Subject: Re: NetBSD momentum
To: mouss <>
From: Andy Ruhl <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 12/28/2004 19:08:24
On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 02:28:16 +0100, mouss <> wrote:
> with regard to the portability thing, I think we should use it more than
> we do. Apart from saying "mine is larger than yours", most people don't
> care if their OS runs on a lot of hardware, but:
> - running on a lot of hardware implies some level of quality of the
> system source code
> - the fact that most of the code is hw independent means that netbsd is
> ready for next generation hardware.
> - running on a lot of hw means that the algorithms of the system are the
> right ones and aren't just simple hacks done for a given platform. This
> is important when comparing to freebsd and linux. both these systems
> started out as x86 kernels, patched long and wide to support other
> hardware (of course, both aren't just a series of patches, they have
> also been redesigned, but redesign is a risky thing, as we see in the
> case of freebsd...).
> So let us say "It's the most portable system", "the champion of
> portability", ....

I think portability is becoming more relevant. As a user of FreeBSD,
the recent "tier" system sort of means to me that the direction of the
OS is a little confused. Didn't they say that i386 was going to be
"their" system? What is it now then? They reduced Alpha to a lower
tier, but in reality they wouldn't need to do that if they had their
code figured out as well as NetBSD does. So what platform is their #1?
Can't tell. It will probably be something like amd64 or PowerPC in the

FreeBSD/amd64 crashes frequently under 5.3-release. NetBSD/amd64 is
very solid at 2.0-release fo me. These are my personal experiences.
I'm not criticizing. This might be attractive to someone looking to
run something requiring 64 bit hardware or looking for a stable
release on the next gen hardware for the future.

And I still think PowerPC is going to give amd64 a run for it's money
at some point. Production is really gearing up for this chip. PowerPC
is not really too far along on FreeBSD, but it seems to be alive and
one of the more popular platforms for NetBSD.