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FreeBSD 4.X Lives On

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the proud-mary-keeps-on-rollin' dept.

Unix 72

An anonymous reader writes "In spite of FreeBSD 5.3 going to "production" status, FreeBSD is still planning at least one more full release of the mature production 4.x series. FreeBSD 4.11 Release Candidate 1 has been announced. The complete 4.11 release schedule is here. This is good news for those who can't or don't want to migrate to FreeBSD 5 yet."

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Nice.. (0)

L.J. Hanson (936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11143000)

Always nice to see another BSD release.

Here comes the "BSD is Dead" comments (0, Troll)

jantheman (113125) | more than 9 years ago | (#11143027)

old troll.

move along.

Re:Here comes the "BSD is Dead" comments (2, Funny)

jantheman (113125) | more than 9 years ago | (#11143049)

gak

just one extra letter & an inadvertant 'enter' will mess this preemptive comment up.

here come the pedants :/

Won't affect me much, but... (2, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 9 years ago | (#11143047)

Nice work, guys. I admin a few servers that are several hundred miles away from where I live. When I swing by there next time, I'll definitely be upgrading to 5.x. In the mean time, it's nice to know that I'll still have a few new features and bugfixes to keep things reasonably current with a minimum of disruption.

Thanks for the nice work!

Re:Won't affect me much, but... (1)

ninjaz (1202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11151686)

If you try this, don't just upgrade and leave.

There is a nasty bug that caused the server I installed FreeBSD 5.3 on (which ran FreeBSD 4.x for years, and currently runs FreeBSD 4.10 problem-free) take 2-3 hours to reboot under FreeBSD 5.3. The part where it fails is after the system is already offline, so that's 2-3 hours of solid downtime until the OS gets around to figuring out it should continue rebooting.

I checked the mailing lists, and apparently that was an improvement, as it used to panic on reboots. Anyway, that issue and the FreeBSD 4.x EOL announcement that came through a few days later have me seriously looking at DragonFly, as it will be the one carrying the 4.x torch. According to the docs, it's a simple CVSup and rebuild from FreeBSD 4.x, too. :-)

Re:Won't affect me much, but... (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11152939)

I had that problem in 5.2.1, but it was solved in 5.3. Instead of abandoning an OS you've been running for years at the drop of a hat, why not see about getting that bug fixed? Has it been logged? If not, did you log it? Has it already been fixed in -CURRENT?

If you think DragonFly is going to be God's perfection on Earth, you're nuts.

Re:Won't affect me much, but... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184172)

Yep FBSD 5.3 according to various sources [osnews.com] is not production grade.

There are several bugs with hardware and i/o issues. It works beautifully or very badly unlike 4.x

You may want to read the flame war with some benchmarks stressing the new threading model int he link above?

Not to sound trollish of course but I have been pretty disapointed in the direction of 5.x. NetBSD might be a better option in my opinion for servers.

I wonder how the DragonFLY project is going? I am not a kernel expert or qualified to say wheterh 5.x is inferior or supperior. If I bet my job on it I would be very conservative about upgrading from what I hear from other people. Thats all.

I hope Bluetooth gets backported (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11143148)


Last time I tried I could either have WiFi in 4.x or Bluetooth in 5.x but never the twain.

Actually... (0, Troll)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11143324)

FreeBSD 4.x is dead. If you read the schedule, it's being handed over to the security officer, meaning it will ONLY get security fixes from now on. That's it. And given the dubious quality of FreeBSD 5 it means there will be a slice of time where FreeBSD servers won't know what to do - stay with the dead but solid system, or move to the living but flaky one?

It's a real shame they decided to use that SMP model for 5.x, else it would be the best x86 OS in the world. It falls short because the locking slows things down and not many drivers are being rewritten yet (but this situation will of course improve), and there are many bugs introduced into existing [especially network] drivers.

I'd still rather run FreeBSD 5 than Linux for a must-have-reliability server, but not for anything that needed performance. Of course I'd rather still run NetBSD 2 on such a server, but that's tangent.

/me waits to be called Troll for mentioning 'dead' in a post

Re:Actually... (1)

adam mcmaster (697132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11143408)

/me waits to be called Troll for mentioning 'dead' in a post

Troll :-P (only joking)

there will be a slice of time where FreeBSD servers won't know what to do - stay with the dead but solid system, or move to the living but flaky one?

Is there any reason not to "stay with" FreeBSD 4? If it's getting the job done, then security updates are all you really need. If it's not getting the job done, then you should be questioning why you were using it in the first place.

Re:Actually... (2, Insightful)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11143460)

There's a mind set that 'dead' systems, however well working, will be left behind in performance and other improvements - which is true for FreeBSD 4, at least in a couple of scalability points. FreeBSD 5's network stack is a work of art, but some would argue that it doesn't make up for the system's own lack of performance.

I'd probably still be running it if it didn't find some way to make my Realtek 8139 unstable... everything else was 'good enough' to run as a gateway, because FreeBSD has brilliant security and a hardcore network stack.

Re:Actually... (2, Interesting)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11143772)

Man, someone else with the same view I have. The OMGFr33BSD trolls can't see the truth. FreeBSD 5.x is a dog. There's no other way to put it. [GIANT LOCKED]

My production stuff will remain on FBSD 4 until it gets to the point where a) I need new hardware for those particular machines, or b) I need to run new applications that refuse to work on 4.

New stuff going in is NetBSD, or Debian where NetBSD doesn't work (like on a machine of mine where 2.0 mysteriously crashes on heavy I/O....it's fine under Linux). When DragonFly finishes their experimentation and pronounces their kernel redesign "done," I will give it a look, too.

Still, BSD, and all the BSD's need a few things done....

1. Stable binary updates/packages for the things in the base system without moving to the next minor version number. (e.g. a backport of a binary ssh package when there's a vuln).
2. Removal from the base system of unnecessary elements. That Perl is not required to rebuild the system in FreeBSD and NetBSD is a good thing. Now, ditch sendmail and bind....especially sendmail. If you absolutely have to include an MTA in the base system, use Exim or Postfix.
3. Modern filesystem. I do notice a big difference between JFS or XFS and softupdated FFS on the same hardware. Linux's filesystems are much faster than BSD now, and the gap seems to widen every day. FFS2 does nothing to change the way FFS works -- it just allows larger partition sizes. Maybe they can do something with HFS+? Convince IBM, SGI, or Namesys to release one of their FS's under a BSD license?

Re:Actually... (3, Interesting)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145363)

As OpenBSD devs said, sendmail has had a lot more testing and those security holes have been ironed out, so technically it's more 'reliable' than postfix which is much newer. But I agree to just take out MTAs entirely.

File systems, I wouldn't say FFS is so bad. It's very balanced; its performance is good enough in the real world, it takes very little processor and memory overhead (compared to the journalling file systems...), it survives even during sectors being mangled (ReiserFS dies because it has no superblock backups, and some others too). I wouldn't mind seeing a journalling FS in a BSD (well, there's LFS in NetBSD, which is log-structured and hence even more complete journalling), and in fact dillon has laid the foundations for such a system in DragonFly.

I think the perfect operating system in the world would be the cleanliness of NetBSD, the security of OpenBSD, the support of Linux, the extensive functionality of FreeBSD 5 (including its devfs, hot damn), the package management system of Gentoo Portage but with less kitschy colouring, and some really cool name nobody has yet thought of. The shortcomings of any given system are small (FreeBSD lacks portability and, in 5, cleanliness; NetBSD lacks corporate support and a responsive scheduler; Linux lacks cleanliness and security and a good network stack; DragonFly lacks support and portability) and would be easy enough to fix just by convincing enough people it's worth doing. Perfect systems are within our reach, but the universe won't let it happen.

Re:Actually... (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145522)

Haha. Sendmail has the bugs worked out? Mmmmmkay, I'll take their word for it, and keep disabling it in rc.conf before I boot the machine. :-) I tend to use Exim4 with Exiscan on machines that serve Win32 clients (spam and virus scanning), and Qmail on unix-only hosts. And Sendmail is just nasty to deal with. :-D

LFS looks intriguing, and I think actually OSX uses LFS for its version of UFS. Still, it's not mainline for any of the BSD's. I've used XFS with Linux for awhile now, as well as with Irix, and come to appreciate it. As I said before, I think HFS+ would be an interesting choice if it's license-compatible (I haven't really dug into the APSL to see). It's been a nice stable filesystem on all the Macs I've used, and now supports case-sensitivity and journalling. The only times I've had problems with it were when hardware went bad (nasty IBM Deathstar in a machine at work...argh). It's also a nice, modern design, so it's worlds faster than linear filesystems. B-tree has only been around since 1986, and BSD still hasn't figured it out? :-)

As for the packagers, I actually like pkgsrc quite a bit, even more than Portage. It seems to have fewer packages than FreeBSD's ports, or Portage, but I've rarely missed something. And there's normally a binary package available, too, which isn't the case with Gentoy^Ho.

Re:Actually... (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 9 years ago | (#11155300)

and I think actually OSX uses LFS for its version of UFS

No, OS X's UFS isn't LFS-based, it's just regular boring old FFS.

Re:Actually... (1)

andreyw (798182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11175262)

Active dislike of Sendmail for security reasons, AND a user of QMail?

D. J. Bernstein, is that you? :-)
http://cr.yp.to/ [cr.yp.to]

Re:Actually... (1)

Korpo (558173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11149249)

devfs is crap, and has edge cases that were not cleared. udev is better for sure. FreeBSD may have many strongpoints, but devfs isn't one of them.

Re:Actually... (1)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 9 years ago | (#11152643)

Just a few minor points: Firstly I agree with the sendmail bending postfix over and add qmail as well.

Linux doesn't have that great of support, it has some companies with for-fee support, but it doesn't have the support of hardware manufacturers. I'd rather have Windows level of support, you know, where drivers are just there.

DragonFlyBSD actually has a company called FireFlyBSD that supports DragonFlyBSD commercially (which Matt Dillion is advisor to) and NetBSD has Wasabi.

I don't really see any major problem with the plain cut OpenBSD ports system really, would be nice I guess to add upgrading old ports.

Of course, I am just a crackpot that thinks there should be an annual Intersystem Hackathon where there are two seperate areas; the crazed zealots of the systems are in one area where they can fight and drink to the death and only the devs of systems and tools can go into the second area where all the devs can exchange ideas face to face. It's a crazy idea, I know. That's why everything I say needs to be taken with a shaker of salt.

Re:Actually... (1)

jaseuk (217780) | more than 9 years ago | (#11162714)

>Linux doesn't have that great of support, it has some companies with for-fee support, but it doesn't have the support of hardware manufacturers. I'd rather have Windows level of support, you know, where drivers are just there.

Rubbish. Linux & BSDs offer true plug and play, for the most part if a piece of hardware is supported its auto-detected during boot with no driver required.

An interesting case in point is Knoppix and Thinstation both of these distributions auto-detect really well and Thinstation is amazing for a 13MB network boot image.

The BSDs in a roundabout way often support more hardware off the install disk due to far frequent releases (3 to 6 months or so).

If I bought a new PC today I'd have to wait for the _next_ release of windows for all my hardware to be supported out of the box. With FreeBSD I'd be waiting 2-3 months and in all likelyhood it would be supported by the previous release anyway.

Support for multi-media gizmos is of course excluded and I'm referring to server class hardware.

Jason.

Re:Actually... (1)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 9 years ago | (#11163060)

No, the open source people have to make the damned drivers themselves. Companies often make drivers and give them to Microsoft to have in the system. They don't do that for Linux operating systems or BSDs, they only give the drivers straight up to Microsoft.

It's not like it's overly difficult to give a driver to more than one system, the makers just don't care about the other systems.

Re:Actually... (1)

archen (447353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11154913)

As OpenBSD devs said, sendmail has had a lot more testing and those security holes have been ironed out, so technically it's more 'reliable' than postfix which is much newer.

Well regardless of if it's "more secure" or not, I'd say it really doesn't need to be there, and bind doesn't need to be either. Taking perl out of the base install was a win/win situation for those who didn't want it and for those who do (no more ancient perl version to contend with). FreeBSD still compels you to install Perl, but it won't fall over dead if you don't. Likewise it would be nice to make things like bind,cvs, and sendmail options - which would speed up buildworld save nothing else.

Re:Actually... (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11157365)

BIND and Sendmail definitely, but not CVS, at least not for NetBSD; it's simply the most sensible (and indeed only truly supported) way of fetching the system sources. Its footprint is small enough to make this worth it. Okay, so a binary package would be trivial to fetch, but this is still too much work to be worth it.

By the same token we could strip anything that less than 50% of the population uses, since the majority benefits. It's not that simple: the minority might just be more important - developers, for instance. The majority might not even notice. How many people cry themselves to sleep every night because gdb is in the base system, but even many DEVELOPERS don't use it? I'd rather take that out than cvs - it's easily 10x larger and .1x as used/useful.

Re:Actually... (1)

archen (447353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11160981)

Well I think you miss my point. By moving things to ports you really lose nothing, but gain flexibility. If CVS is that important (and I'm not saying it's not) then make it a port that is always installed. If you don't like it, just remove it later. The only reason I use CVS at all is to fetch the sources, and that is only on my ports building server, all other servers retrieve the ports tree through rsync. By contrast I use RCS all the time, but why in the hell is that a part of the base system? I've used Linux for quite some time, and one of the things I grew to like about BSD was the division of system and software. But they more I thought about it the more I came to realize that there is just a lot of "stuff" that is considered part of they system for no other reason than "it's always been there". I think it's time the BSDs start taking a look at becomming a bit more modular and auditing their needs vs what doesn't really need to be there.

Re:Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11149851)

FreeBSD 5.x is heading in the wrong direction, its performance on the same hardware is worse than that of the 4.x branch. devfs is a bad implementation of a half-baked idea and AFAIAC it should die. The only thing that makes 5.x remotely interesting is GBDE, Geom Based Disk Encryption. Port that and PDJ's GATED to 4.x or DragonFly BSD and 5.x can die for all I care. PHK, dude, why don't you stop for a bit and think about where you're going? You're a great coder and a cool guy, but threading and SMP the way it's done in 5.x will be the death of you, it's a dead-end road. Please reconsider for the sake of FreeBSD and all of us who've been using FreeBSD since its inception.

Re:Actually... (1)

puzzled (12525) | more than 9 years ago | (#11248434)



I've got twenty or so FBSD boxes on the net at various locations. The one 5.3 box I have requires more attention than all the rest of the 4.9/4.10 systems out there. I love FreeBSD but I pronounce 5.x 'NOT DONE'.

Re:Actually... (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11179341)

Okay, I got modded Troll for explaining the release cycle and the current problems in 5.x. You have got to be kidding me. Are the mods here that short-sighted?

Fsck it, SLASHDOT IS DEAD.

Re:Actually... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184184)

Yes

I got modded too tellign the truth about optimizing software for the Itanium or pointing out any weakness under Linux or Unix.

This is slashdot and my guess is a BSD elitest modded you down since this kind of story would attract them.

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11143692)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fact: *BSD is dying

Re:*BSD is dying (1, Troll)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145520)

It is now official. setagllib confirms: You're a tool

One more crippling foot kicked your dumb ass because you never learned to shut up around people stronger than you. Coming on the heels of a recent peer survey which plainly states that you are going blind from beating off to your mother too much, this news serves to reinforce what we've known along.

You don't have to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict your middle mouse button's future. The printoff is on the wall: Your button is worn out from too much damn copying and pasting. As many of us are already aware, you're an assbandit without even as many testicles as required to post with a name or with any original content.

Fact: Slash needs a regexp-based troll filter with automated banning

Re:*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145734)

Elegy For *BSD

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

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

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

the NewsForge / Jem Report Analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11143873)

Since the introduction of the FreeBSD-5 branch, FreeBSD enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting the day when the new codebase would stabilize. After much development and four previous releases, FreeBSD-5 has finally gone stable with version 5.3. But don't mistake a stable codebase with stable software [newsforge.com] . While the development team will no longer accept major changes to the base system, FreeBSD 5.3 still has bugs and problems.

FreeBSD is a complete Unix-like operating system entirely developed by a single large team of programmers. This is in stark contrast to GNU/Linux which, as a complete operating system, has no central, cohesive developer base and is packaged in myriad different ways by myriad different distribution projects and companies; and proprietary Unixes, which are closed-source, restrictively licensed, and work on a comparatively small number of usually proprietary hardware architectures. FreeBSD has historically been clean, fast, reliable, and scalable. It's easy to use, learn, set up, and navigate from the command line, has more than 10,000 software programs in the Ports [freebsd.org] system, runs on a wide variety of hardware, and can easily be used for either a desktop or a server.

The transition to 5.x

Until the release of 5.3, the most recent "production release" was the FreeBSD-4 series, which is presently at version 4.10 and has been deemed the "Legacy" release in the wake of the 5.x branch going to STABLE. FreeBSD-5 was supposed to be a grand introduction of new technology -- a revolutionary improvement to the tried and true 4.x branch -- but soon after it left the gate, it got caught up in developer politics [daemonnews.org] and failed implementations of too-ambitious theories [64.233.161.104] among other questionable design decisions [freebsd.org] , causing some developers to fork the FreeBSD-4 project into a separate and more focused operating system.

The ULE (which is not an acronym; its full name is SCHED_ULE as opposed to the older SCHED_4BSD) scheduler continues to have stability and performance problems and was totally disabled instead of being made the default process scheduler in 5.3 as planned. The mix of threading subsystems still yields problems [freebsd.org] with efficiency and stability. Also, the networking subsystem may now be multithreaded and therefore faster on SMP systems, but users with some implementations of the 3Com (SysKonnect/Yukon) gigabit LAN chip are now unable to access their network at all because of new bugs that have popped up in the driver; other SysKonnect/Yukon users have problems under heavy network traffic, along with those using Intel Pro/1000 chips. Unfortunately all of our test systems use these network chips for onboard LAN; coincidentally they are two of the most popular gigabit LAN chipsets used on modern motherboards from major manufacturers. We also experienced lockups during boot if a custom-compiled kernel did not have SMP enabled on a Hyper-Threaded computer. A list of these and other errata can be found here [unixtech.be] .

Considering the long list of significant problems in FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE, it would seem irrational to recommend that anyone switch a production server from 4.x or any previous known-working 5.x release to 5.3. Just the same, the FreeBSD project maintains a migration guide [freebsd.org] for this purpose.

A lost lead

FreeBSD 5.x enjoyed an excellent head start in the fully 64-bit AMD64 operating system arena, but now trails the pack, with only Windows XP 64-bit behind it in speed [anandtech.com] and completeness [vfxworld.com] . While 64-bit GNU/Linux in the form of SUSE, Red Hat, and Gentoo have all achieved a reasonable level of accomplishment (and Debian is on its way [lwn.net] ), FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE did not add any long-awaited features, such as full 32-bit FreeBSD binary compatibility and 64-bit Linux binary compatibility. Linux 32-bit compatibility is also not natively available, but as usual there is an unofficial, not-yet-committed hack [freebsd.org] to get it to work. In addition, there is a severe reliability problem with systems that have more than 4GB of system memory [gw.com] , which is a limit meant to be broken by the AMD64 architecture. After having used FreeBSD 5.2.1-RELEASE for AMD64 on an Asus K8V Deluxe AMD64 workstation for several months, we've found 5.3-RELEASE to be unusable on the same machine. Due to the driver problems with the onboard network adapter as mentioned above, this test machine cannot even be properly used with the i386 edition, essentially forcing a downgrade to 5.2.1-RELEASE.

Improvements since 5.2.1

So far we've only focused on the negative parts of FreeBSD 5.3, but there are a few significant improvements over the previous version:

  • Windows NDIS binary drivers are now natively supported in the kernel; this means better wireless NIC compatibility
  • GCC is now at 3.4.2, Binutils at 2.15, and GDB at 6.1. Also, X.org has been upgraded to 6.7, GNOME to 2.6.2 and KDE to 3.3.0
  • There have also been several bug fixes and security patches [freebsd.org] since the previous release

A mediocre release

While the FreeBSD team seems to have accomplished some of its goals for 5-STABLE, they have also introduced a number of critical bugs. Where FreeBSD used to be a highly usable, reliable, and scalable operating system, the last three releases have been increasingly substandard, culminating in a hardly usable operating system on our test machines. The FreeBSD development team has a tradition of writing good code and maintaining a high-quality operating system. Unfortunately, FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE lends little credence to that reputation.

Project leader Scott Long's release announcement [freebsd.org] claims that the team focused especially on bug squashing and testing, but considering all of the problems we encountered on our systems (and the fact that we reported one of these serious problems on the mailing lists during the release candidate testing), Long's assertion seems optimistic at best. Here's hoping that the FreeBSD team gets its act together politically and technically, and reclaims its reputation for excellence in operating system design and development.

Jem Matzan is the author [herotale.com] of three books, editor-in-chief of The Jem Report [thejemreport.com] , and a contributing editor for OSTG.

This is not a troll (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145480)

It just looks like one because it's big, copied-and-pasted, and has some 'buts' in it.

It's mostly true. Some things are a bit pessimal (I personally HAVE booted a non-SMP kernel on a hyperthreading machine) but everything about AMD64, network cards, and dubious quality is true. If FreeBSD 5 manages to clean up and escape from the tangled web of crap it's in, it will be great, but so far 5.3-STABLE hasn't made as much progress as you would expect from the long time it's been out. A similar thing is STILL happening in Linux 2.6 on 'less popular' architectures (SGI MIPS...) where it won't even boot, but this is normal for a system with its ideals - for a BSD it's virtually inexcusable to ship a release with many known showstoppers.

Re:This is not a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11154111)

Yeah it is normal because arch maintainers sometimes can't / don't want to keep up with the rapid speed of development on newer kernels.

It is not a showstopper. If it was, then we'd be still stuck at 2.4.

But Linux has many many more architectures to worry about than FreeBSD, so this is an apples to oranges comparison. FreeBSD's "tier-1" architectures amount to i386, sparc64, amd64 (although sparc64 and amd64 are both of dubious quality in 5.3).

Re:This is not a troll (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11155944)

All true, but a showstopper for any sufficiently frequent hardware configuration (in the case of Linux 2.6 on any Indy/Indigo/etc, EVERY instance of a certain machine class) is still a showstopper. Even so, the chances made to 2.6 should NOT have been so hackish as to break existing simple functionality so severely; NetBSD 2 had changes just as large made to its kernel, but runs on all the same machines it did before, in fact more. FreeBSD seems to be breaking its ports if they weren't already broken, so besides x86 it's essentially useless - and its use is mostly on x86 anyway where its NDIS wrapper and nvidia drivers are useful (AFAIK there is no x86_64 nvidia driver for FreeBSD, but I haven't actually looked either). For any other arch, NetBSD and Linux (and often OpenBSD) beat it hands down in every aspect that really matters.

Re:This is not a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11157132)

All true, but a showstopper for any sufficiently frequent hardware configuration (in the case of Linux 2.6 on any Indy/Indigo/etc, EVERY instance of a certain machine class) is still a showstopper. Even so, the chances made to 2.6 should NOT have been so hackish as to break existing simple functionality so severely

The difference between Linux and NetBSD is that Linux is not so nostalgic about old architectuers (or in less need of bragging rights). I mean there has been a Linux port to VAX around for ever, but do you see it included in the tree? No. Would its only use be for bragging rights and slowing down real development? Yes.

If you've got a 10 year old MIPS box that doesn't work with 2.6, use 2.4, it is still actively maintained, and chances are you don't really need anything that is in 2.6.

Linux 2.6 is pretty careful not to break the more actively maintained architectures i386, x86_64, ia64, ppc64, s390, arm, parisc, sh64, m32r and more.

I'd say even your MIPS architecture would be pretty well up to date on today's relevant embedded platforms too.

Re:This is not a troll (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11157388)

See, that's the kind of thinking that leads to cruft and redundancy. NetBSD is so clean BECAUSE it cares about every port; when you run a new design or algorithm on a machine that takes a few days to start vi, you notice if there's a big real-world performance difference. If there is a bug on a driver that only surfaces when run on a certain architecture or bus, you notice and fix it. Linux has lots of redundant drivers and hacks, its portability is limited to pretending everything is x86. There are too many hacks and exceptions to keep it clean.

In 2.6, there was an effort to clean things up, and this meant the hacks were broken. But they were not replaced with solutions. NetBSD is about solutions. It's portable in the true sense of the word, not just in that it runs on 'relevant' architectures. Porting to ppc64, and so on, would be done quickly if the hardware was available; and rumor has it this will soon be the case. Just watch.

The one thing that worries me about NetBSD is that 3.0 is planned to have Solaris-like SMP, which is what killed FreeBSD 5. Now, NetBSD 2 got Scheduler Activations right where Solaris failed, and it might somehow fluke and get the SMP right too; but in all seriousness an LWKT implementation would be much simpler and, if DFly is any example, much better. All we can do is sit back and watch.

Re:This is not a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11164822)

See, that's the kind of thinking that leads to cruft and redundancy. NetBSD is so clean BECAUSE it cares about every port; when you run a new design or algorithm on a machine that takes a few days to start vi, you notice if there's a big real-world performance difference.

Heh. Seriously, Linux is just as focused on performance as NetBSD, and it is obviously better to do performance profiling on fast, modern machines, because of their different performance characteristics.

So to turn your 'vi' example on its head, if you lose 10% performance due to some kernel algorithm, when running on a supercomputer at NASA, this is like losing 100 CPUs.

If there is a bug on a driver that only surfaces when run on a certain architecture or bus, you notice and fix it.

Running Linux on POWER4 and POWER5 actually showed up problems because of their insanely aggressive out of order write retirement and read prefetching. There can be windows of thousands of instructions where a read bypasses a write, for example.

The massive parallelism of the 512 CPU Altix systems also showed up synchronisation bugs, and of course scalability inefficiency.

Linux has lots of redundant drivers and hacks, its portability is limited to pretending everything is x86. There are too many hacks and exceptions to keep it clean.

Please elaborate - none of the core code anywhere is i386 specific. How is NetBSD any better?

And If limited portability includes being more portable that NetBSD (more CPU architectures, non MMU based architectures, etc)...

In 2.6, there was an effort to clean things up, and this meant the hacks were broken. But they were not replaced with solutions. NetBSD is about solutions. It's portable in the true sense of the word, not just in that it runs on 'relevant' architectures.

In 2.6, some platforms may be lagging behind. It is not because there is unportable or unclean hacks put into the code, but simply that they didn't get updated when things change.

I'm not sure what you mean by solutions, and 'portable in the true sense of the word'. Can you explain?

Porting to ppc64, and so on, would be done quickly if the hardware was available; and rumor has it this will soon be the case. Just watch.

I find that very hard to believe. The string "G4 mac" on ebay yielded a 400MHz G4 with 256MB RAM for $40 AU.

Hey they probably wouldn't even need to pay for it, if they just asked I'm sure someone would donate one for them, or buy them a couple.

Compared with the trouble of keeping an ancient VAX working (and having to actually use one for anything), a G4 would be no problem.

The one thing that worries me about NetBSD is that 3.0 is planned to have Solaris-like SMP, which is what killed FreeBSD 5. Now, NetBSD 2 got Scheduler Activations right where Solaris failed,

Well, I haven't seen any numbers coming out of the NetBSD camp yet... but I'll believe it when I see it.

and it might somehow fluke and get the SMP right too; but in all seriousness an LWKT implementation would be much simpler and, if DFly is any example, much better. All we can do is sit back and watch.

I don't think DFBSD has proven itself at all. A lot of it _sounds_ good, but so did microkernels.

Not to say that DFBSD will go the way of microkernels, but if I were an established project looking for a low-risk SMP route, and my choices were Solaris model or DFBSD model.... well...

Re:This is not a troll (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11165842)

http://www.feyrer.de/NetBSD/portability/portabilit y.html

I can't really say much for/against the rest of it, without quoting lots of sources even on Slash itself... poke around.

A clean design doesn't have to lag behind. How long has Linux 2.6 been out? Over a year. They still haven't made respectable progress in bringing these 'lagging ports' up to date, even though the source itself can be worked over in one sitting by someone who knows what to do. Either they don't care or, as I suggested, their hack designs aren't possible any more, and it would require actually thinking about a design before writing it down.

My favorite example of Linux designs sucking is epoll compared to kqueue. I could go on for hours, but just read their manual pages and try to implement a server using both (have it respond to write, read and disconnection events for each client socket). You'll work it out very quickly.

A sensible reply to this troll article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145559)

.. is here. [newsforge.com]

Re:A sensible reply to this troll article: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145762)

Pity it is typical arrogant FreeBSD zealot drivel.


> it got caught up in developer politics

Whenever there is a group of people working together, there is going to be politics! I find this far more favorable than a project led by single master dictator. So the FreeBSD group had an election to decide their direction. How did that in any way whatsoever "catch up" the project in a way that negatively impact users?


Nice sniping at Linux there. Pity Linux isn't "led by a single master dictator" anymore. Linus has deferred trust to many maintainers who know as much or more than he in a particular area: network stack, network drivers, block layer, high level virtual memory, vfs, various filesystems, most drivers, most architectures, etc etc.

> failed implementations of too-ambitious theories

It's a pity that SCHED_ULE could not make it into the release. But this is not in any way a "failed implementation". ULE worked fore me in 5.1 and 5.2.1, but it's not perfect, so it didn't make it into the production release. ULE is still being worked on in 6-CURRENT. It's not a failure, because it was never implemented in a production release. It's not too ambitious; it's just not ready for prime time. As a user, I would much rather a feature that isn't ready be held back than for them to be hastily disseminated to appease OS critics like Jem Matzan.


SCHED_ULE was a failure for 5.3. Spin it however you like.

> questionable design decisions

So because one person questions a decision on a mail list, the entire design is tainted? Keep trying Jem.


Is this a trick question, or are you thick? It means the design is questionable.

> causing some developers to fork the FreeBSD-4 project into a separate and more focused operating system

Ah yes, the old disgruntled developer argument. So Matt Dillon forked FreeBSD-4 into dragonfly BSD. When such a large group of minds try to work together, it is invariable that somebody won't be able to handle this process. Matt Dillon wanted to have his own distribution. It is still up for debate whether it was done for systemic flaws in the culture of the FreeBSD, or simply to inflate his own ego.


Ahh FreeBSD politics. Yeah, it is *definitely* still up for debating about Dillon's ego, that is what you guys do best.

> We also experienced lockups during boot if a custom-compiled kernel did not have SMP enabled on a Hyper-Threaded computer.

So why don't you configure and build your Kernel properly? An improperly configured kernel is nobody's fault but your own.


Moron, a non SMP kernel that locks up on an SMP machine is a buggy kernel. Stop trying to blame the end user.

> users with some implementations of the 3Com (SysKonnect/Yukon) gigabit LAN chip are now unable to access their network at all because of new bugs that have popped up in the driver

The fact is.... Gig-E drivers are a crapshoot no mater what OS you use. You can't just throw a Gig-E card in and expect it to work without the proper drivers, even in a windows box. 1000baseT is cutting edge stuff, so support is not a given like it is with 10/100. Furthermore, most desktop and server users have absolutely no need whatsoever for gigabit networking.


Bull shit. Linux has had 10GBE drivers for about a year now IIRC.

And if you think most "desktop and server users" have absolutely no need whatsoever for gigabit networking, then you're seriously deluded.

> it would seem irrational to recommend that anyone switch a production server from 4.x or any previous known-working 5.x release to 5.3.

And after all the tenuous problems with 5.3 you have raised, this conclusion is a very slippery slope indeed. I'll take experiences of actual FreeBSD server administrators than a professional OS critic any day. We are going to 5.3 in droves, and not looking back. We are doing it because of the marked improvements over 5.2.1 and 4.10.

Don't believe this hype... Try it for yourself. 5-Stable is not a mediocre release.


Or read the mailing lists. There are plenty of problems that have cropped up.

Lives on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11143945)

Yeah, eat it, Netcraft!

Niche, which isn't a bad thing (1)

BossMC (696762) | more than 9 years ago | (#11144103)

FreeBSD 4.X still has value, albeit less than it did when it was the flagship branch. When I read the TODO list for this the other night, I saw that the tables only contained the titles. 4.11 seems like it will be good for people who want to setup a low-end do-whatever server with current packages and base system apps, while 5.X will handle everything else. My pentium 200 will be upgraded to 4.11 once it gets recommissioned.

It's good to see that this release is coming to be, and that support for FreeBSD 4 will live for a while longer also. This way, the hardware will die before the software on it does.

Re:Niche, which isn't a bad thing (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11146427)

I bought a cheapish laptop from eBay recently to do some GNUstep work on (i.e. making sure code I've developed on the Mac works cleanly on GNUstep, and tidying up the bits that don't), and put 5.3 on it. So far, I've been very impressed. I tried some of the earlier 5.x releases, but the rough edges sent me back to 4.x quite quickly. On the other hand, I will probably keep 4.x on my server for the foreseeable future - it works (and works well), and migrating from 4.x -> 4.(x+1) is a lot easier than migrating to the 5.x series.

Procrastination (2, Insightful)

kirkjobsluder (520465) | more than 9 years ago | (#11144871)

Seriously, I'm really holding off on the jump to the 5.X series. It looks like the best migration route from 4.X to 5.X is backup-reformat-reinstall-restore. My system currently does just about everything I need (I've given up on wine as not worth the effort) and I just know that I'll miss some configuration file that took me about 6 hours to tweak into working.

Re:Procrastination (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145985)

I have to agree with you there. I recently retired my 4.1->4.9-STABLE server (yeah, it was that old) and rebuilt a new box. I tried 5.2.1, but still had lots of strange problems, system hanging, interfaces suddenly dying for no reason, etc... So back to 4-STABLE I went, my good old faithful friend...

Re:Procrastination (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11157369)

5.3-STABLE [sic] still has the interface death problem, at least it did for me. I would have kept it if not for that, despite the sluggishness it still had the composure and usability of a FreeBSD system. The other BSDs could learn from it, but then it might interfere with their designs of pure simplicity. Probably DragonFly will win there.

Re:Procrastination (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11152970)

Just like the 2.x to 3.x jump, and the 3.x to 4.x jump, you're going to have to do an initial install moving from 4.x to 5.x. Were you expecting any different?

Re:Procrastination (1)

ffsnjb (238634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11155737)

3.x to 4.x wasn't too bad. mrnutty (my web box) has been running the same initial install since 3.4 and tracking stable with rebuilds for every SA and point release. (IIRC. 4.0 came out what, 4 years ago? I'm too lazy to check my changelog.)

It saddens me that I'm going to have to do a fresh install for 5.x due to the need to increase the size of / (originally 30 MB on a 4 gig disk). I've tried a 5.3-RELEASE install with the same slice sizes, it was not happy. It does give me a reason to upgrade the drives, though.

Re:Procrastination (1)

someonehasmyname (465543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11156135)

I've upgraded about 6 (production) machines from 4.10 -> 5.2.x and 5.3... Just follow the instructions near the bottom of /usr/src/UPDATING, and make sure to read the footnotes for each step.

I've had no problems with the upgrade procedure. I did however have problems with one of the machines (5.2) crashing when it ran daily and weekly periodics.

I had to remove the execute bit on two scripts, iirc.

It can be done, just read the docs and perform a backup just in case.

A *BSD Carol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11145277)

"Spirit," said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, "tell me if *BSD will live."

"I see a vacant seat," replied the Ghost, "in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, *BSD will die."

"No, no," said Scrooge. "Oh, no, kind Spirit! say it will be spared."

"If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race," returned the Ghost, "will find him here. What then? If it be like to die, it had better do it, and decrease the surplus operating system population."

Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief. It was sad to see any operating system die, even one so obviously flawed and useless as *BSD.

God bless us, every one.

If only BSD was easier to get hold of (3, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145918)

There used to be a shop where you could actually buy FreeBSD. Now thats closed down there is no where to get it. I won't order over the net after once my card got duped and another time when something never showed up and I spent days arguing the toss with the supplier, and I can't download it as I have a 56K modem and no burner anyway. So basically even though I would like to get hold of a new version I'm screwed. I can't see why they can't increase their distribution channels somewhat...

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11145994)

Contact me off-list (my email is available at my URL above) and let me know your address and what version you want. I'll burn it and send it to you gratis.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11146313)

Thanks for the offer, much appreciated, but I'm a bit reluctant to give out my address to complete strangers. I hope you understand, no offence.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

TilJ (7607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11146514)

Has it occurred to you that the reason you're having a hard time getting a copy of FreeBSD is that you're making it hard for yourself?

Won't use a credit card, won't accept a free offer to send you a copy, don't appear to have any local friends with a burner and a high-speed connection. Ye gods, man, what do you want -- a blind-folded magic privacy fairy to drop it off with a five dollar sign taped to it for your trouble?

I suggest looking at buying a copy of a FreeBSD book that includes a CD at a local bookstore. Pay cash and wear a disguise. That way they'll never get your address. "freebsd book cd" picks up a couple of likely hits on google.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11146648)

"I suggest looking at buying a copy of a FreeBSD book that includes a CD at a local bookstore. Pay cash and wear a disguise. That way they'll never get your address. "freebsd book cd" picks up a couple of likely hits on google."

The books are all out of date. I want a current release , not one from 12 months or more back. Plus you only ever get the base OS with the books, not all the extra stuff. Yes I'm making it hard for myself , but with good reason.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11149489)

only ever get the base OS
You should get the complete CD disk 1 that you would from anywhere, CD 2 is a live CD so thats not as important.

out of date
Its called ports, and CVSup

Yes I'm making it hard for myself , but with good reason
Not unless your on the run from the law, in which case I don't think too many people would be quick to help you at all.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

TilJ (7607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11152976)

Who cares if it's out of date?

I mean, really, you've already said you don't have the bandwidth to download it in the first place. It follows, then, that you don't have the bandwidth to track -stable or -current and keep properly up to date either.

That's how FreeBSD works: you CVSup the current source of the operating system itself as well as the ports tree. While individual changes are small, there's a *lot* of "churn" in (for the example) the ports tree. If you're concerned about staying up to date, you won't be happy with the binary packages on the CD, you'll want to use the ports tree to download the current version of an application and compile it yourself.

For things like QT and KDE and Mozilla, you've looking at tens to hundreds of megabytes of data. Every time there's a minor version bump.

So that's obviously not feasible for you. I don't think you have a choice: you're going to be out of date. And if you're going to be out of date, why care if it's 6 months or 12 months?

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11176888)

You try and cvsup a 12 month old dist. on a dial up line.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11173727)

wget and wait a weekend. And stop whining.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11155506)

It won't hurt I promise, I'll use butter.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 9 years ago | (#11146484)

You don't have a CompuUSA, Fry's or Best Buy nearby ? I've actually seen them there ( granted its usually a version or so behind ).

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11146680)

No unfortunately. I don't live in the USA.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11153004)

I saw 5.2.1 at Fry's last weekend. Quite current, considering my newness of 5.3.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11146557)

there are ways to order it without the credit card
http://www.bsdmall.com/info.html

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

archen (447353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11154849)

I was going to post the same thing but I've had no problems with BSD Mall. I typically forward the cost of one purchase for each customer I install a FreeBSD server onsite.

That aside, they had some sort of cool looking new covers for their media - one was a chess knight and one was a firehydrant (have no clue what that represents), but now it looks like it's changed back to the more boring white cover with the daemon. Anyone know what that's about?

Another option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11151889)

If you trust Amazon.com with your CC info, do a search in books for FreeBSD. Many of those come with CDs.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

welsh git (705097) | more than 9 years ago | (#11151972)

> and I can't download it as I have a 56K modem and no burner anyway.

I downloaded 5.1 when I was on a 56K modem - hardly major, and then cvsupped to 5.2, 5.2.1, and 5.3 all via modem, keeping all 900odd ports uptodate too.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

MarcQuadra (129430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11173495)

And on the seventh day, he rested; after he disconnected.

Re:If only BSD was easier to get hold of (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11184176)

CompUSA sells the booked set with the new handbook or www.cheapbytes.com and order it.

A Hard Lesson (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11148734)

What We Can Learn From BSD
By Chinese Karma Whore [slashdot.org] , Version 1.0

Everyone knows about BSD's failure and imminent demise. As we pore over the history of BSD, we'll uncover a story of fatal mistakes, poor priorities, and personal rivalry, and we'll learn what mistakes to avoid so as to save Linux from a similarly grisly fate.

Let's not be overly morbid and give BSD credit for its early successes. In the 1970s, Ken Thompson and Bill Joy both made significant contributions to the computing world on the BSD platform. In the 80s, DARPA saw BSD as the premiere open platform, and, after initial successes with the 4.1BSD product, gave the BSD company a 2 year contract.

These early triumphs would soon be forgotten in a series of internal conflicts that would mar BSD's progress. In 1992, AT&T filed suit against Berkeley Software, claiming that proprietary code agreements had been haphazardly violated. In the same year, BSD filed countersuit, reciprocating bad intentions and fueling internal rivalry. While AT&T and Berkeley Software lawyers battled in court, lead developers of various BSD distributions quarreled on Usenet. In 1995, Theo de Raadt, one of the founders of the NetBSD project, formed his own rival distribution, OpenBSD, as the result of a quarrel that he documents [theos.com] on his website. Mr. de Raadt's stubborn arrogance was later seen in his clash with Darren Reed, which resulted in the expulsion of IPF from the OpenBSD distribution.

As personal rivalries took precedence over a quality product, BSD's codebase became worse and worse. As we all know, incompatibilities between each BSD distribution make code sharing an arduous task. Research conducted at MIT [mit.edu] found BSD's filesystem implementation to be "very poorly performing." Even BSD's acclaimed TCP/IP stack has lagged behind, according to this study. [rice.edu]

Problems with BSD's codebase were compounded by fundamental flaws in the BSD design approach. As argued by Eric Raymond in his watershed essay, The Cathedral and the Bazaar [tuxedo.org] , rapid, decentralized development models are inherently superior to slow, centralized ones in software development. BSD developers never heeded Mr. Raymond's lesson and insisted that centralized models lead to 'cleaner code.' Don't believe their hype - BSD's development model has significantly impaired its progress. Any achievements that BSD managed to make were nullified by the BSD license, which allows corporations and coders alike to reap profits without reciprocating the goodwill of open-source. Fortunately, Linux is not prone to this exploitation, as it is licensed under the GPL.

The failure of BSD culminated in the resignation of Jordan Hubbard and Michael Smith from the FreeBSD core team. Both believed that FreeBSD had long lost its earlier vitality. Like an empire in decline, BSD had become bureaucratic and stagnant. As Linux gains market share and as BSD sinks deeper into the mire of decay, their parting addresses will resound as fitting eulogies to BSD's demise.

Same old FUD, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11149750)

that has been disproved [slashdot.org] countless times...

DragonFlyBSD (1)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232897)

I really don't see any reason to stick with FreeBSD, especially FreeBSD 4, instead of switching to DragonFlyBSD.

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