FreeBSD Kernel Internals Documentation

Polytropon freebsd at
Fri Dec 30 20:15:50 UTC 2011

On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 14:56:59 -0500, David Jackson wrote:
> >
> > Again, as we did discuss (and agree upon) before,
> > supporting FreeBSD is not in the scope of hardware
> > manufacturers. Supporting more than the platform
> > they get "aliments" for simply wouldn't pay. The
> > unit sales for _this_ world of IT are simply to
> > low to justify the work.
> >
> >
> That is the chicken and egg problem, an OS with bad hardware support people
> dont want to use, hardware vendors dont want to support OSs with few users.

Yes, and it's the typical situation when worlds
collide: Unit sales vs. community approach. It's
also important how a society judges both approaches:
the first one means "success, growth & money", while
the other one is often invalidated as "toying around"
and "just for fun, as you can't make money with that".

> Fascism is a derogatory term.

Fascism = "early form" of national socialism (a concept
that got especially abused by Hitler and "most people").

> Socialism, is not, means in its correct
> definition worker democratic control of the business they work for. One
> example is an employee owned corporation. it does not mean in correct
> definition central control, in fact, it is democratic and distributed
> power. The meaning of the term has been distorted by revisionists.

And the term also has been distorted "in actual application".
Systems calling theirselves "socialist" only used this term;
nice package for a fully different content. The same way can
be said about many "democratic" countries (quotes deserved).

> Communism is where the idea that people contribute what they produce to the
> community and then receive what they need from the community, sort of like
> barter. It is a stateless system, hence, the revisionist US definition of
> the term is wrong, communist societies do not have a government.

This system does not work with people. It is that easy. The
reason is the human nature. Everyone wants to have more than
his neighbor.

An example can be given by the story that during the revolution
in Russia, Lenin (as the political leader of the opposing
forces) confiscated bread to give it for free to the hungry
people. As good as this idea might look in the first place,
the _effect_ was different: People took much more bread than
they could eat, trading it for vodka. So the amount of bread
available which was too low from the beginning had been
shrinked in by another factor.

> Communism/anarchism may be possible where there is a massive overabundance
> of resources, but with how overpopulated the world is those days are long
> gone.

Additionally, the idea that everyone contributes something
to the good of the whole society is a futile assumption in
states that are so productive that it isn't even _required_
that everyone works.

> Stalinism is the proper term for the USSR as it was for many years, or
> state capitalism, where a dictatorship controlled a lot and it was not a
> democratic government, North Korea is also state capitalist.

When looking "behind the scenes", you can apply that kind
of -ism to many countries that call theirselves "democratic"
or "free".

> These are not
> communist or socialist societies in any way whatsoever. "communist in name
> only". North Korea calling itself Communist is scandaleous, and as
> scandalous is people in the USA to similarily corrupt the term and defile
> its original meaning.

You also see this in China: Even though the state claims to
be communist, you see heavy effects of free market, of
concurrency, of competition and trade.

> The US economy has long been a hybrid of government and private industry
> and in fact, that is what tends to be most workable, government is better
> at doing some things, private industry at others.

But both branches are driven by humans. Their knowledge,
their experience and their intentions define the final
value of those industries. The customer votes for what
he likes better by using his wallet.

> BSD remember was funded by the US government with DARPA contracts for many
> years. I think the investment of public money was well worth it in creating
> an operating system that is open and publicly accessible.

I think nobody really wants to deny that fact, or try
to relativate it by calling it "communism". :-)

> > > I don't expect the government to bankroll
> > > me while I sit on my ass working on a hobby.
> >
> > So why do _you_ bankroll the government with your
> > tax money for sitting on their ass spying at you
> > or doing nothing? :-)
> >
> Operating systems have become ubiqutous . Why not publicly fund an OS that
> is open and that everyone can use rather than be stuck with closed, crappy
> OSs from Greedy corporations like Microsoft.

Because exactly that attribute - greedy - makes it a
successful company, and success (in terms of unit sales
and therefore market share) is what defines positive
aspects in our society.

> > > By the way, just out of morbid curiosity, how are ASLR and KMS support
> > > coming along? Doing a quick perusal it would appear that everyone but
> > > FreeBSD supports them. I am sure if I am in error and FreeBSD has full
> > > support for them you will inform me of same.
> >
> > I think KMS is still a Linuxism, such as Wayland. But
> > it's possible that it will arrive in FreeBSD when an
> > urgent need by its users is expressed. As long as this
> > is a "niche application", I don't think support will
> > be created. You know, it's _very_ deep inside the
> > bowels of the OS where this work has to be done..
> KMS is what allows the kernel to basically restore the video display to a
> functioning condition of the X server crashes? is that all it does?

KMS would allow the kernel (in its early stage during
OS boot) to address the graphics hardware (GPU and display)
to initiate certain resolutions and color settings, which
could make the booting process colorful and entertaining,
providing an appealing "first sight effect". Switching
between X and not-X should be easier. Doing such settings
in the kernel could also benefit security as it takes the
required privileges off the X server. Moving _that_ kind
of functionality into the kernel could enable non-X use
of graphics capabilities, I also assume.

Details: see

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list