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whohlme Page Icon Posted 2007-10-11 11:22 AM
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Hello everyone,

Perhaps this is place I should have posted this thread, but I started it on the JLime forums in a post entitled "JLime vs. NetBSD", which could've been seen as a challenge. I've also posted on the BSD Forums about this, but no one has answered yet.
My main question is what kind of functionality would one gain by using NetBSD? I know it's very portable and seems elegant, clean, fast and cool, but I heard from the JLime guys that it was slow in a GUI environment. One advantage for the Jornada 7xx is that NetBSD works with sound, so that would be a reason, but I guess I'm asking the bigger question of "why"? I've heard that the BSDs' primary use is on the server, so what good would it do an HPC user? I've seen some benefits with Linux (JLime), and was wondering if anyone whose used NetBSD could give me some info. Also, It's been really hard to try and get NetBSD installed as compared to Linux since I think you have to have the OS installed on another computer. Perhaps I'll try to find a workaround...Anyways, is it really that slow, and how useful is it as compared to Windows CE or Linux?
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2007-10-11 12:26 PM
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whohlme - 2007-10-11 4:22 PM

Hello everyone,

Perhaps this is place I should have posted this thread, but I started it on the JLime forums in a post entitled "JLime vs. NetBSD", which could've been seen as a challenge. I've also posted on the BSD Forums about this, but no one has answered yet.
My main question is what kind of functionality would one gain by using NetBSD? I know it's very portable and seems elegant, clean, fast and cool, but I heard from the JLime guys that it was slow in a GUI environment. One advantage for the Jornada 7xx is that NetBSD works with sound, so that would be a reason, but I guess I'm asking the bigger question of "why"? I've heard that the BSDs' primary use is on the server, so what good would it do an HPC user? I've seen some benefits with Linux (JLime), and was wondering if anyone whose used NetBSD could give me some info. Also, It's been really hard to try and get NetBSD installed as compared to Linux since I think you have to have the OS installed on another computer. Perhaps I'll try to find a workaround...Anyways, is it really that slow, and how useful is it as compared to Windows CE or Linux?


I used NetBSD on an X86 Laptop with Wi-fi and tried both KDE and ROX filer with OROBOROX desktp...

Really enjoyed it (though a steep learning curve) but at the end of the day although 100's of applications there was not a flash plugin for any of the browsers (well I think there was one for opera but it wasn't pre-built and compiling was just a step too far for me at that time).

I seriously looked at it for the Jornada 720 (to run somthing very light in the way of WM like OROBOROX or IceWM but there were hardly any pre-built packages and I wasn't prepared to set up a box to do all the crosscompiling required when I just wanted to give it a little go.

As you say NetBSD is actually quite complete on the Jornada with better suspend and sound support. I think if someone was to put to gesther some pre-built system (along the lines of Jlime) it would be imediatly popular.

Not sure if it translates to NetBSD on the ARM but on X86 it could also emulate linux and run linux programs (Opera on NetBSD was the linux version).

I always thought NetBSD tended to be quite fast and the fact it is slow in a WM may be just down to a full rather than optimised fast X-windows.

If someone has or did make a prebuilt package I would be giving it a go in a second...

John

Edited by mr-mac 2007-10-11 12:29 PM
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whohlme Page Icon Posted 2007-10-11 2:11 PM
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Sorry for the redundancy of my post, I don't know why that happened.

Is there any reason why I can't search the forums? Am I missing something?

You know, I emailed some guy and he set me up with pre-built images or packages or whatever so I think I may post links to them here in a reply later. I got all the way through the install up to the place where it prompts for the "core" files which are .tgz files like the base and userland and xserver and all that. I've heard that NetBSD is very fast other places, maybe it just needs some optimization for the Jornada. It was suggested on the Jlime forums that the kdrive or framebuffer xserver would be much faster. I think they use one of the two.
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whohlme Page Icon Posted 2007-10-11 7:33 PM
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As for flash support, you might look into something called Gnash, which is a free open source alternative to Flash that is getting better very quickly. They now even have a browser plug-in! I hope it would compile on something other than Linux...

http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/
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whohlme Page Icon Posted 2007-10-11 10:32 PM
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Okay, here's a NetBSD quickie that should work.

Get the bootloader and other files and put them onto a DOS (FAT16) partition from this location http://www.bigjar.com/hpcarm/

After you get through enough of sysinst, the NetBSD installation program, you will be prompted to arrange the getting of certain files (base installation packages or something). You can choose to get them from a network connection, or if you want, you can include them on your DOS parttion but beware you will need about 250MB of space to hold them all there so partition accordingly. I tried this method and was not successful because I didn't know what directory to specify for the files. If you have used NetBSD before, you probably would do better than me.Get them here:

ftp://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-3.1/hpcarm/binary/sets


If I made anything unclear, check out these instructions and that should help. I was told that these newer bootloader and kernel files would mount the local directory by default so you would specity /sys2 to get to your DOS partition if that's where you put the files.

http://mail-index.netbsd.org/port-hpcarm/2003/01/07/0001.html
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2007-10-12 4:25 AM
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Yeah,

Problem is that just installs a base command line NetBSD and not a prebuilt image for a CF card.

You then need to install all the packages you want and there isn't that much pre-compiled for jornada (well not when I last looked) so that would leave you with the option of compiling them yourself (as there are a lot more packages available that are not pre-built). J720 is too slow so you then need an X86 box to cross compile. Even if you get all that sorted it will take quite a while to compile lots of diffrent packages, like diffrent WM's, to try them out.

What we really need is a pre-built system like Jlime so you copy the loader into the dos partition and directory structure into the NetBSD FS partition and all you need to do is run it and everything runs first time (without all the mucking about).

Yeah I think the main reason any WM's would be slow on the J720 is the full fat X-Windows...

I do think NetBSD would easilly get a reasonable J720 following if someone did produce a prebuilt system. IMHO it would need to include fast light Xwindows a fast light WM and a nice selection of packages (eg Amiword, email, Konquorer etc.. etc...)

John
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whohlme Page Icon Posted 2007-10-12 12:56 PM
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How would one go about doing this? Is compiling on the Jornada difficult, or just time consuming? Does it matter where something is compiled? Also, would it be possible to get kdrive or framebuffer? That should speed up the whole X experience... Once I learn, I'd be glad to help out and maybe even do it all on my own. I'm a newbie even to Linux right now though.
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2007-10-12 2:19 PM
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It would take weeks to compile packages on J720 you would need an X86 box with netbsd and crosscompile for arm on the X86 box....
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2007-10-12 2:33 PM
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you need to look in the packages for netbsd (not the prebuilt) and if it listed it can be compiled (though not all will run well on the hardware).

I will look out the link for the packages
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2007-11-09 3:55 AM
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I tried to install NetBSD on my Mobile Gear II MC/R520, but got stuck when trying to install it via a ftp server... Well, when I have time, I'll try it again....

Now is the chance to get the old devices have the NetBSD, as you can get 4GB Compact Flash for about $48.
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