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DragonFlyBSD's Radeon Driver Code Up To Linux 3.18 State

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  • DragonFlyBSD's Radeon Driver Code Up To Linux 3.18 State

    Phoronix: DragonFlyBSD's Radeon Driver Code Up To Linux 3.18 State

    The DragonFlyBSD operating system with its AMD Radeon graphics driver ported from the Linux DRM/KMS code is up to a state equivalent to where it was in the Linux 3.18 kernel...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...eon-Linux-3.18

  • #2
    Wow so DragonFlyBSD now supports what Linux supported in 2014...

    I am not trying to disparage people's efforts and obviously people are free to spend their time how they like; however, considering that Linux, the most used and developed open source operating system, itself struggles to get a foothold on the desktop and has a lot of work that needs doing, am I the only one who thinks back porting drivers from Linux to BSD is a waste of effort and talent that could have been used more productively elsewhere?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by noonespecial View Post
      Wow so DragonFlyBSD now supports what Linux supported in 2014...

      I am not trying to disparage people's efforts and obviously people are free to spend their time how they like; however, considering that Linux, the most used and developed open source operating system, itself struggles to get a foothold on the desktop and has a lot of work that needs doing, am I the only one who thinks back porting drivers from Linux to BSD is a waste of effort and talent that could have been used more productively elsewhere?
      No you're not the only one. What makes it even worse in my opinion is those devs have said explicitly that the whole point is to allow corporations to abuse their efforts. No matter what veiwpoint a person might have, that's seriously screwed.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by noonespecial View Post
        Wow so DragonFlyBSD now supports what Linux supported in 2014...

        I am not trying to disparage people's efforts and obviously people are free to spend their time how they like; however, considering that Linux, the most used and developed open source operating system, itself struggles to get a foothold on the desktop and has a lot of work that needs doing, am I the only one who thinks back porting drivers from Linux to BSD is a waste of effort and talent that could have been used more productively elsewhere?
        Well, it's not really a waste of time at all, the BSDs operate in a different and largely superior way to what Linux does, however Linux is vastly more popular and thus gets significantly more development effort put into it. The documentation is vastly superior, the FreeBSD ports tree rivals Debian in breadth and depth of packages, FreeBSD handles unit testing upstream rather than having distributions having to figure out if something broke, most of the time BSD specific things like pf and the FreeBSD sound system are substantially superior to their Linux equivalents, and things tend to just be architected better.

        So if all this is true, you might be asking... why aren't the BSDs more popular? The answer is that popularity is driven by the tech enthusiast's desktop, and the BSD's desktop support rather bluntly sucked until recently, it still sucks quite a bit but it's getting better, and even when it stops sucking on the desktop, or at the very least doesn't suck worse than Linux does, the BSDs will need to gain mindshare. Porting the graphics drivers is a huge step towards stopping sucking on the desktop, and thus is it worth it? Yes.

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        • #5
          Ironically, when you allow corporatons to abuse something, it does not takes long before it happens. So, how BSDs are getting their drivers? By copying and then porting some code from Linux. But even best effort is like 2 years late. So, linux seems to get far more contributions. Being hard to abuse by single entity proven to be an advantage for project as whole.

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          • #6
            I think it's pretty cool that DragonFlyBSD is trying to stay somewhat relevant to people who would like to use the OSS intel and AMD gfx driver stack.

            I mean, what's the alternative? Just not caring?

            Good on Mssr. Tigeot for making it happen and long may it continue!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by duby229 View Post
              No you're not the only one.
              Thanks, that is good to know. Nostalgia can be very motivating and rewarding so people make Spectrum and CPC emulators etc, but this seems a different thing. On the level of the species, I can get the idea why people and businesses want/need an open source Unix-like operating system, I just don't understand why people think we need a second whole effort that is BSD carrying on despite it falling increasingly behind Linux (which itself needs a lot of help).

              Originally posted by ermo View Post
              I mean, what's the alternative? Just not caring?
              Yes that is exactly the alternative. These developers are obviously talented C coders who could be contributing to the Linux desktop effort instead. Just because BSD has been developed for 20 years, doesn't really matter, it is a sunk cost. One doesn't have to keep going forward like a tin soldier or like Sisyphus and his boulder. I didn't really mean to get so far into the realms of psychology which is rather off topic but I just find it weird people want to devote their free time to these herculean efforts when BSD is not really a going concern. I feel like I am missing something...

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              • #8
                Oops I seem to be reading and replying out of order, thanks for all the interesting information people, keep it coming

                Originally posted by Luke_Wolf View Post
                Well, it's not really a waste of time at all, the BSDs operate in a different and largely superior way to what Linux does,
                Thanks for the very useful post but can you clarify this point? In an ideal world with infinite resources and developer time, the differences in the overall intended result seem pretty minor compared to the difference between say Linux and OS X or Linux and Windows etc; and since we are not in this ideal world, wouldn't it be better to unite put all the effort into one open source OS, rather than having several that are less good?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Luke_Wolf View Post
                  So if all this is true, you might be asking... why aren't the BSDs more popular? The answer is that popularity is driven by the tech enthusiast's desktop, and the BSD's desktop support rather bluntly sucked until recently, it still sucks quite a bit
                  Ironically I googled BSD on the desktop and was taken here: http://lukewolf.blogspot.co.uk/2015/...pc-bsd-on.html

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by noonespecial View Post

                    Ironically I googled BSD on the desktop and was taken here: http://lukewolf.blogspot.co.uk/2015/...pc-bsd-on.html
                    Combining that blog post with what you wrote here; I don't disagree that Linux distributions are a little bit of a mess on the desktop; e.g. often you have to upgrade the whole OS just to get a new version of an end user desktop application*. To misquote Churchill, apt-get is the worst form of software packaging, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. However, I don't think the answer to these kind of problems is to go to the less popular BSD, but to keep going with the efforts that are being made with containers and/or filesystem supported overlays etc.


                    *(unless you are willing to compile your own software which is often pretty easy but hardly mass market).

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