Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 25th Feb 2007 05:54 UTC, submitted by Valour
FreeBSD It's been a long road to recovery, but after years of mediocre releases, and months of delays in the development process, FreeBSD is finally back on its feet with 6.2-RELEASE. Though it is an excellent operating system, even this latest version offers few or no competitive advantages over Solaris or the other BSDs in a server role, and can never hope to compete with commercial GNU/Linux distributions for desktop computers. FreeBSD 6.2 is what FreeBSD 5.0 needed to be, and for those who have already switched to other operating systems, there are few or no compelling reasons to go back. More here.
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Huh...
by Almafeta on Sun 25th Feb 2007 06:15 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

The description of BSD as a failed OS is somewhat of an opinion piece, isn't it? I still know FreeBSD fanatics.

Reply Score: 5

Funny article...
by kwag on Sun 25th Feb 2007 06:28 UTC
kwag
Member since:
2006-08-31

Because we exclusively run pfSense (three of them!) at work, and rely on FreeBSD for our "Mission Critical" servers and applications running on them. NOT on Linux!
No competitive advantage over Solaris? Yeah, right.
That tells me exactly how much the reviewer knows about FreeBSD ;)
Anybody remember what www.flightaware.com runs on? ;)
There's no Solaris or Linux there, for obvious reasons ;) ;)

Edited 2007-02-25 06:29

Reply Score: 5

blah blah blah
by jcgf on Sun 25th Feb 2007 06:36 UTC
jcgf
Member since:
2005-11-14

another "GNU/Linux" commie

Reply Score: 0

RE: blah blah blah
by Janizary on Sun 25th Feb 2007 17:50 UTC in reply to "blah blah blah"
Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

Actually, he's if anything an OpenBSD commie, Jem regularly sides with OpenBSD in his opinion pieces.

Be honest, FreeBSD doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of competing with Ubuntu - or any other major Linux distribution - FreeBSD lacks the backing of a community and the focus of actual leadership.

For more than 4 years now when people ask me to describe FreeBSD, you know how I've done it? "The BSD Linux," do you know why? Because FreeBSD has been seeking functional parity with the Linuxes, rather than doing their own thing they've been trying to compete with Linux.

Know how FreeBSD used to be described? "The Good BSD," you know what changed? FreeBSD stopped being FreeBSD, I don't know how it managed to do it, but somewhere along the line FreeBSD stopped looking to the future and started looking to what Linux is doing now. And as a Linux, FreeBSD isn't all that good, it lacks a lot of the functionality of your run-of-the-mill Linux roll and has all kinds of different commands than Linux.

When FreeBSD starts being FreeBSD again it may have a reason to be used, but there is greater functionality in other Linux distributions. It hasn't even decided on a single firewall solution like OpenBSD has, and has that not long been the BSD way? A single tool for a problem?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: blah blah blah
by killerbyte on Sun 25th Feb 2007 21:47 UTC in reply to "RE: blah blah blah"
killerbyte Member since:
2006-02-19

You really have a lot of opinion without substance. If you actually read the handbook, you'll find why there are multiple firewalls on FreeBSD (http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/firewalls...). So, according to you, choices are bad - even if its important, for stategy sake, to have the possibility of upgrading from 4.x without having to rethink the firewall rules on a new syntax.
Btw, I'd suggest you to investigate why OpenBSD changed to PF in the first place. And, while you're at it, see how long is the timespan of their legacy releases.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: blah blah blah
by Janizary on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: blah blah blah"
Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

Oh I know, the excuse of supporting a branch of code who's replacement, 5, was begun in 2000 and released finally in 2003. 5 is still being supported, as is 6 with 7 on the way. I know, I do track FreeBSD, I also track OpenBSD, who supports only two releases, the current one and the previous one. Each release is supported for a full year, at which time a user must either upgrade their system or provide their own security and reliability fixes. All of this is covered by a FAQ entry I believe, so it would be easy to know even if I did not already.

OpenBSD selected pf because Daniel Hartmeier had started an alternative to ipf on his own. ipf was removed from the base system because Darren Reed wanted absolute control over his code and had declared that noone could modify his code, he relicensed his code under a new licence that explicitly stated so and let the projects which did modify his code know that he had meant this also for prior versions of his code and that this was simply a clarification, not a change.

So yes, I know, I know exactly why pf exists, I know how long OpenBSD supports it's releases, I even know how FreeBSD explains what it does, what I don't know is why it does the stupid stuff to begin with, regardless of excuses.

I also know that pf was nearly useless until OpenBSD 3.1, and 3.3 had it's first really polished version, and that FreeBSD included pf more than two years ago.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: blah blah blah
by lancealot on Mon 26th Feb 2007 00:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: blah blah blah"
lancealot Member since:
2007-02-25

That was a interesting read about why OpenBSD uses pf over ipf. That is one thing I am happy Sun did with Solaris 10, and that is use ipf. In the past I used Linux and ipchains, and then iptables. Then when I started using Solaris 10, I began using ipf. IPF was so much cleaner in syntax of the rules then either ipchains or iptables. IPF is a pleasure to use. The rules can get long when you also have the rules for your Zones in the same ipf.conf file. So having the syntax clean and easy to read is good.

That is one thing I am happy Solaris 10 took from the BSD's, and that is the ipf firewall. The previous Sun firewall (Sunscreen, cool name ha-ha) I didn't like.

So the fact FreeBSD is porting Dtrace and ZFS to itself is a good thing. This is what makes Open Source so great, people can share those great features around. This is why I have great respect for Sun for doing this (embracing open source), and most users should respect them for doing this. You don't see HP or IBM doing this (with HP-UX or AIX). The way HP and IBM embrace open source is pushing Linux, but not opening their own products. But at least they are helping open source in some way by pushing Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: blah blah blah
by killerbyte on Mon 26th Feb 2007 01:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: blah blah blah"
killerbyte Member since:
2006-02-19

You have to explicitly choose one firewall (via kernel recompiling or rc.conf). You can even compile the wole system without support for a specific firewall. The fact that you don't have to think about firewall conversions is actually positive when you upgrade from 4.x to 5.x/6.x - and I've taken advantage of that on some tricky migrations.
Also, not everyone rushes to upgrade when new releases are out. I still have 4.x servers in production, and some of them I wouldn't even consider upgrade to 5.x (ACPI issues, VINUM issues, RAID controller issues, etc). The upgrade policy of FreeBSD allows me to have options other than reinstall the whole system (Im aware that's the recommended way of upgrading 4.x machines). So, just because you don't use it, doesn't mean its useless.

Anyway, I'm still waiting for some facts supporting your previous declarations about FreeBSD and Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: blah blah blah
by Janizary on Mon 26th Feb 2007 04:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: blah blah blah"
Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

You never asked for me to back my observations with imperical evidence, rather, you suggested that I investigate several things I already knew. You did voice your disapproval of my unsubstanciated statements, but did not request factual support for my declarations.

If you never actually request something, you could wait a long time for what you want.

Also, it's shameful that you would have a 4.x branch install still, it shows a great lack of initiative or skill in any system administrator to fall so far behind a modern system.

Well, since you imply the desire for a backing of some of my statements, I suppose I will give you a few:

Jem's an OpenBSD commie, well, he did write, "the OpenBSD 4.0 Crash Course," for O'Reilly, he's done a very OpenBSD-slanted article called, "Linux supporters fiddle while OpenSSH burns," on his site, and I quote him as stating, "I've tried hard to find a significant weak point in this operating system, but there just isn't one. Put simply, OpenBSD makes Unix fun and interesting." In his review of 4.0.

FreeBSD doesn't stand a chance against Ubuntu and the other Linux distributions, well, Mark Shuttleworth has given 10 million dollars to Ubuntu development and in the time since it's inception it has risen to the point where it is the most highly used of all the Linux distributions by all the tracking systems I have encountered, FreeBSD doesn't even compete with Fedora, and it's the third most used of the distributions. Ubuntu has a massive community foaming at the mouth to get Ubuntu into people's hands, it's got a millionaire willing to throw money at it's problems, special themes and logos that bring cohesion to the end-user experience. FreeBSD has donations from random shlubs and the odd wallpaper and not much for a community goal or drive, no leader of note, and FreeBSD spends money on nonsense like 20, 000 a year on lawyers when it has a hard time paying for it's hardware needs. I don't see how I need to point out any more on that front.

I'll not be bothered dredging through mailing lists to come up with the examples to point out every time a developer did something to add what Linux already had to their list of features, suffice to say it's not something I care to waste my time on, because you can find them yourself, it's not hard, just boring.

Reply Score: 1

Ummm
by Finchwizard on Sun 25th Feb 2007 07:38 UTC
Finchwizard
Member since:
2006-02-01

Did anyone else get that weird feeling about the review? Like it didn't add up.

At one point, he was praising BSD, the next he was virtually saying it sucked against Solaris, then ended up loving it again.

He didn't even mention the new Binary system updates with 6.2 which made a lot of people happy. (freebsd-update)

I've never had that keyboard problem either, and I've installed on a lot of hardware, the disk geometry thing I'm not sure on, but has he filed a bug report?, a little more detail as to what that was would be good.

There's no need to use cvsup to sync your ports if you don't want, you can use portnsap fetch extract and update if you like.

The default shell isn't as nice with tab competition, but compile bash and change your shell.

I honestly love FreeBSD, it's fast, never had a problem with upgrades, it's secure, it's solid as a rock and very noticeable on server installs. And there are a lot of people out there who run it in mission critical servers and websites, BSD isn't dieing, I don't know where some people get that idea from.

You can't really complain about not knowing how to do anything either, the Handbook is excellent, amongst the best I've seen in any Distro.

If anyone wants a Desktop flavor of BSD, PCBSD is doing a great job and building on something very solid.

Edited 2007-02-25 07:40

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ummm
by protagonist on Sun 25th Feb 2007 16:21 UTC in reply to "Ummm"
protagonist Member since:
2005-07-06

I have to agree with your analysis on this one. I have been running PCBSD as the main OS on my other system for several months now and really like it. And I might add that it gave me the least trouble betting my monitor to run at 1600x1200 on the DVI port. I still haven't been able to get the Linux distros I am trying to do that. And installing all the audio/video codecs in PCBSD was a lone stop process. Linux has me running all over the place to get the codecs I need installed and running.

And while PCBSD doesn't have a lot of software converted to their package system you can use ports to get almost anything you want going. So far I haven't found a Linux distro that I like well enough to replace my BSD with.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Ummm
by Doc Pain on Sun 25th Feb 2007 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Ummm"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"And while PCBSD doesn't have a lot of software converted to their package system you can use ports to get almost anything you want going. So far I haven't found a Linux distro that I like well enough to replace my BSD with."

Jsut for completition: With PC-BSD, you can use (1) the PBI packages, (2) the FreeBSD ports collection and (3) the precompiled FreeBSD packages.

Example:
(1) Download xmms.pbi and doubleclick
(2) cd /usr/ports/multimedia/xmms ; make install
(3) pkg_add -r xmms

The choice is yours.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Ummm
by Doc Pain on Sun 25th Feb 2007 20:37 UTC in reply to "Ummm"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

First, allow me to say that I'm using FreeBSD since version 3 on a regular basis.

Let me comment on this:

"The default shell isn't as nice with tab competition, but compile bash and change your shell."

The default shell in maintenance / singe user mode is the Bourne shell, /bin/sh. It's because sh is the minimum standard for scripting.

The default shell for all users in multi user mode is the C shell, /bin/csh. It supports tab completition in a way I prefer over the bash way to do it.

So, it would be nice to have proper csh settings preconfigured in /etc/csh.cshrc:

set promptchars = "%#"
set prompt = "%n@%m:%~%# "
set autolist

Usually this is what I do first. :-)

To come back top the original article, the author mixes terminal emulation and command shells.

Modernize the command line experience. The default terminal emulator -- itself an ancient and no longer valid concept -- is designed for monochrome Unix terminals like the DEC VT100 and VT220. [...] Why is FreeBSD using a shell that doesn't at all compare feature-for-feature with more modern alternatives like zsh or Bash, and was designed to be used on terminals that could reasonably be found in museums? [...] Since the command line interface is a necessary part of the FreeBSD experience, it's time to drag it -- kicking and screaming, if necessary -- into the 21st century.

It seems the author is not sure what he's talking about...

"You can't really complain about not knowing how to do anything either, the Handbook is excellent, amongst the best I've seen in any Distro."

Furthermore, the state of documentation of FreeBSD is very good. Even the german translation is usable. The kernel and system functions are well documented, a state I'd like to see some more in Linux.

"If anyone wants a Desktop flavor of BSD, PCBSD is doing a great job and building on something very solid."

Don't forget to mention PC-BSD's PBI package installer, it's simple to use (go to a centralized web site, download what you want, doubleclick - installed, no dependency hell).

Reply Score: 3

FreeBSD is as solid as it gets
by re_re on Sun 25th Feb 2007 08:49 UTC
re_re
Member since:
2005-07-06

i if i had to describe freebsd in on word it would be "solid". FreeBSD is a little behind linux in the desktop arean ( very little ), but is a very solid well thought out OS.

I use FreeBSD for my webserver and have never had a problem wiht it.

might add, Solaris is very nice, but has nothing on freebsd except for a few special purposes.

Reply Score: 5

WOW
by pcbsdusr on Sun 25th Feb 2007 09:20 UTC
pcbsdusr
Member since:
2006-01-23

Short review...

This guy is a genious or what??? ;)

Reply Score: 0

Bad Journalism
by spoggle on Sun 25th Feb 2007 09:30 UTC
spoggle
Member since:
2006-03-20

Wow, check out the other reviews by Jem. They are all over the place.

I can't find the logic to the likes and dislikes; FreeBSD is slammed for not being good enough, while OpenBSD is lauded despite many of the exact same complaints.

To cement my low opinion of "Software in Review" I saw a post rebutting the review disappear.

I'm kind of disappointed that OSNews would even link to such a site.

Edited 2007-02-25 09:30

Reply Score: 5

Skip
by Chezz on Sun 25th Feb 2007 09:45 UTC
Chezz
Member since:
2005-07-11

I just skip anything Jem Matzan writes. When he noticed that mysql performacing is getting some attention he decided to to attack back to drive people away.
What about constructive criticism? Why doesnt he consider that?

Edited 2007-02-25 09:52

Reply Score: 5

RE: Skip
by mark_in_rdjbrasil on Sun 25th Feb 2007 18:54 UTC in reply to "Skip"
mark_in_rdjbrasil Member since:
2005-11-30

nobody likes to write constructive criticism...in the reviews or in the forums. i find that most people prefer a "if you do not think the same as i do, then your world is useless" opinion. i think i am guilty of the same mentality, i need to forgive myself for wasting my time
(and all other readers' time)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Skip
by Flatland_Spider on Sun 25th Feb 2007 23:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Skip"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

I hate those reviews/forums comments; they are just tedious to read.

They aren't constructive and add nothing to the conversation, which is my we are all here. All I ask is for a little creativity, or some solution to the problem, you know the kind with actual details.

Reply Score: 1

Just to be safe
by pcbsdusr on Sun 25th Feb 2007 09:51 UTC
pcbsdusr
Member since:
2006-01-23

It would be nice if FreeBSD devs would look for the bugs he dscribed and fix them.

But saying FreeBSD is crap with only such few testing and substance... That is not a review, it's an opinion article.

Reply Score: 5

nonsense article and nonsense news on osnews
by Oliver on Sun 25th Feb 2007 10:54 UTC
Oliver
Member since:
2006-07-15

It's not a review, but it's not an opinion too. Because an opinion should be based on facts, not faith in some other operating systems. And his "facts" for the review are mere nonsense.


"Though it is an excellent operating system, even this latest version offers few or no competitive advantages over Solaris or the other BSDs in a server role, and can never hope to compete with commercial GNU/Linux distributions for desktop computers."

Jam Matzan


"Remember psychology 101? If you follow a positive statement with a BUT followed by a negative, you dismiss the positive statement entirely."

Dru Lavigne

http://blogs.ittoolbox.com/unix/bsd


And for OSNews, of course OSNews should be dealing with pro and cons, but maybe quality news. And I see this lack of quality in many Linux(!) and BSD news postet at this website.

Reply Score: 5

Poor Review
by vermaden on Sun 25th Feb 2007 12:36 UTC
vermaden
Member since:
2006-11-18

From Ports you can download, compile, and install more than 13,000 programs.
More then 16500+.

You start out with barebones or non-existent configuration files for important programs like make and cvsup, and the default shell doesn't do tab completion very well, nor does it have a scrollback feature.
There is csup (cvsup C rewrite) in base system.
Defaults shell is /bin/sh and it is not made for interactive use! Use /bin/{t,}csh instead and learn something other then bash.

Files have to be created or copied over from /usr/share/examples/ and then heavily edited just to get the system into a halfway-usable condition.
The installed base system is clean of any mess, looks like You seek for something like Fedora or Ubuntu where everything is done by others and You just click.

Then you have to edit the kernel configuration and compile a new FreeBSD kernel because the default options are suitable for nothing beyond FreeBSD development.
Most people use GENERIC and do not complain, it is also very easy to build new kernel, but it seems to hard for Your skills.

The default FreeBSD kernel is insufficient for just about every practical use I can think of, except perhaps FreeBSD kernel development. I'd like to see at least two distinct, thoughtfully tuned kernel configurations: one for network servers, one for desktop computers.
Yes, ONE GENERIC, TWO for SMP, THREE for firewall, FOUR for router, FIVE for FAMP, SIX for DSKTOP, SEVEN for WORKSTATION, EIGHT for ...

At the very least, this would make modifying the kernel a little easier.
What is so hard in that process for you? Reading and understanding? Everything is well explained in handbook and NOTES info config file.

After installation, FreeBSD is left with no real make.conf or rc.conf, although there are example files in /usr/share/examples. Every time I install FreeBSD, I find myself copying over these files (and cvsup supfiles) to /etc and customizing them myself.
It is the idea of FreeBSD, You get a clean system and customize it by Yourself, You really need to install ubuntu or PCBSD at least.

I don't see why the examples can't be installed into /etc by default -- or why this can't be an option in sysinstall.
Is it so hard to find them in /usr/share/examples?

Less hassle for the JDK and JRE. FreeBSD now has a license to distribute JDK and JRE binaries from Sun, but you still have to go to a Web site, suffer through a ridiculous "click-wrap" license agreement that no one actually agrees with, and download a file or two. You must then copy the files to /usr/ports/distfiles/ and then attempt to install the Java port again. This is not much easier than the bad old days when you had to chase down files from 3 or 4 different sites to get Java going. Maybe this will all be solved when Sun open-sources Java in the near future.
IT IS BECAUSE SUN JAVA LICENSE NOT BECAUSE OF FREEBSD. Learn then speak.

To author: go and review several desktop distros, You will find them a lot more preconfigured as You like it so much.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Poor Review
by Doc Pain on Sun 25th Feb 2007 20:48 UTC in reply to "Poor Review"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Most people use GENERIC and do not complain, it is also very easy to build new kernel, but it seems to hard for Your skills."

The use of the GENERIC kernel is okay for most purposes. For special (or ancient) hardware, just load the proper modules from /boot/kernel/ (or load all of them if you're not sure) and hardcode hardware settings into /boot/device.hints.

The handbook explains the complete procedure of building a custom kernel and even the world, if you want to do so. Most average users don't want.

"Yes, ONE GENERIC, TWO for SMP, THREE for firewall, FOUR for router, FIVE for FAMP, SIX for DSKTOP, SEVEN for WORKSTATION, EIGHT for ..."

That's what the modules and system services are for. Not the kernel.

"What is so hard in that process for you? Reading and understanding? Everything is well explained in handbook and NOTES info config file."

Most people expect everything to work out of the box. It's not that they're not able to read - they just don't want to. "I've got no time to learn something new, I want it working right now!" - that's some typical sentence.

"[Customizing configuration files myself] is the idea of FreeBSD, You get a clean system and customize it by Yourself, You really need to install ubuntu or PCBSD at least."

If you're familiar with the system procedures, you'll update files using ee or the Midnight Commander. If you're not, you can simply use the sysinstall utility (ex /stand/sysinstall). It does the changes for you, creates accounts, FTP server ability, mail exchange, interface configuration etc.

"Is it so hard to find them in /usr/share/examples?"

If it's unclear where to find which files and what they are needed for, one should feel free to "man hier" and "man (any system file)", because, as I said, the documentation base is very good.

In most cases, defaults are loaded from /etc/defaults/ and you can overwrite them with your own settings in /etc/.

Reply Score: 3

mh
by SK8T on Sun 25th Feb 2007 12:44 UTC
SK8T
Member since:
2006-06-01

I will take the review as constructive criticism. I don't agree with the author, but okay, maybe the FreeBSD developers can prove if they can do anything to fix the things he said.

Reply Score: 2

RE: mh
by protagonist on Sun 25th Feb 2007 16:30 UTC in reply to "mh"
protagonist Member since:
2005-07-06

"It is the idea of FreeBSD, You get a clean system and customize it by Yourself, You really need to install ubuntu or PCBSD at least."

Hey, no need to malign PCBSD here. :-)

Reply Score: 2

Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

While this guy is a little harsh, there's some good material in this article. The problems he points out are valid, and it seems the FreeBSD developers are either not aware of them, or are not interested in solving them. I'm sure if they solved these notorious problems, FreeBSD would be on par with Linux. For me FreeBSD has little advantage over Linux, if not speed and the ports tree, but then, there's Gentoo that's pretty good too...

Reply Score: 3

macisaac Member since:
2005-08-28

"For me FreeBSD has little advantage over Linux"

That's kind of my opinion as well, and I think what the article was getting at. I've seen nothing that clearly shows why running FBSD over something like Redhat for instance would be to my advantage, either as a desktop or as an enterprise server.

In terms of *nix/free software deliciousness, they'd be, at best, on a par (though like it or not, generally when some free software project is developping something nowadays, Linux is the first target). In terms of commercial software that enterprises seem to love to throw money at, there's no question there, it's either Linux or Solaris (with the first getting the upper hand increasingly it seems). In terms of actual support (which I largely don't care about anyhow), you'd be better off with a Redhat, a Sun, or what have you.

In terms of raw performance and such, Linux seems to have the edge, but that often depends on who's doing the benchmarking. Hardware support, again Linux wins, especially in the desktop area, but still FBSD is decent enough in that regard as well. In terms of system stability, from personal experience FBSD always had some pretty severe problems (hard lockups when I'd activate a PCI modem for instance), but Linux has had it's share of silliness as well over the years. In terms of security, they're UNIX, for the good and the bad. Security of the apps, such as apache, you run on top will be about the same anyway.

I think it boils down to personal preference. Whereas I'm most comfortable in dealing with a Linux-based system with the the stock assortment of GNU tools, nice things like the manner /proc is setup, etc., other folks who've perhaps cut their teeth on BSD will prefer something more like that. Nothing wrong with that, if it works for you, and does what it needs to, that's fine. Hey, they're both UNIX-like operating systems, and if for some strange reason or other, one of them exploded and suddently ceased to exist, we'd be very grateful a reasonable alternative still existed for us to use. From the fact we have a 6.2 release out, looks like there's still folks out there willing to do the work to make what you want to be running.

Reply Score: 5

worthless review
by karudzo on Sun 25th Feb 2007 13:15 UTC
karudzo
Member since:
2006-07-15

This is the same guy that raved about FreeBSD a year or so ago in a review- I don't trust what he writes. FreeBSD is still, in my opinion, the best engineered OS out there.

Reply Score: 5

My only complaint...
by xaoslaad on Sun 25th Feb 2007 13:37 UTC
xaoslaad
Member since:
2006-03-07

It seems like the process of (and bare with me it's been a month since I've even typed it..), but the following process seems to take MANY moons:

portsnap fetch
portsnap extract
(the appr. steps in between)
portupgrade -varR

Just installing gnome and then running portupgrade to update it and all its dependencies takes FOREVER on a P4 3.6GHz with 1GB RAM. Forget when I tried to do it on a 360MHz Sun Ultra 5 with 512MB. I understand source can be extremely useful, and it should definitely be provided to world+dog, BUT this manner of of upgrade is beyond painful for just trying to install gnome, update it, and use a desktop, especially on a slower system...

That's my one (BIG) complaint about FreeBSD. Other than that I've never had a hard time getting it to work with my hardware/setup, or configuring anything I wanted to use.

Reply Score: 0

RE: My only complaint...
by fsckit on Sun 25th Feb 2007 17:22 UTC in reply to "My only complaint..."
fsckit Member since:
2006-09-24

Well that seems about right since you're installing a big ass desktop with about 600+ Megs of source code to chew through. Your best bet would be to install something lighter or just use the packages that have already been built. If the release packages are too old just change your PACKAGESITE variable to point to the stable packages or the bleeding edge packages right of the pointyhat build cluster.

Reply Score: 3

without an identity
by trenchsol on Sun 25th Feb 2007 13:42 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

"FreeBSD is left without an identity in the modern operating system market"

This is what I like about FreeBSD. No ideology/religion nonsense. No activism. No stupid media hype. Just OS that you need to do the job.

DG

Reply Score: 5

RE: without an identity
by Xaero_Vincent on Sun 25th Feb 2007 18:23 UTC in reply to "without an identity"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

Bingo.

But it also has a more stable kernel with fewer bugs, better structured code (far fewer global variable declarations) and in house development (the kernel and base userland are fully developed by one entity).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: without an identity
by SEJeff on Sun 25th Feb 2007 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE: without an identity"
SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

http://scan.coverity.com/

Look at Linux and notice how those scans show 429 fixed and 0 pending defects. Now look at FreeBSD and notice how it has 0 fixed and 605 uninspected / pending defects. Also note that Coverity writes some of the best software out there for finding security problems and bugs in code.

It is fine if you say "FreeBSD has a more stable kernel with fewer bugs" so long as you can back it up. FreeBSD is great for what it is, but it simply can't match the development power of Linux. That was mostly due to marketing.

Note that I'm saying Linux is a more featureful kernel with less bugs. I'm also backing it up with results that have been proven.

Edit:
You might also notice that the Linux kernel is twice the number of lines of code as the FreeBSD kernel and yet it had approx 200 less bugs found at all. That says a lot about the code quality of FreeBSD.

Edited 2007-02-25 18:32

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: without an identity
by Atypic on Sun 25th Feb 2007 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: without an identity"
Atypic Member since:
2007-02-25

The mere fact that the Linux-kernel has twice as many lines of code is actually part of the reason I prefer FreeBSD.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: without an identity
by SEJeff on Sun 25th Feb 2007 18:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: without an identity"
SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

Even though it supports more architectures and devices? Hardly a fair comparison.

I guess that also means you would dislike NetBSD, which has ~1,300,000 more lines of code than Linux.

Edited 2007-02-25 18:46

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: without an identity
by Xaero_Vincent on Sun 25th Feb 2007 18:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: without an identity"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

http://bugzilla.kernel.org/reports.cgi?product=-All-&output=most_do...

1473 Open Bugs (Linux)

http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr-summary.cgi?category=kern&sever...

713 Open Bugs (FreeBSD) -- Some of which dont apply anymore. I seen open bug reports from 1996!

For twice as much code Linux has twice as many bugs and many more potential security holes than that.

To learn more about the problems surronding the Linux kernel, including security risky global variables and stubborn kernel developers:

http://port25.technet.com/archive/2007/01/18/empirical-software-eng...

Edited 2007-02-25 18:59

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: without an identity
by SEJeff on Sun 25th Feb 2007 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: without an identity"
SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

Great links, thankyou.

Firstoff, the number of bugs in bugzilla does not mean the number of bugs that actually matter. I'm sure quite a few of those in Linux and in the FreeBSD BTS are dupes or bogus. That is like Microsoft saying "Look at Linux, it had 50 critical updates in the past 6 month and we had 12" or something like that. The truth was that Microsoft was only counting base os patches where Linux patches all of the additional software that isn't really in the base os. Counting numbers of bugs for any operating system is always a subjective and sometimes biased (depending on how you use it) number.

The professor also has a good point with Linux having more global variables. However, that doesn't mean that every single global variable means security problem += 1. Good code or bad code, it doesn't really matter. Open source code always evolves and gets better or the project dies. It doesn't seem like Linux is dying anytime soon.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: without an identity
by Xaero_Vincent on Sun 25th Feb 2007 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: without an identity"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

Of course GNU/Linux as a whole isn't dying. Though the kernel might in favor of a GPLv3 OpenSolaris kernel, which is better designed than any BSD and Linux kernel (stable kernel ABIs and better nVidia support than FreeBSD's kernel).

That said, I'd probably continue using FreeBSD because of the more flexable license and less activist hype.

Edited 2007-02-25 19:37

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: without an identity
by infl00p on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: without an identity"
infl00p Member since:
2006-05-08

Linux has 10 times more hardware drivers and supports 10 times more archs than fbsd. You must be joking if you say that 1473 open bugs are many.

There was a time that freebsd was perfoming better than linux. But not anymore, linux 2.6.x has outperfomed any bsd. Even the networking stack is better.

And port25 is a joke. Surprise, a linux bashing article from microsoft.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: without an identity
by Oliver on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: without an identity"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

I could certainly pimp some beetle (car ;) ) to be one of the fastest cars. But why? Riding on a rocket is maybe fun, but only until it hits the aim. So in the end I like driving fast, but without exploding while doing it :o)

Stick with your toolbox called "Linux" and be happy, the mature work is for *BSD.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: without an identity
by Xaero_Vincent on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: without an identity"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

Linux has 10x more drivers? Wheres the proof? Maybe your thinking about Solaris on x86 hardware?

10x more archs? Well last time I checked Ubuntu, the distro with the most hype, just dropped PPC support and now left with official i386 and AMD64 support.

Other than Debian and Gentoo, the vast majority of distros don't officially support beyond i386, AMD64, and PPC.

BTW, 7.0 will add support for UltraSPARC T1, ARM, and MIPS architecutes.

Linux 2.6 has improved performance but doesn't outdue FreeBSD 6.x and especially wont in 7.0 with ULE 2 and greatly improved CPU scalability.

The networking stack in 7.0 is gonna SUCK too with stack virtualization and SCTP support.

Port25 is Microsoft's open-source site but the guy interviewed expressed the findings of his research. Microsoft is impartial to any OS besides Windows; Microsoft wont praise FreeBSD or Solaris over Linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: without an identity
by butters on Mon 26th Feb 2007 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: without an identity"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

For all the talk about the Linux community being full of activists, idealists, zealots, commies, and whatnot, it sure seems like the BSD community has more of these fanatics per-capita. But I don't know how to prove this.

So FreeBSD and Linux have approximately the same bug density according to their bug trackers. Given that the vast majority of the additional code in Linux is architecture and device support which won't be loaded simultaneously, you could argue that the bug density in loaded kernels is significantly lower for Linux--and especially lower in the drivers, which is the biggest security threat to monolithic kernels. But the BSD guys would probably consider this invalid logic.

For the record, I have also run a different proprietary static analysis tool on both FreeBSD and Linux kernels, and indeed we found that the "complaint" density in Linux is lower. These complaints may not be bugs (on average, about 20% are false positives), but the percentage of false positives seems to correlate with the degree to which the intention of the code is ambiguous. In other words, flawless but obscure code tends to produce more false positives than flawless and well-written code. So either FreeBSD has more flaws per LOC than Linux, or it is merely not as clearly written.

Both FreeBSD and Linux are well-designed from the perspective of security, although Linux has more surface area and a more lucratively-sized installed base. I'd really like to see an independent analysis of the relative merits of the security design employed by FreeBSD, Linux, and Solaris, so if you guys know of any, please share the links. Frankly, I'm tired of non-technical arguments based on the size of the codebase, the development model, or the relative marketshare. None of these truthfully impact the ability of a competent sysadmin to secure his machines.

The only thing that's clear from these arguments is that Linux has more features, and that this is probably one of the reasons why more people use it.

Edited 2007-02-26 00:14

Reply Score: 4

_DoubleThink_
Member since:
2006-02-15

The work that's gone into the 6.x series may be too little, too late.

I don't believe BSD in general is dying, but one could argue that at least FreeBSD is dying: http://www.google.com/trends?q=freebsd%2C+openbsd%2C+netbsd

Though it is an excellent operating system, even this latest version offers few or no competitive advantages over Solaris or the other BSDs in a server role, and can never hope to compete with commercial GNU/Linux distributions for desktop computers.

Could some FreeBSD zealot please try to prove this statement wrong? Is there a single feature where FreeBSD is actually better than Linux or Solaris?

In comparison to the other BSDs (OpenBSD, NetBSD, DragonFlyBSD), FreeBSD definitely lacks focus these days. It isn't superiour on the desktop and it also isn't superiour as a server. FreeBSD's "niche" is to compete with Linux which is a fight that can't be won in the long run...

Reply Score: 2

antik Member since:
2006-05-19

Though it is an excellent operating system, even this latest version offers few or no competitive advantages over Solaris or the other BSDs in a server role, and can never hope to compete with commercial GNU/Linux distributions for desktop computers.

Could some FreeBSD zealot please try to prove this statement wrong? Is there a single feature where FreeBSD is actually better than Linux or Solaris?.


1. BSD License.
2. No GPL nazis.
3. No bloat.
4. Stability.
5. Less code- less bugs.
6. Excellent IP stack and IPv6 support.
7. Ports.
8. MAC (Mandatory Access Control). Yes, Linux have it as BETA within SELinux and not production ready yet.
9.Less stupid users asking stupid guestions.
10. No problem shipping "closed source" drivers and software.
11. OpenBSM.
12. Jail.
13. IPMI.
14. OpenSSH.
15. Securelevels (even within jails).
16. ...

http://www.trustedbsd.org/

Need more?

That`s the problem with linux- it compete with everything instead of concentrating effort one system that "just works" TM.

Edited 2007-02-25 15:14

Reply Score: 5

protagonist Member since:
2005-07-06

It is a waste of time trying to reason with someone who already has their mind made up on the subject. While I use PCBSD rather than FBSD, I have found it better suits my needs than any of the many Linux distro's I have tried. Ubuntu is nice, but for some reason PCBSD just feels more comfortable to me. I really couldn't say what it is, but I just seem to like it better.

And after all, isn't that what choosing your OS is all about. It is the intangibles that really matter.

Reply Score: 4

macisaac Member since:
2005-08-28

"1. BSD License.
2. No GPL nazis."

if points one and two are about the license, who's the one being a license zealot? and how useful would a running BSD system with no GPL'ed software be anyhow?

"3. No bloat.
4. Stability.
5. Less code- less bugs. "

you could also say, less features and hardware support then. I like to actually use a system, not admire it's pristine and sparse beauty from afar...

"7. Ports."

...which tend to break after you compile the "wrong" package or something else esoteric goes off.

"9.Less stupid users asking stupid guestions. "

wow, with an attitude like that and folk still whine about why the BSDs aren't more popular? hint: every new user is, um, new the first time they use a different system.

"10. No problem shipping "closed source" drivers and software. "

it's not too hard to be less fussy about that, when hardly _anyone_ is providing you with said closed source drivers and software... at least in Linux, there's a fighting chance said software might actually exist. and how many Linux users have to run some "BSD-compatibility layer" to run their programs?

"11. OpenBSM.
12. Jail.
13. IPMI.
14. OpenSSH.
15. Securelevels (even within jails)."

you honestly think BSDs have a monopoly on security? what, you think all those linux servers are being accessed via plain text telnetd or something? ever hear of kerberos, chroots, virtualization, selinux, apparmor, etc? (yeah I know, some of those are certainly not Linux specific, but they do exist on Linux.. as does your point 13. OpenSSH...)

Reply Score: 5

antik Member since:
2006-05-19

"1. BSD License.
2. No GPL nazis."

if points one and two are about the license, who's the one being a license zealot? and how useful would a running BSD system with no GPL'ed software be anyhow?


On another "news": On yet another GNU/Linux distribution "GPL nazis" decided to throw out "not enough free" code from Linux because GPL said so.

"3. No bloat.
4. Stability.
5. Less code- less bugs. "

you could also say, less features and hardware support then. I like to actually use a system, not admire it's pristine and sparse beauty from afar...


Who need features if they are half assed.. uhh, sry- in CVS? Less drivers is FUD from Linux community who never used BSD before. Arguing whos code is bigger and better is futile...

"7. Ports."

...which tend to break after you compile the "wrong" package or something else esoteric goes off.


If "wrong" guy don`t know how to use ports then... I have years of using FreeBSD servers in production and never had any port broken during upgrade.

"9.Less stupid users asking stupid guestions. "

wow, with an attitude like that and folk still whine about why the BSDs aren't more popular? hint: every new user is, um, new the first time they use a different system.


Uh, I forgot Handbook aka Read The f--king Fine Manual. http://www.freebsd.org/docs.html

"10. No problem shipping "closed source" drivers and software. "

it's not too hard to be less fussy about that, when hardly _anyone_ is providing you with said closed source drivers and software... at least in Linux, there's a fighting chance said software might actually exist. and how many Linux users have to run some "BSD-compatibility layer" to run their programs?


Good point- LINUX CAN`T RUN BSD BINARIES! BSDs CAN!

"11. OpenBSM.
12. Jail.
13. IPMI.
14. OpenSSH.
15. Securelevels (even within jails)."

you honestly think BSDs have a monopoly on security? what, you think all those linux servers are being accessed via plain text telnetd or something? ever hear of kerberos, chroots, virtualization, selinux, apparmor, etc? (yeah I know, some of those are certainly not Linux specific, but they do exist on Linux.. as does your point 13. OpenSSH...)


Who said monopoly- someone asked what BSDs got and I provided this list. Read www.trustedbsd.org again. OpenSSH is developed by OpenBSD guys BTW.

Reply Score: 3

SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

8. MAC (Mandatory Access Control). Yes, Linux have it as BETA within SELinux and not production ready yet
Hey guess what... It's funny that you call it beta even though it prevented a recent 0day kernel level privilege escalation (root) vulnerability in only fedora and redhat enterprise linux. Any distro running a kernel up to and including 2.6.17.4 were vulnerable. Here is the exploit code if you think I am lying:
http://packetstormsecurity.org/0607-exploits/h00lyshit.c

Far less people use MAC in production on FreeBSD than on Linux. If anything, the MAC in TrustedBSD is beta.

Linux has also supported IPMI and had OpenSSH for a very long time.

OSNews is being stupid and giving me 400 bad requests so I had to shorten this post tremendously. In the end, the facts speak for themselves. Linux is only good because it's license forces users to give back code where in FreeBSD, they don't have to. For the future of Linux, this is a good thing.

Reply Score: 5

paul.michael.bauer Member since:
2005-07-06

OSNews is being stupid and giving me 400 bad requests so I had to shorten this post...

<snarky>
That's probably because OSNews runs MySQL on top of Linux.
Now, if they used PostgreSQL on FreeBSD, you wouldn't be having those problems.
</snarky>

*ducks*

Edited 2007-02-26 21:51

Reply Score: 3

Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Full ack. Couldn't say it better.

>MAC (Mandatory Access Control)

And you see this in MacOS X too. Why? Because it's very good technology ;)

Reliability and stability instead of hacking a kernel. It's of course a niche, most of the time a niche for ex-long-time-Linux-users ;)
Vice versa, how many Linux user do know anything about *BSD, apart from FUD? If I want faith, I go to church.

Reply Score: 2

ulib Member since:
2005-07-07

Well, on the same basis, one could argue that Linux is dying.
http://www.google.com/trends?q=linux&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

Of course it ain't true for Linux, and even less for FreeBSD. This is just to show that a Google Trends link is a very poor way of substantiating an argument. ;)

> Could some FreeBSD zealot please try to prove this statement wrong?

Then I'll let some FreeBSD "zealot" answer. I'm just a FreeBSD (happy) *user*, who doesn't think rebutting reviews that are patently clueless is a smart way of spending one's time.

> Is there a single feature where FreeBSD is actually better than Linux or Solaris?

A single feature? Nope, I'd say there are quite a few.
The most compelling? To me, definitely FreeBSD Ports.

Reply Score: 5

Don T. Bothers Member since:
2006-03-15

<Using trolls logic>Hmmmm, let me do a google trend on Solaris. Does not look good. I guess Solaris is dying too. Now let's try Linux. My gosh, Linux is dying too. I am so glad that someone pointed me to this google trends tool. It has proven to be soooo useful in predicting stuff.<End Using trolls logic>

"Could some FreeBSD zealot please try to prove this statement wrong? Is there a single feature where FreeBSD is actually better than Linux or Solaris? "

Not that I am a FreeBSD zealot... but this is what I like from FreeBSD
1) Ease of administration through the shell
2) Downright simplicity in design (ex. SMF versus Sys V versus BSD)
3) History of stability, support, performance, and being free
4) Timely update releases within a stable branch
5) A codebase that anyone is free to take and use for their needs without being held hostage(ex. NetApp, Juniper, Nokia)

Those are some of the reasons that I like FreeBSD. There are plenty more but I didn't want to write down a big 100 page list. What I have found is that while there are alternatives that satisfy certain requirements, no alternative really satisfies all requirements. For example, Solaris is a great operating system. But after playing in it for a while, you realize everything is overdesigned and overly complex. It is apparent that it is an operating system designed by a big company with too much engineering time spent on it.

Anyways, I don't get why FreeBSD has to justify its existence. In a capitalistic society, products are usually pretty much on par with each other. Put in another way, why should I use RedHat, SuSE, Solaris, or Windows? What advantage does one have over every other OS?

Reply Score: 3

v Trends
by Joe User on Sun 25th Feb 2007 14:45 UTC
Reply to _DoubleThink_
by trenchsol on Sun 25th Feb 2007 15:12 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

For some stupid reason this site redirects me to a new comment when I try to reply to someone.

So what improvements I found in FreeBSD, compared to RedHat, Fedora and SUSE (distros I used in the past) ?
I have very pragmatic reasons.

1. Display. Brightness and contrast are not that intensive, and I am able to regulate it with xvattr. Xvattr exists on Linux, but it offeres less attributes. It does nothing on SUSE, and create some washed apperance on Red Hat. Xgamma does not do the job, since lower values make dark color even darker. Since I spend a lot of time in front of a screen, it is a top priority for me.

2. There is no idelogical/religious burden. There is no community to tell you what to say and what to think.

3. As a freelance developer/consultant I have received negative response from some customers when they noticed that I was booting Linux at my notebook. FreeBSD is neutral, most people have never heard of it. I found that very important. When they ask me what it is, I simply answer "UNIX". Linux is percepted as cheap alternative to Windows, which makes my position weaker in negotiations with some customers.

4. Everything I did under Linux I do under FreeBSD, so I don't see any downside of FreeBSD.

5. As for some trends/statistics, I could post figures and graphs about Microsoft Windows vs. Linux, too.

6. FreeBSD community is much more civilized, in general. They don't require one to agree with them. Newcomers are treated with more respect.

DG

Edited 2007-02-25 15:22

Reply Score: 5

RE: Reply to _DoubleThink_
by butters on Sun 25th Feb 2007 16:02 UTC in reply to "Reply to _DoubleThink_"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Uh, that's one pragmatic reason and a bunch of completely subjective ones.

There is no idelogical/religious burden. There is no community to tell you what to say and what to think.

Did they tell you to say that? ;-) Lately I've read entirely too many BSD users call Linux users either commies or Nazis. They couldn't have all come to that erroneous conclusion independently. There must be some brainwashing committee that distributes some sort of standard pamphlet. I'm a member of a certain monotheistic religion whose name can't be uttered in these forums--I resent being called a Nazi. And if anything, the GPL is socialist in nature, since it holds that software should belong to the people, not to the state. Similarly, the BSD is libertarian, since it imposes as few restrictions as practically possible. One of you gun-toting potheads should really update that pamphlet.

When they ask me what it is, I simply answer "UNIX".

If they buy that, you might as well say the same thing about Linux. Yes, there is heritage, but there isn't much code left in FreeBSD that comes from a release that everybody agrees should be called UNIX. IMHO, UNIX refers to any OS that creates processes via fork(), accesses I/O devices via the filesystem (which descends from a directory called /), and comes with a standard C library. That's pragmatism.

Linux is percepted as cheap alternative to Windows

And FreeBSD is perceived as... a cheap alternative to UNIX? Something weird and scary?

Install a distribution (FreeBSD or Linux) with some sort of nice bootsplash and nobody will even notice you're not running Windows.

Edited 2007-02-25 16:04

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Reply to _DoubleThink_
by trenchsol on Sun 25th Feb 2007 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Reply to _DoubleThink_"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Install a distribution (FreeBSD or Linux) with some sort of nice bootsplash and nobody will even notice you're not running Windows.

The point is that there are a lot, realy a lot of Windows users out there, and some of them are hostile to Linux. It is not my war and I don't care for Linux.

Why should I install Linux ? To make you happy ? No, I will leave things the way they are.

DG

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Reply to _DoubleThink_
by butters on Sun 25th Feb 2007 23:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reply to _DoubleThink_"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Any Windows user that's hostile to Linux is also hostile to FreeBSD. These people either resent the commoditization of mass market software or have some preconceived notions about the quality of software that is distributed without licensing fees. If there is a war, you are fighting it by using open source software, whether it be FreeBSD, Linux, or any of the thousands of other OSS products.

I've used FreeBSD in the recent past, and I think it's great. I respect your decision, and I respect the fact that your have embraced OSS in spite of the negative reactions that you might encounter in your line of work. This isn't a holy war, it's simply a choice we make. But both of us have chosen, in our own way, to be different than the mainstream, and this is a burden that we share in our dealings with the under-informed.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Reply to _DoubleThink_
by trenchsol on Mon 26th Feb 2007 02:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Reply to _DoubleThink_"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Any Windows user that's hostile to Linux is also hostile to FreeBSD.

I don't thin that it is true. Windows people are mostly ignorant of existence of FreeBSD. Those who hear of it are mostly neutral. That reflects Microsoft's position, I guess. Some are probably hostile....

I am offering solutions based on open standards, and crossplatform tools, like LDAP, SQL, Radius, XML, Java, Python, PHP. I am trying to be platform neutral, but I am, and always will be, a UNIX person.

During last year I encountered two negative reactions. Some readers might be interested.

One was polite, but I think that intention was hostile. Customers employee told me: "If you don't mind, tell me why Linux. Is it about saving money ?".

The other was openly rude. The guy asked me how much do I earn, and couldn't I afford to buy a decent software.

Both of them assumed that I am desperate to get some cash and that I was going to accept any deal.

Both companies are running Microsoft software almost exclusively.

I had contracts with large companies running mixed software and networks, and never encountered any negative reaction to Linux or FreeBSD. I must say that I found working with such companies much easier in every aspect.

DG

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Reply to _DoubleThink_
by twenex on Tue 27th Feb 2007 05:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Reply to _DoubleThink_"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I don't thin that it is true. Windows people are mostly ignorant of existence of FreeBSD. Those who hear of it are mostly neutral. That reflects Microsoft's position, I guess. Some are probably hostile....

I particularly like this aspect of the "GPL lovers are commies" argument. (Maybe it's time for a "BSD-licence lovers are freeloaders" argument). How can something be good just because you haven't heard of it? Most people have heard of Iran, and I think most people in the Western world would agree that the current regime, or at least aspects of it, such as not being able to legally criticise the Ayatollah, are bad. People might look at you funny if you say you are going to live there.

OTOH, have you heard of Transnistria? If the argument that "if you haven't heard of it, it's good" is valid, then it must be a great place, because it's pretty obscure - among other reasons, because it isn't even an internationally-recognized sovereign state.

But, did you know that Trasnistria is the former USSR's only remaining truly Stalinist state? Or that its predecessor, the Privednistrian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, was recognized as an SSR neither by the authorities of Moldova (of whose country it legally forms part) or of the soon-to-be-defunct USSR?

So, what do you think of Transnistria now?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Reply to _DoubleThink_
by macisaac on Sun 25th Feb 2007 16:35 UTC in reply to "Reply to _DoubleThink_"
macisaac Member since:
2005-08-28

"6. FreeBSD community is much more civilized, in general. They don't require one to agree with them. Newcomers are treated with more respect. "

do you jest?... go to one of the regular irc channels for fbsd help and see what you get. I asked a question once, not a stupid one, about something to do with FBSD (which I was running or attempting to run at the time). I got told to f*ck off by one of the (I'm guessing) regulars and was promptly kicked off the channel by an admin.

and that's friendly? yeah, I know, every software community seems to have examples of the above (and no, not every fbsd channel is like that), but in general, the BSDs seem to attract a disproportionate share of the elitists and "everyone else sucks, but especially Linux users" type folk.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Reply to _DoubleThink_
by dcwrwrfhndz on Sun 25th Feb 2007 17:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Reply to _DoubleThink_"
dcwrwrfhndz Member since:
2006-05-26

This is not true.
Have a look at bsdforums.org for example.

Edited 2007-02-25 17:24

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Reply to _DoubleThink_
by Brandybuck on Mon 26th Feb 2007 04:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Reply to _DoubleThink_"
Brandybuck Member since:
2006-08-27

Most IRC users are rude. Instead of blaming FreeBSD for the actions of a few of its users in an IRC channel, why don't you seek support from a more reliable source? Like the official mailing lists or a reputable forum?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Reply to _DoubleThink_
by twenex on Tue 27th Feb 2007 05:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reply to _DoubleThink_"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Instead of blaming FreeBSD for the actions of a few of its users in an IRC channel, why don't you seek support from a more reliable source? Like the official mailing lists or a reputable forum?

I don't know about FreeBSD, but I've seen people be pretty rude on the OpenBSD mailinglists. Actually, I've seen people be rude on the FBSD ones, too, but cf. the rudeness on the OBSD ones, those users were positively sycophantic.

No doubt if he's reading this and cottons on to whom I'm on about, the user I have in mind will disagree, but if someone asks why something is not the same as Linux, should he really be told to "f--k off and use Linux" if he wants a feature that's in Linux but not currently in the BSD's? Because to me, that sounds like sour grapes.

Reply Score: 2

adiwibowo
Member since:
2005-07-15

That`s the problem with linux- it compete with everything instead of concentrating effort one system that "just works" TM.

I don't think linux wants to compete with everything. Linux is used and provided by so many different groups, from handheld to superserver, from desktop to several kind of servers. There are so many organizations actively involved in developing kernel, and tailoring userland to provide different kind of uses.

I think that is an advantage than problem. Because we have opensource kernel and userland to be used instead of only proprietary kernel and userland. If freebsd can also be utilized like linux, that also good news.

Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Symbian OS; UIQ; 316) Opera 6.31 [en]

Reply Score: 1

Quoting the article
by rolozo on Sun 25th Feb 2007 17:39 UTC
rolozo
Member since:
2005-08-26

Eugenia, you should probably quote the article in your introduction. I thought those were your words before continuing on to the article.

Reply Score: 2

FreeBSD points
by csousa on Sun 25th Feb 2007 17:41 UTC
csousa
Member since:
2006-02-04

" There are no applications in the free software canon that are not available in the FreeBSD Ports tree"

I consider FreeBSD better for my work (webdesign+office work) but after try to work with them I have some problems (or I miss somehing...), like:

1-Flash plugin-There is a port but crashes every time (firefox and linux-firefox port)Just try www.tvguide.com.
2-Vmware don't work, like other important software.
3-Much software needs linux compatibility layer (kernel 2.4 present emulation), then lacks some features.
4-Scability in Linux is better (FreeBSD 7 will changes that ?)

Reply Score: 1

RE: FreeBSD points
by SEJeff on Sun 25th Feb 2007 18:12 UTC in reply to "FreeBSD points"
SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

from http://www.freebsd.org/smp :
As of FreeBSD 6.0, the SMPng Project is considered "complete", in that the goal of moving to parallelized kernel operation has been met for most significant parts of the kernel.

Linux supported SMP (Symetric Multi Processing) well and way before FreeBSD did. SMPng, the only SMP in FreeBSD that doesn't suck, was merged in Jan 2003 in 5.0-RELEASE.

Granted FreeBSD does do threading better than Linux. Additionally, Solaris does threading and massive 128+ way SMP better than either *BSD or Linux.

In the end, people will use the right tool for the job.

Edit:
I also forgot HP's NonStop Operating system / Servers. Those scale new processors better than any other OS on the planet. I worked on those systems a few years ago.

Results from large transaction processing and database benchmark tests using the NonStop Kernel OS show that even with more than 112 processors, each additional processor can execute at least 98.2% of the throughput of the first processor. Try that on Linux or Freebsd.

Edited 2007-02-25 18:23

Reply Score: 3

Been Liking It
by jackson on Sun 25th Feb 2007 17:48 UTC
jackson
Member since:
2005-06-29

I've been a Linux user about 6 years, mostly Slackware. Never spent much time in BSD land, but after catching up to the great podcast BSDTalk, I was very interested. So, I have been testing out FreeBSD and OpenBSD and really like what I see.

I really like how there is a clear separation between the kernel, userland, and third party ports or packages. I like how all the non-base stuff is put in /usr/local, instead of everything being dumped in, for example, /etc. I have GNOME 2.16.3 on my FreeBSD box and Ion3 on my OpenBSD box and everything works great. Hal/dbus etc. in FreeBSD works well.

The FreeBSD documentation is fantastic -- better than anything in Linuxland, I think. The OpenBSD FAQ is pretty good, and the man pages in both Free and Open are far better than the man pages I read in some Linux distros.

The non-binary blob stance that OpenBSD has is pretty cool. I have a totally free atheros wifi card working on OpenBSD without any blobs since they reverse engineered the hal layer. In Linux I still have to use the nonfree madwifi. It's funny how in some ways the wifi in OpenBSD is far better than Linux (just no WPA yet, but it will come -- there is WPA in FreeBSD).

The only thing that would prevent me from switching to FreeBSD on my desktop is Flash. I hate to say it but it's true. The flash9 player with the linux-firefox package or linux-opera does not work very well. It crashes every time I go to scifi.com.

Still, for a non-BSD user, these OS's are great. I am considering setting up an OpenBSD box as a firewall using their kick-butt pf application and an OpenVPN access point.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Been Liking It
by zombie process on Mon 26th Feb 2007 04:39 UTC in reply to "Been Liking It"
zombie process Member since:
2005-07-08

Same here - I started listening to BSDTalk after the interview on TLLTS which I've been listening to for a couple years now. So far, I'm really enjoying FBSD, but I need to get used to some of its differences (strengths and shortcomings) to what I'm used to before I can really say what I think. So far, though, it's fast, fast, fast, and I really like the ports tree - it reminds me of ABS in Arch, which is my preferred desktop linux. I may give OBSD a spin in a few weeks.

Reply Score: 2

...
by adiwibowo on Sun 25th Feb 2007 17:48 UTC
adiwibowo
Member since:
2005-07-15

Whoa kids, enough with 'my dad is better than your dad'.

We all use opensource OS. Can't we just get along?

Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Symbian OS; UIQ; 316) Opera 6.31 [en]

Reply Score: 2

I actually agree with the conclusions
by openwookie on Sun 25th Feb 2007 18:22 UTC
openwookie
Member since:
2006-04-25

this latest version offers few or no competitive advantages over Solaris or the other BSDs in a server role, and can never hope to compete with commercial GNU/Linux distributions for desktop computers

FreeBSD has lost it's focus and has become a sort of BSD licensed Linux clone. I do not see any advantages to running desktop BSD over Ubuntu, or FreeBSD on the server over debian. I don't see any disadvantages either. Deciding to run one over the other comes down to personal taste rather than solid technical merits.

Net and Open still have their role and focus on network devices (routers, firewalls and switches), which give them an advantage. Also, if OpenBSD continues to expand support for tools like bioctl (http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/man.cgi?query=bioctl), it will form an advantage in the ease of use dept in the server arena. Dragonfly hasn't found it's competitive advantage yet, but it looks like it may one day be the speed champ on multicore 64bit arches.

Reply Score: 3

My only FreeBSD problems.
by adamk on Sun 25th Feb 2007 18:49 UTC
adamk
Member since:
2005-07-08

3D acceleration is broken on many ATI PCIe cards. This is a known problem, but no one seems to be looking into it.

In addition, AIGLX is broken on all radeon and intel cards.

Reply Score: 1

hmmmm....
by BluenoseJake on Sun 25th Feb 2007 19:48 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

I have to say, that article was all over the map. Up until recently I used FreeBSD 6.1 as my main desktop, dual booting that and Dapper, until I upgraded my VC to an ATI X1650. I was never able to get X to work using that card under FreeBSD, including 6.2. I upgraded Dapper to Edgy, and away I went.

I like FreeBSD, I want to run FreeBSD, but as I discovered, the hardware support is not there, it was surprising, that's for sure. It was the first time that I ever had a showstopping problem, hopefully 6.3 will get me support for my VC.

I prefer it because it seems cleaner to me, the filesystem is easier for me to find what I need (not that Ubuntu's is cryptic and horrible). I feel that there is more control. That makes it harder to configure, takes a bit longer, but in the end, you can end up with a system that is exactly what you want, running exactly what you need

Reply Score: 3

RE: hmmmm....
by Xaero_Vincent on Sun 25th Feb 2007 20:04 UTC in reply to "hmmmm...."
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

Your video card problem has little to do with FreeBSD itself.

ATI doesnt write drivers for FreeBSD and Solaris like Nvidia. There was a guy, governed under NDA, who was attempting to port the flgrx driver to FreeBSD, but 3D acceleration isn't supported and development has stalled.

Only the open-source ATI drivers work and ones for the r300 series are included in Xorg 7.x (which is not availiable in ports yet).

But there is hope we'll see open-source r500 support for multiple platforms eventually:

http://www.michaellarabel.com/index.php?k=blog&i=56

As for me, I'm lucky. I own an old ATI Radeon 9600 XT (r300 series) and my laptop has an Intel 945GM graphics controller (supported in Xorg 7.2).

Edited 2007-02-25 20:05

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: hmmmm....
by BluenoseJake on Sun 25th Feb 2007 20:31 UTC in reply to "RE: hmmmm...."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I realize that the problem is more ATI's fault than BSDs, but at the same time, the card is unusable in BSD, even if I write the device section of xorg.conf myself. I never even considered that FreeBSD wouldn't be able to detect or use the card, and it was quite the shock. Oh Well, I can wait.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: hmmmm....
by Xaero_Vincent on Sun 25th Feb 2007 20:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hmmmm...."
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

Interesting.

Maybe try again when Xorg 7.2 reaches ports. That will be anytime now.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: hmmmm....
by adamk on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:01 UTC in reply to "RE: hmmmm...."
adamk Member since:
2005-07-08

As for me, I'm lucky. I own an old ATI Radeon 9600 XT (r300 series) and my laptop has an Intel 945GM graphics controller (supported in Xorg 7.2).

When Xorg 7.2 does hit the ports tree (should be soon as it's already working in the modular Xorg ports tree), don't expect AIGLX to work for either card.

Adam

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: hmmmm....
by Xaero_Vincent on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hmmmm...."
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

Yes, I read about AIGLX not working on Radeon and Intel cards. My guess is they'll have the problem fixed by the time they add it to the ports tree.

AIGLX is a fundemental part of the Xorg 7 series. If it doesn't work, the port really cant be considered stable enough to use.

Reply Score: 2

RE: hmmmm....
by lucke on Sun 25th Feb 2007 20:17 UTC in reply to "hmmmm...."
lucke Member since:
2007-01-07

If you want a nice KISS philosophy in the Linux world, I'd suggest you to give Archlinux a spin. It's really worth it. It seems to be a final haven of users of Debian, Gentoo, Slackware and other distros, also of FreeBSD - it speaks for itself.

For all the other people stating non-kernel advantages of FreeBSD: you have to remember that Linux is only a kernel and there are loads of different distros that build on it (let's not argue whether it's a bad or a good thing). Stating that ports make FreeBSD better is not quite truthful, as there are many comparable or even better solutions in GNU/Linux world. Actually, it's quite impossible to compare the non-kernel stuff, seeing as diverse the Linux world is.

I felt a very strong urge to give FreeBSD (or perhaps OpenBSD) a try lately, yet decided against it. After researching a bit I came to a conclusion that it won't me offer anything Archlinux doesn't (with it's great package management supplemented by a build system). Unfortunately, FreeBSD Release also seems to lack support for xfs and envy, which makes it no-go on my desktop. Nevertheless, I'll surely give FreeBSD 7 a spin once it's out. And I am truly happy that there's a substantial diversity in the OSS world.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: hmmmm....
by Xaero_Vincent on Sun 25th Feb 2007 20:33 UTC in reply to "RE: hmmmm...."
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

I have tried Archlinux several month back and while it has some simularties to BSD, it's stability is not in the same league.

Arch is so bleeding edge that just going a few days without upgrading usually results in 50+ MB worth of package updates. Go a couple weeks without an upgrade and you'll be replacing your entire set of packages.

System updates were often problematic too. Using pacman often broke X or caused other problems that took hours to fix.

I certainly would not recommend it on servers that require long uptimes.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: hmmmm....
by lucke on Sun 25th Feb 2007 21:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hmmmm...."
lucke Member since:
2007-01-07

I think you're exaggerating a bit. Yes, it's fairly bleeding edge, but that's the thing - if someone releases some new version of software, he does it so others could benefit from it. I still see KDE 3.5.5 on freshports.org - if 3.5.6 has been released some time ago, why I am still unable to use it on FreeBSD or many Linux distros (at least using official packages)?

I never had any bigger problems with updates, they're quite straightforward and trouble free (at least for me and probably most of Arch users). There are some rough edges, especially when updating main libraries with other packages depending on them, but well, it's unavoidable. From time to time I hear people complaining about this though, mostly outside of Arch community, I don't know where it comes from. Nevertheless, a simplistic approach of Arch allows one to deal with any possible problems more efficiently and easily than in all those GUIfied/more complicated environments.

I do agree that Arch's bleeding-edginess is not the most suitable for a (production) server (but well, with fast pace of Linux development, it's impossible to use the latest kernel and maintain uptime anyways) - that's a really nice spot for FreeBSD, in turn. I'm running a simple router/server based on Arch myself and I really can't complain (thought about deploying FreeBSD there lately, but as they say: if it isn't broke, don't fix it).

I don't want to fill this place with irrelevant Arch-specific stuff - I just wanted to point Jake to a solution, which would most probably suit his taste, and also clear some doubts, presented by you, Vincent. Over and out.

Edited 2007-02-25 21:07

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: hmmmm....
by Xaero_Vincent on Sun 25th Feb 2007 21:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: hmmmm...."
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

Well I'm not here to ridicule peoples' choice of OS. If you're happy with Arch then you best using it. ;)

But Arch's bleeding-edge nature and problematic updates is what turned me away after a couple of months of usage. That said, pacman is a clear advantage over Slackware's package management solutions.

Another less important issue was the limited package selection compared to the Debian-based distros at the time.

FreeBSD isn't far off from Debian's vast selection with 16,600 ports/packages and counting.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: hmmmm....
by BluenoseJake on Sun 25th Feb 2007 20:34 UTC in reply to "RE: hmmmm...."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I haven't tried Arch myself, but I have tried many others, and I keep coming back to FreeBSD. Right now, Kubuntu is working fine, though by no means is it as clean as FreeBSD or even Debian. Though I may have to give Arch a try, could be what I need to hold me over.

Reply Score: 2

Some constructive criticism
by Doc Pain on Sun 25th Feb 2007 21:25 UTC
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

I'd like to comment on the last part of the original article where the author gives his conclusions and developer recommendations.

" * Modernize the command line experience. "

As I mentioned before, the author mixes terminal emulation and dialog / scripting shells.

"The default terminal emulator -- itself an ancient and no longer valid concept [...]"

So could he argument that Linux started as a terminal emulator? Is it no longer valid therefore? Invalid conclusion.

[...] -- is designed for monochrome Unix terminals like the DEC VT100 and VT220."

No, terminal emulators were not designed to be used for a terminal. As the name could make you guess: The terminal emulator emulates a terminal, while a terminal like the DEC VT100 is a terminal. Terminals existed before the VT100, even a teletype was considered to be a terminal.

"Sysadmins generally use OpenSSH for remote administration, and keyboards and monitors for local control of servers."

They use web based interfaces and GUI based administration programs as well.

"Why is FreeBSD using a shell that doesn't at all compare feature-for-feature with more modern alternatives like zsh or Bash, and was designed to be used on terminals that could reasonably be found in museums?"

So, what are zsh and bash running on? Toasters? :-)

Even the csh is capable of colour output, as long the used terminal (see $TERM) supports it.

" * More kernel profiles. The default FreeBSD kernel is insufficient for just about every practical use I can think of, except perhaps FreeBSD kernel development."

That's strange... why do we use the default kernels at work for some time now? With just loading a few modules? Hmmm... I can't imagine which "practical use" the author might think of...

" * Installation of default config files. After installation, FreeBSD is left with no real make.conf or rc.conf, although there are example files in /usr/share/examples."

So, you see, there are the requested default config files.

"Every time I install FreeBSD, I find myself copying over these files (and cvsup supfiles) to /etc and customizing them myself. I don't see why the examples can't be installed into /etc by default -- or why this can't be an option in sysinstall."

It's just because of the intention of FreeBSD as an OS: If you want it, do it. To do it more comfortable, feel free to use the Midnight Commander or any tool you wish. BTW, I have a CD with some patches for the most configuration files that need alteration. Maybe this would be a good idea for the author too.

" * Better organization of the Ports tree. Although I think that the Ports tree in general could do with a standard naming convention for categories and programs, a bigger complaint of mine is that every non-English language has to have its own directory."

Some ports already have internationalisation via a make option. But that's for applications that are capable of multi language, as far as I know.

If the author does not like the non-english ports, he could add the categories to his supfiles not to be updated, or list them in the .cvsignore file.

"If all of the foreign language ports were moved to a single directory (or a metadirectory to house the current dirs), it would make finding categories and programs much easier."

Nonsense. You can use "make search name=foobar", that should be easy enough. Furthermore, as far as I know, there are GUI frontends available to the ports collection.

"I also think that the science directory could include the biology and astro categories, and I strongly question the need for an "x11-clocks" software category."

Here, I agree. It's not that I'm just complaining. :-)

" * Less hassle for the JDK and JRE. [...] This is not much easier than the bad old days when you had to chase down files from 3 or 4 different sites to get Java going. Maybe this will all be solved when Sun open-sources Java in the near future."

As someone mentioned before correctly, that's not a FreeBSD issue, it's because of license terms for Java.

Hell, must sound like I'm a FreeBSD advocate! :-) (No, I'm just an advanced user who uses FreeBSD for what it's good at. I also use Solaris, IRIX and Linux.)

Reply Score: 4

Author misinformed
by rajj on Sun 25th Feb 2007 21:37 UTC
rajj
Member since:
2005-07-06

The whole rant about FreeBSD's video console (which is all I can imagine he's talking about as a terminal emulator) is nonsense. It's not limited to VT100/220 capabilities. It is fully capable of high resolution VESA raster video modes and color. The defaults are conservative so that it can still boot on older hardware. Most FreeBSD boxes are headless. If it's a workstation, you're probably going to be running X11. So his problem is exactly what?

He also wonders why the default root shell isn't bash or zsh... maybe because they're not part of the base system? They're easy enough to install them from ports at any rate and hardly something to bitch about.

The warning about geometry is due to the BIOS reporting nonsensical C/H/S values and sysinstall guesses reasonable ones. I've never had a problem with using the fixed values. If anything, the bug is in the BIOS not in FreeBSD.

No default rc.conf? /etc/defaults/rc.conf. make.conf, on the other hand is for the build system. Even without a make.conf, the defaults are quite sensible.

Having to manually fetch the JDK tarballs is a Sun problem. You can download pre-compiled binary packages from the FreeBSD Foundation web site if you really can't be bothered to do it.

As far as the kernel goes, GENERIC is fine for just about anyone. Almost anything that isn't in GENERIC is auto loaded as a module on demand.

Reply Score: 3

FreeBSD advantage?
by lancealot on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:22 UTC
lancealot
Member since:
2007-02-25

I have been reading this thread and a lot of it is about FreeBSD vs Linux. I will admit up front I have not used FreeBSD, but don't see a reason why I should use FreeBSD when I moved all my Linux systems to Solaris 10 (and I say 10, since version 10 was a huge leap). As soon as Solaris 10 came out I moved all my Linux systems to that and couldn't have been more happy. Here is why I am so happy with Solaris 10:

Zones: FreeBSD has this with Jails, but I have read that jails lacks a few features Zones has like Single Point of Maintenance of kernel and software changes. But like I said since I don't use FreeBSD does Jails have something Zones doesn't?

DTrace: You can probe anything. DTrace is the most stable and complete probing system around. Linux has less complete and not as stable versions, and FreeBSD is working to port DTrace over (but not production ready yet).

Self Healing: Does linux or FreeBSD have the ability to analyze hardware trends and offline a memory module if it sees it being an issue? Does the OS restart a failed service (and its dependences) that might of crashed due to this failed memory module?

ZFS: ZFS is production ready on Solaris, everyone else is working to port it to their OS (is not production ready yet). Linux is trying to make a filesystem as good as ZFS (ext4 maybe?). ZFS is the easiest, and best filesystem/volume manager combo I have seen. In the past I used Veritas volume manager and Suns own UFS volume manager (which is not bad, but complex).

SMP: Solaris has always been built for SMP. FreeBSD lacks in the SMP area (maybe FreeBSD 7 will fix this?), and Linux has been working for a long time to improve SMP. But I doubt either of these are better then Solaris SMP support (and 64 bit support).

BACKWARDS COMPATABILITY: Solaris has always kept backwards compatability to past versions. In the past when I ran Linux when I moved from 2.2 to 2.3 to 2.4 things ALWAYS broke. That was not acceptable for a production server enviroment I was running. Why did I move from 2.2 to 2.4 etc. Becuase things were broke and was told they were fixed in the next major kernel version. Once I updated the kernel it broke applications also, which then required upgrading them also. In Solaris I can install a Solaris 8 application, and it works in Solaris 10 no problem. This is one reason why Solaris SEEMS behind Linux etc by using old shells or not the latest GNU tools. They have to make sure not to break this backwards compatability.

DOCS: Sun has VERY nice complete PDF's documents for all their hardware and software. For Linux and FreeBSD you have to look for things cattered around the Internet to find docs, or the Linux Distrbution Vender (ex: Redhat) for docs. But I always found Sun (like Sun Solve) very complete and in one nice place. Their PDF documents are well written and very complete.

SUPPORT: Solaris 10 support is as cheap or cheaper then Redhat. So Solaris support can be bought for a good price compared to a distribution Linux. I have used Sun support many times, and it is not too bad (gotten worst lately since all their layoffs they have done).

All the above features are production ready (I use all of them) and stable. Linux and FreeBSD users always come back by saying they have this and that, but most of it is in BETA state (meaning not production ready, or being ported).

That is why I use Solaris over Linux or FreeBSD in my personal SERVER and Enterprise "SERVER" enviroments.

The only valid complaints I have seen about Solaris are:

1) It is complex. This is true, but I think if you can figure out Linux or FreeBSD, then Solaris is not that much harder. I compare the complexity of using Solaris like using a early version of Linux (linux has gotten more user friendly over time). But Sun is working on making it more user friendly, and that will be the big trend for Solaris 11 I think, make it less complex. But personally I used Linux upto around Redhat 7 and moving to Solaris was not that tough for me.

2)Does not support a lot of hardware. I will tell you one of the single main reasons for a system NOT being stable is lack of SOLID drivers. What happens with Windows and Linux is they make so many drivers, where some are less stable then others. It is hard to track down which ones are stable and which are not. I would rather pick an OS with less device drivers that are SOLID, then a OS with million of drivers that are mixed between SOLID, BETA, ALPHA, etc.. That is why I actually moved away from Linux, it would crash on me, and the comeback from users was it probably is a driver. Which driver? The logs didn't tell me anything? What hardware do I buy to make sure it is using stable drivers?

3) Solaris 10 is not a good desktop OS. This I agree COMPLETELY, to me Solaris is targeted towards servers, and can be used as a desktop if you really wanted. I would consider FreeBSD or Linux a better desktop OS. Me personally, I use MAC OS X, which I find a better Desktop OS then either Solaris, FreeBSD, Linux, and even Windows. But that is a whole other topic I am not about to get into.

So all the above states why I personally used Solaris over Linux or FreeBSD. Being a Solaris 10 user I don't see why I would even consider using Linux or FreeBSD on my servers unless my hardware didn't support Solaris 10.

Reply Score: 2

RE: FreeBSD advantage?
by Doc Pain on Sun 25th Feb 2007 22:52 UTC in reply to "FreeBSD advantage?"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Nice to see someone else uses Solaris. :-)

Reegarding Zones, DTrace, Self Healing, ZFS, SMP, BACKWARDS COMPATABILITY and support, there's nothing to add by myself.

For DOCS: FreeBSD has excellent documentation in several languages available. NB these documentation is about the OS. It does not cover X11, KDE or single applications. The documentation is available in well formatted XHTML and also present on the installed system itself. One point I could make is the following. The documentation installed on the system (manpages and doc/ contents) is available in english only. Maybe it's not important to mention because the capability of using the english language still is a "must have" in (applied and practical) computer science.

"I compare the complexity of using Solaris like using a early version of Linux (linux has gotten more user friendly over time). But Sun is working on making it more user friendly, and that will be the big trend for Solaris 11 I think, make it less complex."

Maybe it's valid for me to say: Solaris will be complex, too. But it will not look that complex to the user due to abstraction tools.

"But personally I used Linux upto around Redhat 7 and moving to Solaris was not that tough for me."

There's some basic knowledge one should gain using Linux and / or FreeBSD and / or Solaris. With this knowledge, one should have no problem getting started with HP-UX or IRIX. Most Linux distributions do not require this knowledge anymore due to abstraction tools, GUI and preconfiguration. FreeBSD still does. But if one comes from the "Linux world" and wants to use FreeBSD, there should be no problem as long as these knowledge is present. Distributions like Debian and Arch still depend on these fundamental abilities.

"[Solaris] Does not support a lot of hardware. I will tell you one of the single main reasons for a system NOT being stable is lack of SOLID drivers."

Here the hardware vendors are responsible for making their hardware compatible to a certain OS. Before buying hardware, one should ask: "Is this hardware supported by the OS I want to use it with?" In reality, it's the other way round. Hardware is bought, then complains follow about the OS not supporting it.

"What happens with Windows and Linux is they make so many drivers, where some are less stable then others. It is hard to track down which ones are stable and which are not."

In Linux and BSD, there's still the option to monitor a driver and to do diagnostics to see why a driver does not work properly.

"I would rather pick an OS with less device drivers that are SOLID, then a OS with million of drivers that are mixed between SOLID, BETA, ALPHA, etc.."

The conclusion is to buy the hardware supported, which may be complicated (because the hardware is a bit older) or more expelsive (because it's expensive hardware).

"Solaris 10 is not a good desktop OS."

Don't forget: Solaris is not a good gaming OS for the newest games. :-)

As many other OSes, Solaris has a certain intention what it should be used for: For workstations and servers. Linux and BSD have other intentions: For home users, entertainment, gaming, and, maybe, servers, too.

"I would consider FreeBSD or Linux a better desktop OS. Me personally, I use MAC OS X, which I find a better Desktop OS then either Solaris, FreeBSD, Linux, and even Windows. But that is a whole other topic I am not about to get into."

I completely agree.

This thread is not about (or should not be about) BSD vs. Linux. There's space for everything. For every task the right tool. Maybe the zealots (and they exist on every side!) get this idea some day...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: FreeBSD advantage?
by lancealot on Sun 25th Feb 2007 23:56 UTC in reply to "RE: FreeBSD advantage?"
lancealot Member since:
2007-02-25

Nice to know FreeBSD has excellent documentation (and in multiple languages). More of my past experience was with Linux and docs were all over the place (docs depended on how well you used google or yahoo). The vender docs (like Redhat) never impressed me.

I agree about how you said Linux is much easier now in days due to the abstraction tools. I used Linux when it was young, and upto around Solaris 10 came out (couple years ago) so I was forced to learn the hard way rather then using abstration tools. I guess it would be harder for a admin that depends on those abstration tools to do a lot of things. But when I used Linux in the past it seemed like every distribution had its own abstration tools. So if you learned one set of abstraction tools, that knowledge will be tied into that distribution (like Redhat or Susue). The Linux I always considered to be most BSD like was Slackware. Like I said I think with Solaris 11 they are working on these abstraction tools to make the whole experience easier for the Linux folk. But your right, the reason why Linux people say Solaris or FreeBSD is so complex is because they are so used to the abstraction tools that does all the low level stuff you had to due in earlier Linux versions. It is best to know what these tools do at a low level so when these abstraction tools break something, you know how to go fix it (it is like using Dreamweaver to make web pages, and not knowing HTML). Also it does not tie you into a certain distribution as much. Need to learn the UNIX basics.

I agree with you when you said "Is this hardware supported by the OS I want to use it with?" and "Hardware is bought, then complains follow about the OS not supporting it.". If someone is serious about running a solid server setup, they are going to buy good hardware that is supported by the OS they plan on running. If they want to use some old hardware slapped together and try to make it as stable of a server as possible, then Linux and FreeBSD is great. If you got some crazy old cpu/hardware mix (like an old Amiga), think about NetBSD. I used these slapped together servers in the past, and they created more headaches then I wanted. So I got smart and bought Sun Sparc hardware from Ebay for cheap, and ran Solaris 10 ;) Don't miss Linux and those slapped together servers for a bit, and the Ebay Sparc systems were as cheap if I bought the X86 hardware used and put it together myself.

It is hard to monitor a driver when you don't know which driver is crashing the system (my linux logs were showing nothing). Basically I could ping the system, but when I went to login, I entered a username and then it got stuck. I couldn't get logged in console. I rebooted and it worked again, and I checked all the logs and nothing. I didn't even know which driver to even monitor, or even if it was a driver issue. I had various issues like this with Linux in the past I have never had on Solaris. That is why I left Linux, and never looked back. The issues I had with Linux are gone, and never have been repeated with Solaris. Maybe Linux is better now in days (with 2.6 kernel, etc), but why would I evern go back to Linux (at its current version) when Solaris 10 does such a wonderful job for me.

Ha-ha yes your in for a world of hurt if you try playing games on Solaris. Heck game support is bad enough on Linux and even MAC OS X. Windows has the lock in here. Personally I feel its better to just buy a console now in days then even use a computer for games. Don't get better then a nice HDTV and surround sound system playing from your couch on a console system. Who knows maybe some people have their computer hooked to a large display, have large surround sound speakers, and type from their couch.

It was nice to see another user on here on the same page as me. Every OS has its niche, just need to figure out where it fits in best. Choice is always good ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: FreeBSD advantage?
by Doc Pain on Mon 26th Feb 2007 01:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: FreeBSD advantage?"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"More of my past experience was with Linux and docs were all over the place (docs depended on how well you used google or yahoo). The vender docs (like Redhat) never impressed me."

Documentation should always be one of the goals an OS should have. Do you remember the AS/400 documentation project? Or the one of OS/ES? If you're familiar in how to get information, there's nothing you can't read about. Because Linux distributions consist of several parts that do not belong to the Linux core system itself, it's the matter of the distributors how serious they take documenting their composita.

For example, you get an error message "xl0 blah blah", or "waiting for rc.dingens", you just "man xl0" and "man rc" to get the information you need. No Internet connection needed. Problem with the MTA? gethostbyaddr() not resolving? "man gethostbyaddr" and "man sendmail". Same for files: "man rc.conf", "man fstab" or "man termcap". Every part of the OS itself is documented. Even system library and kernel functions and datatypes.

I also like the documentation of many non-FreeBSD applications, such as "man mplayer".

"I agree about how you said Linux is much easier now in days due to the abstraction tools. I used Linux when it was young, and upto around Solaris 10 came out (couple years ago) so I was forced to learn the hard way rather then using abstration tools. I guess it would be harder for a admin that depends on those abstration tools to do a lot of things."

From my point of view, that's correct. For example, if you know how mount and the /etc/fstab mechanism is working, you can mount media still if the KDE built-in system does not work.

"But when I used Linux in the past it seemed like every distribution had its own abstration tools."

You're right. My term "base knowledge" primarily refered to procedures on how to do something. One simple question: "How do I install a new program?" It depends on the distribution where in the KDE or Gnome menu your package installer is located, but there is such an application. Maybe it's using a GUI like Yast, or it's a command line tool like apt-get.

"So if you learned one set of abstraction tools, that knowledge will be tied into that distribution (like Redhat or Susue)."

Most base knowledge is distribution independable, but this base knowledge also serves basic tasks, not things like "How do I cut a video?" or "How do I use my flatbed scanner?"

The most basics are cd, ls, ln, rm, cp, dd, and, of course, man. They work everywhere. Even in KDE's Konsole. ("Konsole" is the german word for console, I'm sure it was not intended.)

"The Linux I always considered to be most BSD like was Slackware."

This was my first Linux (Sybex Power!-CD Linux with kernel 2.0.32 and X 3.1.1, price: 29,95 DM)! :-) Archlinux is a great choice, too. And Gentoo. All of them expect the user to know what he does.

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/ad0

"Oh, I just wiped my hard disk. How do I undo this?" :-)

(My uncle just deleted a user with his KDE based PC-BSD system, wanted to undo this (impossible), installed a new user and now has problems accessing his CD drives. First think, then act.)

There are some conceptions that novice users don't get access to, e. g. "you asked for it, you got it" as an opposite to "what you see is what you get". The defenders of the WYSIWYG concept surely will say: You can't expect anyone to read what's on the screen, it has to work by itself! Linux is trying to reach this goal. And they have enough people who want to escape the "Windows" world, so they're looking at Linux and are willing to give it a try. This seems to be the main difference between (novice) Linux users and the users of FreeBSD and Solaris: These know what they want and how to do it. I hope I'm not doing anyone wrong here saying this, but while Linux has developed to be that user friendly that it's accessible by more and more novice users, BSD and Solaris (and the commercial UNIXes) are usually used by professionals. (This does not include the claim that there are no professionals using Linux!)

"If someone is serious about running a solid server setup, they are going to buy good hardware that is supported by the OS they plan on running. "

In a server setup, you have to be able to rely on the hardware compatibility more than in a home user setting because many other users (those you serve) depend on the setting working.

You said "they plan to run" - most home users don't plan, they just do. Not to say learning by doing is not good - in fact, it's fine. But "try and error" is no planning concept. So your sentence above should be interesting for home users, too. My uncle owns a parallel scanner (no support), a JVC digital camera (no support) and a laser printer (no idea how to install a printer). So all his problems about hardware that does not work are homemade. That's what hardware reference lists are made for. Some people just seem to be to tired to use them, or expect everything to work out of the box.

"I used these slapped together servers in the past, and they created more headaches then I wanted. So I got smart and bought Sun Sparc hardware from Ebay for cheap, and ran Solaris 10 ;) "

Needless to say, older hardware is often more reliable (because of longer time engineered and tested drivers), as well as the better engineered hardware itself. A "modern" DVD-ROM drive lives for 2 years maximum, but an "ancient" 16x CD-ROM drives lives nearly forever and reads almost everything. Same seems to be right for hard disks.

"It is hard to monitor a driver when you don't know which driver is crashing the system (my linux logs were showing nothing)."

I just wanted to illustrate that Linux, BSD and Solaris offer the tools and the ability of such monitoring, diagnostics (dtrace, gdb, tcpdump, just to mention a few), while most "mainstream" (home user) OSes do not offer these.

Taken from a definition of what an OS is (DIN 44300), an OS needs to provide these possibilities. Even development tools can be considered an essential part of the OS.

"Ha-ha yes your in for a world of hurt if you try playing games on Solaris."

For every task the right tool. If I want to play games, I fire up the PS3. :-)

"Heck game support is bad enough on Linux and even MAC OS X."

No, it's just delayed. Games that were new about 5 years in the past are no problem to play on Linux or BSD today. So you can play all the games - later. :-)

"Personally I feel its better to just buy a console now in days then even use a computer for games."

People abuse their PCs as a better typewriter, others think of it as a gaming machine. Then they wonder about how expensive it is and then they get the energy bill. :-)

"It was nice to see another user on here on the same page as me. Every OS has its niche, just need to figure out where it fits in best. Choice is always good ;) "

It is, I completely agree. What the OSS world does not need are zealots, idiots and advocates fighting each other in terms of "mine is bigger than yours" or "my dad can kick your dad". This won't help anyone, in fact, it does the opposite: It damages everyone. And we all know who will like this to happen... :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: FreeBSD advantage?
by lancealot on Mon 26th Feb 2007 04:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: FreeBSD advantage?"
lancealot Member since:
2007-02-25

I agree with everything you said. The ones I want to highlight are:

"Linux has developed to be that user friendly that it's accessible by more and more novice users, BSD and Solaris (and the commercial UNIXes) are usually used by professionals. (This does not include the claim that there are no professionals using Linux!)"

I think this makes Linux a good choice to start with to work your way upto something like BSD or Solaris. Before I learned Solaris I used Linux as a desktop, which gave me the skills to move onto Solaris. Another reason for this was at that time Solaris was not free, and not available for X86 (kind of how HP-UX and AIX is today). But a person new to UNIX, I would say install Linux, learn how to use it with the tools it provides, then learn what those tools do (the "base knowledge"). Most of the GUI admin tools on Linux (and most UNIX based OS'es) just modify text config files. When you get time learn what those tools do. Baby-steps.

most home users don't plan, they just do

So true. Those are the co-workers I have to fight with, the ones that bring that "home user" mentality to the Enterprise enviroment. They jump into things too quick without proper planning or testing. Like you said, people don't check hardware references before saying "Solaris doesn't work on my system, it crashes here and there". But did they actually expect it to work really well if their hardware was not on the supported list? This goes for any OS or Application.

Needless to say, older hardware is often more reliable (because of longer time engineered and tested drivers), as well as the better engineered hardware itself.

I am glad someone understands this ;) That is why that used Sun hardware out there ended up being a better choice then me building my own new systems from X86 parts (which I have done in the past and was nothing but problems). The Sun system I have sends me emails if it has to do a ECC memory correction. It tells me which system board it happened on and the EXACT memory module. If I decide to ignore it and it really becomes an issue, the OS can then step in and offline that memory module if it effects OS peformance. That is why big companies (Enterprises) use big iron hardware like Sun and IBM.

No, it's just delayed. Games that were new about 5 years in the past are no problem to play on Linux or BSD today. So you can play all the games - later. :-)

Yes I agree, I guess I shouldn't have wrote what I did, the way I did. Linux, BSD, or MAC OS X all have the ability to play the games Windows does. It is more the lack of the video game creators supporting those OS'es. I think MAC OS X is going to really try to fix this in the future. But also soon VMware will support 3D (its in BETA form now) and you can install Windows in there and play the games. But of course not the same as playing native on your OS. I think MAC OS X has the best chance to improve this since they can pull in the vendor support (Like they did from Microsoft and Adobe).

People abuse their PCs as a better typewriter, others think of it as a gaming machine. Then they wonder about how expensive it is and then they get the energy bill

I think that is going to be the next big server room issue, that is POWER. The trend in the past was LOTS of X86 Intel/AMD blades servers. This ended up in the long run using more power then a heavy used mainframe server (by mainframe I am thinking of large scale systems like 8+ cpu suns, ibm servers). I think on the hardware end Sun is leading to solve this with their T1 CPU (soon T2, and then Rock). On the software end it will be virtualization, such as VMware, XEN, etc. A combo of a high core/thread CPU and virtualization will mean mainframe power in the size of a blade server (and high system utilitization). That is another reason why a good SMP OS will be a must in the future with the trend moving to multiple cores, multiple threads. That is one reason why I think Sun was smart for sticking to Solaris as a core piece to these T1, T2, Rock CPU's they are introducing. Solaris SMP support has many years of history.

It is, I completely agree. What the OSS world does not need are zealots, idiots and advocates fighting each other in terms of "mine is bigger than yours" or "my dad can kick your dad". This won't help anyone, in fact, it does the opposite: It damages everyone. And we all know who will like this to happen...

I agree. I am gald when I posted my message you didn't take it the wrong way. When I post I try to explain why you might consider an alternative since it fits your situation better, or the technology is better. I won't say "I use Solaris on the server and I think it is the best, so it is the best on the desktop also". Just because your OS is good at one thing, doesn't make it a fit for everything. I think that is the problem with a lot of Linux users, they think Linux OS is the best at everything. Once they hear someone say FreeBSD or Solaris is better in this server situation, then they will fight tooth and nail to prove you wrong.

I say use that hammer for nails, and that screwdriver for screws. Don't try to hammer that screw into place, it just won't work as well. Use what is best for the job. Read peoples opinions about things to learn what might work better for your situation.

For msyelf, I needed to upgrade my desktop. I wanted something small (I live in a condo), low power and quiet. I also wanted something where I don't have to work on it all the time (I do that enough at work). I bought a iMAC. It served all my pruposes.

On the server I wanted light weight virtualization, solid hardware, solid OS. I bought Sun hardware and use Solaris OS.

I just found the tools that worked best for me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: FreeBSD advantage?
by csousa on Mon 26th Feb 2007 09:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: FreeBSD advantage?"
csousa Member since:
2006-02-04

I agree with you, but don't forget that much of us have to stay with common choices: If you search for a hosting company what choices do you have ? Linux (Fedora or Debian), or FreeBSD (even on dedicated servers).Ok you may have Solaris but you have to pay much more.In a enterprise the same problem.

Reply Score: 1

Is it even fair
by mwndk on Sun 25th Feb 2007 23:53 UTC
mwndk
Member since:
2005-07-27

I normally think of open source people to be rather intelligent.

But all this bsd vs linux stuff is strange. Face it, some likes the penguin, and some likes the beasts. Why is it always FreeBSD vs Linux? Its an OS vs. a kernel. Like, how is it with the new BMW 525 vs. RR v12?

Reply Score: 2

wow
by hadyn on Mon 26th Feb 2007 03:14 UTC
hadyn
Member since:
2006-05-14

Well I am not sure what that dude was smoking but how did he end up figuring FreeBSD has to compete with Linux for the desktop?

FreeBSD running as a server is stable, fast, flexible, easy to update. The handbook is also an excellent document for learning and using FreeBSD. After 7 years of administering FreeBSD I found most of the comments to be based on nothing but inexperience. Both those in the artical and those in this forum. If you need loads of GUI tools to do your job go and run a Mac or Windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE: wow
by Xaero_Vincent on Mon 26th Feb 2007 04:14 UTC in reply to "wow"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

The way I see it FreeBSD doesn't need to compete with Linux on the desktop. Linux's desktop marketshare is already laughable at best.

FreeBSD can be a fine desktop once configured and there are plenty of GUI tools avaliable in ports--DesktopBSD tools, for example.

The only area where I think FreeBSD sucks is WiFi. Broadcom 43xx support is poor and ndisgen is not working for me.

Hopefully my bug report will result in a patch but there is the waiting game.

Reply Score: 2

First honest review of FreeBSD
by ozonehole on Mon 26th Feb 2007 04:19 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

I have to say, this is the first honest review of FreeBSD that I've ever read. Although the author's comments were harsh, I can't really find anything to disagree with. The notorious geometry bug that the author talks of has been around for years, and really irks me. I've tried most releases of FBSD since 4.8, but the bugs have always put me off. I did try 6.2, and on my laptop (IBM ThinkPad X31) it has serious issues (like not being able to shutdown without physically pulling the plug).

I do hope that the FBSD developers will read this review and act on the author's suggestions. But I tend to think that won't happen, and that's a pity.

Reply Score: 1

RE: First honest review of FreeBSD
by Doc Pain on Mon 26th Feb 2007 12:12 UTC in reply to "First honest review of FreeBSD"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Although the author's comments were harsh, I can't really find anything to disagree with."

Please take the time to read some post in this discussion thread. You'll find out that the author compares apples to pears (shell and terminal emulator, BIOS vs. BSD bug, default config files etc.), so there's much an educated person could easily disagree with.

"I did try 6.2, and on my laptop (IBM ThinkPad X31) it has serious issues (like not being able to shutdown without physically pulling the plug). "

Yes, there are such problems.

"I do hope that the FBSD developers will read this review and act on the author's suggestions. But I tend to think that won't happen, and that's a pity."

I hope the FreeBSD developers take the time to explain some differences between command shells and terminal emulators to the author.

Don't think I'm always talking good about FreeBSD, that's not the case. There are many things to improve. But I think the important things will improve.

Reply Score: 3

Desktop play...
by dindin on Mon 26th Feb 2007 16:07 UTC
dindin
Member since:
2006-03-29

I may not agree with the author on most of the things, but I do agree with the follow:

"there is no prayer holy enough to help FreeBSD overtake GNU/Linux in the "alternative" desktop OS market"

After using FreeBSD on servers and Desktops for more than 6 years (even during the 5.x years), I switched. I still have servers running FBSD, but newer servers are brought up on Ubuntu Server. They are very much stable and quite easy to adminsiter. We are also using VMware and experimenting with Xen on these platform ... something FBSD is far from.

On the Desktop it has always been packages, packages, and packages. I think the biggest reason for the sucess of Linux distro (and other prop. OSs) is the fact that they make installing and maintaining packages a snap. It does not take hours to install updates. Yes there are instances when somethings are broken on other systems too, but atleast I find out about it within a few minutes as opposed to wakingup next morning to see the ports I installed was broken.

Ports is great ... when it works and you have the time. ;) There is a reason why PC-BSD is popular. But its limited in applications and there are questions regarding the scalability of it.

If there is one recommendation I would make to the FreeBSD team it would be to create something like or adopt the rpm or apt packaging system and make a requirement that any packages that are added must be also available in binary - makeing sure that it compiles properly. (I would do this, but I don't have the skills for this)

Once you use FreeBSD, its hard to shed it off. Even when I use ubuntu, I keep thinging "why cannot it respond like FreeBSD". Will continue to keep an eye on future releases.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Desktop play...
by Doc Pain on Tue 27th Feb 2007 09:58 UTC in reply to "Desktop play..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"On the Desktop it has always been packages, packages, and packages. I think the biggest reason for the sucess of Linux distro (and other prop. OSs) is the fact that they make installing and maintaining packages a snap. It does not take hours to install updates."

PC-BSD's PBI system fulfills this request (esp. binary OS updates), but does not offer the amount of software you could install via source, as you have recognized by yourself:

"Ports is great ... when it works and you have the time. ;) There is a reason why PC-BSD is popular. But its limited in applications and there are questions regarding the scalability of it."

Your recommendation:

"If there is one recommendation I would make to the FreeBSD team it would be to create something like or adopt the rpm or apt packaging system and make a requirement that any packages that are added must be also available in binary - makeing sure that it compiles properly. (I would do this, but I don't have the skills for this)"

The idea itself is great, but there are two things to consider:

1. Some ports may not be packaged due to licenses. As fasr as I remember, you cannot

# pkg_add -r lame

but you can of course

# cd /usr/ports/audio/lame
# make install

but you cannot

# make package

2. Some ports allow a high grade of customization, which is usually done via make options stored in the respective Makefile.local. You would need a package for each possible combination of items, or at least three different packages to include { basic | somewhat advanced | all } features. But this mechanism does not consider tweaking program parameters to fit to special CPU features, which is very useful to make programs work good on older CPUs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Desktop play...
by antik on Tue 27th Feb 2007 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Desktop play..."
antik Member since:
2006-05-19

but you cannot

# make package


Why not?

# portinstall -p package

# man portinstall
-p
--package
Build a package when each specified port is installed or upgraded. If a package is upgraded and its dependent packages are given from the command line (including the case where -r is specified), build packages for them as well.

Edited 2007-02-27 13:51

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Desktop play...
by Doc Pain on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Desktop play..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

You're right.

"Why not?"

Now, tested with lame-3.97_1, it works. Formerly it didn't because of special licensing. Nice to see this changed. I don't upgrade every application one a month, some are used since 2005, so I simply didn't notice. :-)

"# portinstall -p package

Build a package when each specified port is installed or upgraded. If a package is upgraded and its dependent packages are given from the command line (including the case where -r is specified), build packages for them as well. "


"portinstall -p foo" performs an equivalent operation of make package. It requires the port installed via "portinstall foo" or "portinstall -P foo"; the last one performs similar to "pkg_add -r foo".

Reply Score: 2

Lousy review
by anomie on Mon 26th Feb 2007 16:53 UTC
anomie
Member since:
2007-02-26

The author suffers from "my way is right" syndrome (which can also be witnessed in new GNU/Linux users who can't understand why it doesn't behave like Windows). I also think he forgot to do his homework before submitting it.

(Quotes from the review in bold.)

Modernize the command line experience.

Why? It's trivial to install bash / zsh. Not everyone wants or needs the same default shell.

More kernel profiles.

Linux mentality? How about details on why GENERIC is not meeting your needs?

At the very least, this would make modifying the kernel a little easier.

You modify a single text file and issue a couple make commands. (You don't have to navigate through endless menus.) How much easier do you need it to be?

Installation of default config files.

Like the ones in /etc/defaults?

Better organization of the Ports tree.

Or... use the built in commands to find what you need. e.g. cd /usr/ports && make search name=easy

Less hassle for the JDK and JRE.

It's not difficult if you can point, click, and type a couple commands. And you're going to try to tell me installing binaries isn't "much easier" than having to compile the JDK on my system - ha.

-------------------

Bottom line: If you want to use GNU/Linux - go for it. There's a lot to like about it. But don't write a whine about how FreeBSD doesn't behave like GNU/Linux and pretend it's a "FreeBSD review".

Reply Score: 4