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Re: Debian GNU/BSD Project Goals

On Tue, Jul 03, 2001 at 09:22:41PM +0200, Erich Schubert wrote:
> I have some technical questions:
> >   Kernel is NetBSD.
> How big are the differences between FreeBSD and NetBSD?
> Could Debian/BSD support both kernels (... in a later version)?

The various BSDs maintain their own divergent libc's, as well as 
their own versions of the equivalents of util-linux and netbase.
I doubt they're very different from one another except in myriad
tiny but appallingly time-consuming details. 

Anyway whatever FreeBSD features you (have plausible reasons to) want 
will probably be in the next NetBSD release.
> >   Libc is NetBSD's unless/until somebody ports GNU libc; then maybe both.
> How dependant are common programs on the BSD/Linux architecture?
> It would be great, if packages (not needing any low-level calls) could be
> kernel-independant (so we end up with binary-all, binary-i386,
> binary-lin386, binary-bsd386)
> I don't think this will work with NetBSD's libc, but if there were
> gnu libc for NetBSD - could binaries be compatible?

With the aid of a "compat" library this is often possible on stock 
NetBSD; there's no reason a much smaller library couldn't do the job 
for Debian GNU/BSD.  There's a lot to be said for needing to maintain 
ports of (and build binaries for) only fifty packages instead of 5000.
> Off-topic: how much speed gain could be achived by binary-i686?

It makes a big difference in a few places, and a negligible 
difference in most.  X benefits, as do some signal/image processing 
and crypto programs and libraries.  It's probably better to add 
i686-built binaries into chosen i386 packages, and let ld.so load
the right one for what is actually running, than to embark on
an i686 port.
> >   Kernel-related utilities (ifconfig mount etc.) are from NetBSD.
> there's no way around that ;)
> But i would prefer if these utilities would be paramter-compatible with
> the Linux one's. (i'd like some "great BSD+Linux unification";)

Toward that goal it would probably be better to add BSD support in the 
GNU tools. NetBSD upstream would be unlikely to accept interface-change 
patches to theirs, but GNU would welcome the back-end changes.
> >   File system layout is Debian/FHS.
> The thing i think is the most important thing.

Yes, it is essential if we want to be able to use existing packagings.

Nathan Myers
ncm at cantrip dot org

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