Gotta start somewhere ... how many of us are really out there?

Alex Zbyslaw xfb52 at
Mon Jul 31 10:49:23 UTC 2006

Colin Percival wrote:

>There are still a lot of people (particularly on pre-6.0 systems) who
>are using CVSup rather than portsnap for updating their ports trees.
Even when I upgrade to 6 I think it unlikely I'll be switching to 
portsnap for 2 main reasons:

    1) I know csvup; I have config files I understand; there is local 
documentation which I don't want to have to update.  This may change at 
some point if I have time to become familiar with portsnap and its 
advantages are important enough.

    2) As long as portsnap overwrites local changes to the ports tree, 
it's not for me.

If you want to count by port tree download, ignoring cvsup, would, I 
think be a mistake.

It seems to me that nothing done *now*, will ever give you a count of 
how many FreeBSD systems there are *now* and that there are 
disadvantages and advantages to all the systems proposed.

Counting portsnap and cvsup accesses is non-intrusive - i.e. nothing 
sent from local host - will count systems from any version of FreeBSD, 
but will never count everything because sites with multiple hosts may 
easily have local propagation mechanisms.  But you will get an order of 
magnitude.  However, how do you deal with systems with variable IPs?  I 
don't know enough about the internals of either portsnap or cvsup to 
know if there is some kind of unique id associated with hosts.  If not, 
then you'd wildly over count for many home-based, variable IP systems.  
And then there's NAT'ed systems too :-(

Putting something into the base system (e.g. periodic), if off by 
default will find many people not bothered to turn it on, but if on by 
default could easily upset people over privacy concerns.  Also, you'll 
miss every system which doesn't upgrade to whatever latest version has 
the counting.  It's clear from reading this list for a while that there 
are plenty of hosts out there not running the latest version, with good 
reasons for that.  But what percentage, it's impossible to tell without 
some kind of counting :-)


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