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FreeBSD 4.8-RELEASE Status Update

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the updating-the-cause dept.

Operating Systems 186

Dan writes "FreeBSD Release Engineering Team's Bruce Mah provides the latest status of what's holding up the official release of FreeBSD 4.8. We fully support FreeBSD RE's approach to fixing necessary problems before officially releasing the product."

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Who's "We"? (1, Insightful)

mattrix2k (632351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654045)

The engineering team supports themselves? Slashdot editors support them? All slashdot readers support them?

Re:Who's "We"? (1, Funny)

Kwelstr (114389) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654115)

Who's "We"?

Well, we cansay WHO stands for World Health Organization and WE stands for US.

So we can safely state that The World Health Administration is US, also known as THE WHO (without Roger Daltrey).

Hope that made it clear :-/

The group on stage! (-1, Offtopic)

ParnBR (601156) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654178)

I won't quote it here, but Slappy and Skinny had something [tripod.com] to say about it.

Re:Who's "We"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654367)

This is the royal "we", pronounced mightily from the dankest corner of the submitter's mom's basement. It is often used thusly:

"Mother, we need a new 60 watt bulb in the basement. It is dark there."

Re:Who's "We"? (4, Funny)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654435)

"We" are the world. "We" are the children.

Guess you haven't heard "our" song.

Re:Who's "We"? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654458)

Excellent question. Honestly reading the submission I was trying to figure out the same thing, matching up quotation marks. Is the submitter suffering from MPD and his many inner demons (pardon the pun) support it? Inquiring minds would like to know who "we" is.

Re:Who's "We"? (1)

marklark (39287) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654859)

Dan and the mouse in his pocket

1st? (-1)

seeksoft (579626) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654046)

DID I GET THE 1ST POSTTTTT Music! [tinfoil.net]

Last non-merged? (2, Interesting)

mamer-retrogamer (556651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654048)

So will this be the last non-merged release?

But.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654049)

BSD is dead, right?

The thing I want to know... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654056)

When's the RTG? (RTG = Release To Grave)

It's official (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654061)


Who gives a crap about BSD? I'm more concerned with the fact that Cmdr Taco keeps trying to stick his little dick up my poop chute. I don't understand it because I'm white and he usually likes the dark meat.

BSD is cool (4, Funny)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654071)

But does it run Linux?

Re:BSD is cool (4, Informative)

ManDude (231569) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654164)


hmm [freebsd.org]

Yes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654242)

Re:Yes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654886)

I would guess those situations don't involve threads or more than 1 CPU.

Re:BSD is cool (4, Informative)

bahwi (43111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654288)

Why yes, it does. [freebsd.org] =)

Re:BSD is cool (1)

lwbecker2 (530894) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654457)

But does it run Linux?


nope, doesn't "run Linux"... but it DOES runLinux applications. [freebsd.org]

Re:BSD is cool (1)

DJPenguin (17736) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654754)

I wonder if you could run "user mode linux" in linux binary compatabilty under freebsd? Hmmmm...

Re:BSD is cool (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654542)

No, but just as importantly it can play ogg files!

Re:BSD is cool (2, Informative)

oznet (217754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654984)

Or even more importantly:

Does it run VMware 3.x or the about-to-be-released 4.x?

I didn't think so. Sorry, I'll stick with Linux even though I feel many things in FreeBSD are coded better.

Seriously, now that the nVidia drivers are ported (sorta; not up to date though) the only reason I don't use FreeBSD is because of VMware. And yes, I know 2.x works, but that version is missing too many things that I need.

what's holding up the official release of FreeBSD: (0, Funny)

BrainGumbo (571349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654082)

Is that they can't seem to find the right voltage to pump into the bolts in its neck.

Re:what's holding up the official release of FreeB (-1, Flamebait)

BrainGumbo (571349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654163)

Flamebait! You Bastard.

Re:what's holding up the official release of FreeB (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654231)

LOL Absolutely brilliant :)

last relase (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654083)

this will probably be the last release as bsd is dying like a crack whore from aids...slowly & painfully....

almost last post (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654089)

I'm about to change jobs, won't have time to tell you all what worthless tools you are anymore. No way I will waste my own personal time here - this is more for afternoon entertainment. I will certainly miss the gestapo tactics of michael, the limp stupidity of chris, the constant grammatical failings of taco, and the fat-tastic foulness of cowboi kneel.

I do promise to come back if the trollpocalypse occurs - the Return of the Katz!

Breaking news (-1, Troll)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654171)

Uber-troll 'neal n bob' was found dead in his Florida home, at the age of 51. Although you may not have always agreed with him, his works have definately left an impact on polular culture. He will sorely be missed!

And for his 21 bum salute... !BANG! [goatse.cx] !BOOM! [goatse.cx] !BANG! [goatse.cx] !Boom! [goatse.cx] !BANG! [goatse.cx] !BoOm! [goatse.cx] !BANG! [goatse.cx]
!BOoM! [goatse.cx] !BANG! [goatse.cx] !bOOm! [goatse.cx] !BANG! [goatse.cx] !BoOM! [goatse.cx] !BANG! [goatse.cx] !BooM! [goatse.cx]
!BANG! [goatse.cx] !booM! [goatse.cx] !BANG! [goatse.cx] !Boom! [goatse.cx] !BANG! [goatse.cx] !BOOM! [goatse.cx] !BANG! [goatse.cx]

to sleep, perchance to dream...

good bye, good bye, good bye! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654354)

your unwavering committment to the truth, even in the face of Linux faggotry, will sorely be missed!

~YourMissionForToday

So I guess... (-1, Flamebait)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654107)

... that this is the one that didn't suck [slashdot.org] .

Re:So I guess... (1, Funny)

cperciva (102828) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654121)

Well, of course. FreeBSD supported the Evil bit the day the RFC was released.

Re:So I guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654149)


I wanted to put some perl here, but slashcode decided it was too lame.

This is so cool, I didn't know AI was this good, and to think they implemented it in slashcode? Wow!

Re:So I guess... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654236)

I see the moderators don't get a joke.

Re:So I guess... (1)

someonehasmyname (465543) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654561)

Mod this up, not down. It was funny. Read the article he linked to.

What next? (-1, Offtopic)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654129)

It seems that since April 1st the news has been going down hill. First Microsoft vs Google and now a pushed back release date for FreeBSD?

OT, but I *have* to ask this (5, Insightful)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654136)

What's the point of linking to Bruce Mah's email in the article?? It doesn't give any information about him, so it's pointless. And I'd be very surprised if it doesn't have the effect of filling his inbox with both spam and other random mail he doesn't want to see. Please, this is not a troll. I've seen this done a few times, and I can't imagine why. Anyone?

Re:OT, but I *have* to ask this (2, Insightful)

jhunsake (81920) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654209)

There is no reason to do it. The submitter and the editors are just rude!

Re:OT, but I *have* to ask this (2, Insightful)

moonbender (547943) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654214)

But there is information given about him: he's a member of FreeBSD Release Engineering Team. If you've got a serious inquiry related to the postponed release date, he might be the guy to mail. And, of course, FreeBSD freaks probably can associate something with the name itself, they don't require additional information.

However, I'd agree that putting his email address there isn't incredibly helpful to anyone, because there are usually better places to mail inquiries to, like a mailing list.

but he asks that no-one mails him ! (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654347)

PS. This may sound rude, for which I apologize in advance: The less time that the RE team has to spend replying to various emails (particularly those that are not relevant to the immediate goal of shipping 4.8-RELEASE), the faster the release is probably going to be finished.

Re:OT, but I *have* to ask this (1)

Moloch666 (574889) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654467)

Yea, if some one wants to email this guy they should at least go through the trouble of tracking down his email address. But, nope his email is basically on the frontpage of /. so he is going to get 300 emails about how *BSD is dying.

Re:OT, but I *have* to ask this (-1, Funny)

BrainGumbo (571349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654308)

What's the point of linking to Bruce Mah's email in the article??

Because the slashdot community, as a whole, isn't quite satisfied with size of his penis. We feel that the bombardment of emails he will now receive advertising pumps and pills will serve as a subtle hint to him, minimzing shame.

Re:OT, but I *have* to ask this (1)

skillet-thief (622320) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654507)

Links are always good. Period. No matter what they link to. In any text, the more shit you have underlined, or in color, the better.

Re:OT, but I *have* to ask this (1)

jhunsake (81920) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654869)

I [reference.com] think [reference.com] you [reference.com] are [reference.com] dumb [reference.com] !

neat (1, Informative)

Lxy (80823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654140)

I kinda like this. Basically, the release is held up because the needed files don't fit on a floppy.

Rather than just reformat the floppy as a 1.722MB, they'd rather just get everything fitting onto a 1.44MB. Kudos to you, FreeBSD team!

Re:neat (1)

QuietRiot (16908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654176)

But for all of us who need not install from a floppy, can cvsup the RELENG_4_8_0_RELEASE tag, and buildworld without waiting for the floppy issue to be resolved, am I correct?

Re:neat (1)

Lxy (80823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654220)

That's what it sounds like, but you won't have the officially blessed version of 4.8. Besides the differences in the MFS disk, it shouldn't really matter.

Re:neat (2, Informative)

and by (598383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654283)

Yes, yes you can. I'm running 4.8 right now, although I'd recommend using the RELENG_4_8 tag so that you get any patches made.

Re:neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654749)

Please Support D.A.M. -- Mothers Against Dyslexia

Ain't Bush Jr. dyslexic? Mothers against Bush eh? You are either anti-american or a terrorist, probably both.

Re:neat (2, Insightful)

t0ny (590331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654402)

"We fully support FreeBSD RE's approach to fixing necessary problems before officially releasing the product."

However, that doesnt stop us from making fun of a major For Profit software company for doing similiar things. This in no way makes us feel like hypocrits, strangely enough.

Re:neat (1)

Lxy (80823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654481)

Which company are you referring to?

Microsoft DOESN'T test things very well before releasing, that's why we make fun of them.

Re:neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5655029)

All right, the world's finally gone mad. Someone is saying that Microsoft has been criticised for holding back a release to fix bugs, rather than just shipping and fixing the glaring bugs in Service Pack 1.

It's also been modded up. Have these people ever used a Microsoft product? Well I'd guess so, because otherwise they wouldn't be posting this nonsense in support of it.

Re:neat (1)

blamanj (253811) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654417)

Pretty funny. Kind of like the old story [snopes.com] about how our train tracks are spaced the way they are because of the size of Roman chariot wheels.

Re:neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654485)

Is it even possible to reformat a floppy as 1.722MB? Do you know what you are talking about or are you just some kind of asshole?

Re:neat (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654603)

Yes, it is possible, and quite common.

If you ever get a chance to try linux one day, try typing 'man fdformat'.

Re:neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654930)

Windows 95 shipped on 1.72MB floppies, so I'm not sure exactly why FBSD can't.

Re:neat (1)

siliconwafer (446697) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654936)

Microsoft: Where do you want to go today?
Linux: Telling M$ where to go since 1991.
FreeBSD: Hey, are you guys coming, or what?

Here's the text of it from bsdforums.org (4, Informative)

toadf00t (593835) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654148)

FreeBSD Release Engineering Team's Bruce Mah provides the latest status of what's holding up the official release of FreeBSD 4.8. Our take: we fully support FreeBSD RE's approach to fixing necessary problems before officially releasing the product. Thanks mezz, our forums moderator for the newstip.

[Read full announcement]

Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 16:23:25 -0800
From: "Bruce A. Mah"
To: freebsd-stable@freebsd.org
Subject: 4.8-RELEASE status

Hi--

A number of you have been (rightfully) wondering what's up with
the i386 4.8-RELEASE. Here's the current state:

The files that are as of this moment tagged as RELENG_4_8_0_RELEASE
can't be used to build a release because the MFSROOT kernel (that goes
on the kern.flp) overflows a the size of a 1440K floppy disk.

This bug was masked by another problem that happened to be present on
the machines used by the RE team to build releases...namely, that they
didn't have the cvsroot-all collection in their local repositories.
To make a long story short, the $FreeBSD$ tags didn't get expanded in
the source files, thus (I am not making this up) causing the MFSROOT
kernel to be just a *little* bit smaller so that it could fit on a
floppy. I think this was the world's April Fool's joke to the RE
team.

We're currently trying to fix this by finding some other driver we can
move to a module on the mfsroot.flp image (or maybe just eliminate).
After we finish some tests, we'll need to commit whatever change is
required, re-tag the affected files, and then rebuild the base system.

I'm not in a position to comment on a timeline for these happenings.

Thanks for your continued patience!

Bruce.

PS. This may sound rude, for which I apologize in advance: The less
time that the RE team has to spend replying to various emails
(particularly those that are not relevant to the immediate goal of
shipping 4.8-RELEASE), the faster the release is probably going to be
finished.

Well? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654155)

Does FreeBSD support multiple processors?

Re:Well? (1, Funny)

Roofus (15591) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654301)

Yes, it does. Any other questions you could have answered on your own within 5 minutes if you'd learn to use google.?

Re:Well? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654703)

Sure, could you tell me how many legs a spider has?

Do stalagmites go up or down?

Oh, and my friend wants to know what year the "My Buddy" doll came out.

Thanks a million.

WHAT?!?!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654338)

No references to the "evil bit" yet? amazing

Thats real smart (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654366)

post the guy's email on the front page of slashdot. gee, i wonder how much crap he'll get now.

A floppy? (4, Insightful)

repetty (260322) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654372)

"The files that are as of this moment tagged as RELENG_4_8_0_RELEASE can't be used to build a release because the MFSROOT kernel (that goes on the kern.flp) overflows a the size of a 1440K floppy disk."

It's 2003 and a sparkling new Unix OS is being held up by... a floppy?

I remember floppies... I used them back in the 80's and very early 90's.

I'm glad that they are sticking by their principles on this. I just wonder if they are principles worth sticking to.

--Richard

Re:A floppy? (5, Informative)

questionlp (58365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654421)

Although floppies are antiquated, but there are still machines that will not boot off of bootable CDs and require a boot floppy (I have several Toshiba laptops that just will not boot from CD no matter what setting is used or how the ISO is burned)... but it's also useful to get a machine booted to either do a re-install or install from an FTP or an NFS server.

Anyway, most bootable CDs use floppy images (be it 1.44MB or 2.88MB) as the boot section of the CD... primarily for legacy/compatibility purposes. With that, you still have to deal with the size limitation of either 1.44MB or 2.88MB.

Re:A floppy? (2, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654486)

The "sbootmgr" floppy image that slackware (and no doubt others) gets around this. It basically boots a software bios that can boot from a CD (like the software bioses for large HDD support on old machines)

Of course, if you have no CD drive at all you're boned. Some of us (like me) put together boxes with no CD drive, my gateway machine was done by hand from the floppy drive.

Oh well. So the premier of Night of the Assisted Living BSD has been delayed.

Re:A floppy? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654487)

Also, most manufacturers systems with their own BIOS (alas Toshiba etc) don't follow the El Torito standard (I think only Award and AMI does infact!), so they can't actually boot from a CD where the first image file isn't 1.44Mb; despite the FACT that the El Torito standard CLEARLY STATES that it MUST support 2.88Mb images also.

So, for people to be able to boot from CD's on non-Award and AMI BIOS motherboards, the floppy image must fit in 1.44Mb.

This is why I will never buy a fricking PC again, I'm sticking with Mac's and Sun UltraSPARC machines from now.

Re:A floppy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654552)

El Torito was never a standard, it was always a kludge.

Most bioses allow 'emulated boot partition' to be of arbitrary size (I've built a standalone mame disk that boots from a 20 meg image then reads roms from the CD).

Re:A floppy? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654578)

You've probably forgotten to enable the automatic notification of the insertion of a CD

Go to Control panel, System...

Re:A floppy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654609)

Nice try troll.

Re:A floppy? (1)

Moloch666 (574889) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654524)

I love this method, it's a big "selling" point for me. Made me like Debian, they do this as well. Even though I use Gentoo, I was disapointed to find that the smallest install that had was a 40MB iso.

Re:A floppy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654564)

well remember this is an antiquated version of Unix that also will not install onto an extended partition/logical partition.

I mean come on, not only will Linux quite happily install and boot off of an extended partition but even Microsoft has entered the modern era with NT/2000 being happy on a logical partition.

Do you guys download Freebsd or buy cd's ? (2, Interesting)

zymano (581466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654376)

Download or Buy a cd for Newbies ?

Re:Do you guys download Freebsd or buy cd's ? (2, Informative)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654396)

depends on your network connection speed... now that I have dsl I download... b-4 I would buy from cheapbytes or someplace like that...

It also depends if you have a cd burner... since I have one I download the smallest cd iso for freebsd and do a very basic install and then add to that...

Re:Do you guys download Freebsd or buy cd's ? (1)

questionlp (58365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654401)

I download the ISO for CD1 (or even the mini-install ISO since I always use Ports to install software and portupgrade to maintain them) so that I can mount it as a virtual file system for internal FTP installs. I also have a FreeBSD (as well as NetBSD and OpenBSD) CD subscription to help out the respective projects.

Re:Do you guys download Freebsd or buy cd's ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654577)

They dont BUY anything.

Despite the rhetoric and apparent idealism, all the readers here are interested in is "free as in dont-want-to-pay".

Re:Do you guys download Freebsd or buy cd's ? (2, Informative)

Brooks Davis (22303) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654923)

The various CD's you buy are generally identical to the ISOs you download. If you want to support the project, it is recommended you buy from one of the vendors who supports the project. I have subscriptions with both FreeBSD Mall [freebsdmall.com] and BSD Mall [bsdmall.com] (Part of Daemonnews [daemonnews.org] ).

Other options are listed in the Handbook [freebsd.org] .

I definatly recommend downloading rather then buying from people like cheapbytes.

-- Brooks

this is good news (-1, Troll)

GoatPigSheep (525460) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654406)

BSD is getting closer to a 5.0 release!

That's great, means they are getting closer to winxp (which is windowsNT 5.1)

Re:this is good news (1)

Electrum (94638) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654468)

BSD is getting closer to a 5.0 release!

Yes, if by closer you mean relased two and a half months ago [freebsd.org] .

Re:this is good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654496)

Win2K was NT 5, XP is 6

Re:this is good news (1)

_Laban_ (166315) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654572)

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corporation

Re:this is good news (1)

bsd_usr (140514) | more than 11 years ago | (#5655008)

Maybe I'm biting on troll bait, but you do realize that FreeBSD 5.0 has been released right?

Resolved already... (4, Informative)

oneiric (603250) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654423)

This is good slashdot fodder, but the issue has been resolved. The awi driver (wireless prism card) is being removed from the floppy and the space problem is solved. Move along nothing to see here...

It's not on hold (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654424)

It's dead, remember?

isn't bsd dead (0, Troll)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654431)

i thought bsd was dead. wow, what a resurrection.

Re:isn't bsd dead (1)

sporty (27564) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654732)

Weren't you around 2 days ago? They are merging all the bsd's. That's why there is a delay.

(Really? No, not really :P)

What's Holding Up Release (2, Funny)

Gord.ca (236984) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654465)

Could it be problems with its merger with NetBSD & GNU/OpenBSD? I imagine that would take some time. Or are they going to have a few more releases separately?

Funny reason (1, Insightful)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654471)

I don't even have a floppy disk drive in my computers anymore. Why is making the file fit a floppy that important? They are pretty much obsolete at this point.

Re:Funny reason (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654516)

Because everyone is not you.

There are a lot of headless 'nix based gateway boxes around with a floppy, and no CD-ROM.

I love the "i dont need it so therefore noone possibly could" attitude slashbots have.

Re:Funny reason (1)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654660)

no reason for you to ba a jackass. I didn't have the "i donm't need it so why would any one else" attitude. Hell I don't need BSD at all. I was actually curious as to why that would halt a release. Seemed odd to me.

Re:Funny reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5654990)

Yes there is a need to be a jackass you ignorant little cornholer. Learn to think before you post and you won't be flamed!

Re:Funny reason (1)

f()rK()_Bomb (612162) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654716)

Alright. Say you need a firewall right and have an old p133 lying around but the BIOS dont support booting from CD ?

Re:Funny reason (1)

cbv (221379) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654760)

Why is making the file fit a floppy that important? They are pretty much obsolete at this point.

Not so.

There are, after all, machines without or with a broken CD drive. I actually do have a couple of 1U servers without one, and use the following method:

The floppies will let you boot into the install "manager" that will give you the option to install FreeBSD (not sure about the other various *BSD versions) from a _different_ machine's CD drive.

Re:Floppy installation (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654898)

When you're doing a network install of Linux or BSD, you need to boot the machine somehow. Using a floppy is nicer than burning a CD just for that purpose. Not every machine has a bootable CD drive anyway. And when you're doing some bleeding edge testing, you may need a boot floppy to fix your system.

If you're installing the same OS on several machines, it might be better to burn a whole CD of the OS. But it's kind of pointless to do for one machine, if you can do it directly over the net.

The floppy may be obsolete for YOU, but for many others it's still quite useful. Many arguments against floppies are only about file transfer, they often forget the ability to boot. E.g. USB keychains are not so universally bootable.

Re:Floppy installation (1)

Strog (129969) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654985)

I just installed 4.7 using a couple floppies and NFS.

I often download the 2.88mb image and burn it to a CD. You don't have to burn the "whole" OS to make a bootable CD. I use both methods depending on the machine and what is handy.

Sounds as if they need better compression (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654761)

It seems to me that this problem could be solved with better data compression on the floppy. Right now, they're using gzip, which is many, many years old. Perhaps if they moved to something modern (and non-GPLed, in keeping with the BSD philosophy) such as bzip, it'd fit.

wait a second... (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654849)

I thought freeBSD had joined forces with netBSD and openBSD....

ah my dreams are foiled.. pf in a bsd distro that people "support"

Whoa, Dude! (1)

4of12 (97621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654860)


We fully support FreeBSD RE's approach to fixing necessary problems before officially releasing the product.

I mean, like, aren't you going on a limb there expressing your opinion?

You're just not afraid of controversy!

but it's already available....? (1)

Nomad128 (579708) | more than 11 years ago | (#5654928)

This despite that 4.8 is available on ftp.freebsd.org??

ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/i386/ 4. 8-RELEASE

Re:but it's already available....? (1)

Openadvocate (573093) | more than 11 years ago | (#5655016)

yes I noticed that too yesterday, so I downloaded it just to beat the crowd. :D I'll just do a MD5 on it to see if it's the right one.

Rethinking sysinstall (2)

swb (14022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5655053)

Sysinstall is functional, but it's kind of creaky as an installer IMHO. There's a bunch of functionality that seems to belong more inside of an installed and running system (such as a lot of the configuration bits) than in an installer.

If you're going to require all your installation tools to fit on a floppy, then an installer should have just the tools necessary to get the install files onto a system such that the system can be booted and then used. While it might be nice to have a bunch of post-install configuration options available, the technical constraints of boot media make this kind of prohibitive.

Perhaps one idea might be a meta-installer that installs the installation files onto the computer, and then reboots into a bigger environment where you can do more extensive system configuration and package management as well as providing a richer, more user-friendly tool. I hate to say this, but as annoyingly slow as Win2k's installer is, they use a very similar kind of bootstrap installation.

The other idea is to merge the two-stage install with a single stage install on a CD and just give up on the floppy.

I'm sure none of these ideas are terribly original, but they seem that way relative to sysinstall. I've only used FreeBSD over the past 3 years, so I have no idea what the Linux distros do. Do they do anything interesting with multistage installations?
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