Linked by the_randymon on Fri 25th Jan 2013 09:21 UTC
Linux After about a year of work, the ArchLinux distribution now offers a variant running on the FreeBSD kernel. Says the developer, "Why would I do this? If like me, you enjoy FreeBSD and love it, but also like the philosophy behind Arch Linux, which is a fast, lightweight, optimized distro, I figured why not combine the both. Even though you could just do it on FreeBSD using the ports, not everyone wants to compile." This now puts Arch in the same category as Debian with Debian GNU/KFreeBSD, which offers a Debian userland on top of a FreeBSD kernel.
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RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by saso on Sat 26th Jan 2013 23:36 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
saso
Member since:
2007-04-18

Oh my yes. Sometimes it's little things like the requirement that switches to e.g. ls go *before* and not after the file list. Why? Historical reasons, or something; GNU figures out what you meant, the more traditional versions rely on the order.

It's because of xargs.

At last FreeBSD (and to some extend other BSDs) are willing to include improvements when they are improvements.

Solaris has for a long time included GNU equivalents in /usr/sfw. Modern Solaris and Illumos distros often include /usr/gnu/bin in your default PATH.

My favorite example: You can use -print0 with FreeBSD's find, an extension that AFAIK originally came from GNU. Now I understand why a lot of the crazy GNU extensions don't get adopted everywhere, but the fact that the most modern find distributed with Solaris doesn't support -printf or -print0 is just plain ridiculous. Is it any wonder that most Solaris admins' first act is to install the GNU file utils?

GNU tools are better in some respects (such as -print0 etc.) and only a fool would not use them. Many modern Solaris-derived distros (such as OpenIndiana) even install them by default (gfind).

A favorite gotcha of mine: Conflicting utilities! FreeBSD supplies a watch(1), but it's not the watch(1) you've come to expect if you've used Linux. Little things like this can be frustrating.

watch(8) was first featured in FreeBSD 2.1 from 1995, probably a lot sooner than the Linux watch was developed. If it's anybody's fault, it's probably the fault of the Linux guys for naming their utility by some conflicting name.

Then there are the "I didn't know that wasn't standard" things that are pretty much the same across all Linux distributions but which are actually Linuxisms and not the same elsewhere--things like behavior and usage of ifconfig/netstat, or managing disk partitions.

Well, disk partitions in particular were intimately tied to the hardware that the systems were developed on. Some people just have different ideas about how things should work - can't blame 'em, a lot of it really comes down to taste (such as ifconfig/netstat).

FreeBSD is, compared to its commercial brothers, a modern and forward-looking *nix that is extremely straightforward and logical. If you're coming from the oddities of traditional UNIX I'm sure it's a breath of fresh air, where Linux would be a much scarier radical departure. That said, coming from the Linux side FreeBSD seems needlessly stodgy and Solaris and other commercial Unixen can be positively asinine.

I'm a heavy Linux and Solaris user and I honestly can't follow your thinking here. Each system has its style and I consider neither inherently superior by design. So yeah, Solaris has some cruft that it has carried to implement such useless things as binary compatibility with older commercial software (who needs a stable ABI, eh Linux?), but on the other hand, some new stuff in Solaris was developed by people who put a lot of thought into it and it came out great: SMF, ZFS, FMA, DTrace, Zones, etc. Linux, at times, feels like a wild experiment of bedroom engineers, an asorted hodge-podge of "my pet project" ideas and really irrational design decision, but at times really great implementations and terrific performance (the networking stack has really matured and I find iptables' structure quite logical).

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