“Jan Schaumann has been an important contributor to the NetBSD project for several years. He spent a lot of time working on the NetBSD package system, known as pkgsrc, and he currently uses NetBSD as his desktop system. We will try to learn from his experience during this interview.”
Interview: Jan Schaumann
About The Author
Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda
2006-04-05 6:48 pmsequethin
I have OpenBSD on my zaurus and FreeBSD on my desktop at home… I’m trying to find a box to put netbsd on. I have an old 75Mhz Pentium machine under my desk at work…. but installing anything on that machine sounds like a painful task.
2006-04-05 9:28 pmhelf
main limiting factor on that machine will be RAM. How much does it have? If it has ~32-48mb then netbsd with a GUI would run very well on it. Anything less than 24-32 with a GUI doesnt work all that well with any os…
2006-04-05 11:42 pmhappycamper
how about dual booting FreeBSD and NetBSD
I’ve always liked NetBSD.
One reason I find it not suitable for a desktop is due to lack of binaries packages available at a decent rate.
I mean that pkgsrc binaries are built every quarter, even if there’s a serious bug with firefox you have to wait, or compile by sources.
That’s not acceptable, imho.
I have a small box and I don’t have a box to do builds.
Also with the BSD there the big issue with java so you need ports anyway.
It’s sun, even if it influences the bsd users.
I know that the move to xorg as part of the os, the XFree is not a package but it’s part of the OS ASFAIK, will be done with NetBSD 4.x.
Why it will take so long to do move from xfree to xorg ?
Edited 2006-04-05 19:16
2006-04-05 7:34 pmDaniel Seuffert
Question: Why it will take so long to do move from xfree to xorg ?
Answer: Because X.org concentrates on a few platforms and NetBSD needs a lot more to be supported.
This easy to use procedure does come with a caveat, however: pkgsrc will determine all packages currently installed that require this package, uninstall them, build the new version of this package and then rebuild all the packages that were previously uninstalled.
As you probably have noticed, this entails that at some point your system is without the packages that were installed originally. But you’re not performing this step on your production system anyway, now are you?
This package upgrading design has two big caveats: First, you need to rebuild a LOT of packages during upgrades and, second, you’re unable to use the packages/programs to be upgraded while you’re rebuilding them.
The second of these problems is, IMO, more pressing for end users than the first one and I’m glad to read that pkgsrc developers are aware that such problems exist. However, they should now address these problems and work hard to fix them instead of recommending that upgrades shouldn’t be done on production systems.
Personally, I’d be happy if they’d change the order of the package upgrade procedure so that pkgsrc would first build the new versions and only uninstall the packages to be replaced just before installing the new versions.
Also, they should consider setting up a special binary package repository for security updates.
Apparently, these changes will require a lot of work and I doubt that anything will be done unless people express their opinion that such improvements would be important and highly desirable.
I do love me some NetBSD. So clean and simple. I wish the documentation was better (although the man(8) pages are great, like most of the BSD’s), and more of it. There have been some community sites put up recently and hopefully this wil help bridge the doc gap. I’ve been working on some stuff myself to help improve.
http://wiki.onetbsd.org/ – NetBSD
http://forums.bsdnexus.com/ – All BSDs
Are both gaining popularity. Check them out and also give NetBSD an install. You might just like it.