Tag Archive: NetBSD

More NetBSD

After installing some software I realised I made the partition kinda small. I reinstalled the system. Now the metapackage works fine. Perhaps it was due the too small disk size. I’ve experienced weird problems with Linux systems on low disk space as well…

So… let’s try this shit again

So X with xfce4 running fine. Even though I had to do the same manual configuration for the X to enable the 1024 resolution, but that’s due the monitor not supporting DDC. However, the xfce4 tool to change the resolution works fine on NetBSD.

On OpenBSD there was a Chromium build in the repository. Since it’s missing on NetBSD, I am using midori instead. It’s also a WebKit based browser so it shouldn’t make that much of a difference anyways.


Yeah… I kept adding/editing previous post. Even though OpenBSD and NetBSD have a simular packages system. the OpenBSD one is much friendlier, and installing software worked like a charm. On NetBSD however, it’s a pain in the ass…

Like I mentioned, just setting the PKG_PATH is enough to get both working, but the tools pkg_mgr vs pkg_select, a huge difference. First is seemed pkg_select *required* a local copy of the packages database (which  is supposed to be updated through CVS). After some research it seems this is not required, but in FTP mode it’s slow as thick shit. There appear some meta-packages available in the NetBSD repository, but  trying to install them results in an error message regarding the file format being invalid. Really… this does not make a good impression, I’m sorry.

And the thing I’ve mentioned already in 2008. During package installation, it outputs a list of files it writes, but also some messages regarding some settings that should be adjusted manually…. and it just scrolls away as the next package installs…. this is still not changed…. kinda annoying, isn’t it?

Well… finally it appears to be installing something… using the *manually downloaded* bootstrap for the pkgsrc system, which worked “out-of-the-box” for OpenBSD, and I still don’t know how to do a search for a  package that works on this OS.

Like I mentioned yesterday, today I am continuing to play around with operating systems. I am now installing NetBSD. The paritition and slicing tool feels friendlier then the OpenBSD one. I can simply enter the sizes I want them to be, unlike the OpenBSD tool asking to enter CHS values manually. That was just horrible…

From this perspective NetBSD clearly wins, on the other hand, there are other things OpenBSD clearly wins. For example user accounts. OpenBSD gave the option to
create user accounts during installation, which NetBSD (and also ArchLinux) did not.

NetBSD asks what password cipher to use, something OpenBSD did not. Perhaps this is a point for NetBSD again.

I know I am comparing different operating systems, but, this is not really the OS itself but the installer, and the choices offered during the installation procedure, which are, from my perspective, not that much related to the OS itself, as creating users, offering to set up a (minimal) X instalaltion, and such things, shouldn’t differ (much) on various *NIX OS’es.

So, not having a user added automatically, I have to add my user manually. Which works basically the same on any *NIX OS, but living on a *BSD OS, I should add my user to the wheel group in order to be able to su.

So far so good…. software is next… and the same package management is in use as it was under the OpenBSD. pkg_add and the likes.

So far, I say OpenBSD wins… for making the user account during setup, configuring the X during setup, configuring network during startup. (ok I have to add the
network to the services to startup, but apart from that, the configuration was done)

However, NetBSD scored some points for the parition/slices tool during setup, the choice of the password cipher, and basically a decent looking installer. The installer didn’t ask as much as I wished for, but what it actually did, seemed to me to be in a more decent manner then the OpenBSD installer.


I removed some part as it was incorrect, but after some investigation there was still a point of truth in there. So, the pkg_add just setting up the path and such makes it run after all…. I just overlooked a small thing that make me wonder if I had to download the package database to the local machine in order to be able to use the packages at all… well… just setting the enviorement variable is enough to install something, but there is no pkg_mgr in here, The pkg_mgr site mentioned to have it’s roots in pkg_select, which is available in NetBSD.

Another thing is the quering seems to be different, op OpenBSD I just did a pkg_info -Q whatever but in NetBSD it seems to require another variable of which I am not sure yet what is should be.