DragonFly BSD
DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2004-03
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Re: Daemon's Advocate article

From: Dave Cuthbert <dacut@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 13:41:17 -0500

Joshua Coombs wrote:
Fine, RedHat it is.  No list of mirrors and they
REALLY want you to install off an ISO... bah.

I don't think it's fair to discard RH from a comparison list just because getting an ISO is difficult. (I've never found it *that* difficult, personally.)

I've never had any problem with the RH installer not supporting an oddball system configuration (usually along the lines of RAID and partitioning), which I think is somewhat amazing. I have had issues with it misdetecting hardware, though.

Gentoo? I don't have that kind of time.

I use Gentoo as my main development system at home (I need Linux for work); I find it quite nice, though not as nice as BSD's ports. Yeah, compiling everything from scratch is a bit annoying (especially, say, XFree86), but this is stuff that I usually let run overnight. At any rate, I've never had dependency problems with portage akin to RPMs.

In comparison, the brutally crude OpenBSD installer seems simple,
and efficient.  It reliably gets the job done, as do the installers
for Net and Free.

I haven't played with OpenBSD at all, and NetBSD only a bit.

IMHO, The most confusing part of FreeBSD's sysinstall is setting up partitions and slices. I never get a good feel as to when it's going to commit my changes, especially if I revisit it. Arguably, paritions, slices, and selecting a boot manager should be on the same screen.

There's also the lack of vinum support at this stage, which is aggrivating. I've used vinum; the documentation is better than a lot of other projects, but it assumes a deeper understanding of how slices, etc., work than most people are comfortable with. I also had issues with the perl script from the HOWTO (?) bombing out.

In the end, I rolled up my sleeves, dug though the documentation and bits of the perl script, and ultimately got a very reliable setup going on FreeBSD 4.6. Once it was set up, I found it much easier to manage than Linux's RAID tools. (On Gentoo, a kpanic caused my RAID array to fail to start up upon reboot -- this escaped my attention for a good couple weeks!)

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