How popular is FreeBSD 7.1 and should I proceed with my info?

So i wrote some articles recently for 7.1 and the release-cycle around it to try and provide as much possible information without telling you all things that we as a project cannot make true etc. I see that my “how to upgrade to 7.1″ article is being read a lot, in fact it is one of the most popular items in my entire article-range. Which made me wonder about a few things, which I hope that you (my readers) can answer:

*) Is FreeBSD 7.1 long awaited and popular?
*) Aren’t there enough documents that provide this straight to the point information? (Do this and this and you have 7.1 running)
*) Should I proceed with these kind of articles for the future release-cycle’s?
*) How is 7.1 being received? Do you like it? Do you hate it?

Reasons I want to know this, is whether I should bring in my attention to this area now which I might be doing a ‘difference’ again, and whether it really helps the community or not. And last but not least ofcourse, we tried to work hard to bring you the best release possible, but I personally cannot entirely judge how the community received our work. I think we did great, but I cannot speak for you :)

If you read this, and are willing to help, please respond to this article :-)

Thanks,
Remko

16 thoughts on “How popular is FreeBSD 7.1 and should I proceed with my info?”

  1. As for me it’s just habit for me to make update’s.
    The thing to notice is about the ports: release by release the portupgrade itself becomes slower and slower.
    Also, the broken or unnoticed dependencies make the portupgrade less automagic. I was womdered of gnome dependency today ( something like gtkmm-x.y.z was required by somtheing-else-mm ) noticed by its ./configure but not listed as port dependency.
    The ‘make index’ impossibility in favor of ‘make fetchindex’ is no good, too.
    Looks like sup is being incresingly forgotten. At least you even refer to sup on your article as ‘cvsup’, without mentioning about csup which is great to see in modern world builds.

  2. I am new to FreeBSD and I was surprised at how easy it was to upgrade. I followed the instructions on the main website and it just worked, the only problem was that I had to restart the download a few times, but I guess that was because I tried on the first day of release.

  3. *) Is FreeBSD 7.1 long awaited and popular?
    The development of 7.1 took too long perhaps due the the developers spending time on the 6.4 final release. I am actually waiting for 8.0 and the upgrade to ZFS. Hopefully we can have FreeBSD on a bootable ZFS Partition in the near future.

    *) Aren’t there enough documents that provide this straight to the point information? (Do this and this and you have 7.1 running)
    I think the FreeBSD documentation is great but I couldn’t easily find the command to upgrade from 7.0 to 7.1
    Perhaps instead of using the ” -r 7.1-RELEASE ” FreeBSD should use some kind of alias for the next upgradable version. Like: freebsd-update -r STABLE upgrade. This also means that the man pages from freebsd-update should clearly point what the “-r STABLE” does.

    *) Should I proceed with these kind of articles for the future release-cycle’s?
    Obviously yes.

    *) How is 7.1 being received? Do you like it? Do you hate it?
    I didn’t notice any difference from the 7.0 in terms of speed. I do welcome the new scheduler and see that it performs better. The machine didn’t get slower either so I must say I like the release. Perhaps I need to put the machine under a heavier load in order to see the difference.

    And now my constructive criticism A.K.A (my 2 cents):
    What I would like to see in the future is more work on the graphical installer specially been able to install FreeBSD on ZFS like the new release of Solaris does. I also felt that the 7.1 release was way behind schedule which also delays the 8.0 release. Finally, more tutorials like the article above are always welcomed whether you are a newbie or need to refresh the concepts.

    It is always difficult to criticize something that people give away for free but as always, it is done with the best intentions. Thanks!


    Al

  4. I for one really dig it, but can’t hardly wait for 8.x. Hope my laptop doesn’t suddenly die on me very soon, cause support for my current laptop is about as good as its ever been with FreeOS’s and hardware ages well when it runs FreeBSD.

  5. Case in point: have a PIII desktop with an ASUS board. Had to replace the power supply a few months back, but it’s happily running 7.1 (started out with crummy old 3.5 IIRC). The XP partition on it has always been a source of irritation when I bother booting to it. The only drawbacks with the PIII box are 1) yes…keeping up with ports…best to stay away from using it as an Xserver at this stage and 2) no support for popular DAQ hardware.

  6. Latest-FreeBSD-Release advocacy writings are quite old hat. Makes more sense in my mind to not repeat what’s been said already and put out more writing about what you can do with it and how OR where to find out how. Documentation is important with any Unix, but lots of redundant documentation that’s scattered all over the web is less effective than it should be. Maybe the traditional man page needs an update for this modern age of ours, but a well-organized, complete man page is still very important.

  7. I’m waiting for 8.0 Release with unlimited KVA for using zfs on my fileserver. Now it runs on 6.4 amd64 with 4Tb(raid5+raid10) of disk storage and 32G of RAM. Most of RAM used for file cache. Without unlimited KVA it is impossible to efficiently use RAM for ARC for ZFS.

  8. First, I’m a FreeBSD user since Feb. 2002. Member of (something like called) FreeBSD-ES (Spain) Core and maintainer (with another mate) of http://www.es.freebsd.org, and all services associates to it.

    *) Is FreeBSD 7.1 long awaited and popular?
    Seems like part of Linux community, are offering an “oportunity” to FreeBSD because his fame of stable and rock solid in server area. But a lot of people are waiting for 8.0 RELEASE, and more, are waiting for a solution to big disk problems (today, to have a 1 Tb hard disk is the most usual thing).

    *) Aren’t there enough documents that provide this straight to the point information? (Do this and this and you have 7.1 running)
    Yes. Today are three ways to update a FreeBSD system, and the documentation is excellent for all of them.

    *) Should I proceed with these kind of articles for the future release-cycle’s?
    It’s a good idea. Yes.

    *) How is 7.1 being received? Do you like it? Do you hate it?
    In a good manner. I like it, but I think there are things like a better support in large hard disk to resolve. I’m waiting with impatience the 8.0-RELEASE. I know the July 2009 date is too many optimistic, but I’m confidence it will appear this year, without any doubt.

  9. Thanks people for the comments so far;

    I asked Colin Percival to look into the ‘alias’ idea above, I think it might make sense, but I cannot judge whether it’s feasible to implement or not.

    I also do understand that the delay isnt beneficial for people, but so far 8.0 hadn’t been delayed (or at least I didn’t hear about changes to the schedule yet).

    From the ideas that I read, I will keep up with writing short articles that can help people all over :)

    @Helldoggy: can you tell about which DAQ hardware you are talking about? Thanks for the point of the announcement, I’ll try to see whether or not it is interesting to ‘change’ the announcements, or to have them have a bit more information :)

    @TooManySecrets: Thanks! also for your article which points to me :) The bigdisks are supported by using ZFS right? I have seen large datastores using ZFS as their ‘backend’

    @Albert: I will try to see with the release engineers whether we can create ZFS partitions in the installation and have FreeBSD installed on that partition. I am not very sure about the graphical installer thingy. Most items at this moment require non-bsd tools to support it, which would make it non beneficial { someone correct me if am wrong }..

    Keep the comments coming people :)

    //Remko

  10. I know, but what about desktop? ZFS is right for server use (remember the RAM requeriments) and the system would be 64 bits, because ZFS in 32 bits systems is a little bogus (this is the information that arrived me through sysadmin mates). 32 bits systems are the de facto desktops, due his support in things like Nvidia-driver, etc.
    I still wait for the day FreeBSD could be a real desktop option.
    And for point you in my weblog… don’t mention it. Thanks to you and all FreeBSD Team.

  11. As for DAQ hardware, I’m referring to National Instruments hardware, Measurement computing cards/USB modules/etc. Personally can’t stand having to deal with rats nest of NI drivers/libraries/license managers on windows platform and typical Linux distros. Linux is ahead of the game with exotic hardware I suppose, but if there other vendors who make ADC/DACs that work well with FreeBSD that you know of, feel free to pass on what you know.
    As for announcements, I’ve normally gotten much more out of to-the-point release notes (provided that I can locate them on the website) than paragraphs of glowing prose. Items in release notes ought to route the reader to a man page or other document for more details/examples.

  12. > *) Is FreeBSD 7.1 long awaited and popular?
    > *) How is 7.1 being received? Do you like it? Do you hate it?

    Yes, but since 7.0 was already such a great work, 7.1 just continues to do the same.

    One thing I’m really waiting for is a way to use freebsd-update in unattended mode, so that I can automate system upgrades AND use binary updates. Some will argue against this, but I think it’s necessary for large environments.

    > *) Aren’t there enough documents that provide this straight to the point
    > information? (Do this and this and you have 7.1 running)

    The RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT provides just what I need to do the update.

  13. *) Is FreeBSD 7.1 long awaited and popular?

    I think so, yes. The latest stable release of the latest stable branch always has been popular.

    *) Aren’t there enough documents that provide this straight to the point
    information? (Do this and this and you have 7.1 running)

    The announcement has clear instructions about upgrading. Adding a relevant section to the release notes wouldn’t hurt anyway.

    *) Should I proceed with these kind of articles for the future release-cycle’s?

    Definitely, if you have the time :-)

    *) How is 7.1 being received? Do you like it? Do you hate it?

    We love it :-) Keep up the good work!

  14. _Any_ contribution to the world that is actually helpful is appreciated.
    FreeBSD is well documented, but it seems to me that the documentation
    is in need of an upgrade. Some parts are a but outdated…

    So yes, please do continue and thank you!

  15. Wow, in 8.0 we got unlimited KVM!
    vm.kvm_free: 534270439424
    vm.kmem_size_max: 329853485875

    ZFS works out from the box!
    autodetected 10G for ARC without any sysctl tuning
    vfs.zfs.arc_max: 10022539264
    Great job, thanx a lot.

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