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

To: Dmitri Nikulin <dnikulin@xxxxxxxxx>
From: Mark Cullen <mark.r.cullen@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 13:11:10 +0100

Dmitri Nikulin wrote:
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.

I'll give it a try. I keep hearing developers say it's stable now... I'm just a bit, I dunno, skeptical I suppose. Last time I tried it'd panic every 20 days or so, and no one seemed to want to help me out :-(

Also, I heard vinum is now unsupported and gvinum has bugs. Don't know how true that is mind...

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).

Sorry yes, I meant ipnat not natd. Whoops! It's still early morning ( it's not, it's 1pm! :-) )

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.

My ruleset is pretty basic in IPF. It just blocks anything incoming (except port 80) and allows anything from my network out with keepstate. I think it should be fine, just when I tried on 1.0 I couldn't get it to work *at all*. I'd add block's, but it was still allowing all traffic to pass (or was it the other way around, I forget). Anyhow, if it's working properly now then that's cool :-)

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.

Alright. Was just wondering if anyone had perhaps seem it crop up before on DF or something :-)

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.

Yeah. I tried NetBSD but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how I was supposed to update it via the source tree. I kept running in to strange build errors of some sort. I do hear it's very stable though. I'd probably like it if I had to time to relearn stuff. I'm just finishing up Uni at the minute and have exams ahead though (which I should really be revising for now!)

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.

Yeah, the effort people seem put in over here is amazing! I'm still figuring out pkgsrc. It's a little bit different from ports! I'm making sure everything I need will build and install.

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.

I won't be using X, just SSH and occasionally a serial console :-)

-- Dmitri Nikulin


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