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NetBSD 9.3 Released With Better Support For Newer Intel & AMD Chipsets

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  • NetBSD 9.3 Released With Better Support For Newer Intel & AMD Chipsets

    Phoronix: NetBSD 9.3 Released With Better Support For Newer Intel & AMD Chipsets

    NetBSD 9.3 has been released as the newest version of this open-source BSD operating system known for running on many diverse platforms thanks to its focus oncode portability...

    https://www.phoronix.com/news/NetBSD-9.3-Released

  • #2
    … oncode …

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    • #3
      Back in the 2000s decade, I had several old 486 and 586 PCs from the 1990s running NetBSD as network appliances (router/gateway, a prehistoric NAS, etc), it ran way better than Slackware Linux in the same hardware. Recently and nostalgia-fueled from those memories I tried to set up a NetBSD web browsing machine on an old AMD Kabini (AM1 socket, 25w max) PC, as it is very outdated and slow hardware, and it was messy, particularly the X setup (Kabini was in the middle of old radeon and new amdgpu drivers or something like, neither here or there). If it were a headless network thingy, it would be great, but as a daily desktop driver, better to stick to Linux, I installed Arch on that machine and it runs acceptabl-ish for what it can do. Even Windows 11 with the noTPM hack ran fine, go figure! So, as much as I try to care and use the *BSDs, I pivot to Linux in the end due to hardware support. Recently had the same dilemma with a ZFS RAIDZ2 NAS, as FreeBSD drew way more power (at idle 25-30w, scrubbing or so, up to 50w more) than Linux.

      Is it even possible that Linux now supports more hardware architectures than NetBSD? I think so...!

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      • #4
        Typos:

        Originally posted by phoronix View Post
        NetBSD 9.3 has been released as the newest version of this open-source BSD operating system known for running on many diverse platforms thanks to its focus oncode portability.

        With NetBSD 9.3 being a stable point release, it consists of various back-ports from NetBSD head that have been demed stable and suitable for merging to the NetBSD 9 series without breaking compatibility.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by roviq View Post
          Is it even possible that Linux now supports more hardware architectures than NetBSD? I think so...!
          Yes, Linux supports more architecture than NetBSD because has more manpower and investments. Hardware manufacturers when designing new architecture spend much investments on linux being compatible with this new product. BUT, NetBSD code is designed to be more portable, it means port'able. Linux is of course the most ported kernel around the globe, but NetBSD is the most portable. Little, but important difference. Means it's easier to port NetBSD to a random new hardware than Linux. Linux started to be so ported during the last decade, NetBSD was designed for that since 90s.

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          • #6
            Thanks for covering NetBSD Michael. I saw the announcement this morning and wondered if Phoronix would cover it and sure enough it did! When NetBSD 10 finallys rolls around later this year would be nice to get some benchmarks. It is gonna be BIG!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by roviq View Post
              AMD Kabini (AM1 socket, 25w max)
              I built my dad a Kabini system so he could have his own system in college. This is back when AMD had the FGLRX driver for Linux and I tried every distro of Linux and every *BSD under the sun to get the best performance. Finally settled on Xubuntu 14.04 and have kept him upgraded to 20.04. Built my uncle one to replace an aging AMD Duron system socket A I think it was called could be wrong and he runs Windows XP on it. He is Autistic like me and doesn't like change and won't let me put him on Linux despite me telling him how insecure XP is in 2022. Going to try to get him to start using Chrome OS Flex on it since I've researched that Flex runs well on Kabini architecture but IDK if he will take it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kylew77 View Post
                Going to try to get him to start using Chrome OS Flex on it since I've researched that Flex runs well on Kabini architecture but IDK if he will take it.
                If possible, or in the short term, consider an AVX2 capable machine for your relatives, some years ago due to lack of SSE instructions, even web browsers stopped to work, I see AVX2 as the next deal-killer in a few years. I built an i3-10100 with a H410 chipset (affordable and same performance as a flagship i7-6700k of four years ago! I know because I had both side-to-side!) for a relative that was using a similar hardware than yours because it was starting to take a hit with so much JavaScript on the web, my Kabini is a backup-of-a-backup and been using it for playing as stated above, but is now shelved. For my parents I set up a standard Ubuntu LTS years ago and they carried over their MS Office skills to LibreOffice and has been a joy, mostly because everything else now is web based, so less virus, more years of life on the same hardware.
                Last edited by roviq; 06 August 2022, 08:38 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by roviq View Post

                  If possible, or in the short term, consider an AVX2 capable machine for your relatives, some years ago due to lack of SSE instructions, even web browsers stopped to work, I see AVX2 as the next deal-killer in a few years. I built an i3-10100 with a H410 chipset (affordable and same performance as a flagship i7-6700k of four years ago! I know because I had both side-to-side!) for a relative that was using a similar hardware than yours because it was starting to take a hit with so much JavaScript on the web, my Kabini is a backup-of-a-backup and been using it for playing as stated above, but is now shelved. For my parents I set up a standard Ubuntu LTS years ago and they carried over their MS Office skills to LibreOffice and has been a joy, mostly because everything else now is web based, so less virus, more years of life on the same hardware.
                  The thing with AVX2 (and even plain AVX) though is that there are still rather new CPUs that don't have it today, like say the Celeron N5105, it launched early last year, it's even officially supported by Windows 11, but it only has SSE4.2, so there's probably still time before the lack of AVX2 specifically becomes a problem. That said those Celerons and such are really Atoms in all but name as far as I'm concerned, so no one who cares about longevity would probably buy those anyway I'd assume.

                  Edit: In fact there is also a couple of new-ish Core CPUs that don't have AVX2, namely the i5-L16G7 and the i3-L13G4 (aka the Lakefield series, the first hybrid/heterogeneous x86 CPUs, came out in 2020), thanks to the E-cores (which in fact is the same stuff as in those Celerons I mentioned earlier), so it's not even just the almost E-waste stuff.
                  Last edited by X_m7; 07 August 2022, 03:13 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by X_m7 View Post

                    The thing with AVX2 (and even plain AVX) though is that there are still rather new CPUs that don't have it today, like say the Celeron N5105, it launched early last year, it's even officially supported by Windows 11, but it only has SSE4.2, so there's probably still time before the lack of AVX2 specifically becomes a problem. That said those Celerons and such are really Atoms in all but name as far as I'm concerned, so no one who cares about longevity would probably buy those anyway I'd assume.
                    I have a first generation atom from 2009. Thing was deliberately nurtured and made to run 32bit when the rest of the world was 64bit and now I can't find a distro for it! Good thing it is my backup to my backup system now. Was running 32bit manjaro on it the i3 version. The wifi card crashes every *BSD I tried to put on it and no linux distro has support for its wifi card anymore was an emachines and those were walmart trash from the very beginning. Was a HS graduation "gift".

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