Subject: Re: Technical Differences of *BSD and Linux
To: Sean Davis <>
From: Terry Lambert <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 02/04/2003 10:59:30
Sean Davis wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 03, 2003 at 10:00:48PM -0800, Terry Lambert wrote:
> <snip
> > This is actually incorrect.  At one point in time, the email
> > address of the driver authors was printed out in boot messsages,
> > under Linux.  They had a "flag day" in which Linus removed all
> > the printf's.  This flag day was actually commercially motivated.
> Some (many?) Linux drivers still print out the e-mail addresses of the author.
> I base this claim on the dmesg from a 2.4.something/alpha system I saw the other
> day.

There is a boot option to make them less noisy.

I've had employers who would have liked an option to make the
FreeBSD boot less noisy.  Unfortunately, what they were actually
concerned about was obfuscating the identity of the code they
were running, rather than doing the right thing in this area,
which would be to flag the types of messages you wanted logged
to the console vs. logged to the console log, or the ability to
override the verbosity level very early in the boot.

It was possible to do what they wanted, but I was personally on
the hook, should a significant customer problem arise in the
field, because I was known to be the best diagnostician, so I
needed the minimal set of diagnostic information, and a way to
get the full set.  Knowing that the intent of the change was to
be obfuscation, which would make that job harder, failed to
motivate me to work on that, as long as there were other high
priority tasks on the task list which needed to be done, which
were technical in nature, and marketing eye candy.

I suppose if the number of priority tasks had ever drained out
of the queue sufficiently long for the work to be done, I would
have ended up doing it.  Luckily, startups, for some managers,
are all about creating crises, and then being seen by the VCs
to be masterfully resolving them (e.g. compressing release
cycles to once a quarter, etc.), and I never had enough free
time to actually be in a position to have to deal with the
otherwise absurd request.

-- Terry