Subject: The wonderful world of heterogenous PC OSes
To: None <netbsd-users@NetBSD.ORG,>
From: VaX#n8 <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 01/26/1997 15:38:13

Hi.  While getting a second system up and running today, I was contemplating
that I seem to be gathering one computer per OS.  This seemed rather silly
to me, since one PC and a cool boot manager aught to do the trick, but I've
begin to find out a couple of things:

Some of them boot in profoundly dumb ways (these are mostly commercial ones)

Some of them don't coexist peacefully

Unix likes to stay running; named caches names and a reboot blows the
cache away (I have an idea of sending it SIGINT and saving the /var/tmp
file away in some kind of cache for next reboot, would that work?)
Shutting down frequently leaves jobs half-finished.
There's often no good recovery.
There's not even a particularly good way to (for example) have Unix
change personalities and start PPPing into somewhere else, acting like
a different host (sendmail caches the hostname and you run into other
problems, and of course a firewalled setup gets complicated).

People like to have a box running; that way you can debug your problem
with the help of the Internet, and if you screw up the boot process or
partitioning, your important stuff is still safe.

Therefore, it seems logical to have a Unix "server" which has most of
the storage and media types, changes infrequently both hardware-wise
and system-sw-wise, and has a very simple setup (e.g. no need in having
4 OSes on it).

Is this consistent with other people's collected wisdom?
Anyone have comments or solutions I may have overlooked?