Home > FreeBSD > FreeBSD 5.3-BETA6 Released FreeBSD 5.3-BETA6 Released Eugenia Loli 2004-09-26 FreeBSD 61 Comments FreeBSD announced the availability of FreeBSD 5.3-BETA6. This is the sixth BETA of the 5.3 release cycle and includes fixes and enhancements. There are five known critical issues in this release. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 61 Comments 2004-09-26 11:49 pm When the kernel is being recompiled, will the system regenerate FS recursive lookups? If you have to implement system checks to keep database integrity, be sure to issue locks on your data. 2004-09-26 11:55 pm In a SERVER enviroment, would someone please list some pro/cons of both FreeBSD and linux. Also, In a DESKTOP enviroment, would someone please list some pro/cons of both FreeBSD and linux. Then summarize why I should choice Linux over FreeBSD or vis-versa. Thanks 2004-09-26 11:57 pm A nice article: http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/bsd4linux1.php 2004-09-27 12:00 am As a desktop, FreeBSD is pretty comprehensive. I’m running Gnome 2.8 fairly smoothly. The only thing it lacks is HAL support due to its porting difficulties from Linux. FreeBSD also supports KDE 3.3 which I also have installed and runs without any problems as well. A lot of the better known and popular desktop apps are already in the ports tree so its a snap to install. Although other stuff not in the ports tree you’ll have to most likely compile yourself, not a lot of people build freebsd packages. Also both kde and gnome have their own package repositories distro. In sum… Pros: Easy install and stability Cons: Some apps require manual compile, others might be linux specific and not work on fbsd. 2004-09-27 12:15 am Has any Linux Distro ever had 6 Betas? Any – Ever? 2004-09-27 12:22 am Has any Linux Distro ever had 6 Betas? Any – Ever? Well, perhaps not officially, but it sure seems like both Mandrake and Fedora Core are in constant beta status. 2004-09-27 12:24 am Has any Linux Distro ever had 6 Betas? Any – Ever? That’s because their kernel is unstable. Have a look – they’re pumping out betas and there are still known data corruption issues, system hangs, disk failures, etc. If a Linux distro (Fedora, for example) were to do this, they’d be roasted alive. 2004-09-27 12:37 am I just deleted my linux partition on my main home machine…actually partition magic did its “magic” and pooch-screwed the partition, but no biggie i just SSH into the thinkpad that lives under my bed or use Cygwin for unixy things. I’ve never used FreeBSD. I’m not afraid of non-trivial install. I’ve installed Gentoo a few times. How does the install process compare to slack or gentoo? The only think I know i’m gonna hate is that I’m sure that I won’t be able to get my wireless working unless someone has ported NDIS wrapper to BSD. I was also thinking about trying out DragonFly. Is that ready for desktop use? I don’t care about ultra-stability as much as the ability to be used. 2004-09-27 12:42 am This is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. The current FreeBSD betas are testing out a new kernel along with the userland programs and apps. Yes, Linux (the kernel) has had six betas. The current 2.6.x kernel, for example, used to be 2.5.x. In Linux, kernels with an odd number (like 2.1, 2.3, 2.5, etc) are betas. Anyway, what’s wrong with having betas? Better to release betas once a week for a couple of months and get it right, than to release a “final” verison followed by a bunch of patches to fix bugs. My advice to both BSD and Linux developers – take your time and get it right before you declare anything “stable”. By the way, I’ve been testing FreeBSD 5.3-BETA – it does have a few bugs, but it’s pretty nice. I could say the same for a number of Linux distros as well. 2004-09-27 12:55 am Has any Linux Distro ever had 6 Betas? Any – Ever? I would rather have 6 betas and a stable release then something that has gone out untested, don’t knock the willingness of BSD developers to be prudent. Most Linux distros I know of are not developing their own kernel. 2004-09-27 1:02 am ..unless someone has ported NDIS wrapper to BSD. Not sure how stable it is at this point, but from what I have read, yes there is a wrapper for those drivers. I think its in -CURRENT and RELENG_5 How does the install process compare to slack or gentoo? I find Freebsd installs to be very straight forward. Less hands on and a lot faster to get through when compared with Gentoo. 2004-09-27 1:19 am In a SERVER enviroment, would someone please list some pro/cons of both FreeBSD and linux. In my opinion, FreeBSD and Linux are pretty evenly matched as server OSs in terms of performance, and it really comes down to individual preferences. About the biggest pro I can give to FreeBSD as a server is the new PF firewall. Linux uses IPTABLES, which is good, but more complicated if you want to delve into writing packet filtering rules (something a system administrator might have to do). However, Linux has GUI front-ends for IPTABLES, something lacking for PF (but then again, servers probably shouldn’t have a GUI installed). Some will claim that FreeBSD is more secure – that’s actually a hot debate, and I can’t give you an answer. If security is the top consideration, I’d say that OpenBSD wins first place (but OpenBSD is not as high-performance as FreeBSD, and performance is a big deal in a server). Also, In a DESKTOP enviroment, would someone please list some pro/cons of both FreeBSD and linux. At the risk of getting flamed to a crisp, I still think that Linux has the edge in a desktop environment, though that depends on which Linux distro you’re talking about. Linux is more user-friendly, as long as you’re using a distro like Linspire, Xandros, etc, which (mostly) shield you from the command line. Little configuration tasks like setting up PPPoE, configuring a printer, etc, are mostly point-and-click operations in Linux, whereas FreeBSD will force you to manually edit configuration files (but you do learn a lot from that experience). I mentioned above that Linux has more drivers, and that too will benefit desktop users more than server users (for example, the ALSA sound drivers in Linux are really superb – I have not been able to get sound to work with FreeBSD on my motherboard’s built-in soundport). However, I do use FreeBSD as a desktop as well, and I feel that it runs slightly faster than Linux, which for many people is a worthwhile advantage. I also praise the FreeBSD ports system, which in some cases works better than Linux binaries (for example, installing MPlayer with all its codecs has always worked well for me in FreeBSD, but in Linux I’ve always had to find codecs and install them manually, with mixed results). Then summarize why I should choice Linux over FreeBSD or vis-versa. It’s a tough call. I have a mix of OpenBSD, FreeBSD and Linux (Knoppix) on my hard drive. When I want an easy-to-use point-and-click desktop experience, I choose Knoppix. When I want high-performance, I choose FreeBSD. When I want iron-clad security, I choose OpenBSD. But I enjoy playing with operating systems, and not everybody has that particular passion. If you want an operating system that is perfect in every respect – well, good luck. 2004-09-27 1:28 am I think BSD has the edge with coherent end-to-end integration but does it reduce TCO? I know SCO uses unixware and microsoft uses windows and sun uses java and… so many choices, what is a business to do? My clients ask for frequent changes and I have problems communicating UML diagram techniques, so we hire more programmers but for what? THey don’t understand BSD, they use windows?! I’d love to use bsd for server but I don’t see it in the future. 2004-09-27 1:35 am FBSD is simple and works. The core system is seperate from the userland programs, which helps stability. It is ideal for servers, not for bells and whistles. Once you are good with it, you *can* have as many bells and whistles as you like. Linux has a *lot* of smart people working on it, but they are sometimes going in different directions. I found fatal flaws in most of the linux distros I tried, my biggest gripes now that I’m running FBSD is poor native Flash support and VMWare support. Some flaws, at least to me, are as follows: Redhat,Suse,Mandrake: Commercial (no thanks) Gentoo: hard/tricky to admin remotely, too much rebuilding Debian: horrific installer, stable code is ancient Slackware: poor dependency checking, unfriendly ng Arch Linux: nice distro, not large enough community I also don’t like running distros where the chief architect is born in a year that I can remember. I like linux. Personally I’m wondering why IBM doesn’t just announce “Blue Linux” and instantly become the de facto linux distro (for business). Like they did in 1981 with PC’s. 2004-09-27 1:40 am They are also aiming to support more achitechures than linux out of the box in a single distro. 2004-09-27 1:56 am I mentioned above that Linux has more drivers, and that too will benefit desktop users more than server users (for example, the ALSA sound drivers in Linux are really superb – I have not been able to get sound to work with FreeBSD on my motherboard’s built-in soundport). Try Open Sound drivers for FreeBSD – http://www.opensound.com/download.cgi (they are now free for personal use). Check out the features we provide in our commercial OSS drivers – like Auxiter (fidelity enhance) or RIAA Curve equalizers or volume controls for each virtual stream. best regards Dev 2004-09-27 2:18 am here are some links referencing NDIS http://www.xl0.org/FreeBSD/ndis.txt http://www.freebsddiary.org/ibm-thinkpad-t41.php 2004-09-27 2:45 am FreeBSD is nice as a desktop. I like systems that are easy to maintain. I don’t mind having to configure everything through text files, or installations that are a little tricky. One only does that once in a blue moon anyway. However, sane package management is a must for me, especially in the *nix world. One of the things I like about FreeBSD is quality assurance. I’ve been using Arch Linux on my desktop since last week, and I’ve already encountered two broken packages when using pacman. The first was libcroco that fubared Gnome, and the second was an update to pacman itself, which broke pacman. These things rarely happen with FreeBSD. Other than these QA issues, Arch is nice as a desktop. I prefer binary package management on a desktop, so I will keep using Arch as my desktop. Unless they break stuff too often. On a server, I prefer a source-based system, which is more versatile. 2004-09-27 2:49 am I know that ULE is no longer the default scheduler and it won’t be in the 5.3-release. When will it be most likely? In 5.4? does anyone have any idea roughly how long that would be? 6 months? 18 months? I know no one knows for sure I’m just looking for a ballpark figure. I **REALLY** want to try FreeBSD 5 but I want to wait and get it wen it has the new scheduler since I don’t want to upgrade it myself and my connection suxorz so I don’t want to spend another week a few month later downloading new isos. Thnx. 2004-09-27 3:01 am has anyone else has this issue? it locks during install on usb keyboard 2004-09-27 3:07 am Server: – Linux has better SMP scalability and threading, but FreeBSD has performed better on single CPU machines, the smp work and threading work is being done on FreeBSD-5-Stable, thus getting rid of all the smp and threading issues that make it seem to perform lower than linux in more than 1 cpu environments and CPU affinity design issue like the MySQL issue with FreeBSD (you have to use linuxthreads). FreeBSD has a more friendly license (you can close code if you want to..then again, if you dont need to close the code then theres no need to care about the licenses. Desktop: – Linux has more drivers for the desktop, but if you are experienced I’m sure you can configure those drivers to work under FreeBSD easily. So, right now Linux is the choice for the desktop and server. … HOWEVER… When FreeBSD 5-STABLE is released FreeBSD will likely be the clear choice for the server and desktop if anyone is motivated to do the driver thing for it or show others. 2004-09-27 3:08 am For use as a server FreeBSD is the best choice hands down. For anyone willing to do a little more work up front the payoff from FreeBSD is huge in terms of maintenance, stability and efficiency. The famous Linux distro’s throw in a bit of everything in hopes the user will end up with what they need. This approach is fine for users who aren’t sure what they want but with FreeBSD a knowledgeable user ends up with a much cleaner installation, requiring less memory to provide the same functions and is much easier to maintain. Excellent documentation is also available for BSD. 2004-09-27 3:21 am ULE scheduler lacks maintainer, so I doubt they have any idea when as long someone jump in and maintain it. ULE is not complete broke as long PREEMPTION is disable. ULE is stable to me, because I am using it everyday on my desktop with PREEMPTION disable. I still can play game or watch movie while the buildworld with the ULE without get lag or skip. Well, only maybe very small lag and skip when it extracts some huge tarballs like mozilla. 2004-09-27 3:48 am “Has any Linux Distro ever had 6 Betas? Any – Ever?” The odd series of linux kernels namely 2.1, 2.3, I know these arent distro’s however its been constant beta mode until 2.6 got release. Now 2.6 has recieved several patches even though its supposed to be production ready. “Well, perhaps not officially, but it sure seems like both Mandrake and Fedora Core are in constant beta status.” Fedora is beta mode, not sure about mandrake itself. However, mandrake typically imports new features into their kernel before anyone else. “I’m sure that I won’t be able to get my wireless working unless someone has ported NDIS wrapper to BSD. ” Yes, NDIS is ported over to FreeBSD. It is know as Project Evil. Here is the link (not sure if its the 5.x series): http://kerneltrap.org/node/view/2401 You might also want to check out “Project Mini-Evil” on kerneltrap.org. “Most Linux distros I know of are not developing their own kernel.” Very true, remember when 2.6 was release (or about to get released), the kernel test numbers got up to 10 or 11. And various patchs are still being issued for the 2.6 series. When 5.3 becomes stable, it will be ready for prodution use. “How does the install process compare to slack or gentoo?” Its like the slackware install (ncruses based). Its really easy if you worked through a menu system like install (before). 2004-09-27 3:54 am yes, it is a known issue. you can check the ToDo file linked in the release notes. However the link seems a little messed for me and I had to take the ‘.’ off after the ‘.html’ 2004-09-27 4:24 am Server: – Linux has better SMP scalability and threading, but FreeBSD has performed better on single CPU machines, In many cases Linux is more performant than FreeBSD in single threaded tasks. Not many benchmarks going around lately, but see the fefe ones, for example. Can you provide some evidence for thse claims, please? FreeBSD has a more friendly license (you can close code if you want to..then again, if you dont need to close the code then theres no need to care about the licenses. Linux has a more friendly license for contributors (to the open source base). Witness the number of individuals and corporations contributing to Linux versus FreeBSD. Most people simply don’t like the idea of donating their code to companies that will sell it back to them. Most companies don’t like the idea of donating large development costs to competitors who can then close up the contributions, and add a similar development investment *on top* of company1’s contribution. the smp work and threading work is being done on FreeBSD-5-Stable, thus getting rid of all the smp and threading issues that make it seem to perform lower than linux in more than 1 cpu environments Actually, it is still fairly doubtful as to whether it will even be as scalable as Linux 2.4 for many workloads. Again, if you have some information suggesting otherwise, please share. The last Linux vs FreeBSD scalability test I saw had FreeBSD 5 unable to even scale MySQL to 2 CPUs on a dual Opteron (an inherently very scalable platform), while Linux scaled basically linearly. Desktop: – Linux has more drivers for the desktop, but if you are experienced I’m sure you can configure those drivers to work under FreeBSD easily. If you an experienced kernel driver programmer, perhaps. Otherwise, no. So, right now Linux is the choice for the desktop and server. … HOWEVER… When FreeBSD 5-STABLE is released FreeBSD will likely be the clear choice for the server and desktop if anyone is motivated to do the driver thing for it or show others. I think you are looking at this from a *slightly* FreeBSD slanted perspective. 2004-09-27 4:42 am For most users out there GNU/Linux and FreeBSD offer pretty much the same thing. Use what you are most comfortable with. Most Linux users who try FreeBSD end up liking it, even if they don’t switch to it. To the staunch Linux partisans, I suggest the same thing that you suggest to Windows uses: try it out first before dissing it. Chances are, you’ll find something that you like in there. I use both, and like both. Let’s not make this thread into yet another pissing contest. 2004-09-27 4:52 am You sound like one who has “passed on”, lol. Back here in the real world, and Heaven too, we use FreeBSD. You went to a warm place, thats why you don’t see FreeBSD anymore. 2004-09-27 5:03 am I agree…. Eugenia, you should be “kicking” comments that sounds “(Linux | FreeBSD) is a shit my OS is the right one”, that type of comments degenerate the essence of discussions. It’s a shame that so many people follow that behavior. 2004-09-27 5:41 am The reply to timh’s comment was simply stating the facts available. timh was in the wrong by asserting things without factual evidence to back them up. Same goes to everyone. No matter how positively you put it, and how informative you try to sound, saying (for example) FreeBSD is the clear choice for server when FreeBSD 5 is released is plain trolling. You don’t want your FreeBSD thread to erupt into a pissing contest, don’t say things like this. 2004-09-27 6:02 am Has any Linux Distro ever had 6 Betas? Any – Ever? Wow, everyone seemed to have misinterperted my comment. I think it is a great thing to have 6 betas or more. That’s why it seems FreeBSD is of such a higher quality than any buggy linux distro. Good work!! 2004-09-27 6:14 am I don’t critize the comments that really are informative and positive… instead i critize comments like this one: “Everyone knows BSD is a shitload better than Linux, there is no ifs ands or buts about it.” wrote at the end of 16-30. 2004-09-27 6:25 am Wow, everyone seemed to have misinterperted my comment. Sorry if I jumped down your throat at the conclusion that you were deriding fbsd’s beta cycle. I can’t imagine why we all expect flames around here. 2004-09-27 7:56 am A person familiar with computers and able to follow directions should have no trouble installing any of the BSDs as the sole OS on a system. With multiple operating systems, you need to understand each OS divides up disks. The BSD heritage shows up in disk partitioning. Unix predates DOS, so BSD grew up with its own way of dividing disks into sections. The traditional approach divides a disk into slices. Conventional practice uses ‘a’ for boot/root, ‘b’ for swap, ‘c’ to refer to the entire disk, and ‘d’ on up for normal filesystems. Solaris is similar, except it uses numbers instead of letters. Sometimes these conventions are documented, and sometimes they are tribal knowledge that no one wrote down because everyone knew it. Except you. For the PC, IBM and Microsoft defined a scheme dividing the disk into partitions, identified by numbers. With BSD on PC, you must decide if you are going to use only a BSD disk label, or use a PC (DOS) partition table with a BSD disk label within one of the PC partitions. Dual booting implies the latter. Now we get to the part that doesn’t make sense to me. Slice is the traditional Unix term for a section of a disk. Partition is the traditional term PC term for a section of a disk. But for some reason, the people who ported BSD to the PC platform decided to call the PC partition table entities ‘slices’ and the BSD disklable entities ‘partitions’. So for dual booting, you create a fdisk PC partition marked as type BSD, but which the FreeBSD Manual calls a slice. Inside that PC paritition, you then slice it up using disklabel, and the FreeBSD Manual calls those paritions. It’s much simpler to dedicate a disk to BSD, if you can. Disklabel can be a bit arcane, but read the documentation, make sure that you understand it, and you should be OK. You did back up your system, didn’t you? What you are dealing with is a disk divided up using a DOS partition table, and inside one (or more) of the DOS partitions you have a BSD disklabel which divides that partition into smaller partitions. A BSD disklabel serves the same function as a partition table. The one that tripped me up was that the floppy was /dev/fd0 in Linux, but /dev/fd0c in OpenBSD. Try a BSD. They work well, and the documentation is good. 2004-09-27 10:34 am That’s because their kernel is unstable. Have a look – they’re pumping out betas and there are still known data corruption issues, system hangs, disk failures, etc. If a Linux distro (Fedora, for example) were to do this, they’d be roasted alive. If you don’t where you are talking about, please don’t. FreeBSD is an OS, not a distro. Fedora don’t has to write the kernel. They just develop soms fancy stuff and tweak Gnome/KDE a bit. The kernel is still developed by Linus Torvalds, and yes, Linux kernels have kind of beta’s, it’s the UNSTABLE branch, like the non-equal version numbers. So it’s true what’s in the article I just read; BSD users know a lot about Linux (they almost all started with it) while Linux users know almost _nothing_ about BSD. Regards, Dennis 2004-09-27 10:45 am Yes, NDIS is ported over to FreeBSD. It is know as Project Evil. Here is the link (not sure if its the 5.x series): http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/linuxunix/0,39020390,39162245,00.h… Yes it is. 🙂 2004-09-27 1:24 pm the floppy was /dev/fd0 in Linux, but /dev/fd0c in OpenBSD. thats one thing that bothers me about the *BSDs is that their device naming scheme is less intuitive. Anyway I’m guessing that reason for why it has a ‘c’ at the end is that the ‘c’ is there to denote that you want the whole floppy disk and you have only one partition. I”m guessing that you’d use plain ol’ /dev/fd0 if you want to send signals to the floppy drive itself. PS- do modern Unices use the *BSD slice/artition set-up? 2004-09-27 1:25 pm A word about the unusually high amount of beta releases this time (we’ll be seeing a BETA7 next week too): 5.3 is one of the most important FreeBSD releases in quite some time. Shortly after it’s release, FreeBSD 5.3 is supposed to receive the STABLE tag, obsoleting at that point FreeBSD 4.*. Now, FreeBSD 4.* shines for it’s extraordinary robustness and stability, and the FreeBSD development team does not want to make any compromises in this regard. For FreeBSD 5 to be a worthy successor to FreeBSD 4, for it to be deemed production quality that can be depended on (and we in the FreeBSD world don’t see the term as lightly as other folks do, apparently), it must be tested carefully and thoroughly. So basically, there are so many betas because this is the first production release of a new code base. As for the FreeBSD vs. Linux on the Server/Desktop discussion: Personally, I don’t think it matters much whether you use FreeBSD or Linux on the server in the end. FreeBSD does have a few things that make your life as an administrator easier: The file system is much cleaner and more thought out (see hier(7)) in my opinion, and the ports system makes handling 3rd party software very easy (the system is very flexible, and the software in it is usually very up to date). The system upgrade procedure is relatively simple, and the system comes with powerful firewalling capabilities that outperform the Linux equivalents. In the end though, whether it’s postfix on FreeBSD or postfix on Linux, it’ll work just fine. As for the Desktop: I run both FreeBSD and Gentoo on my desktops. From a user perspective, the systems look the same, both run KDE 3.3, and both systems are lean and fast. Linux does have serious advantages in driver support and in hardware multimedia capabilities (video capturing/TV only works barely under FreeBSD, there’s no ALSA port). On the other hand, FreeBSD does provide me with a no-frills desktop system that’s easy to admin, and I don’t feel that I’m missing out on software either (there’s nVidia drivers offering 3d acceleration, and pretty much all the Linux ports of games work under FreeBSD fine; all the big OSS apps of course work). 2004-09-27 1:47 pm FreeBSD is an OS, not a distro. BSD users know a lot about Linux (they almost all started with it) while Linux users know almost _nothing_ about BSD. In FreeBSD threads people often argue that “Linux is just a kernel” and that “*BSDs are not distros, they are OSs”. I’d be interested to learn more about these semantic divisions. So, here are some questions for you experts in OS semantics: 1) Linux semantics: If Linux kernel is complemented with GNU tools, then does this make GNU/Linux an OS? (Most Linux users shorten GNU/Linux to just “Linux” for convenience.) 2) FreeBSD semantics: a) If FreeBSD “ports” are “third party applications” that aren’t part of the FreeBSD OS, then is the ports system itself a part of FreeBSD OS? b) Does FreeBSD OS become a distro/distribution if it’s complemented with “third party applications” (in a similar manner that Linux kernel and GNU tools can become a distro when “third party applications” are added on top of them)? c) Does the FreeBSD semantics imply that people who are working on FreeBSD package management (“ports” or binary packages) aren’t really working for FreeBSD (the OS)? 2004-09-27 2:40 pm While not an expert on semantics, let me try to answer the questions: 1) Yes, GNU/Linux is an OS. If it wasn’t, how’d you run software? 2a) They’re not an essential part of FreeBSD the OS, but they’re a part of it nontheless, the same way that, say, notepad.exe is a part of Windows. 2b) It becomes a distribution if someone else takes the FreeBSD code, rearranges it so that, for example, different software is included by default, then releases and distributes it. I think it’d be ok to call specialized projects that are based on FreeBSD, eg FreeSBIE ( http://www.freesbie.org ) a FreeBSD distribution. 2c) The ports skeleton is a part of the FreeBSD OS. The third party software that it installs isn’t. The point that people try to convey when they say that FreeBSD is an OS, not a distribution, isn’t formal semantics. What they’re trying to say is that with FreeBSD, both kernel and userland is developed and maintained by the same team, as opposed to GNU/Linux, where Linux kernel development and GNU tools development are separate, and where it’s up to 3rd parties (the distributors) to create distributions that unite the two parts into a usable OS. 2004-09-27 3:12 pm “thats one thing that bothers me about the *BSDs is that their device naming scheme is less intuitive.” This is on of the things I like with *BSD. When setting up firewalls, having the interfaces named after the driver (xl0, dc0,..etc.) makes it a bit easier in identifying w/c card is which. Then again there’s always the hw address or the position of the cards on the board to determine w/c is eth0, eth1, etc. Same goes with hard drives. 2004-09-27 4:53 pm there’s a petition online http://arameus.net/petition/index.php to ask Macromedia for a native Flash Player on *BSD. regards, ulisse 2004-09-27 4:58 pm GNU/Linux and it’s packages as it is delivered by the various distributions makes Redhat, Mandrake, Suse, an OS. However, GNU/Linux unlike the BSDs is a very loosely coupled together OS. The kernel and userland packages are completely seperate from each other (for the most part). In GNU land you currently have 2.6 and 2.7 respectively signifying stable and development, but this is for the kernel only. Everything else about GNU/Linux is seperate and as such is up to the respective package maintainers to tag stable and development releases. In BSD land the userland and kernel and tied together tightly. You still have a development and stable branch, however that covers both the kernel and userland. In order to run a BSD system correctly you must run the kernel from the -STABLE branch with the userland from -STABLE. As far as the ports/packages go think of this as the loosely coupled portion of the BSDs. They can be added, removed and upgrade seperately from the base OS. 2004-09-27 5:03 pm A good argument could be made that the Linux 2.6.x kernel is still in beta, but then again look at all the 2.5.x kernels that came along before 2.6 was released for general usage. The BSD folks are in the midst of releasing a major rework of FreeBSD that will bring many changes to what we know as the stable 4.x versions. As such, they are doing what they do best, taking their time and doing it right. Making changes then getting the code out there on as many systems as possible for testing is fundamental to getting quality code. If it takes a 100 beta’s to get 5.3 stable enough for release, then so be it. The BSD approach and development process is different in a lot of ways to the linux development process. This doesn’t mean one is better than the other, just different approaches, goals, and processes involved. BSD folks tend to do their own thing and really don’t care what the media “know it all’s” think, it’s an attitude that you either love or hate. I leave the Linux vs BSD battles to others with too much time on their hands 🙂 No OS is perfect, each has it’s pros and cons, you choose the one that matches up to your needs and get on with life. FWIW, I like seeing how they are carefully taking their time to work out the bugs for 5.3 with the fast paced beta process. 2004-09-27 6:24 pm I know that FreeBSD has been pretty much completely reworked since the 4.X branch. It’s been under heavy development for years. I don’t know if that’s because adding fine-grained SMP and threading was a difficult task or because of few developers. Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to a STABLE FreeBSD. I’ve been using it for years and it’s never let me down. Well, the slow pace of the development has been a let down, but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end. I must be honest though. I am quite curious on how FreeBSD 5-STABLE will perform against DragonFlyBSD. It will be quite interesting to see who’s design is the better performer. 2004-09-27 6:31 pm 1) Linux semantics: If Linux kernel is complemented with GNU tools, then does this make GNU/Linux an OS? (Most Linux users shorten GNU/Linux to just “Linux” for convenience.) True, GNU/Linux is an OS. I did not say it is not. I _did_ say most Linux distro developers don’t develop software but they tweak existing software while the kernel is developed by Torvalds. So to compare for example Redhat to FreeBSD makes not much sense. A company like Redhat tweaks the kernel and the GNU software, they develop for example RHN and RMP and that’s it. 2) FreeBSD semantics: a) If FreeBSD “ports” are “third party applications” that aren’t part of the FreeBSD OS, then is the ports system itself a part of FreeBSD OS? No we’ve got kernelland, userland and third party software. Userland AKA the world stands for software shipped with the base install. The portstree itself is part of the world. The applications it installs not. b) Does FreeBSD OS become a distro/distribution if it’s complemented with “third party applications” (in a similar manner that Linux kernel and GNU tools can become a distro when “third party applications” are added on top of them)? Native GNU software does not come from the vendors. I’m talking about ls or ps or sh. In FreeBSD they are native and developed by the FreeBSD team. But it’s like comparing cows with pigs. c) Does the FreeBSD semantics imply that people who are working on FreeBSD package management (“ports” or binary packages) aren’t really working for FreeBSD (the OS)? No. the committers of the ports-tree do not. The developers of the world do work for FreeBSD, the OS. 2004-09-27 7:28 pm I’ve been looking forward to the release of the 5 stable branch for over a year now. I’m excited that it might be finally coming out as a stable system but when I check the release engineering page on FreeBSD’s website i noticed that none of the technical issues (particularly issues marked as show stoppers) have been marked as done. Has this page just not been recently updated or is there still a lot of work to be done? 2004-09-27 7:36 pm You cannot compare Linux against FreeBSD anymore than you can compare Ford vs Camaro. 😉 2004-09-27 10:16 pm You cannot compare Linux against FreeBSD anymore than you can compare Ford vs Camaro. 😉 Don’t you mean “Ford vs Chevrolet” or “Mustang vs Camaro”? In this case, my vote goes to Ford. First on Race Day! 2004-09-27 11:27 pm If you don’t where you are talking about, please don’t. FreeBSD is an OS, not a distro. Fedora don’t has to write the kernel. They just develop soms fancy stuff and tweak Gnome/KDE a bit. Sorry, smart guy. RedHat employs more full time developers to contribute to the Linux kernel than the number of contributors to the FreeBSD kernel. And it is not “still developed by Linus Torvalds”. It is developed by a cast of thousands. Oh, and FreeBSD don’t even “tweak KDE/Gnome a bit”, they just shove it in ports and that’s that. [i]The kernel is still developed by Linus Torvalds, and yes, Linux kernels have kind of beta’s, it’s the UNSTABLE branch, like the non-equal version numbers. Unstable branch isn’t a beta you clown. So it’s true what’s in the article I just read; BSD users know a lot about Linux (they almost all started with it) while Linux users know almost _nothing_ about BSD. Oh you know lots about Linux, do you? What is the “soms fancy stuff” that RedHat develops for Fedora, then? 2004-09-28 1:16 am Solaris vs Linux in other places and Freebsd vs Linux here. I am a *BSD user but I do not see anything wrong with Linux. 2004-09-28 3:01 am > thats one thing that bothers me about the *BSDs is > that their device naming scheme is less intuitive. FBSD 5.x: /dev/fd0 for Floppy /dev/cd0 for cdrom (/dev/hdd in Linux .. Hard Disk?) /dev/ad0 for first ATA-HDD (ad = ata disc, /dev/hda in Linux (hda for ATA, is SCSI no hard disk?) devfs for devfs md for memory disk It’s that easy! 2004-09-28 8:04 am I’s possible to install? How? 2004-09-28 11:58 am Sorry, smart guy. RedHat employs more full time developers to contribute to the Linux kernel than the number of contributors to the FreeBSD kernel. And it is not “still developed by Linus Torvalds”. It is developed by a cast of thousands. They contribute to the Linux kernel maybe, but most of the Linux kernel is developed by others. Oh, and FreeBSD don’t even “tweak KDE/Gnome a bit”, they just shove it in ports and that’s that. http://www.freebsd.org/gnome you smart guy!! Unstable branch isn’t a beta you clown. It’s a sort of beta though. 🙂 Oh you know lots about Linux, do you? What is the “soms fancy stuff” that RedHat develops for Fedora, then? I know more about Debian and Slackware, sorry dude. 😉 2004-09-28 12:18 pm /dev/cd0 for cdrom (/dev/hdd in Linux .. Hard Disk?) /dev/hdX is a name for all IDE devices. /dev/hdd in this case is a fourth device on IDE bus (secondary slave) /dev/ad0 for first ATA-HDD (ad = ata disc, /dev/hda in Linux (hda for ATA, is SCSI no hard disk?) hda is not for ATA, hd is for IDE, a is first device (primary master). SCSI disks are accessed as /dev/sd*. Prifix hd is used for IDE harddisks for historical and compatibility reasons. 2004-09-28 12:24 pm I have very little experience with FreeBSD, and it looks like the only way to update packages is to update port collection and recompile packages. Is there a way for lazy people to get updates as binary packages in a way similar to debian apt-get? 2004-09-28 1:39 pm yes you can get binary versions as well as compile your own. In a nutshell it’s like apt-get 2004-09-28 1:40 pm test 2004-09-28 2:07 pm Has any Linux Distro ever had 6 Betas? Any – Ever? A better question is why do FreeBSD release software as being final that they consider to be not ‘stable’? 2004-09-28 4:32 pm A better question is why do FreeBSD release software as being final that they consider to be not ‘stable’? Uh, for testing? You know, quality assurance? 2004-09-28 5:32 pm You don’t have to compile from source, you can install from precompiled binaries. When I put GNOME2 on my laptop, I did not want to beat the laptop’s HD to death, so I installed from the binaries.