Subject: FreeBSD installer is a piece of shit (and possibly the kernel too)
To: None <email@example.com>
From: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 07/07/2001 19:16:39
So I've got a semi-brand new server here, Pentium III 733, 384MB RAM
and two 30GB hard drives. The BIOS recognizes the hard drives as 30GB
hard drives and every other OS I've installed on them works perfectly.
Read: NetBSD, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Linux
(RedHat 7.1, 6.2, 5.1, SuSE, etc etc).
Every single one of these others recognizes the two hard drives and
installs perfectly. There are no troubles at all with the hardware.
Ever. Not once.
Today I decided to try to install FreeBSD on it because their ports
system contains more of what I want (mpeg, video, brooktree supporting
software, etc etc), and because I understand that FreeBSD doesn't need
to be tuned for the larger badass server loads (no need to monkey with
NMBCLUSTERS, tweaking BUFCACHE, etc). As I understand it, it just
dynamically adjusts itself based on available ram and swap and scales
up to heavy loads cleanly.
I also heard that Google and Big Boy Friends use FreeBSD in their
So this morning being a Saturday I got up bright and early and popped
in the FreeBSD 4.3 installation disk to get it on the computer.
Thus began my memory black-out. Under intense hypnosis and deep
regression therapy I've learned that the bald patches at the sides of
my head are the result of screaming, hand waving, wild, rolling eyes,
a smashed set of CDs, something about a 30GB drive only being detected
as a 2 GB drive no matter the combination of pfdisk.exe, BIOS
settings, fdisk installer problems, and a strange laughing daemon who
whispered taunts in my ear as I quickly went completely insane.
They picked me up five miles out of town, barefoot, bleeding from my
eyes, twitching uncontrollably.
My friend knew what happened. With infinite wisdom, kind patience, and
a brave heart he whispered the words that brought me back, "Come back
to the fold. Come back to NetBSD purity. You know how to handle it.
Don't you remember the millions of hits you coped with just two months
ago? And SMP is coming. And UBC is coming.. Patience is a virtue. Have
faith, NetBSD will always welcome a straying acolyte back to the
FreeBSD might work for some. But after my experience of eight hours
today of fiddling, I'm sticking with NetBSD and being patient waiting
for the new technologies that will mean I don't have to gdb /netbsd
Thank you. Amen.