My desktop comparison of FreeBSD and OpenBSD

TheDreamer

Member

Reaction score: 5
Messages: 68

I respect that point of view as well, but NVIDIA have had a policy of dropping cards after about 5 years for awhile now (after discontinuing the old nv driver), so it always amazes me when someone is shocked that it happens.

Well, I knew they weren't going to support my cards forever, but its a shock when you do a pkg upgrade and you're left with just console ... to try and buy a new card from a dot-com? ;) Well, its actually switch to different driver package. My work machine has an NVIDIA Quadro X1400, so its using nvidia-driver-304. Which I discovered still get's updates (was about to submit a patch bring it from 304.88 to 304.123, but just as I got it to build cleanly using 'poudriere testport'....the maintainer's update appears.) More recently, my home machine has an NVIDIA Quadro X1700. is now left behind to use nvidia-driver-340.

Which wouldn't be that bad, except that various linux-c6-* ports depend on nvidia-driver which causes a conflict now. I'm debating whether I want to mess around in the ports framework to resolve this, by doing something like DEFAULT_VERSIONS= nvidia-driver=340 or if it should be something along the lines of what mail/sendmail did. There are other ports that depend on this, but there used to be two slave ports mail/sendmail-sasl and mail/sendmail-ldap. Each port conflicts with the other two, and my reason for install ports sendmail was to get tls/smtps support so I had mail/sendmail-sasl installed. At one point there was a define I could put in make.conf to specify what to depend on, but not all ports used it. But, once it converted the problem went away. Now to wait and see if they do the same to print/enscript-{pagesize}. letter is the master port, with letterdj and a4 as slaves. But, seems most ports that depend on it use -a4. Thought some other port used to have this issue, that resolved things by using libpaper and having its config file set to a4 or letter by installing the corresponding package. But, so far I've shied away from (submitting) patches that touch multiple ports or the framework.

That said...the reason I was visiting the forums today....is that I'm trying to find out what I might run into if I were to replace my NVIDIA Quadro X1700 with an AMD card... either an HD4670 or a V5700, it appears both use the same chipset, though the HD4670 clocks a bit faster and has more memory, while V5700 has faster memory?

The motivation is that I've been having weird system freezes, only when I'm doing something on desktop while its busy. Pretty much is always I click on a web page. Chromium seems to like pushing GPU around (it had gotten back on work system with 304.88, which lead to discovery that there had been later point releases with the latest, at the time, being 304.123 -- the latest now is 304.125, wonder what's changed and when I'll get around to upgrading to it....probably as soon as successfully get all currently installed ports to rebuild and finish the upgrade from 9.2 to 9.3.) I have watchdog enabled, so eventually the system reboots. Though its not just chromium that is causing it to freeze, though I did find that timing-wise, both www/firefox and mail/thunderbird are being built at the same time in poudriere, where if no jobs number is set, it'll default to ncpu (which is worse than when it gets to building chromium, where not set a jobs parameter makes it do ncpu+2 if ncpu > 2, else just +1. And, things are probably a bit worse since I have -pipe set in CFLAGS. I have quad core i7 with HT enabled, and I usually run poudriere with 3 parallel jobs. With testport is let it do 8, to get the dependencies out of the way faster :D

Wonder where the Radeon HD 5450 that originally came with work machine is...perhaps after I get upgraded, to 9.3, it'll be jump to 10.1? VT-switching is something that I do more of at work....and back when I first got things working with that card.. found that VT-switch == reboot. Wish I could like remap VT-switch to screen lock....since the goal is to do something quickly that meets security policies.

Will have to see about building a 10.1 poudriere server first...

The Dreamer
 

free-and-bsd

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 138
Messages: 901

Well, I've had some pretty basic experience with OpenBSD, then I've also been running FreeBSD as my desktop OS both at home and at work for the last several years -- this to my utter satisfaction, I must add.

OpenBSD: smooth installation process and all that's related to it. Why, you can even have the bsd.rd kernel file and boot it from any media, that will launch the installation or the shell. They also have some other helpful files ready for download, like CD boot file in case you want to make a bootable CD for purposes other than installation/rescue.

I was also able to create a bootable USB flash drive (4G) from which i run OpenBSD with / /usr /home mounted read-only and /dev /var /tmp as tmpfs. Not sure such configuration would be supported by FreeBSD, but I never tried either. Also, some wifi drivers are present in OpenBSD which are not in FreeBSD... or am I mistaken? But this is all related to its suitability for network server usage.

With FreeBSD the installation process is simple as well, but in a different sense... And it has ZFS, which was decisive factor of my preference in favor of FreeBSD over OpenBSD.
Maybe HAMMER fs is also good, but the docs from the dragonfly bsd left me with the feeling that the installation process is not as straightforward there, and that less ports would be available. Neither could I find a lot of information on that. And I don't have enough time to do all the testing...

Also, as a BASIC desktop system on my laptop OpenBSD proved to be very easy to install, configure and make it a running system.
Good out of the box support for Intel processor graphics, it also comes by default with FVWM2 WM with a good config file, which is pretty much all I need from a desktop system. All the rest I needed for a desktop was easily installed via packages, and these happened to work, unlike FreeBSD packages with which I'd had a bit less of luck...

And these I've mentioned are not pros or cons in my opinion, they are just differences depending on the target use intended for each OS. I feel that both OS's do a good job. I'm still running FreeBSD on the 3 computers I'm using, and OpenBSD as my network gateway in the office. OpenBSD folks say it's slower just like a massive safe door is slower than a normal apartment door... I don't mind that, neither do I feel that on my small server.

CONCLUSION: I really appreciate we have this variety. Learning both OS's is enriching and I really love both for the high quality OS's that they are...
 

tankist02

Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 46
Messages: 319

I'm wondering how did it happen that FreeBSD is behind OpenBSD in some wireless and Intel GPU support?
 

BSD-Kitsune

Active Member

Reaction score: 69
Messages: 170

I'm wondering how did it happen that FreeBSD is behind OpenBSD in some wireless and Intel GPU support?

Because 9.x is still supported and I'm sure you would need to update some parts of the graphics stack that would break compatibility for 9.x. The release of 11.x should include Haswell. As for wireless drivers, they probably exist in CURRENT.

At least, that seems to be a recurring theme with FreeBSD for the past few years - they had to wait on changes to be pushed to the next release because the ports tree is unified - its not separate for releases so you have to ensure it compiles across all of the currently supported platforms, especially for something so critical as a graphics driver.
 

marino

Daemon

Reaction score: 446
Messages: 1,091

Maybe HAMMER fs is also good, but the docs from the dragonfly bsd left me with the feeling that the installation process is not as straightforward there
A common opinion is DragonFly has the most straightforward installation process. I'm wondering what documentation you are reading ...

, and that less ports would be available. Neither could I find a lot of information on that.
23,200+ ports. Yes, that is less than FreeBSD, but surely useful?

And I don't have enough time to do all the testing...
It might be better not to mention DF in a topic with "FreeBSD and OpenBSD" in the name if not fully informed I guess.
 

free-and-bsd

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 138
Messages: 901

...
It might be better not to mention DF in a topic with "FreeBSD and OpenBSD" in the name if not fully informed I guess.
Yes, sure. It's just that I thought it fitting to ask those who did mention it as they appear to know more about it. That is, my statement was rather a question and I thank you for answering it in a satisfying way ;). I'll give it a try then.

As yes, no mistake in my words: I don't have the time to do all the testing -- nobody does, I think, that's why this forum exists, that's why we have to rely on experiences of others to decide whether we even want to make steps in this or that direction at all. So there's no violation of the forum rules in those words of mine, I hope you'll see it that way :)
 

free-and-bsd

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 138
Messages: 901

A common opinion is DragonFly has the most straightforward installation process. I'm wondering what documentation you are reading ...
It has definitely changed since I last checked the documentation. Which was a couple of years ago, I must admit.
 

free-and-bsd

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 138
Messages: 901

I like OpenBSD for its "solid" kind of feeling it gives me right from the start (installation, that is). I LOVE the default fvwm configuration you find yourself with after the base install -- actually I've borrowed that config as a basis for my own one.

GPT support is there now, but one needs to be careful during the installation while installing on anything else than a full-disk GPT partition. Finally I've figured out the way to install OpenBSD on a GPT partition without having it overwrite the whole disk GPT table (in case you're installing on a GPT multiple-partitioned disk). And still, it will only agree to install on a GPT partition that's 2nd and is preceded by a EFI system partition.

The next thing I like is the /etc/hostname.if NIC configuration feature. And PF, of course.

But I have this problem with the KMS X driver for Intel Graphics (on my Lenovo T61): once I log out of the X session the screen goes considerable darker and remains so. Does that happen only on some hardware, or is this the way the driver behaves in general? Currently I'm on OBSD 6.0. FreeBSD has solved this problem quite some time ago and you can log in and out of X as many times as you wish without your screen visibility being affected.

I've been able, following an on-line tutorial, to make a USB pen-drive based OBSD system (all mounted read-only + tmpfs for writing) containing all the software one would need for a gateway|firewall|whatever machine. Not possible with FreeBSD because it needs a swap partition.

...And lastly, OpenBSD precompiled packages seem to be much better than those for FreeBSD. At least, a couple of years ago I wasn't able to use some precompiled packages on FreeBSD and since then I've always built stuff from source. Not so on OpenBSD.
 

free-and-bsd

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 138
Messages: 901

It might be better not to mention DF in a topic with "FreeBSD and OpenBSD" in the name if not fully informed I guess.
Fair enough.
Well, since the evaluation of the advantages of DF requires the exact knowledge of what they are (my simple installation & setup experience didn't discover any), it would be good to know more about them.
Its HAMMER fs has been mentioned as one of them. So is HAMMER2 now in a good enough state to compete, at least to some degree, with the more mature ones, like ZFS, for example? The latest posts I could find with googling date back to January 2015, but the home page has HAMMER2 related updates of 2017/03/14.
 

free-and-bsd

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 138
Messages: 901

By home page you mean the digest (justin's blog)? And if so, what makes you think the update is hammer2 and not hammer1 related?
Yes, his digest. What I consider the project's "home" page redirected there, so why should I not consider it as part of the home page itself?

GitHub, on the other hand, is not very specific (i.e. it says nothing) about stability, overall usability and other general information one may be first interested in before he decides whether spending more time on it is even worth his while -- even if he's a developer.

And yes, the discovered bug seems to be related to HAMMER, after all. But this is just what I meant: there is little information, unlike the case of OpenBSD etc.
 

free-and-bsd

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 138
Messages: 901

...
But I have this problem with the KMS X driver for Intel Graphics (on my Lenovo T61): once I log out of the X session the screen goes considerable darker and remains so. Does that happen only on some hardware, or is this the way the driver behaves in general?
Update: it seems to be some misunderstanding between the driver and the laptop hardware. The darkening of the screen after logging out of an X session is easily cure by using the laptop's Fn key for the changing of the screen brightness.
 
Top