Notes on NetBSD

Notes on NetBSD

I've been messing with NetBSD again recently. I'm really beginning to like it. But not for the reasons I've heard people list. No I like NetBSD because I feel it does things the right way. This is also the reason I like Debian. I feel that what Debian does for binary packages, NetBSD does for source packages. Of all the Operating Systems in the world Debian and NetBSD are the only two whose base system I can stand.

Before I go on I'd like to explain NetBSD in a paragraph, and clear up some common misconceptions in the process. Essentially I'd like to say that NetBSD isn't just for portability. NetBSD is clean, simple, powerful and flexible. These are requirements/consequences of portability (interesting how Debian is the most portable GNU/Linux distro but no one ever says, yeah Debian is great for m68k or s390, Redhat is good for PCs :).

I no longer feel that NetBSD lacks apps. I've realized that while the NetBSD kernel is awesome and built like a rock, the sheer number of Linux developpers/users combined with their aversion for binary only drivers has done wonders for hardware support in Linux. Don't get me wrong if NetBSD supports your hardware it automagically does everything for you. And this process is the smoothest I've seen in any OS.

So I guess my perfect OS would be NetBSD with all the various Linux drivers + filesystems added onto the kernel or simply NetBSD with the kernel replaced with Linux. I doubt I'm skilled enough to build either of those, but that's what I'd like to work towards.

Now I'm sure there people will tell me that I should use this or that GNU/Linux or BSD distribution. So here's why I don't think any of those are my idea of an excellent OS.

Of all the various GNU/Linux distributions, Debian is the only one I like. As I've said above (and heard people say), Debian is the most "BSD" distro. Now you may say what about gentoo and slackware, aren't they more BSD? They might have more BSD features, but overall they have disjointed jagged base systems with packaging over it. Debian may not look BSD on the outside, but that's moslty because of the constraints of being a binary distribution. Debian's real BSD feel comes from its minimal yet complete base system, its always doing things the right way (even if that means delays), and its flexibility.

Of the 3 BSD's that I am familiar with (FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD), NetBSD is the only one I like. Again for much the same reasons as why I prefer Debian. Minimal yet complete base system, doing things the right way, and flexibility.

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Comment I agree but its saturday now so I had better go

Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:44 am MST by loan

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