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Re: Definition of NetBSD users

Am 26.03.2010 um 23:09 schrieb Jeremy C. Reed:

On Fri, 26 Mar 2010, Jonathan Schleifer wrote:

I am not sure how FreeBSD exceeds NetBSD for desktop systems. Please
explain and share examples.

They have working, stable, performant 3D drivers for NVidia cards. 3D
on NetBSD is limited to the opensource AMD drivers, which still lack a

Proprietary drivers. See today's announcement from Nvidia:
The latest FreeBSD driver license is at:

- Can't have multiple backups.
- May not be used concurrently on different computers.
- Linux version allows redistribution, but FreeBSD is NOT Linux!
- No reverse engineering.
- You must use all components (can't separate or exclude).
- Can't rent out your system.

While the license sure is bad, it's the only way to get decent 3D graphics on a Unix system atm. Maybe we should ask them if they can expand the Linux exception to FreeBSD.

I think "may bot be used concurrently on different computers" is solvable by just downloading it on every machine instead of copying it. The "No reverse engineering" part is not valid in the EU, AFAIK. For renting your system, I think it works as long as you say you only rent your hardware.

This ties into the other comments in this thread that I agree with:
"proprietary technologies shouldn't even be thought about in this

In an ideal world, yes. But unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world and proprietary stuff is required for many things. The situation with Flash is going to get better with HTML5 (hopefully). For the situation with 3G graphics, I have little hope. And without 3D graphics, even HTML5 won't help much, as it will be too slow without 3D acceleration.

For a modern desktop, you really need 3D acceleration, as users
expect stuff like Compiz etc.

I guess I don't fully understand and realize what I am missing :)

What exactly is this feature or benefit that users "expect"? I assume
that something very noticable but I don't notice myself when watching
videos or using my desktop without 3D acceleration. Note I don't watch
videos often nor do I play any 3D games, so maybe I am not a good
example of what to expect regarding this. I don't have anything to
compare with to realize what I am missing. Examples would be great.

Well, even if you only watch videos, you might really want 3D acceleration in the future: Decoding of HD material puts high loads on the CPU, which can be done by the GPU with little load. Stuff like decoding two HD streams at the same time, like for example is done with Blurays which support picture in picture, is too much for a CPU - you will need the support of the GPU here. And a desktop user expects that he can watch HD videos with his system.

So, there are only two things NetBSD can currently do:

* Hope the AMD drivers will get better and that nouveau will replace the dropped nv driver. * Try to persuade NVidia to release their drivers for NetBSD or allow someone of the NetBSD team to port it (the FreeBSD driver was ported by FreeBSD developers)


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