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Date:      Thu, 30 Dec 1999 15:38:46 -0500 (EST)
From:      Brian Anderson <>
To:        freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   My Experience Re: Before I return FreeBSD to the store...
Message-ID:  <Pine.LNX.4.21.9912301514290.6582-100000@charon>
In-Reply-To: <>

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On Thu, 30 Dec 1999 wrote:

> "slave", I gave up and I have no desire to do it again.  Make sure to let me 
> know when FreeBSD is as easy to install as ANY of my LINUX packages; 
> including RedHat 6.1 and TurboLinux 4.

Well, here's my experience of FreeBSD being MUCH easier than linux to set

My file server is a Celeron 333, 128 megs of ram, 4 x 13.02 gig IDE drives
(Seagate Medalist), an HP 12 Gig tape, a Sony 2x SCSI cdrom, and a Seagate
2.0 gig Barracuda SCSI disk. SCSI controller is Adaptec 2940AU. 

The system boots from the SCSI drive, and uses the IDE drives for bulk
data storage. 

I installed Redhat 6.0 and FreeBSD 3.4 on this box. It took me a week to
get Linux working. FreeBSD was a few hours. The install was done the same
on both. The OS was set up with just the SCSI devices connected, then the
IDE disks were added later.

The first error in Linux was LILO (boot loader) not liking the disk
configuration. It insisted that hda (wd0) was the primary boot device, and
wouldn't install to sda (da0). So in the LILO config, I needed to specify
the drive name -> bios address mapping manually (/dev/sda is bios 0x80,
/dev/hda is bios 0x81 etc...)

So I got past that, and then it's on to formatting the disks. If there was
any SCSI disk connected, the Linux system was detecting hda as 75gig, with
absurd c/h/s numbers. If I disconnected the SCSI devices, it went
fine. After 2-3 days of trying to figure it out, I just fdisk'd the drive
and specified the c/h/s in the advanced mode. So now it saw a 75 gig drive
with a 13 gig partition.

Then to the storage. 2 of the disks were to be bonded in a RAID0
stripe. To get the linux kernel to detect the RAID device at boot required
a kernel patch, using alpha code. Got that in, and the raid setup went
ok. But until the raid patch gets integrated, i need to make sure that I
install this patch to new kernel source tree, or my RAID will not be auto
detected. Not terrible, but not great either.

Get all of that working, get the NFS exporting. Everything is happy, but
the NFS performance is lacking... frequent timeouts, retries etc... This
is NOT a busy network. There are only 2 people using this server
frequently, and the files are exported to a total of 8 machines, with a
maximum of 12 users. New kernels and new knfsd implemenations have known
bugs, so I'm kind of stuck back to older versions.

So, to the FreeBSD version. Setup went fine. No conflicts with the
IDE/SCSI setup. No trouble building a new kernel, installing it,
etc. Vinum proved to be very easy to set up (I just used a default vinum
-stripe configuration)

So far no NFS errors, but it's only been a day, so it's a bit early to


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