At USENIX 2002, the NetBSD project held an introduction of the NetBSD operating system. You can read in the slides presented about its structure, its release schedule (version 1.6 comes out in 1-2 months), its goals, its future and a lot more.
Learn About the NetBSD Project
2002-06-20 NetBSD 8 Comments
I don’t enjoy being flame bait, really I don’t, but I’ve never had a positive experience with NetBSD. Some of my first experiences were a series of kernel panics from when I managed to switch to VTY -1, thanks to keymaps being… embedded in the kernel, and the lack of any sort of sanity checking.
My worst experience with NetBSD wasn’t with NetBSD itself, but a NetBSD utility Apple arbitrarily bundled with OS X, the NetBSD FAT fsck. I was attempting to read some 200 photos I had taken while traveling around Japan off of a SmartMedia card from my iBook. The OS X volume manager automatically fscked the card when I inserted it. I noticed the card wasn’t showing up on the desktop… checked what processes were running and found the fsck in what appeared to be an infinite loop, consuming all of the CPU. I paniced, killed the fsck and ejected the card, sticking it back into my camera. To my horror, the camera showed that it failed to recognize the contents of the card… when I reinserted it back into the iBook, killing the fat fsck again and examining the contents of the card, I found that it had been filled with all zeroes. Ugh. My trust of the OS X userspace and digital cameras completely vanished that day, and my lackluster disdain for NetBSD transformed into a scathing ire.
To NetBSD’s credit, I’ll give it this… some of the userspace utilities are damn cool. I love lukemftp (although I use it happily 1rom FreeBSD)
… but the “Some Platforms are too slow”-line makes me nervous for my VAX 8650 in the garage. VMS is not really a alternative.
Wht isn’t VMS an alternative? You can get it for the cost of media from DECUS (or whatever it’s called post-merger-merger). I have a disc for Alpha.
Looks like OSX isn’t something that a visual artist would want to use! Nothing easy about losing all your hard work…
i’m hanging out for 1.6 to install on my sparc. the install for 1.5 on sparc was pretty bad (nfs install via freebsd box, since my sparc is headless).
surprised to see no smp for i386 tho, with the i386 dev base, i thought theyd have had it ages ago.
Wht isn’t VMS an alternative? You can get it for the cost of media from DECUS (or whatever it’s called post-merger-merger).
I know, but i was waiting four month for my media. Time enough to try another operating system concept on that odd beast…
Anyway: VMS – tried it, dont like it.
What I like about NetBSD (besides that it’s maybe the technically most interesting os IMHO) is that they have a community of grown up people. I didn’t notice any of the much criticised bsd elitism against newbies – at least on the netbsd-macppc list.
no openbsd vs. netbsd flamefest. urgh, this is boring. j/k
NetBSD is still in the experimental stage for quite a few of the platforms. VAX machines seem to be pretty straightforward, with lots of workarounds for sticky situations. Different Macs can be tempermental, so can different i386 configs.
The core operating system code itself is actually NOT experimental. It is actually one of the stablest, cleanest most flawless Unixes out there. The problem of panics and errors seems to be mostly a support issue, in that full device support for everything is not yet there, and this is mostly due to not enough people available to get that support into the releases.
NetBSD really does a good job of making due with what limited resources they have, though. They really need knowledgeable people to dig in expand compatibility on the different platforms. Check out netbsd.org and http://www.wasabisystems.com/