Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Jul 2007 18:17 UTC, submitted by dolores
FreeBSD "This report covers FreeBSD related projects between April and June 2007. Again an exciting quarter for FreeBSD. In May we saw one of the biggest developers summits to date at BSDCan , our 25 Google Summer of Code students started working on their projects - progress reports are available in this report, and finally the 7.0 release cycle was started three weeks ago."
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different link
by lucke on Tue 10th Jul 2007 18:37 UTC
lucke
Member since:
2007-01-07

Why don't you link to http://www.freebsd.org/news/status/report-2007-04-2007-06.html?

It's easier to read.

Reply Score: 2

RE: different link
by Oliver on Tue 10th Jul 2007 19:17 UTC in reply to "different link"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Because this link is rather new and you'll get the information at the MLs first.

Reply Score: 5

Somewhat off topic...
by IanSVT on Tue 10th Jul 2007 19:02 UTC
IanSVT
Member since:
2005-07-06

I still have a soft spot in my increasingly cold and black heart for FreeBSD. It's(or was around 4.9) a very good OS to start learning about the *NIX ways of doing things. It was enough to get a working system almost by accident, but not enough that you didn't have to take the time to learn some of the basics while doing it. I still remember compiling KDE from ports at work on my laptop, realizing it was going to take a long time, and driving home with my laptop sitting in my passenger seat compiling away. I think I even put the seatbelt on it just in case I had to make a quick stop.

I wonder what the media support is like for freebsd these days? Is there a workable flash player?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Somewhat off topic...
by sonic2000gr on Tue 10th Jul 2007 19:16 UTC in reply to "Somewhat off topic..."
sonic2000gr Member since:
2007-05-20

Flash support for FreeBSD is still a hit and miss thing, and generates a lot of discussion on the FreeBSD lists. In short, the old flash plugin 7 is (reported as) working, but there is no official port for 9, and there are several workarounds suggested for making it work, albeit with limited success. In short, if you opt for an easy *nix type desktop, with all bells and whistles, you are probably better served by Linux.
I am a big fan of the whole FreeBSD project, both from a technical and an ethical perspective and I use it daily on a couple of machines. Other than flash, multimedia performance is fine, and media players are readily available. In fact I use a FreeBSD machine as a media center!
Reading the features in 7, I believe it will be a fine release.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Somewhat off topic...
by djangoxl on Tue 10th Jul 2007 20:12 UTC in reply to "Somewhat off topic..."
djangoxl Member since:
2006-03-10

I also had the same experience!!

Man those times.....compiling stuff on your laptop and because the university building would close I just had to the the thing with me in the subway......(and then observe the looks on the faces of the people who where expecting windows on it)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Somewhat off topic...
by diegocg on Tue 10th Jul 2007 21:34 UTC in reply to "Somewhat off topic..."
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

From my POV, FreeBSD development is slowly becoming slower. Not because of Linux, or because people doesn't like it...but because of OpenSolaris. FreeBSD always was in many ways a "solaris wanabee", (unlike linux, which despite of the flamewars is "the gnu kernel" and has their own motivations) and now that solaris it's opensource....i'm afraid that people just prefers to use opensolaris.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Somewhat off topic...
by vermaden on Tue 10th Jul 2007 21:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Somewhat off topic..."
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

FreeBSD a Solaris wanabee? Please ...

Both Soalris and FreeBSD are great UNNIXes but Solaris lacks features from FreeBSD, now Solaris biggest "things" are ZFS (already ported to FreeBSD), DTrace (already ported to FreeBSD) and Solaris Zones (FreeBSD has jails) so what have left?

Also Solaris is sometimes a big f--king mess, take a look at a DEFAULT Solaris mounts: http://vermaden.proplayer.pl/gfx/shots/vermaden-nexenta-03.png

Compare this to FreeBSD only /dev and / (and other filesystems if you choose to have separate /usr /var etc) and if you want to use Linux emulation linprocfs.

FreeBSD is simple and clean here, comparing to big f--king mess in Solaris.

also very basic utilities like ps lacks flexibility of the FreeBSD ones, maybe because of that they want to adopt Linux like tools for that.

What about additional packages in Solaris? FreeBSD has great ports system with about 17500 ports, and if you do not want to compile you just pkg_add -r package and you are done.

What Solaris can do here? blastwave.org or sunfreeware.com? Please ... You can also put pkgsrc.org on Solaris, but all people who uses it complaint about build fails etc. Solaris does not offer ANYTHING here. Adopting Debian apt-get here is a good idea but that will take time to make it smooth.

Documentation, Solaris also is nowhere near to FreeBSD here.

No offence of course, but telling that FreeBSD is a Solaris wanabee is a big lie.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Somewhat off topic...
by IanSVT on Tue 10th Jul 2007 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Somewhat off topic..."
IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

I can't speak to Solaris but freeBSD's documentation, particularly the handbook, is what got me into the system in the first place years ago. Some might call the freeBSD documentation over rated, but it it quite good and has useful bits even if you aren't running the system.

Obligatory link:

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Somewhat off topic...
by vermaden on Tue 10th Jul 2007 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Somewhat off topic..."
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

About FreeBSD documentation, you have got:

Handbook (the one you mentioned)
Developers Handbook
Architecture Handbook
Porters Handbook
FAQ
great man pages*
Official Articles


*about man pages, when you do dmesg od ps aux you will see many things that may be strange to you, what you do? for example processes like [syncer] [irq16: fxp0] [swi1: net] [swi4: clock sio] and so, you just do man syncer, man swi, man fxp etc and you have full info about that "thing", that is what I call great documentation.

Articles:
ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/

Handbook + FAQ:
ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/

I do not even mention many blogs/forums about BSDs ...

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Somewhat off topic...
by Doc Pain on Wed 11th Jul 2007 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Somewhat off topic..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

You gave some good examples for FreeBSD's excellent documentation. Every part of the OS, every important program (e. g. "man ps", file (e. g. "man rc.conf", system call (e. g. "man 2 mknod"), library function (e. g. "man strlcat") or operations procedure (e. g. "man intro") has an own manpage. Just have a look into the /usr/src/ directory where the OS sources reside. They are great to read, understandable identifiers and helping comments. There are example files for most uses, too.

Allthough Linux usually is the better solution for home users, FreeBSD is more tidy and complete in regards of documentation, if I may say it that hard.

A decent note at this point: Don't confuse the FreeBSD OS with a Linux distribution. FreeBSD is "just" an OS, nothing more, nothing less. Just in case if you wonder why KDE is not installed by default... :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Somewhat off topic...
by Don T. Bothers on Tue 10th Jul 2007 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Somewhat off topic..."
Don T. Bothers Member since:
2006-03-15

I don't know where or how you get your POV, but FreeBSD development is becoming a lot more active and development is becoming a lot faster. I think a few years ago FreeBSD hit critical mass and interest in it since has spiked dramatically. To many, it has become the other Linux, where college students and open source hackers hack on it because there is space for new people and space for people to express their coding. The amount of active projects within the FreeBSD project is huge. The amount of new features coming out for 7.0 is amazing and best of all, it is now becoming a lot more stable and a lot more scalable.

Regarding OpenSolaris, oh please. There was a lot of interest in opening Solaris initially, but after people saw the code and saw that there was nothing really special, most people lost interest. The simple fact is that OpenSolaris is dependent on Sun and at the moment, the future for it and Sun looks very bleak. People do not enjoy coding on their free time for an OS dependent on one company, for an OS that has been overengineered and is now plagued with legacy code. Sure, some parts of Solaris are sexy but the vast majority of code is not.

On the other hand, FreeBSD is popular among computer people. Mac OS X, the super-sexy, extremely popular Unix is based on FreeBSD. What could be cooler than having your code ported over to future versions of MacOS X and giving a much larger company that owns the OS space a black eye. ;) In addition to Apple, many other companies grab the FreeBSD code and come up with really cool solutions. Can anyone say Network Appliance? How about Juniper? Finally, the FreeBSD project is completely independent of any one company and is a true community driven project.

Don't get me wrong. Solaris is a great closed source business solution. That is the direction Sun chose to go somewhere in the mid-90's. And you will find it easy to find a job for the next 5 - 10 years if you are an expert. But it is not community supported nor viable. It is open source but completely based on Sun engineers making it work.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Somewhat off topic...
by danieldk on Tue 10th Jul 2007 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Somewhat off topic..."
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

FreeBSD always was in many ways a "solaris wanabee"

In what ways? Like NetBSD and OpenBSD, FreeBSD is clearly a succession of the BSD branch. All three of them are clean systems that are community-driven rather than company-controlled.

From my POV, FreeBSD development is slowly becoming slower.

You must not be reading status updates then. Some recent nifty stuff:

- They are getting SMP right for machines with many cores.
- ZFS is nice, but I'd rather give a hats-off to GEOM (which allows for modular plugging of RAID functionality, journaling, encryption and other stuff).
- Xen is being integrated.
- The MAC framework is coming along nicely.
- Hopefully, network stack virtualization will be finished for 7.0, extending jails as light-weight virtualization.
- ARM support seems to be moving.

There's also a lot of cross-pollination going in between the BSDs. So you may want to have a look at e.g. the NetBSD status reports too.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Somewhat off topic...
by siska on Wed 11th Jul 2007 06:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Somewhat off topic..."
siska Member since:
2006-02-01

>> "solaris wanabee"
I never used Solaris because I was not able to install it due to minimum RAM requirements.
http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/specs.jsp
Minimum of 256 MB of physical RAM

Hope that FreeBSD won't never be a "solaris wanabee" because I don't have that much RAM.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Somewhat off topic...
by Oliver on Wed 11th Jul 2007 14:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Somewhat off topic..."
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Your Solaris (former SunOS) is a derivative of BSD. Using BSD as base, mixing it up with some SysV stuff and buying a trademark (UNIX) isn't real something I would call a base for "wanabee". Solaris is a UNIX/BSD copycat, but it's, apart from things like ZFS, still an OS of the 80s. OpenSolaris is the noble try to get quality development like in BSD or Linux - but imo it's a lost fight.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Somewhat off topic...
by Doc Pain on Wed 11th Jul 2007 14:16 UTC in reply to "Somewhat off topic..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"I still remember compiling KDE from ports at work on my laptop, realizing it was going to take a long time, and driving home with my laptop sitting in my passenger seat compiling away."

Just as a stupid question: Why did you need to compile KDE instead of using the precompiled package? (I needed to recompile X to make it using my three button mouse properly - due to changes in mouse.c...)

Reply Score: 2

NFSv4
by rajj on Tue 10th Jul 2007 19:10 UTC
rajj
Member since:
2005-07-06

I was hoping for some news on NFSv4 work/plans. Bah!

Reply Score: 1

RE: NFSv4
by sean on Tue 10th Jul 2007 21:06 UTC in reply to "NFSv4"
sean Member since:
2005-06-29

I thought I had read something else about it on one of the mailing lists, but I did find this posting: http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-fs/2007-July/003469.html

Reply Score: 1

by Lazarus on Tue 10th Jul 2007 19:12 UTC
Lazarus
Member since:
2005-08-10

Hmm... from the link above:

"Open tasks:

1. New work to parallelize the netisr thread (netisr2) as well as
distribute UDP and TCP processing over multiple CPUs by connection,
rather than just by input source as in 7.0, was presented at
BSDCan. This work will be targeted at the 8-CURRENT branch.
"

Looks familiar... I've seen it before... back between the summers of 2003 and of 2004... the name Jeffrey Hsu comes to mind...

Edited 2007-07-10 19:21

Reply Score: 2

google link
by whendrik on Tue 10th Jul 2007 20:40 UTC
whendrik
Member since:
2006-12-16
How about an interview
by Don T. Bothers on Tue 10th Jul 2007 21:01 UTC
Don T. Bothers
Member since:
2006-03-15

When did OSNews become just a news linkage site? I remember back in the days, OSNews would interview really important people about really important projects. Alas, this is no longer the case. How about a four page interview with the FreeBSD team? The SMP work is coming along well now and it will be great to hear about the challenges the team has faced, obstacles they have overcome, how FreeBSD is coming along, why they are working on it, what obstacles/challenges they see, and how much more is there to removing the Giant Lock.

Reply Score: 3

RE: How about an interview
by csousa on Wed 11th Jul 2007 14:18 UTC in reply to "How about an interview"
csousa Member since:
2006-02-04

Mr Thom Holwerd is busy at make lots of noise (page views) for osnews with distrowatch...

Mod me down right now with -5, I deserve it!!!

Reply Score: 3

just a question
by diegoviola on Wed 11th Jul 2007 00:09 UTC
diegoviola
Member since:
2006-08-15

Will Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, etc, some day morph to other kind of kernel design, like from monolithic to microkernel/hybrid, etc, like Plan 9 or Hurd.

Why they decided to use a monolithic design?

Edited 2007-07-11 00:10

Reply Score: 0

RE: just a question
by kaiwai on Wed 11th Jul 2007 01:48 UTC in reply to "just a question"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Why they decided to use a monolithic design?


Because that is what everyone else uses.

Me, I'd love to see programmers embrace Plan9, for instance; its a great operating system that addresses all the deficiences in UNIX which the original UNIX creators know about. Its designed from the ground up to be network aware.

Hence the reason I've said in the past that IT has become boring. No one is willing to do anything sexy and interesting - look at Microsoft, nothing stopping them from developing a new operating system with a complete re-think from the ground up - its the fact that they're more willing to pander to lazy developers out there than actually set a visionary agenda for the IT sector.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: just a question
by indiocolifa on Wed 11th Jul 2007 03:16 UTC in reply to "RE: just a question"
indiocolifa Member since:
2006-06-20

look at Microsoft, nothing stopping them from developing a new operating system with a complete re-think from the ground up - its the fact that they're more willing to pander to lazy developers out there than actually set a visionary agenda for the IT sector.


Do you really think that MS developed Vista from ZERO? Vista is a mess because they tried to rewrite many OS fundamental parts in the middle of the road. Good try MS, but the code was so polluted it derived in a crappy, bloated beast.

About FreeBSD, I'm a huge fan of FreeBSD from 4.X releases. I got away in the buggy 5-RELEASE era and returned in the very good 6.x branch. I don't know why but FBSD is special, even when you've used Linux. I learned Unix with FreeBSD, and I think it's an OS with a very bright future.

And people, if you want to speedup the FreeBSD development, collaborate, HELP the community with ports (I've ported software already), documentation, lines of code, propanganda, etc.

The great advantage (at least for me) of FreeBSD is that is a community effort but every OS release is a complete release by itself. No millons and millons useless Linux distributions. Linux is GREAT, but only at Debian derivatives (this is MY opinion, your mileage may vary...)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: just a question
by kaiwai on Wed 11th Jul 2007 04:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: just a question"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Do you really think that MS developed Vista from ZERO? Vista is a mess because they tried to rewrite many OS fundamental parts in the middle of the road. Good try MS, but the code was so polluted it derived in a crappy, bloated beast.


Did you actually read what I wrote?! I stated:

"look at Microsoft, nothing stopping them from developing a new operating system with a complete re-think from the ground up - its the fact that they're more willing to pander to lazy developers out there than actually set a visionary agenda for the IT sector."

Who said that Windows Vista was written from the ground up? I certaintly didn't!

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: just a question
by biteydog on Wed 11th Jul 2007 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: just a question"
biteydog Member since:
2005-10-06

They have an odd way of pandering to lazy developers!

example: I recently (last week) had to install XP to replace Vista on a client's machine. Their old computer (W2000) died - they went to a store and bought a new one (Vista). The software package (specialised) that they use for their business didn't work (it was W2000) and so they phoned the software house who sent out (free) the Vista version. Which didn't work as well as they were used to.

Being of a nosey disposition I phoned the software people myself and was told that they had been working on the Vista version since early beta, but that the stated APIs did not invariably act as advertised, and in general they were having nightmares about it. The port to XP had taken them a couple of weeks, and worked perfectly, but Vista was another animal altogether. The guy I spoke to stated quite categorically that he would rather have had a brand new base to work from, as it would be far less trouble, and in fact the rewrite for their ongoing Linux port was giving them less trouble.

Anyway, their XP version was fine. So one has to conclude that either they really are idiots (not borne out by the software quality) or MS is making things difficult for developers (maybe because they want to advantage their own software in other fields) or Vista really is a mess inside (this is my preferred explanation).

After seeing the blog one of Microsoft's developers put up last year on "Where is Vista going wrong?", the consensus seemed to be that the 50 million lines of code in the Vista kernel were becoming unmanageable in a "top-down" development environment, as so much time had to be spent "going upstairs" for directions that very little was left available for actual coding.

Reply Score: 3

Cool Stuff
by jackson on Wed 11th Jul 2007 00:21 UTC
jackson
Member since:
2005-06-29

As a Linux user since 2001, I never had any reason to check out the BSDs. Linux just worked. And it still does, for the most part.

But something about the BSDs is really, really intriguing to me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I have been running FreeBSD dual boot with my Linux distro of choice and I am really enjoying it. Just about everything works as well as Linux, if not better in some cases, and something about the system just seems more stable.

Anyway, more power to FreeBSD. I am looking forward to the 7 release.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Cool Stuff
by OStourist on Wed 11th Jul 2007 01:18 UTC in reply to "Cool Stuff"
OStourist Member since:
2007-06-19

I agree. For one thing sound..In BSD you have seemless
sound mixing for the common onboard sound chipsets
ac'97 (and others).In linux, ALSA still is incomplete.
You need to use aoss and other hacks to get sound
mixing for java applications because java uses oss
by default. And even that won't work for java applets.
And no, I don't care if its the application writers fault.
I want a COMPLETE desktop - every bit as functional as XP.

The only thing I am waiting for to switch to FreeBSD is flash 9 integration and more ports of popular software like rhythmbox and frostwire. FreeBSD unfortunately has a lot of broken
ports(hello gnome).

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Cool Stuff
by J-freebsd_98 on Wed 11th Jul 2007 15:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Cool Stuff"
J-freebsd_98 Member since:
2006-01-01

rhythmbox-1.10.2_1 installed here.
gnome is broken ??
.................
when I first started using freebsd/ports, they had 9000
now about 17000
................
i have almost 3000 installed...
...............................
3 too large to update (dialup) (firefox ... etc)
3 dependency conflict (crm114...)
2 won't build (tea...
3 waiting Xmms2 bump (euphoria...
1 waiting a makefile (pinot...
.................
of the many others, the only issue I see is lack of
documentation-for-newbies (for instance, 1 have about
5 document-indexing programs installed, if there was
just one I would take the time to learn it). But as
nothing comes without cost (someone to write it), there
is no reason to complain AFAIK.
................
otoh about 1/10 of the ports I note to myself or
even on paper, "Super!"

Reply Score: 1

RE: Cool Stuff
by w00dst0ck on Wed 11th Jul 2007 20:23 UTC in reply to "Cool Stuff"
w00dst0ck Member since:
2006-02-01

I can't say that ports are perfect but they work pretty damn well.

As for gnome being broken, I would have to say that it's not FreeBSD's fault. Gnome isn't exactly the easiest thing to package, and they also don't develop it with FreeBSD in mind, at least not as much focus as they put on Linux. KDE is a lot better in this regard.

The Gnome porters have done some great things for FreeBSD, such as getting dbus, hal and all those goodies which Linux has been enjoying for a little while, now working on FreeBSD. The Freebsd KDE project has also benefited from this porting work as auto-mounting things have become a seamless reality on FreeBSD.

I love FreeBSD, especially for its amazing wireless support. I have never had such luck with any Linux distro (ubuntu has come close and same with PCLinuxOS but they still have their issues - WPA was a problem for awhile.)

Reply Score: 2

July snapshot?
by chrish on Wed 11th Jul 2007 13:07 UTC
chrish
Member since:
2005-07-14

Hey, where's the July snapshot? I wanted to mess around with ZFS (*drool*), but the June snapshot CDs won't boot in Virtual PC... which is all I have handy here at work.

- chrish

Reply Score: 1

RE: July snapshot?
by vermaden on Wed 11th Jul 2007 14:37 UTC in reply to "July snapshot?"
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

If June snapshot does not work for you you may try first ZFS builds from here:

ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/snapshots/200704

they are these, I used them without any problems under QEMU:
7.0-CURRENT-200704-ZFS-amd64-bootonly.iso
7.0-CURRENT-200704-ZFS-amd64-disc1.iso
7.0-CURRENT-200704-ZFS-amd64-disc2.iso
7.0-CURRENT-200704-ZFS-amd64-docs.iso
7.0-CURRENT-200704-ZFS-i386-bootonly.iso
7.0-CURRENT-200704-ZFS-i386-disc1.iso
7.0-CURRENT-200704-ZFS-i386-disc2.iso
7.0-CURRENT-200704-ZFS-i386-docs.iso

Reply Score: 2

64bit cap
by indiocolifa on Wed 11th Jul 2007 16:54 UTC
indiocolifa
Member since:
2006-06-20

Also, FreeBSD has a very good 64-bit implementation. The OS runs pretty well on 64bit native mode. Yes, some ports don't work properly in 64, but this is not the FreeBSD developers fault.

I would like to see FreeBSD turning into a good 64bit HPC/Clustering platform.

Reply Score: 1