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Re: NetBSD vs. FreeBSD [Was: Desktop NetBSD needs your help]

On Sat, Feb 07, 2009 at 09:57:13PM -0500, Alex Goncharov wrote:

> | NetBSD is really designed for people, moved to NetBSD by their wise
> | looking for really working things, proved for simplicity. If you
> | can't understand some deeply technical things - don't even try and
> | use FreeBSD or Linux.
>    What are the most important advantages of NetBSD over FreeBSD?

The most advantages of NetBSD are lightness, fair and ideology. In common they 
prefer to make nice mozilla port instead of developing nice ftp utility. 

It is nice, but when your work is an administration of several server boxes via 
ssh - you are coming to hell with Free or Linux, you will blaim any developer 
included KDE instead of really simple and nice utilities. FreeBSD usually have 
them not in best state, and Linux usually don't have them at all.

People looking for nice installer have questions how Gnome or KDE working on 
their platform, but I look for stable IPSEC package. You know - NetBSD have it 
and always in great working condition, but FreeBSD had problems choosing kame 
or racoon, making it slow. They rewrited ports architecture several times, 
their start-script system was awful and keeps to be ugly, their ata driver was 
rewritten 5 times and is not a great thing today, their source-code tree is a 
mess. But they always had desktop system in default installation. Most people 
appreciate this, but in 90% of my server installations I never install or use X 
server. I am not against FreeBSD at all and used it as a desktop some period of 
time, it is just not for those, who use heavy trucks.

Also, when you need something built from ports - you have to consider nobody 
keep thinking of ports lightening. Under user pressure and some developers work 
they have to hunt for more ports, instead of their quality. Try to compile some 
simple mixer application and get hundreds megabytes as a dependencies. This is 
really not a problem for desktop users. Once I used to build a cvsup mirror for 
FreeBSD - completely useless port made for those, who really can't write two 
configuration files.

The most problem this thread appeared is that a way of strictness make some 
users abused by a lack of comfort they wish about. Generally some just don't 
understand that this is just a different type of comfort. Dealing with one 
station you have real problems with NetBSD you can't solve - lack of hardware 
support, lack of software, technological interfaces or so. But dealing with 
many boxes in industrial manner, when you have to study to manage it, your 
problems become other sort. Deeper in industry - deeper in things, simple user 
don't even know about.

In industrial work - you have to rely on really proved technologies. NetBSD is 
fair enough. You can get it or you cannot. If you cannot - you mostly really 
cannot. But if you can - you always can and you would can in a years in the 
same way you did it. 

It's not like debian - once I tried to use Debian as a Dom0 platform. Xen in 
debian stable don't even work and it is old. Last Xen don't run on most 
linuses. etch Xen is working, but with reduced performance. And I got a crash, 
when tried to power if off, because it tried to save domU states. When your XP 
would save a state you will say - oh, nice, they pushed a real feature! But I 
was running 8 Windows Server 2003 as domU's and didn't needed that crazy bug. 
It did what I never asked and it was not able to accomplish simple task. This 
is the cause I can't rely on user-friendly technologies. They push a code, 
thinking it as a feature, it really helps users, but it mess up my work. This 
is like you get new car with a right steering-wheel, just because most of 
people said it's better.

So, NetBSD as a low-level system is for those, whos work is low-level, who 
thinks that way.

> But I would like to hear educated opinions in what aspects NetBSD is
> better than FreeBSD.  Yes, having Xen Dom0 is a huge advantage -- but
> what else?

Pkgsrc is great advantage. Ideal core utilities, total system clearence, 
lightness are greatest advantages too.

> | All core NetBSD utilities is at most simple as they should be for
> | people understanding how it works in production, not in a desktop
> | play.
> | You wish a nice desktop or simple installer for your play with that
> | wild unknown OS, meanwhile others use hundreds of NetBSD boxes,
> | praying for noone coming with 'fresh' Linux-like ideas to turn it
> | user-friendly.
> As a user with a three day's experience, I feel that `pkgsrc' may be
> more worth improving than the installer.

Pkgsrc is so much great, it's just an excellence. It's a diamond. It does 
anything, it have enough. Next week we would have to build up more than 40 
Solaris servers, with pkgsrc it is a work for several scripts. Really, there is 
no other package system doing that. Using that technologies for years I don't 
see any defects in pkgsrc system.

Try using NetBSD more and you will find out.

Sincerelly yours

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