Beta2: Nice job!

Andrew Gallatin gallatin at cs.duke.edu
Mon Aug 22 12:39:47 GMT 2005


After a few critical disk blocks failed on my wife's 5 year old
400MHz, 192MB laptop leaving 1/4 of the files in lost+found, I decided
to re-install it (moving from 4.9 to 6).

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how usable 6.0 is.

Pluses:

- Once I removed WITNESS/INV,, SMP, and set hz to a sane
  value, the machine's speed felt comparable to 4.x

- ACPI:  S3 suspend, battery information, thermal info, and triggering
  S3 suspend on lid close all work on a 5 year old machine.  Major kudos!


Minuses:

- Maybe /etc/pccard_ether should not depend on $removable_interfaces.
  After all, it does ignore interfaces which are up.  Or maybe I'm just
  bitter because it took me 15 minutes to figure out why the wireless
  card was not getting setup on resume... ;)

- /var is too small.  Installation of packages via pkg_add -r (eg
  ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/i386/packages-6-current/editors/openoffice-2.0.20050725.tbz)
  runs /var/tmp out of space.  Easily fixed by creating a /usr/tmp
  and setting PKG_TMPDIR to /usr/tmp.   I hope sysinstall does that.

- X.org is a major downgrade from XFree86 3.x in terms of fonts.
  linux-mozilla, linux-firefox, etc, all look terrible & blurry
  compared to XFree86-3.x or Windows.
  
  I've installed the bitstream-vera fonts, and messed with
  ~/.fonts.conf for hours turning on/off anti-aliasing, subpixel
  rendering, hinting, autohinting, etc.  I know I'm having an effect,
  because each change manages to make things worse.  This is a
  75x75dpi 1024x768 LCD screen driven by a NeoMagic video chip.

  I've got the same problem with fonts on my desktop (1600x1200 LCD
  panel), but I'd always assumed that it was something about this
  particular LCD.

Anyway, I don't want to sound like I'm griping.  The only real FreeBSD
problems I found were trivially minor.  The only major problem I have
is the fonts, which is more to do with x.org than FreeBSD.  Overall, I
was very impressed, especially with ACPI.  Nice job!

Drew









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