Fleas & Negative Review of FreeBSD 5.4

Darren Pilgrim dmp at bitfreak.org
Tue Jun 14 22:43:47 GMT 2005

From: M. Goodell
> Would you perhaps like to point out for me a flavor of Linux 
> that is free of *little problems*? I'd love to see it and use 
> it. I don't think you or anyone else can do that. The fact is 
> that trading one OS for another is trading one set of *little 
> problems* for another set of *little problems*

Agreed, absolutely.  What I've found, however, is that the little
problems I run into with FreeBSD are fairly easy to overcome or at least
nail down if I take the time to investigate the problem.  I've found
there are six categories of problems in FreeBSD:

- A known issue for which someone has a patch/replacement
driver/third-party method.
- A known issue that's already fixed at the leading edge of the branch.
- A known issue, <insert name of guru> is meditating upon its solution,
please hold.
- An engineering flaw in a sub-system for which a major
rewrite/replacement has been
  committed/will be soon committed to -current.
- A genuine, bona-fide Brand-New Problem for which <insert name of guru>
appears out of
  thin-air and begins the diagnostic procedure.
- Hardware not supported at this time because the vendor is a moron.

Now, in Linux, there are also categories, but they're a bit more

- General systemic illness resulting from way too much stuff installed
on one machine.
- Aggressive use of tuning/optimization resulting in a system full of
- Use of too-new software/driver without proper warnings.
- The black-box effect and dirty feeling that my configuration changes
are really just
  suggestions to some manic-depressive AI hidden deep within the kernel.
- Lack of structured engineering practices in system design and
- Lack of open-access support from accountable individuals.
- Hardware supported by mysterious binary drivers that work most of the

What it really boils down to for me is that unless I want to build a
from-scratch system, there isn't a mature, well-supported Linux distro
in existence that strongly promotes the creation of a highly-focused
configuration (aka a server).  For the desktop, I trade off supporting
the latest hardware for not having to deal with 7982 window managers and
more media players, games, office apps, internet apps and miscellaneous
crap than I'll ever use or want, all of it installed without asking me

I may be stuck without DRI for my ATI Radeon x300 in FreeBSD, but I have
to ask this:

When I run glxgears and get ~700 FPS at the default window size and 30
FPS with the window maximized at a resolution of 1920x1200x24, do I
really NEED it? :)

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