Subject: Re: Welcome to the Port Cobalt
To: None <>
From: Ian Spray <>
List: port-cobalt
Date: 07/17/2003 23:16:08
On Thu, Jul 17, 2003 at 10:43:06PM +0100, John Allan wrote:
> So anyone got a BSD Qube online doing anything interesting I can look at?
Hi John,

I'm not too sure if I can help with the rest of your stuff, but just to give
you an idea of what can be done with NetBSD, I am using my Qube 2 with 196MB
of RAM and a 120GB hard drive to:

 * handle email (direct SMTP via exim, and POP3 via fetchmail)
 * tag spam email (for all domains served) with SpamAssassin
 * serve web pages (including SSI and PHP)
 * do both local and public DNS for the above
 * allow ssh shell accounts for a few friends
 * provide a secure (via ssh) remote backup (via rysnc) service
 * store my MP3 collection for playing via my LAN
 * provide spare disc space via SMB and AppleTalk
 * allow remote IMAPS for multiple users and authenticated SMTP
 * play with Webmin (now ignored as I've become more comfortable with the
   NetBSD rc script system)
 * provide DHCP for my LAN, including a 'guest' allocation for visitors
   (different Samba access rights etc.)
 * webmail for those times when I have to feed my 'net addiction
   whilst on holiday
 * use IPSec to setup a secure WiFi link at home and also allow
   access to work
 * have an extra level of firewalling on the second Ethernet interface (for
   guest access) using IPFilter

The web pages and email are for four domains (and multiple sub-domains
in some cases), and before I got annoyed with the speed of the interface
it was also serving up my digital image gallery (
and it was pressed into service as the main email system for my work (for
3 months) whilst we went through a rather traumatic downsizing and relocation.

Yes, I did a lot of this sort of thing with the Linux load, but the NetBSD
Ports tree has enabled me to do more, more quickly and with far less hassle
than Linux ever did.

Things I dislike ?  Well, I think I'm in the minority (no-one else seems to
share my problem) in that I used to get 4 to 4.5MByte/s over the 100Mb
network interface with the Linux 2.0 load, but I've never had better than
about 1.7MByte/s with NetBSD :(  I've done a few kernel tweaks and not had
any joy, and I'm also unsure that the 120GB drive that I've put in is as
fast at the original 10GB one.

Would I change it ?  No way.  Not at all.  It costs me less than 25 UKP per
year (in electricity) to run this system 24/7, and so it has paid for itself
in under 2 years compared to the old Cyrix PC I was using before.  It's
helped me learn PostgreSQL, XML, improve my PHP, find (and love) PEAR,
fiddle with perl, awk, sed and basic shell programming.