my thoughts on FreeBSD

Roger 'Rocky' Vetterberg listsub at
Mon Mar 1 14:35:42 PST 2004

Matt Jarjoura wrote:
> Hello,
> Again, repeating on a message from an earlier email I sent out on the 
> list... if RedHat and SUSE are good enough that ISPs are using them, 
> instead of saying how silly ISPs are to turn their heads away from 
> FreeBSD, we NEED to be looking at what exactly RedHat & SUSE have that 
> FreeBSD doesn't.  I doubt it's the cushy corporate backing, although 
> Novel will certainly have the inroads necessary to see a lot of old Unix 
> machines replaced with their SUSE/Novel boxes.
> A) RedHat and SUSE both have GUI installers.  -- Honestly, how important 
> is it that FreeBSD remain a TUI-only menu based installation-??  Sure 
> it's simple, but screen-shots of it sure don't appear appetizing to ISPs 
> in a 2 week window.

If a ISP chooses server os based upon screenshots of the installer, I 
doubt they will be able to stay in bussiness long.

> B) RH/SUSE both have great upgrade engines.  -- I forget the command 
> line program in FreeBSD that allows you merge old settings w/ the new 
> settings.

The command line is 'mergemaster'. Shouldnt be too difficult to remember.

> C) The FreeBSD Foundation -- Great job w/ releasing Java, but I am sure 
> they can pull a lot more strings to start hiring UI Research Developers 
> and release their findings under a similar BSD license.

The Foundation could probably do a lot of good, but if it was up to 
me, I would rather see more things like native Java then GUI's.

> My last thought here...
> I am not saying FreeBSD should be focused on Desktop users, but server 
> admins are starting to get a lot more "desktop-like" features from Mac 
> OS X Server, Win 2k3, even RH and SUSE.  Bandwidth for running X11 over 
> SSH isn't a problem like it used to be.

Ive seen hundreds, if not thousands, of linux servers. Never ever have 
Ive seen a server run X11.

> Just some stuff to keep open for discussion.

I nearly lost a recent fight about whether to install RH or FreeBSD on 
some brand new Dell PowerEdge 1650's. The reason to install RH was 
native support for the onboard dual nic's, and the ability to 'team' 
them to one virtual nic providing automatic failover and redundancy. 
BSD had nothing that could provide something like that.
A lot of servers have these dual onboard nic's, I know for sure all of 
the new Compaq and Dell's have them, and both Compaq and Dell provide 
drivers for Win2k, linux, Netware and Solaris. None of them even 
mention BSD.
I think this is where BSD is behind. Hardware monitoring and support 
for those special features most server vendors equip their servers 
with, thats what make people choose linux over BSD in the serverroom.
Redundancy and failure tolerance is the only thing that matters in 
serious environments.

If you dont believe BSD is behind in this area, pick a random 
motherboard and try getting the hardware monitoring to work. Unless 
you have one of the very common Abit or ASUS boards, chances are you 
will fail.

Just my 2 cents.


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