon 9th Oct 2006 00:39 UTC
ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

When the NetBSD 3.1 will be released?

I am waiting for it since October 2nd!!!!

Reply Score: 1

By the way, I should say
by Cloudy on Mon 9th Oct 2006 04:29 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

NetBSD is a good operating system, and relatively easy to port; especially in a cross development environment.

I've ported Linux and NetBSD to similar hardware in the past year and I greatly prefer porting NetBSD because of its more modular design.

It would be very nice to have something like scratchbox for packages, though. It takes a long time to compile emacs on a 200mhz ARM processor.

Reply Score: 3