Subject: Re: Better than..
To: Manuel Bouyer <>
From: Thomas Michael Wanka <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 01/05/2000 14:00:46
On 4 Jan 00, at 22:17, Manuel Bouyer wrote:
> I can see two major advantages:
> - reliability. Linux will do the job as well, as long as nothing hurt it=
>   But in face of a unexpected event it'll behave very badly and may not
>   recover (or be hard to recover). You can make 2 experiments really
>   demonstrative of this:
>   1) setup a linux mail server (a stock redhat install is enouth) and fe=
>   it with one or more client which sends mail as fast as they can (you c=
>   use the small program attached for this, it's best to change it to jus=
>   print a sequence number). let it run this way for 10-20s and hit the r=
>   button. The server will not come back up without a fsck -y and mail wi=
>   be lost (just count how many were sent and how many are in the destina=
>   mailbox). Do the same with a NetBSD server: sure it seems slower but a=
>   the reset it comes back up without assistance and no mail are lost (at=
>   there are some duplicates).
>   2) find a CD with bad blocks (or scratch one if you don't have a bad o=
ne :)
>   and try to read it on a linux box with a IDE drive. The last time I di=
d this
>   on a stock redhat 6 I had to hit the reset button, I could'nt even reb=
>   it.

That makes me remember the OS/2 people when Win95 came out 
and they said You would need a special "Bomb Programm" to crash 
OS/2 where Win95 would crash by itself. 

To be serious, you wouldn=B4t do 1.) to a machine on real life. I have 
no reset switch on my machines anyway. As for 2.), I run some 
systems on SuSE Linux (I use mostly SCSI hardware too) and there 
are no problems reading defective CD media. 

I have not had these problems with NetBSD (although I haven=B4t tried) 
but some linux distributions seem to be a little "sensible" to install 
with more than one SCSI adapter (e.g. CD Rom on onboard 
adapter, harddrives on Raid controller) my choice SuSE does not 
have these problems. On many systems Linux will install for 
"ordinary" users more easy, and there is lots more documentation 
available to buy for Linux and there are support contracts available 
making it for companies more attrctive.

> - pkgsrc is a bit win over binary distributions (rpm or whatever) becaus=
e it
>   includes tools that can't be redistributed in binary or source form,
>   or for which you have to fill in a form (e.g. the realaudio proxy).
>   The last one which hit me today is xv: no xv rpm in the redhat distrib=
>   you have to build one by hand (some numbers: we have about more than 1=
>   packages in pkgsrc, the redhat CD comes with only 700 rpms, and the ba=
>   system is inclued !). Sure there are redhat-contribs ... all of them d=
>   work out of the box :)

SuSE linux has more than 1.550 programs, most of them (all I tried 
out) work out of the box, on the other hand it is a little clumsy to 
install software not prepared for SuSE.

So as I said before, there shure is no "ultimative" OS, I run currently 
Linux and NetBSD and NT, should reduce this to Linux and NetBSD 
as soon as VMware runs without problems on one of the alternative