Status of 6.0 for production systems

Gayn Winters gayn.winters at
Thu Nov 10 16:03:40 GMT 2005

> There are some things broken in 5.4 that are still broken in 6.0
> with regards to support of older hardware.  In particular the ida
> driver is a mess - EISA support in that was busted years ago,
> then 5.X busted support for more 'modern' systems like the
> Compaq 1600R   HP  "DL" series of systems are kind of a moving
> target anyway, unfortunately.  For those sytems I still use 4.11
> (in fact I just setup 2 new 4.11 production systems two days ago)
> However, 6.0 is a requirement for currently shipping hardware, in
> particular the Intel series of boxed "server" motherboards, if you
> want to use raid and sata drives, since Intel seems to like to change
> it's motherboard chipsets as fast as most people change their 
> underpants.
> I'm actually building a 6.0 production server today.  (5.4 and earlier
> will not recognize the disk array)
> It would be nice if we could get more support for SATA raid in
> the atacontrol program.
> Ted

On the plus side, I've thrown a lot of hardware at FreeBSD with great
success. On the other hand, FreeBSD's primary weakness seems to be the
support of newer hardware. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to hear of
problems with older hardware as well, and Ted's solution of pairing
older hardware with an older release seems reasonable if in fact one has
the experience to support the older release.  (I don't, since I jumped
to FreeBSD at release 5.1.) 

I recall sos@ complaining (well, at least "mentioning") that his work on
ata was hampered by a lack of hardware. I'm sure other developers that
support drivers have the same problem. I've been wondering what could be
done about this -  at least for 6.0++.  

I assume we don't have enough volume to interest many hardware
manufacturers into developing FreeBSD drivers for their hardware.  BUT,
do our driver developers get early access to specs and (if it would
help) source code to other drivers?  What would that take?  Do we have
relationships with hardware manufactures to get samples and prototypes
for our driver developers?  Or, do we simply have to wait and buy retail
versions of the hardware?  


Bristol Systems Inc.

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