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[P]
NetBSD: Bankrupt Software Distribution

By Trollaxor in Technology
Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 04:44:06 PM EST
Tags: BSD, NetBSD, Trollaxor, Unix (all tags)

Hot on the heels of their NetBSD 5.0.1 release, the NetBSD organization is gearing up for NetBSD 6.0, due in about half a year ("The sixth major release for the six month of 2010!").

To make that happen, NetBSD is asking its industry partners, users, and anyone with spare change to contribute US$60,000. Matt Thomas, of NetBSD's core group, says the money will allow for "network performance improvements and embedded and realtime optimization," meaning NetBSD can finally move onto specialized hardware, an area NetBSD has struggled with in the past.

But is the ultimate goal of $60,000 appropriate for the BSD family's middle child? Is NetBSD a good long-term investment of that kind of money? Is NetBSD even worth the nearly $8,000 raised so far? Why invest in a bankrupt operating system?

[http://www.trollaxor.com/2009/12/netbsd-bankrupt-software-distribution.html]


To answer any of those questions, we need to identify NetBSD's target audience, though that is about as clear as obfuscated kernel code since NetBSD focuses on tiny or rare hardware. It's still mainly optimized for the VAX and Motorola 68k platforms and has problems handling over 512 MiB of RAM, so NetBSD's not for anyone developing on cutting-edge hardware. They're pretty squarely stuck in 32-bit land, so NetBSD is also not for anyone interested in high-end servers or even low-range workstations.

This all goes back to the fact that the NetBSD team was a splinter of developers from the FreeBSD team who were unhappy with the mainstream track the operating system had taken. They took some code from FreeBSD and vowed to bring it "back to its roots," reintegrated some of the 386BSD project, and continued tinkering in contentment.

So a bunch of tinkerers and code-hoarders on antiquated hardware serving their own interests doesn't resemble anything with real commercial interest. And to further the point, anyone with a real interest in a professional BSD would either choose FreeBSD or Mac OS X. Clearly, then, NetBSD is focused on noncommercial hobby-hacking and research. So does the research ever trickle down--or up, for the matter--into other projects?

According to the last several FreeBSD audits, the answer is an unqualified no. Of the almost 4 GiB of FreeBSD source code, just under 1%, some 40 MiB, of code was in-flow from NetBSD. That means that basically nothing from NetBSD has either been put or taken back by the FreeBSD project. That belies a lack of need, since FreeBSD is more or less like NetBSD on steroids.

This clearly demonstrates that there is a lack of professionalism on the NetBSD team's part: you might think they'd want to share their stuff back, but they simply haven't. In fact, they even deleted sendmail from their source code over a political tiff. Wtf!

To test out what this means in the real world, I installed both NetBSD 5.0.1 and FreeBSD 8.0, the latest respective production releases, on my 2.93 GHz HyperThreaded octocore workstation with 32 GiB RAM.

FreeBSD installed quickly, ran eve faster, and never crashed while supporting all of my hardware. NetBSD hung on install, ran sluggishly, and had no support for any of my cards or peripherals. In fact, it only saw eight of the sixteen logical HyperThreaded cores and 4 GiB RAM. I wanted to throw the machine out the window after an hour of running NetBSD.

Forget games or serving anything too. FreeBSD excelled at serving, since its threading model matches mysql natively. It started both KDE and GNOME in a heartbeat. NetBSD's threading model is old and outdated and complex POS sites barely trickled into my browser. FreeBSD was also able to run some pretty impressive OpenGL games while NetBSD fell down once again and made me shake my head in frustration. NetBSD was a truly wretched experience.

If this wasn't enough, even one of its four original developers says that NetBSD sucks! With such a ringing endorsement, it's really time to question what is going on and why anyone should take NetBSD seriously anymore.

On a positive note, at least NetBSD is not OpenBSD, an even more obscure fork run by a megalomaniacal narcissist named Theo de Raadt who personally harasses and stalks anyone who doesn't agree with him and his coding choices. But when the best point for NetBSD is that it's not something worse, it's hard to say that NetBSD is worth anything at all.

And there are other, better options. Neither Apple nor the FreeBSD Foundation are asking for tens of thousands of dollars in handouts. Download and install FreeBSD for free or shell out a trifling US$30 for Mac OS X--both products just work, unlike the travesty that is NetBSD.

In the end, the only sensible choice is to not donate to the NetBSD foundation. Supporting this moribund operating system is not worth the money--save yourself the trouble and avoid the sinking ship that is NetBSD.

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Related Links
o NetBSD 5.0.1
o NetBSD 6.0
o US$60,000
o NetBSD's core group
o http://www .trollaxor.com/2009/12/netbsd-bankrupt-software-distribution.html
o FreeBSD
o Mac OS X
o FreeBSD audits
o deleted sendmail
o FreeBSD 8.0
o workstatio n
o my browser
o NetBSD sucks
o Also by Trollaxor


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NetBSD: Bankrupt Software Distribution | 23 comments (18 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
reminds me (3.00 / 2) (#2)
by Blarney on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 01:56:08 AM EST

I heard that it's no longer possible to make big bucks buying and flipping real estate sight unseen, and also that it's no longer a viable business model to deliver dog food to people's doors. Can you maybe work that into the article too?

Thank god they still deliver (1.50 / 2) (#3)
by Del Griffith on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 09:19:10 AM EST

people food.

The whole grocery store thing sucks ass.

-------
I...I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. Because I'm the real article. What you see is what you get. - Me


[ Parent ]

i've used netbsd off and on over the years (3.00 / 2) (#6)
by achievingfluidity on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 01:26:58 PM EST

and have mostly ditched it. it has features that are very nice but dragonflybsd, netbsd and openbsd aren't really usable in an enterprise environment, unlike freebsd. but with a quality OS like freebsd why use nbsd or obsd.

the problem is nbsd never really recovered from the split and obsd is run by an idiot. try putting either one on a modern server. if you do you always end up with problems and crashes.

--
ANNOY A LIBERAL USE FACTS AND LOGIC


NetBSD makes a pretty good server; (none / 1) (#7)
by Morally Inflexible on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 08:54:54 PM EST

it supports Xen and it doesn't have the pathological 'massive memory overcommit them oom-kiler' problems that Linux does.  

Personally, i do prefer FreeBSD to Netbsd... but hey, at least it's not Linux, right?

[ Parent ]

right (none / 1) (#8)
by achievingfluidity on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:14:51 PM EST

fbsd is an awesome, stable environment and I have had better luck with it than the others.

I wish it weren't so. nbsd on some new hardware just doesn't work. although i know that if you monkey around with the hardware then most of the issues go away.

Linux is fine if you can ditch all the cruft it installs by default. Generally though I strive to avoid it. fbsd is just an excellent OS no matter how you slice it.

--
ANNOY A LIBERAL USE FACTS AND LOGIC


[ Parent ]

freebsd in "enterprise" (none / 0) (#15)
by iggymanz on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 08:41:38 PM EST

people usually mean heavy duty application when they say "enterprise", but since FreeBSD 5.x I found that on serious 4-way or more hardware the thing would seize up tighter than a great-grandma on a straight brick cheese diet.  The problem continued through 6.x as the team really didn't understand their newfangled locking mess. Mention that on slashtwat and miffed FreeBSD person said we've fixed all that now and no worries.  But google "site:freebsd.org smp heavy load" and you'll find the thing still isn't ready for dependable datacenter/enterprise operation.  Meanwhile I have client's Linux database clusters with uptime in years (actually, I wish they'd patch and reboot the lazy gits)

[ Parent ]
It is official; Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying (3.00 / 3) (#11)
by Strom Thurmond on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 04:46:19 PM EST

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by falling dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead , its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

VEGETARIAN: An Indian word meaning "lousy hunter"

Oh thank gawd (1.50 / 2) (#16)
by Aphexian on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:20:52 PM EST

Someone said it.  Thanks Strom.  Now allow me to ejaculate hatred all over this Trollfuxor guy.

"on my 2.93 GHz HyperThreaded octocore workstation with 32 GiB RAM."

Yep, that's a workstation.  You dumbass with too much money and not enough brains.  Why would you even mention it unless you were soooooo close to your cock but couldn't get your lips on it?  Bragging about your computer won't get you any closer.

"It's still mainly optimized for the VAX and Motorola 68k platforms and has problems handling over 512 MiB of RAM"
"NetBSD hung on install, ran sluggishly, and had no support for any of my cards or peripherals. In fact, it only saw eight of the sixteen logical HyperThreaded cores and 4 GiB RAM."

The genetic male has a serious design flaw that, if you kick him in the nuts he has a total system reset.  I kicked him in the nuts and he had one.  Now I am writing a rambling missive about it.

"Neither Apple nor the FreeBSD Foundation are asking for tens of thousands of dollars in handouts."

OMG!  Apple isn't asking for handouts?  That fucking project is going under!  They must be Jeebus Fucking Christ not to ask for help.  This.  THIS.  Is a startling revelation.  I fear for the end of the world.

For fuck's sake.  Pointing out the obvious is now journalism?  Or masturbatory blogging?  I have no idea what you were trying to accomplish, but you have fucked it up.

Maybe that could be a story.  Dumbass thinks he's a genius.  He discovered obvious flaws in an obviously flawed system.  Story at 11:00.
 
[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

I don't understand a word you've said. (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by Trollaxor on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 10:59:01 AM EST

It parses as English, but I'm not sure it's saying anything.

[ Parent ]
My apologies (none / 0) (#20)
by Aphexian on Fri Dec 25, 2009 at 09:37:18 PM EST

"Ejaculation is the ejecting of semen from a penis, and is usually accompanied by orgasm. It is usually the final stage and natural objective of sexual stimulation, and an essential component of natural conception. In rare cases ejaculation occurs because of prostatic disease. Ejaculation may also occur spontaneously during sleep (a nocturnal emission or "wet dream")."

I meant to say that you were an essential component of natural conception.

Ignoring the point makes you a higher lifeform, is (I believe,) the synopsis of your response.

[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

Kuro5hin is dying (none / 0) (#18)
by iggymanz on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:54:23 PM EST

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Kuro5shin community when netcraft confirmed that Kuro5hin market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of techie/geek culture blogs. This news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Kuro5hin is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by most article submissions being rants by its lowest moderated comment trolls.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict Kuro5hin's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Kuro5hin faces a bleak future. Mediocre articles flow like a river of waste.

Kuro5hin is the most endangered of them all, having lost 97% of its core article contributors, and now having no insightful comments whatsoever. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time Kuro5hin contributors and readership leaves no doubt: Kuro5hin is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Slashdot leader CmdrTaco states that there are 350,000 readers of the comments of slashdot, and 10 million readers of the stories. Let's see, that makes Kuro5hin equivalent to 1/10,000 of a slashdot.

All major surveys show that Kuro5hin is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Kuro5hin is to survive at all it will be among blog dilettante dabblers. Kuro5hin continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Kuro5hin is dead.

Fact: Kuro5hin is dying

[ Parent ]

If NetBSD dies (3.00 / 2) (#12)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 05:58:01 PM EST

where will I find a good OS for my toaster?
Information wants to be beer.
So let me see if I have this right.. (none / 1) (#13)
by undermyne on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 01:40:59 AM EST

you are lamenting a request for funds by the BSD failtards to a bunch of CMF failtards that actually fell for it last time they were asked for money to support a dying technology *cough*scoop*cough*?

Teh opensores, they are bleeding.

"You're an asshole. You are the greatest troll on this site." Some nullo

D I V E R S I T Y !!! (none / 0) (#14)
by redelm on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:47:51 AM EST

The reason to support Net- and the other *BSDs is OS biodiversity. Sure, they might not be good for everyone (16-cores?), but they are perhaps good for some people. And permit/propagate change/development. Or would you rather "One True OS to Rule THem All?"

Look, I mostly run Linux (Slackware). I used to run some FreeBSD, but gave up when they went SysV /etc/rc.d (I cannot abide that mess'o'symlinks). The most compelling feature was Kirk McKusick's SoftUpdates.

But I do not depracate any free OS. Infighting is foolish when there is MS-Windows thrashing around.



windows epitomizes diversity! (none / 0) (#17)
by iggymanz on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:39:39 PM EST

those things you talked about are all just Unixy OS. which Windows ain't.

[ Parent ]
FreeBSD? (3.00 / 3) (#21)
by ahy on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:38:28 AM EST

"This all goes back to the fact that the NetBSD team was a splinter of developers from the FreeBSD team who were unhappy with the mainstream track the operating system had taken."

This seems wrong to me as according to Wikipedia NetBSD had its first public release before FreeBSD.

There are also more "facts" here that should be referenced somehow.

I suspect this whole "article" is about trolling.

re: your last comment (2.50 / 2) (#22)
by Delirium on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 05:57:22 AM EST

The article is by "Trollaxor", after all.

[ Parent ]
JESUS (none / 0) (#23)
by The Hanged Man on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:14:46 PM EST


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Dificile est saturam non scribere - Juvenal
NetBSD: Bankrupt Software Distribution | 23 comments (18 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
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