Day 3: Bof: BSD: Powering the Internet

Representatives from the different BSD branches came and formed a panel which answered questions after each of them did a quick presentation (with the exception of OpenBSD which got invited but wasn't able to send a representative)
Thanks go to BSDi for the food that was nicely provided for the evening (quite nice considering the BOF was a little late in the afternoon).


Alan Clegg started with BSD OS (which current is at version 4.1).
Version 4.2 will include:

Wilfredo Sanchez, talked about MacOS X and basically said that it includes pieces of several BSDs :-)

Jordan Hubbard, from FreeBSD said:

Charles Hannum finished by speaking on NetBSD:

After that, we reached the Q&;A section:

Since several companies are backing up Gnome, how is this going to affect the several flavors of BSD?
Basically, both will still be offered and people will get to choose which one they want.

Any plans of consolidation or a merger?
Not really. Code is shared, but each BSD is still distinct. One plan is to merge basic utilities for which there is no controversy (/bin/cat :-))

How about itanium support?
FreeBSD got an itanium machine, and is currently working on it.
The plan was to have a port in time for when the machine is relevant in the marketplace.

How do the free BSDs support themselves?
BSDi and Walnut creek have been very generous. Several members are also employed by companies that use BSD and are paid to do BSD work.

How about SMP?
FreeBSD supports SMP today, but only with a giant kernel lock, like linux had in the late 1.3.x series. They're currently porting a fined grained SMP (SMP next generation) and it should be in FreeBSD 5.0
NetBSD would have it next year
For MacOS X, thanks to the Mach kernel, SMP support is easy.

How about firewire support?
For Apple, the problem right now is licensing with the code they have.
For FreeBSD, there is a tarball out there, but it's very new
NetBSD is currently getting support.

What are the specific goals if each BSD project?
MacOS X is geared at being a pretty, end-user OS.
FreeBSD is there go "kick ass" (Jordan's words) :-) But seriously, the goal is to be approachable and respond to the needs of its users.
BSD OS's goal is to be a commercial product with support for companies that require commercial support (although BSDi is now offering support for FreeBSD)
The goal of NetBSD is to be multi-architecture and offer the same experience on all of them.

Why use BSD OS now that BSDi is offering support for FreeBSD?
There is no code merger planned for the two OSes although there is code sharing, but the products will still be distinct.
Outside of the differences between both of them, support contracts are cheaper for BSD OS.

How about support for crypto cards?
FreeBSD is getting the same support that OpenBSD does.

How about software RAID
FreeBSD has support for that (Venu (sp?)) and there is also support for hardware raid support.
NetBSD has had raid support for a long time.

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99/08/13 (05:22): Version 1.0