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NetBSD 5.0 RC1 Released

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the while-it's-hot dept.

Operating Systems 158

jschauma writes "The first release candidate of NetBSD 5.0 is now available for download from the NetBSD FTP site. Here is the Release Engineering status of 5.0."

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158 comments

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Red story is red (-1, Offtopic)

Protonk (599901) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686985)

What's up with that?

Re:Red story is red (0, Offtopic)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687181)

I keep my monitor's contrast low, and it hurts my eyes :(

Re:Red story is red (2, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687587)

The topic is a BSD variant, which gets the BSD category on Slashdot. BSD's logo is a red demon, so the color scheme for this category is red.

Re:Red story is red (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688057)

Close, but from what another poster said, the red articles are ones that have just become visible to non-subscribers, and for whatever reason it doesn't pull the red styling off until some random time later.

Anyway, it's not like anyone would credit the Slashdot web devs with making a masterpiece here. Why don't we have a public discussion about how Slashdot trying to embrace "Web 2.0" is actually giving the site a really difficult to understand interface and honestly, makes the site seem schizophrenic at times.

The tagging is horribly broken.

Firehose (nice name... not.) is largely broken and unused.

The new styling system is jarringly inconsistent with the new "Web 2.0" style elements and there seems to be no attempt to reconcile them.

Etc.

Honestly, I preferred Slashdot circa 3 years ago. The only feature I like is the AJAX comment submission, and even that is inconsistent and still doesn't permit many HTML entities or, god forbid, unicode.

Re:Red story is red (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688339)

BSD articles ARE red.

For example, see this article [slashdot.org] which is also red.

Or any article that's on BSD.slashdot.org.

I for one like the red color much better than the green :)

Re:Red story is red (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#26689135)

Weird, as I'm viewing this comment thread, everything is in green again.

Re:Red story is red (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26689405)

Go shoot yourself, you fucking moron.

Oh no! (5, Funny)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686993)

FTP: too many connections!

Haha just kidding.

Slow news day (1, Insightful)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686999)

I can't think of anything to say. Of course, the "article" didn't really provide much to talk about.

Re:Slow news day (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687247)

Of course, the "article" didn't really provide much to talk about.

It's NetBSD. It's 100% Hype Free [netbsd.org] !

They don't believe in hype. Hence, for the 'article', you get nothing more than "We released 5.0 RC1".

Re:Slow news day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687533)

With all respect for NetBSD and its developers.
IMHO, Release Candidates are cheap attention whoring. If they can't attract new developers and users, maybe they should join FreeBSD or OpenBSD.
There are very able people in the project and it is a pity that their hard work is unused.
It isn't easy to "sell" a OS that is far slower than pretty much any other OS, even if that means better code, and weird platforms are rarer and rarer each day.

Re:Slow news day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687613)

It's like anti-hype though, not hype but just as useless. At least a list of notable features would be useful, notes on potential install environments, that kind of thing.

The article isn't even an article, this is a story about someones brief note on a mailing list ...

In other news I wrote on my shopping list that we need more of something (whoops, nearly told you what then - that would have been far too informative).

pbhj

Re:Slow news day (1)

RCL (891376) | more than 4 years ago | (#26689331)

They don't believe in hype. Why do they keep bumping up version numbers then? It all began with 1.6.x becoming 2.0 and right then 3.0 without major changes (ok, at least THAT major to justify 2.0->3.0 bump up) in code. Now, after just 4 years after being 1.6.x they are becoming 5.0.

Upon seeing that desperate trying to catch up with other BSDs versions (I guess it might be something personal with de Raadt's OpenBSD, which gets released regularly) I just stopped using their OS and switched to FreeBSD, they are more serious about versions and releases (switch wasn't that painful anyway, and I got a working nvidia driver).

Re:Slow news day (5, Informative)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687607)

I can't think of anything to say. Of course, the "article" didn't really provide much to talk about.

Here's the Changelog [netbsd.org] . To summarise, there's a new 1:1 threading implementation, as the previous M:N one was too complex to maintain. Along with this change has come a considerable performance boost and improved scalability, especially on SMP machines. Impressively, most of this work has been down to one developer, Andrew Doran. The second most important change is a switch to Xorg on most platforms. This took so long because NetBSD had a large number of changes in their tree for more obscure platforms - changes that were not integrated back into XFree86 before the Xorg fork. There is also a journaled filesystem that essentially obsoletes the troublesome softdeps. Like ext3 in the Linux world, the new journal features were added to the existing ffs ("fast file system") rather than being an entirely new filesystem. Other changes include a plethora of new device drivers and updated third party applications.

Re:Slow news day (1)

Jim4Prez (1420623) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688089)

Can the 64-bit Fast File System support more than 4TB yet? FFS has been 64-bit for a long time, yet is still stuck at a 32-bit limit of only 4TB with a 2KB frag size.

Why only 2^31 fragment blocks with the 64-bit FFS? XFS is 64-bit and can support 9 exabytes.

Re:Slow news day (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688627)

What's troublesome with softdeps? Genuine question.

Re:Slow news day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688769)

Does NetBSD not have ZFS support?

patches welcome (1)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688909)

Would be very nice I agree.

BSD is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687013)

BSD is dyi.. umm no.

Wrong logo (5, Funny)

pondermaster (1445839) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687033)

Accompanying the article with the FreeBSD logo is slightly tasteless, no?

I for one is laughing my devilish ass off.

Re:Wrong logo (4, Informative)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687157)

The BSD daemon, "Beastie", is not the FreeBSD logo. It is the BSD mascot, suitable for all BSDs. Even some official NetBSD flyers use it.

Re:Wrong logo (4, Informative)

pondermaster (1445839) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687409)

That's increasingly not the case. openbsd has the blowfish, netbsd the stupid flag and freebsd the devil.
When the occasional BSD lurker sees a devil, he thinks FreeBSD.

Re:Wrong logo (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687695)

Actually, it is decreasingly not the case. Beastie hasn't been the FreeBSD logo since 2005. They have a new logo now. [wikipedia.org] Beastie is moving more towards being a BSD-in-general icon like he's supposed to be.

Re:Wrong logo (1)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688197)

Just visit http://www.freebsd.org/ [freebsd.org] ... you will find BOTH logos, but Bestie is four times bigger and "important". The other anodyne logo seems more like a decoration element of the stylesheet.

Re:Wrong logo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688707)

When the occasional BSD lurker sees a devil, he thinks FreeBSD.

Unintentional humor win.

Re:Wrong logo (1)

shish (588640) | more than 4 years ago | (#26689317)

I can't help but wonder if beastie's appearance means that BSD is powering condom machines [shishnet.org] ...

Re:Wrong logo (2, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687165)

Accompanying the article with the FreeBSD logo is slightly tasteless, no?

Well, assume Beastie breathes fire.

That kinda' makes him a toaster...

Very tasteless (3, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687741)

Accompanying the article with the FreeBSD logo is slightly tasteless, no?

It certainly is. They should be using
the proper, official, globally accepted and widely lauded BSD logo.

slashdot blocking links? (0, Offtopic)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688153)

What the hell? Slashdot is removing my link. It's never done that before.

Re:Wrong logo (-1, Redundant)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687783)

Let's try that again, with HTML:

Accompanying the article with the FreeBSD logo is slightly tasteless, no?

It certainly is. They should be using
the proper, official, globally accepted and widely lauded BSD logo.

So, why should I care? (4, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687061)

What advantage does NetBSD give me over Linux? Other than avoiding monoculture, of course. People must obviously think it brings some set of advantages if they continue working on it and using it, I'd like to hear what they are.

Re:So, why should I care? (5, Informative)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687095)

NetBSD is small, stable, and fast as hell. It is not really meant for use on the desktop, though many people do (including me). I mainly use it to build small, single purpose servers that I never want to have to look at again, and it's perfect for it.

It's also where a lot of neat code sees its first light of day in the *BSD systems; over the years NetBSD has lent parts of its code to the other two BSDs, and therefore (de-facto) to Windows, Linux, and OS X.

But no, it's probably not going to make you very happy as a desktop operating system.

Re:So, why should I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687333)

NetBSD[...] is probably not going to make you very happy as a desktop operating system.

You mean it doesn't run emacs?

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 4 years ago | (#26689229)

No, but emacs runs it.

M-x os RET netbsd RET

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687883)

NetBSD is small, stable, and fast as hell.

Small and stable, I'll grant you. Fast as hell though? Got repeatable benchmarks for that? I'll accept benchmarks comparing to the speed of Linux, FreeBSD, XP, OS X, or yes, Hell --- which ever you prefer ;)

Re:So, why should I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688067)

Fast as frozen hell. A comparison to OpenBSD would be fairer to NetBSD. But OpenBSD has the excuse of security. What's the excuse for NetBSD? Portability? All the other free unixes run on obsolete hardware nobody uses. NetBSD just happens to run on a larger set of obsolete hardware nobody uses.

Re:So, why should I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26689183)

It's taken as an article of faith among many on slashdot (well, at least a vocal minority) that small implies fast. Kinda like big implies bloated and slow.

Funnily enough, efficient algorithms tend to be (way) bigger than trivial ones, but what do I know...

Re:So, why should I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687937)

"fast as hell"?

From the NetBSD 5 changelog: "Merge the newlock2 branch. Introduces a number of new kernel synchronization primitives, improves scalability on MP systems, and replaces the existing SA threads model with a 1:1 threading model. "

Linux has been tuned for servers with several thousands of CPUs. The official Linux kernel supports 4096 cores by default. Linux servers with several thousands of CPUs and several thousands of GB of RAM has been in production for years.

"Fast" is not a very specific term..

What does it lack? (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688033)

I've never used it, but am wondering, what does it lack on the desktop? Does it have a browser, chat clients, email stuff, office applications, etc? Skip games, besides that, why is it disappointing?

Re:What does it lack? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#26689077)

Hi zogger long time no see ;)

You can run gnome or kde on netbsd but a lot of the nice integrated tools like user management probably won't work. I run ubuntu on my laptops because all those things do work there but I also have a unix workstation which I use for quietly plugging away on development or administration. I mainly run standard X tools, though GTK applications run fine, I just have to remember to start dbus as a daemon, and I have to pull in a lot of packages.

For me the best thing about netbsd is that I can get a machine going very fast. I can install a server in five minutes, and have it doing useful work in ten minutes.

You can get heaps of stuff [netbsd.org] from pkgsrc but you might occasionally run into things which don't work because they need to be ported rather than just compiled and made available.

but OpenSolaris might! (1, Offtopic)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688935)

Just sayin' [opensolaris.com]

Re:So, why should I care? (3, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687109)

  • It's BSD. Some people may prefer that over the linux/gnu hodgepodge.
  • It's BSD licensed. Some people may prefer that for philosophical or legal reasons

(cough) BSD is increasingly reliant on GNU (1)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688957)

It's damn hard to imagine a BSD system going anywhere these days without gcc, autotools, GNU make (especially)... OS X certainly wouldn't be OS X without GNU.

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687337)

What advantage does NetBSD give me over Linux?

You get to be a big fish, because the pond is so little?

Or security/simplicity - and most importantly in many minds - dedication to a defined vision of code correctness.

That's my .02troll.

Re:So, why should I care? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688785)

Or security/simplicity - and most importantly in many minds - dedication to a defined vision of code correctness.

This is why I use NetBSD.

NetBSD has a focus on correctness, and this has great implications for security, stability, and simplicity of administration.

I understand that the hodgepodge approach has its benefits in terms of exciting new features, and that's great for those who need them. And I understand that the overfocus-on-security approach generates a good amount of perception of security, and that's great for those who need that. But focusing on correctness is a better way to get security and assures that feature additions won't complexify administration or break the system in weird ways. Oh, features get added a little more slowly than in other OSs, but I want dependability before features.

I enjoy administering NetBSD systems. They appeal to my OCD-like cleanliness tendencies.

Re:So, why should I care? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687593)

NetBSD has been my choice of operating system for years. I continue to use it both as a desktop and as a secure, stable and mature operating system for mission critical servers.

If I would have to pick one more reason why, that could be the purity surrounding all aspects of the system. This is evident even when compared to other BSDs. From an engineering standpoint NetBSD is nearly perfectly designed and assembled operating system.

Keep up the good work.

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688525)

any specifics on how the design is better? its nice to say that but i think GP was looking for information not anecdotes

Re:So, why should I care? (4, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687611)

If you have old or somewhat unusual hardware, NetBSD does quite well.

I have a Sun Ultra 1, circa 1995, that I pulled out of the closet for fun recently. Debian installs on it, but 1) is sluggish, and 2) doesn't support certain hardware. My machine has a PCMCIA adapter in it, and I have an old 802.11b PCMCIA card, so I thought I'd be able to use wireless on this machine.

Turns out no Linux drivers exist for the PCMCIA adapter, whereas in NetBSD they do. After a kernel recompilation, the Ultra 1 is up and running on the wireless network.

Re:So, why should I care? (2, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687663)

The main one is that NetBSD is famous for running on many archictures -- even some toasters. Also, a lot of people would say that Linux is a bit ad-hoc and messy, whereas the BSDs are more thoroughly designed and coherent. For example, instead of lots of messy drivers with different tools that work in different ways, you tend to get a system that includes all drivers of a particular class. Man pages tend to be more up to date and more professional**, which is nice. I'm sure there other benefits to NetBSD too.

However, Linux has a much larger user and developer base, which tends to mean faster progress. It has better drivers, better support from hardware manufacturers (if proprietary, closed drivers can be called support at all), and the main software and desktops (GNOME, KDE, etc.) are mainly developed on Linux (though they do run on BSD), so essentially you have to wait much longer for the new releases on BSDs. Performance tends to be much better on Linux too, as the big new ideas usually get tried there first.

That said, BSD (in particular, FreeBSD) is definitely worth a look. The main problem is that they're such a hassle to install, compared to a modern Linux distro. Last time I checked it out, NetBSD was worse than FreeBSD in this regard, and probably tied with OpenBSD. OpenBSD is essentially proprietary as they charge for CDs (IIRC), so I just avoid that.

** That's largely because the GNU coreutils in Linux abandoned manpages in favour of something else. Ostensibly, that alternative was better; the hypertext (web-like) Texinfo system, but it's now just as old and crusty as manpages, imho. In reality, I never bothered figuring out the navigation system for gnu info, and tend to just google for answers.

Re:So, why should I care? (3, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687829)

The main problem is that they're such a hassle to install, compared to a modern Linux distro. Last time I checked it out, NetBSD was worse than FreeBSD in this regard, and probably tied with OpenBSD.

I installed NetBSD a few weeks ago, and it's not all that bad. It doesn't seem any worse than Debian. Sure, you have what size partitions you want and stuff like that, but if you can't handle that, you probably shouldn't be installing a new operating system.

OpenBSD is essentially proprietary as they charge for CDs (IIRC), so I just avoid that.

Huh? Pretty much everyone charges for CDs, but you can of course download OpenBSD free of charge.

Re:So, why should I care? (1, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687863)

I installed NetBSD a few weeks ago, and it's not all that bad. It doesn't seem any worse than Debian.

Ah, that's good to hear :)

Huh? Pretty much everyone charges for CDs, but you can of course download OpenBSD free of charge.

No, with OpenBSD, they actually won't make public ISOs for download even. They charge you for an installable image. They claim to "copyright the CD layout" of the official CDs. Which "Theo does not permit people to redistribute images of". According to their FAQ, which I just checked, they do provide ISOs since 4.2, but that stuff I just quoted is still there, which, personally, is enough to put me off.

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687963)

Uhm.... Just that you know.... Creating a OpenBSD ISO is as easy as Googling a bit around. You don't need to. You can do a net install...

Burning a OpenBSD CD is as much as taking their bootloader and burning the directory structure of their FTP server. I've done it, it works...

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687971)

Just that you know.... Creating a OpenBSD ISO is as easy as Googling a bit around

Yes, but the same could be said for Windows or OS X.

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688285)

Except you can do it legally.... Especially, I can just tell you: take that and that file one the Openbsd file-server and burn them on CD. Heck, I've installed my Soekris net5501-70 by using SFTP and that was it. I do not understand your gripe. They copyrighted the ISO. So what? Anyone able to use OpenBSD is able to actually make a CD... heck, most of us don't NEED a CD.

As for creating a Mac OS X or Windows CD.... Well, you're only going to manage that if you download an ISO file. With OpenBSD you do not need to. You create the ISO file yourself. That's the only barrier set, and frankly, they make it easy for you. You get the boot-loader and the directory structure right on their FTP server.

But then, why bother? Just like Debian, they let you install from network... With pretty much nothing more than a floppy and the rest is downloaded. Oh, wait... It wasn't even a floppy! PXEBoot [wikipedia.org] did it just fine. Free downloadable, documented... exactly as we are used from BSD

Stop the FUD or educate yourself...

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688695)

They copyrighted the ISO to make people's lives more difficult, so they would just pay. To me, that's not OK.

Re:So, why should I care? (0, Flamebait)

ld a,b (1207022) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688201)

Look, it is fine if you like your NetBSD, but you don't have to spread your malicious misinformation about OpenBSD.

OpenBSD used to charge for proprietary CD images with artwork and songs to fund the project. But the source has always been free and available for free under a free BSD license.

A net install iso has been always available.

OpenBSD is not only behind OpenSSH, and many other GNU-free tools, but also many of the BSD drivers, and actually campaigns against binary blobs.

4-clause till yesterday BSD is hardly freer than that.

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

rivaldufus (634820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688863)

ftp://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/4.4/i386/install44.iso [openbsd.org] OpenBSD has been posting the install ISOs since at least 4.3. If you want the fancy 3 disc package (that boots multiple architectures on a single disc, you'll have to buy the official distribution.

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687859)

Hmm, no. From their website:

OpenBSD is freely available from our FTP sites, and also available in an inexpensive 3-CD set.

And paid isn't proprietary, as long as they give the source-code.

Re:So, why should I care? (1, Troll)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687895)

From wikipedia: "The word proprietary indicates that a party, or proprietor, exercises private ownership, control or use over an item of property."

From the OpenBSD faq: "The official OpenBSD CD-ROM layout is copyright Theo de Raadt. Theo does not permit people to redistribute images of the official OpenBSD CDs."

Re:So, why should I care? (2, Informative)

setagllib (753300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688353)

Yes, the CD layout is proprietary, NOT the source or documentation. You can build a custom install CD layout which produces the exact same on-disk system, and it's then up to you how you use it, and they make this explicitly clear.

Re:So, why should I care? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687861)

NetBSD is not doing so well. As a former NetBSD user I am sorry to sound a pessimistic note, but I think that this poor downtrodden operating system should be humanely euthanized. NetBSD is going to die anyway. Let me explain.

Once I had a cat who had feline leukemia, and we tried to keep him alive, with numerous trips to the vet. But, in the end, the disease just overwhelmed him. He had such a hard time. If I had another cat with the same diagnosis, then I would just have it put away immediately. Not being dismissive, but just realistic.

The NetBSD folks have been very kind to have nursed NetBSD along and looked after it. At least this sorrowful OS is being looked after. It is not out there frantically searching for a "home". No, it's found its final resting place.

If NetBSD does have to be euthanized, this is not a cruel act - it will pass away immediately without suffering.

Re:So, why should I care? (2, Insightful)

zero-point-infinity (918349) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687877)

OpenBSD sells CDs but you can freely get an image from their FTP servers to burn your own install CD. Giving people the option to pay you for your work (and throwing in extras with the paid option) hardly makes the work proprietary.

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688159)

>OpenBSD is essentially proprietary as they charge for CDs (IIRC), so I just avoid that.
You're a moron. You can get the source to OpenBSD from their ftp site (pub/OpenBSD/$RELEASE), as well as a boot cd that includes everything you need to install it, minus third-party packages (pub/OpenBSD/$RELEASE/$ARCH/install$RELEASE.iso).

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688715)

I can get everything I need by writing lots of ones and zeros in a binary editor too. Doesn't mean the person who wouldn't give me a CD image is a good guy.

Re:So, why should I care? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688859)

You jus trollin now nigger.

Good modding once again (0, Troll)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688737)

To the mod who tagged this troll: What part of "I" did you not understand? This is personal opinion, which I'm fully entitled to. I've also quoted the exact text in the official OpenBSD FAQ that I'm referring to.

Learn to moderate with some objectivity please, or have the decency not to pretend you're serving the community.

Re:So, why should I care? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#26689021)

I haven't used either of the BSDs for some while now so I may not be up to date but classic advantages has been BSD license obviously, clean reusable and easy to read code and (maybe therefor?) portability.

Though nowadays Linux probably runs as many or more platforms, which don't mean NetBSD runs on few:
http://netbsd.org/ports/ [netbsd.org]
http://netbsd.org/about/portability.html [netbsd.org]

*BSD is Dying (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687065)

It is now official. Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Re:*BSD is Dying (3, Funny)

PeKbM0 (1372511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687207)

BSD isn't dead... it just smells funny (with apologies to Frank Zappa)

Re:*BSD is Dying (1)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687557)

>> it just smells funny

No, that's LSD

NetBSD is awesome (4, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687069)

I have a lot of hardware that would have been relegated to scrap if it hadn't been for NetBSD. Hmm...can I still do anything useful with that Mac SE/30? Sure, I'll run a small mail server for internal use so I can learn how Postfix and Sendmail work. And the multitude of bots trying to hack my Internet-facing machine wouldn't know what to do with a Vax-based NetBSD machine even if they got in.

That said, of course these machines are outrageously slow by today's standards; the Vax alone has been relegated to the basement 'cause it's so freaking loud. But hey, I happened to have the hardware, and since of course it runs NetBSD, it's a learning experience if nothing else.

But how green is it? (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687173)

I have a lot of hardware that would have been relegated to scrap if it hadn't been for NetBSD

Recycling is good, of course. But is it worthwile? How much power do all those old computers drain, compared to a new server with the same processing capacity?

Where I work, we replaced a couple of PDP-11 computers with PCs for the energy savings alone, even if there was a cost associated with migrating the software.

Re:But how green is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687309)

Worthwhile was the wrong word. Geeks can find even the worthless of things worthwhile...

Re:But how green is it? (1)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687403)

How much power do all those old computers drain, compared to a new server with the same processing capacity?

Good question in theory, in practice you just can't find a PC with Pentium I power (is VIA making any?). And if that is more than enough, why upgrade?

Re:But how green is it? (3, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687915)

There are Via Eden's clocked at 400MHz draws 2.5W maximum, whereas a Pentium I clocked at 200MHz draws almost 16W.

Re:But how green is it? (1)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688403)

Maybe any netbook?

Re:But how green is it? (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687649)

But is it worthwile?

You're thinking too practically. Is it worthwhile for me to spend $20 in components on a project attempting to modify the value on the stored-value copy cards I use? Considering I can count on one hand the number of photocopies I've had to make, no. But it's fun :-)

Re:But how green is it? (2, Insightful)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687765)

Where I work, we replaced a couple of PDP-11 computers with PCs for the energy savings alone, even if there was a cost associated with migrating the software.

Especially since your phone probably has more power than a VAX, if not I/O capacity.

Quibble (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688965)

Where I work, we replaced a couple of PDP-11 computers with PCs for the energy savings alone, even if there was a cost associated with migrating the software.

Especially since your phone probably has more power than a VAX, if not I/O capacity.

It depends what you mean by IO capacity. DEC machines (PDP-11s, VAXen, Alphas) had fantastic IO capacity in their extensible backplanes. These days you would use an external multiplexer. With a DEC machine you just load up the bus with devices.

How does that go? Ah yes.

Bus address, then interrupt vector
160010 400
160020 410
160030 430
160040 440
160050 450
160060 460
160070 470
160100 500
160110 510
...and so on

A month's worth of electricity for your VAX (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687271)

would probably buy you an entry-level modern PC.

Re:A month's worth of electricity for your VAX (3, Interesting)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687513)

A month's worth of electricity for your VAX would probably buy you an entry-level modern PC.

Depends on the model. Not all VAX machines are huge beasts like an 11/750 or an 8600. My VAX are a 3100 Microvax and a 4000 VLC Vaxstation - the former is the size of a desktop PC and the latter is the size of a medium pizza box. Power consumption is lower than the quad core PC sat next to them, even though the Microvax has three SCSI drives in it (with /, /usr and /home split across them). The VLC was a web server in the not too distant past. Why? Low power consumption and minimal noise.

Re:A month's worth of electricity for your VAX (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687843)

Indeed. I wrestled with this recently for my home UTM box and finally had to just move it all to a low end (sub $300 brand new) Dell desktop. I love my old Sun box (V100) but if one throws a "Kill-a-Watt" on it, it makes for pretty easy decision making. The fascination with being able to run whatever-nix/BSD on a box is cool and all, but I will save money wherever I can these days. Anyone wanna buy a V100 on the cheap? ;)

Re:A month's worth of electricity for your VAX (1)

vonart (1033056) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688483)

Depends on how cheap "cheap" is. I, for one, would be interested :) Though given the ;) I doubt you'll sell it hehe.

Re:A month's worth of electricity for your VAX (0)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687935)

A month's worth of electricity for your VAX would probably buy you an entry-level modern PC.

You should throw the rubbish in a bin before you start the vax. If you don't, you'll just waste lots of electricity, with the thing running forever and making no progress, because there's a bag stopping the suction.

Re:A month's worth of electricity for your VAX (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687987)

Back when I worked on VMS one of our windows developers trotted up with a VLC. Apparently his friend had bought one at an auction, and assumed he could throw windows on it. Its a shame I didn't know about NetBSD at the time (it would have been in version. 1.* or so).

Re:NetBSD is awesome (3, Interesting)

Fackamato (913248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687571)

What's wrong with virtual machines?

Developer Laments: "What Killed FreeBSD" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687099)

The End of FreeBSD

[ed. note: in the following text, former FreeBSD developer Mike Smith gives his reasons for abandoning FreeBSD]

When I stood for election to the FreeBSD core team nearly two years ago, many of you will recall that it was after a long series of debates during which I maintained that too much organisation, too many rules and too much formality would be a bad thing for the project.

Today, as I read the latest discussions on the future of the FreeBSD project, I see the same problem; a few new faces and many of the old going over the same tired arguments and suggesting variations on the same worthless schemes. Frankly I'm sick of it.

FreeBSD used to be fun. It used to be about doing things the right way. It used to be something that you could sink your teeth into when the mundane chores of programming for a living got you down. It was something cool and exciting; a way to spend your spare time on an endeavour you loved that was at the same time wholesome and worthwhile.

It's not anymore. It's about bylaws and committees and reports and milestones, telling others what to do and doing what you're told. It's about who can rant the longest or shout the loudest or mislead the most people into a bloc in order to legitimise doing what they think is best. Individuals notwithstanding, the project as a whole has lost track of where it's going, and has instead become obsessed with process and mechanics.

So I'm leaving core. I don't want to feel like I should be "doing something" about a project that has lost interest in having something done for it. I don't have the energy to fight what has clearly become a losing battle; I have a life to live and a job to keep, and I won't achieve any of the goals I personally consider worthwhile if I remain obligated to care for the project.

Discussion

I'm sure that I've offended some people already; I'm sure that by the time I'm done here, I'll have offended more. If you feel a need to play to the crowd in your replies rather than make a sincere effort to address the problems I'm discussing here, please do us the courtesy of playing your politics openly.

From a technical perspective, the project faces a set of challenges that significantly outstrips our ability to deliver. Some of the resources that we need to address these challenges are tied up in the fruitless metadiscussions that have raged since we made the mistake of electing officers. Others have left in disgust, or been driven out by the culture of abuse and distraction that has grown up since then. More may well remain available to recruitment, but while the project is busy infighting our chances for successful outreach are sorely diminished.

There's no simple solution to this. For the project to move forward, one or the other of the warring philosophies must win out; either the project returns to its laid-back roots and gets on with the work, or it transforms into a super-organised engineering project and executes a brilliant plan to deliver what, ultimately, we all know we want.

Whatever path is chosen, whatever balance is struck, the choosing and the striking are the important parts. The current indecision and endless conflict are incompatible with any sort of progress.

Trying to dissect the above is far beyond the scope of any parting shot, no matter how distended. All I can really ask of you all is to let go of the minutiae for a moment and take a look at the big picture. What is the ultimate goal here? How can we get there with as little overhead as possible? How would you like to be treated by your fellow travellers?

Shouts

To the Slashdot "BSD is dying" crowd - big deal. Death is part of the cycle; take a look at your soft, pallid bodies and consider that right this very moment, parts of you are dying. See? It's not so bad.

To the bulk of the FreeBSD committerbase and the developer community at large - keep your eyes on the real goals. It's when you get distracted by the politickers that they sideline you. The tireless work that you perform keeping the system clean and building is what provides the platform for the obsessives and the prima donnas to have their moments in the sun. In the end, we need you all; in order to go forwards we must first avoid going backwards.

To the paranoid conspiracy theorists - yes, I work for Apple too. No, my resignation wasn't on Steve's direct orders, or in any way related to work I'm doing, may do, may not do, or indeed what was in the tea I had at lunchtime today. It's about real problems that the project faces, real problems that the project has brought upon itself. You can't escape them by inventing excuses about outside influence, the problem stems from within.

To the politically obsessed - give it a break, if you can. No, the project isn't a lemonade stand anymore, but it's not a world-spanning corporate juggernaut either and some of the more grandiose visions going around are in need of a solid dose of reality. Keep it simple, stupid.

To the grandstanders, the prima donnas, and anyone that thinks that they can hold the project to ransom for their own agenda - give it a break, if you can. When the current core were elected, we took a conscious stand against vigorous sanctions, and some of you have exploited that. A new core is going to have to decide whether to repeat this mistake or get tough. I hope they learn from our errors.

Future

I started work on FreeBSD because it was fun. If I'm going to continue, it has to be fun again. There are things I still feel obligated to do, and with any luck I'll find the time to meet those obligations.

However I don't feel an obligation to get involved in the political mess the project is in right now. I tried, I burnt out. I don't feel that my efforts were worthwhile. So I won't be standing for election, I won't be shouting from the sidelines, and I probably won't vote in the next round of ballots.

You could say I'm packing up my toys. I'm not going home just yet, but I'm not going to play unless you can work out how to make the project somewhere fun to be again.

= Mike

--

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -- Theodore Roosevelt

Ninnle Labs Confirms! NinnleBSD is Dying! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687149)

It is now official. Ninnle Labs confirms: NinnleBSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered NinnleBSD community when IDC confirmed that NinnleBSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Ninnle Labs survey which plainly states that NinnleBSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. NinnleBSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict NinnleBSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: NinnleBSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for NinnleBSD because NinnleBSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for NinnleBSD. As many of us are already aware, NinnleBSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

NinnleBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time NinnleBSD developers P. O. Prune and Joe Bloggins only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: NinnleBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

NinnleBSD leader Prune states that there are 7000 users of NinnleBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of NinnleBSD versus NinnleBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NinnleBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NinnleBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put NinnleBSD at about 80 percent of the NinnleBSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 NinnleBSD users. This is consistent with the number of NinnleBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Ninnle Labs, abysmal sales and so on, NinnleBSD went out of business and was taken over by Ninnle Labs who sell another troubled OS. Now Ninnle Labs is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that NinnleBSD has steadily declined in market share. NinnleBSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If NinnleBSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. NinnleBSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, NinnleBSD is dead.

Fact: NinnleBSD is dying

Elegy for *BSD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687197)


Elegy For *BSD


I am a *BSD user
and I try hard to be brave
That is a tall order
*BSD's foot is in the grave.

I tap at my toy keyboard
and whistle a happy tune
but keeping happy's so hard,
*BSD died so soon.

Each day I wake and softly sob
Nightfall finds me crying
Not only am I a zit faced slob
but *BSD is dying.

Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687275)

Seriously, it's BSD. Granted, BSD was hot shit 20 years ago, but in all its variants save perhaps OS X (which has become its own thing entirely) is now a creaky old obsolete thing that is best suited as a research project. Good riddance.

NetBSD -no longer dying, but dead. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687369)

Christ, 4 came out in Dec 2007 -took them long enough, you think? Did the two remaining guys finally decide to get their shit together and shove this turd out the door?

It's really sad, this used to be my favorite OS -but now days it's lagging far, far too behind. It's a truly sad day when even OpenBSD has better hardware support than you do.

I hate to say it, but it looks like Chris Hunnan was right -NetBSD has slid away into irrelevance [slashdot.org] . You guys had an awesome OS going on for a long time there -but anyone with half a brain has migrated to FreeBSD (or OpenBSD if they're masochistic enough to deal with Theo Dee Rat and his entourage of flaming turds).

NetBSD -no longer dying, but dead.

Re:NetBSD -no longer dying, but dead. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687495)

NetBSD? Bones said it best:

"It's dead, Jim."

Re:NetBSD -no longer dying, but dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687715)

Trolling in Slashdot makes you feel like... a man?

Give it a rest. NetBSD is not dying and it deserves publicity.

Re:NetBSD -no longer dying, but dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687997)

>NetBSD is not dying

Because having 3 users and 2 developers means you're not dying ...but dead.

Seriously -come to grips already, even midnightbsd has a broader developer and user base than NetBSD has -and you could count the number of people involved with midnightbsd on your fingers and toes!

Obligatory XKCD (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26687479)

http://www.xkcd.com/518/

raises his glass (3, Interesting)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26687707)

I'm a proud NetBSD user for sure. I still use 3.1 on an old HP Omnibook 800ct. It works wonders on that Pentium 133 with 16mb of RAM. Boots in about 30 seconds or so, and WiFi works too. Not only is a great learning tool for aspiring people wanting to learn a good Unix, but it has a lot of good factors that experienced users look for in a good OS. Pretty decent driver support, a super small and quick installation, powerful security, a great list of binary packages, a large /usr/pkgsrc similar to /usr/ports, not to mention an excellent community of developers that are always willing to help a brotha out. Thanks to the dudes on Freenode and the NetBSD mailing lists for all their help. I'm looking forward to this release.

Re:raises his glass (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688011)

How sad. No offense meant, but if you are proud about the OS you use, you really, really, really should try to get a life.

Re:raises his glass (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688701)

takes one to know one I guess. If we all had lives, would we even be spending time on Slashdot in the first place?

Cool! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26688001)

My toaster, pocketcalculator and my wristwatch desperatly need an update.

I love BSD! (0, Offtopic)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26688493)

You know, when I first heard they were doing a remake of Battlestar Dalactica, I thought it would totally suck. But it turned out to be pretty awesome! I love BSD!

Wait, what?

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