Am I the only BSDer?

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Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:25 am

Does anyone else here run BSD?

Why does Linux get so much of the attention? Is it at all to do with it being GPL'd and therefore the choice by default for a lot of idealists? Is it the more organic development style? I have seen headlines about Gentoo, Ubuntu, Fedora, and a couple years ago the headlines were about Redhat, Suse, Mandrake, but I never see any headlines about FreeBSD this, OpenBSD that.... now bear in mind when I say that that I am referring to headlines in the more mainstream media and not Unix or Open Source media.

The reason I went BSD is because I was initially searching for an open source firewall and BSD showed up pretty prominently in the search results. I then read more about BSD, FreeBSD in particular, and its more structured and more tightly integrated development process and basically that it is more tightly controlled than GNULinux and reasoned that it could possibly be a better learning environment.

Frankly, though, I don't much care. I got started with FreeBSD, but if I see a compelling reason to switch to something else I will switch without hesitating. Apparently, all the "userland" stuff is happy to run on top of either BSD or Linux so I am not locked out of anything regardless.

From what I read, new features make it into Linux faster, but seeing as that this pretty much pertains to the kernels only, I do not see that it really makes any practical difference to me.

Anyway, if anyone else here is using a BSD, I would like to know you exist :)
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Re: Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:35 am

flip-mode wrote:From what I read, new features make it into Linux faster, but seeing as that this pretty much pertains to the kernels only, I do not see that it really makes any practical difference to me.
It doesn't make much difference, unless you have hardware supported on one but not the other or come up against some situation where one but not the other can do what you need. There's also more desktop-emphasis with linux-based projects, which always bring out the publicity, and lots of corporations doing linux stuff. At times BSd has fallen behind on certain issues - implementing good multiprocessor performance, for example. There was also some legal uncertainty at one point that gave linux a bit more of a toehold.
flip-mode wrote:Anyway, if anyone else here is using a BSD, I would like to know you exist :)
I use it for some stuff. Less now than before as I've eliminated or moved to appliances for some things that I used to use it for.
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Re: Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:51 am

Blue Screen of Death operating system :-?
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Re: Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:02 am

Fighterpilot, did you just grab at the chance to be witty there or is that post as shallow as it seems?
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Re: Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:21 pm

I've been a BSD fan from the very beginning. I use Linux in my day job, but I continue to believe that BSD is the superior OS as far as fundamental design. Linux is more "popular". Why do people continue to be obsessed with Paris Hilton?

It reminds me of the Windows 95/98 days. Why did everyone run Windows 95/98 rather than Windows NT/2000? Simply because it was more popular and had the largest market awareness, not because it was "better".

Anyway, at this point, it's largely a flavor difference. Linux has been professionally developed long enough that most of its major deficiencies have been fixed or at least hacked over. And because it's "popular", it has a wider base of commercial software support. On the other hand, BSD is more consistent and the fundamental kernel is still, for lack of a better term, "better" in many subtle ways (for example, can handle higher network loads with less quirkiness).
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Re: Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:26 pm

What's a BSD?
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Re: Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:26 pm

mattsteg wrote:
flip-mode wrote:From what I read, new features make it into Linux faster, but seeing as that this pretty much pertains to the kernels only, I do not see that it really makes any practical difference to me.
It doesn't make much difference, unless you have hardware supported on one but not the other or come up against some situation where one but not the other can do what you need. There's also more desktop-emphasis with linux-based projects, which always bring out the publicity, and lots of corporations doing linux stuff. At times BSd has fallen behind on certain issues - implementing good multiprocessor performance, for example. There was also some legal uncertainty at one point that gave linux a bit more of a toehold.


I believe the "better" multiprocessing performance for Linux vs BSD was largely marketing hype. Yes, BSD had some problems scaling onto lots of processors, but Linux did too. They're both getting better at that, but neither one is as good as some commercial Unix systems, such as Solaris.

The legal thing was just a scare, and it was way back at the beginning of the free BSD projects (FreeBSD/NetBSD), which would put it in the early 90's if I'm not mistaken. All the legally encumbered files were rewritten for the free projects, so there were no actual legal problems. But that didn't stop AT&T from making threats, and from people using that as an excuse to invent their own alternative rather than use the vastly superior (at that time) BSD networking code.
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Re: Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:29 pm

Meadows wrote:What's a BSD?


Berkeley Software Distribution. It was the first "free" Unix, developed at Berkeley and some other universities based off AT&T Unix source code. It's basically where things like TCP/IP were brought into the larger world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD
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Re: Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:59 pm

flip-mode wrote:Does anyone else here run BSD?
I run several FreeBSD systems. Occasionally I use OpenBSD and I have a DragonflyBSD VM I use from time to time.

flip-mode wrote:The reason I went BSD is because I was initially searching for an open source firewall and BSD showed up pretty prominently in the search results.
Possibly because BSD's PF is somewhat nicer to deal with than iptables, especially for beginners. PF is like a high level language while iptables is more like assembly (that's why there's a proliferation of high level filtering languages that compile down to iptables). Looking at how one would set up NAT on PF versus iptables illustrates the differences pretty well.
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Re: Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:00 pm

Buub wrote:I believe the "better" multiprocessing performance for Linux vs BSD was largely marketing hype. Yes, BSD had some problems scaling onto lots of processors, but Linux did too. They're both getting better at that, but neither one is as good as some commercial Unix systems, such as Solaris.
It was more than just hype. Consider that SCHED_ULE is still not the default with FreeBSD 7, after an abortive stint as default in 5.x for a while, and various results like this random one. Not problems scaling onto lots of processors - problems scaling onto even 2 processors. Things were certainly improved over time, but the scheduler is taking a long, long time to replace 4BSD as the default.
Buub wrote:The legal thing was just a scare, and it was way back at the beginning of the free BSD projects (FreeBSD/NetBSD), which would put it in the early 90's if I'm not mistaken. All the legally encumbered files were rewritten for the free projects, so there were no actual legal problems. But that didn't stop AT&T from making threats, and from people using that as an excuse to invent their own alternative rather than use the vastly superior (at that time) BSD networking code.
Yup, that about covers it.
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Re: Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:21 pm

I went with Linux back in '99 because at the time it had better hardware support & didn't require a math co-processor, and I'd used MS-DOS (DJGPP) ports of the GNU userland utilities previous to that. I chose Debian in particular due to idealism, no doubt partly because of being in my late teens. :wink:
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Re: Am I the only BSDer?

Postposted on Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:26 pm

mattsteg wrote:
Buub wrote:I believe the "better" multiprocessing performance for Linux vs BSD was largely marketing hype. Yes, BSD had some problems scaling onto lots of processors, but Linux did too. They're both getting better at that, but neither one is as good as some commercial Unix systems, such as Solaris.
It was more than just hype. Consider that SCHED_ULE is still not the default with FreeBSD 7, after an abortive stint as default in 5.x for a while, and various results like this random one. Not problems scaling onto lots of processors - problems scaling onto even 2 processors. Things were certainly improved over time, but the scheduler is taking a long, long time to replace 4BSD as the default.
Yeah, I think part of it was the issues with FreeBSD 5, which was supposed to be the "better for SMP" release (largely breaking the giant kernel lock). Various long time BSD developers and users thought that FreeBSD 5 was rushed to STABLE. I recently listened to an interview with the CEO of Joyent, and they ditched FreeBSD for their infrastructure after the problems they experienced with the 5 series. He said, "we were using a very nice, stable, reliable FreeBSD 4, and when we went to FreeBSD 5, a lot of that reliability and stability disappeared, especially on platforms that had more than one CPU." And also the SMP architecture in FreeBSD 5 was the reason that Matt Dillon forked FreeBSD and created DragonflyBSD. He believed that they were doing it wrong and had lost their way.
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