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    NetBSD other than being super portable (dozens of CPU architectures) has spawned some amazing projects that can’t be mentioned enough.

    Also they have all the stuff like FUSE, used to be pretty big in the Xen world (mostly for the high level portability), recently developed a pretty nice SMP focused network filter, their network stack I think still holds the the record for the fastest intercontinental file transfer ever done, etc. They also are pretty secure, which is mostly due to a strong quality focus.

    But I think their devs are too busy achieving all those things, rather than hyping the OS, so that’s why I have to. ;)

    EDIT: Oh and despite all that research and so on, they always remained very pragmatic and non-political. That combination is really rare I think.

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      I’m not sure if I see “Lua Scripting in the kernel” as a good thing… I seem to remember OpenBSD offering LOL script in the kernel as an April Fool’s day joke. (http://undeadly.org/cgi?action=article&sid=20130401070038)

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      How does it compare to OpenBSD and FreeBSD on the desktop? I use both and wonder whether they are any advantages.

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        I’m afraid I can’t provide any recent information, but I used it as my primary desktop from around 2004 to 2007, on a mix of 64-bit Sun hardware. I was very happy with it, although my needs were fairly simple at the time - web browser, lots of terminals, etc. Admittedly web browsing on big endian platforms has always been a bit challenging…

        My primary reason for using it ahead of FreeBSD or OpenBSD was familiarity - I started using it because it was the only open source OS that ran well on the 32-bit SPARC hardware I started accumulating in the late 90s/early 2000s (OpenBSD/sparc never supported SMP and FreeBSD has never supported 32-bit SPARC). By the time I had faster systems, it was the natural choice.

        I’ve since moved away from it, decommissioning all but one of my SPARC systems and switching my x86 systems to a mix of OpenBSD and FreeBSD (and Linux). IMHO, NetBSD has lost its way a little bit over the last 5-10 years and I appreciate the relentless progress and release cadence of OpenBSD (I’ve also mellowed a little to the tone of the OpenBSD mailing lists, which can be quite vitriolic at times).

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        Are there any high-profile sites using NetBSD? Netflix is known to use FreeBSD for the content serving, OpenBSD is big in firewalls etc. Who is using NetBSD and what for?

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          Not sites, but the wikipage has the high-profile usecases it’s showed up:


          The list includes:

          • Apple AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule
          • A TMobile phone
          • A NASA project.
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            I know it’s not a high-profile site, but as a historical artifact (which still works today) running NetBSD check out http://sdf.org

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              Ah yes, I’d forgotten about SDF! I have an ARPA account there :)

              They used to be heavy users of NetBSD/alpha but a lot of their systems are now amd64.

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                One of their newer setups, the MetaArray that’s open to people who pay the annual extra fee, seems to have gone with CentOS instead. Haven’t seen any discussion about why; would be interesting to know. They do offer the pkgsrc package tree on top of the CentOS install, though (in addition to the native CentOS packages).

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                  Ah, I wasn’t aware of that (I’m not a MetaARPA member). Indeed, it would be interesting to find out why, particularly as NetBSD has had LVM support for quite a while (initial support was committed in 2008). It’s slightly surprising they didn’t go with ZFS on FreeBSD if NetBSD didn’t have the support they needed?

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              Due to its portability NetBSD tends to be found in embedded devices - a few are mentioned on Wikipedia. I could’ve sworn there was a similar list (and more comprehensive) list on the NetBSD site but I can’t find it now.

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              Support for the Raspberry Pi Zero…looks like I’m running out of excuses not to finally try NetBSD, like friends have been suggesting for years.