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RE: [English] I have an old DECstation 5000 and want to run Linux/MIPS

Subject: RE: [English] I have an old DECstation 5000 and want to run Linux/MIPS ...
From: Kristoff Bonne <>
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 13:33:48 +0200 (MET DST)
Reply-to: Kristoff Bonne <>

> From: "Bryan J. Smith" <>
> To: "'Mitchell Blank Jr'" <>, <>
> Cc: <>
> Subject: RE: [English]  I have an old DECstation 5000 and want to run 
Linux/MIPS ...
> Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 05:13:28 -0400

> Sorry, I have a 5000/240.  I have heard that NetBSD/OpenBSD is a better
> solution since Linux/MIPS really only boots on those systems (and does
> little else).

> So, which is better NetBSD or OpenBSD?  Also, what is the history with all
> the different BSD OSes (NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, 386BSD, etc...)?  I am
> assuming they are all based on the BSDLite 4.4 code, but how are they
> different from each other?

I don't know the history of the different BSD's, but -currently- there are 
'shipping' *BSD variants: NetBSD, FreeBSD and OpenBSD.

NetBSD is the 'mother'BSD. It runs on more platforms then the others, and 
'stable' releases for new platforms seams to appear for NetBSD first.

The difference between NetBSD and OpenBSD seams to be more political and 
religious then technical.

IMHO, OpenBSD has two advantages over NetBSD:
- It's main FTP-site is located in Canada (and not in the US). Certain 
USA-export-controlled software (like kerberos and others) can only be found in 
OpenBSD and not in NetBSD.
- The latest stable-release for OpenBSD has a very user-friendly 'ports' tree; 
which makes it very easy to retrieve, patch, compile and install 
'standard-software'. (just type 'make')
I don't know if NetBSD has this too.

Both NetBSD and OpenBSD support the pmax.

Two things that can help you choose:
- What *BSD has the most-recent 'stable-'release?
- Support for certain particular hardware? (check out and

- FreeBSD only supports i386-based architectures. (with a sparc and alpha-port 
coming up).
It differs from (especially) NetBSD that FreeBSD tries to implement a FAST 
PRODUCTION Operating-system designed for the 'international' market; while 
NetBSDs is more designed as 'a clean design unix'.

I haven't said that NetBSD isn't fast; nor that FreeBSD isn't well designed.
I'm just trying to point out a difference in 'design-goal' between them. It's a 
bit like the 'micro-kernel vs. monolytical kernel' discussion between Linus and 
A. Tanenbaum in the early linux-history.

Anycase, NetBSD probably would be ported to as-many platforms if it had other 
design-goals. FreeBSD probably wouldn't have such a great international support 
(like for other langauges other then english) for the same reason.

A brief history of FreeBSD can be found at 

> Also, how do I find out which video controller I have and if it is
> compatible with X?  If I cannot use this thing for X, I probably have little
> use for it.
Check out their web-sites: www.{net,free,open}; or one of their mirrors.

Cheerio! Kr. Bonne.
Bonne Kristoff                              belgacom multimedia
(C=BE,A=RTT,P=RTTIPC,S=BONNE,G=Kristoff)    operations belbone                  fax: +32 2 2024123

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