DragonFly BSD
DragonFly users List (threaded) for 2006-04
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Re: Thinking about switching, some queries.

From: "Dmitri Nikulin" <dnikulin@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 21:38:18 +1000

On 4/22/06, Mark Cullen <mark.r.cullen@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Yesterday I managed to make my 4.11 box panic. Since the FreeBSD team
> have basically abandoned 4.x support, I think it may be time for me to
> either update to 5.x or 6.x, or switch to another O/S. I tried 5.x and
> 6.x about 6 months ago and had no luck with those at all, hence why I am
> here :-)

6.x should be fine. I had the pleasure of discussing FreeBSD quality
assurance with a developer (who stops by on these lists) and am
confident it's production-grade. There's a huge magnitude of quality
assurance in place, including stress testing which is much more
demanding than anything real-world use could reasonably produce. Not
to say there aren't bugs, like any system, but they're edge cases and
are being fixed. It's a different situation now to pre-5.3 where the
system was almost completely unusable, dropping under any load at all.

> 2) PF / IPF. I am currently using IPF + natd. When I first tried DF, PF
> seemed really quite broken ( or more than likely I just didn't know how
> to use it properly. :-) )
> - Is there anyone here using IPF or PF along with natd? Does it work as
> expected now? The main function of the box is going to be NAT / sharing
> the internet...

You don't need natd, pf can do NAT in the kernel. Active FTP is
another matter, but that's pretty simple (DFly caveat: use a locally
bound IP OTHER than as the nat target for FTP, its routing
logic is different from other BSDs).

I have had *one* panic in DragonFly 1.4.3's pf, but I couldn't get gdb
to pick up the dump (nor find kgdb which I heard you now need), and
found I could work around it by commenting out my normalization line.

> 3) Has anyone come across this panic I got on FreeBSD? I think (I have
> no idea, just making a semi-educated guess) it might be something VFS /
> vnode related? I know you've done alot of VFS work, so if the panic is
> related to that I am thinking I probably won't be seeing it, hopefully.

A lot of FreeBSD 4's ancient bugs have been fixed in DragonFly, maybe
this one too. You won't really know until you stress-test it.

I still prefer NetBSD for sheer stability, since it has given me the
least bugs of any operating system ever, even if it has extremely
sub-optimal SMP. However, what DragonFly does, it does very well, and
there's still a lot of improvement left in the todo lists. If you *do*
get panics, the team seems to be able to fix any of them within days,
provided you present some core or at least a backtrace. The pkgsrc
success rate is now very high, almost equal to NetBSD/i386, thanks to
a superhuman effort by Joerg. There are still some bugs you'll find in
some terminal emulators (I've seen really weird things in aterm,
though I don't know if it's actually an aterm issue... SSH via PuTTY
et al work fine) but nothing to panic about.

  -- Dmitri Nikulin

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