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OpenBSD Gains Centrino Power Management

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the save-a-watt-or-two dept.

BSD 49

In a recent email, Theo de Raadt announced support in -current for power management on the Pentium M series of processors. This allows the CPU to be throttled and therefore power saved. Additionally, dhclient was modified so that it is not necessary to find the process of the already-running dhclient and kill it before running dhclient again. This is useful for laptops that spend time roaming between different wireless networks, when dhclient is used fairly often.

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Before anyone comments, on linux it's cpufreq (3, Informative)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 10 years ago | (#7999161)

And yes, it supports Centrino. [codemonkey.org.uk]

In fact, the only OS that doesn't have a native (3, Informative)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 10 years ago | (#7999235)

interface now seems to be Windows NT 5.x. (okay, so XP SP1 supports automatic throttling, but you can't control it)
Yawn. 3rd party software? Bleah.

Re:In fact, the only OS that doesn't have a native (1)

slittle (4150) | more than 10 years ago | (#8002529)

Yawn. 3rd party software? Bleah.
So anything a user would expect to "just work" out of the box is fair game? I hope you've never complained about Microsoft "integrating" IE into Windows then...

Re:Before anyone comments, on linux it's cpufreq (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7999261)

A little offtopic maybe, but I've always been curious... One of the things I love the most about my PowerBook is how it wakes up immediately when I open the cover, in contrast to my friend's Dell laptop (running Windows XP) that takes forever to wake up from hibernate. How long does it take for a Linux system with Gnome or KDE to wake up from sleep and be usable?

I have no firsthand experience in this area so I'd be interested to know. Thanks...

If it's hibernating, it won't be any faster. (2, Informative)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 10 years ago | (#7999421)

But if it was just asleep, it takes about 3 or 4 seconds to be usable (that's about how long it takes to intialize the video and spin up the hard drive if necessary).

It seems about consistent for linux and windows. I imagine FreeBSD is the same; I've never used it on a laptop.

Re:If it's hibernating, it won't be any faster. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7999829)

Thanks for your informative reply. I didn't know there was a difference between hibernate and sleep. I googled around a bit and found this explanation [bcentral.com] . However, it seems that in sleep mode the battery will only last a day or two (on a Dell laptop, at least), and that's just unacceptable--my PowerBook lasts a week or more. I imagine this has more to do with the hardware than the software, however, so I guess the only way to find out how long it would take for my PowerBook to wake up from sleep under Linux and BSD would be to just try it myself. Perhaps I'll get around to it someday. :)

Re:If it's hibernating, it won't be any faster. (3, Informative)

addaon (41825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8002586)

Yup, there are three differences between the powerbooks and (most, not all) pc laptops. First, the powerbooks are energy-star compliant, which is a goofy way of saying they draw 1W of power when suspended (on battery; they actually take about 3W when on AC, for reasons I don't quite get). This is what allows such long suspend times. Second, they don't support hibernate at all; if you're going away for vacation for a month or more, you have no choice really but to either plug in the powerbook, or shut it down; with a pc, you'd probably just hibernate it. Third, the lid switches work really damn well. There are a lot of PC's that have that, now, but it's still not consistent... the goal, just to let the pc makers know, is so that closing suspends immediately, and opening has an image on the screen before the screen is visible to the user.

Re:If it's hibernating, it won't be any faster. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005118)

It's not hibernating. *BSD is dying.

Re:If it's hibernating, it won't be any faster. (2, Informative)

dvmiller (136202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8005675)

(on battery; they actually take about 3W when on AC, for reasons I don't quite get)

It's charging the battery as well when it's on AC power.

Re:If it's hibernating, it won't be any faster. (1)

addaon (41825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8027313)

Nah, battery charge has to be around 20W or so, I think. Certainly at least 10W. I think the extra few watts are for things like wake-on-lan, and other useless junk I don't much care about.

Re:Before anyone comments, on linux it's cpufreq (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8017735)

BSD makes the Baby Jesus cry!

smallmind (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7999535)

daniel parsons has no wang.

That is good! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8002127)

daniel parsons has no wang.

Good for him. Wang hasn't been a computer maker anyone has bothered to care about for years.

The only reason to hold onto a wang at this point is nostalaga and a high electric bill to keep it powered.

Hard Times for *BSD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7999615)

Sure, we all know that *BSD is a failure, but why? Why did *BSD fail? Once you get past the fact that *BSD is fragmented between a myriad of incompatible kernels, there is the historical record of failure and of failed operating systems. *BSD experienced moderate success about 15 years ago in academic circles. Since then it has been in steady decline. We all know *BSD keeps losing market share but why? Is it the problematic personalities of many of the key players? Or is it larger than their troubled personas?

The record is clear on one thing: no operating system has ever come back from the grave. Efforts to resuscitate *BSD are one step away from spiritualists wishing to communicate with the dead. As the situation grows more desperate for the adherents of this doomed OS, the sorrow takes hold. An unremitting gloom hangs like a death shroud over a once hopeful *BSD community. The hope is gone; a mournful nostalgia has settled in. Now is the end time for *BSD.

The Straight Dope (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7999641)

It is now official - Netcraft has confirmed: *BSD is dying

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

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood. FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

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

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

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

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

Fact: *BSD is dead

Re:The Straight Dope (3, Funny)

101percent (589072) | more than 10 years ago | (#8000147)

Netcraft runs on FreeBSD!

Comprehending the big picture (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7999690)

In order to understand the big picture,
you have to realize one fundamental fact:
*BSD is dying

OpenBSD and Laptops (3, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 10 years ago | (#7999875)

Anyone have any recommendations for a laptop, for which the built-in stuff (particularly wireless interfaces) is supported by OpenBSD?

I don't care much about processor speed or fancy video (as long as XFree86 works with it). Just need to run a web browser and an IMAP client.

I think this OS might be a good choice for laptops, since those tend to get connected to hostile networks without a friendly firewall between me and "them."

I would also want an encrypted /home, at a minimum, since lightweight computers are more vulnerable to loss/theft than typical desktops. (And my home dir would contain config files for my IMAP client, which would contain authentication info.) OpenBSD can do that, right?

Re:OpenBSD and Laptops (2, Informative)

lcde (575627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8000211)

I've run 3.2 and now 3.4 on my Compaq E500 Armada. Everything seems to be supported without any problems. I also have a Dlink DWL-650 wireless card.

Re:OpenBSD and Laptops (4, Interesting)

damian.gerow (458051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8000230)

Have you looked into FreeBSD? 5.x is coming along {nicely,horribly}, and has GEOM, CPU throttling, ACPI, and pretty extensive hardware support. It's also got a more modern compiler, which has caused some small issues with OpenBSD (namely, PowerDNS won't compile and/or run).

Don't get me wrong -- OpenBSD definitely has its place, but it's possible to secure /any/ OS. And these changes to dhclient most certainly /would/ be welcome. But I know that FreeBSD has native support for low-level encryption, and that seems to be pretty important for laptops. I also find FreeBSD makes a better desktop, but that's a matter of personal choice.

Re:OpenBSD and Laptops (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 10 years ago | (#8000430)

OpenBSD definitely has its place, but it's possible to secure /any/ OS.
I understand that, and am quite willing to consider other OSes. OpenBSD just comes to mind first, that's all.

Have you used FreeBSD on a laptop?

Re:OpenBSD and Laptops (1)

damian.gerow (458051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8004105)

Yes. I've used FBSD on an IBM A21m and on a T23 (don't remember which model). FWIW, I've also run Linux on both, and I actually found the FBSD hardware support to be a little bit better. However, I have not run OBSD on any laptops, so I'm not in a position to compare those two.

Re:OpenBSD and Laptops (3, Interesting)

jschauma (90259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8000811)

Dunno 'bout OpenBSD, but NetBSD [netbsd.org] will certainly be a good choice, too. See this page [reedmedia.net] for some reports of NetBSD on laptops.

As for encrypted /home, take a look at NetBSD's cryptographic disk [netbsd.org] driver. I use it on my IBM T30 to encrypt /home and swap. Neato.

Re:OpenBSD and Laptops (2, Informative)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8001360)

Don't know about OpenBSD, but FreeBSD-5.2 runs just fine on my Compaq Presario 2591. Everything but the winmodem worked out-of-the-box. I've never used it, but the FreeBSD GEOM system supports an encrypted filesystem.

GEOM Based Disk Encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8004607)

"FreeBSD GEOM system supports encrypted filesystems"

I've heard that while it's untested, it theoretically offers such a high level of encryption that it would take all of the computers that currently exist or are planned to exist, a few times the current age of the Universe to obtain the original information via a brute force attack.

Unfortunately, it seems as though it's going to take me nearly as long to figure out how to set it up...

Re:OpenBSD and Laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8065626)

"I don't know anything about what you asked, so I'll respond with some unrelated information!" Thanks.

Re:OpenBSD and Laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8002302)

I do not have any specific recommendations. However, information on OpenBSD and i386 laptops is available at:

http://www.openbsd.org/i386-laptop.html

Otherwise the platforms specific pages will have tell you what is supported.

index - http://www.openbsd.org/plat.html
I386 - http://www.openbsd.org/i386.html
Mac Powerpc - http://www.openbsd.org//macppc.html

Re:OpenBSD and Laptops (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8003466)

check out openbsd-mobile@monkey.org [monkey.org]

i highly recommend IBM Thinkpads, in particular the X series (very portable). OpenBSD runs like a charm on most thinkpads -- many OpenBSD developers use thinkpads, so you know that the video card, etc will work ;)

Re:OpenBSD and Laptops (2, Informative)

SteelX (32194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8008857)

Not sure if it's helpful, but I run OpenBSD on a Dell Latitude L400 (yes, it's old). Most things work, except the sound toggle buttons (I can't increase/decrease the volume via the keyboard's Fn+{F5,F6} buttons).

If all you need is XFree86, a web browser, and IMAP client, I highly recommend OpenBSD. OpenBSD is more than sufficient. You can make a really slick desktop with it, but it does take more time to set up than Linux or possibly FreeBSD. However, you'll learn heaps as you go along.

Disclosure: I'm also a Slackware user, and absolutely love tinkering with stuff and learning the internals of systems. :) That may be the reason why I don't mind all the tinkering that goes into getting a beautiful OpenBSD desktop up and running. That might put other people off, though. YMMV.

Re:OpenBSD and Laptops (1)

Game Genie (656324) | more than 10 years ago | (#8038583)

If you go to the OpenBSD website and look at the pics from their 'hackathon' they are all using Apple PowerBooks. If the commiters are on PowerBooks it seems like asure bet that they support them.

Dying the BSD ghetto (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8000381)


BSD you grow in the ghetto, living second rate
And your eyes will sing a song of deep hate.
The places you play and where you stay
Looks like one great big alley way.
You'll admire all the numberbook takers,
Thugs, BSD pimps and pushers, and the big money makers.

OpenBSD? What an oxymoron (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8000841)

With assholes like Theo the rat, it coudn't be possibly more closed!

Christmas Island Problem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8001906)

On January 14, the Christmas Island Internet Administration [www.nic.cx] abruptly disabled everyone's favorite domain, goatse.cx. All joking aside, this action brings up serious questions regarding registrars exercising control over the content of websites they don't host. Goatse [wikipedia.org] 's geek appeal as a cult phenomenon is arguably stronger than AYBABTU [everything2.com] , and has been an omnipresent icon here at Slashdot for years. There's a petition [petitiononline.com] , as well as a thread [forum.nic.cx] at the .cx registrar's forum, supporting the reinstatement of the domain.

Regardless of peoples' feelings about what was hosted at goatse.cx, arbitrary domain suspension due to content has potentially chilling effects. CIIA used a vaguely-worded clause in their registration agreement which allows them to disable any domain for any (or no) reason, even if the domain's operators aren't doing anything wrong and aren't otherwise in violation of the agreement. The suspension was apparently done with neither warning nor notice to the domain's owner.

Nearly all registrars maintain the right to take such action. However, to my knowledge this has never been done before, except in cases where the domain's owner was seriously violating the registration agreement in other ways - spamming, illegal activities, etc. - and even then only on rare occasions. The goatse situation essentially amounts to a web-based joe job [everything2.com] , wherein the site's owner had no control over links to the domain or how they were used.

Until this week, I'd always been under the impression that it's a hosting provider's job to stop service to a domain. If a website contained content so controversial as to generate complaints, the hosting provider would make the decision as to whether or not to continue serving the domain. If the host declined, the domain's owner could simply move the site to a more tolerant host. And that's the way it should be.

With CIIA's action, the tables have turned, and a registrar - even if only a small player - has set a precedent for registrars playing the role of content moderator. While this could come in handy (imagine dotster.com, who are running Apache on some sort of Unix, suspending sco.com's registration just for the heck of it), it also makes the process of shutting down potentially controversial sites far too easy. What if the Public Internet Registry decides on a whim to disable landoverbaptist.org because "Landover takes parody too far for our liking," or freenetproject.org because "Freenet can be used for bad purposes," or slashdot.org because "there are too many radical thinkers on that site?"

Domain names are finite resources. If it's widely known that you can be found at example.com, and your webhost shuts you down because they don't approve of the content of your website, you can find another webhost and be back online within a day or so. But if your registrar suspends your domain because they don't approve of your site's content, you can't just go somewhere else and "buy a new copy" of your prime internet real estate. (Oddly enough, it appears that Google has decided to ignore [google.com] links to goatse.cx; I'd been hoping to use the search results to demonstrate the domain's popularity, but no go.)

The finite nature of domains becomes even more of a problem with many ccTLD operators, who are frequently the sole registrars of their root domain. I should emphasize that goatse.cx was suspended, not deleted; the Christmas Island Internet Administration didn't remove goatse.cx and make it available for someone else to re-register. It's still there, and even paid up through 2005. It's just useless now, and its owner is (apparently) out a year's worth of .cx registration fees.

I'm aware of the "their system, their rules" argument, but should registrars really be the ones making decisions about what content should or shouldn't be allowed on a website? Now that CIIA has done this, are there any bets on which registrar(s) will follow suit, and who the next victim will be?

Linux and Pentium-M (3, Interesting)

lonesometrainer (138112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8002020)

I don't know. 3 months age we bought 4 Thinkpads T40p, mainly because of the incredible batterie times everyone seemed to be experiencing with these machines. Kernel 2.6+ACPI+cpufreq+some tricks from several mailing lists give us max. 3h with display set to darkest level and bios settings to max battery life.

Windows may not be able to fine-control the machine as much as you can with the upper configuration, but a xp-test-installation kept the machine up and running for nearly 5 hours (nearly same work on the machine...).

Any tips from Linux Pentium-M experts???

Re:Linux and Pentium-M (1, Flamebait)

drix (4602) | more than 10 years ago | (#8003531)

The XP ACPI implementation is much, much further along than the Linux's is, or may ever be. When implemented fully, ACPI can do all sorts of nifty things like shutting down individual peripherals to save power, even if they're on the USB bus (do a search for "usb 'selective suspend'" and see how many hits for Linux you get), throttle the CPU (now superceded by SpeedStep et. al), etc. Also, as much as I hate to admit it, Unix simply was never designed with this type of role in mind. It takes tons of tweaking to get a Unix system to mimic the same basic features found out-of-the-box in Windows, things like HDD spindown, intilligent CPU throttling (cpudynd does not count), etc. Even then everything is wont to thrash your disk with reckless abandon

Re:Linux and Pentium-M (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8019356)

Also, as much as I hate to admit it, Unix simply was never designed with this type of role in mind. It takes tons of tweaking to get a Unix system to mimic the same basic features found out-of-the-box in Windows,

First off, I seriously doubt that you honestly "hate to admit it". Considering some of your previous posts, I'd say you're quite anxious to say it as often as possible.

Secondly, I really don't have any idea what you mean. Obviously those functions have to be codec into the operating system, but it hardly "takes tons of tweaking". Once it's implimented, it'll work just fine. What is it about the nature of Unix that you think makes it impossible to power-down unused devices?

I'll admit that hdparm for HDD spindown is a bit of a hack, but that's only because of how Linux developers chose to impliment it. All other forms of Unix do it differently.

Re:Linux and Pentium-M (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8044528)

I assume you are running cpufreqd and it's actually working properly (check your /etc/cpufreqd.conf and see if /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_max_f req does show reduced CPU speed.

I have a Thinkpad X31 and get 4.5h of normal (for me ) usage - i.e. editing documents, occasional compilation, some web browsing and email. I get about 4h when watching a DIVX movie... down to around 3 hours of constant compilation (disk thrashing, 100% CPU). This seems to be about what people get in Windows, though I don't use Windows on this machine.

You might like to try the linux laptop mode patches, combined with a short hard disk spin-down delay. This will make your laptop just write to disk every 10 (or so - configurable) minutes so have the hard drive spun down most of the time - you can save a lot of power that way.

Developer laments: What Killed FreeBSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8002454)

The End of FreeBSD

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion

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

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

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

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

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

Shouts

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

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

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

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

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

Future

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

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

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

= Mike

--

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

Developer speaks out: What Killed FreeBSD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8002525)

The End of FreeBSD

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion

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

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

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

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

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

Shouts

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

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

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

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

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

Future

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

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

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

= Mike

--

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8002604)

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 on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fact: *BSD is dying

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8002618)

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 on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fact: *BSD is dying

Autopsy report: What Killed FreeBSD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8002665)

The End of FreeBSD

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion

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

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

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

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

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

Shouts

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

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

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

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

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

Future

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

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

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

= Mike

Too hard to... (1)

henrik (98) | more than 10 years ago | (#8003661)

As it is just too hard to run:

pkill dhclient; dhclient

Lights out, pard. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8003829)

Somewhere, in a lonely hospital room,
*BSD is dying

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8005198)

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 on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fact: *BSD is dying

Great, how about USB2, Firewire, 802.11g progress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8007425)

I use OpenBSD all day long, and run in on my Dell Lattitude. I'll have to try the latest snapshot and see if these changes are supported on my hardware.

I use OpenBSD for it's security, and would like to use it everywhere I can to mantain sanity. Thus I want the following supported:

USB 2.0
Firewire
More wireless cards (A and G, I support 400 wireless uses, and soon it will be 1500) I know the drawback is NDAs and unpublished documents and waiting for reverse engineering the hardware, but I could really use it!
Support for my Kodak digital camera. (Theo uses a Canon, so I suppose my next should be a Canon.)

Oh, and just so no one complains, I regularly buy between 5 and 10 of every release, as my way of supporting the project.

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8008780)

Fact: *BSD is dying

It is practically universal knowledge that *BSD is dying. Indeed *BSD is hopelessly mired in an irrecoverable and mortifying tangle of fatal trouble. It is perhaps anybody's guess as to which *BSD is the worst off of an admittedly suffering *BSD community. The numbers continue to decline for *BSD but FreeBSD may be hurting the most. Look at the numbers. The loss of user base for FreeBSD continues in a head spinning downward spiral.

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 marketing 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 hobbyist dilettante dabblers. In truth, for all practical purposes *BSD is already dead. It is a dead man walking.

Fact: *BSD is dying

5 dead, 31 injured after bus smashes into truck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043725)


BEIJING (AFP) - Four people and one shit operating system were killed and 31 injured when a long distance bus crashed into a parked lorry in a central section of China's north-south Beijing-Zhuhai expressway, state press reported Monday.

The accident occurred in foggy weather in Hunan province in the early hours of Monday when the bus smashed into the parked truck which had failed to pull over fully to the side of the road, Xinhua news agency said.

Police confirmed the remains of *BSD had been identified, though there was nothing left but blue-flash roadmash, stretchers, covered heads and slippery red macadam. Further details about the dead and injured were not available. Police officials in Hunan are blaming the truck driver for the accident, citing his failure to pull his broken-down vehicle completely off the road, it said.

The coach was badly damaged in the wreck, while the lorry driver escaped without injury.

The coach had departed Sunday afternoon from Guangdong province's Dongguan city and was bound for Hubei province as part of China's annual Lunar New Year travel rush.

China's dangerous highways clock 15 percent of global auto deaths, although the nation has only two percent of the world's cars, according to Ministry of Public Safety figures.

BSD is Dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8078188)

This is the story [agoride.com] Of two young ladies [agoride.com] It's hard to think of what to write [agoride.com] if ( os = bsd) [agoride.com] bsd = dead [agoride.com] return 0 [agoride.com] this is so annoying [agoride.com] Another Link [agoride.com] this is for the haters - bsd is dead [agoride.com] Dead [agoride.com] Use Linux [agoride.com] Slack is good [agoride.com] I also like != bsd [agoride.com] Anything but this pos os [agoride.com] And then, he realized he couldn't right click the links from anywhere else [agoride.com] and so he found slashdot [agoride.com]
Which gave him the world [agoride.com]
and the links kept coming [agoride.com]
and he wanted a cigarette [agoride.com]
But massa drove him harder [agoride.com]
When will it end? [agoride.com]
4 more? [agoride.com]
getting closer to 0 [agoride.com]
and as the poor os [agoride.com]
took its dying breath [agoride.com]
the slashdot crowd [agoride.com]
would not accept [agoride.com]
their baby [agoride.com]
had passed from this world [agoride.com]
in a place [agoride.com]
where os/2, [agoride.com]
windows 3.1, and mac os 9 would live in peace. [agoride.com]
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