is 5.x still too unstable?

Tom tom at
Wed Sep 10 23:55:54 PDT 2003

On Wed, 10 Sep 2003, Scott Lambert wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 10, 2003 at 04:52:34PM -0400, Tim Middleton wrote:
> >
> > I am hoping to move some of the servers in our ISP to FreeBSD. I have been
> > rather hoping 5.2 would be reliable enough, so that we can move to it and
> > enjoy all the -CURRENT goodness.
> >
> > what seems to have taken the test box down yet; but it's been on my mind to
> > solicit opinions here before this happened, so... any thoughts or experiences
> > running 5x on ISP servers to share out there? Are some snapshots known to be
> > better than others? Any tips/tweaks on making 5.x just a little more
> > stable---even at the cost of performance---than a default install (like
> > disabling acpi, as the first thing).
> I have my workstation and one not so critical server on 5.x.  While they
> tend to run fine most of the time, there is a performance penalty even
> with all the debug knobs turned off.  Buildworld will probably always
> take longer of 5.x but on my system, I went from a 35 minute buildworld
> on 4.x to a 122 minute buildworld on 5.x My kernel builds (including
> modules) are now about 31 minutes.

  This doesn't necessary mean that FreeBSD 5.x is slower than 4.x.
It could mean that gcc has gotten slower, which is well known.  Supposedly
the new gcc produces better code.  Plus, there is simply more code to
compile in 5.x.  Everything is bigger.  There are drivers, and the updated
userland is bigger.

> Also, since it is still -CURRENT, the developers tend to still be
> ripping out entire subsystems and replacing them with brand new code.
> I would say, you don't want to consider going to 5.x on production
> servers at least until 5.2 is -RELEASE.  Move your workstations to 5.x
> now if you want.
> I'll wait a while after 5.2 to see what is happening development-wise
> to get a feel for whether or not the codebase has stablized enough to
> consider taking the production boxes there.
> I am in no rush to abandon 4.x.
> --
> Scott Lambert                    KC5MLE                       Unix SysAdmin
> lambert at


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