[ntp:questions] drifting on crystal

Brad Knowles brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Thu Jan 13 09:51:22 UTC 2005

At 8:44 AM +0000 2005-01-13, Pete Stephenson wrote:

>  I know very little about FreeBSD, except that it's used as the base of
>  Mac OS X and that it's another system I managed to successfully install,
>  but Debian just came across as more...er...me-friendly right off the
>  bat. That, and the apt package manager is a Most Wonderful Thing(tm).

	MacOS X uses a Mach micro-kernel, with a userland that is 
primarily derived from FreeBSD, but also includes components from 
other *BSD versions.  That's not the same thing as saying that 
FreeBSD is used as the base of MacOS X.

	That said, FreeBSD has over thirteen thousand ports defined, and 
no other OS on the planet has anything that compares to:

		cd /usr/ports/directory/program; make install

	Here's the list of top-level categories which are defined (62 total):

accessibility   devel           irc             packages        vietnamese
arabic          distfiles       japanese        palm            www
archivers       dns             java            picobsd         x11
astro           editors         korean          polish          x11-clocks
audio           emulators       lang            portuguese      x11-fm
benchmarks      finance         mail            print           x11-fonts
biology         french          math            russian         x11-servers
cad             ftp             mbone           science         x11-themes
chinese         games           misc            security        x11-toolkits
comms           german          multimedia      shells          x11-wm
converters      graphics        net             sysutils
databases       hebrew          net-mgmt        textproc
deskutils       hungarian       news            ukrainian

	That comes out to an average of more than 210 ports per top-level 
category.  I challenge any OS on the planet to be able to combine 
that many port/package definitions with the trivial ease of 
installation provided by the FreeBSD ports system.

	This is the standard by which all other OSes are measured, at 
least in this particular area.

>  Once I get the Cobalt up to speed and serving time, then I'll work on
>  getting it more accurate -- GPS or WWVB input, etc. Maybe some new
>  hardware and FreeBSD for a new, dedicated timeserver...we'll see.

	One of the best time servers you can build today is running 
FreeBSD on a Soekris SBC no bigger than a thin paperback. 
Poul-Henning Kamp has a lot of experience in this area, and has 
written a lot of good material describing how he's done it.

Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

     -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
     Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

   SAGE member since 1995.  See <http://www.sage.org/> for more info.

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