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FreeBSD 6.1 Released

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the get-it-while-its-hot dept.


nbritton writes "FreeBSD 6.1 has been released! This release is the next step in the development of the 6.X branch, delivering several performance improvements, many bugfixes, and a few new features. Of note are the major improvements to the filesystem and SATA code, possibly making FreeBSD the number one choice for SATA RAID implementations. For a complete list of new features and known problems, please see the release notes, errata list, Bittorrent Downloads, Mirrors, Hardware Notes, and Installation Guide."

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dying? (0, Troll)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292623)

I thought BSD was dead.

Re:dying? (-1, Offtopic)

Jotii (932365) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292742)

That devil is only a symbol, don't interpret it literally.

Debian FreeBSD port (4, Informative)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292792)

What is very much alive is the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD project [] . Get the best of both worlds baby.

Re:Debian FreeBSD port (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292995)

Ha ha. That's funny... everyone knows the best of both worlds is here [] .

Re:Debian FreeBSD port (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15293255)

Abommination! Seriously though, why would someone want a Linux userland with a FreeBSD kernel? The userland and hier of FreeBSD is one of its greater strenghts. I can see a FreeBSD userland with a Linux kernel however.

Re:Debian FreeBSD port (2, Insightful)

rivaldufus (634820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293425)

Some of us are happy with FreeBSD's userland, thank you. The last thing most FreeBSD users would want would be the entire GNU userland and libc.

I'll believe it when Netcraft confirms it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15292632)

Until then, I'll stick to OS X.

But... (0, Troll)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292635)

...does it run Linux?

Re:But... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15292755)

Although this was probably intended as a trollish comment, yes, it does run Linux [] .

BSD and clusters (0, Troll)

rwhamann (598229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292641)

What are the cluster options for BSD? Do they have quickstart options like OSCAR?

Re:BSD and clusters (4, Informative)

agent dero (680753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292807)

I'm not sure how this got modded up, just a quick Google search reveals that FreeBSd clustering is very doable.

Check out LAM/MPI [] or see pages by people who've done it []

Re:BSD and clusters (1, Funny)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292918)

Is it possible to imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?

Re:BSD and clusters (1)

agent dero (680753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293033)

A beowulf cluster of condescending comments used to assert one's superiority to another?

On slashdot? Naaaahhhhh ;)

Re:BSD and clusters (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293097)

A beowulf cluster of condescending comments used to assert one's superiority to another?

Just think what we could do if we could harness that power... virtually unlimited computational power!

Errata list? (2)

Cambrant (735036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292654)

What's the point of an empty list of last minute changes? Anyway, could someone who knows please tell me if FreeBSD is still as stable as it was under the 4.x cycle? I've been thinking about running this on a server or two.

Re:Errata list? (3, Funny)

debilo (612116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292770)

From the mailing list:
NOTE: It was discovered at the last minute that the errata notes that were packaged with the release are out of date. For a complete list of known problems, please see the online errata list, available at: ...
The errata page is being updated, please be patient.

Re:Errata list? (4, Informative)

archen (447353) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292788)

6.0 has been very stable for me, and I now run it in production. To tell you the truth I never had much luck with 4x and it was usually a bitch for me to get running for some reason. I really liked the way 5.x did a lot of things but of course there were the stability issues.

6x is a good branch (so far so good anyway) and MUCH better than 5. Performance is okay, not as good as Linux in some scenarios but not bad either. On my Sokris 4801 (233Mhz pentium class) it seems rather slow, but Freebsd 4x on my 133Mhz Pentium seems to be about the same - so I'd say not a big difference. If you need the most out of older hardware that is already running 4x I'd probably stick with it.

Hopefully I'll be able to figure this new bridging scheme out and be able to better evaluate performance.

Re:Errata list? (1)

MPHellwig (847067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293664)

If you need 4.x performance you might take a look at dragonflybsd.

Re:Errata list? (1)

archen (447353) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293777)

I was going to suggest that... but until dragonfly gets their package distribution replacement for ports in line I wouldn't recommend it. Pkgsrc just doesn't cut it for me.

Re:Errata list? (1)

portwojc (201398) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292790)

The point is they make one with every release and keep it updated - along with dates of when they changed things. Check out 5.* errata list.

Any reason to switch? (1, Interesting)

HotBBQ (714130) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292668)

I use Gentoo at home, but I like to play around with other distros. Any notable reasons to try FreeBSD?

Re:Any reason to switch? (-1, Troll)

Jotii (932365) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292717)

Seriously consider the disadvantages. When you try to type into the location field in your browser, appears before it.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

oscartheduck (866357) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292808)

WHat? Maybe this happens in your browser, but in mine loads up and nothing but.

To answer the OP, if you're running gentoo then the package administration features of FreeBSD don't really do anything for you, though you'll be pleased to know that once you've learned one or two different commands then you'll be running quick sharp. And the linux compatability layer means you don't have to throw out a lot of the applications you're used to just working.
A lot of FreeBSD's features come about in the network environment. It tends to serve large amounts of data faster than linux. FreeBSD also has, in my opinion, a nicer design than linux on the kernel security level.
When I used FreeBSD for a while, essentially I noticed that most of the time it was familiar, with just a few commands that I needed to learn again. It felt kind of weird because things are done differently to debian, which was what I was using beforehand, but you can surmount the differences pretty rapidly. I moved back over to the penguin side of things because it was what I had learned first and because it seemed that development was going on quicker, but if I need to run a server under heavy load I'll probably throw FreeBSD on there to handle it.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

HotBBQ (714130) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292863)

Is it any easier than using, say, Solaris 9? If not, I think I'll stick with Linux. One caveat, though, my server is sitting in a closet with a wireless nic. From what I've experienced, Linux + wireless + WPA = ugh. I suspect it won't be any easier on FreeBSD.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15292912)

FreeBSD uses the WPA supplicant thing (which is just a config file). I would say it's hard, but it is a big pain in the ass. About the same as Linux so I've heard.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

numbsafari (139135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292917)

If you want to consider a BSD and need it to work with Wireless, I highly recommend openbsd (see [] They have quite excellent support for wireless NICs.

Ease of use?? Well, if you want a CLI then you should seriously consider BSD. However, if you absolutely must boot from KDE the first time the OS is installed, then stick to Ubuntu. OpenBSD in particular has EXCELLENT man pages. I think it's probably the most complete, well written and up-to-date OSS project documentation I've found anywhere. Bar none.

Yes ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15292786)

To see if you like it. Ports, the system's layout, etc. Won't know until you try for yourself.

Re:Any reason to switch? (4, Interesting)

Colonel Package (973718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292797)

I tried in vain to setup FreeBSD 6.0 as a SATA software raid machine. I was using a more recent motherboard with graphics, network and SATA integrated on-board. I think they are all VIA chipsets. I eventually hit the eject on FreeBSD as I couldn't even get X up and running. I then tried Debian. All-in-all it was another less than positive experience. Both the 2.4 and 2.6 kernel versions of Sarge had problems with my hardware. I decided to explore Gentoo. Its working great with SATA and EVMS. It did require some source level tweaks but part of the coolness I found with Gentoo is the very active user/support community and the tons of HowTos and guides. Unless they've made a quantum leap in improvements, FreeBSD would NOT be my choice for a SATA raid server.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293039)

SATA raid on VIA chipsets has worked out of the box for ages, am using it here right now, works perfectly fine. I suppose you can't eexactly say what went wrong in your case?

Re:Any reason to switch? (2, Insightful)

SirCyn (694031) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293047)

So your familiarty with Gentoo allowed you to make "source level" changes. But your unfamiliarty with FreeBSD prevented you from getting X running. So one is better than the other how??

FreeBSD does pretty well on new hardward. Sure it might not support the newest bleeding-edge hardware for a few months. But lets face it, not many of us have that kind of hardware AND are looking for a secure, higly stable platform like FreeBSD (or any other BSD for that matter).

The FreeBSD support community is top notch (mailing lists, handbook, man pages, forums). I've been using FreeBSD at home and in a production environment for a few years now. I know it, I like it, so I may be a little biased. But don't bash on an OS simply because you are unfamiliar with it.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

freshman_a (136603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293171)

I eventually hit the eject on FreeBSD as I couldn't even get X up and running.

# Xorg -configure
# cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Edit xorg.conf as needed (if needed) and tada! You're running X. I've installed FreeBSD on all kinds of hardware and have never had a problem getting X running. As far as user/support community, mailing lists and have provided me with answers to all the *BSD questions I've had.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293196)

So your can compile linux from scratch (snicker, typing make, doesn't make the shit) but you couldn't figure out how to setup X or raid. I see, so FreeBSD has to suck, you couldn't figure it out. Good one.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293244)

I have software RAID 1 (gmirror) setup and working perfectly with two 80Gig SATA drives. How did you set it up? I used Dru's article on OnLamp [ D_Basics.html], and now I have a fstab that looks like this:
  • Device Mountpoint
    /dev/mirror/gm0s1b none
    /dev/mirror/gm0s1a /
    /dev/mirror/gm0s1e /tmp
    /dev/mirror/gm0s1f /usr
    /dev/mirror/gm0s1d /var

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293332)

As someone who recently set up a 4-disk software SATA raid-5 (nforce chipset, new motherboard) on Fedora 5 a couple months ago, I've been more than happy. It's already saved me once. With a simple cron script, it emails me whenever I lose a disk. The only issue I had was that when the disk disappeared and a new one went into its place, the drive letters rearranged and I had to reassemble the array. Not a big deal, but it required an RTFM.

Now, that said, I wouldn't be using a SATA raid for performance, only redundancy. If you want general desktop performance, you want high seek times rather than high throughput, which means high RPM drives, which still typically means SCSI. Having your root partition as a single 15,000 RPM SCSI will get you a lot better performance (an 18 gig 15k rpm scsi will only cost you $40, and you'll get 3-4ms access times. A 36 gig will run you a little over $80.). SATA raid is great for redundant bulk storage, though.

Re:Any reason to switch? (3, Interesting)

neshort (733207) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293515)

Some of what you say I find interesting - implying that the Gentoo community is more active than the FBSD group. I know you didn't actually say that; and maybe you didn't even imply as much; so you diserve the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, I have never seen documentation as thorough (although still somewhat incomplete) as: andbook/index.html []

The mailing lists are really helpful: []

And there is usually very good help to be found at usenet: sd.misc?hl=en []

There is not a free OS that "just works" with everything I want to do. There are many things that need a little customizing. If you are willing to source-level tweak Gentoo you should be able to get what you want done accomplished with FreeBSD.

I used Gentoo for a while - a year ago - for a couple months. Here's what I liked:

  • The Linux Alsa audio system is pretty nice and works with more audio equipment than you'll find working on FreeBSD.
  • Portage is almost as nice and the FreeBSD ports system.
  • More ported applications.
  • More current ports.
Here's what I didn't like:
  • The ports that attracted me to Linux (because they are not ported to FreeBSD) are often unstable. For example: I was attracted to the music composer applications Brahms and Rosegarden-4. Both programs constantly core-dumped on me. I couldn't get anything accomplished. So far, a nice music composing application doesn't seem to exist for 'nix. I'd be willing to pay for a good one that doesn't require winD'OH!s.
  • Console-land isn't nearly as elegant as is on FreeBSD.
  • I never could get the hang of runlevels... but that's just me (grin).

Re:Any reason to switch? (3, Interesting)

kyofunikushimi (769712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292878)

I tried out FreeBSD last year and loved it. Until I couldn't manage to get an oracle client installed on it, which pretty much killed its usability within my company. Supposedly I could have done it with some hard work and diligence and the Linux Compatibility port, but I just wasn't up for the challenge.

That's the only problem I ran into though.

Re:Any reason to switch? (-1, Troll)

dsginter (104154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292913)

I use Gentoo at home, but I like to play around with other distros. Any notable reasons to try FreeBSD?

I'll get to that as soon as KDE finishes compiling.

PC-BSD (1)

Aethedor (973725) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292928)

If you wanna try BSD, try PC-BSD. It's based on FreeBSD 6.0. It has an easy installation and gives you a GUI (KDE). It's easier to explore BSD when you have an interface you are familiar with then a blinking cursor which only says "Command not found"

Re:PC-BSD (1)

Bootvis (913169) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293558)

Or try DesktopBSD. Stable and the installation is the easiest I've seen (I've seen Windows, Suse, Red Hat and Ubuntu) You can download it here: DesktopBSD []

Re:Any reason to switch? (2, Informative)

JianTian13 (525365) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292952)

So, presumably part of the reason you like Gentoo is for Portage, right? USE flags, compiling from source, etc?

But if my experience with Gentoo and Portage is any guide, then you've probably also been bitten by Portage -- Masked ebuilds, ~arch, whatever: the build you want is masked, and unmasking and building creates an amazing cascade of broken packages, right?

Maybe I'm not being fair; I tried Gentoo for the last time maybe two years ago. I *loved* the flexibility and built-from-scratchness. But at some point I got hooked into FreeBSD's ports, and AFAICT, there's no comparison, at least in terms of stability/QA. FreeBSD ports just work.

Anyway, just my $0.02.

Jackass! (3, Interesting)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293067)

But if my experience with Gentoo and Portage is any guide, then you've probably also been bitten by Portage -- Masked ebuilds, ~arch, whatever: the build you want is masked, and unmasking and building creates an amazing cascade of broken packages, right?

No, I wasn't being rude to you either.

The Jackass Project [] on Gentoo fixes a lot of the ebuild and portage problems.

Re:Any reason to switch? (0, Redundant)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292954)

"Any notable reasons to try FreeBSD?"

Sure, it's better than GNU/Linux, IMHO. Additionally, FreeBSD is a complete OS, not just a kernel.

If your preference is for structure and good engineering, you'll like FreeBSD. However, if you use hot glue and duct tape to fix everything, stick with Linux. This isn't a bash on GNU/Linux, since both work, but merely a quick idea of their "personality".

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292997)

Umm, Which compiler does freebsd use again ? Will all GNU bashing BSD people please send me an output of 'gcc -v' on their systems.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293086)

You're right. *BSD use GNU gcc.

Bashing is silly.

Re:Any reason to switch? (2, Informative)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293137)

"GNU bashing"? Hardly, you've misunderstood. I'll be the first to say that GNU is the glue that most FOSS uses to actually get any work done. My point was only that the central control and design of FreeBSD and GNU together versus the tacking on of GNU plus a Linux kernel as often apparent on some distro-of-the-week.

Re:Any reason to switch? (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292956)

Any notable reasons to try FreeBSD?

Because it's there, Dude. Because it's there. Honestly, what kind of a geek are you?

I do, however, feel duty bound to point out that the man famous for saying that ended up dead shortly thereafter.

If you do manage to survive getting it installed though, what will you have conquered?

None but yourself, Dude. None but yourself.


Re:Any reason to switch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15293200)

Don't we all end up dead anyway? "Because it's there" should be enough reason for any mortal. He might as well said "It's there, I'm here, and I want to be there because one day I won't be here anymore... and I won't be able to get there." But that was probably all implied when he said it. Maybe other people miss that implied message.

Re:Any reason to switch? (-1, Troll)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292958)

Well if you use Gentoo already then you're a prime candidate for using BSD, because like BSD, Gentoo is following BSD down the path to oblivion.

Oblivion, you say, Mr. Ballmer? (1)

guitaristx (791223) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293024)

Well if you use Gentoo already then you're a prime candidate for using BSD, because like BSD, Gentoo is following BSD down the path to oblivion.

Oblivion, you say? Your opinion comes from a trustworthy source, I'm sure.... []

Re:Oblivion, you say, Mr. Ballmer? (0, Troll)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293075)

I don't have a problem w/ Open Source. It will thrive. I run Fedora on my desktop and Smoothwall on my firewall at home. Both products are great and will continue to grow.

Gentoo, a single Linux distribution, is absolutely following BSD down the path to oblivion. Why else would Daniel Robbins leave a project he started? You should never allow good money or time to follow bad. Daniel cut his loses and left. He was smart. I have no idea when the rest of the Gentoo user community is going to realize that Gentoo, like BSD, and DOS 6.0, and CP/M, is walking down the wide road to hobbiest oblivion. Say hi to the Amiga guys for me.

Forgive me for feeding the troll (1)

guitaristx (791223) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293490)

I will concede that FreeBSD, in terms of implementing the latest bells and whistles, is behind Linux. Often, it's far behind linux. However, the strength of FreeBSD (and most of the BSDs) is not in how many of the latest features get crammed into the next release, it's the stability and correctness of how the operating system works. Furthermore, the FreeBSD developers and maintainers have worked very hard to create a sane way of getting things done. I love the fact that any operator-installed packages are never going to clash with the base system install. /usr/local/* is the appropriate place for non-base-system stuff to go, no matter what. I love the fact that threads are truly lightweight processes. I love the fact that the kernel, boot process, and base system install are all, together, what makes FreeBSD. You get no such guarantees from Linux. As so many people around here are in the habit of pointing out, Linux is just a kernel. Keeping the kernel tied with the appropriate binaries and scripts is what helps keep FreeBSD stable.

I wanted to migrate from Windows on my desktop to Linux, and I found linux, especially with the built-in package management features of a few distros, to be almost impossible to administer and still remain current. It took me days, DAYS, to get a linux distro up-and-running to be sufficiently ready to use as a desktop. It took me < 2 hours for FreeBSD. FreeBSD has remained stable, secure, and easy-to-use ever since. Heck, I can even run software built for Linux on my FreeBSD system through its robust Linux compatibility layer. Look at Netcraft's longest-uptime charts, and see how many of the top entries are BSD systems. You say FreeBSD is dying -- I say FreeBSD is growing.

Now, go on, eat up. The above is 100% Purina Troll Chow. Keep on trolling if you're still hungry.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

inca34 (954872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292966)

I think installing Gentoo a few times is a great way to get to know your computer. Once you think you have it all down, try the FreeBSD installer. It will rock your world. And by rock your world, I mean new levels of RTFM pain. Kind of like going from Sayan to Super Sayan for the first time. Pain and suffering.

Don't take my word for it. Try it yourself. Then set up benchmarks for the things you care about on your computer, such as startup times, average load times, routing/ping times, etc. and compare between the two. I found, years ago, that fbsd better suited my firewalling/natd needs over a fully optimized Gentoo distro built from scratch (with about a month's worth of kernel tweaking). I base this purely on network performance. This may no longer be the case so I recommend doing your own tests and be your own authority. Portage is a derivative of ports, so you will be fairly comfortable with that system, I think. It's just a little old and hard to use at times compared to its younger and cleaner python offspring.

In any case, install, learn, enjoy.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293467)

I think installing Gentoo a few times is a great way to get to know your computer.

I couldn't agree more. I have installed gentoo on quite a few machines in my lab over the past few years, and I can't think of a better way to learn about hardware. I never knew the details of fdisk and file systems before installing gentoo either. I also found it interesting to learn a bit about GCC (not enough to become a damn ricer, though).

Learning about this was good as it made me a better admin and research assistant.

Once you think you have it all down, try the FreeBSD installer. It will rock your world. And by rock your world, I mean new levels of RTFM pain. Kind of like going from Sayan to Super Sayan for the first time. Pain and suffering.

I disagree. I played with FreeBSD 5.1 way before I attempted my first Gentoo install. The FreeBSD installer worked nicely on my system and I didn't have to rtfm all that much. Overall, I find FreeBSD installs to be easier and quicker than Gentoo installs (read: non-Gentoo installer installs).

The only problems I've had with FreeBSD are: (1) Updating ports (some of the ports are very old). (2) Installing Java, (3) Getting X11 to work (this isn't FreeBSD's problem, though). None of these problems were permanent, however.

Soon I will try running Gentoo on top of FreeBSD.

Re:Any reason to switch? (2, Informative)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293619)

you're point #2 is now void. Go to the freebsdfoundation page, download the JDK or JRE for 6.0 and then do a pkg_add and you're done. Viola! Java!

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293713)

*rubs eyes*

Binaries? Sweet binaries?

*rubs eyes some more*

It's Christmas in FreeBSD land! Wheee!

We haven't seen Java binaries in FreeBSD since 1.1.8! I'm just in awe of this. Now I'm going to have to evict Linux-JDK from my system just to make room for the natives!

Re:Any reason to switch? (0)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292987)

I suffered through FreeBSD 5.3 and 5.4 on an AMD64 box. Trying to build Java (because of Sun's restrictions) and OpenOffice, trying to get KDE or Gnome stable, and managing the ports tree were horrible experiences comparable to installing OS/2 2.1.

Then 5.4 crashed fatally because of a file-system problem. I had a choice: try FreeBSD 6.0 or try Ubuntu.

I chose Ubuntu and it has been bliss. I wish I had never even bothered with FreeBSD.

Your mileage may vary, but Ubuntu got me there on a quarter-tank... whereas FreeBSD consistently just tanked.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293297)

AMD64 support is still less than stellar from what I know. I'd simply run a desktop system in 32-bit mode for now, be it Linux or FreeBSD, or you'll get bitten by the "missing/broken essential program that I really wanted" problem sooner or later.

The FreeBSD Java problems has more or less disappeared, given that there's now even an official version.

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293634)

be it Linux or FreeBSD, or you'll get bitten by the missing/broken essential program that I really wanted problem

I understand your generalisation but you cannot dismiss Ubuntu's success this way.

Ubuntu on AMD64 has been nigh-perfect for both essential and "nice-to-have" tools. And Synaptic is far, far ahead of ports management on FreeBSD.

I'm glad to hear that Java is available for FreeBSD now. But that wasn't the only misery that I encountered, as I said. Ubuntu has performed brilliantly on this computer and has not wasted even 15 minutes of my time.

FreeBSD was a very bad previous relationship. ;o)

Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293238)

If you plan to use a server machine at home, don't even think a second and try FreeBSD.

If you are purely a desktop user, Linux will always win.

Re:Any reason to switch? (3, Interesting)

misleb (129952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293283)

I've been a Linux user for the last 10 years or so... Debian for the latter half. I recently took a new job where they used FreeBSD servers rather than Linux. Instead of using my position to push a migration to Linux, I decided to just learn to use FreeBSD.

I can't say that I am particularly impressed with FreeBSD. There's nothing WRONG with it, per se, but there is also nothing amazing either. The only redeeming value I can think of off hand is having bleeding edge software available all the time through ports. Where with Debian I would get "stuck" with package versions dated from whenever the last stable release was and mixing unstable packages was not a good idea. Coming from Gentoo, I know you have something like ports and you are used to compiling every darn package you want to run (I hate it). You should probably give FreeBSD a try. You might like it.


Re:Any reason to switch? (1)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293646)

Well, I would have to say there isn't anything "amazing" about Debian either. They both just work. As for the ports being bleeding edge? No, I would say they stay caught up with the latest "stable" releases from the respective projects, but they sure aren't bleeding edge.

Re:Any reason to switch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15293367)

Yes, startup scripts in BSD is better laid out than the SYS-5-ish Linux starup scripts. Also one nice sysctl file to control the kernel. Often has better default network speed than Linux. Programs from "Ports" are kept in /usr/local with a /usr/local/etc. At first it seems insane to have more than one version of /etc, but once you upgrade a ports program you will start to see the wisdom in it.

Re:Any reason to switch? (2, Insightful)

bigbadunix (662724) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293573)

Well, for's always good to expand the tools available in your toolset. Just because you might not necessarily -have- to use a certain platform/os in your current environment, it certainly can't hurt to at least have a working knowledge of other systems in existance.

I personally use NetBSD in production environments, but make myself familiar with the various other alternatives out there, just in case some lucrative offer falls in my lap. Then at least, I have some working experience.

But that's just my opinion, and most everyone around here thinks I'm dumb.

Re:Any reason to switch? (2, Interesting)

Ekarderif (941116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293649)

The one thing I love about FreeBSD is the tight base integration. The problem with Linux is largely a separation of developers: GNU and Linux kernel. And whichever distribution you use tends to tack on another layer of complexity. FreeBSD doesn't have that. Well, the ports are very much a separate entity, but the base system is very clean.

I attempted to use Gentoo about a year ago, and there really is no comparison. The installation process was incredibly painless (the same cannot be said for Gentoo). The packaging system is also far more responsive (the actual programs I mean, the port update is a bit slower from what I remember).

In fact, Gentoo scared me away from Linux for a good while. I used Redhat (bleh!) and Slackware before then. It wasn't until two months ago that I picked up another distibution: Arch Linux. And I do love both current systems. But I'd have to go with FreeBSD if forced to choose. After all, Arch Linux took up 350 MB in a fresh (no extra packages) installation whereas FreeBSD is currently taking up 300 MB (excluding user files and ports tree).

But does it run... (3, Funny)

phase_9 (909592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292673)

Yeah, but does it run solitaire?

Re:But does it run... (1)

bl00d6789 (714958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292706)

Yes: []

NCQ? (3, Interesting)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292690)

I don't see it listed in the release notes, but does it finally support SATA NCQ?

Re:NCQ? (1)

SpinJaunt (847897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292939)

Check this out:
% atacontrol cap ad4
Protocol Serial ATA v1.0
device model Maxtor 6L250S0
serial number L5919BTG
firmware revision BANC1G10
cylinders 16383
heads 16
sectors/track 63
lba supported 268435455 sectors
lba48 supported 490234752 sectors
dma supported
overlap not supported
Feature Support Enable Value Vendor
write cache yes yes
read ahead yes yes
Native Command Queuing (NCQ) yes - 31/0x1F
Tagged Command Queuing (TCQ) no no 31/0x1F
SMART yes yes
microcode download yes yes
security yes no
power management yes yes
advanced power management yes no 0/0x00
automatic acoustic management yes yes 254/0xFE 192/0xC0 [] - better formatting, without the lame-o-filter.

Obviously my intel ICH5 southbridge doesn't support NCQ, otherwise it would "Just Work(TM)", it is just a matter of the right hardware.

Re:NCQ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15293339)

Thats a function of the hardware not the software. If your chipset and hard disk support NCQ, then yes FreeBSD will support it.

Number one choice for SATA RAID? (1, Insightful)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292741)

According to whom?

Re:Number one choice for SATA RAID? (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292873)

According to nobody. The summary said:

possibly making FreeBSD the number one choice for SATA RAID implementations

That's "possibly". As in, it hasn't been proven yet but the developers feel that it's ahead of the rest of the market. Therefore it may "possibly" be the number one choice.

Oh, great! (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292753)

I'm still running 4.8. :-P

Now I'm gonna have to download and burn yet another version I won't get around to updating to. =)

Oh well, it aint broken, I'll update it some day.

Re:Oh, great! (5, Funny)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292980)

Yes! I've been saying the same thing about CP/M and DOS 6.1 for years now.

Re:Oh, great! (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293070)

I'm in exactly the same boat.

I have a colo'd server tucked away running 5.3 which simply has no reason for me to every consider updating it off that. There's a certain beauty to it being a "start up and forget about it" box.

Desktop worthy... (4, Interesting)

shrapnull (780217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292771)

FreeBSD has always been great with RAID in my experience. I frequently load it up on servers and don't need additional drivers for my RAID cards (which is more then I can say for W2K3 on the same boxes). Since switching to FreeBSD on my desktop I haven't swapped OS's out (something I tend to do at least once every couple of months). It's been roughly a year now, so I think it's safe to call it "home." If you're into linux and want to try a BSD, now's the time. At least now that VMWare Server Beta is free you can install an instance of this and dust the file with no harm if you don't like it. Although a lot of my linux peeps are quick to criticize, not one of them has complained after actually trying BSD of some sort, and while they're not all converts they grow to understand why someone would choose BSD over linux. Yes there are differences, and no you probably won't notice them in a desktop environment.

Re:Desktop worthy... (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293660)

While I agree with you, being a 1-year Linux-->FreeBSD convert, I think that's a somewhat unfair jab at Win2003. FreeBSD 6.0 didn't support 3Ware's latest SATA-2 raid cards out of the box, either. Don't know if 6.1 now does, but I think comparing an OS that's 2-to-3 years newer than Win2003 is a bit disingenuous.

Not that's I'd ever use Win2003, mind you. :)

FreeBSD 6 + pf (5, Informative)

afternoon_nap (640340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292803)

I use FreeBSD 6 because of the overload table option available when using pf:
## for SSHD from other hosts
pass in log on $ext_if inet proto tcp from any to $ext_if:network \
              port 22 flags S/SA keep state \
              (max 5, source-track rule, max-src-nodes 5, \
                max-src-states 10, tcp.established 60, tcp.closing 5, \
                max-src-conn-rate 3/30, overload flush global) \
              label "SSHD_IN_$if"

If some sshd scanner hits my host more than three times in 30 seconds his packets go to an overload table and his states flushed. Any address or net listed in the badhosts table is blocked outright. It works as advertised and I couldn't be happier.

pf+altq really does give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

Re:FreeBSD 6 + pf (2, Informative)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292838)

Ah, yes, the port of PF from OpenBSD...

Re:FreeBSD 6 + pf (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293592)

Is that the smugness of an OpenBSD user I hear in your tone? It's hard to tell, as your post had no real point.

I don't see anything wrong with the cross-pollination of technologies amongst the BSDs. I prefer PF over native IPF myself on my own server, and I, too, like the overloading feature. In fact, it's one of the things I love about FreeBSD (code sharing, I mean), to the point where I jumped from the Linux camp to the FreeBSD camp.

FreeBSD's a damn fine product (as is Linux). I'll be cvsup'ing my machines today. :)

Re:FreeBSD 6 + pf (4, Insightful)

Skuto (171945) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293686)

>Is that the smugness of an OpenBSD user I hear in your tone? It's hard to
>tell, as your post had no real point.

He's probably pointing out that if "pf" is what you want, then you might as well use the original version in OpenBSD.

Re:FreeBSD 6 + pf (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 8 years ago | (#15292900)

Thanks for that. =)

With portsentry setting pf to block all other port scans I can do this without having to move sshd ports(like I've currently had to do).

Something similar with iptables (4, Informative)

Rescate (688702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293077)

## throttles SSH connnection requests to 3/minute from same IP
## $RED_DEV is Internet-connected interface, CUSTOMFORWARD is the chain being processed

iptables -A CUSTOMFORWARD -i $RED_DEV -p tcp --destination-port 22 \
         -m state --state NEW -m recent --set

iptables -A CUSTOMFORWARD -i $RED_DEV -p tcp --destination-port 22 \
         -m state --state NEW -m recent --update --seconds 60 --hitcount 4 -j DROP

Re:Something similar with iptables (1)

afternoon_nap (640340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293123)

Pure gibberish when compared to pf or ipfilter syntax (IMO). YMMV.

Re:Something similar with iptables (1)

Rescate (688702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293300)

You've got a point there. It took me a while to figure out how to write that "gibberish", since the syntax isn't exactly straightforward (as you noted). Thought maybe someone who doesn't have pf might find it useful, so they don't have to start from scratch like I did.

Re:Something similar with iptables (2, Interesting)

afternoon_nap (640340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293799)

Not to denigrate any particular version of linux, but I stopped using linux back when FreeBSD 4.1 was released. I was still tinkering around with all kinds of distributions at the time and had a lot of fun. I toyed with ipfwadmin and ipchains back in the day.

Then I went to comdex in Atlanta around that time. FreeBSD 4.1.1 CDs were handed out there and I talked to several FreeBSD reps there. With a little eye candy and some good facts I was determined to try it.

Since then I've been an avid user of FreeBSD. I've used ipfw and wrote a script for ipfw and queing a few years ago (see I've used ipfilter a good bit.

PF did come from the OpenBSD group (to which we owe many thanks) as a replacement to ipfilter in a license dispute. I toyed with an OpenBSD bridge at the time at work and found pf was very workable. Since then I've waited for pf to get ported into FreeBSD.

Then that day arrived. When pf hit the -STABLE branch I was hooked. With altq I was able to take advantage of tcp ack-pri and prioritize my voip services. Piece of cake.

I'm very satisfied with FreeBSD as a server, firewall, and desktop. There's enough in FreeBSD to keep everyone busy trying out all kinds of stuff. That's why I've used it since 4.1.1.

I'd really like to see OpenBSD's ipsecctl ported to FreeBSD soon, too.

Two Keyboards. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15292812)

Addition of a keyboard multiplexer. This allows USB and PS/2 keyboards to coexist without any special options at boot.

Yes! Its about time, been waiting for ages for this one. Signed,

Doctor Octavius

Re:Two Keyboards. (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293623)

In all seriousness, Good God, that problem was a PITA. You used to have to configure your machine to use one type of keyboard or the other (which required kernel edits last time I did so). Although you could put a command to switch between them in your startup sequence, you'd be stuck if you rebooted into single-user mode and your machine was configured for the one you didn't have at that moment.

Typical scenario: you install a server at your office using a PS2 keyboard. Then, you move it to a colo with a USB KVM switch. Guaran-frickin'-tee that if you ever had to work on it in person, you'd 1) have forgotten to reconfigure it, and 2) forgotten to bring along a PS2 keyboard.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for fixing this! That wasn't a problem most people had to deal with often, but it always came up when you had the least amount of time and patience to deal with it.

Who ... (-1, Troll)

Vlijmen Fileer (120268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293076)

... cares?

Anything coming from Apple? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293224)

As an OS X user I wonder if the new SATA options etc are coming from Apple or there were Apple coders involved in creating new code.

Re:Anything coming from Apple? (1)

rivaldufus (634820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293296)

I seriously doubt it. While Apple has contributed a lot of code, more code contributions are going the other direction.

Journaling Filesystem (2, Interesting)

AlasdairCake (670654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293236)

FreeBSD may be an excellent operating system, but it's lack of a good journaling file system is a major barrier to adoption. I don't think they can claim to be an excellent choice for SATA RAID arrays until this is addressed.

Although UFS2's background FSCK is a welcome improvement, it's not a solution.

It's good to see that there are projects to bring XFS [] and JFS [] support into FreeBSD, I suspect it will be a long time before they're production ready and you'll be able to boot FreeBSD on them.

Re:Journaling Filesystem (3, Informative)

BasharTeg (71923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293340)

This is a troll. "Background FSCK" isn't BSD's answer to journaling. Soft updates is Dr. McKusick's implementation to maintain filesystem integrity in the event of a system failure. BSD doesn't need journaling, it has soft udpates. You need to read: ings/usenix2000/general/seltzer.html [] []

Re:Journaling Filesystem (4, Insightful)

Skuto (171945) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293665)

>This is a troll. "Background FSCK" isn't BSD's answer to journaling. Soft
>updates is Dr. McKusick's implementation to maintain filesystem integrity in
>the event of a system failure. BSD doesn't need journaling, it has soft

Uhm, no. softupdates is a nice (and performant) way to get quick restarts when something crashes, but it isn't close to journalling at all. You still have to run fsck, and yes, it can run in the background, but it *still has to run*.

If you're looking at Terabytes of data, this is very painful and takes ages, whereas a journalling filesystem has no need to do this.

There are certainly important applications where journalling is a must. Just because most home users or small servers don't need it, doesn't mean that softupdates removes the need for it entirely.

I'm actually pretty sure FreeBSD will switch to journalling eventually.

Re:Journaling Filesystem (2, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293377)

> FreeBSD may be an excellent operating system,
> but it's lack of a good journaling file system
> is a major barrier to adoption.

I'm not sure about journaling file systems. I was helping people in data centres and they have described me way they use FreeBSD there.

First of all, they have specially customized distro packed into single file for network boot. Then, every time something happen they just (re)plug new/replacement board, BSD is loaded with net boot over network, unpacked and booted. OS formats harddrive and run special software to attach local hard drive to networked RAID array. That software does mirroring/etc/whatever is configured.

In other words (and that's pretty logical) you do not need journaling with RAID. You need journaling when you do not have UPS. But if you have money to throw at RAID - then you definitely need an UPS - to protect your investments in RAID.

What journaling does for single hard drive operation is replaced by mirroring in RAID configurations. But that's my limited knowledge of how it works. Had RAID only once - but it was way too noisy. So I replaced RAID config with simple daily backup to the second hard drive.

Thou additional security provided by journaling can definitely help ;-)
Probably people with experience of Linux in data centres can elaborate on the details. From all what I have seen it is precisely advantage of journaled file systems that you can get quite short recovery time w/o more expensive RAID.

Re:Journaling Filesystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15293531)

You are confusing 2 technologies. RAID does not replace the need for journaling, nor does a UPS. RAID is for hardware integrity, performance, and high availability. Journaling is for software (filesystem) integrity and recovery speed.

Some things to consider:

1) You can't replace a faulty hard drive on a non-RAID system while the system is 100% operational, you can with RAID.

2) Non-journaled filesystems can be troublesome after a power outage due to the time it takes for an integrity check.

3) High end hardware RAID solutions also have proprietary backup / snapshot technology that you cannot get with a single hard drive solution.

Re:Journaling Filesystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15293612)

Journaling is not a replacement for RAID, but rather the two complement each other. Even if you have RAID you could still end up with an inconsistent file system, either due to a bug in the file system implementation, crashing or losing power in the middle of a write to disk. In other words, even if the RAID parity information is correct, it does not guarantee that the file system structures you've placed on top of it are correct.

This is where journaling comes in. In the case where you find a problem in your file system you can start back at the begining of your journal and replay the log. If you had no journaling, but RAID, you still might be looking at a long and painful downtime while you fsck your file system.

BSD is great...but (1)

seventhc (636528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293492)

I use FreeBSD 4.11 on my laptop, and I really wish I could run 6.1. My problem is this, I had to unplug the touchpad on my laptop b/c it is broken, once i unplug it..6.0 can't boot, so install never takes place. For some odd reason 4.11 is'nt effected by this. Once i replace my touchpad or find a work around, I will surely give BSD 6.1 a try. :) (BTW if i plug it in, nothing can be installed at all, not even 4.11)

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15293503)

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.


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

Working Great! (2, Informative)

Ramjet350 (582868) | more than 8 years ago | (#15293541)

I was out on last night looking at documentation and noticed that 6.1 was listed as the current release. I grabbed it and installed right away (probably not the best idea) but it works great so far. Very stable and all my hardware is detected and working perfectly.

If you haven't tried it, get an old box and give it a shot. More experience with Unix never hurt anyone!
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