Subject: Re: Packages for NetBSD (Was: Why are there two 4.4BSD dev. groups)
To: Phil Nelson <>
From: David Brownlee <>
List: current-users
Date: 01/08/1995 23:17:00
*** Sorry about the length of this, but I think I've finally managed to state
*** the point I tried to make last time so I can now shut up :)

	The last thing I want to do is waste the core team's time on non-OS
	code, but I think its worth splitting the 'extras' into three

	a) perl, tcsh, bash - Perl is just so useful to be able to depend
	   on having on a system for scripts etc. And I guess everyone
	   who knows about them will pull down tcsh/bash or similar and
	   install them for the extra features. How feasible would it be 
	   to replace sh & csh with bash & tcsh? Or at least have them
	   in the core to save N people having to compile them for their
	   systems everytime they pull down a new release!
           Personally there are a couple of other utils I consider just too
	   nice *not* to have on a system - screen & top are my top two :)
	   But I guess if this is another 'everyone wants their own' then
	   they should be packaged as in 'c)' - but I think the shells 
	   are just so important to trying to 'sell' the system to someone..
	b) X11R6 - So many people assume X should come as standard with a
	   Unix system... and I guess it should - maybe as as seperate
	   tar.gz file than the main OS, but surely on the same archive

	c) pine, elm, MyFavEMail.exe. Ok - anything with serious 
	   religious sides I'll stick clear of and should be 'here is a
	   list of some good stuff you might like to add to your NetBSD
	   system', or put up in a packages archive.. whatever... :) (MIME). Network Analyst. Postmaster. Hostmaster.
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On Sun, 8 Jan 1995, Phil Nelson wrote:

> >I believe that it is up to the people to do things like generate
> >packages and value-added distributions on CDROM and/or ftp sites.
> >NetBSD is just the OS.  The frills are the responsibility of the
> >people. If someone wanted to create "The penultimate NetBSD OS"
> >with X11R6, TeX, Gnu*, Perl, Pine, Elm, MH, etc, then I'm sure
> >it would be well received by people.  However, I don't believe it's
> >the responsibility of the core.
> I'm not a member of core, but I am a "port master".  So I would
> really like to see NetBSD be used by more people.
> I'm also in a position to recommend NetBSD to many undergrad students 
> wanting a ?nix on their "home machine".  I don't know of any of those
> students with NO prior experience with unix administration who
> successfully installed NetBSD.  Most of them did get Linux installed.
> Also, in talking with students who are using Linux and trying to
> tell them that NetBSD is better have usually responded with two
> comments/questions: Does the standard distribution come with X and other 
> pre-compiled packages?  What is 4.4BSD and how is it better than Linux.
> These students usually can't understand my reasons that NetBSD is better
> than Linux.
> I believe that NetBSD (to the "average (i386) user") will not be
> attractive until someone does make a "penultimate NetBSD OS"
> distribution with a simple installation.  While it will be the 
> FREE OS of other architectures because of a lack of another free OS,
> it will remain the i386 OS the people who want 4.4BSD and are willing
> to "roll their own".
> I also don't think this is the responsibility of the core group, but
> I do think they could do more to encourage such a distribution.
> A good step would be an easier i386 install that is more resistant
> to errors.  I just tried to do a fresh NetBSD-1.0 install on a machine
> of a friend and ran into big problems.
> In any case, I'm extremely thankful for all the work that has be done
> on NetBSD and I'm going to use NetBSD as long as I possibly can.
> --Phil