[PLUG] Anyone using / can advise on FreeBSD/NetBSD?

Amarendra Godbole amarendra.godbole at gmail.com
Tue Jul 19 10:54:18 IST 2011

On Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 8:22 AM, Mayuresh <mayuresh at acm.org> wrote:
> Agree, BSD development is much cleaner and Linux lacks same amount of
> control - as someone's blog says, the latter follows chaos model. (It is a
> well meaned remark about Linux development model.)
> Why does chaos win over discipline in many aspects? Does it have to do
> more with wider use than with development model? (Of course don't drag
> closed source systems in this comparison. They can continue to be lousy
> despite much wider use.)
> The question haunts me because I'm certainly a fan of clean development
> approaches.
> Is "let me get it out first and get a user. Let it stabilize with usage"
> philosophy winning users fast which in turn is leading to stability as
> against "let me get it right and not worry about winning a user"?

The 2nd does model BSD, and especially OpenBSD if not the others. They
do it because they want to do it, and not because someone else wants
it done.

> Regarding whether it is at the cost of stability and reliability. Again, I
> want to emphasize that I am seeing things from a personal desktop point of
> view and not any industrial application or server point of view where the
> criterion could be different. To this extent Linux has never let me down
> in stability and reliability - not at least post 2.6.x.

IMHO, reliability and stability are same whether you look at a desktop
or server (though it is not spelled explicitly). On a lighter note,
its like the reliability of a car has to be same whether driven by a
family, or the CEO of a company. :-)

> Coming to why Linux might have performed better in certain tests (an
> argument I'd not like to generalize), there could be some choices
> responsible. One example is, try "time" command on Linux and BSD both. BSD
> gathers a lot more information about the process than Linux does.
> Obviously it's a delight to get that detailed information if you were
> indeed interested in it. If you weren't, that's an unnecessary cost.

I find difference on OpenBSD though - man time shows me following in
time [-lp] utility [argument ...]

Same on Linux is:
       time   [ -apqvV ] [ -f FORMAT ] [ -o FILE ]
              [ --append ] [ --verbose ] [ --quiet ] [ --portability ]
              [ --format=FORMAT ] [ --output=FILE ] [ --version ]
              [ --help ] COMMAND [ ARGS ]

Now *that* scares me. :-)

The source for time on OpenBSD (time.c) is merely 188 lines. I am sure
that's less by atleast an order of magnitude as compared to Linux (and
I dare not count those lines).

Nevertheless, I have made my choice, and its OpenBSD for general and
daily usage. Linux does have its improvements, especially in the arena
of supported file-systems -- so you have a choice. With OpenBSD its
either UFS/FFS or ext* series, not many.


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