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NetBSD 6.0 Has Shipped

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the onward-and-upward dept.

Operating Systems 124

New submitter Madwand sends this quote from the NetBSD Project's announcement that NetBSD 6.0 has been released: "Changes from the previous release include scalability improvements on multi-core systems, many new and updated device drivers, Xen and MIPS port improvements, and brand new features such as a new packet filter. Some NetBSD 6.0 highlights are: support for thread-local storage (TLS), Logical Volume Manager (LVM) functionality, rewritten disk quota subsystem, new subsystems to handle flash devices and NAND controllers, an experimental CHFS file system designed for flash devices, support for Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) protocol, and more. This release also introduces NPF — a new packet filter, designed with multi-core systems in mind, which can do TCP/IP traffic filtering, stateful inspection, and network address translation (NAT)."

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124 comments

First NetBSD 6.0 Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41686299)

First post on NetBSD.

Re:First NetBSD 6.0 Post (3, Insightful)

hawicz (449905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41686403)

Congrats on getting it installed! :)

Re:First NetBSD 6.0 Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41686701)

It wasn't hard. Its been on their ftp site since Monday. Just have to know how to use tar to get it (I've been running the betas for a while). Now if I can only get the kernel I compiled to run.

Re:First NetBSD 6.0 Post (3, Informative)

hawicz (449905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687193)

If you need a hand, ask on the netbsd-users mailing list (http://www.netbsd.org/cgi-bin/subscribe_list.pl?list=netbsd-users [netbsd.org]). Especially with the new release just being out there should be plenty of people willing to help with whatever issue you have.

(Since you've been running betas for a while you probably know about the mailing lists, so this is more of a PSA for anyone else)

Everyone celebrates! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41686339)

Both of them!

Re:Everyone celebrates! (4, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687157)

you might well be a NetBSD user and not know it. might be in your printer, network router or switch, internet security or web cam, cell phone.....it's an extremely stable, well engineered and high quality operating system

Re:Everyone celebrates! (5, Funny)

fisted (2295862) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687483)

i agree. i'm running netbsd as i type and it has neve

Re:Everyone celebrates! (-1, Flamebait)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687747)

i agree. i'm running netbsd as i type and it has neve

never impeded your inability to finish a sentence :P

Re:Everyone celebrates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41697657)

You forgot the line noise.

Re:Everyone celebrates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41690995)

And now I introduce to you our most common specimen: the 15-year-old slashdot user who feels the urge to respond to every story, even when he has absolutely no knowledge of the subject.

Contradiction (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41686345)

Why does a STABLE release version highlight as a feature an EXPERIMENTAL filesystem?

Re:Contradiction (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41686369)

Because you are too stupid to find out what "STABLE" means as a BSD release branch.

Re:Contradiction (5, Insightful)

chebucto (992517) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688687)

Don't bother explaining it yourself, just be a prat when people ask reasonable questions - I'm sure that will bring in more users.

Re:Contradiction (2)

hawicz (449905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41686389)

Because you don't need to enable every feature that an OS has? If you want to play around with something experimental, temporarily load it as a module, or use Rump or Puffs to isolate the filesystem code to a userland process and hack away.

Re:Contradiction (4, Informative)

spauldo (118058) | about a year and a half ago | (#41690265)

STABLE is just the branch release. It means if you track the STABLE tree, you'll only get bugfixes. If you track CURRENT, you get stuff that'll go into the next version of NetBSD, but stuff will change on you (requiring you to update scripts and such). See the release map [netbsd.org] for a better explaination.

It has nothing to do with the stability of the OS itself. I can't comment on that, since I haven't used it much, but from what I hear it's pretty good.

Re:Contradiction (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#41694411)

I have only used stable, but (On Sparc64) I get 2 year up times (after which machines tend to get rebuilt). Only down time has been due to hardware issues (and a HD filling up to 110%) I have been using it since version 2.8 - and intermittently before that on Sparc and PC architecture. (Headless - historically, graphics dirvers were very limited)

Re:Contradiction (2)

blade8086 (183911) | about a year and a half ago | (#41691045)

This is a common way of getting advanced features out in 'beta' without slowing down a whole release -
it allows users to experiment with the feature without expecting full support or without having to manually install
the new feature itself - if you don't want to risk stability, don't use it.

Similary - there are at least 2x similar 'experimental' technologies in RHEL6, which is used by many thousands of companies
on mission critical systems:

- Linux Containers are a Technology Preview.
- Btrfs is not a production quality file system at this point.
    With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 it is at a tech preview stage and as such is only being built for Intel 64 and AMD64.

and I'm sure other OS'es have similar methods of getting new technologies for customers to try on stable releases.

of the BSDs (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year and a half ago | (#41686371)

The one I know most about is FreeBSD. I have this vague notion that NetBSD has historically been used for routers/traffic shaping?

Re:of the BSDs (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about a year and a half ago | (#41686543)

Darwin (the Unix heart of OSX) is a NetBSD derivative. Parts of QNX (a popular commercial embedded OS) are also based on NetBSD.

Re:of the BSDs (2)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year and a half ago | (#41686633)

Darwin is based on the *FreeBSD* userland stack, but it has a Mach-based kernel. I don't believe there is really ,inch NetBSD stuff in there at all...

Re:of the BSDs (2)

afidel (530433) | about a year and a half ago | (#41686673)

Check it out, from the horses mouth [netbsd.org].

NetBSD is used by Apple for a large portion of the user-space commands and tools in their Darwin project, and Darwin is the UNIX-based core used by Mac OS X. NetBSD source tends to pay attention to issues of portability and correctness, and is virtually all BSD licenced, which avoids commercial problems with the GNU General Public Licence. At least one of the Apple developers has access to the NetBSD source tree and has fed back some useful changes

Re:of the BSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41686807)

"At least one of the Apple developers has access to the NetBSD source tree and has fed back some useful changes".

Oh some changes from one guy, eh?
To me, that just shows how incredible cheap Apple are. Really. Apple made 26 billion dollars in profit last year. Just think about that for a moment.

Re:of the BSDs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41686893)

Apple has utilities from both NetBSD and OpenBSD. But remember that Apple hired the primary developer from FreeBSD, and there's lots of FreeBSD code in OS X. One obvious example is the property lists API, which is a really odd feature from FreeBSD. (Sort of like importing some random dude's init parsing code as-if it were somehow unique or even useful as an operating system interface.)

Also, there's a BSD kernel in OS X, which is a process managed by Mach. Not sure if it was ripped from FreeBSD or NetBSD.

Re:of the BSDs (5, Informative)

Guy Harris (3803) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687403)

Actually...

Apple has utilities from both NetBSD and OpenBSD.

Darwin has code from FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, as well as code from Apple both in kernel space and userland (including the system library - the memory allocator [apple.com], for example, isn't from any *BSD).

...and there's lots of FreeBSD code in OS X. One obvious example is the property lists API, which is a really odd feature from FreeBSD

No, it's from NeXTStEP, not FreeBSD.

Also, there's a BSD kernel in OS X, which is a process managed by Mach.

Mach manages tasks and threads; UN*X processes are built atop Mach tasks, and pthreads are built atop Mach threads. The "BSD kernel" part of XNU (under the bsd subdirectory) is what implements the "UN*X processes" stuff (among other things, such as the file system and networking mechanisms), and that code runs in both the "kernel task" (the UN*X process for which is pid 0) and in other tasks; it doesn't run in "a" process/task in the sense of "it runs in a single process/task".

Not sure if it was ripped from FreeBSD or NetBSD.

The from-BSD parts of the "BSD kernel" are mostly taken from FreeBSD, but have changed significantly, and the "BSD kernel" has a fair bit of Apple code in it, as well as, for example, Sun (Open Solaris) code (as in "DTrace").

Re:of the BSDs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41691213)

What library provides OSX with the insufferable smugness displayed by so many of its users? Is it cross-compiled? Can I kldload it onto my Inspiron or does it weigh too much/cost too little?

Re:of the BSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688449)

Huh? This is exactly what the copyright holders of the software want. Otherwise they would not have made it BSD licensed.

Re:of the BSDs (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | about a year and a half ago | (#41686851)

I think Android uses NetBSD-derived userland stuff also? I've had the impression that they wanted BSD stuff for licensing reasons but I wonder if there's something specific to NetBSD that makes everybody particularly like their userland utilities!

Re:of the BSDs (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41686905)

http://opensource.apple.com/source/file_cmds/file_cmds-220.7/ls/ls.h

...
  *
  * from: @(#)ls.h 8.1 (Berkeley) 5/31/93
  * $FreeBSD: src/bin/ls/ls.h,v 1.18 2002/05/19 02:51:36 tjr Exp $
  */

Re:of the BSDs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687137)

Check it out, from the horses mouth [netbsd.org].

You are looking at the wrong horse. [apple.com]

The BSD portion of the OS X kernel is derived primarily from FreeBSD, a version of 4.4BSD that offers advanced networking, performance, security, and compatibility features.

Re:of the BSDs (5, Interesting)

Lemming Mark (849014) | about a year and a half ago | (#41686825)

The Darwin kernel (which is called XNU) is a bit weird - I spent some time looking into it when it was still a relatively new thing (2003-4 kind of era). XNU is Mach + FreeBSD + DeviceKit/Apple-y bits, all sharing the same protection domain. The latter point is interesting, since despite the fact Mach is considered a microkernel they've actually shoved all of the other kernel-level services in with it, rather than separating them into different processes. This makes the whole kernel basically monolithic (i.e. like the modern Windows and Linux kernels), which is kind of unexpected!

The Apple-y bits in the kernel that I mentioned definitely includes DeviceKit, their driver interface. Maybe some other stuff as well. The drivers are not normal FreeBSD-like device drivers - I think they're even C++, unlike FreeBSD itself.

I found it all a bit unexpected really, things didn't fit together as I'd imagined.

There's probably more in here; I'm not sure if it's the original one I read through!
https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Darwin/Conceptual/KernelProgramming/About/About.html [apple.com]

Re:of the BSDs (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687461)

The latter point is interesting, since despite the fact Mach is considered a microkernel they've actually shoved all of the other kernel-level services in with it, rather than separating them into different processes. This makes the whole kernel basically monolithic (i.e. like the modern Windows and Linux kernels), which is kind of unexpected!

I.e., it's as much a "microkernel" as Windows NT is. :-)

The Apple-y bits in the kernel that I mentioned definitely includes DeviceKit, their driver interface. Maybe some other stuff as well. The drivers are not normal FreeBSD-like device drivers - I think they're even C++, unlike FreeBSD itself.

Yes, DeviceKit drivers are written in (a subset of) C++. Drivers that just plug into the standard UN*Xy cdevsw are likely to be just Boring Old C.

The VFS (file system) and network protocol layers should look somewhat familiar to people used to the *BSDs. Other than sitting atop Mach tasks, the process layer should also look familiar to them.

Re:of the BSDs (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688351)

This makes the whole kernel basically monolithic (i.e. like the modern Windows and Linux kernels), which is kind of unexpected!

Well, we knew that was the case before OSX even shipped, but OK. It's not a microkernel-based operating system because the microkernel isn't doing process management, or much of anything at all. It's just playing HAL.

Re:of the BSDs (2)

JonJ (907502) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688515)

This makes the whole kernel basically monolithic (i.e. like the modern Windows and Linux kernels), which is kind of unexpected!

It's not unexpected for anyone who has been paying even remotely attention to operating system development. Let me quote Linus from a G+ post on Greg Kroah-Hartmans feed:

yes, it's based on Mach, but it's based on the older Mach 2 architecture which really wasn't a microkernel. It's parts of FreeBSD bolted on top of a research kernel that was meant to become a microkernel, but never really did.

And the result really is nasty. Page fault and VM latencies are horrible (why do I know? We hit huge performance problems while doing the MacOS port of git), the filesystem choices they've done show a level of incompetence that is stunning, yadda yadda.

But hey, it's pretty on top. If the Apple engineers actually knew what they were doing, they could use a known superior open-source kernel and put their pretty on top of that instead. Then they wouldn't have to do kernel programming, and could leave it to the people who actually like doing it and know what they are doing.

Re:of the BSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41689827)

XNU is a lot better than his piece of shit kernel.

Re:of the BSDs (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year and a half ago | (#41699351)

Of course, at least Apple can come up with a stable ABI and driver model. Linus is too interested in playing around with little fiddly bits to worry about important stuff, like making sure software written a few months ago still works.

Re:of the BSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687267)

There is a lot of BSDs in most BSDs...the license allows easy code sharing.

Both are true.

Re:of the BSDs (1)

schaiba (2708709) | about a year and a half ago | (#41690591)

Indeed, the bulk of the BSD heritage in Darwin is FreeBSD, but there's NetBSD code in there as well.

Re:of the BSDs (4, Interesting)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687685)

NetBSD is the "runs on any/everything" variant. It's absurdly portable. If you've heard stories / jokes about "BSD on a toaster", it was probably NetBSD.

It's not necessarily a great desktop system; "runs on everything" doesn't mean all internal or peripheral software support is going to be great (desktop-oriented BSD distros are usually FreeBSD based). However, it's a great choice if you have a very old or obscure computer that you want to run it on. I know a guy who runs NetBSD on one of the later-model VAXes.

Re:of the BSDs (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687785)

NetBSD used to be known as an easily portable UNIX like operating system. Quite often whenever you heard of a new hardware architecture it was usually the first operating system ported to it. For example when X86-64 came out it was the first. AFAIK their device drivers are written in a way to be easier to port across machine architectures so that eases porting efforts. I heard the FreeBSD folks were integrating something similar to the NetBSD driver model but that is about it.

Re:of the BSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41690897)

The one I know most about is FreeBSD. I have this vague notion that NetBSD has historically been used for routers/traffic shaping?

NetBSD has a reputation for extreme portability and being pretty lean in terms of hardware requirements.

Re:of the BSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41696505)

A well written history of BSD is available as part of "Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution":

http://oreilly.com/openbook/opensources/book/kirkmck.html [oreilly.com]

Basically NetBSD was the transition from a "one company" (cathedral) project to some internet centered adventure not unlike Linux (bazaar), hence the "Net" prefix.
At the time the only other variant was FreeBSD which targeted i386 and was more "user friendly", from that it evolved to be a run-anywhere highly customisable OS used in computing experiments [netbsd.org] as well as toasters [laughingsquid.com].

Sweet! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41686461)

Is the 68K port up to date?
I've got to dig up my SE/30 and see if I can get it going again.

Nothing like an old BW compact mac with a bash prompt to make a geek do a double take.

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687325)

SE/30? You're going to want a IIfx or 840av to compile it...

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687615)

Pfff. The SE/30 is a MacII in a compact body.
It even supports up to 128MB of ram (But the roms are not 32bit clean, so you need to install mode30 or whatever its called)

That's right, I have a BW compact mac with 128 megs of ram. And a 1GB SCSI hard drive.

Great! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41686501)

I even run this on an old Amgia, 20 years old. Amazing stuff, netbsd that is. I wonder how they manage to support all these different hardware. Cool.

Re:Great! (4, Interesting)

LizardKing (5245) | about a year and a half ago | (#41686725)

I wonder how they manage to support all these different hardware.

One way is automated cross-compiling to ensure that the source at least builds for as many architectures as possible. Think of it as a large scale continuous integration environment.

why is this release announcement buried? (5, Insightful)

ubiquitin (28396) | about a year and a half ago | (#41686637)

Apparently, I'll never understand Slashdot. The latest junk from Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Oracle, et al. make the front page, but one of the highest quality open source releases gets buried. (It's almost like people self-medicate their marketing these days, but separate issue.)

I got 6 years of uptime once off of NetBSD on sparc. This stuff is gold. It's platinum. It's so stable, you have to worry about making sure you get around to patching your apps because the OS just never dies... stick this on solid state storage with the new NAND support, and you don't even have to worry about spinning disk fails. As a network device OS, this will be an awesome high-uptime packet sensor or embedded packet router.

Bravo NetBSD! Keep up the good work. This is top headline stuff.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41686877)

Indeed. NetBSD is exceedingly stable and more people need to take advantage of it. I'm very surprised Google didn't choose to use *BSD instead of Linux, because as servers go, nothing beats BSD. I once administered several BSD server and never once had a failure. Ever. Once they are up and running and configured correctly, they are there to stay short of hardware failure.

NetBSD makes a great embedded OS and I'm surprised there are not smartphones running BSD. Maybe soon...

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687035)

I'm surprised there are not smartphones running BSD. Maybe soon...

There are. [apple.com]

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687305)

It's far easier to get random drivers and niche optimizations into Linux mainline. That's why BSDs tend to be more stable---less code churn. (Other times, it means persistent problems that go unaddressed for years.) Code churn means more bugs. It's inevitable. And it's why it's so easy to root a Linux machine, even though on-the-whole the code quality is really good. Also, Google started using Linux 15 years ago, before NetBSD was actually tolerable.

In real world terms I guess the difference is small, but what mattered in the end is that corporations flocked to Linux. End of story.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688533)

Well firstly, what evidence do you have to back up your assertion?

Secondly, ease of getting drivers into the kernel sounds like a good thing. What do you mean by random?

Thirdly, what do you mean by "niche optimizations"? Linux is better optimized than most BSDs for most tasks, so I guess that must be a good thing too.

Finally, Google is free to add their own random drivers and niche optimizations to their kernel (and they do), so ability or inability to get those into mainline doesn't have much bearing on suitability of the kernel for their uses.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688713)

Evidence? This is Slashdot. OTOH, code churn is quantifiable, and I'd put money down to show that Linux changes faster, especially wrt to drivers, but I'm not about to waste my time doing that. People can take my assertion for what it's worth.

Ease of drivers is not always a good thing. On the BSDs the driver writers tend to be the subsystem maintainers. On Linux they tend to be vendor engineers who drop piles of shit from 10,000 feet. They never follow the rules, which means you get crap code that's hard to change, and more importantly they make it harder to re-engineer the subsystems. Linux used to be like the BSDs. I forgot his name, but in the 1990s there was like one dude who wrote most of the ethernet NIC drivers. If you bought a card you made sure to buy one compatible with his drivers, because all the others were crap.

And niche optimizations may be a misnomer. But how many different schedulers have been in the Linux kernel in the past 10 years? You have intense competition by companies to improve their own workload, and they fight to get their work into the kernel. Fortunately, performance regression are not tolerable. But the point is, there's lots of churn. You end up with lots of awesome code, but even awesome code has bugs. And the more sophisticated a piece of code, the fewer people able to comprehend it.

Remember the maxim, if you write code to the best of your ability, you're incapable of debugging it. Take the system time infrastructure. On the BSDs time is stepped using an algorithm from a doctoral thesis paper. It's clean and elegant, and it allows different time sources to just plug right in with little fuss. The entire thing fits in a single source file and notwithstanding the math it's easy to read even for the uninitiated.

On Linux, the core of the system time code was dumped from IBM. It does basically the same thing, but it's implemented inside-out. It's at least 5x as much code, including all the optimizations. Using RTDSC and similar tricks, it vastly outperforms the BSD code. But it's also the source of the recent leap second bug that occurred a few months ago. How did the bug occur? All the little bits and pieces were strewn all over the source tree, and some random edit in one source file caused another source file in a completely different area of the tree to break.

Simplicity is the key to stability, and Linux is definitely not simple. Fortunately, it gets a ton more eyeballs.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41689681)

> Evidence? This is Slashdot. OTOH, code churn is quantifiable, and I'd put money down to show that Linux changes faster, especially wrt to drivers, but I'm not about to waste my time doing that. People can take my assertion for what it's worth.

One man's "code churn" is another man's development. If you improve code, it churns. BSDs certainly don't have any claim to be perfect and not requiring any improvement. They are behind Linux in almost any objective metric you can come up with, which is why they resort to "it's ugly, not cohesive, churns too much" nebulous type of arguments.

> Ease of drivers is not always a good thing. On the BSDs the driver writers tend to be the subsystem maintainers.

Well that simply does not scale. Linux might have dozens of drivers for a given subsystem. Someone who is familiar with hardware and its specs, who uses it and tests with it, is in a better position to learn the subsystem's APIs than the subsystem maintainers are to learn, use, and test dozens of drivers with hundreds or thousands of permutations of hardware.

> On Linux they tend to be vendor engineers who drop piles of shit from 10,000 feet. They never follow the rules, which means you get crap code that's hard to change, and more importantly they make it harder to re-engineer the subsystems.

This is untrue. This is what subsystem maintainers are for, to enforce rules for driver writers and ensure crap code does not get in.

> Linux used to be like the BSDs. I forgot his name, but in the 1990s there was like one dude who wrote most of the ethernet NIC drivers. If you bought a card you made sure to buy one compatible with his drivers, because all the others were crap.

When you support out of the box more CPUs ISAs, more hardware platforms and more devices than any other OS on the planet, that model just does not work. Delegating responsibility in fact works, but you have to do it right. If your experience with BSDs is that vendors can just "drop crap from 10,000 feet", then its clear that the development and maintainership model does not work.

> And niche optimizations may be a misnomer. But how many different schedulers have been in the Linux kernel in the past 10 years?

3 major versions, as opposed to the 2 that FreeBSD has. How many different schedulers have existed in the Linux kernel concurrently? 1, as opposed to the 2 that FreeBSD has, which is a vastly bigger problem.

What's wrong with the Linux schedulers? The second one was required for the CPU and process counts that Linux was scaling to, and it did its job well (4096 CPUs in a single system image, and millions of threads), it had hyper-threading awareness and multicore, and NUMA scheduling awareness well before Windows, and many years before any BSDs. The latest scheduler version was required to do workload/resource management, with Linux being used in most cloud type environments like google cluster.

> You have intense competition by companies to improve their own workload, and they fight to get their work into the kernel. Fortunately, performance regression are not tolerable. But the point is, there's lots of churn. You end up with lots of awesome code, but even awesome code has bugs. And the more sophisticated a piece of code, the fewer people able to comprehend it.

All code has bugs of course.

> Remember the maxim, if you write code to the best of your ability, you're incapable of debugging it. Take the system time infrastructure. On the BSDs time is stepped using an algorithm from a doctoral thesis paper. It's clean and elegant, and it allows different time sources to just plug right in with little fuss. The entire thing fits in a single source file and notwithstanding the math it's easy to read even for the uninitiated.

> On Linux, the core of the system time code was dumped from IBM. It does basically the same thing, but it's implemented inside-out. It's at least 5x as much code, including all the optimizations. Using RTDSC and similar tricks, it vastly outperforms the BSD code. But it's also the source of the recent leap second bug that occurred a few months ago. How did the bug occur? All the little bits and pieces were strewn all over the source tree, and some random edit in one source file caused another source file in a completely different area of the tree to break.

It was not "dumped from IBM". One of the guys who works on NTP and related parts of the kernel works for IBM. He does not "dump" code, he participates in the kernel community like everyone else and fixes bugs and maintains code. There are several others who work on various aspects of time code, from clock drivers to API infrastructure.

The leap second bug is a bug. It's just a single anecdote. If you say that somehow proves it is not as good, or try to claim that any BSD has zero bugs or has never been affected by a complex bug, that's just incorrect.

> Simplicity is the key to stability, and Linux is definitely not simple. Fortunately, it gets a ton more eyeballs.

Lots of these nebulous, difficult-to-disprove accusations get parroted without much basis. "Oh, Linux accepts crap", "Linux is crufty", "Linux is too much churn", "Linux is not clean or cohesive".

Here is something interesting from someone who knows what they're talking about:

http://www.opennet.ru/base/dev/linuxvm.txt.html

"In general terms, linux's VM system is much cleaner then FreeBSD's... and I mean a *whole lot* cleaner, but at the cost of eating some extra memory. It isn't a whole lot of extra memory - maybe a meg or two for a typical system managing a lot of processes, and much less for typical 'small' systems. They are able to completely avoid the vm_object stacking (and related complexity) that we do, and they are able to completely avoid most of the pmap complexity in FreeBSD as well."

Granted this is a while ago, and things have changed significantly for both OSes back then. But even back then, you, or people like you, were going on about how Linux is ugly and complex etc.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41695983)

Funny how people talk about Mach VM and FreeBSD, when the discussion is about NetBSD. They have a completely different VM since 90s which is called UVM.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41700463)

This subthread discussion was about BSDs in general. Using FreeBSD as a specific example several times.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#41692889)

Linux used to be like the BSDs. I forgot his name, but in the 1990s there was like one dude who wrote most of the ethernet NIC drivers. If you bought a card you made sure to buy one compatible with his drivers, because all the others were crap.

Could it be Donald Becker?

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687011)

All true, except for the SSD bit. I've had MANY ssd's just fail for no reason. All intel models.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688879)

slashdot lost its soul once the kiddies got mad at Apple. It became cool to hate on the most successful consumer UNIX machine and adore the company that makes business out of collecting and mining personal data. (Because they give source to their phone to other mega corps.) RMS rides the wave of FOSS Android!

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (1)

cachimaster (127194) | about a year and a half ago | (#41689149)

I got 6 years of uptime once off of NetBSD on sparc.

Congrats but you should never do it in something connected to internet. You would be using a 6-year old kernel that's ridicously vulnerable to 6-year old exploits.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41690277)

how exactly do you access a kernel from the network without going via an application? the parent post does mention that you need to keep the apps up-to-date. Say it's a webserver only, you should have a firewall (even the on-board ipfilter in netbsd) allowing only connections to TCP80&443 - so long as you keep that httpd up-to-date... your point is invalid.

Kernel vulns generally only matter if you have enough access to exploit them (usually via buffer over-flow of a server app) or via access through userland.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (1)

spauldo (118058) | about a year and a half ago | (#41690585)

how exactly do you access a kernel from the network without going via an application?

Hrm, I'd guess you're probably twenty-five or younger, given that question. You missed some good times.

Back in the day the TCP/IP stacks had quite a few bugs in them. Just about everyone lifted code from BSD 4.x (yeah, the original BSD). Once exploits for those started coming out, it was a race to see who could fix them the fastest. Linux (and I assume the BSDs, although I didn't follow them then) usually had a fix out within hours - Microsoft usually didn't have a fix for months, which did a lot for their poor security reputation back then.

The funny bit was when Microsoft released a fix for one of the exploits, which opened up another exploit, so you were guaranteed any Windows machine could be brought down by one or the other. I used that against IRC trolls back in the day. One little ping o' death would lock their machines hard. Not that I'd do that these days...

Anyway, check out this page [nac.net] for more info on it. Nowdays, of course, most of the TCP/IP bugs have been worked out, so this type of thing hasn't really been much of an issue for a while now. However, it's still possible there's bugs that haven't been found.

As an aside, my roomates and I discovered that NT 4.0 on Alpha would just stop if you flood pinged it. We called it the "remote pause button," because it would go on as if nothing had happened as soon as you stopped pinging it. Our friend who had the Alpha on the network was not amused.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41690079)

Apparently, I'll never understand Slashdot. The latest junk from Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Oracle, et al. make the front page, but one of the highest quality open source releases gets buried.

Three reasons (the first two may seem to contradict each-other, but they don't - the apparent contradiction is just a symptom of hypocrisy of the culture in question):

(1) Because /. isn't really "news for nerds, stuff that matters". It's: "news for broad appeal to IT techies, stuff that sells ads". (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

(2) Because /. has a humongous pro-socialist bias, and some socialists don't like BSD for competing with GPL'ed alternatives - "evil corporations stealing code" and all that. These are the kinds of socialists who get corporate jobs, but then come home feeling guilty and demand higher taxes and more anti-business restrictions in GPL v4...

(3) Because NetBSD really is the least interesting of the four main BSD forks. It's great that different BSD forks specialize in different things (Linux's "jack of all trades" approach will catch up with it eventually), but NetBSD's specialty of supporting all those obscure hardware platforms (and being easiest to port to new ones) only appeals to a tiny percent of BSD users. FreeBSD and DragonFly BSD are faster and easier for most people, and OpenBSD has better geeky charms. I'm a diehard BSD user, and I try to keep up with all branches, but I tend to use NetBSD the least.

--libman

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (1)

wdef (1050680) | about a year and a half ago | (#41690927)

Companies have largely moved to sourcing MIT/BSD-licensed code when we need open source components. The GPL is great but there's usually too many copyleft issues to enable commercial development unless the copyright holders agree to relicense the code (eg as they did with X264). The other huge problem with much of the GPL'd world is it can be very hard to find appropriate consultanvy expertise to adapt/fix/apply code. I've put out open offers of serious consultancy fees to foss development lists in one specialized area and got not one reply. They may not have thought it for real, but it was. I'm talking (eg) $1000/day for reliable work by a senior developer of a project. That was the first time I *really* understood why companies want a huge ecosystem of on-demand *commercial* support (ie no deliver, no pay), why Linux took so long to take over embedded devices, and why megacorps like Google employ senior kernel devs like Andrew Morton, and the fact it's oss or not isn't seen as so relevant (though it is). Going to Big Shooters like Canonical, Red Hat or Windriver etc doesn't always help like you'd think. Microsoft have been able to play on this for years.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (1)

Erik Hensema (12898) | about a year and a half ago | (#41690255)

Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Oracle all have a whole lot more users than NetBSD. To most people, NetBSD brings absolutely nothing that Linux doesn't bring. NetBSD may run in some routers, but Linux probably runs in a *lot* more routers. Even FreeBSD may run in more routers than NetBSD (JunOS is FreeBSD based..).

So, to most of us, NetBSD is "meh, don't care". Sorry.

Re:why is this release announcement buried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41691589)

To most people, NetBSD brings absolutely nothing that Linux doesn't bring. NetBSD may run in some routers, but Linux probably runs in a *lot* more routers.

That's hilarious since the Linux kernel is still slowly trying to implement all the server related stuff that existed in BSD for years (e.g. PPS for instance).

Multi-core packet filtering (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687003)

I'm curious about the new packet filter. First, I'd like to see benchmarks on performance due to multi-core use (it certainly seems like a good idea). And second, because I've hated every packet filter I ever used (tried to use) - ipfwadm, iptables, ipchains, ipfw, tc, lartc. Hate 'em.

Re:Multi-core packet filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687467)

Um... it sounds like you've never used OpenBSD PF. NPF (NetBSD's new filter) keeps most of the features and configuration syntax of PF, because PF is so awesome and prior to NetBSD 6.0 was the stock packet filter.

Re:Multi-core packet filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688609)

pf+carp+pfsync is a whole pile of awesome. I'm always annoyed by all of the other paired firewalls I have to deal with that don't have a stateful failover mechanism.

Re:Multi-core packet filtering (1)

Onymous Coward (97719) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687927)

I second that. Anyone who's got experience with npf, please speak up.

Re:Multi-core packet filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688137)

See above reply to this question.

Re:Multi-core packet filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688095)

The changes for npf as opposed to ipf/pf are primarily implementation details. There is nothing that an administrator will see that reflect it. Whilst there are configuration differences, these do not reflect the design and implementation details that targets multi-core systems.

That is different data structures are used and the way in which they are used is also different to the others. npf has been written with multi-threaded kernels running on multi-core CPUs as the target environment rather than a "also works on."

The configuration interface is still modeled around that which ipf introduced (pf's configuration syntax is also largely copied from ipf) however it will be harder to audit the running configuration of npf against that in the configuration files when compared to ipf.

As for performance differences, performance is highly dependent on the hardware and drivers once you go past 100Mbit/sec.

Re:Multi-core packet filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41692811)

And second, because I've hated every packet filter I ever used (tried to use) - ipfwadm, iptables, ipchains, ipfw, tc, lartc. Hate 'em.

Yeah. Every packet filter you listed does indeed suck.

PF. There is no substitute (except maybe this NPF, which is based on PF). No one has ported PF to Linux, so that might be a show stopper for you.

Re:Multi-core packet filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41695925)

NPF is not based on PF at all. Bother to Google a little before making false statements!

Re:Multi-core packet filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41698349)

You're right. I stand corrected.

The syntax for configuration is based on PF, not the packet filter engine itself.

Re:Multi-core packet filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41699429)

That syntax comes from IPFilter which is quite before PF and NPF.

Of little relevance (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about a year and a half ago | (#41689577)

the features list are things most kernels have had for a decade or two, but NetBSD acts like they are brand new features? Talking about these features that have been around forever as being the latest and greatest is absurd. The BSDs long ago lost relevance. Pretty much there is not a thing that they do better than Linux and there is a lot that they do not do that Linux can do. It is painfuil to install and the hardware support is worse than Windows. I cant see a a strength to it.

Re:Of little relevance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41689641)

Yes, hardware support on the BSDs suck.

However, NetBSD has one thing going for it which linux des not, I believe:
64 bit time on a 32 bit processor. If they could get a realtime kernel, they could possibly beat linux embedded. Unfortunately, I don't think that will happen soon, if ever.

Re:Of little relevance (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#41689669)

I cant see a a strength to it.

Support for VAX & toaster ovens. Also, lack of new code. Protip: New code = opportunity for instability / exploits. Linux is great for bleeding edge, but I run BSD on my NAS & Routers because stability is more important there.

Re:Of little relevance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41690561)

[...] The BSDs long ago lost relevance. Pretty much there is not a thing that they do better than Linux and there is a lot that they do not do that Linux can do. [...]

Linux will always be shit because of the license.

FreeBSD is a dream UNIX system for anyone who doesn't drink the GPL kool-aid [copyfree.org], especially with the transition from GCC to Clang. All the best server-side technologies (Node.js [debian.org], Nginx [whisperdale.net], Redis, PostgreSQL, etc) are permissively licensed, and BSD constitutes the OS of that new stack. And, if you use (jailed) Opera (which doesn't require "half of gnome" in dependencies, the way Chromium does), you can have a fully functional HTML5 client system without a drop of GPL!

I also find FreeBSD to be a very stable system. Many times I've had a Linux system fail to start because I installed something bad in Synaptic (or for an undetermined cause), but the FreeBSD base system is bulletproof. It forces you to learn a few things in the beginning (as do the best Linux distros, like Gentoo and Arch), but after that it's very easy. Building from the FreeBSD ports tree always "just works", which isn't the case on Gentoo. Plus pretty much all Linux distros are bloated - for example, can you name one that doesn't absolutely mandate perl?

And, regarding the acknowledged Linux performance advantage (especially in fs) - DragonFly BSD is starting to catchup! [shiningsilence.com]

It is painfuil to install [...]

To each his own. I can get OpenBSD installed, pkg_add everything I need, untar everything I need to untar, etc - all in the time it takes a popular Linux distro installer just to load Gnome3 on its massively bloated LiveCD!

One major installation convenience weakness that BSD's still have is the difficulty of dealing with partitions. If you're switching between Windows and Linux, you can use something like gparted to shrink your old partition, create a new one, move files over, delete old partition, and then resize the new to fill the disk. If switching to/from or between BSDs (and not using multiple HAMMER volumes), then you're gonna have to back up to another drive... With cheap USB3 HDDs that's no longer as much of an issue though, and keeping such a drive for backup is a good idea in any case.

[...] and the hardware support is worse than Windows.

All UNIXen, including Linux, have inferior desktop hardware support to Windows. No wonder - desktop device manufacturers must place the needs of the >90% first!

BSD's (if not one then another) are pretty good at keeping up with Linux on server hardware that most people use. Sometimes Linux will include a proprietary BLOB to support a device, while the OpenBSD people will make the effort of writing a fully open source driver.

I cant see a a strength to it.

BSD is for people who care about freedom, first and foremost. It has some technical merits (which I hope will grow over time, as more and more people understand the downsides of GPL, switch to a BSD OS, and contribute), but that comes secondary.

--libman

Linux license is SO much worse, huh? (1)

daboochmeister (914039) | about a year and a half ago | (#41692795)

Yeah, as long as you ignore the fact that that license supported the growth of its use. Yes, it may be counter-intuitive to some, but the GPL 2.0 license is a big part of WHY Linux has kicked *BSD's butt all over the marketplace.

Re:Linux license is SO much worse, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41700855)

First of all, the argument against GPL [freestateproject.org] is primarily a moral argument. GPL is a product of socialist thinking [stallman.org] that completely misunderstands how the FLOSS marketplace works, and tries to use "intellectual property" laws (thereby legitimizing them) to hurt "evil corporations". GPL is a gun, and one that is becoming more and more dangerous with every version. It is hypocrisy to call restrictively-licensed software "free".

Secondly, you are wrong on the pragmatic side as well.

Read a bit of UNIX history, will ya? BSD was entangled in legal FUD [wikipedia.org] at just the very time when Linux was taking off (1991 to mid-1994). By the time BSD became BSD-licensed, Linux was the buzzword of the year. This avalanche of attention was great enough to allow it to overcome its licensing handicap.

If your premise was correct, then we'd be seeing a trend of other permissively licensed (copyfree [copyfree.org]) projects being leapfrogged by restrictively licensed (copyleft) ones, but in reality it's the other way around [the451group.com]. The smartest new projects tend to use permissive licenses instead!

The Apache license hasn't stopped Apache httpd from dominating all potential GPLed alternatives over the years, and now it has been supplanted by the even more permissively-licensed Nginx. We've seen popular scripting languages go from copyleft (Lisp, Perl, SpiderMonkey) to almost-copyfree (PHP, Python) to fully-copyfree (V8 / Node.JS, relicensed Ruby, Lua, Go, alternative PHP and Python implementations, etc). Mozilla has been leapfrogged [wikipedia.org] by Chrome. MySQL is slowly beginning to lose market share to PostgreSQL [enterprisedb.com], SQLite [accettura.com], and the various copyfree NoSQL alternatives.

GPL still dominates only among the software projects that were "grandfathered in" in the 1990s, when most people uncritically accepted GPL as "THE open source license". This includes the Linux kernel, mplayer, the popular widget toolkits, and things based on top of them. (The BSD people were geekier than the Linux people, and thus didn't rush to create things like GTK+.) The popularization of HTML5 with copyfree media codecs (and eventually HTML6+, with NaCl [wikipedia.org], etc) will help the copyfree world leapfrog in the latter two categories.

--libman

Worth trying out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41690103)

As a long-time Linux user (desktops and especially servers in data centres including clusters), I'm curious about NetBSD: is it worth trying out? What are the advantages, if any? How comprehensive is driver support? Can I still run my usual complement of GNU/other software (gnu C, apache, sendmail, postgresql, mysql, et al)? What about clustering support? ...and what about packages for updates/ugrades (think rpm/yum/deb/apt-get)?

Anyone from a pure Linux background ever made the transition? Tell me about your experiences.

Re:Worth trying out? (4, Informative)

spauldo (118058) | about a year and a half ago | (#41690463)

I've never really used NetBSD (I've installed it a couple times, but never used it much), but I've used OpenBSD and FreeBSD quite a bit.

It's probably not what you'd want for a desktop system. It will run all the server stuff you listed just fine. The system compiler is gcc, although it likely comes with BSD make, so you'll want to install GNU make for compiling some software (usually it doesn't make a difference, but some projects rely on GNU make).

Packaging is similar to Slackware's package system (or at least how it used to be - I haven't use Slack in years) - it's tarball based. There is the pkgsrc system where you can automatically download and compile software for the system (based off FreeBSD's port system, which I rather like). You can also download and recompile the entire OS if you want (the infamous "make world" on FreeBSD, although glancing at the docs it seems NetBSD doesn't use that exact term).

Binary updates are generally available for security or bugfixes. The system doesn't do this for you (unless you recompile the system from source regularly - see below), so you have to check the errata page often to see if you need to update something. If you do, it's generally as simple as downloading the new binary and installing it using the system install tool.

Source updates are done on CVS trees - you track one of the trees (STABLE or CURRENT) and you get updates. The BSDs differ a bit where this is concerned, so I can't really give any specifics, but on FreeBSD and OpenBSD it's relatively painless once you get it set up. There's a utility to help you update your configuration files in FreeBSD and OpenBSD, so I assume NetBSD has something similar.

It supports CARP if you want to do clustering. I'm not sure if that will cover your needs, but if not, OpenBSD or FreeBSD might. I can attest that netbooting OpenBSD is cake - my firewall runs diskless.

As far as my experiences, well, there's a bit of a learning curve. It's easier if you've worked with Slackware or some other source-heavy Linux distro. The BSDs have a very unified feel to them, probably because there's no separation of userland and kernel development - the base system is developed as one unit, not a bunch of different projects. Like with anything, you have to use it a while to get a feel for it.

I like it. It's not as stuffy as Solaris, but it has a more consistant feel than Linux. Documentation is usually excellent, and the man pages are the definitive resource and usually include examples and explainations. I use OpenBSD for my firewall and nameserver, and FreeBSD for my file/webserver (due to ZFS and better Java support). I would use FreeBSD as a professional workstation (as long as it didn't require heavy 3D work), but not for my home machine.

If you've got the time to put into learning it (which if you know your stuff from Linux, it won't take long), it's well worth it. Throw it on a server and use it for a bit, and see what you think.

Re:Worth trying out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41691035)

It's easier if you've worked with Slackware or some other source-heavy Linux distro

Slackware is not "source-heavy". It does not require or even advocate that you compile programs from source. Gentoo is the "source-heavy" linux distro. Slackware certainly is the most "unix-like" linux distro, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you are compiling programs from source.

Re:Worth trying out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41693019)

Correct. Slackware is the most BSDish of the Linux distros, however. They even used to (or still might - I switched to Open/FreeBSD a long time ago) use the BSD style init.

Re:Worth trying out? (1)

spauldo (118058) | about a year and a half ago | (#41700881)

Slackware might not be source-heavy now (I haven't used it in years), but it used to be, if you actually wanted to do anything with the system.

If you wanted to install something that's not in the package sets (most everything, since Pat wasn't superman), you had to download and compile the source code. I never touched a line of C before I started on Slackware, and it was a trip learning to coax code into working. This was back before GNU autoconf was popular. Also, this was back when compiling your own kernel was recommended for performance reasons if nothing else (it was a lot less modular in those days).

It got worse when Pat didn't update to glibc when all the other distros did (yes, he had his reasons, I know). A lot of code was being written with glibc in mind and would require a lot of work to get it to work with libc5. Then you had RedHat's hacked-up version of gcc that caused problems for everyone else... oh, and did I mention imake? I'm just glad I jumped in on the Linux bandwagon after the ELF switchover - some people in here could tell you some horror stories about that.

Anyway, thanks to Slackware's lack of a large package repository, I learned how to get C code to compile, even though I didn't (at the time) know the language. I learned all about how libraries and dependancies worked. I learned how to massage a makefile to see my include files. All that has served me very well over the years, and in these days when Debian's package system spoils me so well, I still get to use these skills (so a small degree) on BSD.

Xorg on *BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41691367)

Is what hurts them, does anybody know what are the plans for Xorg on the BSDs?

Re:Xorg on *BSD (1)

Danzigism (881294) | about a year and a half ago | (#41693993)

Xorg works quite well. Just look at the PC-BSD project. They've taken the Desktop environment to a whole new level for *BSD.

Cheapbytes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41691461)

I used to be able to get releases like this one, from Cheapbytes. However, now, I get a cPanel "congratulations, cpanel is working on apache", once I click on the the Cheapbytes entry screen. Does anyone know what happened to this very useful store?

MPLS isn't a protocol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41691607)

MPLS is a label forwarding system that relies on other protocols, like LDP or BGP, to distribute labels.

a good os (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41694181)

I've ran quite a few boring packet-pushers with NeBSD over the years. Domain
name and email severs. It is a good OS. Solid. No surprises; the kind of
thing you appreciate when pushing packets and expecting 250+/7 uptime. And
for that, it is much, much better than OpenBSD than few of the fanboys here
promote. (Six month release cycles -- you are kidding me?)

But I feel sorry that the enthusiasm surrounding the previous 5.0 release
was largely lost. Or so it seems. A lot of new people came in. There was
genuine interest. But the momentum was lost. A lot of people left. It is
still the project in which you can debate the color of Vi. (Come on, us
old-timers using Emacs can not even contribure!)

But maybe it is good, maybe it is not. Try out -- it is frigging open
source!

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