Subject: changing to NetBSD, still not quite sure... :-/
To: None <>
From: Christian Baer <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 10/28/2007 23:22:17
Hi again, everybody!

Sorry for starting a new thread on this, but the old one was kinda getting
away from the subject. :-) I'm still not sure if I should change from
FreeBSD to NetBSD because of my slightly changed situation and I am hoping
to get some more input from you guys.

One thing that definately speaks for NetBSD ist the community I got to
know so far. I got a lot more useful feedback from you guys in a
relatively short time than I got on the FreeBSD mailing-lists about the
same problems[1] over a much longer time. The sparc64 mailing list is
practically dead.

I guess the people using NetBSD are more "geekisch" :-) and as a result
understand more about the system. FreeBSD is becoming more and more like
Linux, in terms of users, which isn't a bad thing by itself and FreeBSD
isn't any less usably because of it. But we all know that there are Linux
users who are as clueless about their "new" OS as they were about Windows.
Ok, the geek-factor is maybe a plus for NetBSD :-) but certainly isn't
anything I'd base my decision on.

The main idea of using NetBSD instead of FreeBSD is because more of the
software I want to use actually runs on more plattforms - especially
sparc64. In this case that would mainly be Firefox, Thunderbird and
Keepassx - or something else that could replace Keepassx. Doesn't look
like much, but those are the last programs I couldn't get to run. :-) And
since I also have to mips-machines that could be useful, FreeBSD isn't
really a choice.

A few other things I have to do on more than one plattform (although I'm
pretty sure I can do these with NetBSD, I'd like to get some feedback):

- Software-RAID (currently only 1, but 5 is planned)
  - encrypt that

- Can I encrypt whole disks and partitions with cgd?

- Standard AMP (not the mp3-player, but Apache... etc. :-)

- Use Firefox *with* Flash under amd64 (does Linux compat make that

- Use UDF in the near future (including writes)
  - encrypt those disks

- keep the system up to date
  Under FreeBSD I did this with cvsup and rebuilding the system

I did kinda like the GEOM system, not because of the implementation
itself, because of the functionality. Is there something similar in

Is there some list which says what software runs on what plattform and
which plattform screws that software up completely?

Also, there was a statement, that NetBSD didn't perform as well on some
plattforms (i386 was named there) because of the portable nature of the
OS, many plattform-optimations could not be used if NetBSD was to remain
as portable as it is. This discussion I followed in a German newsgroup
shortly before NetBSD 2.0 was released. Is this really the case?

Sorry for getting on your balls with all of this. The problem just is that
I have to get quite a few computers to run before long. A few are already
up and running (with FreeBSD) and changing the OS on them (I don't want
more than one OS to deal with) will be a major task in the near future. So
I want to be able to assess what I am getting myself into (work-wise).

Maybe I could get a few more voices on this? Once again, I don't want to
start some sort of OS-war, so please don't treat this thread as one. The
thing that is killing me is the mixture of CPU-architectures I have to
work with, while still trying to keep it down to one OS.

Oh, if anyone wants to state why he or she chose NetBSD (personal
reasons), I would also love to read it!


[1] Some software won't run under sparc64.