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FreeBSD SMPng Interview with Scott Long

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the getting-to-know dept.

Operating Systems 76

animus9 writes "There's an interesting interview with Scott Long over at the ONLamp.com. Scott explains the difference between the various locking methods, and the current status of SMP in FreeBSD 5. He also compares the new SMP implementation with that of FreeBSD 4.x, NetBSD, DragonFly, and Linux. Other items touched upon include scalability, the status of KSE & ULE, and much more."

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76 comments

Waaaa? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11441518)

I was under the impression it BSD was DOA.

Re:Waaaa? (2, Insightful)

MPHellwig (847067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11441713)

"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win." by M. Gandhi.

This phrase has often be used to describe the MS Windows - Gnu/Linux relationship.

It seems to mee some of the Linux zealots forgot there heritage.
Forgot that Linux is just a kernel without GNU.
Forgot that there could not have been there, where there are now, without the BSD licensed software.
Forgot what free software was all about.

I'll stick to my BSD's at least there is some real progress there without the attitude.

Re:Waaaa? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11443641)

"I'll stick to my BSD's at least there is some real progress there without the attitude."
Which BSD is that? From what I have seen BSD is not lacking in attitudes.

meh (2, Insightful)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 9 years ago | (#11444316)

I disagree with zealotry in any form, and that includes ignoring Linux as an alternative when it's actually pretty decent at a lot of things.

However, the 2.6 kernel has been a mess from day one. I'm used to new versions being a bit buggy, but the kernel developers keep adding new bugs.

First, there was that memory leak with burners. Now more recently they've been moving to libata, and that prevents SATA and PATA drives from being used at the same time on my system because libata does not yet support PATA drives, and all the ATA controllers are on the same chipset. I've had to install an old Promise ATA controller to have a CD drive on my system.

They say it's up to the distributions to stabalize their own kernels, but the distributions clearly don'thave the resources to do that.

Time to fork 2.7 guys!

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11444925)

Dude, every piece of software has bugs. You expect a six million line operating system to be bug free, because it has been called "stable"?

FreeBSD 4.9 (or was it 10, either way, *very* late in the stable cycle) introduced horrible SMP instability and filesystem corruption bugs in the softupdates code. But I wouldn't disagree that FreeBSD 4 is pretty stable and solid in general.

Bottom line is, you get bugs. If a cd burning memory leak and some SATA problems (you can always use PATA compat mode, you know) are the worst bugs you have experienced, then I'd say 2.6 is doing OK.

Hey, they call FreeBSD 5.3 stable too, you know.

Re:meh (2, Interesting)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11452501)

The first time I booted 2.6.3 (mainline, under Slackware, previously 2.6.2 with less problems) every file opened for writing would be truncated and never written to. My entire home dir was mangled and it took a very long painful sitting of deleting and re-configuring before things worked again, and even then there were flake outs. I never booted 2.6.3 again.

2.6 then had some large changes (nptl, new SCSI subsystem without warning, etc.) and now at 2.6.10 seems to be at least sort-of stable, but there are compile warnings in wireless drivers I think are actual mistakes and am glad I don't have that hardware. On the other hand, and this is a big thing in favor of the BSD style kernel configuration, with 2.6.10 a certain magical combination of kernel options left me without a console outside of X (and no, I did not ask it to use serial console), and reconfiguring from scratch was the only thing that fixed it. I still have not been able to reproduce this (but remember it happening with an earlier kernel, might have been a 2.4) or even figure out what option/combination caused it. I mean, that's pretty f#ed up.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11452669)

The first time I booted 2.6.3 (mainline, under Slackware, previously 2.6.2 with less problems) every file opened for writing would be truncated and never written to. My entire home dir was mangled and it took a very long painful sitting of deleting and re-configuring before things worked again, and even then there were flake outs. I never booted 2.6.3 again.

Well that is a very convenient bug that nobody else has reported. The FreeBSD filesystem corruption issue I raised was widely reported and acknowledged on the FreeBSD mailing lists.

2.6 then had some large changes (nptl, new SCSI subsystem without warning, etc.)

Bzzzt try again, troll. NPTL has been in Linux since the middle of the 2.5 development cycle.

And there was no "new SCSI subsystem" in 2.5 or 2.6 period. You've already tried to bring this up here once before and I set you straight then. Do you have the memory of a goldfish or something?

and now at 2.6.10 seems to be at least sort-of stable, but there are compile warnings in wireless drivers I think are actual mistakes and am glad I don't have that hardware.

Although you have absolutely no idea when it comes to kernel coding, so you are probably talking out your butt.

On the other hand, and this is a big thing in favor of the BSD style kernel configuration, with 2.6.10 a certain magical combination of kernel options left me without a console outside of X (and no, I did not ask it to use serial console), and reconfiguring from scratch was the only thing that fixed it. I still have not been able to reproduce this (but remember it happening with an earlier kernel, might have been a 2.4) or even figure out what option/combination caused it. I mean, that's pretty f#ed up.

Err no, there would have been no "magical combination" of options. You would have simply left out something that you needed, or configured something wrong. Look, this has been brought up countless times before and the same conclusion is always reached - Linux does not cater for incompetant people trying to recompile the kernel. It is simply counter productive and not something you should be doing anyway.

Re:meh (3, Interesting)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11453049)

Bzzzt try again, troll. NPTL has been in Linux since the middle of the 2.5 development cycle.

/usr/portage/dev-libs/glibc/glibc-2.3.4.20040619-r 2.ebuild
# Minimum kernel version we support
# (Recent snapshots fails with 2.6.5 and earlier)
MIN_KERNEL_VERSION="2.6.5"

Headshot. If it hadn't changed, there'd be no reason that newer user-land nptl libraries wouldn't work with older kernels. Read up before you think you're fighting 'trolls'.

And there was no "new SCSI subsystem" in 2.5 or 2.6 period.

http://www.webservertalk.com/message841936.html [webservertalk.com]
Sorry, really bad wording on my part, based on some confusing Slash comments I read before. Hardly trolling, you'll notice.

Linux does not cater for incompetant people

No, I actually did check everything, and have been configuring and compiling Linux kernels with mostly success (except weird shit like this) for years. There's no magic to it, don't pretend to be a technical expect because you've never found a bug. Same goes for that "absolutely no idea when it comes to kernel coding" assumption: I am a coder and I do know when a warning is an error in disguise. By the looks of it the calling parameters of something internal changed (since this did not happen in 2.6.9) but not all drivers were updated, and nobody cared. If this is not the case, they should fix compile warnings: the BSDs do, because warnings left over in 'stable' branches signify lazy/careless developers (i.e. Linux contributors).

Nice AC posting by the way, if you're going to make insulting claims against someone, do it with your own name or risk not being taken seriously. If I wanted to troll, which I don't, I wouldn't do it under my own name. From this perspective we gather that you're the troll and I'm making honest observations. Have a really bad day, you deserve it.

Re:meh (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11453073)

Ack, it's sys-libs/glibc, not dev-libs. I wildcarded my way in.

While I'm here, I may as well point out something I excused before: you can't spell 'incompetent'. That's pretty pathetic for someone implying themself to be an insider in Linux development who can definitively prove everything I say is trolling bullshit - but already failed. Go back to installing Mandrake three times a day and reading kerneltrap + Slashdot to get the 'inside' development stories.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11453359)

While I'm here, I may as well point out something I excused before: you can't spell 'incompetent'.

Oooh yeah that's a really good point. Wow you have won the argument, yeah I really must be a troll. Nice ad hominem attack to draw attention away from the real points.

That's pretty pathetic for someone implying themself to be an insider in Linux development who can definitively prove everything I say is trolling bullshit - but already failed.

I don't have to prove anything. I'm just asking you to back up your wild claims with facts. You haven't done a single one yet, and I have proven you wrong on your uninformed "new SCSI subsystem" comment, and incorrect "nptl", which formed the basis for your claim "2.6 then had some large changes".

You haven't proven a single thing yet. I doubt you'll be able to because I'll keep calling you on your claims, and I'll keep asking for the proof for all your claims that you conveniently keep forgetting.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11453321)

Headshot. If it hadn't changed, there'd be no reason that newer user-land nptl libraries wouldn't work with older kernels. Read up before you think you're fighting 'trolls'.

So maybe it uses some new feature in the kernel. Doesn't mean anything, because it is still backwards compatible. You really are in over your head here, aren't you? Do you know what backwards compatible means?

http://www.webservertalk.com/message841936.html
S orry, really bad wording on my part, based on some confusing Slash comments I read before. Hardly trolling, you'll notice.


You were trolling full tilt. Not only is this nothing to do with replacing the SCSI layer, the comment is about a guy who can't burn to his CD unless he is root. I guess in your books it is OK for non root to have write access to block devices, right?

No, I actually did check everything, and have been configuring and compiling Linux kernels with mostly success (except weird shit like this) for years.

Oh yeah, it is another bug that conveniently you have made up and nobody else has ever experienced, right?

There's no magic to it, don't pretend to be a technical expect because you've never found a bug.

You were the one who said it was magic, idiot.

Same goes for that "absolutely no idea when it comes to kernel coding" assumption: I am a coder and I do know when a warning is an error in disguise. By the looks of it the calling parameters of something internal changed (since this did not happen in 2.6.9) but not all drivers were updated, and nobody cared. If this is not the case, they should fix compile warnings: the BSDs do, because warnings left over in 'stable' branches signify lazy/careless developers (i.e. Linux contributors).

Prove it. Post the warnings you were getting, then point out what the bug is.

Nice AC posting by the way, if you're going to make insulting claims against someone, do it with your own name or risk not being taken seriously. If I wanted to troll, which I don't, I wouldn't do it under my own name. From this perspective we gather that you're the troll and I'm making honest observations. Have a really bad day, you deserve it.

My own name!! Are you serious? OK, since you started these insults against Linux, tell me *your* name first, then I'll tell you mine.

Re:Waaaa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11446542)

forgot there heritage

"their".

Forgot that there could not have been
where there are now

"they".

Re:Waaaa? (1)

MPHellwig (847067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11446838)

"Their" is a correct correction, "they" IMHO is not, that was a reference to a place/position. Fine example that you could read english, know the grammar but not understand wat it all ment.

Re:Waaaa? (1)

ulib (816651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11446917)

IMHO the corrections were both right, but they were made just to draw the attention away from what you were saying.
Don't fall for it.. ;)
--
Requiem for the FUD [slashdot.org]

Re:Waaaa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11451997)

Really? try reading that again:

Forgot that there could not have been there, where there are now, without the BSD licensed software.
vs.
Forgot that they could not have been there, where they are now, without the BSD licensed software.

Hint: use the preview button, silly!

Developer reveals What Killed FreeBSD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11441529)

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

Re:Developer reveals What Killed FreeBSD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11447553)

Will you stop this f**king bullshit! BSD is far from dead. Go suck on Mr Gate's c**k you imbecile

Don't Feed The Troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11447982)

The lamer is a GNU/Linux advocate that has been going on for *years*. So he won't stop, it's a kind of "job" to him - easily, the best he can find.
So, please Shut Up and Don't Feed The Troll.

(..but I have the suspect that you are the same person who posted gp, pretending to pay attention to himself - since apparently nobody does anymore)

BSD is starting to look as a viable alternative (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11441576)

I must say that reading this interview only reinforced my gut feeling that FreeBSD and other BSD variants start to look as a viable alternative to Solaris and Linux. This is consistent with the attitude in my company. To make a long story short, I received the email first thing in the morning from the IT department. Our network would be undergoing a major overhaul to correct the ad hoc growth it had experienced in the last year, and starting next week Internet access would be sporadic. There would also be a new firewall and security measures, replacing the old OpenBSD system I'd managed to get installed last Spring. Happy for the heads-up, I went to work right away to make sure Linux had no place on our network. This was not the first time that I had faced this threat.

One day about a year ago our network guy gets asked to draw up firewall plans for this subnet of servers we have. Our network guy was your typical GNU-slinger save that he had a cascade of flowing hair down the back of his head and not a beard hanging from his face. And yeah, you can guess what he thought those firewalls were gonna run. Fast forward two days. I'd caught wind of the plans and had charts, graphs, and comparisons written up detailing OpenBSD and Linux security. Since this GNU guy had a mullet and dressed like a slob, I got taken seriously. Not to mention my data, impenetrable by any hippy "logic." OpenBSD was the more secure, even to the beancounters and idtiot management. So thanks to me, our firewalls happily run OpenBSD and not Linux, which would have buffer-overflowed into no-man's land every other hour. The Open Source Mullet gives me a lot of dirty looks lately.

Since the Open Source Mullet had been canned, a new threat had arisen at my workplace: the Fat Perl Hacker had assumed most of the Open Source Mullet's system and network administration duties, and it was no mystery to anyone at my workplace that he had a hard-on for Linux tucked away under his enormous, cascading gut. Since he was a major suck-up and workaholic, he had a lot more credibility than the Open Source Mullet this would be a real challenge for once. Dealing with the Open Source Mullet had been cake.

That night, I went to work on my strategy. First, I would document the changes in Linux and OpenBSD since a year ago when we last went with a security plan. Linux was still at version 2.4, while OpenBSD had raced from version 2.8 to 3.1 a major revision! This was good so far, and I included the relevant diffs for each. I wondered what the Fat Perl Hacker was up to and pushed ahead with my preparations.

Tuesday morning, I went to talk with the VP of Operations, who had final say on the network project. I wouldn't leave anything to chance. But after chatting with him for a few minutes, I learned of a major monkey-wrench I hadn't expected: instead of a Unix firewall system, he was planning on installing a dedicated firewall box running Windows XP. Thankful for my fortuitous social engineering, I went back to my desk and began making over my strategy to deal with this new threat. Not only would I have to deal with Linux, I'd have to eschew the Windows option now.

Sitting in front of my iBook after work, I realized that taking on Windows XP in the same manner I was going to deal with Linux would be foolish if not wasteful. Obviously the Windows option was not about numbers, anecdotes, or experience. It was a bean-counting decision and all of the security statistics in the world wouldn't matter. Since I hadn't the foggiest about how our accountants viewed the whole operation and didn't have time to learn, I'd have implement a rapid-fire real-life assault on the Windows box, which was sitting on the VP's desk awaiting its place on the network. It was time to put on my Black Hat, and that night I stayed up until 02:00 researching Windows XP vulnerabilities. Linux would have to wait.

With just two days before the network changeover was to take place, I marched into work Wednesday morning knowing that what I did in the next few hours would decide the fate of our network security. To my surprise, just moments after I had sat down, the Fat Perl Hacker asked me to join him for a cigarette outside away from the ears and eyes of the office. 15 minutes later, I was fully aware of the precarious situation I was in.

Joining forces with the Fat Perl Hacker was something I had thought about but hadn't wanted to consider. It was a double-edged sword, and I wasn't about to kid myself. Although I am damn good, he had another full decade of experience over me and that included office politics. If we aided each other I ran the risk of pushing for Linux, even if inadvertently. And I certainly wasn't about to reveal my anti-Linux research to him. After doing some quick scheming, I agreed to help the Fat Perl Hacker dissuade the VP from using Windows XP but I had my own twist to what would follow after. Knowing my shortcomings, I decided to do the only thing that would give me an edge. And that was doing something that I knew better than anyone else at my office: playing dirty.

After a power-lunch of strategizing, the Fat Perl Hacker and I went to work on cracking the Windows XP box into oblivion. We then called back to the VP and told him to load the web administration page on the firewall box. A few minutes later he was standing in my cubicle smiling. I already had a print-out of the exploits we had used and handed them to him without a word. After looking it over for a minute, he shook his head and chewed his lip. He looked at the Fat Perl Hacker and me and told us to have something more secure ready by tomorrow morning before returning to his office. Now it was crunch time. The Fat Perl Hacker smiled at me in victory, and I smiled back at him in anticipation of putting my grand plot to work.

Now early Thursday morning, I revised my anti-Linux, pro-OpenBSD presentation into an airtight backup. I would use it as my last-ditch effort in case my primary plan failed. And that primary plan just happened to be underhanded, dirty, scandalous, unfair, and full of treason. After closing PowerPoint X I carefully downloaded and burned Slackware and OpenBSD 3.1 on the same brand of blanks the the Fat Perl Hacker used. I happened to know, thanks to some late-night "overtime" I put in the night before, that the Fat Perl Hacker was planning on presenting a burnt CD of Slackware as the solution to our firewall problem. Now if only I wasn't so scatter-brained and mislabeled burnt CDs so easily!

After a few brief hours of sleep, I waltzed into the VP's office, asking when we would have our meeting about the firewall. He asked me if 30 minutes was OK, to which I said was fine, and also asked that I go and ask the Fat Perl Hacker if that was good for him as well. Back in the cubicle farm, I told the Fat Perl Hacker that the VP wanted to talk to him about the meeting. I had about 45 seconds in his empty cubicle to find his Slackware CD, replace it with my mislabeled OpenBSD CD, and book it back to my cubicle to put on an innocent face. I just barely made it as I passed him on the way back to my seat. Wiping the sweat from my brow, I read my email for the next 28 minutes.

The moment of truth had finally arrived as I sat down in the conference room in front of a newly-purchased, bare Pentium4 PC. The Fat Perl Hacker joined me and the VP moments later and we got down to business. The VP smiled and said he knew we both probably had our own ideas about network security, and he wanted to hear them both. Playing the fool I volunteered to let the Fat Perl Hacker present his solution first. I tried vainly to suppress a smile as he slipped his CD from its sleeve. Holding it up, he said the magic words I had counted on him saying: This is all we'll ever need to keep the network secure.

A few beeps and whirs later from the PC and the Fat Perl Hacker was greeted by OpenBSD 3.1, ready to format and install on the hard drive. Not waiting a second for his jaw to unslacken, I jumped up, slapped the table, and exclaimed that I couldn't have picked better myself, shaking my own burnt CD in the air. What a coincidence! And things just got better from there. So much better, in fact, that I didn't even need to bust out my PowerPoint presentation. It turned out that Fiscal wanted an answer right then and there, I heard through the freshly-answered phone, and the VP didn't waste an instant telling them he was on his way. That is, before informing the Fat Perl Hacker that he was about to get assigned a bunch of new security modules to customize and that I'd have to do the firewall install and configuration. The L-word hadn't even been uttered during the meeting and I was homefree.

The weekend overtime didn't bother me at all. I got time-and-a-half for it and the firsthand opportunity to make sure OpenBSD would oversee the sanctity of our network. Things went so well that we didn't even have any network hiccups the next Monday morning. Despite the unexpected Windows XP push, the Fat Perl Hacker's Linux obsession, and a few variables left to chance, I had come through with flying colors and even impressed myself. The Fat Perl Hacker, however, never invited me to join him for a cigarette again.

As you can see, there is a good chance that I will finally get to the point when we have this new systems running FreeBSD and the firewall running OpenBSD, even though doing so only few years ago would be nearly impossible. I see great possibilities for our company here. Kudos to Berkeley and all of the BSD developers!

Re:BSD is starting to look as a viable alternative (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11443719)

Hilarious read since I can clearly relate to it. I now see the light having to deal with continual issues with a major network vendor's Linux-based IDS. Over a course of about a year I've deal with issues such as telnet/ssh/https management interface hanging and the only work-around was to bounce the appliance and, separately, disable swap memory with "swapoff -a". Vendor couldn't fix it so they replaced it with a higher end model (same Linux OS). Then, it was the spontaneous reboots with the new model. Sent config and "show tech-support" but nothing obvious was wrong according to vendor. They ended up RMA'ing the IDS. So, I get the replacement, patched it up and applied the latest signature. It runs fine for a week, a new signature update comes out, I apply it but instead of taking the normal ~10 minutes it doesn't complete after several hours later. I opened another case to report the problem but knowing it's not going to be fixed and I can no longer manage it all after a bounce I went ahead and reimage the IDS, go through patching and updating the latest signature again and this time it took it. I now cringe anytime I hear/see anything Linux on our work network. But my eyes lit up the other week when one of the guys in another department demoed Niksun NetVCR. Doing a little prior research I knew it was FreeBSD based and asked him what he thought about stability. He said it was amazing and a huge improvement over Windows XP based Sniffer Distributed (usability wise also). At home, I was fortunate to start out with BSD and since it's had a perfect record with uptime so far I've stuck with BSD for everything I can. Servers (web, DB, sshd, sftp, ntpd, etc.) are either NetBSD or FreeBSD. For firewall/VPN/traffic shaper I use www.m0n0.ch/wall (FreeBSD based). So, talking with one of the unix guys he expressed unhappiness that management is thinking about replacing Sun with Linux. Thinking about the IDS and how it was originally SunOS until the vendor cheapened up and replaced it with Linux I was thinking (probably too was the unix guy), GOD HELP US! I guess it'll be good for job security because if you're not occupied fixing stability issues you'll be patching security holes every other day.

Re:BSD is starting to look as a viable alternative (1)

jaseuk (217780) | more than 9 years ago | (#11453711)

I've never had any stability problems with any operating system on typical loads, be it any BSD, Linux or Windows NT/2000/2003, that have not had a root cause directly related to hardware, drivers or noisy network links.

You cannot differentiate between operating systems based upon stability as they are all roughly equal.

Disks pop, UPS fries, ram goes bad, server accidently gets connected via phone cord, but never do servers spontaneously crash on well supported hardware.

Jason

Re:BSD is starting to look as a viable alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11465083)

I beg to differ. From my experience:

Windows NT 4.0 - crappy stability, reboots when you breath it on
Windows 2000 - less crappy, unstable after sitting idle from things such as memory leaks
Windows XP - getting there as far as stability

Linux - fares well when idle or under light to medium load, craps out under heavy load
BSD - light load, heavy load, any load, no problems

Compared with same hardware platform (reference is Intel branded motherboard, CPU and NICs).

Re:BSD is starting to look as a viable alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11465672)

In practically every benchmark I have ever seen on the topic, Linux beats FreeBSD. So that is really funny you should say that.

Re:BSD is starting to look as a viable alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11453904)

how well does www.m0n0.ch/wall traffic shaping's work?

Re:BSD is starting to look as a viable alternative (2, Funny)

SlashCrunchPop (699733) | more than 9 years ago | (#11443741)

Now try to visualize that story with FreeBSD's Scott Long [freebsd.org] (2nd on the left) and his Linux mullet-sporting namesake counterpart [jesusphreaks.com] . I don't know about you, but I think Linux has finally found its poster guy, he and Tux look so happy together in that photo, don't you think? Of course, they'll also need a new slogan to go with the new poster, so I propose "Linux: the bare essentials open source OS. Who do you want to get friendly with today?"

Re:BSD is starting to look as a viable alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11444595)

I always say that those NY LUG guys [xdfgf.com] are the only mascots BSD will ever need. Why did I say BSD and not Linux? Here's why [xs4all.nl] .

Slashdot BSD Troll Reveiled! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11443779)

It's the Fat Perl Hacker.

Re:BSD is starting to look as a viable alternative (1)

Junichiro Koizumi (803690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11444606)

Nice one, Trollaxor [trollaxor.com] !

Re:BSD is starting to look as a viable alternative (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11476131)

That's a cool story, but I almost got canned from a job because OpenBSD crapped out shoveling packets on hardware that even Windows ran fine on - all very common hardware, all-intel (mb/chipset, cpu, and nics) and as vanilla as can be. Sadly, I ended up with a PIX there for a while.

A Lesson From The Grave (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11441598)

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] [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. They 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 GNU/Linux FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11442313)

Same old GNU/Linux FUD, that has been disproved [slashdot.org] countless times...
In short: the MIT research is *11 years old*, and that Rice study on the TCP/IP stack uses FreeBSD 2.2.6. :)

Rappin' BSD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11441707)

Dying in the BSD Ghetto

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 Linux money makers.

Why does SMP suck on FreeBSD? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11442070)

FreeBSD SMP is still broken after all these years. Jordan Hubbard knew there was a problem. So did Mike Smith. And Matt Dillon.

The problems with SMP on FreeBSD goes to show you that design by committee doesn't work.

If you want to see a BSD where SMP works correctly, have a look at DragonFly. [dragonflybsd.org]

Re:Why does SMP suck on FreeBSD? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11442106)

DragonFly proves nothing if it never gets released. The silly attempt at a stable tag was a joke. Meanwhile, all of the REAL BSD's keep on having releases. Have fun in your sandbox!

Re:Why does SMP suck on FreeBSD? (1, Troll)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11447389)

The frequency of releases seems to be in inverse proportion to quality. Linux releases half-arsed 'stable' releases which may not even work very frequently. The three 'definitive' BSDs typically release twice a year (this is a hard-coded tradition for Open*) and, excusing the developmental nature of FreeBSD 5.x, these are very solid and already have a full package tree and ready documentation, etc. which Linux never has had.

DragonFly has made one major release and another is on the horizon (if you read the lists or talk in #dragonflybsd on efnet). The first had an installer bug, they fixed it and released a new one immediately. The next should be in much better shape as the system is getting much more contribution and testing now (heck, even I submitted a trivial patch in response to joerg's request for GMP->OpenSSL arbitrary precision math translation).

It's the difference between the intelligent man who sits quietly and the idiot who never shuts up. "Those who release the worst, release it the most often".

Bullshit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11447546)

Linux releases half-arsed 'stable' releases which may not even work very frequently.

Wrong, and nice grammar there. Apart from a few stable releases, virtually all of the Linux kernel releases have been rock solid.

excusing the developmental nature of FreeBSD 5.x, these are very solid and already have a full package tree and ready documentation, etc. which Linux never has had.

Linux never has had a full package tree? There are more packages for a given Linux distro than FreeBSD. FreeBSD with it's SUBSTANDARD SMP implementation, lacking hardware support (compared to Linux), and egotistical developer base makes something like Slackware Linux a better choice than FreeBSD.

Re:Bullshit (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11451406)

What's wrong with the grammar? Try re-reading.

And no, Linux has never had a full package tree, because LINUX IS NOT AN OPERATING SYSTEM. It's a kernel. DISTRIBUTIONS have package trees, but they don't release at the same time new kernel versions do, so being able to install a distro from the latest kernel isn't always possible until the next release; this becomes important when your installation requires new drivers only found in the latest kernel.

FreeBSD's SMP is not substandard, by all rights it's one of the better free ones, its entire code base just needs a LOT more work before it's 'there'. And I doubt you'll find a definitive SMP 'standard' there too. What, Linux is the standard for everything? Looks like all the BSDs have super-standard security, quality assurance, release engineering, consistency, documentation and developer support. I'll also remind people that eth1394 (Linux ip-over-firewire driver) is less than half as fast as FreeBSD's fwe and fwip, and has not improved in this regard since 2.4 days. Hardly anyone even notices; but benchmark it on your home machines and just TRY to get netperf to report more than 116Mb/s throughput.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11452739)

And no, Linux has never had a full package tree, because LINUX IS NOT AN OPERATING SYSTEM. It's a kernel. DISTRIBUTIONS have package trees, but they don't release at the same time new kernel versions do, so being able to install a distro from the latest kernel isn't always possible until the next release; this becomes important when your installation requires new drivers only found in the latest kernel.

If you don't know what you're doing, you shouldn't be doing it, right?

FreeBSD's SMP is not substandard,

Yes it is, considering that was the primary focus of the FreeBSD5 development branch, and its taken them 5 years to get here.

by all rights it's one of the better free ones,

No it isn't. I've seen posts within the last 6 months of people not being able to scale database workloads to 2 Opteron CPUs. That's right, their 2 and 4 processor results were the same or worse than their single processor results. Linux scaled linearly, naturally.

And don't tell me "oh they just fixed that". We're talking about 5 years to get it right.

Show me a benchmark comparing FreeBSD with Windows, Linux, Solaris, AIX, IRIX, or anything else with decent SMP support. Only then will I believe you.

its entire code base just needs a LOT more work before it's 'there'. And I doubt you'll find a definitive SMP 'standard' there too. What, Linux is the standard for everything? Looks like all the BSDs have super-standard security, quality assurance, release engineering, consistency, documentation and developer support. I'll also remind people that eth1394 (Linux ip-over-firewire driver) is less than half as fast as FreeBSD's fwe and fwip, and has not improved in this regard since 2.4 days. Hardly anyone even notices; but benchmark it on your home machines and just TRY to get netperf to report more than 116Mb/s throughput.

Stop your blathering and trolling. What the fuck "may I remind people that [blah blah is better in FreeBSD", WTF is that? May I remind you that you're a troll and have provided exactly zero evidence for any of your wild claims?

Hardly anyone notices probably because nobody using Linux cares about IP over firewire.

You keep using it though, I guess you might say it makes up for the lack of 10GbE, Infiniband, USB2 (that actually works), PCI express, etc support. Or not.

Hey, may I remind you that FreeBSD 5's IO subsystem performance is pathetic compared to Linux? This time with actual facts [theaimsgroup.com] .

Re:Bullshit (2)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11453138)

Not my point actually. My point is that you insist everything in Linux MUST be perfect, because it's Linux, and everything in BSD MUST be 'SUBSTANDARD', becuase it's in BSD.

I am well aware of all the failures in FreeBSD 5. But it's SMP design is not sub-standard. There is no standard. Let's say there are 5 major free OS players that just about everyone can name: Linux, FreeBSD, DragonFly BSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD. Linux and FreeBSD have (different but conceptually familiar) mutex SMP models, and while Linux' one clearly owns the FreeBSD one hard, the design of FreeBSD's one is not too terrible... if they coded it right. They didn't. It has sub-standard code, not sub-standard SMP design. DragonFly has a much better approach with much better code, so while it beats FreeBSD 5, it's not made the 'standard' just by that. Net and Open have the giant lock so they are the worst players, but in practice they still beat FreeBSD 5 so design isn't everything.

And why do you defend a driver being unpopular/irrelevant (not true if you realise not all machines in the world have GigE cards, or even the capacity to use them) as an excuse for it sucking? Why not just break support for all notamd64 architectures because they're not mainstream and modern enough? All those sparc, alpha, etc. guys should move up to amd64! Isn't that right? Same thing with firewire networking versus gige. Sure it's not even half the theoretical bandwidth, but that's no reason to ignore the possibilities and necessities it can have.

I'm tired of this, I've been swatting away you trolls (who call me a troll, by the way) since morning. If you think Linux is the final solution to every software problem, you are now commanded to touch a computer again.

Where's ulib? He can help here. Much more experience in troll squashing than I have.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11453235)

Not my point actually. My point is that you insist everything in Linux MUST be perfect, because it's Linux, and everything in BSD MUST be 'SUBSTANDARD', becuase it's in BSD.

Err... no.

I am well aware of all the failures in FreeBSD 5. But it's SMP design is not sub-standard.

Nobody ever said anything about its SMP design. It was the implementation being talked about, if you'd care to actually read anything.

And that is substandard when compared to a modern SMP implementation.

There is no standard. Let's say there are 5 major free OS players that just about everyone can name: Linux, FreeBSD, DragonFly BSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD.

We're not just comparing with other substandard free operating systems here, where did you get that idea?

Linux and FreeBSD have (different but onceptually familiar) mutex SMP models, and while Linux' one clearly owns the FreeBSD one hard, the design of FreeBSD's one is not too terrible... if they coded it right. They didn't. It has sub-standard code, not sub-standard SMP design.

Firstly, nobody said anything was wrong with the design. Secondly, Linux and FreeBSD SMP models are not "conceptually familiar". Linux is based primarily on lock free algorithms and per CPU data in the hottest paths, and object level fine grained spinlocks elsewhere. Semaphores are used when they are not performance critical, or need the convenience of being able to sleep. They are by no means the primary object to achieve parallelism.

DragonFly has a much better approach with much better code, so while it beats FreeBSD 5, it's not made the 'standard' just by that.

I haven't seen any scalability benchmarks of DFBSD at all. Where do you get that info from? (I have seen single threaded benchmarks - it is usually better than FreeBSD 5 but worse than 4).

Net and Open have the giant lock so they are the worst players, but in practice they still beat FreeBSD 5 so design isn't everything.

Again, I haven't seen any data. Care to share your facts?

[snip idiotic ranting]

Dude. If you can't stay on the topic go away. "Might I add FreeBSD is better than Linux in some completely unrelated area", indeed. Nice attempt to change the subject. You're the troll here. We're talking about SMP performance.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454296)

FreeBSD vs Linux - The Definitive Comparison

Flamewars between FreeBSD and Linux advocates occur all the time, so it's often hard to make a judgement. Our 500-employee company (which will naturally go un-named) recently decided to convert almost entirely to Open Source software and OSes; I was put in charge of making the decisions. It boiled down to FreeBSD and Linux, and without letting any bias or emotions get in the way, I established the following criteria.

Performance

This is a complicated issue, so let's consider these three types of machine (in use at our company):

Single CPU server: FreeBSD just edged ahead of Linux on this one. The differences weren't drastic, but large enough - consequently, score 1 for FreeBSD here.

Multi CPU server: With kernel 2.6, Linux performed considerably better than both FreeBSD 4.9 and 5.2.1. The updated SMP code and revised scheduler have worked wonders here, so 1 for Linux.

Desktop: Linux 2.6 is much faster than either FreeBSD, particularly when the system is heavily loaded. Application start times are slightly better, while responsiveness is remarkably superior to FreeBSD. Another 1 for Linux.

Result: FreeBSD 1, Linux 2

Stability

Linux distributions vary greatly in terms of stability, with Mandrake Linux and Fedora Core aiming for bleeding-edge desktop features, while Slackware and Debian put great emphasis on stability. FreeBSD is indeed a reliable OS, but the smaller development and testing community puts it behind Linux - additionally, there are more full-time Linux developers working with commercial companies on hardware support and core component testing.

Our Debian and Slackware systems have never crashed or suffered any other major glitches in five years of use, and we know of other individuals and companies that can say the same. With the correct distribution selection, Linux systems are extremely reliable. The far greater amount of testing by the community and companies gives Linux a boost here.

Result: FreeBSD 0, Linux 1

Support

Ease of updating: Although a third-party binary updaing system exists, it's not yet part of the official FreeBSD system (and consequently, problems with trust occur). Current FreeBSD releases rely on manual CVS updating, patch applying, compilation and installation. Debian GNU/Linux, conversely, only needs a single command to update; this is a major win for Linux, as it saves a huge amount of time on a large number of machines. 1 to Linux.

Length of support: Each FreeBSD point release is only supported for 12 months. The Debian Project supports each of its releases for over two years, and other distros such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux are supported for five years. Although upgrading FreeBSD is fairly simple, the changes in userland tools and Ports means that extensive re-testing of home-grown apps needs to be made. A major win for Linux here.

Commercial support: FreeBSD is significantly weaker on this front, with Linux vendors offering a much greater range and variety of support contracts than are available for FreeBSD. 1 to Linux.

Result: FreeBSD 0, Linux 3

Hardware

Server: FreeBSD's driver range for server-class machines is very good, and the drivers themselves are robust and well-tested. Linux is strong on this front too, but FreeBSD just pips it to the post. 1 to FreeBSD.

Desktop: Linux far surpasses FreeBSD in terms of desktop hardware support, with a gigantic range of drivers and subsystems from both kernel developers and third parties. 1 to Linux.

Other platforms: Debian supports more architectures than FreeBSD, although the gap is narrowing. NetBSD supports even more, but that involves throwing another BSD variant into the mix - and this causes problems. Similarly, Linux's laptop support is quite complete and is more mature than FreeBSD's. So 1 to Linux.

Result: FreeBSD 1, Linux 2

Software

The commercial software range for Linux is growing at an astounding rate, and Debian's package repository contains more software than FreeBSD's Ports system. In terms of software availability, Linux is the clear winner.

Result: FreeBSD 0, Linux 1

CONCLUSION

Having considered the above factors, all of which are vitally important when implementing a new system in a company, we decided to go with Linux (primarily Debian for the reasons mentioned). While we have no doubt that FreeBSD is a solid and capable OS, Linux was simply a better choice: it's easier to update, supported for longer, works with a larger range of hardware and has more application choices available. Plus, it's enormously reliable and the 2.6 kernel brings some superb speed improvements. If you're thinking of deploying Open Source solutions in your company, hopefully this unbiased and detailed guide will help!

TOTAL: FreeBSD 2, Linux 9

ahahahahahah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454384)

>Our 500-employee company (which will naturally go un-named)

Naturally. :)

>It boiled down to FreeBSD and Linux, and without letting any bias or emotions get in the way,

Of course. :D

>I was put in charge of making the decisions.

You were put in charge of trolling. [google.com] :)

Re:Bullshit (1)

ulib (816651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11465807)

>Much more experience in troll squashing than I have.
But I do it only when it's worth. ;)
Anyway, regarding the SMP model, I think it would be wise to wait, in order to say which is the best approach. I don't think it can be inferred by the literature, and all the camps still have a lot of code to write.
And if I may suggest one thing, let's be more constructive in criticizing FreeBSD: it can have some regressions due to the new technology, but this hardly means anything regarding the validity of the design. FreeBSD's model might turn out the winner, in the light of BSD's reputation to ultimately do things the Right Way. We'll see
--
Being able to read *other people's* source code is a nice thing, not a 'fundamental freedom'.

Re:Why does SMP suck on FreeBSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11450274)

It's the difference between the intelligent man who sits quietly and the idiot who never shuts up.

You're obviously in the latter category. You're a blatent troll [slashdot.org] , and you can't back up [slashdot.org] your so called facts. Piss off.

Sleep locking, spin locking (3, Interesting)

Julian Morrison (5575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11442270)

This article discusses FreeBSD's preference for sleep locks as versus the spin locks in Linux.

Anybody know why Linux went for the spin lock approach? What are the relative merits?

Re:Sleep locking, spin locking (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11442623)

Linux uses spinlocks but only when it is certain that it will be released very quickly. It boils down to efficiency. That is because if a lock is held for a very short amount of time, it is more efficient to wait for it than to switch tasks. The Linux design is really to minimize lock hold times by doing as much work as possible without holding locks, and then checking to make sure that things are still right. This technique has allowed Linux to scale linearly up to hundreds of processors. In practice, Linux's SMP implementation has proved to be one of the best.

Re:Sleep locking, spin locking (4, Informative)

glasn0st (564873) | more than 9 years ago | (#11445158)

If I recall correctly, FreeBSD also uses this strategy when the kernel is compiled with ADAPTIVE_MUTEXES which is now the default in 5.3.

Re:Sleep locking, spin locking (1)

Nevyn (5505) | more than 9 years ago | (#11462399)

Anybody know why Linux went for the spin lock approach? What are the relative merits?

AIUI, the reason is that spinlocks are much faster for locking small pieces of code, when the locks aren't congested. While sleepinglocks are better when one or both of these isn't true.

So given that you want both of these to be not true anyway (so you can have more code running on more procs), using spinlocks isn't a problem.

The same idea is also shown where in *BSD you have a heirarchy of interupts, vs. the stop the world interupts in Linux.

Requiem for the FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11442273)

// Please *don't* mod this up. It has [slashdot.org] already [slashdot.org] been [slashdot.org] done! [slashdot.org] Thx

... facts are facts. ;)

FreeBSD:
FreeBSD, Stealth-Growth Open Source Project (Jun 2004) [internetnews.com]
"FreeBSD has dramatically increased its market penetration over the last year."
Nearly 2.5 Million Active Sites running FreeBSD (Jun 2004) [netcraft.com]
"[FreeBSD] has secured a strong foothold with the hosting community and continues to grow, gaining over a million hostnames and half a million active sites since July 2003."
What's New in the FreeBSD Network Stack (Sep 2004) [slashdot.org]
"FreeBSD can now route 1Mpps on a 2.8GHz Xeon whilst Linux can't do much more than 100kpps."

NetBSD:
NetBSD sets Internet2 Land Speed World Record (May 2004) [slashdot.org]
NetBSD again sets Internet2 Land Speed World Record (30 Sep 2004) [netbsd.org]

OpenBSD:
OpenBSD Widens Its Scope (Nov 2004) [eweek.com]
Review: OpenBSD 3.6 shows steady improvement (Nov 2004) [newsforge.com]

*BSD in general:
Deep study: The world's safest computing environment (Nov 2004) [mi2g.com]
"The world's safest and most secure 24/7 online computing environment - operating system plus applications - is proving to be the Open Source platform of BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) and the Mac OS X based on Darwin."
..and last but not least, we have the cutest mascot as well - undisputedly. ;) [keltia.net]

--
Being able to read *other people's* source code is a nice thing, not a 'fundamental freedom'.

Re:Requiem for the FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11442589)

Being able to read *other people's* source code is a nice thing, not a 'fundamental freedom'.

Unless that code is *running* on YOUR COMPUTER!

Re:Requiem for the FUD (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11442975)

>> Being able to read *other people's* source code is a nice thing, not a 'fundamental freedom'.

> Unless that code is *running* on YOUR COMPUTER!

I don't think so. If the author of the software is ready to take the responsibility of what his software does, that's quite acceptable to me, since in case of a malicious behaviour of his software I can sue him.

Of course, having the source code is way better. But it's a desirable thing, not something absolutely necessary - let alone a "freedom". :)
Example: as a browser, I use both Firefox and Opera. The fact that Opera is proprietary doesn't bother me at all.

It's like with the food I eat: I need the ingredients (assurance on what the software *does*), not the recipe (source code). If I get the recipe as well, so much the better.
That's how I see it.

--
Being able to read *other people's* source code is a nice thing, not a 'fundamental freedom'.

Re:Requiem for the FUD (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11442606)

..and last but not least, we have the cutest mascot as well - undisputedly.

I think this website sums it up rather nicely:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~marcone/bsdversuslinux.html [xs4all.nl]

Slashdot confirms: Apache is dying! (2, Funny)

bitflip (49188) | more than 9 years ago | (#11442447)

There's been seven BSD articles on slashdot since the beginning of the year.

And apache? Nothing. Last year, just after Christmas, a bit about test mod_perl (and that's barely apache).

BSD is doing fine. Apache is dying. ;)

Re:Slashdot confirms: Apache is dying! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11445118)

The difference is that Apache news is legitimate.

The only real BSD news of late has been the story about how Sun has revoked the FreeBSD Java license. [slashdot.org] Other than that, what passes for BSD news are actually advocacy pieces, minutes of meetings, mailing-list chit chat, and as this article demonstrates, one FreeBSD advocate interviewing another FreeBSD advocate. Try to imagine Dick Cheney interviewing George Bush. You get the picture.

When you see Apache news, you can be sure that it real news and not empty fanboy PR "filler" material. And to the observant reader, it is obvious which of Apache or BSD is actually prospering.

Re:Slashdot confirms: Apache is dying! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11446463)

And to the observant reader, it is obvious which of Apache or BSD is actually prospering.

Contrary to what our poor troll is trying to imply, the easy answer is: both. :)
About BSD:
Nearly 2.5 Million Active Sites running FreeBSD (Jun 2004) [netcraft.com]
"[FreeBSD] has secured a strong foothold with the hosting community and continues to grow, gaining over a million hostnames and half a million active sites since July 2003."

Re:Slashdot confirms: Apache is dying! (1)

CaptainPinko (753849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11455668)

heh, as soon I finished reading this thread the one on FreeBSD SMP-VFS was posted... make that 8 articles! Long live BSD!

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11442943)

It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: *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

No more of "gaining ground" hype please (1, Offtopic)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11444207)

It isn't even worth arguing whether or not this study is flawed. Until somebody at least claims to find that Firefox has more than a single-digit market share, any report that Firefox is "gaining ground" is just hype, and actually hurts the product.

Re:No more of "gaining ground" hype please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11444725)

uhh....

Re:No more of "gaining ground" hype please (1)

kayen_telva (676872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11444923)

heh, and gp was modded insightful to boot ! hilarious :)

Re:No more of "gaining ground" hype please (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454208)

Did we reply to the wrong story, Mr Anderson?

Friends don't let Friends /. stoned...

Nothing about XEN however.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11444532)

And I wish I'd have seen mention of it. Oh well.

Re:Nothing about XEN however.... (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11447446)

Why not run NetBSD/xen? In -current it even has initial support for Xen 2.

And if you follow the development you'll note it's a much better contender for making use of the platform anyway. NetBSD's simpler algorithms and amazingly good code work well where you have to minimize the raw overhead, which is useful for virtualization like Xen. FreeBSD's advantages are thinning out fast.

Re:Nothing about XEN however.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11451147)

As much as I hate to feed trolls, this one really is clueless!
And if you follow the development you'll note
well you obviously do not follow the development?

Manuel Bouyer (if you was remotely clued) is the one that is making the NetBSD/Xen thing happen now (since Christian Limpach was employed by the Xen team), just recently he has asked for help [netbsd.org] and it would seem not one person was willing to help?

Also, each *BSD has a different goal: FreeBSD [freebsd.org] , "NetBSD, OpenBSD [openbsd.org] , DragonFlyBSD [dragonflybsd.org]

So you thought that you can troll about the past article NetBSD 2.0 vs FreeBSD 5.3 Benchmarks [slashdot.org]
FreeBSD's advantages are thinning out fast
On WHAT assumption? the above "article"?

PLEASE FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY (and slashdot --heh) - PLEASE GET A CLUE ALL POSTERS!

Re:Nothing about XEN however.... (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11451320)

What's your problem? I said initial support, which is true: http://www.feyrer.de/NetBSD/blog.html#20050121_142 7 [feyrer.de]

And I was already aware of those 'problems', but if every time something like that came up the whole project was abandoned, do you think any of the projects would be where they are?

And it's not trolling to say FreeBSD is losing its lustre. That's actually entirely true. It's not dead yet, and it might recover, but in the mean time, there are much better alternatives to running FreeBSD 5. NetBSD 2 is one, DragonFly is another, hell even Linux has been more stable lately. I also said all of these things MUCH earlier than that benchmark was released, it just happens to support the argument.

Why do you have to call any observation which puts one project ahead of another a troll? It doesn't even look like you read what I said.

Re:Nothing about XEN however.... (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11528750)

That's assuming that your assumptions are correct--that infant Dragonfly is better than FreeBSD (better for whom? for a hobbyist, definitely--for a server? no. For someone running a desktop? no). NetBSD too? SMP? no. Cross-platform? yes.

FreeBSD, otoh, stil lhas far and away the biggest installed base and the biggest ports collection. It is the most known of the BSDs, etc etc. I've been running a 5x server since 5.1, and it's been perfectly stable, and fast. There are a lot of very compelling features in new releases.

The BSDs still have their own advantages. That hasn't changed.

SMP BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11445948)

I thought BSD already had SMP, but this is a great article about BSD's SMP vs Linux. What is the SMP implementation in OSX ?
I use Linux a lot, I was wondering when BSD will have as good hardware support as linux. Yes I know linux hardware support is bad but I am talking about RAID cards and other devices? I don't mean on the desktop market but in the server market, PPC etc ...?
BSD is mos def a cool system but Linux has a wider user base which makes problem solving a snatch.

Re:SMP BSD (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11447433)

What RAID cards are you having trouble supporting? As far as I've seen the gap between Linux supporting a device and Free/NetBSD (I don't track Open) supporting the same device is down to at most a month, and not necessarily with the BSDs behind (especially since they have full-featured releases and snapshots, whereas Linux /distributions/ have to catch up to support the new hardware out of the box).

Linux drivers: "it compiles and works well-enough on the architecture I tried it in, it's going in the stable tree"
FreeBSD drivers: "it works stably on the architectures it's possible to use in, and not too many PRs are filed about it; it's going in the stable tree"
NetBSD drivers: "it is abstracted to work properly regardless of architecture or topology, PRs aren't being filed, and it's had time to stew; it's going in the stable tree"

Me, I'm still waiting for the cdce driver to be MFC'd in netbsd-2 so I can consider using it in place of a Linux install working as a make-shift but must-work-well gateway I manage for a friend. I'm avoiding running -current because a lot of work is going to go in that might cause instability. None of this helps you but it's worth talking about.

Re:SMP BSD (1)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 9 years ago | (#11450736)

Open isn't perfect. I had a problem where you could crash the machine by doing a ping flood on a Intel PRO/1000MT gigabit card. That was 3.5-stable. It's closer to NetBSD than FreeBSD though.

Of course, on Linux 2.6 it's a good day where there *isn't* some horrible flaw.

Re:SMP BSD (2, Interesting)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11451676)

OpenBSD basically needs a bigger contributing (at least PRing) user base. So does NetBSD of course. The number of developers is fine in both because they are talented and can work together (oppose thousands of Linux devs who still can't engineer for stability), but the user bases are too small to really test everything at once.

Shame isn't it? With Linux stealing the spotlight all the other more deserving projects are left lacking users.

Re:SMP BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11452799)

NetBSD? Are you serious?

They've got these deadlocks [theaimsgroup.com] in the TLB IPI shootdown code that nobody can seem to fix even though they're running a single big kernel lock.

They don't have basic high performance networking features like SACK [theaimsgroup.com] .

Their IO subsystem is buggy [theaimsgroup.com] and slow [theaimsgroup.com]

Their threading system has fundamental flaws [theaimsgroup.com]

I could go on. Why aren't you BSD zealots just content to leave Linux out of it. This is a BSD story, and yet you always feel the need to snipe at Linux. Must be small dick syndrome.

DAEMON LOGO MUST BE CHANGED! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11446994)

Unless we do something about the FreeBSD logo (/mascot, whatever), then it is like majority of people are saying - FreeBSD is dying - better yet - FreeBSD is dead.

Corporations WILL NEVER jump in the FreeBSD bandwagon as long as we have daemon as a mascot. Corporations have respect for religious values of their employees and some people will never accept daemon mascot. Face it - it is a fact.

Re:DAEMON LOGO MUST BE CHANGED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11447081)

I got an idea. If you really don't see this obvious thing, then maybe I can start doing something about it myself. Is it possible for me to replace all daemon logos with some neutral logo and sell this modified FreeBSD to corporations? I have some contacts and I think I could sell this OS but ONLY if the mascot is changed.

no Bones about it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11447035)

If we think about FreeBSD, we are instantly reminded
of DeForest Kelley's prescient observation:
It's dead, Jim.

FreeBSD D.N.R. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11452325)

FreeBSD is not doing so well. I am sorry to sound a pessimistic note, but I think that this poor excuse for an operating system should be humanely euthanized. FreeBSD is going to die anyway. Let me explain.

Once I had a cat who had feline leukemia, and we tried to keep him alive, with numerous trips to the vet. But, in the end, the disease just overwhelmed him. He had such a hard time. If I had another cat with the same diagnosis, then I would just have it put away immediately. Not being dismissive, but just realistic.

You are a very kind to have nursed FreeBSD along and looked after it. At least this pathetic OS is being looked after. It is not out there frantically searching for a "home". No, it's found its final resting place.

If FreeBSD does have to be euthanized, this is not a cruel act - it will pass away immediately without suffering.

Interrupt Threads (1)

bsd4me (759597) | more than 9 years ago | (#11457611)

It is interesting to see how and when various operating system concepts get implemented. Interrupt threads are a pretty common technique in realtime systems, and have been around since the early 90's or so; they were the first driver technique that I learned.

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