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:
- linux application platform for better linux compatiblity.
- OSS sound drivers
- java 1.2
- IDE DMA support
Wilfredo Sanchez, talked about MacOS X and basically said that it includes
pieces of several BSDs
Jordan Hubbard, from FreeBSD said:
- FreeBSD 4.1 was just released. It got the most downloads of any release, so
- the popularity is definitely increasing.
- The goals are to add ACLs and improve security by going away from the
root/non root paradigm.
- Fine grained SMP from BSD OS
- Work to get more applications like Oracle.
Charles Hannum finished by speaking on NetBSD:
- The upcoming 1.5 release will have full IPv6 support, including NFS on IPv6.
- More crypto software due to changes in the law
- More USB support
- Full cardbus support including hotswap
- SMP should be in 1.6, expected some time next year.
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
- 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
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
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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