FreeBSD Kernel Internals Documentation

Joe Gain joe.gain at
Sat Dec 31 12:27:36 UTC 2011

Writers who rely on ideological positions such as (socialism || fascism ||
jedi-knight == good | bad) really need to go visit a social science mailing
list. It's not like political/ religious mailing lists don't exist.

My positivist take on things:

1. Nobody is stopping anybody from changing their freebsd kernel. The same
cannot be said of MS Windows. Documentation is an excuse.

2. FreeBsd is a main-stream O/S-- just look at the number of different
architectures/applications which are supported by FreeBSD.

3. FreeBSD isn't even hard to use, if you only want to use it like 80% of
computer users, to run your web browser, watch videos and listen to music.
People who consider it difficult might like to remember their first
experiences with learning windows.

4. Drivers aren't really a limitation. Look at the history of computing,
that modern O/S support such diverse platforms is an amazing development.
As far as I'm concerned, FreeBSD supports main stream components, there are
no classes of components that I'm aware of which aren't supported by
FreeBSD. If you need to use a particular device, for which there is no
driver, historically it's not unusual to find that on any particular
platform a particular device is not supported.

5. Nobody is making anyone use FreeBSD. It's free. If you don't enjoy it,
don't use it. Maybe remove yourself from the mailing list-- or don't, if
you just want to stay informed.

Normative takes:

6. Is FreeBSD better than windows? For me it is. For me it's stabler. What
I remember from using windows, and what I'm aware of, from people around me
who use windows is that over time, the system seems to degrade. This leads
to really major actions such as re-installation every 6mths or so. And...

7. The temptation to install illegal software on MS Windows is very high.
Who wants to pay for every little gimmicky app? Who can afford to pay for
some major applications, which are needed for studying etc.? This often
leads to an unstable system and security problems. The ports system in
comparison is a much preferred "software/ application distribution system"
because at least you get to look at the source code, if you want to.

8. It's an individual choice. Depends what you use your computer for.
maths/R is one of my favorite applications and it even runs on windows.

May the force be with you!

On Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 10:38 PM, Robert Bonomi <bonomi at>wrote:

> David Jackson <djackson452 at> wrte:
> > Robert Bonomi <bonomi at>wrote:
> > > David Jackson <djackson452 at> wrte:
> > > >
> ...
> > > >
> > > > However, My finding is that due to poor documentation, ...
>  [ sneck remaineder of ill-informed trolling ]
> > > Start with "The Design and Implementation of the BSD 4.4.4 Operating
> > > System"
> > > by McKusick, eal.
> > >
> > > Then read "The design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating
> System",
> > > by McKusick and Neville-Neal.`
> > >
> > > *You* are free to contribute 'better documentation' as you review any
> > > particular file.   Since you feel it is important, you are strongly
> > > encouraged to "do something" to actually 'make it better', as opposed
> > > to merely sitting on the sidelines and sniping at the work of others.
> > >
> > > Well, okay, yes, I have heard of these books.
> Ah, you've "heard" of them.  And, you obviously haven't bothered to read
> them, right?
> Do you know _who_ McKusick is?  Or Bostic?  Or the other authors of the
> first
> book I referenced?   Do you have any idea why it might be a good idea to
> start
> with what they've written?
> Do you know that manpages exist for a lot of kernel-mode functions?
> Do you understand that with all that *external* documentation, there is
> little need to replicate it inside the source files?
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joe gain

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+49 (0)7531 60389

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