Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 12th Jul 2007 19:38 UTC, submitted by mark
FreeBSD The next major release of FreeBSD, version 7, is one of the most significant so far, with amount of new technologies and improvement largest since introduction of 5.0. Since constantly searching the mailing lists for important changes can be a bit tedious, this page lists some of the more interesting new things in one place.
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Excessive
Member since:
2006-10-19

Am I wrong thinking that if an Open Source operating system supports a chipset, where another Open Source operating system should support it too?

Both FreeBSD and Linux are open source systems. If one thing is implemented in one of them, it could be ported to another one with a different implementation.

Reply Parent Score: 0

Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Yes it could, but there are differences:

1) the very liberal BSD license and the GPL with copyleft; it's a big NO in the system because of the GPL restrictions
2) a different development model. Linux folk tends to work according to "just do it", whereas BSD folk adheres to "quality first".
3) last not least the lack of manpower. Almost 50-60% of the patches in Linux kernel are done by big companies[1] and there it's just the kernel. BSD is always the whole operating system to care about, so developers aren't taking care for the kernel only.


[1]<a href="http://lwn.net/Articles/222773/">lwn.net
"Either way, the results come out about the same: at least 65% of the code which went into 2.6.20 was created by people working for companies." (fulltime)

Reply Parent Score: 4

dickey Member since:
2006-03-27

Well, reading the comments on the survey, it appears that the data was collected solely on the basis of email address, and that it overlooked some aliases. In short, it's raw data.

A similar survey a few years ago credited most of the work that I've done to other people (using the scientific method of grep'ing the sources looking for email addresses, full names, etc ;-). There's no evidence that this survey is any better. Doing an accurate survey takes a lot of time.

Reply Parent Score: 1

juno_106 Member since:
2007-06-24

No, you're not wrong. Franck and Oliver failed to understand when you mean. You didn't ask for FreeBSD to have perfect HW support, you asked for it to have HW support as good as Linux, which is a lot different, and legitimate, as most Linux drivers are open-source (not talking about closed-source drivers), so you just have to port them to FreeBSD.

In a perfect world, you would search on the Internet to see if the computer of your dream is fully supported by your operating system. In the real world it's not that easy, even if there's a HW compatibility list on the FreeBSD web site, you're gonna have a *really* hard time understanding the code for each piece of HW (ie: sk0, rl0, anyone?). Then you'll also have to face different versions of the same HW code, which you only discover buying the HW. In other words, only seasoned users/devs can tell for sure a computer is going to run with FreeBSD.

But as a rule of thumb, the higher the price of your HW, the more chances you have to have compatible HW ;-)

Reply Parent Score: 5

Dr_J Member since:
2005-07-06

I understand perfectly, but what you say is simply not valid for any particular snapshot in time. Over the long haul, sure, drivers will be ported. But people are only interested at the particular time when they want the support. That driver, particularly for newer hardware, may or may not exist. You have to check, and yes, that can take some work.

The 64-bit nVidia driver is not available on FreeBSD. Why? The kernel needs changes, and these are happening slowly. Open had great Wifi support before anyone else. Now that has diffused to other systems. FreeBSD will have ZFS before Linux. That's a license issue (and not hardware, but it is related).

I have never had one problem with FreeBSD hardware support over eight different computers, not all of which are x86 architecture. Sure, I understand what rl0 (*brrr*), fxp0 amd em0 mean. The reason is two-fold: my systems all are a few years old, and I looked to ensure that the various devices were supported without resorting to unwarranted assumptions.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"so you just have to port them to FreeBSD. "

Oh yes, it is so simple. Never mind that you have to make it work in an entirely different kernel design and that you cant use the (L)GPL'd code due to the licensing. Also, it takes no time and resources at all and can be done instantly the moment new hardware arrives.

Reply Parent Score: 3

shykid Member since:
2007-02-22

Am I wrong thinking that if an Open Source operating system supports a chipset, where another Open Source operating system should support it too?

Under the hood, BSD has quite a few differenes from Linux (which is why the binary compatibility thing exists). Due to this, porting drivers can, in some cases, be easier said than done. When it is possible, source-code-licensing issues and not-invented-here pride occasionally get in the way. A lot of BSD folks don't like the GPL (to put it politely), and FreeBSD prefers BSD-licensed code to keep things simple, so FreeBSD tries to have as little GPL code as possible (the Ports Collection being a glaring exception, of course).

FreeBSD also tends to be more server-oriented than Linux, and its included drivers reflect such. You also have to keep in mind that many Linux distros add additional drivers (especially Mandriva and SuSE). From my experience, FreeBSD usually lags behind Linux in supporting "exotic" hardware, though it isn't too far behind.

If you want to run FreeBSD, check their hardware compatibility list and choose or build your computer around it. I also learned this the hard way. It's not as picky as Solaris, but it's always good to be on the safe side. Also, FreshPorts is a very good place to look for FreeBSD drivers.

Edited 2007-07-12 22:13

Reply Parent Score: 5

Yoke Member since:
2005-08-28

FreeBSD also tends to be more server-oriented than Linux

More server oriented? Most of the commercial companies that contribute to the Linux kernel do so with the server in mind. Linux runs on mainframes, FreeBSD does not. Oracle, DB2, SAP, and so on runs natively on Linux, not on FreeBSD.

Linux just happens to have more desktop-oriented contributions in addition to all the server-oriented contributions.

Reply Parent Score: 4