[ale] BSD anyone?
kaboom at gatech.edu
Tue Jul 27 00:23:10 EDT 1999
On Mon, 26 Jul 1999, Dave Brooks wrote:
> Bob wrote:
> > After using Linux for six years, I find BSD (FreeBSD) to be a dinosaur,
> > hard to use and lacking in useful features and without advantages for
> > most.
> I do not use any sort of *BSD as my _primary_ operating system. I use
> Linux for that, as its more atuned for the desktop and that sort of
> thing than BSD is. I only use BSD on one small box that I use as an
> internet gateway. (Although, I have used BSD on a workstation
Let me illustrate Bob's point for you. I rebuilt an OpenBSD kernel
yesterday (was 2.5, now -current). I did this so I could enable DMA support
for the IDE hard disk in that box (it's just a throwaway box I built from
spare parts for use as a gateway, so SCSI would be a waste ;-). That code
appeared in the OpenBSD source tree about a week ago, and they got it from
NetBSD who wrote it about a year ago. Linux, on the other hand, has had DMA
support for IDE since at least 1995, and I think much earlier (the version
in the kernel now is Mark Lord's stuff, which is copyright 1995, but my
recollection is that his was a replacement implementation, and not the
original). [to be fair, I'll mention that FreeBSD's DMA implementation is
copyright 1998, but I don't know if that's the original attempt for DMA
support support in FreeBSD; I do know that for the Open / NetBSD ones I
Similarly, compare Linux SMP support with the *BSDs, or Linux driver support
with the *BSDs, or how difficult compiling a kernel in the two is, or....
Even FreeBSD's hyped ports system is getting replaced with a package
system a la Red Hat / Debian.
> BSD seems to "conform" to your network -- things like NATD (FreeBSD),
> ipnat (Net- and OpenBSD), and ipfilter are incredibly easy to set up in
> almost any situation and is just a matter of editing a few lines in some
> text files. For linux to be able to do NAT, for instance, chances are a
> kernel recompile is necessary to compile in IP Firewalling and
> Masquerading (although, if its a fresh install, many of thenewer
> distributions are starting to compile this in their default kernel
> [i.e., RedHat 6.0 (5.2?) and Debian 2.1]). After the kernel is
> recompiled, you still need to decipher the cryptic ipfwadm syntax to set
> up your firewalling and masquerading rules (which, by the way, aren't
> readily available or explained in much detail in the man page).
FWIW, Red Hat at least has had masquerading in their kernel for a long time
(5.0 was the first, I think). And Linux is a lot closer to "no recompile to
get all my hardware working" than any of the *BSDs are. Look at RH's sound
card stuff. *BSD doesn't have that, for example (FreeBSD will support
sound in limited circumstances; the other two don't even bother to try
unless you recompile).
Also, ipchains and IP masquerading is a lot more powerful than the
corresponding *BSD tools. You can do things with ipchains that just can't
be done with the *BSD stuff. Similarly, you can do IPsec from behind Linux
masquerading (I'm told--haven't needed to try it yet myself). I know you
can't do it from behind *BSD masquerading. Linux' QoS stuff is also more
advanced than the *BSDs--I talked to a guy running an ISP last week who was
planning on switching for that reason alone (though I'm not sure if he still
is after I pointed out to him that Linux' QoS stuff isn't what I'd consider
mission-critical stable yet ;-).
Chris Ricker kaboom at gatech.edu
chris.ricker at genetics.utah.edu
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