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FreeBSD 14.0 Released: Supports Up To 1,024 CPU Cores, OpenZFS 2.2 & Adds Fwget

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  • #11
    FreeBSD is absolutely the leading BSD in terms of install-base and functionality. It might not be unhackable if you dump it into a vat of liquid helium and inspect the transistor states with an electron microscope unlike OpenBSD but it's very, very good for a BSD. On the infra/enterprise space it's genuinely very impressive while it's almost viable as a desktop OS depending on your wants/needs. The OpenBSD team have contributed tons, especially to anything involving security, but it's the OS that we're talking about and not the team or the people.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by jacob View Post

      I mean there are loads of important, real world applications that depend on OpenBSD (various sorts of network devices, mainly). Other BSDs, not so much (yes I know that MacOS uses FreeBSD userland etc, no one cares about that).
      I never said there weren't and yes, that use case, it's very, very good at. However, in 30 years of doing IT I've never seen an "appliance" that's running OpenBSD, but have run across a few running FreeBSD (some random Dell appliances, some security "appliance" VMs we've randomly bought (don't remember the names), zScaler appliances use it). Not to mention Netflix uses it a lot for some of their tooling. Yes, they use Linux too.

      OpenBSD is kinda of a one-trick pony. If that's the only trick you're interested in then you're good. However, FreeBSD can be tuned and locked down quite nicely and you can trim a lot of the fat if you're so inclined.
      Last edited by rhavenn; 20 November 2023, 09:18 PM.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by rhavenn View Post

        I never said there weren't and yes, that use case, it's very, very good at. However, in 30 years of doing IT I've never seen an "appliance" that's running OpenBSD, but have run across a few running FreeBSD (some random Dell appliances, some security "appliance" VMs we've randomly bought (don't remember the names), zScaler appliances use it). Not to mention Netflix uses it a lot for some of their tooling. Yes, they use Linux too.

        OpenBSD is kinda of a one-trick pony. If that's the only trick you're interested in then you're good. However, FreeBSD can be tuned and locked down quite nicely and you can trim a lot of the fat if you're so inclined.
        IIRC Netflix used or uses FreeBSD for some kind of CDN router/load balancer. Apart from that your experience seems to be different from mine, I've seen a number of OpenBSD-based appliances but I don't remember seeing a FreeBSD one (apart from that Netflix system which I haven't personally interacted with). I suppose you can describe OpenBSD as a one trick pony, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, to the contrary. If one is looking for a versatile, general-purpose OS, we already have Linux and it's pretty much unmatched in that role. But there are niches that call for specialised software and OpenBSD fills one of those. It doesn't do many things, but it's really excellent for the thing it does.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by jacob View Post
          IIRC Netflix used or uses FreeBSD for some kind of CDN router/load balancer.
          When I last (physically) touched a Netflix OCA (Open Connect Appliance). admittedly a number of years ago, it ran FreeBSD (and nginx and bird).

          FreeBSD "just works" for Netflix's use case. Could they, in theory, choose another OS? Sure, but FreeBSD "just works".

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          • #15
            Originally posted by CommunityMember View Post

            When I last (physically) touched a Netflix OCA (Open Connect Appliance). admittedly a number of years ago, it ran FreeBSD (and nginx and bird).

            FreeBSD "just works" for Netflix's use case. Could they, in theory, choose another OS? Sure, but FreeBSD "just works".
            Of course, it works, there is no reason for them to switch to something else unless FreeBSD suddenly becomes unsupported (but that's not the case), or unless they want to upgrade the hardware and FreeBSD doesn't run on the new system (but in that case they will probably make sure to use something that FreeBSD supports well so that they don't have to port or change the software).

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            • #16
              From TFA:
              ISA sound card support was removed
              ...
              Netflix also sponsored the removal of many other old drivers from FreeBSD.
              Eagerly awaiting the response from all these people who crawl out from under their rocks whenever Linux removes some obsolete driver and then proudly proclaim they're moving to FreeBSD which is a real OS and doesn't let their user base down like that.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by Brittle2 View Post
                the linux say in the changelogs how many core it can handle?, or there a way to see that?
                On Ubuntu 22.04 with 5.15 kernel:
                Code:
                $ grep CONFIG_NR_CPUS= /boot/config-5.15.0-89-generic
                CONFIG_NR_CPUS=8192
                ​Of course, there's a difference between what the kernel ostensibly supports (seems easy enough to bump the above config variable when compiling your own kernel), what actually works and for which workload, and what commercial enterprise Linux distros are willing to support.

                SGI did a lot of scalability work on Linux back in the day when they were selling their Altix line of ccNUMA supercomputers. Per wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altix ) it seems they supported 1024 cores starting in 2006, later rising to 4096 with the Itanium-based systems. After they switched to x86-64, with the Altix UV they supported up to 2048 cores (which would be 4096 hw threads if hyperthreading was enabled) starting in 2009.

                Well, SGI didn't survive on its own and eventually ended up in the hands of HPE. Some of the SGI numalink fabric technology ended up in the HPE Superdome family of high end servers, but AFAIU those are more aimed for commercial workloads and not supercomputing so they don't support as impressive core counts (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NUMAlink ). Based on a quick look, seems the largest configuration (https://buy.hpe.com/us/en/compute/mi...r/p/1010323140 ) is 32 sockets with 28 cores per socket * 2 HT = 1792 hw threads.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by kylew77 View Post
                  Now with their own version of the iwx, called iwlwifi​, driver found in OpenBSD you can use AX wifi cards easily.
                  From OpenBSD iwx(4)

                  The iwx driver does not support any of the 802.11ax capabilities offered by the adapters. Additional work is required in ieee80211(9) before those features can be supported.​
                  FreeBSD's iwlwifi(4) driver is actually using a compat layer similar to their KMS/DRM graphics stack and webcamd v4l stack. It is basically plugging in the Linux iwlwifi driver.

                  But you are right, you can still *use* the cards. OpenBSD does often tend to beat FreeBSD to wifi support. iwx and the Raspberry Pi (bwfm(4)) are some of the examples.

                  What is fantastic about both these BSD operating systems is that their approaches are equally as interesting in completely different ways. The FreeBSD compat/shim approach allows it to benefit from potentially the cutting edge of all other operating systems. This means it can stay competitive and recent regardless of the lifespan of other projects.
                  The OpenBSD approach is a zero compromise in-house, (often bespoke) integrated development. It is impressive just how up-to-date they still manage to keep the OS but what they do support is often pretty rock solid and tidy. The only thing they are lacking a little on is power management (i.e intel pstate, but that is coming! and I think the Raspberry Pi 3+ can't scale its frequency up)
                  Last edited by kpedersen; 21 November 2023, 08:35 AM.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by kpedersen View Post

                    From OpenBSD iwx(4)



                    FreeBSD's iwlwifi(4) driver is actually using a compat layer similar to their KMS/DRM graphics stack and webcamd v4l stack. It is basically plugging in the Linux iwlwifi driver.

                    But you are right, you can still *use* the cards. OpenBSD does often tend to beat FreeBSD to wifi support. iwx and the Raspberry Pi (bwfm(4)) are some of the examples.

                    What is fantastic about both these BSD operating systems is that their approaches are equally as interesting in completely different ways. The FreeBSD compat/shim approach allows it to benefit from potentially the cutting edge of all other operating systems. This means it can stay competitive and recent regardless of the lifespan of other projects.
                    The OpenBSD approach is a zero compromise in-house, (often bespoke) integrated development. It is impressive just how up-to-date they still manage to keep the OS but what they do support is often pretty rock solid and tidy. The only thing they are lacking a little on is power management (i.e intel pstate, but that is coming! and I think the Raspberry Pi 3+ can't scale its frequency up)
                    You are correct in that AC and AX speeds are not supported in OpenBSD. I have a 300 Mbit Internet connection and OpenBSD on an AX 201 or 211 Intel gets me right up there in the 280 to 300 range, so is good enough for me!

                    I was at an event earlier in the year speaking to an former OpenBSD committer / dev and he was talking about the early days of wifi. He said back then everyone but OpenBSD used a shim to run the windows driver or Linux driver and then security bugs were found in the driver and everyone who was just porting the windows driver over via the shim was vulnerable so I tend to agree with the openBSD method a bit more of doing the in house work. Though I suspect little is wrong with the Linux shim nowadays in FreeBSD because Linux has a higher code quality than it had back in the late 90s early 00s.

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                    • #20
                      I have done so in the past, but never did much with it, but just installed a visualized OpenBSD last night after reading the comments. Never did play around much with it before, will likely dig in a little more this time, just to get some exposure, just CLI stuff. I have installed FreeBSD this way quite a few times, just now booted up FreeBSD 14 in UTM (QEMU based emulator for macOS.) No reason, just drinking my morning coffee and something to do

                      I like that FreeBSD has native support for ZFS, and now their ZFS codebase is the same as the OpenZFS codebase that Linux uses "out of tree." By the way, unsolicited testimonial, but running a iXsystems NAS system at work now, so far seems really slick. I believe iXsystems did a lot of the work to help get these merged, traded a couple emails with one of there engineers before the office merge (or should I say official support as default on FreeBSD) happened. Based on the conversation, I was surprised how soon afterward the change in FreeBSD took place, I suspect he may have been as well. Just glad to see it, a common OpenZFS target between the two.

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