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The State of BSD At the Start of 2013

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the still-alive-still-alive dept.

Operating Systems 91

An anonymous reader writes "NetBSD developer Julian Djamil Fagir provides a nice briefing on what the big three BSD projects have been working on, and explains/reminds us of their cultural differences. Stick a fork in them? Yes, Djamil Fagir mentions a couple of those, too. The recent releases from FreeBSD and NetBSD were covered by Slashdot."

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Was this story cleared through Netcraft? (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year and a half ago | (#42914105)

I thought not.

Re:Was this story cleared through Netcraft? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42914419)

In fact, it was [youtube.com] .

Re:Was this story cleared through Netcraft? (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year and a half ago | (#42914611)

Heh. My meme is older than your meme.

Re:Was this story cleared through Netcraft? (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42923245)

I think the AC's meme got more widespread, because sometime last year I actually got RickRoll'd at a local store... they were playing the song on the damn radio for all their customers to hear.

OSX is doing great (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42914109)

Oh, he forgot that one.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about a year and a half ago | (#42915017)

who knew the rest kept on kickin

Re:OSX is doing great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42915737)

Oh, look, another lamer trying to claim OSX as "FreeBSD". LMFAO.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42915947)

OS X is more than FreeBSD it's UNIX(tm).

Re:OSX is doing great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42916337)

.....and nobody but a bunch of sore losers ever cared.

Re:OSX is doing great (4, Informative)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918455)

OS X is more than FreeBSD it's UNIX(tm).

OSX may have been certified as Unix, but it has been diverging from its ancestor so much that it no longer feels Unix-like in the least.

Some examples:

- no /dev (bye-bye Unix philosophy cornerstone "everything is a file");
- unusable "locate" that doesn't find all the stuff it should (because Apple wants you to use Spotlight, the command line is bad, you silly!);
- much of the userland isn't aware of the HFS+ filesystem extensions (have fun cp'ing files, discovering months later that - oops! - the stuff had a resource fork and is now unusable -- verrry dependable!);
- case insensitive filesystem by default, you could switch to case sensitive for compatibility with any other Unix in the universe (have fun reformatting and reinstalling) but - alas! - important application software won't support it (photoshop & others);
- no cron! If you want to get it to do things periodically, you either gotta write freaking XML for launchd, or run Vixie Cron in addition to launchd. No thanks!

If OSX is Unix, it's the worst Unix I've ever seen. No serious command line nerd could ever like it (OTOH, it's perfect for know-nothings who like to click on pretty pictures). Using it is a totally different (as in "worse") experience than using any BSD (or Linux!), so spare me the old "OSX is BSD" hearsay!

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918527)

Correction to the above: it does have /dev, come to think of it, you just don't get to use it much, since you can't choose the mountpoint because mounting is automated!

Re:OSX is doing great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918771)

> unusable "locate" that doesn't find all the stuff it should
sudo /usr/libexec/locate.updatedb

> much of the userland isn't aware of the HFS+ filesystem extensions (have fun cp'ing files, discovering months later that - oops! - the stuff had a resource fork and is now unusable)

man CpMac

> case insensitive filesystem by default,

It's a case-preserving filesystem by default. Because it's a Mac and needs backward-compatibility.

> no cron! If you want to get it to do things periodically, you either gotta write freaking XML for launchd, or run Vixie Cron in addition to launchd. No thanks

http://menphix.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/how-to-use-cron-in-mac-os-x/

Sounds to me like you don't like it because it's different from what you're used to and you don't know what you're doing because you didn't RTFM.

(captcha: 'instruct')

Re:OSX is doing great (2)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918933)

sudo /usr/libexec/locate.updatedb

It's not that. I've updated the db (and I let update it periodically, via launchd) but it still won't find everything (not even regular user-owned stuff).

man CpMac

Yeah, I had come across that one. Then again, you first have to know it exists. Apple won't warn you nor inform you. And when you investigate and find out, it's usually because the regular Unix tools have already wrought havoc.

It's a case-preserving filesystem by default. Because it's a Mac and needs backward-compatibility.

Whatever. Have fun developing on a case-insensitive file system and not noticing case mismatches that will suddenly stop the show when you run your stuff on a proper Unix.

http://menphix.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/how-to-use-cron-in-mac-os-x/

That won't work, from at least 10.6 onwards. No cron by default. If you want it, you must use it in addition to launchd. If you want to start cron at boot, you have to tell launchd, by writing freaking XML!

Sounds to me like you don't like it because it's different from what you're used to and you don't know what you're doing because you didn't RTFM.

I don't like because it's a bastardized Unix that's not nearly Unix-like enough.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42919001)

Granted, Apple made some bad design choices - but they also created some good workarounds for bad Unix design choices. I wouldn't call it "bastardized" - I don't think it's any worse than some other Unix variants I've seen in my day.

Still, it is open source so you can modify it as you like.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

obtuse (79208) | about a year and a half ago | (#42920121)

OK, cp is fixed. From
man CpMac

As of Mac OS X 10.4, the cp command preserves metadata and resource forks of files on Extended HFS volumes, so it can be used
in place of CpMac. The /usr/bin/CpMac command will be deprecated in future versions of Mac OS X

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

willy_me (212994) | about a year and a half ago | (#42920213)

man CpMac

Yeah, I had come across that one. Then again, you first have to know it exists. Apple won't warn you nor inform you. And when you investigate and find out, it's usually because the regular Unix tools have already wrought havoc.

All of the standard Unix tools for moving / copying files have supported resource forks for some time now. But it's really not a big deal because only Classic / Carbon MacOS apps make use of resource forks. Classic will not run on new hardware and Carbon was depreciated a while ago. If you are a Unix user, I can't imagine a situation where you would want a resource fork.

It's a case-preserving filesystem by default. Because it's a Mac and needs backward-compatibility.

Whatever. Have fun developing on a case-insensitive file system and not noticing case mismatches that will suddenly stop the show when you run your stuff on a proper Unix.

You have it wrong. The file system is not really case-insensitive as per the traditional sense. If you have a file named "SomeFile.pdf" and try to open "SomeFile.Pdf" it will fail. The case is sensitive just as with the other Unix based operating systems. Where it differs is that it will not allow you have files named "Readme" and "readme" in the same location.

Re:OSX is doing great (2)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | about a year and a half ago | (#42920695)

You have it wrong. The file system is not really case-insensitive as per the traditional sense. If you have a file named "SomeFile.pdf" and try to open "SomeFile.Pdf" it will fail. The case is sensitive just as with the other Unix based operating systems. Where it differs is that it will not allow you have files named "Readme" and "readme" in the same location.


> ls dir2
README
> mv dir1/readme dir2/
> ls dir2
readme

Bye-bye README! Because of this nonstandard behaviour, I once lost a bunch of files. Thankfully, I realized soon enough and I had backups; but - since then - I know I can't trust shell scripts known to work on other Unixes.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42925339)

Okay, that is fucked up. It's clearly the wrong behavior - BUT, why are you passing the incorrect filename and depending on the OS to match it as case-insensitive?

On a case-sensitive filesystem, your command would simply fail (which is correct behavior) but it looks like you want to have your cake and eat it too-- rely on case-insensitive parameter matching but expect the system to be case-sensitive by default.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926929)

Okay, that is fucked up. It's clearly the wrong behavior - BUT, why are you passing the incorrect filename and depending on the OS to match it as case-insensitive?

In my example, both filenames are correct and exist. The point is that the lowercase filename will replace the uppercase filename.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42930199)

Oh, I getcha. I didn't realize there were 2 files 'readme' and 'README.' But that can't be true if dir1 and dir2 are both on the same case-insensitive filesystem; only one of them would be allowed in dir1.

Besides, that issue should be remedied before you try to move them from a case-sensitive filesystem to a case-insensitive one.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#42920909)

I can't imagine a situation where you would want a resource fork.

Eating Horseburgers?

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

armanox (826486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42919207)

Case sensitivity is the one that hit me. My Lion install is case sensitive, and a lot of programs (don't have PS to try, but can vouch for Steam, Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2) simply don't install.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42919459)

- much of the userland isn't aware of the HFS+ filesystem extensions (have fun cp'ing files, discovering months later that - oops! - the stuff had a resource fork and is now unusable -- verrry dependable!);

When did you last try OS X? cp(1) started honored the resource fork in Mac OS X 10.4. CpMac is deprecated.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42919669)

Even things like rsync supports them. OP is just whining.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42919663)

Have you used AIX? Where changes made to /etc/* files get reverted because you didn't do it through smit?

Is AIX UNIX then?

What about ubuntu with all the changes they've made?

I've had no problems using Terminal.app and bash, and I grew up on Solaris/OpenBSD, so no idea why you have such a bug up your ass.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42920597)

- unusable "locate" that doesn't find all the stuff it should (because Apple wants you to use Spotlight, the command line is bad, you silly!);

I like my Spotlight command line you insensitive clod.

mdfind "kMDItemDisplayName == 'slashdot'wc"

Re:OSX is doing great (2)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about a year and a half ago | (#42921969)

- no /dev (bye-bye Unix philosophy cornerstone "everything is a file");
- unusable "locate" that doesn't find all the stuff it should (because Apple wants you to use Spotlight, the command line is bad, you silly!);
- much of the userland isn't aware of the HFS+ filesystem extensions (have fun cp'ing files, discovering months later that - oops! - the stuff had a resource fork and is now unusable -- verrry dependable!);
- case insensitive filesystem by default, you could switch to case sensitive for compatibility with any other Unix in the universe (have fun reformatting and reinstalling) but - alas! - important application software won't support it (photoshop & others);
- no cron! If you want to get it to do things periodically, you either gotta write freaking XML for launchd, or run Vixie Cron in addition to launchd. No thanks!

If OSX is Unix, it's the worst Unix I've ever seen. No serious command line nerd could ever like it (OTOH, it's perfect for know-nothings who like to click on pretty pictures). Using it is a totally different (as in "worse") experience than using any BSD (or Linux!), so spare me the old "OSX is BSD" hearsay!

So you noticed that /dev/ still exists. Well done. Although mounting is automatic (which I hardly see as being a bad feature and something unique to Mac OS X) there's no reason why you can't manually mount stuff as you wish. man mount.

On locate, log a bug if it's not working as intended. This is what techie people do. I'd opt for mdfind unless I have a script that *absolutely must* use locate. mdfind is fast and isn't reliant upon having an up-to-date locate database.

cp by default preserves resource forks. It's been that way for over six years! You're right that prior to that it was a mess during the period when resource forks were still very much used in Classic applications, and CpMac was kind of hidden away in the developer tools. Anyway resource forks were problematic for a long time. Saw plenty of issues where people would email files or copy them to alien filesystems, ending up with broken applications. man CpMac and man cp.

Agreed on the case insensitive default of HFS+. That I find a bit odd.

On cron - it was at first odd to see it go but I'm now happy working with launchd. XML isn't a pain if you have templates ready, or use something to generate the XML for you. Granted it's not as straightforward as popping a line in to a crontab. Personal preference and use cases really. I like launchd because a task can be triggered by a fairly broad range of events. I too miss the simplicity of cron.

Incidentally, I've had similar issues switching between BSD and Linux. Shit's not necessarily where I expect it to be. I'd say your gripes are more to do with outdated information and personal preference. I stick with BSDs, not because I think they're inherently a better Unix than Linux - more because BSD feels like coming home. Linux feels like a parallel universe where things are sufficiently different to be noticeable, yet overall pretty familiar.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42932925)

If OS/X doesn't have the Vixie cron ... it's probably because Paul Vixie fired Jordan Hubbard for refusing to work through a weekend instead of going SCUBA diving, back in the late 1980s.

(Probably afraid somebody wouldn't get their quarterly bonus, and didn't care WHO paid the price - as long as it wasn't ol' Paul.)

Based on information and belief, as well as ~30+ years of acquaintance with both parties, I'd guess that Paul Vixie is an asshole.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42915795)

There is a difference between sharing kernel ancestry, and actually being a BSD.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | about a year and a half ago | (#42915987)

They're also using a huge portion of the BSD userland. The kernel is where the most significant differences are.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917109)

There is a difference between sharing kernel ancestry, and actually being a BSD.

And what, pray tell, would that be?

Mach + BSD layer was built intentionally as a drop-in replacement for the BSD kernel.

BSD today doesn't have a lot in common with BSD of yesteryear... in fact, Darwin is probably closer (in terms of features and common code) to today's FreeBSD than FreeBSD is to 4.4BSD.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

dfghjk (711126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918261)

Stunningly stupid, oxymoronic comment.

Because over a decade ago a kernel was based on a decades-old "drop-in replacement" that's specifically NOT BSD, OS X is BSD.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918641)

Uh, no, because GP implied that to be a "true BSD" you can't ever replace things like the kernel.

Today's FreeBSD kernel is not the same as it was before Mach came along, does that mean FreeBSD isn't a "true BSD"?

Hell, the original BSD came about largely because of a new kernel that supported VM.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42919285)

The device driver API is so radically different than any other BSD.

It's more of an OpenStep than it is a BSD.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926713)

Today's FreeBSD kernel is not the same as it was before Mach came along

Does this mean that FBSD based on the Mach 3 kernel? That is news to me

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926733)

Does this mean that FBSD based on the Mach 3 kernel? That is news to me

Huh? No.

It just means that if you go back to a time before Mach even existed, and look at BSD's kernel, it was very different than the current FreeBSD kernel.

Nitpickers like to say that Mach+BSDs (such as NeXTSTEP and Mac OS X) aren't "true BSDs" because they replaced the BSD kernel. Well then, by those standards, FreeBSD isn't a "true BSD" either.

Re:OSX is doing great (5, Informative)

pchan- (118053) | about a year and a half ago | (#42918461)

iOS is doing even better.

There seem to be some uninformed posters here, so here is the OS X relationship to BSD:
The OS X/iOS kernel is based on Mach, which is a microkernel mashed together with a BSD kernel. It has a lot of BSD code in it and continues to share code with the other BSDs. It has features borrowed from BSD such as DTrace, PF firewall, file system support (including ZFS before it was removed), the networking subsystem, kqueue, jails, and others. While Mach is fundamentally different in some ways, to a POSIX binary it looks and feels just like any other BSD system.

The OS X userland is also based on BSD and was originally derived from FreeBSD. It uses the BSD libc and many of the command line tools are from the BSD world (from grep to ssh). It also includes some GNU tools, such as bash. Apple is actively working on replacing many of these, and they recently dropped GCC and GDB and replaced them with Clang and LLDB.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42919675)

I believe dtrace was inplemented independently from Solaris by Apple. I know ZFS was.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922463)

It has a lot of BSD code in it and continues to share code with the other BSDs.

Really? I was under the impression that Apple do not distribute any source code for Darwin on ARM. Please show me where I can obtain the XNU ARM kernel source that is used in iOS.

Re:OSX is doing great (1)

pchan- (118053) | about a year and a half ago | (#42938087)

It has a lot of BSD code in it and continues to share code with the other BSDs.

Really? I was under the impression that Apple do not distribute any source code for Darwin on ARM. Please show me where I can obtain the XNU ARM kernel source that is used in iOS.

Why would you need that? The platform-specific part of the kernel is a fairly minor part of the overall code. There's a lot more code investment in the VM, the FS, the network stack, and other major kernel subsystems, which are all generic code and distributed to the public, than the specific implementations of low level locks, interrupts, and page table map managers. The fact that we can't build and run XNU on ARM doesn't mean that we can't share code with it.

Re:OSX is doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997281)

You can't get the source code for "open source" Android's kernel either.

A copy of the article: (4, Funny)

snarfies (115214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42914417)

It is official; Netcraft now 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 close 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 in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin 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 cockeyed miracle could save *BSD from its fate at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Re:A copy of the article: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42914795)

What a BS reply.

The only reason people are using Linux and not FreeBSD is because all the cloud vendors are only able to use CentOS/RedHat and nothing else. Where's the FreeBSD cloud servers? There ARE NONE. Why?
1) Impairs performance... cloud servers are a joke for performance. Your virtual server lacks basic network configurability like TCP offload, RAID hardware features, and is hindered by other VPS's running on the same physical machine.
2) Most of the servers out there running VPS's are using Xen, which is only on Linux.

Solve #2, then solve #1

Re:A copy of the article: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42915063)

What's that whooshing sound I hear?

Re:A copy of the article: (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42915227)

Where's the FreeBSD cloud servers? There ARE NONE.

You mean like RootBSD [rootbsd.net] ?

Re:A copy of the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42919337)

Or this...

http://www.daemonology.net/freebsd-on-ec2/

Re:A copy of the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42915349)

Whoosh!

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slashdot [wikipedia.org] :

Other popular memes usually pertain to computing or technology, such as "Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these",[51] "But does it run Linux?",[52] or "Netcraft now confirms: BSD (or some other software package or item) is dying."[53]

Re:A copy of the article: (1)

gangien (151940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42916769)

lol i'm not sure if i just haven't been browsing bsd sotries, there haven't been as many of them or this old slashdot comment hasn't been around for awhile.

brings back fond memories of bsd stories spammed with the exact same thing, more than any other comments.

Re:A copy of the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42920997)

Oh, seen this comment a couple of times now. Do you just copy paste it on every BSD article you find.?

Re:A copy of the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976629)

Nice try, idiot.

Opinion is NOT Fact. BSD is very much alive and well - *that* is a fact. It's far superior to GNU/Linux in nearly every way. Too bad closed-minded fucktards like you can't see that.

Dragonfly BSD ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42914821)

      What about Matt Daemon and single system image, HAMMER file system etc...

Re:Dragonfly BSD ?? (4, Informative)

dtremenak (893336) | about a year and a half ago | (#42915019)

TFS lies about TFA's contents. TFA has FOUR categories covering DragonflyBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD.

Re:Dragonfly BSD ?? (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42915111)

You won't even take a look at TFA?!

BSD kernel running in your BROWSER!? (5, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42915261)

This is insanely cool... [netbsd.org]

Seriously.

Re:BSD kernel running in your BROWSER!? (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year and a half ago | (#42915377)

BSD kernel in Javascript? I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Re:BSD kernel running in your BROWSER!? (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year and a half ago | (#42915523)

That is seriously, seriously amazing.

Re:BSD kernel running in your BROWSER!? (1)

catmistake (814204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42915645)

Bye-bye...
So I sez to him... The real way
that it should be done is to...

Re:BSD kernel running in your BROWSER!? (2)

ajlitt (19055) | about a year and a half ago | (#42915813)

There is no animated GIF to convey how blown my mind is.

Re:BSD kernel running in your BROWSER!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42916571)

What's great is that this allows you to run a browser in your browser. It's browsers all the way down.

Re:BSD kernel running in your BROWSER!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917733)

rump kernels.... yes, i like

Re:BSD kernel running in your BROWSER!? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939347)

http://bellard.org/jslinux [bellard.org]

A full x86 emulator written in JS. It happens to load a Linux image into it, but you could easily use a BSD one instead. Pretty cool... but not quite as cool as compiling the OS to run in JS directly.

FreeBSD KMS & Co. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42915361)

I think it's also worth noting that FreeBSD' support for moder GPUs is finally improving:

-nvidia closed-source driver works (as always)
-Intel works https://wiki.freebsd.org/Intel_GPU
-AMD porting has started https://wiki.freebsd.org/AMD_GPU

Re:FreeBSD KMS & Co. (1)

rbprbp (2731083) | about a year and a half ago | (#42916419)

I wish FreeBSD added support - however minimal, disabling the power-hogging dedicated graphics card - for hybrid graphics. That would be pretty much enough for me to at least dual-boot FreeBSD on my laptop.

Re:FreeBSD KMS & Co. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42919303)

sysctl hw.pci.do_power_nodriver=D3

make sure a driver doesn't attach.

cheers

BSD is pretty cool (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42915459)

What I find funny is that BSD is finally, after 10 years of ATT/UNIX trademark fearing BS, starting to not only catch up but exceed in technical developments and market growth.
I've used it as my main desktop for almost 15 years. Well, ok FreeBSD specifically. I run Linux, and a little windows too. All the servers are BSD.
BSD has ZFS, which is the reason Linux has ZFS, because BTRFS is still vaporware.
And because of the ultimate freedom of the BSD two/three clause license all other OS can use BSD code.
But Linux is a zealous camp and insists on infecting people :( And now even Linux is stealing back clean-roomed BSD code that the BSD projects clean-roomed from GPL tools specifically to get away from GPL versions of same. How funny is that :)
And now with CLANG/LLVM things are really moving.
No, BSD is not dying, it's building very long term openness and business friendly models, much longer term and open visioned than Linux. BSD cares about these things. One way to see that is the FreeBSD foundation's donations page, the model is working.
Linux is better than it was in the 90s and 2000s, it doesn't crash on me like it used to. They'll both still crash if you poke them in certain ways. But as a daily use, BSD hasn't ever exibited what I used to see with Linux.
Oh, there is also PC-BSD for users, which is sort of like Ubuntu to Debian.
I like not having to worry about KERNEL from Linux + GNU from third parties to make a whole OS... BSD projects provide the sum of those two IN HOUSE. You get the whole OS from one shop. So all that is left is the packages you want to install like X, Firefox, GIMP, whatever just like any other OS.
Anyways, I'm just happy with FreeBSD (and OpenBSD and DragonflyBSD, don't really use NetBSD because they're more embedded).
If you're a Linux user and haven't tried it, grab an ISO and run it in a VM. Don't freak because you might not have a sexy GUI installer with pointy clicky AJAX menus and stuff (that's coming), but take a look at the configuration mechanism after you're up and running, how you update and build the kernel and world... the overall BSD model of things.
See if you like it maybe :)

Re:BSD is pretty cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42916447)

But Linux is a zealous camp and insists on infecting people :( And now even Linux is stealing

Not zealous enough, obviously. Its called GNU, Linux is only the kernel. If you must bash people, please use the correct terms at least.

Re:BSD is pretty cool (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#42919035)

Because of ZFS (and after being disappointed with the current state of ZFS on linux, it's still too early and performance is way behind other implementations) I put a version of BSD on an old 32 bit file server with 750GB IDE disks that were being wasted and hadn't been powered on for a while. Even that thing seemed fast - with a quick boot time and enough disks in the ZFS pool it suddenly seemed viable despite being in the rack with machines seven years newer. Of course having 4GB of memory helps a lot. A newer SATA machine with an early amd64 doesn't run anywhere near as well with 2GB. For anything new it's not an issue since 16GB is cheap and easily available.

Re:BSD is pretty cool (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year and a half ago | (#42921091)

But Linux is a zealous camp and insists on infecting people :( And now even Linux is stealing back clean-roomed BSD code that the BSD projects clean-roomed from GPL tools specifically to get away from GPL versions of same. How funny is that :)

Yeah, I hate it when people release code under the license they want, and then someone comes along and takes it off them, and releases the code under a completely different license! Really rude. If only there were a license that the BSD project could use which would prevent such terrible behaviour...

Or to put it another way (with less snark)- if they don't like people changing the license their code is under, they shouldn't be releasing it under a BSD license. That's basically the point of that license...

Re:BSD is pretty cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42921253)

And the lesson is: "if you don't want other people to have what you've got, don't give it away!"

the BSD license (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42928179)

It seems that GPL fans like to forget these lines from the BSD license:

> Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
> modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
> are met:
> 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
> notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

i.e., kicking the copyright notice and BSD license out is as illegal
as putting your own license on some GPL code.

Re:BSD is pretty cool (1)

srobert (4099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42930207)

About 8 months ago, I dived into trying FreeBSD on the desktop, after having been a Linux user since the mid-90's. I like it very much. In fact it has become my default desktop, but I'm reluctant to recommend it to others. Firstly, I don't know whether their hardware will be fully supported. And, even if it is, most people won't have the time or inclination to learn what's required to use it.

Re:BSD is pretty cool (1)

zixxt (1547061) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986865)

What I find funny is that BSD is finally, after 10 years of ATT/UNIX trademark fearing BS, starting to not only catch up but exceed in technical developments and market growth.

Proof?

I've used it as my main desktop for almost 15 years. Well, ok FreeBSD specifically. I run Linux, and a little windows too. All the servers are BSD.
BSD has ZFS, which is the reason Linux has ZFS, because BTRFS is still vaporware.

Vaporware? I'm using BTRFS as we speak

I like not having to worry about KERNEL from Linux + GNU from third parties to make a whole OS... BSD projects provide the sum of those two IN HOUSE. You get the whole OS from one shop. So all that is left is the packages you want to install like X, Firefox, GIMP, whatever just like any other OS.

Your first point Is a matter of opinion, and I can do the same thing by using Debian, Slackware or Gentoo.

a little late, but... (1)

Prod_Deity (686460) | about a year and a half ago | (#42915703)

From TFA:
"Playstation 3 -- FreeBSD now officially supports the Playstation 3 game console. This might be a bit late, but the Playstation 3 has been useful for several number crunching applications due to its processor and its low price."

The PS3 hasn't had the OtherOS option for how long? I don't know of anyone that hasn't updated after that, obviously not the USAF.
I knew *BSD was behind the times, but come on now...

Re:a little late, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42915955)

FreeBSD running on PS3 [slashdot.org]

Re:a little late, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42915989)

oops... that's crap. This is how it's done. [freebsd.org]
NETBOOT!

Re:a little late, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42916493)

Yeah, OtherOS was gone momentarely for a few months, a few years ago. Now it is readily available. What was your point?

Re:a little late, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917711)

When and how did it come back?

BSD? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42915785)

Shouldn't it be "GNU/BSD"? After all, most of the stuff is GPL!

Re:BSD? (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42916279)

GNU itself clarifies that BSD is not based on GNU software. Check out their website

Re:BSD? (1)

armanox (826486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42916313)

Actually, no it's not. The BSD world doesn't require the GNU userland - it has its own.

Re:BSD? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917369)

No it isn't, you fucking moron!

Some shortcomings of the article (3, Informative)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42916463)

I read TFA. I was rather disappointed that in the list of BSD's accomplishments, no mention was made of IPv6, where FBSD was the pioneer. It was the first to have support from the KAME project, and later, in version 9, they even had the IPv6 only mode, which users could use if they wanted to test whether applications work w/ IPv6 w/o a fallback to IPv4. They would also have done well to have described PC-BSD's EasyPBI package manager, which even FBSD seems to have adapted, as well as the Linux jails in FBSD and PC-BSD.

On the OBSD side, they could have described their routing and firewall capabilities. Also, they could have, in the FBSD part, described m0n0wall and pFsense, and compared them w/ OpenBSD

On the NBSD side, I don't see NetBSD playing much of a role. If they are targeting embedded devices, they would do better to team up w/ Minix3.2, which, as a really small microkernel would be better suited for embedded applications, and focus on the things mentioned, whether it's file systems, networking, getting non-GNU utilities (like FBSD, they too ought to endorse and adapt LLVM/Clang) and Wayland. Since Minix 3.2 is under a BSD license and has adapted the NBSD conventions, it would be a good idea simply to merge them. I mean, does the NBSD kernel have anything special about it that Minix 3.2 doesn't deliver

Re:Some shortcomings of the article (2)

laffer1 (701823) | about a year and a half ago | (#42917781)

The author did a poor job of listing most BSDs accomplishments and fails to mention many projects of interest in the community.

GhostBSD, pfSense, Monowall are all interesting projects and then there's my project MidnightBSD and MirBSD.

In general, I think there's interesting projects related to file systems, IPv6, compiler work, and virtualization happening in many of the BSDs. Some BSDs are going to GPLv3 binutils and GCC (DragonFly, NetBSD). Others are using LLVM+clang (FreeBSD, MidnightBSD) and then others are looking at PCC (MirBSD, OpenBSD?)

DragonFly's HAMMER file systems are interesting as is the work to port ZFS to FreeBSD that's matured nicely. BHyVE virtualization on FreeBSD and XEN on NetBSD are nice.

There's a lot happening.

Re:Some shortcomings of the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42920307)

FBSD and IPv6, this is just huge, light years ahead of windows, ahead of linux and largely the other bsd's too. I remember KAME patches to freebsd going WAY back.
If you want 10Gig packet munging look at Luigi's Netmap, it's better than Linux PF_RING, etc. There's a youtube video.

I don't really get off on package managers. So long as they handle dependencies right. FreeBSD's did kinda sucked at times, but they're maybe 2/3's of the way through a ports and package redo. And bringing their build and distribution systems into the year 2010. SADLY, FreeBSD refuses to use Git because they cry like babies about needing a monotonic version number and not realizing Git CAN be used in a centralized fashion and other minor total non-issues.

Packet filters, FBSD's ipfw is pretty damn good. But that pesky pf from OpenBSD keeps popping up. They should just merge all their features into one single filter, but it won't happen till theo quits... thus taking obsd down with him.
NetBSD needs to just die already, i seriously don't know who it serves anymore but a bunch of old platforms.
FreeBSD is the new leader in the ARM and new embedded hardware.
OBSD can be a very small install and is pretty anal about code security but again, their platform features are behind because they're a small team.
OBSD has been forked to get updated hardware support.
There's PCBSD and maybe one or two others.
You've also got BSD+Debian/GNU as Kfreebsd. And one other project like that too.

DragonflyBSD is doing some interesting architecture. You'd have to ask Matt, but I think they might be going the Amdahl route in five years or so... nonstop cluster computing regardless of hardware failures.

In the end, FreeBSD and Dragonfly are currently the ones to watch.
BSD' in general is going strong as usual.

Re:Some shortcomings of the article (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42920625)

On the package managers, on the Linux side, I've had yum/rpm throw up dependency conflicts all the time. I've had fewer problems w/ apt-get, so have nothing to say against them. In PC-BSD, they handle the dependency issue very well, which is why it's such a neat feat: they have the applications bring in their own dependency libraries w/ them, but also do a check to see whether the required dependencies are already there in the PC-BSD system. If they are, the dependencies are not redundantly installed. Also, during an uninstall, PBI checks whether a library is no longer needed. One thing I do hope to see in PC-BSD is Wayland support - it's not needed in FBSD, but PC-BSD ought to have it.

I'd really like to see Bitrig - the fork of OBSD - merge w/ pFsense or m0n0wall. Its real utility is as a firewall & router, given the security focus of the parent project, so while it makes sense that they don't want to support things like SPARC or POWER, they should support router CPUs, which would include MIPS and OpenRISC. So far, they've completed the move to LLVM/Clang, and hopefully can do their other things as well. Since BSD already has leadership on IPv6, they should leverage that in coming up w/ powerful security models for IPv6, so that it's difficult to claim that IPv6 is any less secure than IPv4, and make that their selling point.

About OBSD itself, I'm not getting their differences w/ the FSF, given that the FSF likes their firm opposition to closed source software, and their only difference is the insistence on Copyleft, which Theo, given his ideology, shouldn't have a problem with.

NetBSD - Tannenbaum seems to consider their userland useful enough to adapt on Minix. They should keep NetBSD for the old platforms, but adapt Minix for future systems - like embedded devices. Maybe do a Minix port to the ARMs - Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, et al and have NetBSD userland ride on them. Minix too has already switched over to LLVM/Clang. Ideally, I think Minix should have just taken features from FBSD, and been the embedded representative of FBSD, given its very small footprint.

I think that kFreeBSD is interesting, but the question that begs itself - what do they gain by putting the GNU userland on a BSD kernel? A better exercise would be to do the converse - put BSD userland on a Linux kernel. Right now, the GNU userland is GPL 3, unless Debian is deliberately holding back to an older version, which would have its issues. While kFreeBSD does allow Debian packages to live on a BSD, FBSD jails now seamlessly allow that by running a Debian jail within FBSD (the other project of Debian - kNetBSD, which tried doing it the other way, got abandoned). So this Debian work could be better utilized to put together a FBSD userland on Debian non-GNU Linux, and then Debian software on top of all that.

DragonFly - I see them having a niche in massively parallel systems, if they keep expanding that. If NetBSD & Minix occupy the low end, DragonFly can occupy the high end. I'd like to see them re-introduce ports of SPARC, Itanium and POWER, in addition to x64, since those are the systems that could most use their BSD.

I agree that the BSDs are healthy, but some consolidation would be nice. Maybe if FBSD adapted the security of OBSD and looked into whether it would be better off w/ Minix as its kernel, that could be an interesting base OS, from which to have derivative distros similar to PC-BSD, GhostBSD, MidnightBSD, MaheshaBSD and so on.

Re:Some shortcomings of the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42920709)

One thing I do hope to see in PC-BSD is Wayland support - it's not needed in FBSD, but PC-BSD ought to have it.

It looks like Philip Withnall started working on Wayland for FreeBSD, look for his messages in the ML [freedesktop.org] .

an ad for sco? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42917175)

On Slashdot? Are you kidding me?

Re:an ad for sco? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42919315)

I found the retard. Where do I collect my prize?

Truecrypt - Closed source? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42918563)

The article states "TrueCrypt, a disk encryption tool, though being Closed Source, gained a wide distribution among computers due to its ease of use and cross-platform compatibility." I think this is misleading as the source code is licensed under a custom license but it is open source (depending on what one means by open source). It's not a BSD or GPL license, but the code is open and one is allowed to modify it and distribute binaries and source of the modified version. It has to be renamed and there are some other restrictions, but to call it closed source is misleading.

*BSD FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42921019)

I'm a heavy Linuxuser, but that doesn't stop me from running NetBSD, just to get a perspective. It's a different spin, sure, but still like it!

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