NetBSD [ was Re: [linux] The great OS debate ]
dougmc at u.washington.edu
Fri Jul 9 16:50:05 PDT 2004
Before using OpenBSD, I was really into NetBSD. I have an SGI R4600 (it's
a cool little 'blue pizza box' looking computer). The machine had no OS,
and no CD-ROm, so I was really in a pinch to use it for something.
I tried out NetBSD for sgimips architecture, and created a diskless
installation from another NetBSD system (sparc 5) I have. It worked
great. The install worked, and I had a full functioning operating system
on there. Unfortuantely, some peculiarities with SGI systems makes NetBSD
hard to use on there (I found out it happens to any non-IRIX OS on SGI
machines). FOr example ctrl-C kills the NetBSD process itself (it kills
NetBSD), and a couple other quirks. It also crashes on some NFS related
stuff, and that's a bug in NetBSD itself I am sure. Either that, or I may
have bad memory in this SGI.
NetBSD on my sparc worked just perfect. It was really good stuff. I
later switched to OpenBSD just for the security perks, but I enjoyed using
My point, long-winded as it is, is that NetBSD is really great for niche
systems that you have lying around, like Sparc64 machines, or SGIs, that
you want to install a 'free' OS onto. NetBSD ports to MANY MANY
architectures. Just look at their website. It's impressive.
THe catch is that NetBSD spreads itself thin as a result, and with little
resources, things can be unstable. Still, in some cases, it really is
worth its salt.
For PCs, I still go with FreeBSD, or better yet OpenBSD (OpenBSD's
hardware support really is pretty good, but it's dual booting ability
sucks). For non-PCs, I give NetBSD a good look.
On other thing I really liked about NetBSD is that it's SMALL. The ISO
files are really easy to obtain, and contain a full OS, unlike OpenBSD
which gives an install CD ISO, but you still have to download the rest.
If you are on a dial-up, the NetBSD install disk will be much friendlier.
Anyhow, give it a try. I enjoyed it and consider it time well spent. :)
CSS Systems Administrator
University of Washington, Bothell
Meanwhile, in Gotham, Garrett Cooper wrote:
> Overall though, I do admit that certain distributions definitely do have
> their uses, given different applications. I just was mostly basing it on my
> personal experience with trying to get a personal desktop setup correctly.
> Of course, I wonder more about the *BSD camp though. I've experienced
> FreeBSD and it was good for above average (B, B+ security), heard good
> things about OpenBSD-especially with security, but not hardware support
> (firewire: a must for all iPod users), but I haven't heard anything about
> NetBSD. How does it rank compared to the other BSDs?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Garrett Cooper" <youshi10 at u.washington.edu>
> To: "Linux/Unix Users Group at the UW" <linux at u.washington.edu>
> Sent: Friday, July 09, 2004 3:51 PM
> Subject: Re: [linux] The great OS debate
> > Hmmm.... I knew about the binary packages, but never used that method of
> > installing programs. I guess I am anal enough to compile all of my
> > packages-but then again I have a P4 2.4, not a P3 866.
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Jonathan Nicol" <jnicol at cac.washington.edu>
> > To: "Linux/Unix Users Group at the UW" <linux at u.washington.edu>
> > Sent: Friday, July 09, 2004 3:18 PM
> > Subject: Re: [linux] The great OS debate
> > > Gentoo also has pre-compiled binaries for larger packages such as
> > > OpenOffice, Mozilla, etc. If "emerge openoffice" is taking too long, try
> > > "emerge openoffice-bin". I've never even tried compiling OO on my P3
> > >
> > > Also, I hate spacial Nautilus (personal preference I guess), but it's
> > > easy enough to turn off.
> > >
> > > --Jonathan
> > >
> > >
> > > On Thu, 8 Jul 2004, Joshua Daniel Franklin wrote:
> > >
> > > <snip>
> > > > I'm running FC2 at home (actually my wife requested it) on an Athlon
> > > > 1800+,
> > > > we love GNOME 2.6's features including the spacial Nautilus. I ran
> > Debian for
> > > > a while
> > > > and still do on a file server, but I got tired of waiting for the
> > > > packages.
> > > > Obviously I need to try Gentoo but time is short (and I'm not that
> > excited of
> > > > waiting
> > > > 20 hours for OO.org).
> > > >
> > >
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