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But, but, ... (-1, Troll)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576787)

*BSD is dying! Oh hey, wait a minute...

Latest update: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14576792)

Still dead.

Useful improvements (1)

iMaple (769378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576850)

1. Optimizing the FreeBSD IP and TCP Stack (if you are using it as a server)

2. Sound subsystem improvements (if you like to listen to songs once a while on your server , use it as a dedicated server cum audio only media center )

There arent too many other significant changes (except maybe the IPv6 , but who uses that )

Re:Useful improvements (3, Informative)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577273)

Server? I use it as a workstation. KDE [] runs like a charm on it.

Re:Useful improvements (1)

Ded Bob (67043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577838)

I use it as a desktop/workstation. Neverwinter Nights [] runs very well on it with Nvidia's driver.

Re:Useful improvements (1)

Arandir (19206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581563)

Ditto! FreeBSD/KDE is my desktop at home. It used to be my workstation at work as well, until I was forcibly migrated over to Explorer/Outlook by company policy.

Re:Useful improvements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14597762)

It used to be my workstation at work as well, until I was forcibly migrated over to Explorer/Outlook by company policy.

And you still haven't submitted your resignation?

Re:Useful improvements (1)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580744)

"1. Sound subsystem improvements (if you like to listen to songs once a while on your server , use it as a dedicated server cum audio only media center )"

Audio only? mplayer works fine on my FreeBSD workstation.

Other generally notable changes:

New dhclient with privsep imported from OpenBSD. I'm sure other OS's would appreciate ports.

Variant symlinks; again, being able to have context-sensitive symlinks isn't a feature only of interest to a few BSD users. What uses can you think of for variable interpolation in symlinks that can be set per-process, per-user or per-system?

New FreeSBIE prereleases [] for testing/playing, which is good to know even (or especially) if you haven't used FreeBSD before.

phkmalloc replaced with jemalloc in CURRENT, which is several hundred times faster in some cases. It should be noted this is uncovering a significant number of memory alignment and pointer truncation bugs in third party software. Even emacs and have been found to have memory alignment and/or 64bit pointer truncation issues.

BSD at SCALE 4x (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14576851)

NetBSD and FreeBSD will have an exhibit at SCALE 4x []

Why do I care about FreeBSD? (-1, Flamebait)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576857)

lol, in soviet russia, freebsd reports you.

But seriously,
Why do we need FreeBSD? What does it do that Linux doesn't? Who actually uses FreeBSD?

Re:Why do I care about FreeBSD? (5, Informative)

toadlife (301863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576967)

"Why do we need FreeBSD?"

So we don't have to run linux.

"What does it do that Linux doesn't?"

Things right.

"Who actually uses FreeBSD?"

People who like UNIX.

Re:Why do I care about FreeBSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577606)

Things right.
Yes, Linux get *nothing* right.

(BTW, try using disklabel on FreeBSD/PPC)

Re:Why do I care about FreeBSD? (3, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14579785)

From a FreeBSD mailing list post:

Windows: "Where do you want to go today?"
Linux: "Where do you want to go tomorrow?"
FreeBSD: "Are you guys coming or what?"

People who like UNIX (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14585232)

People who like UNIX use UNIX, not BSD. OpenSolaris [] qualifies.

The next closest thing would indeed be Linux.

FreeBSD? Eh, no, FreeBSD is rather incompatible with UNIX. Try ignoring SIGCHLD (actually SIGCLD); a real UNIX will automatically reap any dead children so you don't get zombies. Try a basic UNIX command like "ps -ef". Look at signal() behavior. Look at the commands used to control printing.

Re:People who like UNIX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14585620)

fucking semantics nazi.

Re:People who like UNIX (1)

MrCoke (445461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587312)

That's what POSIX is all about: semantics.

Re:Why do I care about FreeBSD? (1)

6*7 (193752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587330)

"Why do we need FreeBSD?"
It's for the people who hate Linux.

Re:Why do I care about FreeBSD? (4, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577075)

Why do we need FreeBSD?

As a reference model on how things are supposed to be done by the book with professionally commented and written source and properly written documentation.

What does it do that Linux doesn't?

Correct integration of statefull firewall and QoS framework, full integration of NTP into the kernel, multiple alternative timer sources across the entire kernel not just parts of the network stack, full realtime posix timers, possibility to alter HZ above 2500 without bastardizing the kernel to hell, so on so fourth

Who actually uses FreeBSD?

Anyone who needs a proper working R&D platform with predictable and well documented behaviour. For example I do most of my R&D on BSD because it is written by the book and I can compare what I do with the actual articles and papers written by people. Once I got working what I want I move it to linux because this is what people tend to use. This is also the moment I usually start cursing.

Re:Why do I care about FreeBSD? (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577415)

i switched to Linux from Windows when i got tired of the crashes & BSODs, malware & the usual kludge that windows tends to have, of all the distros i tryed i stuck with slackware, it seems the most stable and smoothest running, from what i read around the internet is that slackware is the most similar to unix (bsd) of all the linux distros, someday when Patrick Volkerding retires from keeping slackware developed i will probably switch to either OpenBSD or PC-BSD

Re:Why do I care about FreeBSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577948)

People who say that Slackware is BSD-like haven't used *BSD. The only thing that is "BSD-like" about Slackware is the init scripts. This is not to say that Slackware is better or worst then *BSD. Slackware is just different. You should give one of the *BSDs a try.

I like Slackware, FreeBSD, and NetBSD and continue to install the new releases of each for testing. I currently use Debian/Linux. Each *nix has its strengths.

Re:Why do I care about FreeBSD? (4, Informative)

Arandir (19206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581622)

Who actually uses FreeBSD?

I do, and that's all that matters to me. Why the hell do you care what other people are using? Find your own operating system and be content with it.

Re:Why do I care about FreeBSD? (1)

smash (1351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640311)

Many people (myself included) use FreeBSD (myself since 2000 or so).

Why? Here are my reasons (and note, I've been a Linux user since 1996 as well):

  • More consistent documentation, and more cohesive "feel". FreeBSD feels like a complete OS, not a cobbled together collection of kernel and various userpsace utilities written by entirely different people. Hard to describe, but it just "feels" more professionally done
  • More consistent kernel/boot messages (eg, generally "device: info", exactly formatted that way, amongst other things)
  • Use of manpages for everything. "info" pages suck, in my opinion
  • More compatible output from commands, etc than Linux. (eg, compare output of "ifconfig" on FreeBSD to Solaris/SCO and then with Linux. Compatiblity is a good thing for scripts, etc)
  • Better multitasking "feel". Again, hard to pin down, but boxes running FreeBSD with a system load of >5 "feel" much snappier than a Linux box under the same load, in my experience
  • Better seperation of "applications" and the OS. The FreeBSD "OS" is fairly minimal, and easy to install, minus packages. The OS itself is upgradable without messing with your packages (generally). EG, i can upgrade from FreeBSD 5.3 to 5.4 without reinstalling/breaking all my packages. Conversely, I can run new releases of KDE/etc without upgrading the base OS.
  • I prefer the BSD license
  • I prefer Beastie to Tux
  • FreeBSD is "FreeBSD". Linux could be gentoo, redhat, debian, whatever... it's less fragmented
  • Jails, ipfilter, ipsec (kame/raccoon way better documented than anything I found on linux with FreeSWAN - perhaps this has changed, was a few years ago).

Sure I can think of more, but those are the major points for me.

Linux has a little edge on the desktop with audio support, and less hassle installing crap like browser plugins (flash, etc - so that's of dubious "benefit" anyway :D) - but that's about it...


BSD Section (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14576934)

For the life of me, I can't get the BSD section to display in the "Sections" sidebar. Nor Apache for that matter. What the hell's up with that?

Re:BSD Section (2, Funny)

toadlife (301863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576974)

Try logging in.

Re:BSD Section (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14576999)

Dumbass, I am logged in. I just choose to post anonymously. I even set Apache and BSD to the right-most section option (the two large bar thingies). That should have done it, but seems like there's a bug in Slashcode.

Re:BSD Section (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577357)

Oh come one dude. No need to call me names. It was only a (failed?) attempt at dry humor.

I just figured out how you can get your BSD section up. Disable javascript, reload the page and then click on "Sections". With javascript disabled you will get a page instead of that pop-over menu (doesn't work for me either) thingy. Scroll down to the "Customize Slashboxes" section. Check "use slashboxes" and then check the BSD box.

The BSD section should appear.

Cheers! :)

I wish I could use BSD (2, Informative)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577211)

Unfortunately, I am on the PPC platform (I own a Powerbook).

BSDs do not support the following for my Powebook:
* Sleep/suspend
* Firewire
* Airport Extreme (linux barely does, but it is getting there)
* Bluetooth
* Processor scaling
* Internal modem (not that I care)

Unfortunately, for a laptop to be useful for me, it needs to be able to go to sleep. For it not to eat batteries, I need to be able to adjust the processor speed. Right now, I'm running Ubuntu (I did a server install -- it is basically Debian with an up to date kernel that supports sleep and all other non-wifi functions out of the box as far as I'm concerned), and I'm quite happy.

Re:I wish I could use BSD (2, Interesting)

Shanep (68243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577614)

I wish I could use BSD. Unfortunately, I am on the PPC platform (I own a Powerbook).

Don't like OSX?

Re:I wish I could use BSD (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580819)

I do. However, I really enjoy using wmii [] and a few other tools which only really make sense in an all-X environment.

Re:I wish I could use BSD (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577800)

The PowerPC port of FreeBSD is quite immature. It's still officially a Tier 2 platform, and so not necessarily everything is working.

Re:I wish I could use BSD (1)

Ekarderif (941116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578901)

FreeBSD was designed to run smoothly on the i386 platform (but it recently terminated support on the 386). Beyond that and maybe the DEC Alpha, the support is lackluster.

NetBSD and even OpenBSD handles cross-platforms much better. I'm not too aware of the compatibility of NetBSD and PPC (since I don't use either), but it should be worth looking into.

Re:I wish I could use BSD (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580854)

NetBSD and OpenBSD were the platforms I was talking about. I assume, if anything, FreeBSD is even worse on PPC given how immature the port is.

Re:I wish I could use BSD (2, Informative)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583584)

Don't rule out FreeBSD on sparc64. sparc64 is a tier 1 platform nowadays.

Re:I wish I could use BSD (1)

linimon (736674) | more than 8 years ago | (#14585011)

The i386, amd64, and sparc64 ports are the ones in the best shape (in that order). The alpha port is showing its age due to a lack of enough people hacking on it.

The ia64 port is next, then the powerpc and arm ports. None of the three of those is completely suited for widespread use yet.

fwiw, "terminated support on the 386" means the 80386 chips themselves. You can still build a custom kernel for them if you must, but the support was simply in the way for modern systems.

Re:I wish I could use BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581512)

Q: How many libertarians would it have taken to stop Hitler? A: None -- They would've let the market handle it.

Q: How many liberals would it have taken to stop Hitler? None -- they wouldn't commit to an invasion plan without Germany's approval.

Re:I wish I could use BSD (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584425)

Thank you

I just wrote on various livejournal communities a question about using Linux on powerpc. I planned to buy a powerbook.

Linux is a required unix to learn at class so macosx is out of the question. What surprissed me is that Linus now uses a mac as his main linux workstation so I assumed linux would be alot better on it now.

I think Opensolaris has a beta that works on powerpc that supports sleep but I am not too sure on that.

Are you sure Linux doesn't support it? That sucks dude.

Re:I wish I could use BSD (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14585520)

Eh? Linux doesn't support what? Linux supports Firewire, sleep, cpu scaling, special function keys, sounds, and everything else you'd want about your Powerbook. The only thing *not* supported is Airport Extreme, but things are very close now as far as getting this to work -- Some people already have this working. I'd suggest the next version of Ubuntu (come April?) will have this working out of the box. You might be able to do so now if you're particularly eager, but if you time is worth anything to you and you want improved reception (the internal antenna is crap), I'd buy a supported card or USB dongle.

To be honest, everything works as well as it does on OS X except for wifi. I haven't done anything with additional monitors/projectors yet (hence I'm not sure about that), and I haven't tried to make the keyboard light up (on the model I have, it makes things harder to read -- the new ones are better). Otherwise, I'm quite confident you'd be fine.

Ah I forgot -- I'm not sure about accelerated 3D...

slightly offtopic (4, Informative)

kv9 (697238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577368)

the netbsd status report for q3/q4 2005 [] is also available.

They are working on wrong things IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577869)

I can't use *BSD because I can't enable the digital outputs of my ADI1980. Can on Windows&Linux but not on *BSD. That keeps me from using Frisbee :-(

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14578012)

The End of FreeBSD

[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.


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?


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.


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

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14578375)

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 [] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fact: *BSD is dying

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