Subject: Re: changing to NetBSD, still not quite sure... :-/
To: None <>
From: Christian Baer <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 10/29/2007 16:08:58
On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 21:47:20 -0400 Douglas A. Tutty wrote:

>> - Use Firefox *with* Flash under amd64 (does Linux compat make that
>>   possible?)
> There is no amd64 flash player.  In Debian Etch, you must run the
> browser and the flash player in an i386 chroot.  In Debian Lenny
> (Testing) there's a wrapper to do away with the chroot.

Damn, I was sure I had read about there being one for amd64, but only
Linux (as usual). Seems I wasn't quite myself back then (whenever that

I guess this means, if I want flash at all, I have to run the 32bit
version. As far as I can tell, even Windows64 isn't even supported.

> Are you sure that you want or need to stick with one OS?

Of course I don't have to use one OS on all the machines. I could use
Windows on the i386, Solaris on the sparcs and Irix on the mips. Some
people would see that as the ideal setup. That would make me work with
three different setups all the time and force me to monitor the security
of more than one system. Not really a task I am keen on.

> You could then detemine if everything you want to put on a desktop is
> available on one OS in both amd64 and Sparc64 (including the ability to
> run i386 Firefox with Flash) [or is there a Sparc64 flashplayer?].  

The list you made just has one conceptional problem, that doesn't apply to
my situation: Not all computers are in the same place. We have four
locations and they work independantly. So I can't just round up the
machines like you suggested and do what's best with each one of them. I
will have to distribute them more or less by CPU-power, to make sure that
one place doesn't only have old slow blocks, even if all the software they
need runs on them.

> You could look at the file server needs; number of disks, filesystem
> size required, etc, and see which OS does what you need the best.

I don't really think that a file server will be a cause for problems.

> It also depends on how many desktops you're talking about.  If there are
> more than a couple, it would make sense to have one OS for all desktops,
> even if it meant running a particular application on an application
> server via ssh if it won't run on the desktop hardware/OS directly.

That could be a problem if the connection between those two is just the
internet and the access you get in Germany doesn't typically allow much
more than ssh on a text basis.

> It also comes down to your own piddly details.  For example, I'm on slow
> dialup.  All things being equal, Debian's aptitude is the easiest to
> keep up-to-date since it handles interruptions (need the phone line)
> very gracefully and will resume.  I have a 486 that won't run debian but
> OpenBSD's pkg_add will also resume, however a minimal OpenBSD is a bit
> bigger than NetBSD so it depends on what hard drive I put in the 486.

I have to admit, that OpenBSD wasn't taken into consideration.

> I haven't tried FreeBSD for one reason:  Debian works pretty well for my
> big box and the things I disagree with about Linux seem to be happening
> or have happend to FreeBSD.i

Would you care to elaborate on that?

> OTOH, my big Athlon64 box has an nVidia video card and OpenBSD doesn't
> do binary blob drivers. I don't like binary blob drivers but I like the
> fine detail when watching a DVD so I need it.

Does that mean, you don't actually use NetBSD but instead OpenBSD?