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Re: NetBSD vs FreeBSD

,--- I/Alex (Wed, 03 Aug 2011 07:38:10 -0400) ----*
| Essentially, one needs to keep the video card driver availability in
| mind when selecting the OS.  
,--- Daniel Carrera (Wed, 03 Aug 2011 14:10:46 +0200) ----*
| Indeed. One of the possible concerns with a small team like NetBSD is 
| that the OS might not support all my hardware. Not just graphics card, 
| but printer, webcam, etc.

Then there is www/opera, "The most full-featured Internet power tool
on the market".

Opera (the company) builds perfect FreeBSD binaries. No NetBSD

,--- Johnny Billquist (Wed, 03 Aug 2011 12:16:10 +0200) ----*
| I understand the experience, but the reason behind it is the total 
| opposite, I'd say. The disk labeling system in NetBSD is the more 
| flexible of the two. But that comes with an added complexity.

How is that NetBSD flexibility useful?  What can I do with disk in
NetBSD that I cannot in FreeBSD?  (I know what FreeBSD slices give me
over Linux partitioning.)

| However, the complexity arise from the fact that there is another 
| partitioning scheme as well (for PC systems). The NetBSD disk 
| partitioning is the pure, original BSD disk labels, which are machine 
| agnostic and are designed for clean disks. The additional cruft in a PC 
| is what creates all the confusion, with the MBR partitioning.
| NetBSD bascially ignores it (well, it can read this, manipulate it, and 
| use it to help you setup a BSD partition), and only uses its own 
| partitioning. That causes confusion unless you understand all of it.

I think I finally understood it, and it didn't feel like empowering me
at all.

I realize that the NetBSD partitioning is probably never going to
change and not complaining -- this is about a realistic assessment of
two BSDs.  From my experience, I feel that the NetBSD partitioning is
a huge PITA for a new user coming to an OS with reasonable today's
expectations.  I.e. unless you gave NetBSD the whole disk and don't
really care.

| The partitioning in other systems acts as sub-partitioning under the PC 
| MBR partitioning scheme.

Yes... so...?

FreeBSD slices and partitions are a huge convenience, especially when
your disk size is modest and you want to install multiple OSes there.
| For me, that is a much more confusing thing, since I look at the BSD 
| partitioning as the master (I'm used to non-PC systems).
| The BSD partitioning, as set up on a NetBSD system is free to use all or 
| nothing of the disk, as you want. Total freedom. Total flexibility.

I am free to use all or nothing of the disk with FreeBSD, Linux, and
probably Solaris (haven't used that for a long time, though.)


I understand the sentimental attachment of long-term NetBSD users to,
well, NetBSD.

But for a new user, who had given NetBSD a most impartial evaluation,
there was *nothing* in it that would make it a first choice for any
reason, other than, perhaps, Xen vitalization.

I did hope Xen would make me want to use NetBSD: I'd be running the
Xen host there, slowly learning this OS, and the guests would be
running at least FreeBSD, to support my daily needs.  But, as we just
saw in this thread:

  1. NetBSD Xen guests can't currently use more than one CPU on the

  2. They can't run FreeBSD.

Whoever and whatever are the reason for these two critical
deficiencies, doesn't matter for an me -- it's just that with them,
NetBSD loses all potential advantages over the alternatives.

When items 1 and 2 addressed, I may gladly give NetBSD another try.

-- Alex -- --

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