but it is clear to common woman

Story: Free Software in Reality Isn’t FreeTotal Replies: 8
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Jan 14, 2005
7:44 AM EDT
There are female geeks too ya know.

I'm rather flabbergasted by some of the author's assertions, such as "Linux when first appeared though did manage to make quite a good name for it, however failed to live-up to its reputation in the years to follow." When Linux was an infant, it was quite limited. It has grown consistently and impressively, and gotten better with every release. Also the author is not clear on whether he is discussing the kernel, or the whole Linux universe.

"Stable kernels appearing late, innumerable number of useless rewrites of kernel code in a few years, unavailability of proper marketing sources and failure to fulfill the predictions of the community has not only slowed down the number of users in the recent times, but has led to a more serious and deeper thinking about Linux's future in the recent years to follow." errr, wot??? The kernel is not on a release schedule, and never has been. When it's ready it's released. Slowed down the number of users? I guess all the large growth numbers I've been seeing are an illusion, then.

"it still lacks the efficiency of NetBSD when it comes to free portability." My jaw droppeth further. I'm unsure what this sentence means, though I do know for a fact that Linux runs on more hardware platforms than any operating system.

Skipping ahead to the conclusion in the last paragraph that Linux is more expensive long-term and unreliable is just plain nuts. Those of us out here in the real world, who have been administering Unix/Windows/Linux systems for years don't prefer Linux because of the cute lil penguin. We prefer it based on experience and real-world usage, which is something I doubt a college student has much of.

Folks are entitled to their opinions- I prefer some factual basis for opinions, thank you.


Jan 14, 2005
7:46 AM EDT
eee, sorry for starting a new thread. I meant to include this in the first thread.

Jan 14, 2005
7:11 PM EDT
>"it still lacks the efficiency of NetBSD when it comes to >free portability." My jaw droppeth further. I'm unsure >what this sentence means, though I do know for a >fact that Linux runs on more hardware platforms than >any operating system.

Actually NetBSD is the most portable operating system available. "It currently supports fifty four different system architectures, all from a single source tree, and is always being ported to more,"[1] however portability isn't just about how many architectures an operating system supports but, more importantly, how easy it is to port to new architectures.

"Due to NetBSD's ease of portability, Wasabi was able to get up and running on AMD's x86-64 platform several months sooner than other teams could port Linux."[2]

"According to Ed Gasiorowski, director of developer relations for AMD's Computation Products Group, the port to AMD's Opteron processor was extremely fast. 'I think the initial port was probably about two days [and] might have been as short as one day. That was a full 64-bit port'......the speed of the port was due to the quality of NetBSD's codebase."[3]

...And it's open source too:)

1. http://www.netbsd.org/Releases/formal-2.0/NetBSD-2.0.html 2. http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1150126,00.asp 3. http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/21244.html

Jan 15, 2005
1:45 AM EDT
tuxchick, don't feel bad about the netbsd miss here. In case you need a more public apology, look no further than to google my name and the word linux: [url=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=paul ferris linux&btnG=Google Search]http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=paul ferris linux&btnG=...[/url]

and look down about 6 or 7 links till you get here:


And you will find me apologizing for writing an article on LinuxToday that claimed Linux was more portable :)

At least you didn't go *that* far :)

On a side note, though -- has anyone here had some stick time with NetBSD lately? Last time I tried it I found it to be a bit rough around the edges. It's not that I couldn't get some neat things done, it's just that I would have had a hard time giving a copy of it to anyone that wasn't a decent *nix jockey and a CS major, and that had a ready supply of coffee ...

Yeah, in other words, it *is* more portable, and that's a good thing, but it's not exactly in the same class as say, Fedora RC3 or Ubuntu, where a general user can easily run or maintain it... But maybe it's gotten better latey (I don't want to step out too far, I don't feel like apologizing again :)


Jan 15, 2005
2:36 AM EDT
I've been using it for a little while and have been very impressed, but I'm somewhat of an OS agnostic having used and abused various flavours of Linux and BSD, as well as Windows and Mac OS.

I have generally found that the "less hyped" operating systems have been the one's that have provided me with the best and most reliable tools, such as NetBSD and Debian, but you are correct, I wouldn't recommend NetBSD to somebody who isn't familiar with the commandline and a text editor, or willing to learn (NetBSD's man pages are some of the best I have seen, by the way).

On that note I have found that OS's like the BSD's and Debian are excellent for learning unix skills.

Jan 15, 2005
7:26 AM EDT
I'm getting disenchanted with Debian. It looks like Sarge and Longhorn are going to be released at the same time. :P It's going on three years for Sarge- Woody is so old it's nearly unusable. Postfix 1.1? Samba 2.2? Mold! If there were security updates for Testing or Unstable it wouldn't matter. Unstable gets some, depending on the maintainer, and currently Testing gets none. I love apt and the quality of the package archives, who doesn't, so I hope they get it together. I've been meaning to look at Ubuntu/Mepis/Libranet/etc. and see if any of them have good security updates.

NetBSD is pretty slick for sure, I've played with it a bit. I have no stake in Linux being the most portable, I am happy for NetBSD taking the prize. So I guess we give Mr. Ghosh credit for being right on one point. :)


Jan 15, 2005
9:31 AM EDT
It seems to me that Mepis relies upon Debian testing for security updates. It's a slick and easy to use distribution, very easy to install, but security updates can be worrisome.

Jan 15, 2005
2:00 PM EDT
AFAIK, Debian testing will soon receive security updates just like stable is receiving now. The people at Debian are currently setting things up so that it will work correctly. I've understood they want that to be ready before they put Sarge in stable, but I may be wrong.

Jan 19, 2005
5:27 AM EDT
I run Gentoo, which is basically a cutting edge (bleeding edge?) Debian (2.6 kernel, samba 3.3.9, kde 3.3.2, etc., etc.)

However, Gentoo is not for the faint of heart. Getting the initial install done is a day or two process and don't even think of attempting it with a slow connection. Its default mode of operation is to download source code and compile everything (yes, everything) specifically for your hardware. On a slow processor, you could be compiling for days or even weeks (however, they have added a binary ISO based install.) This system is compiling the latest OpenOffice.org in the background as I type.

Its a long process, but when its complete you have a very fast system that's easily kept up to date with their portage tools (which, if I understand it correctly, is a knockoff of BSD's updating tools.)

Just FYI.


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