Subject: Re: NetBSD momentum
To: None <>
From: Dave Vollenweider <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 12/20/2004 11:23:36
I like the idea, and the sooner, the better; there's no telling when DragonFly BSD will be a serious contender in getting people away from FreeBSD.  I can say that of the two, I chose NetBSD 2.0 for my networking router/firewall/web server due to its superior performance when compared to FreeBSD 5, but also because the way the DragonFly BSD developers were were acting in putting other BSDs in general and FreeBSD in particular down turned me off.  DragonFly BSD also isn't ready for production use, whereas NetBSD is, but that can change at anytime, so "carpe diem" is an apt phrase for getting FreeBSD users who are disappointed with 5.3-RELEASE to switch to NetBSD.

To do that, though, I think that NetBSD would do well to emphasize the desktop side of the OS in addition to the server side, as right now I get the idea that NetBSD as reflected in the NetBSD Guide doesn't really aim for the desktop user all that much.  FreeBSD was making inroads into this area before the debacle that is 5.3-RELEASE was released.  This will also mean getting more packages in the Package collection, but we'll have to leave that to the developers. :)

Some sort of FreeBSD-to-NetBSD migration guide would also help.  I can guarantee that one of the first things former FreeBSD users will ask when looking at NetBSD's Packages collection is, "Where's portupgrade?" or "How can I update my ports easily?"  pkg_check will do the job, but you wouldn't know that by looking in the NetBSD Guide; it's silent on the issue.  Another one is the format of rc.conf.  In FreeBSD, YES or NO is in quotes, whereas in NetBSD they aren't.  It's a small difference, I know, but little differences can add up to major frustration when things don't work the way someone expects them to, and giving people a heads-up about it would be wise, IMO.

- Dave V.

On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 16:19:33 +0000
Bruno <> wrote:

> Greetings,
> I think NetBSD 2.0 could take advantage of this to get new users:
> FreeBSD 5.3 is "stable" but not production-ready
> Benchmarks could show NetBSD beating FreeBSD in areas where FreeBSD was 
> stronger, like performance. And gain some respect getting rid of the 
> "NetBSD is for exotic platforms and old computers" logic once and for all.
> We all make mistakes, but our mistakes can be the opportunity others need.
> FreeBSD developers and release enginners have done a great job and will 
> again in the future, but this hiccup might as well be the opportunity 
> for NetBSD to be considered a respectful competitor in the i386 platform 
> in terms of performance on pair with FreeBSD and Linux.
> What's your opinion?
> Bruno Henriques