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NetBSD's reliability [Was: raidframe in netbsd-5?]

On Thu, 13 Jan 2011 12:06:12 -0500
Greg Troxel <> wrote:

> And a hat tip to releng@; it's really impressive that this is the first
> time in probably 6 years when I was not comfortable to just "update
> along stable branch and reboot, no worries", and even this is very minor
> and apparently an odd case.  I'll go read the diff when I have a chance.

I concur, the stability and reliability of NetBSD (other than its
versatility) is a major reason I've kept with it, and there are some
systems which are still running which I upgraded from source regularily
over the years, two of them old enough to have started with NetBSD 1.6,
most of them now tracking the netbsd-5 branch and now running NetBSD

Most of those systems have been upgraded remotely via SSH using NFS or
a copy of the re-built source tree (built using a dedicated host),
after testing the procedure on a local box running the same NetBSD
version.  I've also often moved the software/data around to new
hardware instead of reinstalling, for systems I have physical access
to.  The binary compatibility for older releases also served me well
until the packaged and custom software could also be upgraded or
rebuilt, and for booting+testing kernels before userland upgrades.

Since I started using NetBSD (in the 1.5 days, comming from Linux and
exploring alternatives) I could say that I've seen very few upgrade
glinches; off the top of my head I can now remember three, one related
to a cgd configuration bug, one a postinstall script bug missing a pf
related group, and a PAM and /etc/login.conf related problem, which
have been promptly fixed.

I can remember a few X11 related issues here and there on local
workstations, as well as some power management ones, notably after
switching from APM to ACPI and XFree86 to XOrg, but no other open
source Operating System I know was spared in those areas either, and
those problems didn't affect the headless systems.

Indeed, thanks for consistently keeping NetBSD a high-quality OS for
all those years.

(I hope you don't mind me CCing netbsd-advocacy :)

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