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OpenBSD 5.2 Released

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the check-it-out dept.

Operating Systems 141

An anonymous reader writes "OpenBSD 5.2 has been released and is available for download. One of the most significant changes in this release is the replacement of the user-level uthreads by kernel-level rthreads, allowing multithreaded programs to utilize multiple CPUs/cores."

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141 comments

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LOL (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41848483)

And all 2 OpenBSD users that Theo hasn't yet chased away are rejoicing!

Re:LOL (1)

pointyhat (2649443) | about a year and a half ago | (#41848513)

Three of us you insensitive clod!

More seriously, I don't have a problem with how Theo treats people. In fact it's quite funny.

Re:LOL (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41848609)

Everyone can learn from that real world-class asshole... he totally dissed a friend of mine in a semi-professional environment, and I figure that a man *that* amazingly, butt-clenchingly unprofessional is just not worth the time of day. To hell with them.

Re:LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41848831)

"All right, if the applicant is young, tell him he's too young. Old, too old. Fat, too fat. If the applicant then waits for three days without food, shelter, or encouragement he may then enter and begin his training." - Tyler Durden

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41848867)

As a side note, did you know that tyler durden is the name of an old cypherpunk from Bell Communications Research?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cypherpunk#Noteworthy_cypherpunks

Re:LOL (4, Insightful)

wesleyjconnor (1955870) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851017)

Abusive asshole creates a free, secure, operating system - deemed asshole.

Abusive asshole creates (copies?) a closed system, expensive, mobile phone - world wide hero

Re:LOL (4, Interesting)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year and a half ago | (#41849141)

Well guess that makes me number four. I use an old SGI O2 as light www duty. Its a small secure OS that comes with a bare minimum of bloat. Whats not to like about that? I don't care what attitude Theo has, I've never met him. To the average person on the street RMS speaking would resemble a crazy homeless person.

Re:LOL (2)

poet (8021) | about a year and a half ago | (#41849295)

Outside of homeless I am pretty sure most people would consider RMS crazy, most zealots are.

RMS (4, Insightful)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | about a year and a half ago | (#41849663)

RMS is amazingly useful that way. [wikipedia.org]

Standing next to him, [xkcd.com] all sorts of people look sane. Get enough like-minded people together, Open Source might even start to seem (gasp!) normal.

I believe that the flow of digital information will shape the human landscape as powerfully and inexorably as water carves continents.

Re:RMS (3, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850571)

I believe that the flow of digital information will shape the human landscape as powerfully and inexorably as water carves continents.

In other words, not at all?

Re:RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41850993)

In several million years, I guess.

Re:RMS (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | about a year and a half ago | (#41853519)

Standing next to him, [xkcd.com]

Standing next to Don Quixote?

Re:LOL (4, Informative)

ameoba (173803) | about a year and a half ago | (#41849915)

Have you looked at the power usage of that thing recently? It's a 15 year old system that has less processing power than my cellphone & probably draws a few hundred watts with minimal power saving features. It's probably costing you $10-15/month to run that beast - how long would it take for a modern, low-power ARM or Atom box take to pay itself off?

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41850685)

It's closer to $20 USD per month if it's continually on. However, don't overlook the value of nostalgia.

Re:LOL (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | about a year and a half ago | (#41852245)

Predictable behavior and high-quality manufacturing, too.

Re:LOL (3, Interesting)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851671)

Any modern car you will buy will get better milage than a '57 Chevy. I'd still love to own and drive a '57 Chevy.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41852359)

False.

Even the V8 was only 283 cubic inches, and was capable of mid-20's MPG. That's better than the current crop of mid-size (Camry, Accord, Fusion, etc) V6s.

Re:LOL (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850353)

Question...as someone who has never made a *BSD firewall, what makes it better to go that way as opposed to buying a Sonicwall or Cisco? What features are worth the extra expense required to use a computer as a firewall, VS just using a prebuilt ARM one?

As someone who has never homebuilt a firewall I'm curious, is it just because you want to save some old hardware? I've got an old Sempron I use as a nettop so I know that feeling,but is there more to it than that?

Re:LOL (4, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850703)

Question...as someone who has never made a *BSD firewall, what makes it better to go that way as opposed to buying a Sonicwall or Cisco?

I'd equate it to the difference between being a Windows Admin, and a Unix Admin... The two are worlds apart.

First off, PF syntax is heaven compared to all else. Linux's IPTables syntax is a utter nightmare. Cisco's NAT and ACL syntax is ugly, very limited, so abstracted in syntax and terminology from what it's really doing that it can be impossible to understand without a book of Cisco's own reference material, etc. Juniper's Netscreens are even worse. If anyone tells you otherwise, start asking a few questions about setting-up multi-homed internet service, multicast routing, or trying to determine whether/why a certain connection is being rejected by that 2,000-line ACL rule-set (or failing somewhere else). And this black-box isn't an issue of amateurs who just don't read enough... There really aren't any publications detailing more complex use-cases, and I've exchanged many words with Cisco support managers after multiple level-2 technicians put in explicit writing that some specific multihoming scearios were NOT POSSIBLE on their gear, only to try it out and find it does, in-fact, work exactly as it should.

This isn't something you're likely to hear network admins complain about, because using something better like OpenBSD is never an option they've had, and they know they MUST learn the insane ways of Cisco, to be able to support routers, switches, etc., anyhow.

PF's syntax for ACLs and NAT is dead simple, and as flexible as it can get. What's more, you edit it locally, with your choice of text editor, can syntax check it with a short command, and atomically apply it with all changes (no down-time at all). You've also got unlimited options for commenting it as you choose, making backups, generating it from some dynamic system, including dynamic lists of IPs in a rule that are added/removed by, say, a mail server tracking spammers, or having entire rulesets that are applied only when someone SSHes in to the box, to allow specific services or whatever you want. These are things that network admins DO bemoan on a continual basis... Some network software won't let you insert ACL rules above others (line editing), instead requiring erasing everything below where you want it, then inserting the ACL, then restorting the previous. Others may allow line-editing, but only for permit/deny rules, tossing-out the option of using remarks to properly comment your ACLs.

Network monitoring, debugging, and packet tracing is unimaginably easier. You can run tcpdump, pktstat, or any other utilities RIGHT ON YOUR FIREWALL, telling you EXACTLY what's happening, and where. Easy to filter down to what you want to see, yet can be focused to the point giving you complete packet headers and payloads if you so desire. Cisco pretty recently saw that omitting this functionality can make certain scenarios absolutely impossible to get through, and ASAs now allows generating a pcap/tcpdump/wireshark file, but it must by transferred off to a real computer for analysis in delayed, non-real time.

Anybody using a firewall "appliance" is PROBABLY also using a Unix box to support it in real-time as well... On either side of that ASA / Sonicwall / etc. is a switch configured for "port mirroring", to duplicate ALL that traffic to a Linux box, running SNORT and probably lots of other software, too. That Linux box getting copies of traffic still only provides a modicum of the monitoring, debugging, and reporting options that running your firewall on an actual, full-fledged Unix system can provide, but at least it makes a network admins' difficult job even POSSIBLE to do.

What features are worth the extra expense required to use a computer as a firewall, VS just using a prebuilt ARM one?

While home "routers" really aren't in the same class, there are MANY reasons you'd want something GOOD, instead. Security should be obvious. Bandwidth shaping (ALTQ) is a HUGE advantage, that'll make a home network perform more like a very high-speed corporate, rather than falling apart when there's a torrent running... And just the other day I was banging my head against the wall trying to figure out why the dead-simple port forwarding and ACL I added to allow outside connectivity to a certain portable system was simply not working on my WiFi AP "router". An OpenBSD firewall will NEVER put you through anything like that, and really, even wasting the time and effort just ONCE makes it worth paying the electric bill to run an extra (low-power) system.

OBSD firewalls vs others - what's the diff? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850793)

Aren't Juniper's OS BSD based? All BSDs, from what I understand, use PF, and so even if an OS uses something like FreeBSD or NetBSD instead of OpenBSD as its base, whatever it used for the IP filtering would be based on PF, wouldn't it? Or are there IPTables versions on BSD as well?

Also, how is OpenBSD better than other FreeBSD based distros, such as pFsense and m0n0wall,which are aimed solely at being firewalls, unlike OpenBSD, which is more of a general purpose BSD - good for servers AND firewalls. Also, how does OpenBSD's routing compare to that of either m0n0wall or pFsense - particularly for IPv6?

Re:OBSD firewalls vs others - what's the diff? (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850911)

Aren't Juniper's OS BSD based?

Juniper was a fork of an old FreeBSD. They've recently realised quite how expensive maintaining a fork is and have started pushing most of their stuff upstream and minimising their divergence. We just granted commit access to another Juniper person (sjg@), who is going to work on bringing their improvements to the build system back into the mainline.

All BSDs, from what I understand, use PF

Yes, although OpenBSD is the only one to remove the other firewalling mechanisms. I think we now have 3 firewalls in the FreeBSD kernel and there was some talk of importing npf from NetBSD, making it 4. On of my projects for the next few years is to look at some of the packet filtering infrastructure and make ipf, pf, and friends all simple compiler front ends to the same generic packet filtering infrastructure.

how is OpenBSD better than other FreeBSD based distros

I'm on the FreeBSD Core Team, so I have some fairly obvious biases, but there are a few reasons to prefer OpenBSD. Historically, they've been a bit more proactive at enabling things like stack canaries, no execute, and address space randomisation by default. On the other hand, they don't yet have anything like capsicum, so by FreeBSD 10 you'll see a lot more privilege-separated code on FreeBSD than on OpenBSD. Performance for OpenBSD was a bit better for firewall applications than FreeBSD's import of pf, because we had an older version. I'm not sure if that's still true: Netflix has contributed a lot of performance improvements to our network stack recently (it turns out that they shift quite a lot of packets using FreeBSD) and so this may no longer be true.

I ran OpenBSD on a router for a little while because it was easy to admin via ssh. pfSense uses PHP for the web interface, which consumes 20-30MB of RAM for every action. On a router with 64MB of RAM, this is basically a deal breaker.

Re:OBSD firewalls vs others - what's the diff? (2)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850915)

Aren't Juniper's OS BSD based?

Yes, Juniper runs a FreeBSD kernel, but that's about the only similarity. You certainly don't have a full-fledged computer, or a working userland you can access. You get the kernel booting-up their proprietary CLI interface, with their own configuration and command syntax. In fact Cisco's IOS was based on BSD as well, back in the day, but it's diverged substantially at this point, as Juniper's OS probably will if they survive for as many decades as Cisco has.

All BSDs, from what I understand, use PF, and so even if an OS uses something like FreeBSD or NetBSD instead of OpenBSD as its base, whatever it used for the IP filtering would be based on PF, wouldn't it? Or are there IPTables versions on BSD as well?

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/handbook/firewalls.html [freebsd.org]

The FreeBSD firewall used-to be IPFW, and I assume that's still more-or-less the default option. You can see IPTABLES is there, as is PF.

PF is an option on FreeBSD, but it tends to be either missing a few features, or otherwise just lagging behind what's available on OpenBSD, where it is developed.

Also, how is OpenBSD better than other FreeBSD based distros,

Honestly, I don't care... With OpenBSD versus Cisco ASAs / Netscreens, or Linux firewalls, or low-end ARM-based "routers", there was a huge gap between the options that I tried to explain. But comparing OpenBSD vs FreeBSD, you're really splitting hairs. And in the end, it doesn't matter, because the corporate world will continue to insist on using expensive trash like ASAs which has been severely hobbled to fit Cisco's traditional model. Some day I'm sure I'll see it come crashing down, like every other industry that lived on arbitrary restrictions. I'd be perfectly happy using PF (or even the ancient IPF) on FreeBSD or OpenBSD or even PF on Linux if it ever gets fully (sup-)ported, to avoid more hours on proprietary crippled hardware devices. But if given the choice between an ASA and a Linux system running IPTables, I'd struggle with it, and probably shoot myself at the depressing prospect of working with either one for serious work...

Re:OBSD firewalls vs others - what's the diff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41853959)

You can access the shell on the routers at least. "start shell" will let you manipulate the file system and dig into some OS logs.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41853815)

Yes, yes and yes. Oh, how I wish I had mod points today (even though they'd be sort of wasted)!

Re:LOL (1)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851605)

Primarily price and/or personal experience. I'm unsure what products you are buying, but with a true Cisco/iOS product your typically going to have to buy used to get anywhere near the price point of rolling your own. So if you don't have the funds or, for whatever reason, you are already familiar with *BSD/PF, rolling your own router can be a very attractive option. That being said, very few people regret buying a Cisco product.

Re:LOL (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851189)

I use an old SGI O2 as light www duty. Its a small secure OS that comes with a bare minimum of bloat. Whats not to like about that?

So, no buttonfly then?

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41851449)

RMS is very logical, instead.
Most of the people prefer short term convenience, or the de facto situation, or feel safer in the herd, and so they don't accept stallman premises, so they refuse everything that logically follows from them. Labeling that as crazy is plain wrong.

If you want to see truly hallucinating guys, there is that elop guy and his let's bet everything on a beta OS whose market penetration is entirely dependent on our sales. Or that other guy who deemed that Vista was mature enough to be preinstalled.
Ok either hallucinating or in bad faith, sociopathy is a mental disease too.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41851757)

Or that other guy who deemed that Vista was mature enough to be preinstalled.

And yet Vista still has a magnitude more marketshare than desktop Linux. It also had around 20% marketshare before Windows 7 came. So if it was a "total flop" as you freetards and the tech press like to claim, than desktop Linux is an even bigger failure than Windows ME ever was.

Re:LOL (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#41852205)

Call me user #5 then.

I have an old Athlon beige box I use as whatever I need. It's my backup desktop (in case both my laptop and primary desktop fail), so it's got a light WM (WindowMaker), OpenOffice (plus Abiword for *most* word processing), and so on. It's a Samba file share, storing backups of my more important files (and my porn). It's a retrogaming system, with ZSNES and a metric fuckton of ROMs.

Most importantly, it's a disposable server for whatever I feel like messing around with. I want to learn how to use PostgreSQL? Install it. Mess with it. Learn it. Repeat for pretty much whatever I want - there are surprisingly few server applications that haven't been ported to BSD.

Yeah, there's nothing it does that Linux doesn't, or couldn't. But I've taken a liking to OpenBSD, for some reason.

I think it's because the default installation has NOTHING. If you install from CD and pick every module, you get ksh, X11 with FVWM, and gcc. That's really it. Having to pick nearly every user-level program you install may be a bit tedious, but it gives me a feeling of more control.

Re:LOL (5, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year and a half ago | (#41848527)

Users are the worst security threat around.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41848915)

second and third that.

Good News! (5, Informative)

Noryungi (70322) | about a year and a half ago | (#41848517)

Yeah, Netcraft confirms it is dying, yadda, yadda, yadda, etc... Linus said they were masturbating monkeys, the 1990s called, and they want their rthreads back, etc... etc...

Seriously, folks, if you haven't tried OpenBSD before, give it a spin, you might like it. Sure, it ain't no penguin, but that nice pointy fish is stable, solid, secure and quite a nice little beast to work with. I have had nothing but good experiences with that OS.

Just my US$ 0.02.

Re:Good News! (5, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41848647)

Ponderosa Puff wouldn't take no guff
Water oughta be clean and free
So he fought the fight and he set things right
With his OpenBSD [openbsd.org]

Re:Good News! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41848677)

Or you can just use OS X to get Unix that is just as secure but doesn't suck and doesn't have the X11, etc. legacy garbage dragging it down.

Re:Good News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41848721)

hahahahah! OSX desktop shell is the laggiest interface I've used besides vista on intel video..

Re:Good News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41848965)

Then stop using a shitty video card. Runs fine on my HD3000 and HD4000 systems.

Re:Good News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41849313)

yeah so does everything else!

Re:Good News! (1)

hendridm (302246) | about a year and a half ago | (#41849871)

Your machine must be old as fuck then. Snow Leopard runs well on my 2008-model MBP, and Mountain Lion is blazingly fast on my 11-inch Air.

Re:Good News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41850443)

'well' to nerds back in the day used to mean truly responsive.. to today's nerds it means anything less laggy than a wireless console controller.

Re:Good News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41848769)

Good sir,

I know nothing of what you speak, I know for a fact from my experience with Mac OSX at work and my experience with OpenBSD on my home laptop that Microsoft Office only runs on the former! I suggest for the good of your reputation you retract that statement post haste!

Good day,
~AC

We don't need no stinkin' ext4 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41849285)

A bonus is that there is no ext4 bug in a "stable" kernel. Imagine that? OpenBSD has a stable kernel, that is actually stable!

Re:We don't need no stinkin' ext4 (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850823)

Which file systems does OBSD come w/? UFS? XFS? VFS? BRTFS? Which ones?

Re:We don't need no stinkin' ext4 (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850883)

From http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq14.html#foreignfs [openbsd.org] :

14.16 - Can I access data on filesystems other than FFS?
Yes. Other supported filesystems include: ext2 (Linux), ISO9660 and UDF (CD-ROM, DVD media), FAT (MS-DOS and Windows), NFS, NTFS (Windows). Some of them have limited, for instance read-only, support.
...

Re:We don't need no stinkin' ext4 (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850957)

Ext2 (Write) support was absolutely piss-poor the last time I tried it (a couple years ago), and unsuitable for writing backups to.

In generally, it's all UFS with softupdates, or tar.

Re:Good News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41849393)

NetBSD or go home. OpenBSD doesn't run on my toaster.

Re:Good News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41849763)

I'd vote to keep OpenBSD. Actual useful modern work is readily attributed to them, of note OpenSSH. Haven't head of NetBSD doing anything of note recently. Contrast with FreeBSD which has a large enough userbase to justify the creation of Debian/kFreeBSD (and the Debian organization is so good that it actually at least halfway works).

Re:Good News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41850617)

NetBSD runs on fucking everything. And it doesn't have Theo de Raadt. Those are basically the selling points. ;)

Actually, I believe they invented both veriexec, though that's not quite recent, and rump, which is quite... interesting. But neither of those is something I've any practical use for...

Hell, I might well use OpenBSD rather than NetBSD, if I were actually going to install a BSD fork instead of trolling /. with smartass toaster comments. ;)

Not counting some early, dissatisfying, experience switching among most major distros back in the early '00s (RH, SuSE, Deb, Mandrake), and special choices for hardware considerations (Maemo for phones and some funky Ubuntu-kin for GMA500 support in U820 UMPC) the unixen I've used for prolonged periods were slackware -> NetBSD -> Arch; if I do switch back to *BSD for whatever reason, might as well pick a different one for broader experience, right?

Re:Good News! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41850731)

Haven't head of NetBSD doing anything of note recently.

lol, OpenBSD is playing catchup to NetBSD in many areas. Lets just think about kernel threading, the main feature mentioned in the summary above. NetBSD has had full kernel threading support for many years..

The reason you haven't heard of NetBSD doing anything of note recently, is because the NetBSD developers are better at coding than they are at advocacy..

BSD portability (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850833)

BSDs have their advantages over Linux, but portability ain't one of them, given that Linux has been ported to far more platforms than NetBSD. If you want a BSD like OS for your toaster, or some embedded product, why not go w/ Minix 3.2, which is NetBSD userland over Minix microkernel?

Re:BSD portability (3, Informative)

LizardKing (5245) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851311)

BSDs have their advantages over Linux, but portability ain't one of them, given that Linux has been ported to far more platforms than NetBSD.

Linux has only been ported to more platforms because of the sheer number of people working on it, but that's no reflection of the portability of the code. NetBSD was designed with portability from the start, whereas Linux was and still is in many areas designed for an x86-centric world. Many Linux ports never reached maturity, and even some of those that did are now broken.

Re:BSD portability (1)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851703)

Not to mention comparing the "portability" of the kernel to an entire OS is somewhat unfair. If a single Linux OS distro is available on more platforms than NetBSD, that's news to me.

Itanium (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850867)

On another note, why don't they include a port for the Itanium? FBSD has had it for a while, NBSD just introduced it in 6.0, so OBSD too could add that port. They could certainly have more penetration for something like that

Re:Itanium (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851193)

On another note, why don't they include a port for the Itanium? FBSD has had it for a while, NBSD just introduced it in 6.0, so OBSD too could add that port. They could certainly have more penetration for something like that

Probably because noone's given them an Itanium machine.

Re:Good News! (4, Interesting)

mr_da3m0n (887821) | about a year and a half ago | (#41849631)

Also, the documentation is pretty amazing. They treat inaccuracies and omissions in documentation with the same urgency as a security vulnerability. Seriously, it's pretty stellar, reading the man page for any driver usually explains how to fix the issue you are currently having. All the documentation is there, everything is covered exhaustively, yet entirely tersely. It's extremely polished, beyond its crude, bare appearance in general. It has sane defaults and very clear, simple mechanics with little ambuity -- everything is manageable, everything is transparent. It's one of the rare platforms on which when something doesn't work, I am usually safe in assuming I did something wrong, or there was something I didn't quite understand or just overlooked entirely. It is in many aspects my favorite unix flavor, it feels like it is made of simple, immutable things I can trust to behave in a consistent way, it makes for a pretty relaxed experience, when so few things are opaque.

Re:Good News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41849771)

"stable, solid, secure and quite a nice little beast to work with"

Please expand. Quite sincerely, and with true curiosity. I like that OpenBSD exists, but I don't really know how it's different for the likes of me.

I just use Linux for the desktop and don't feel a lack for any of the things you list. Used L for about seven years now, I guess, and various others since 1978.

I realize I'm probably going to stay with Linux because it has more apps, but that doesn't mean I'm not curious about what you're finding different in OpenBSD. Please do go into detail if you're inclined.

Re:Good News! (5, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850791)

Think about all the complexity of GRUB. Think about all the issues that the initrd causes. Think about the loading and unloading of kernel modules, whether for different hardware support or just kernel features (eg. bonding NICs), and issues that arise from switching between kernel versions or whatnot. Think about the often cryptic syntax of modules.conf. Think about the complexity of SysV and looking through those hundreds of little scripts to find the problem you're looking for. Think of chkconfig and "services".

Now imagine it all going away.

That's right... OpenBSD doesn't use or need any of it. The whole system is super-simple and extremely clean. For those who've used FreeBSD and been impressed with how much nicer and simpler it is than Linux, you should know FreeBSD is only half-way to being as simple as OpenBSD.

I used-to LOVE the simplicity of it. Back when removable hard drives were as close to mobile computing as most of us got, I'd have my OpenBSD system all setup, and I could just up and boot it from ANY SYSTEM, with no reconfiguration, and no problems. Windows users were absolutely astonished, and Linux users were aghast at the lack of boot-time kernel panic or other system hangs.

It's absolutely the best way to start learning Unix... With init/startup scripts a child can understand, and configure, and a clean, straight-forward user-land, rather than one cluttered with 20 different shells like any Linux distro.

And I've just started scratching the surface... Think of an OS where the developers have kept the same sound systems for decades, and have kept the same file system for decades, with just a few rare updates that kept it among the all-around best-performing. Think of an OS where the scheduler doesn't keep changing and getting more tweaks, but works the same from version to version for many years in-between. Think of an OS that you can just install and really count on it being as stable as a rock, and incredibly bug-free foundation. Imagine not having to keep up with the constant changes made to better suit some random person's idea of what minor feature is worth completely upending decades of good design, legacy and stability (eg: KMS, Wayland, etc.). Think of an OS that doesn't have to go through contortions and change after change to its design to suit the design constraints of the latest mainframe IBM is developing.

Think of an OS that is simple, elegant, solid, and just plain works.

Re:Good News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41852357)

So basically, you're opposed to change? That sounds smart.

Daemon Penguin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41849037)

If it wasn't for large corporate support of drivers for the latter, Linux would have died a whimpering death a while ago.

Re:Daemon Penguin (2, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year and a half ago | (#41849493)

If Theo hadn't systematically pissed off everyone in large corporations that he's come in contact with, they might have written some drivers.
Linus is pragmatic, manages a team of experts well and the so the corporations are happy to work with him.

Re:Daemon Penguin (3, Insightful)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year and a half ago | (#41849791)

NetBSD people are not famous for pissing anyone, but that did not caused manufacturers to write drivers for them.

Re:Daemon Penguin (4, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year and a half ago | (#41849911)

True. The difference is that if a NetBSD developer emailed me to ask about using RdRand in the kernel (A thing I would know about) I would happily enter into a technical discussion and help them out. If Theo emailed, I would have to refer the email to the lawyers.

Re:Daemon Penguin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41850537)

How would your situation be different if the emailer was a NetBSD developer? Your either divulge something your company doesn't want you to divulge or you don't. The way the information is asked have little relevance to the way it is handled once codified under the BSD license.

Re:Daemon Penguin (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850841)

How is FreeBSD? Do they have tons of more drivers?

Re:Daemon Penguin (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850917)

Yes, including some contributed by vendors. For example, we approved a commit bit a few months ago for another person on Intel's network driver team. That said, being polite to companies doesn't really get drivers written. They don't care about us, they care about their customers. When Yahoo says to Intel 'we're buying 10,000 new machines this month and they're all going to be running FreeBSD, what network interface would you suggest?' then they suddenly start thinking that getting good FreeBSD drivers is worthwhile.

Re:Daemon Penguin (1)

LizardKing (5245) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851319)

Do you know whether Yahoo! is still largely hosted on FreeBSD? I worked there at the very end of the 90's, and it was all FreeBSD - even the developer desktop machines ran it. It was my first exposure to FreeBSD, having used NetBSD and Linux before that.

Re:Daemon Penguin (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851469)

Yes. And they still employ quite a few FreeBSD developers. Apparently they just finished another failed attempt to migrate to Linux.

Re:Daemon Penguin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41852385)

Why would they need to migrate to Linux when their developers and admins know FreeBSD? Do you have any sources for this, or are you just making it up to make Linux seem difficult to migrate to from FreeBSD?

Re:Daemon Penguin (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#41852507)

They tried the migrations because management has heard about this Linux thing and thinks it's cool. They failed, because they have invested a lot in customising FreeBSD (including a lot of stuff they upstream, and some that they don't) and unless management is willing to spend at least as much on Linux the switch is going to fail. The only sources I have are conversations with Yahoo employees.

Re:Daemon Penguin (4, Insightful)

akpoff (683177) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850295)

There are two replies to this:

1) OpenBSD supports tons of hardware. Click on one of the supported platforms [openbsd.org] . First you'll notice is OpenBSD runs on more than x86. Second, click through. You have to work hard to find a class of hardware that doesn't have some support. Most mainstream hardware is supported with many vendors to select from. When you do find missing hardware it's due to the point 2 below.

2) There may be some truth to the claim that Theo has pissed-off some vendors but it plays a small part. A more significant reason there aren't tons of corporate drivers for OpenBSD is the OpenBSD community won't accept any undocumented code (settings that use magic numbers), binary blobs (other than micro code or firmware) and won't sign NDAs to get the info. For code to go in the base it also has to be licensed under a BSD or ISC license.[1]

Many vendors want us to buy their hardware and trust their giant binary blob won't crash our systems. That's their call. Refusing to buy their hardware is ours.

Because of Theo's and the developer's stand against binary blobs OpenBSD base is one of the freest OSs you'll find. If that means a few missing drivers then so be it. Our systems run fine without them.

[1] The only GPL licensed code in base I can think of is gcc.

Re:Daemon Penguin (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850585)

1) OpenBSD supports tons of hardware.

I heard they JUST got ACPI S3/SUSPEND working... only on x86 (not AMD64) and with a lot of footnotes and exceptions. Sign me up!

I used OpenBSD as my primary desktop for a good number of years, but I wouldn't recommend it. That was back when Linux was a mess, too, so OpenBSD being a bit *more broken* didn't look so bad. Unsupported hardware was a big one... Ported software being ancient as all hell and much of it broken, was a big one, too. It's still a good choice for a firewall (please god kill iptables already, and get PF fully functional on Linux!), but I'm not so sure about that if WiFi is involved, and but it's fallen farther and farther behind over the years, to the point it's hard to recommend for much of anything.

On the plus side, my years of fighting with OpenBSD taught me a lot... The crufty old system and out-dated GCC versions made porting open source programs to proprietary Unices a breeze. The init scripts and overall boot process were/are much easier to learn and understand than anything else. OpenSSH, PF, mksh, and other code to come out of OpenBSD is great, and immensely useful on other platforms.

Re:Daemon Penguin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41850893)

"I heard they JUST got ACPI S3/SUSPEND working."

Hopefully Linux will catch up some day.

Re:Daemon Penguin (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850939)

Linux ACPI s3/suspend has worked on most of the system I've run across for several years now, including the system I'm typing on, where I use it extensively. There's bugs, which don't get the priority they should, but in any case, you should expect OpenBSD will have to labor for another decade just to reach parity with the Linux ACPI support of TODAY... Not an exciting prospect.

Missing suspend/resume was one of several major reasons I switched from several years of OpenBSD usage, to FreeBSD, and then several more years later, from FreeBSD to Linux, though I'm really not sure if I gained much in that last step...

Re:Daemon Penguin (1)

akpoff (683177) | about a year and a half ago | (#41852211)

One of the reasons I like OpenBSD is the developers are very forthright about why things can't or won't work. Reading the misc@ mail list is a great way to learn about the issues they face trying to get documentation. There are non-trivial issues with both acpi and efi. The developers reverse engineer what they can.

Instead of asking "Why doesn't OpenBSD have better support for $hardware?" we should be asking "Why don't vendors post more public information about their hardware?"

Anyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s buying electronics probably has very distinct memories of getting schematics and diagrams with their new products (or could order them cheaply). My first cw-band radio came with a full electrical schematic. Now, it's a crap shoot. Some of the blame lies with the industry as a whole. Much lies with the USPTO, or more precisely, the laws governing patentability and duration of patents.

The industry is to blame because it's easier to not to. Even if a retail vendor wanted to release good doc sub-component vendors may refuse to allow them. Why? In part to protect themselves from copycats. In part to protect themselves from patent lawsuits.

Patents are the another aspect of the not-so-secret problem. They're all violating somebody's patent on something (at least in the eyes of the patent holder). Whether it's in the fabrication process, a "method" of calculating or who knows what, someone has a claim. The more a company expose about the inner workings of their devices the more information patent trolls and competitors have for pursuing license (revenue), agreements. The smartphone patent war we're seeing played out in the courts is one example of the problem.

Yet another aspect of the problem is self-serving vendor "standards". EFI began as an Intel initiative. Intel later handed control of the spec over to the UEFI Forum, a non-profit corporation. The goal of EFI isn't so much to fix BIOS as to further [wikipedia.org] vendor interests, whether to protect their "IP" or lock customers into using their devices in vendor [wikipedia.org] "approved" ways.

Contrast that to Open Firmware (OpenBoot) which began as a Sun initiative and later became an IEEE standard. Or LinuxBios (now coreboot) which is an open source replacement replacement for both BIOS and EFI. Coreboot has made some progress but it requires vendor participation to make critical details available for implementation. You can guess how well that's going.

If the OpenBSD project were willing to sign NDAs and/or accept binary blobs there would be better support of technologies like suspend/sleep. But they're not willing to do so. Rather they work with vendors who are willing to share details, reverse engineer where possible and do without when neither option is available.

Re:Daemon Penguin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41852423)

Suspend has worked find on my amd64 machine for a long time, I think you're referring to hibernation.

Re:Daemon Penguin (2)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year and a half ago | (#41852259)

If Theo hadn't systematically pissed off everyone in large corporations that he's come in contact with, they might have written some drivers.

But he doesn't even want those corporations to write those drivers, he just wants the documentations so he (and other devs) can do it themselves.

Re:Daemon Penguin (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850979)

Perhaps you should be asking why Linux has large corporate support of drivers. Because Linux was run as a meritocracy combined with a heavy streak of pragmatism.

If you look at open source operating systems which have stagnated or failed it's invariably because leadership or politics have stifled innovation.

i miss openbsd (5, Informative)

resfilter (960880) | about a year and a half ago | (#41849419)

i used to use it a lot

it doesnt' have much going for it, in the scheme of modern unix-like operating systems.. it's a bit of an underdog. it doesn't have fancy high-performance schedulers, its io layer is slow.. it's missing drivers for lots of commodity hardware, some of them because of principles.. theo is an asshole sometimes, with his constant 'im always right and you're always an idiot' thing.. but..

for one, the documentation is beautiful. whoever maintains the documentation should get a medal. there are few typos, everything has a man page, and every man page has EXAMPLES and is easy to understand. better than any other operating system out there. and that's a big plus: if you try any linux distribution and find an unfamilar file in /etc, you have a 50/50 shot of it being documented properly. with openbsd, it's garunteed

because their entire mission is based on thorough auditing, they make sure their code is very well documented and easy to understand. that's a big bonus too. modifying and developing on openbsd, as a platform, is a very nice experience

openssh is a very beautifully written piece of software. it's nice to use, and it's nice to read the source code. when is the last time it gave you any problems? openbsd is an entire operating system written with the same standards.

give it a try if you haven't, it wont hurt you.. virtual machines don't cost anything..

Re:i miss openbsd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41849601)

Just out of my curiosity, what operating system are you using for the time being?

Re:i miss openbsd (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850855)

To the GP - if he liked it, what made him leave it?

Re:i miss openbsd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41849731)

Anyone started Debian/kOpenBSD yet? Could well double their userbase. Whoops, wrong system, would likely increase their userbase by at least an order of magnitude.

Re:i miss openbsd (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850849)

That thing exists? I thought that Debian only had kFreeBSD. kNetBSD was discontinued

Re:i miss openbsd (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41850171)

Sorry, no thank you.

I've had the missfortune of trying to get a bsd box to work with multiple NICs - what an unbelievable PITA. Talk about limited driver support. I ended up running around trying different boxes/NICs for FUCKING days to this shit to work (couldn't switch to linux).

Forget it.

Re:i miss openbsd (1)

mr_da3m0n (887821) | about a year and a half ago | (#41852505)

Yeah if only there was some sort of hardware compatibility list or something, there's no way you could have done research for 5 minutes instead of trying every adapter from your box labeled "broadcom proprietary controllers", right.

How much speed would you trade for security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41849783)

Honest question...

I'm amazed that people keep whining about Theo de Raadt having a strong personality when OpenBSD's main focus is security. Security. Security. Security.

How many mandatory Java patches for remote root DoS and exploits in 2011? How many in 2012? How many if, dare you, you had applets allowed in your browser?

How many remote root exploits affecting Linux?

How many *days* before a security firm claimed to have a 0-day for Windows 8?

How many critical OS X flaws needing patches?

Everytime I hear about a machine rebooting because it got patched to me it's a fail.

Fail, fail and fail.

Keep whining all you want about Theo and have fun with your insecure OS.

As to me I'd rather run an app mono-threaded on a quad-core on a secure OS than multi-threaded on an insecure OS...

Re:How much speed would you trade for security? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850473)

there comes a point when your ideology conflicts with what you need to get done. When that happens, is it better to just dump the machine entirely and not do whatever it is you need to do? ...or, suck it up and deal with some insecurity?

Re:How much speed would you trade for security? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851797)

How many critical OS X flaws needing patches?

I don't know. You tell me.

WTF is this about Theo or OpenBSD? (3, Interesting)

ipquickly (1562169) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850159)

Who the hell cares about how Theo treats other people?
Did Steve Jobs piss people off? Did he not treat other people like shit on numerous occasions?
Yet people still lust after Apple products.

You buy/use the product for the sake of the product.

I can set up my OpenBSD server and forget about it for a year, with almost a guarantee that it hasn't been hacked.

That's why I use OpenBSD.

And if Theo is an asshole then Steve Jobs was a much bigger one.

Re:WTF is this about Theo or OpenBSD? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850897)

I was reading up Wiki on Theo, and it said there that Theo's opposition to the war in Iraq ultimately impacted DARPA funding all BSD projects, not just OBSD. Actually, I happen to think that DARPA yanking its funding from anything related to him was related more to his refusal to withold OBSD security software from enemy countries, which is easy to do, since Canada doesn't have the laws that the US has against dealing w/ rogue countries. So any other OS that uses his security software would be unwelcome in Darpa, since through OBSD, it would be available to US enemies as well.

On a different note, I've tried to figure out what differences Theo could possibly have w/ GPL? He has received FSF awards for being as militantly opposed to binary blobs as are the Libre-Linux crowd in the FSF, and he seems to be on the same side politically as RMS (ok, he probably doesn't endorse pedophilia, but that aside...) So other than personality differences maybe, why is his group hostile to the GPL? I've read in Wiki that he claimed:

GPL fans said the great problem we would face is that companies would take our BSD code, modify it, and not give back. Nope—the great problem we face is that people would wrap the GPL around our code, and lock us out in the same way that these supposed companies would lock us out. Just like the Linux community, we have many companies giving us code back, all the time.

But once the code is GPL'd, we cannot get it back.

I'm just not following - how does that work? I know why people are opposed to GPL, but I'm just not getting why he is?

Re:WTF is this about Theo or OpenBSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41851047)

I was reading up Wiki on Theo, and it said there that Theo's opposition to the war in Iraq ultimately impacted DARPA funding all BSD projects, not just OBSD. Actually, I happen to think that DARPA yanking its funding from anything related to him was related more to his refusal to withold OBSD security software from enemy countries, which is easy to do, since Canada doesn't have the laws that the US has against dealing w/ rogue countries. So any other OS that uses his security software would be unwelcome in Darpa, since through OBSD, it would be available to US enemies as well.

Not a fan of Theo, and I don't use openbsd, but either way, darpa is to blame there, not Theo.

I'm just not following - how does that work? I know why people are opposed to GPL, but I'm just not getting why he is?

You can include BSD software in a GPL-licensed project, but not vice-versa. So wrapping BSD in GPL makes it impossible to give contributions back.

Re:WTF is this about Theo or OpenBSD? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851823)

I'm just not following - how does that work? I know why people are opposed to GPL, but I'm just not getting why he is?

The issue was that there were drivers that were dual-licensed BSD and GPL. The Linux people were taking this code, modifying it but only releasing it back as GPL (which was allowed by the copyright holder who had dual-licensed it). In a more general case, you can take BSD-licensed code and use it within a work that is ultimately GPLed and make all your additions to that code GPL, too. This means that the Linux/GPL side can freely use the work of the BSD people all they want, but the reverse is not true as you can not take GPL code and release it as BSD.

Re:WTF is this about Theo or OpenBSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41852309)

So what? It's allowed by the license. Don't whine about others not respecting your rights -- enforce them.

Freedom isn't something you get to have just for showing up. Nor for asking nicely. If you're not willing to put some teeth in your licensing, people will walk all over you.

Re:WTF is this about Theo or OpenBSD? (1)

Atriqus (826899) | about a year and a half ago | (#41853533)

If being categorized as a thieving dick by the BSD people is too much of a psychological burden for you to handle, don't take their code and make GPL only patches to it. If it doesn't bother you, then there's no problem; but don't act confused by them reacting appropriately to selfish behavior. I swear, people that need every nuance codified to what they can't do to others in order to not be a shitty person makes this world just that much worse.

Re:WTF is this about Theo or OpenBSD? (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#41853769)

The issue was that there were drivers that were dual-licensed BSD and GPL. The Linux people were taking this code, modifying it but only releasing it back as GPL (which was allowed by the copyright holder who had dual-licensed it). In a more general case, you can take BSD-licensed code and use it within a work that is ultimately GPLed and make all your additions to that code GPL, too. This means that the Linux/GPL side can freely use the work of the BSD people all they want, but the reverse is not true as you can not take GPL code and release it as BSD.

A bit simplistic because it ignores the political side of the equation. Because after all, BSD lets you take the BSD code and close-source it.

The real issue is that the GPL folks are constantly saying their license is the free-est and bestest license out there for openness and freedom. Especially since BSD allows "closed-sourcing" of code while the GPL doesn't.

And then you have GPL folks taking BSD code (doesn't have to be dual licensed if it's modified-BSD), and locking it up as GPL (perfectly legal = you can take BSD and make it commercially licensed). The rub is that any modifications and improvements to said GPL'd code is unavailable to the BSD folks.

So the BSD folks are "locked out" of the changes that the GPL folks made (similar to closed-sourcing), except they're also having the GPL folks shove it in their face "Nyaa nyaa nyaa, you can't have it back! GPL rulez! BSD sux!!"

TL; DR versions - the GPL folks are doing to BSD licensed code what the GPL folks have always argued why the GPL is better than BSD - anyone can take it and lock it up. Except it's the GPL doing the locking up, the supposedly "freer" license.

Re:WTF is this about Theo or OpenBSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41850923)

I think it's common sense that Steve Jobs was a dick, but that's not the issue here.
The point is that noone at Starbucks will validate you for having an OpenBSD server.

Re:WTF is this about Theo or OpenBSD? (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#41850931)

The problem is that Theo treats developers badly. We've had a few ex-OpenBSD developers join FreeBSD, and NetBSD has been more successful (their kernel is more similar, so it's probably an easier migration path) because Theo's rudeness has been the last straw for them. He's also prevented new developers, such as the author of mult (something like recursive jails) from joining the project. This doesn't affect users directly, but if the developers start going elsewhere then it means that the platform evolves more slowly and does affect users.

Steve Jobs was undoubtedly also an asshole to his employees, but typically only those that interacted with him directly (and were therefore the fairly senior people, not the ones doing most of the implementation work) and Apple had one advantage that OpenBSD doesn't: it was paying those developers directly.

Theo and the OpenBSD team deserve kudos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41850529)

Theo and the OpenBSD team deserve kudos

they set a new standard in BSD style software, it's really too bad that principles often make work much more difficult

then again, the difficulty is part of their reward, doing great things despite every hurdle thrown at them
I hope they keep up the good work

i'm not a fanboy, but i do love openbsd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41850995)

decades ago, i worked with sunos, vms and a very early freebsd. i liked it. after that i spent a long time away from computers. late 90's i got back in and needed a good platform for complex home environments (routing, firewalling, backups, desktops, ...):

i looked into freebsd, which had become a little bit of a mess. i looked at linux, which was still a gigantic insecure sloppy mess. i looked at netbsd and i liked it. but then i found openbsd... ...and i never looked back.

it had everything: clear and concise documentation, a stable kernel which doesn't crap out, enough supported hardware platforms, decent implementation of crypto including hardware support, a distributed trust-management system built into the default install, plenty of neat security features (at the time, compared to other unices), and ongoing audit of all code, ... and the best part: everything worked out-of-the-box, no configuration needed, no finetuning needed, intelligent default configurations everywhere (only X11 at the time, could use a little tweaking in it's configuration file).

it still has everything, but hardware support is of course not like netbsd or linux; and the ported applications aren't always the latest releases. but what you get, actually works extremely well without any hiccup or unexpected failures. if something doesn't work as you expected or isn't exactly working the way you like, you can easily solve it without resorting to a search engine and obscure how-to's.

anyone complaining about something not working on openbsd, is either incompetent or trying something he shouldn't be trying.

openbsd still is forefronting all kinds of new implementations, and streamlining their existing ones. they just don't swim along the mainstream, like every other operating system that starts porting each and every new technologic toy - only to replace it with something else before the port gets actually finished.

(to be honest: i have linux boxes for the kids and the wife - they need to run wine and they like eyecandy)

Re:i'm not a fanboy, but i do love openbsd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41852469)

i looked at linux, which was still a gigantic insecure sloppy mess.

Kind of like your writing then.

I would use it... (1)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851173)

...if only ACPI suspend/resume worked well.

Linux gets it right, why can't the BSDs? Actually, I haven't tried it with NetBSD, maybe I will.

News Flash: Theo is hard to deal with... (3, Insightful)

funkboy (71672) | about a year and a half ago | (#41851223)

...film at 11.

We all know that. But do not confuse "the man" with "the OS". Theo probably maintains less control over OpenBSD than Linus does over Linux (a lot of what he does involves maintaining the project's resources and logistics so that the developers can get on with their work rather than dealing with hardware and sysadmin stuff). Yes, he's the founder & leader of the project, but OpenBSD developers are amazing and could easily continue the project without him if required (not that that's at all likely to happen any time soon). Corporations would kill to have this consistent level of developer talent.

Which is why I've been using OpenBSD for 15 years for critical systems, and have no plans to change that.

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