Subject: Re: take 2; which way should we go for /etc/rc...
To: Frank van der Linden <>
From: John Nemeth <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 12/29/1999 03:51:38
On Dec 8, 12:50pm, Frank van der Linden wrote:
} On Wed, Dec 08, 1999 at 02:58:30AM -0800, John Nemeth wrote:
} > 
} >      Yep.  If NetBSD starts down this path, then I (and probably
} > others) will be looking at switching OS'es.  One of the big reasons
} > that I use NetBSD is precisely because it is BSD.  rc.conf is a nice
} > [snip]
} > backwards.  For those that want SysV, they know where to find it.
} I have a problem with this kind of reasoning. I am rather disappointed
} by the people who still have the religious SysV vs. BSD standpoint. If

     I don't want to restart this particular war, but I would like to
explain my viewpoint.  I'll start with my experience.  I have
administrated Minix, Ultrix 3.x/4.x, SunOS 4.x/5.x, SCO Xenix, SCO
UNIX, Irix 4.x, SVR2 (on 3B2's), NetBSD, various Linux distributions,
HP-UX 10.x, and FreeBSD.  I have helped other people administrate AIX,
and OSF/1.  In addition, I have used 4.2/4.3 BSD (on a VAX), Pyramid
OS/x (the version with the two universes), and A/UX.  The point of all
this is that I have at least a passing famailiarity with most
commercial flavours or UNIX.

     I have noticed that most flavours of UNIX fall into either the
SysV camp or the BSD camp (there are some like SCO and Linux that are a
mishmash of everything).  Each of the camps seems to have its own
philosophy.  The BSD philosophy seems to be to use clean, simple, easy
to use and easy to administrate, well designed subsystems.  The SysV
philosophy seems to be to use bloated, hashed together, include every
feature including the kitchen sink subsystems, which are hard to use
and administrate (whether this is deliberate is another question).  For
an example, consider the simplicity and cleanness of BSD's lpr, lprm,
lpq, lpc, and lpd versus SysV's enable, disable, cancel, lp, lpadmin,
lpstat, lpsched, lpsystem, accept, reject, lpshut, and lpmove.  In
particular, compare the options of lpc versus lpadmin et al, and lpq
versus lpstat et al.  Notice that in BSD there are only five commands
and they all start with "lp"; whereas, in SysV there are 12 commands
(at least a couple of which have more then a dozen options) and there
is no consistency in naming making it hard to remember them all (did I
miss any?).  Sure the BSD print system doesn't have all the features
that one could want and there may be room for improvement, but I think
most would agree that it is a lot cleaner.  BTW, until SVR4 the SysV
print system didn't have a standard way of doing network printing (a
rather important feature IMHO).  There are many more examples like the
above.  This difference is why I prefer BSD.

} you don't like runlevels, ok, but please specify the reasons why you
} think it's ugly. Don't use the "it's not BSD" argument, if you can call

     I think this has been covered.  But in any event, I'm going to
skip it in order not to re-open that particular can of worms (which is
also why I chose a different subsystem for my example above).

} it an argument at all.

     The "it's not BSD" argument is about the differences in philosphy.

} NetBSD is is called that way because it's obviously rooted in BSD. However,
} NetBSD is not about "being BSD" (whatever that would mean). NetBSD is
} about trying to come up with the best solution. If there is a better
} solution, then we should adopt it, and I don't care whether it came
} from SysV or even Microsoft. If you want pure BSD, go get yourself

     There is no such thing as "the best solution".  A best solution is
dependent on the context in which it is being applied.  What is best for
a SysV derivative isn't necessarily best for a BSD derivative.  I don't
have a problem with adopting ideas from other OS'es, but they must be
molded into the BSD philosphy before being implementedd.

} a VAX and run 4.3.

     I have a couple of VAXes (MicroVAX 2000 and VAXstation 2000), but
I don't have 4.3 BSD.  I'm waiting for NetBSD to fully support them.  I
don't want pure BSD.  I like the improvements that NetBSD has made
(i.e. rc.conf is great and it fits nicely with the BSD philosphy).

}-- End of excerpt from Frank van der Linden