nfs installs of 5.1

M. L. Dodson bdodson at scms.utmb.EDU
Tue Jul 8 06:55:57 PDT 2003

[Hmmmm.... The mailing list seems not to like email from my
home.  Here is what I sent to Thierry Herbelot.]
Thierry Herbelot writes:
 > Le Monday 07 July 2003 23:53, M. L. Dodson a écrit :
 > >
 > > That certainly makes sense.  I might gently suggest to RE, etc
 > > that they might want to reconsider the decision to put nfs on the
 > > extra drivers floppy (I assume that is where it is).  This really
 > > trips up newbies (and some of us not so newbies).  I ran across
 > > this trying to help someone install 5.0 for the first time.  He
 > > had a bunch of machines to install (no cdroms), so I suggested
 > > nfs and was completely surprised when it did not work.  I
 > > verified that he was not doing something obviously wrong before I
 > > posted.  He was very confused because he consulted essentially
 > > all the FreeBSD books that had anything to say on the subject and
 > > could not see what he was doing wrong (nor did I).
 > >
 > > This does not present a good first impression for the project.
 > >
 > > The nfs install, being documented in all the books, is much more
 > > important than individual ethernet drivers.  If nfs cannot be put
 > > in the install kernel, then the nfs option should be removed from
 > > sysinstall.  All this IMO, of course.
 > >
 > > Bud Dodson
 > Hello,
 > I would not be as harsh as your comment : FreeBSD 5.x is still the 
 > experimental branch and the NFS install of 4.8 is painless.
 > 5.1 is mainly for the early adopters, and these should expect having quite a 
 > bit of debugging, especially in "exotic" setups (this should be expected for 
 > a "user-supported" OS - and I do not want to go back to even RedTrap Linux).
 > It seems the Internet bubble crash has had a very bad impact on the "human 
 > resources" available for the project, and it shows (the introduction of new 
 > features is perhaps slower ?).
 > 	try sending a problem report
 > 	cheers
 > 	TfH

I don't think my suggestion was harsh, and if it came across that
way, I apologize to you, the REs, and the list.

Look, my point is that making the nfs install deviate so much
from the behavior described in the books violates POLA
(expectations would be different if 5.x had a dramatically
different installer than 4.x).  This confuses people who rely on
books to guide their first installation.  If the kernel size
won't support nfs, then we should just remove that option from
sysinstall.  Anyone who can set up a nfs installation on a local
network can setup a ftp install.  These "experts" won't lose much
by leaving it out, and the newbies will fail to see nfs as an
option, and draw the conclusion: "Oh, that must not be supported
in 5.x".  This is better than their complete confusion.

Of course, the better option would be to put the nfsclient
capability back into the kernel.  Surely we can leave out enough
drivers for old ISA ethernet cards to make room.

All IMO, of course.
Bud Dodson
M. L. Dodson                                bdodson at
409-772-2178                                FAX: 409-772-1790

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