Home > FreeBSD > FreeBSD 6.0-BETA2 Available FreeBSD 6.0-BETA2 Available Thom Holwerda 2005-08-06 FreeBSD 51 Comments “The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 6.0-BETA2.” A list of mirrors is available here. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 51 Comments 2005-08-06 6:27 pm I doubt it’ll be a RELEASE at aug 15, the TODO is full of reported problems. But anyway, its a nice work! I can hardly wait the time its ready. 2005-08-06 6:30 pm vikramsharma Yeah I saw the todo list and I compeletly agree with you. I still hope FreeBSD 6.0 releases by aug 15, I have been waiting for the 6.0 release. The guys at FreeBSD are doing a splendid job though. 2005-08-06 7:36 pm Manik Why is everybody hoping for a release by august 15 ? Aren’t the FreeBSD guys used to release a number of Release Canditate after the Betas ? 2005-08-07 12:39 am A more accurate guess would set the release date closer to september 15 instead… 2005-08-06 6:33 pm I agree. I don’t fully understand why they keep Scott Long as release engineer when he has shown several times he’s not up to the job. 5.x was a total disaster until 5.3. It’s still a thousand times better than that proprietary Microseft XP piece of shit, though. 2005-08-06 7:11 pm jondoor Not to start a flame. I do not think we can look at the early 5.x releases and say problems we have had are the release engineer’s mistakes. There is a point when you have to get what’s being working on out the door and into as many hands as possible before you can progress to the next step, as now we see series 6 as the continuance of what 5 started. In a lot of ways 5 needed to have problems in order for 6 to release as a stronger system. As a user I have had both really good and really bad experiences using 5 since it was -CURRENT, so I am not saying the people reporting problems are wrong, or wrong for talking about them, just that the growth of an operating system is a subtle affair. 2005-08-06 6:47 pm Anyone knows the fixes and improvements between beta1 and beta2 ? I dont see any on the announcement. 2005-08-06 10:14 pm bsd can kiss my ringworm 2005-08-07 2:13 am I just tried installing it under VMWare and it paniced. Bummer! Perhaps I need to try it on a real machine and not a virtual machine. 2005-08-07 2:21 am FreeBSD prides itself on stability and review of code, I hope they take as long as it needs to release 6.0, instead of pushing a buggy OS to the masses, and slowly patching it. 2005-08-07 3:55 am I’m still running SNAP004 (pre-beta 6.0) from last month on my main server, and (big surprise) it’s working perfectly. I suspect any problems will be desktop related ones, but bsd is for servers IMO – and I love it. 2005-08-07 3:58 am I hope R6 to be a extreme bug-fix release. I’ll wait for the big changes for the 7.0 releases 2005-08-07 5:11 am rover There’s going to be a third beta, and after that there will be at least one RC. Hence, no FreeBSD 6.0 in august. It is worth noting that this is the best time to try FreeBSD and report bugs. 6.0 is now feature-complete (well, except for some code that we are waiting for Apple to re-license and a couple of minor things here and there) and developers are eagerly awaiting YOUR bug reports. Please download the BETA and give it a try. Report ANYTHING wrong, even typos in the documentation. Try it in weird hardware, take the machine to the limit… whatever it takes to expose bugs. 6.0 is coming along very nicely and is going to be the best FreeBSD ever. 2005-08-07 5:24 am ass 2005-08-07 9:26 am I loved FreeBSD 4.x; it was very stable (and fast!) But FreeBSD 5.x was a disaster, I have never seen such an unstable system (except perhaps Windows 95). I will try FreeBSD 6.x anyway, to see if they solved the problem. But I think Matt Dillon (who created the DragonFly BSD fork of FreeBSD 4.x) was right when he said that FreeBSD was taking the wrong way. 2005-08-07 9:34 am kaiwai True. I always got the impression from Matt Dillon that he looked at the *WHOLE* picture, set down what he would like to achieve, and give the amount of resources he had at his disposal, he chose the best route to take in regards to tackling the problem. The problem with FreeBSD on the other hand, they wondered around for years with 5.x, there were no set down goals and time table – by this date, these things must be achieved, but that date, this must be achieved – this would have ensured that feature creep and scheduled slippard didn’t occur; concerntration on a set number of goals, thats it – everything else would be a secondary concern. 2005-08-07 10:07 am The problem with FreeBSD is that it had become such a political and bureaucratic (and bitchy) that it caused many of its really bright technical experts to leave (either because it was no longer fun for them, or by actively kicking them out if they disagreed with the party line). It has too many chiefs and not enough indians. There is no longer anybody actively working on FreeBSD who intimately knows the details of the memory manager, or the vfs. Even things like rewriting the CPU scheduler has turned out to be an effectively impossible task, with the SCHED_ULE rewrite being unusably buggy since it came about in 2002, despite being mostly a reimplementation of Linux’s O(1) scheduler. It also is going down the path of alienating its most technical users. Nearly everyone who questions any aspect of FreeBSD’s “superiority” is ridiculed and shouted down. 2005-08-07 5:32 pm mezz There is no longer anybody actively working on FreeBSD who intimately knows the details of the memory manager, or the vfs. jeff (Jeff Roberson) knows VFS and he’s the person that work on SMPVFS. SMPVFS is on by default on i386 and amd64. Even things like rewriting the CPU scheduler has turned out to be an effectively impossible task, with the SCHED_ULE rewrite being unusably buggy since it came about in 2002, despite being mostly a reimplementation of Linux’s O(1) scheduler. ULE is fixed in -CURRENT and RELENG_6 by davidxu, give it a shot. There is report that it works on 4x Xeon 6850 machine great with the fix. If you still have any problem with it, please make your bug report useful. 2005-08-07 11:41 am ulib Foreword: I think the last three comments are so pretentious and unsubstantiated that they would just deserve to be ignored. But when I find a paragraph that really stands out for its cluelessness, I really can’t resist. So, everybody with a clue will forgive me for stating the obvious.. Anonymous (IP: 203.173.0.—) says… “It also is going down the path of alienating its most technical users. Nearly everyone who questions any aspect of FreeBSD’s “superiority” is ridiculed and shouted down.” Funny, by reading the mailing lists it doesn’t look like that at all. Every feedback gets *very* appreciated, as long as it’s constructive of course. Needless to say, if you go to the FreeBSD mailing lists and try to make a point about superiority/inferiority, it’s quite reasonable that you get ridiculed – or, even more easily, flat out ignored. And this happens exactly because the average technical level by the readers/writers of those lists is quite high. I don’t think it’s right to take it personally.. especially about the “ridiculed” thing. It’s understandable that anybody who gets laughed at thinks it was undeserved, but the hard truth is, most often it’s not. 2005-08-07 7:55 pm Too bad they kicked out their best bugfixer (by far) and one of their most talented and productive developers for “being immature” or something like that (Matt Dillon). Sounds familiar ? 2005-08-07 8:55 pm butters The pattern we see in large software engineering projects (all general purpose operating systems fall into this category) is that getting things done the right way gets progressively harder the more developers you have and the more users you are supporting. It is often astonishing how quickly and elegently one developer and a handful of testers can make progress toward ambitious goals. Jimmy W’s initng project comes to mind, which shocked the hell out of the gentoo forums in May. Larger projects are less nimble, and without the right structure, they can stagnate, alienating their developers and users. XFree86 comes to mind, and few would argue that the restructuring under the Xorg project hasn’t (at least) been a step in the right direction. This is not only true in the free software ecosystem, but in proprietary products as well. Companies like Microsoft and IBM are so large and entrenched in their install bases that they increasingly rely on buying startups in order to make progress. I believe that the community development model is an adaptation that allows projects to scale efficiently. When I remarked on the Debian Sarge release (19,000 packages for 11 architectures, etc.) to my boss, the technical lead for AIX Quality, she responded along the lines of “that’s why AIX only runs on pSeries.” We all know how long it took for Sarge to be released, but despite the development cycle starting quite a bit behind the curve and the rapid evolution of technologies over the course of the development cycle, the Debian project was able to produce a release that is remarkably high-quality, comprehensive, and up-to-date. In the community model, the core team is kept as small as practical, alleviating the problems of large organizational structures (MS, IBM) or too many cooks in the kitchen (FreeBSD?). The community of independent developers is like a farm of startups. Code is written, often without direction from the core team or assurances that it is in line with the direction of the project, and the decision to include the code is made analogously to how IBM decides to buy a startup. Perhaps it is time that the FreeBSD project do an audit and decide if an organizational overhaul is necessary to keep growing and supporting more (and more diverse) users. Perhaps the problems that cropped up in 5.x series are indications of a long term problem. Perhaps FreeBSD could attract more of the technical elite away from Linux if they opened up the development process. I do believe that in many ways FreeBSD (and BSD in general) is technically superior to Linux, and I also believe that this gap is closing rapidly. I consider the BSDs to be not only technically superior in terms of performance, quality, and other “static” metrics, but also in terms of maintainability and code cleanliness. Then why is this lead dissolving? Why is OpenBSD so slow (all meanings of the word intended)? Why is FreeBSD losing mindshare? Why does NetBSD resemble a hobby OS? Why do “disillusioned” Linux developers seem to be considering jumping ship to OpenSolaris instead of FreeBSD, despite the potential for abuse built into the CDDL?!! I am interested in reading the reactions of the BSD faithful and especially anyone close to the FreeBSD development process. Note that I like to mod down any posts that defend a preference between GPL and BSD licenses or various definitions of the word “free.” 2005-08-07 8:55 pm You obviously never had to deal with assholes like Poul-Henning Kamp and Dag Erling Smorgrav. Those 2 guys alone have driven far more potential developers away from FreeBSD than the other ~300 committers together. About ULE, no it’s not nearly ready to be used for production. The fact that it doesn’t crash your UP system with an avg load of 0.1 doesn’t mean it works in real environments. Try it on a SMP system sometime. 2005-08-07 11:53 pm mezz About ULE, no it’s not nearly ready to be used for production. The fact that it doesn’t crash your UP system with an avg load of 0.1 doesn’t mean it works in real environments. Try it on a SMP system sometime. Again, see my same comment above. It’s fixed in -CURRENT and RELENG_6 for SMP system by davidxu. 2005-08-08 5:37 am I don’t think I’d call it “fixed”. It has been declared “fixed” countless times over the past 3 years, while somehow always remaining broken. To be sure davidxu has recently fixed *a* bug in it, but what sort of QA has that gone through? At least 48 hours of stress testing on a 8-16 way system would be ideal, because that’s the kind of Opteron systems that will soon be filling up the low-mid server market. Any links to mailing list discussions? I’d rather wait for at least a couple of dot cycles with SCHED_ULE as default and no reported problems before using it on a mission critical system, however. 2005-08-08 12:15 am You obviously never had to deal with assholes like Poul-Henning Kamp and Dag Erling Smorgrav. Those 2 guys alone have driven far more potential developers away from FreeBSD than the other ~300 committers together. ======= I have the misfortune of knowing Dag Erlings older brother Axel-Stephane Smorgrave. He is an asshole too. Prolly brilliant and smart, but a geeky know-it-all asshole. 2005-08-08 6:32 am And with 6.0-BETA2, my laptop panic when installing FreeBSD! 2005-08-08 11:46 am You can try to submit a problem report (indicating the laptop’s model, the chipsets inside, the peripherals plugged-in/recognized, where exactly does it panic and such). 2005-08-08 3:11 pm Sure, I have exactly the same problem with 6.0-BETA1, and I post panic on CURRENT mailing list, but no one got my mail seriously… And I don’t want to blame anyone, because I have many nice moments with FreeBSD. 2005-08-08 11:47 am celt Well consider your laptop the problem, my laptop has been running 6x since it branched – haven’t had a panic yet. I always love these genereal comments…”so ans so panics on MY system.” 2005-08-08 12:16 pm >Well consider your laptop the problem, my laptop has >been running 6x since it branched – haven’t had a panic >yet. > >I always love these genereal comments…”so ans so >panics on MY system.” Hey, ulib. RE: Cluelessness is a baaad beast. Yeah, see this post? This is a first class example of the arrogance and belittling that comes out of the FreeBSD community. Me, clueless? I don’t think so. You, on the other hand are feel free to stick your head up your ass and pretend everything I say is false. It would seem to be the fitting reaction, as you appear to be from the FreeBSD community yourself. Have a nice day. 2005-08-08 6:39 pm Dear Sir, This has nothing to do with “arrogance and belittling.” You complain of a problem and offer those that work hard to provide a free, stable system nothing in return – you give no detailed explanation of your hardware, nothing. If someone had a desire to help you, how would they possibly proceed with the non-existent information you’ve provided? Is it someone else’s obligation to drag information out of you? Do you expect them to beg you to tell them what they need to know to find resolution to YOUR problem? Stop complaining and be willing to help others as much as you expect them to help you. This isn’t charity, it’s cooperation and community – there is a difference. 2005-08-09 12:39 am >This has nothing to do with “arrogance and >belittling.” You complain of a problem and offer those >that work hard to provide a free, stable system >nothing in return – you give no detailed explanation >of your hardware, nothing. Firstly, I didn’t complain of anything. It was someone else. Secondly, it doesn’t matter what the guy provided, he has a problem with FreeBSD and you tell him it is a problem with his laptop (I’m sure Windows XP doesn’t panic while installing for him). Lastly, he submitted little information. Why didn’t you just ask nicely if he could submit more. >If someone had a desire to help you, how would they >possibly proceed with the non-existent information >you’ve provided? Is it someone else’s obligation to >drag information out of you? Do you expect them to beg >you to tell them what they need to know to find >resolution to YOUR problem? You know what? Good testers are actually pretty important. The market for great free operating systems is now fairly competitive if you hadn’t realised. FreeBSD should do everything it can to cater for those people willing to try out unstable pre releases. The Linux community certianly understands the value of testers. >Stop complaining and be willing to help others as much >as you expect them to help you. This isn’t charity, >it’s cooperation and community – there is a >difference. Wow. For someone so charitable and cooperative as yourself, one would have thought you’d have some manners when replying to a user in your own community. Is it that hard to ask politely if they could provide a bit more information? I think it is just as easy as flaming them, while having a more productive end result. Or perhaps you were on your high horse for a while there, and suddenly expected people to kiss your arse because you are “someone” in the FreeBSD world? 2005-08-09 9:08 am Look at this: http://docs.freebsd.org/cgi/getmsg.cgi?fetch=576797+0+archive/2005/… And no one mail me to provide any further information. Are you talk for community or what? But I want to thanks a lot to all the people that help to many others on freebsd-questions mailing list! >>You complain of a problem and offer those >>that work hard to provide a free, stable system >>nothing in return – you give no detailed explanation >>of your hardware, nothing. That was for me. And I didn’t complain of anything. Just I wish to help with testing on my laptop. And how to provide such information when i can’t even install FreeBSD?!? May be info from WinXP will help? I will try FreeBSD 5.4, if everything is ok I would provide info from dmesg… >Secondly, it doesn’t matter what the guy provided, he >has a problem with FreeBSD and you tell him it is a >problem with his laptop (I’m sure Windows XP doesn’t >panic while installing for him). And yes, I don’t have a problem with this laptop what so ever. It’s FreeBSD issue. >You know what? Good testers are actually pretty >important. The market for great free operating systems >is now fairly competitive if you hadn’t realised. >FreeBSD should do everything it can to cater for those >people willing to try out unstable pre releases. I’m thinking like you. 2005-08-09 11:37 am celt another anonymous whiner… 2005-08-09 1:21 pm ulib Dear Anonymous (IP: 83.228.33.—), this is just my two pence – I’m simply a FreeBSD user. I really think you already received the right advice, and it was this one: “You can try to submit a problem report (indicating the laptop’s model, the chipsets inside, the peripherals plugged-in/recognized, where exactly does it panic and such).” If the OS panics, it means there’s a bug somewhere. So, before doing anything please *submit a problem report*, because that’s the way to actually *help* the FreeBSD developers to solve it. Nobody answered to your email because as a user, whenever you have a problem, first of all you’re supposed to *read the documentation*. If you did, you would know that submitting the PR was the proper action in order to see the issue solved as soon as possible. I bet good testers are *extremely* welcome in the FreeBSD community. But the good testers are the ones who do submit PRs. Moreover: posting your issue here the way you did in your first message (“my laptop panic when installing FreeBSD!”…) really doesn’t help you to solve your problem, and doesn’t do justice to FreeBSD either, because on many laptops it runs just fine. 2005-08-09 8:34 pm finally!!! A voice of reason. 2005-08-11 2:40 am >Nobody answered to your email because as a user, >whenever you have a problem, first of all you’re >supposed to *read the documentation*. If you did, you >would know that submitting the PR was the proper action >in order to see the issue solved as soon as possible. A helpful prod in the right direction doesn’t take much effort. Just because he may not have done exactly the right thing, the fact that he is running an unstable tree and is willing to report his problems should indicate that he is a valuable resource. >I bet good testers are *extremely* welcome in the >FreeBSD community. >But the good testers are the ones who do submit PRs. So says the FreeBSD community. >Moreover: posting your issue here the way you did in >your first message (“my laptop panic when installing >FreeBSD!”…) really doesn’t help you to solve your >problem, and doesn’t do justice to FreeBSD either, >because on many laptops it runs just fine. You guys also have this weird fetish with once off anecdotal reports. If one person reports a problem, a couple of people always chime in with “well it works for me”, as if that is any proof of the absense of a bug. It is also very condecending – like “oh I don’t believe you could have hit a bug in our code, it must be a problem on your end”. Listen, you obviously don’t think there is anything wrong with FreeBSD guys being arrogant assholes to their users, but you needn’t feign surprise when you hear about it. 2005-08-11 3:05 pm Are you really shure of what you are talking about? You are using broad generalisations, like there was some homogenous group of “FreeBSD guys” to wich you can attribute whatever kind of behavoiur you seem fit. Of course that is not so. If you use FreeBSD and want to interact with members of the community (whatever that may be), you have to realize that you are expected to do some work on your own. You are expected to google for hints, check the FreeBSD handbook and FAQ:s and so on, before asking questions. I think that if you really took your time to follow some of the mailinglists you would find that there is in general a friendly and cooperative attitude, even towards newbies, as long as they show that they are willing to do their part of the job – that is: to learn and contribute. Shure, there *are* some arrogant assholes. Personally I think that the world would be a little better without them. On the other hand: each community has its part of assholes. One of the reasons that I like FreeBSD is that there are relatively few assholes around (compared to some other communities). Having read these threads, I find it hard to see what it is that have upset you so much. I cant recall anything that make me think of “arrogant assholes”. Not even your post that I’m replying to. You seem to have a pretty thin skin. Take care. 2005-08-08 1:58 pm vikramsharma I just installed FreeBSD 6.0 beta2, now I cannot boot into Windows Partition. I do see the option of booting into Windows (that is press F1 for Windows)but nothing happens. I had PC-BSD installed before installing FreeBSD 6.0, can anyone help me out dealing with this issue. 2005-08-08 2:27 pm judmarc Google is your friend for this FAQ. For Win2K/XP, boot from the Win installer CD, choose to repair from the console, then use the ‘fixboot’ and ‘fixmbr’ commands. For <Win98, boot using the emergency/system floppy, then use the command ‘fdisk /mbr’ from DOS. To avoid these problems in the future, read FreeBSD’s Handbook and FAQ regarding selection of a bootloader and dual booting FBSD and Windows. You might also want to have a look at GAG – http://gag.sourceforge.net/ . 2005-08-08 2:40 pm judmarc While it’s quite true that PHK and DES can be very much in-your-face, no one has ever accused Matt Dillon of being the shy, retiring type either. Just as all of these people can be brusque if they feel their time’s being wasted, I’ve also seen each of them being extremely helpful to those less knowledgeable. More important, each of them has contributed mightily to the excellence of *BSD operating systems. If you don’t like someone’s personality, hey, don’t invite ’em to your next baby shower. But realize that this stuff has little or nothing to do with the goodness of their code. 2005-08-08 3:43 pm the pre-beta, beta1 and now beta2 fails to install in a vmware gsx 3.0 system. the install fails just after the install menu compltes the parititoning and package selection and begins to copy items into the base / directory (which doesn’t happen). this problem does not occur with 5.4 or 4.11 (or other official releases i’ve tried). i’m keen to test the BSM audit system. t 2005-08-08 5:12 pm JeffS I’ve been a big Linux user for over 3 years, and I’ve been very interested in trying BSD. My only foray into FreeBSD so far has been the FreeSbie live CD. However, I’ve been following BSD for quite a while, and have been considering doing a full install, but have been scared away by various press releases, reviews, and user comments in message boards (including those coming from BSD users themselves). My impression might be completely wrong, or misguided, since I have very little hands on experience with the BSDs. But here are my impressions: FreeBSD – Well integrated kernel and userland. Supposed technical superiority. Efficient and stable, at least with the 4.x series. 5.x series has had major bugs/problems, which seemingly have not been fully fixed. When a major dev decides to fork because of the problems (to DragonFly), and when a user who likes BSD says it’s as unstable as Win95, and when it gets lots of bad press, I decide to say “thanks, but no thanks”. Major problems with infighting and politics within dev community also exist – I have no desire to start using a system that has internal politics amongst it’s devs getting in the way of fixing problems and moving forward. NetBSD – super portable, but don’t know how useful, how stable, how fast, or how technically excellent it is. It claims to be very technically pure and simple, as a technical strategy for achieving it’s exreme portability. OpenBSD – super secure, technically excellent, pure code, super stable. It’s major use has been as firewalls, and some web/file servers. Some have said it is slow. Installation is a pain (from just looking at the installation documentation – it looks absolutely horrible). No problems with internal politics because has central control from one individual (a benign dictator). Thus, I just don’t see, yet, the possible benefits of using BSD (other than OpenBSD if I wanted to lock things down in a network, or NetBSD if I wanted something to install on some obscure hardware). As for technical excellence, speed, security, and stability, Debian and derivatives have that in spades, Slackware, too, is fantastic with speed and stability and technical excellence (if a bit more work to get installed and configured). Sure, some Linux distros have been slow, bloated, and buggy, and not so technically excellent (FC comes to mind). But if you stick with Debian (and some deriviatives) or Slackware, you will have a technically superior system. 2005-08-08 7:13 pm rycamor It seems to me that FreeBSD does not have any major overall superiority to a well-designed Linux distribution, although each had advantages in certain areas. Slackware is possibly my favorite Linux, and moving between Slackware and FreeBSD is not a very painful thing. I have *definitely* seen major issues with Fedora Core 3 in comparison to FreeBSD, to the point that a major statistical application (PostgreSQL, R, PL/PGSQL) some friends of mine wrote runs perfectly on a very low-end FreeBSD 5.4 box, and falls apart in minutes on a much bigger FC3 system. And for all those complaints about FreeBSD 5 being a disaster, remember that the vast majority of that was in 5.2 and previous versions, which were NOT recommended for production anyway. And Linux had its own history of problems when the 2.6 kernel began moving into production, so let’s not start trading barbs, please. Anyway, what we FreeBSD users mostly love is not any specific (perceived) technical superiority, but the integration between kernel, userland, and ports. With FreeBSD, everything moves together, making it much easier to manage a system overall than any other OS I have dealt with. Makes it much easier to run a clean, stripped-down system while still staying up-to-date with any level of your system. And before anyone starts ranting about source-based updates, search and you will faind that you that you can mix binary package management with source-based management all you want. You can get binary kernel and userland updates too, but I much prefer to compile my own, and FreeBSD makes it so easy to do that this is hardly a disadvantage. (that’s right; it is much less tedious to compile the FreeBSD kernel than the Linux kernel) 2005-08-08 6:53 pm Just use the best tool for the job If you have a database server with 8 processors, OpenBSD might not be the best choice. But for a firewall, a router, a small server or a super stable desktop system it is one of the best choices. And its installation is not a pain at all! It is not graphical, of course, but that is a different thing. If you take time to read carefully the small booklet with the CD and the installation notes/README files on the CD (they are on the website, too), installation is quite easy and *without any trouble* (that is, for an average geek). I prefer a trouble-free command-line installer that takes some time to learn than a buggy graphical installer that makes you scratch your head and make you retry multiple times if something fails. If you wonder why it is not graphical, it is in order to have the same installer for all supported architectures (some of them can only be installed over a serial port or through the network). And, contrary to popular belief, OpenBSD *is* the most user-friendly of all the BSDs. It is not the prettiest, for sure, but it is the most stable and it has, by far, the best documentation. Otherwise, it is probably not as performant as DragonFly, Linux, NetBSD or FreeBSD (at least, in micro-benchmarks), but it is not slow anyway, and at least it is stable as a rock But it is not the best BSD since there is no best BSD DragonFly and NetBSD are very cool too (and FreeBSD will be, when it is stable again, hopefully soon). To conclude, the best way to know which one is the better is to try it yourself on your hardware, doing whatever you usually do with your computer and see if it suits *your* needs (e.g. if you want to do mixing/recording and a lot of audio stuff like that, I have absolutely no idea which one is the better since I do not do this kind of stuff myself). 2005-08-08 7:46 pm JeffS from Anonymous “If you have a database server with 8 processors, OpenBSD might not be the best choice. But for a firewall, a router, a small server or a super stable desktop system it is one of the best choices. And its installation is not a pain at all! It is not graphical, of course, but that is a different thing. If you take time to read carefully the small booklet with the CD and the installation notes/README files on the CD (they are on the website, too), installation is quite easy and *without any trouble* (that is, for an average geek). I prefer a trouble-free command-line installer that takes some time to learn than a buggy graphical installer that makes you scratch your head and make you retry multiple times if something fails. If you wonder why it is not graphical, it is in order to have the same installer for all supported architectures (some of them can only be installed over a serial port or through the network). And, contrary to popular belief, OpenBSD *is* the most user-friendly of all the BSDs. It is not the prettiest, for sure, but it is the most stable and it has, by far, the best documentation. Otherwise, it is probably not as performant as DragonFly, Linux, NetBSD or FreeBSD (at least, in micro-benchmarks), but it is not slow anyway, and at least it is stable as a rock ” Thanks for that. I just might give OpenBSD a go. OpenBSD seems to be the most stringent on code review and overall technical excellence. BTW – I have no problem whatsoever with a text based install – I’ve done many of them. But just looking over the doc on installation at the OpenBSD website, it looked rather complicated. But I’m probably wrong about that. It’s probably pretty straight forward once I jump in. From rycamor: “And for all those complaints about FreeBSD 5 being a disaster, remember that the vast majority of that was in 5.2 and previous versions, which were NOT recommended for production anyway. And Linux had its own history of problems when the 2.6 kernel began moving into production, so let’s not start trading barbs, please.” Does that mean that 5.3 and 5.4 have the problems solved? Are FreeBSD 5.3 and 5.4 currently running stable in production systems, with no or little problems? Are they just fine for a desktop (I’m actually considering PC-BSD)? And, btw, I’ve heard different things (SMP, NUMA, memory issues), but what were the actual problems in 5.2? And yes, you make a great point about the 2.6 Linux kernel. I actually still prefer the 2.4 kernel a lot of the time as it seems to work more consistently with my hardware. 2.6 gives the occasional kernel panic, or failure to detect my wheel mouse (on one of my machines), or failure to detect my pcmcia on my laptop. 2.4 works perfectly with all of it, every time. That said, I’ve used some distros that managed to make the 2.6 kernel work fine with all of my hardware, so the problems might have been more distro specific, rather than kernel specific. Anyway, I really want to give one of the BSDs a go. I just want to make sure it’s worth my while. 2005-08-08 8:35 pm rycamor I am using 5.3 and 5.4 in production right now, with absolutely no difficulties. Now, to be sure, I am not yet using the ULE scheduler or Preemption in the kernel. Point being, many of these problems are regarding things you do not need to turn on. There are plenty of good reasons for moving to the 5.x series besides the “biggies” like ULE. Many new fixes, better hardware detection, new init design, etc… as well as newer libraries in base and the ports system. Not to say there are no problems, but none that has been a showstopper for me. My company has currently shipped at least 100 “network appliance”-style boxes based on 5.3, and we are very happy with the results. 5.4 looks even better yet, as well as 6.x, of course. I think most of the serious problems with the 5.x and possibly 6.x series is more in edge cases or extreme usage scenarios. Yes, if you are planning to run an 8-CPU box with a busy database, you might want to wait until ULE is better worked-out, since it addresses that sort of scalability. For most standard usage, as well as desktop usage, regular 5.x and 6.x seems to work quite well. My laptop is running 5_STABLE right now, and running quite nicely, with full multimedia, hundreds of ports installed, the latest Firefox/Thunderbird/OpenOffice/what-have-you, and I enjoy every minute of it. I recently donated a very low-end machine with 5.4 on it to some non-computer-literate friends, where I customized everything as much I could with automount, KPPP for their dial-up, icons for all the most common things they would use, and they are happily surfing the web and using email every day :-). So far, I have had only one phone call about the machine. Other than that, it just… runs. So yes, check it out. Enjoy. (One hint: the default shell for standard users is simply /bin/sh, which is pretty disappointing. Just install /usr/ports/shells/bash, or set users’ shells to /bin/csh to get a shell with history, auto-completion, etc…) 2005-08-08 8:52 pm Dr_J The primary problem with 5.2 for most was related to issues with IDE hard drives. There were others, but since most people use IDE drives, this was a show-stopper. I actually used 5.2.1 until about two weeks ago, and it worked very well for me. But then, I use SCSI drives. 5.4 is indeed used for production systems, and it works well. I chose instead to move directly to the 6.0-Beta (now Beta2), and it is working very well on the desktop. No crashes or any untoward behavior at all. And ULE does now work for SMP!!! The whole 5.x series is a HUGE change from 4.x — next generation SMP, IDE, threading libraries, scheduler, and a whole host of other things. There were some hick-ups, but it has to viewed in the context of the huge changes that took place. 5.4 is pretty stable now, and I think the 6.0 series will be quite nice. I would encourage you to try PC-BSD (based on 5.4) if you want a binary distribution that runs KDE on the desktop. Just keep in mind that it is still in the beta stage, and that the binaries packaged for PC-BSD (the .pbi files) are still a bit limited in number. You still can use the ports and packages system if you like, so that’s no real limitation. Dr_J 2005-08-08 9:59 pm JeffS It all sounds really good. My concerns have all been alleviated. Looks like I’ll be giving PC-BSD a go. I like KDE, and for now I want a gentle, not time consuming entry into BSD – I have a 3 year old and a 6 week old (both girls), and a recovering-from-pregnancy, sleep deprived wife, so my geek time is very limited at the moment. PC-BSD is 100% FreeBSD, with ease of use niceties / pre-configurations added on top, so it’s as BSD as anything. Then later when I get enough time, I’ll just do a regular FreeBSD and/or OpenBSD install. 2005-08-09 6:26 am Hmmm, correct me if I’m wrong but I thought that I read at the release schedule for 6.0 that the release would come 2 weeks aftear august 15 2005-08-09 7:03 am To all those people that think that the 5.X series and 6.X are faulty and buggy, rest assured that this is not so, people tend to forget that 5.X is probably a turning point if FreeBSD’s history, and as all turning points it’s quite hard to achieve. I’ve been running 5.3 and 5.4 on all of my servers and desktops, ranging from PII-350Mhz to Xeon up to more recently Sunfire V20Z servers with dual opteron chips. I run Mathematica-5.2 for Linux in one of these server under “linux emulation” and guess what, it beats the hell out of both Linux ES 3 and SUSE’s Professional Linux, I can only wonder what could be achieved if it ran natively on FreeBSD libs. Sure the new locking model is not an easy one, that’s because it’s just not a hack, but I remember long ago Scott Long said that it would beat the crap(of course he didn’t say that literally) of any other SMP model in the end, and from what I’ve tested recently it seems that will be so. Evenmore, I’m quite certain that the next step in FreeBSD will be to adopt Mac OS X use of the mach kernel, but still keeping it’s current locking model, which is actually what OS X does. When Steve Jobs presented Mac OS X under x86, he ran a Mathematica notebook to benchmark it’s performance, rumor has it that what Apple actually did was to incorporate Aqua over a FreebSD 5.3 system, and of course running Mathematica on native bsd-libs. So as you can see, the facts are undeniable.