Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th Sep 2009 22:38 UTC, submitted by EvilWells
Debian and its clones Developer Frans Pop, author of debtree, posted an article showing the evolution in size of the GNOME desktop environment in recent Debian releases. The picture he paints isn't particularly pretty: the default GNOME install has increased drastically in size over the years.
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RE[5]: Get off my lawn!
by cjst on Tue 8th Sep 2009 20:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Get off my lawn!"
cjst
Member since:
2009-03-30

It looks just fine on my OBSD box, so why the hell should I need udev in linux or freebsd?


FreeBSD has a devfs which is quite a different beast from udev on Linux. With udev you have a tmpfs mounted on /dev and udev, a userland daemon, populates the /dev directory with whatever info the kernel sends it. It's fat, slows down boot time and there are the problems you mention with the ethernet cards amongst others. Devfs on the otherhand is in the kernel and is slimer, and orders of magnitude faster. Linux used to have a devfs (I used it full time, never had problems with it) but it was deprecated because the code was said to be hard to understand and no one wanted to fix the races devfs was said to have. Kroah-Hartmann's udev was chosen instead. And this guy said that devfs was flawed by design. Nevermind that devfs has zero problems on FreeBSD and Haiku for example. But udev does have one advantage, it doesn't rely anymore on the minor and major device number scheme. That makes it possible, according to Kroah-Hartmann, to plug-in much more devices which is needed because of USB etc... Bottom line let's wait and see when FreeBSD and Haiku run out of minor/major device numbers ^^

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Get off my lawn!
by marcp on Tue 8th Sep 2009 20:34 in reply to "RE[5]: Get off my lawn!"
marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

Hey, did you forgot to say about FBSD's HAL? ;) It's there and it's as useless as the linux one.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Get off my lawn!
by darknexus on Tue 8th Sep 2009 21:41 in reply to "RE[5]: Get off my lawn!"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Rule one in Linux code land: don't believe anything Kroah Hartman says. I'm in full agreement with you on devfs. I used it, I liked it, I adapted a few drivers to use it, and followed the saga around it closely, essentially Greg "Arsehole" KH drove the devfs maintainer away by being a complete ass. Udev is the dumbest idea ever, why have a userspace daemon manage something that originates in kernel space in the first place? Oh, and as for your major/minor numbers, have an ls -l on your /dev... yep, device nodes still have them. At least most distros are smart enough to put udev's tree on a ram disk, but this is a cludgy workaround that shouldn't be necessary. Solaris, FreeBSD, OS X... and just about every other UNIX out there has used a devfs for years. Only in Linux land could an inferior idea displace a superior one because of loud voices.

Edited 2009-09-08 21:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[7]: Get off my lawn!
by vivainio on Tue 8th Sep 2009 22:01 in reply to "RE[6]: Get off my lawn!"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Rule one in Linux code land: don't believe anything Kroah Hartman says. I'm in full agreement with you on devfs. I used it, I liked it, I adapted a few drivers to use it, and followed the saga around it closely, essentially Greg "Arsehole" KH drove the devfs maintainer away by being a complete ass.


I'm sure you've read about Greg defending udev, but here it is anyway:

http://kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/kernel/hotplug/udev_vs_devfs

Sounds convincing enough for me.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Get off my lawn!
by cjst on Tue 8th Sep 2009 22:16 in reply to "RE[6]: Get off my lawn!"
cjst Member since:
2009-03-30

Rule one in Linux code land: don't believe anything Kroah Hartman says. I'm in full agreement with you on devfs. I used it, I liked it, I adapted a few drivers to use it, and followed the saga around it closely, essentially Greg "Arsehole" KH drove the devfs maintainer away by being a complete ass. Udev is the dumbest idea ever, why have a userspace daemon manage something that originates in kernel space in the first place? Oh, and as for your major/minor numbers, have an ls -l on your /dev... yep, device nodes still have them. At least most distros are smart enough to put udev's tree on a ram disk, but this is a cludgy workaround that shouldn't be necessary. Solaris, FreeBSD, OS X... and just about every other UNIX out there has used a devfs for years. Only in Linux land could an inferior idea displace a superior one because of loud voices.


That was indeed a major FAIL. I knew that major and minor number still exist. What I meant is now they don't mean anything anymore, they're just a pool of numbers that are not bound to any specific driver.

These days it looks like distros are trying to make their boot times shorter. I wonder if they're going to open up the devfs bag again.

I think what shocked me most when I had to switch to udev was how much it slowed down booting — Even with a tmpfs. I told myself: "oh well, maybe it'll improve over time". It didn't.

My ethernet card jumps to eth2 instead of eth0 for no good reason once in a while. Which pisses me off because I've got to go edit /etc/udev/rules.d/blabla and then modprobe -r driver ; modprobe driver. No such problem with devfs. Fortunately I don't reboot often.

Reply Parent Score: 1