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Why do most super-computers use LINUX instead of BSD?

Hi all:

Just curious. Is it because of the more advanced SMP features? My
understanding is that most super-computers (e.g., ASCI White, Blue Gene) use
Linux or some proprietary version of Unix instead of BSD.

Enlighten me.
0
galactic_war
10/26/2005 6:12:16 AM
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On Wed, 26 Oct 2005 06:12:16 GMT
galactic_war@yahoo.com wrote:

> Hi all:
> 
> Just curious. Is it because of the more advanced SMP features? My
> understanding is that most super-computers (e.g., ASCI White, Blue Gene) use
> Linux or some proprietary version of Unix instead of BSD.

Hazarding a guess: I'd say it's largely unrelated to
any technical issue, but more to do with the current "buzz"
surrounding Linux.

-- 
Nick Withers
email: nick@nickwithers.com
0
Nick
10/26/2005 11:38:33 AM
I apologize in advance for contributing to the noise.  This is my last
advocacy post, I swear.

>>>>> "Nick" == Nick Withers <nick@nickwithers.com> writes:

    Nick> Hazarding a guess: I'd say it's largely unrelated to any
    Nick> technical issue, but more to do with the current "buzz"
    Nick> surrounding Linux.

Whatever.  It probably has a lot more to do with the engineers in
question being more familiar with Linux.  If your goal is to do
supercomputing applications, you don't want to waste a lot of your
time on system administration.  Instead, you're going to (sensibly, in
my mind) get something that's "known good" up and running quickly, so
you can get on with your business.  It's called "engineering" because
you use what you _know_ works, not what you like or what you think
might work.

Best wishes,
Matthew

-- 
jsoffron: I'm generally pretty high on national defense...
Mr. Bad Example: Careful...it's a gateway policy. Before you know it,
 you'll be mainlining the hard stuff like trade agreements.
jsoffron: Too late...I've been freebasing Nafta all day... Sweet,
 sweet NAFTA.
    - As seen on Slashdot
0
Matthew
10/26/2005 3:05:26 PM
Begin  <ubr1cuxmx.fsf@irtnog.org>
On 2005-10-26, Matthew X. Economou <xenophon+usenet@irtnog.org> wrote:
[snip!]
>  It's called "engineering" because you use what you _know_ works, not
> what you like or what you think might work.

I agree. The only comment I could add is that a good engineer doesn't
just have one or a few solutions, but knows about the tools available
and has a big toolchest with many and varied solutions known to work.

As a sidenote: It would be unwise to not get the administration right.
This is never the case, but supercomputing retains much more than many
other applications the ``one machine, many users'' nature.  I refer to
the ``Big Mac'' cluster and its reportedly rather nifty administration
framework.


-- 
  j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
0
jpd
10/26/2005 11:32:05 PM
I agree. Mostly, because of that current "buzzword" surrounding Linux.
As Nick says. Frankly, how many people want to spend more time learning
freebsd administration from the scratch? I know it's easier than linux
sometimes, because of the port collections and a great manual. FreeBSD
is better, but media loves Linux as corporate world loves Redmond!


--
Raqueeb Hassan
Bangladesh

0
Raqueeb
10/27/2005 4:49:37 PM
In article <1130307019_269@spool6-east.superfeed.net>,
 <galactic_war@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Hi all:

>Just curious. Is it because of the more advanced SMP features?
>My understanding is that most super-computers (e.g., ASCI White,
>Blue Gene) use Linux or some proprietary version of Unix instead
>of BSD.

If you look at the lists of the super-computers you'll see
that 51.8% of of the installed super-computers are from IBM, and IBM
has been pushing Linux on it's various large systems for several
years.

Next up is HP - with 26.2% of the systems installed.  So you have
78% right there with two manufacturers who support Linux.

The first [and what I can see only] BSD based system is 
the University of Virginia at #14 in the top-500.  It's running
Mac OS/X which is based on 4.? BSD. [it was 4.2 and I'm not sure
where it is now].  You don't know it's BSD unless you know about
the roots of OS/X.

What I found interesting is that China comes in with a machine 
ranked 18th in the world, on IBM hardware, and it's running
AIX.

Just add this to the other replies as an incidental information
point.

Bill


-- 
Bill Vermillion - bv @ wjv . com
0
bv
10/28/2005 2:45:03 AM
In article <3sahvlFne40jU2@individual.net>,
jpd  <read_the_sig@do.not.spam.it.invalid> wrote:
>Begin  <ubr1cuxmx.fsf@irtnog.org>
>On 2005-10-26, Matthew X. Economou <xenophon+usenet@irtnog.org> wrote:
>[snip!]
>>  It's called "engineering" because you use what you _know_ works, not
>> what you like or what you think might work.

>I agree. The only comment I could add is that a good engineer doesn't
>just have one or a few solutions, but knows about the tools available
>and has a big toolchest with many and varied solutions known to work.

But good engineers have someone who doles out the money - and often
engineering loses to marketing - and often those who control the
money worry about appearances more than performance.

Bill
-- 
Bill Vermillion - bv @ wjv . com
0
bv
10/28/2005 2:55:03 AM
In article <1130431777.139860.55250@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
Raqueeb Hassan <wideangle@gmail.com> wrote:
>I agree. Mostly, because of that current "buzzword" surrounding Linux.
>As Nick says. Frankly, how many people want to spend more time learning
>freebsd administration from the scratch? I know it's easier than linux
>sometimes, because of the port collections and a great manual. FreeBSD
>is better, but media loves Linux as corporate world loves Redmond!

When you get into supercomputers the whole administration model
changes.   And if you know a Unix "system" - not just a flavor -
you can adminster any with not too much of a learning curve.

Those who learn the details, and what to do, and not the function
and implementation won't be able to move to another OS as easily as
one who understands HOW things work.

I've been called in to work on OSes [all Unix variants] that I've
never seen before, and been able to solve the problems simply by
reading the error messages and then reading the man pages
pertaining to that - usually found by an 'apropos' or 'man -k' -
and going from there.  

There is one simple [well it gest simple] task that so many refuse to 
learn how to do.  And that is how to use the man pages.  Once you
do that you can conquer any system.

And FreeBSD ports and man pages aren't going to help that much when
you are adminstering a super-computer or cluster.  The rules are
different there :-)

Bill
-- 
Bill Vermillion - bv @ wjv . com
0
bv
10/28/2005 3:05:03 AM
Begin  <Ip1u7K.H54@wjv.com>
On 2005-10-28, Bill Vermillion <bv@wjv.com> wrote:
[snip!]
> Mac OS/X which is based on 4.? BSD. [it was 4.2 and I'm not sure
> where it is now].  You don't know it's BSD unless you know about
> the roots of OS/X.

Apple publishes stuff about darwin, including documents telling about
where its roots lie, but altough it certainly is *BSD based --meaning
``contains BSD related code'', in casu chunks taken from the FreeBSD 5.*
tree-- it is also mach based, and that is something entirely different
again. There are similarities, but there are differences, also.

I mention this because it is entirely too easy to think ``hey, BSD
based, so it must be just about exactly the same as FreeBSD, right?!?
Amplifying for those who haven't gotten the hint: This is not the case.


-- 
  j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
0
jpd
10/28/2005 6:08:58 AM
Begin  <Ip1uBG.H98@wjv.com>
On 2005-10-28, Bill Vermillion <bv@wjv.com> wrote:
> In article <3sahvlFne40jU2@individual.net>,
> jpd  <read_the_sig@do.not.spam.it.invalid> wrote:
>>Begin  <ubr1cuxmx.fsf@irtnog.org>
>>On 2005-10-26, Matthew X. Economou <xenophon+usenet@irtnog.org> wrote:
>>[snip!]
>>>  It's called "engineering" because you use what you _know_ works, not
>>> what you like or what you think might work.
>
>>I agree. The only comment I could add is that a good engineer doesn't
>>just have one or a few solutions, but knows about the tools available
>>and has a big toolchest with many and varied solutions known to work.
>
> But good engineers have someone who doles out the money - and often
> engineering loses to marketing - and often those who control the
> money worry about appearances more than performance.

That also. And it is further compounded by people who believe that
computing is ``easy'' and therefore you don't need a clue, and you
*certainly* don't need to consult your engineers with that clue, to
make competent decisions about it. Oops.


-- 
  j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
0
jpd
10/28/2005 6:12:33 AM
In article <3sdtjqFnd1gcU1@individual.net>,
jpd  <read_the_sig@do.not.spam.it.invalid> wrote:
>Begin  <Ip1u7K.H54@wjv.com>
>On 2005-10-28, Bill Vermillion <bv@wjv.com> wrote:
>[snip!]
>> Mac OS/X which is based on 4.? BSD. [it was 4.2 and I'm not sure
>> where it is now].  You don't know it's BSD unless you know about
>> the roots of OS/X.

>Apple publishes stuff about darwin, including documents telling
>about where its roots lie, but altough it certainly is *BSD based
>--meaning ``contains BSD related code'', in casu chunks taken
>from the FreeBSD 5.* tree-- it is also mach based, and that is
>something entirely different again. There are similarities, but
>there are differences, also.

>I mention this because it is entirely too easy to think ``hey, BSD
>based, so it must be just about exactly the same as FreeBSD, right?!?
>Amplifying for those who haven't gotten the hint: This is not the case.

Anyone who has run OS/X at the CLI certainly knows that is not
true.  The Apple-ification of many things so that anyone who can
use a mouse can adminster the system means that certain things are
hard to do correctly.

A client with 4 OS/X servers in our racks certainly had more
problems with the OS/X than I ever did with the BSD and I'd often
go in to fix things at the CLI that were 1) difficult or 2) not
possible - with the GUI.

While it was touted as a server it had a quirk that was frustrating
until the owner figured out how to safeguard against it by copying
his httpd.conf file immeidately after making anychanges.

>IF< the machine was repowered with the network dis-connected, OS/X
REWROTE the httpd.conf file and commented out all active domains.

This may not seem like too big a problem if you think of a few
servers.  But he was running over 600 virtual domains on 
one X-server and about 500 on another.

Their disk admin tools seemed to be a bit lacking - at least
according to him - and many OS/X users he told me went to second
party tools.  I remember one crash he had that took him hours and
hours to get running again.   Forcing GUI administration for many
things will actually delay recovery time based on my observations.

But there is a lot of code with BSD tags in it.  It's just when
things get 'enhanced' to make things easy - when things go wrong it
becomes difficult.

Bill

-- 
Bill Vermillion - bv @ wjv . com
0
bv
10/28/2005 2:25:01 PM
Begin  <4362d82d$0$21713$5a62ac22@per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au>
On 2005-10-29, Ross Maloney <rmatycorp@iinet.net.au> wrote:
> It is at this stage the 'plot' got lost.  I think that the original 
> poster was questioning the reason that Linux is more popular than 
> FreeBSD, not 'how' that result has occurred.

I think you're trying to bend this thread into your own pet peeve.


> I would suggest two reasons.  One is the use of a core team that takes 
> overall control of the distribution.  If I was IBM or HP, I would find 
> that acrid.  True that it might led to a more concrete distribution, but 
> the 'freeness' gets lost in the bargin.

Maybe I'm not awake or maybe I'm plain dumb, but I don't see this.
Do explain what you are talking about.


>  The other is hardare support. Linux is miles ahead of FreeBSD.

Oh? I never noticed. In fact, I think that FreeBSD has a good solid base
of supported hardware, even if it doesn't reach out as far as linux into
fancy and obscure stuff.


>  I am just investigating the use of FreeBSD and have problems in
> getting the distributions to boot on my laptop. I posted the problem
> here a week ago and got the response that this was the wrong forum.

The ``official'' channels are the mailinglists. If you want to talk to
the people that actually know in detail how FreeBSD works or does not
work on laptops, your best bet is to write to freebsd-mobile. So sorry
they don't come out rushing here just for you.


> It appear that the problem is related to ACPI. Sorry, guys, that
> problem was solved in the Linux domain two years ago. You guys are
> still in the denial phase of rectifying such problems. And that is
> only an example problem that I am aware of.

If you want anything *constructive* done, you may volunteer to fix it,
or at the very least provide helpful feedback to the proper channels.
What you're doing now is not helping anybody, including yourself.


-- 
  j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
0
jpd
10/29/2005 2:31:03 AM
Ross Maloney <rmatycorp@iinet.net.au> wrote:
> 
> I would suggest two reasons.  One is the use of a core team that takes 
> overall control of the distribution.  If I was IBM or HP, I would find 
> that acrid. 

You mean it is better than IBM is the real boss in the Linux arena?
Sorry i don't buy this situation as "more free" that the FreeBSD system.
A core team is necessary to sort the chaos that results necessarily from
a bazar system, as far as Linux is concerned, the chaos has been sorted by 
a few cpompanies gaining the effective power, namely IBM, RedHat and Novell.

>  True that it might led to a more concrete distribution, but 
> the 'freeness' gets lost in the bargin.  The other is hardare support. 
> Linux is miles ahead of FreeBSD. 

This is plain false. Most of the new sexy laptops don't work fully under
Linux, and there is not much difference with FreeBSD. This has been described
recently as a plot of Microsoft against Linux.

>  I am just investigating the use of 
> FreeBSD and have problems in getting the distributions to boot on my 
> laptop.  I posted the problem here a week ago and got the response that 
> this was the wrong forum.  It appear that the problem is related to 
> ACPI.  Sorry, guys, that problem was solved in the Linux domain two 
> years ago.  


This is plain false, Linux and FreeBSD use the same ACPI code base,
which comes from Intel. The problem is that it doesn't come from
Microsoft :-(

> You guys are still in the denial phase of rectifying such 
> problems.  And that is only an example problem that I am aware of.

People are not denying anything, go read the freebsd-mobile mailing list which
is the appropriate forum for discussions about laptops and you will see that
people are discussing such things at full length. Basically if you want a
laptop which works be it under Linux or FreeBSD, and you are rich buy a
Thinkpad. Low price models have a better chance of working. than high price
models with sophisticated hardware (Toshiba, Sony Vaio etc.).

0
talon
10/29/2005 9:40:17 AM
Bill Vermillion wrote:
> In article <1130307019_269@spool6-east.superfeed.net>,
>  <galactic_war@yahoo.com> wrote:
> 
>>Hi all:
> 
> 
>>Just curious. Is it because of the more advanced SMP features?
>>My understanding is that most super-computers (e.g., ASCI White,
>>Blue Gene) use Linux or some proprietary version of Unix instead
>>of BSD.
> 
> 
> If you look at the lists of the super-computers you'll see
> that 51.8% of of the installed super-computers are from IBM, and IBM
> has been pushing Linux on it's various large systems for several
> years.
> 
> Next up is HP - with 26.2% of the systems installed.  So you have
> 78% right there with two manufacturers who support Linux.
> 
> The first [and what I can see only] BSD based system is 
> the University of Virginia at #14 in the top-500.  It's running
> Mac OS/X which is based on 4.? BSD. [it was 4.2 and I'm not sure
> where it is now].  You don't know it's BSD unless you know about
> the roots of OS/X.
> 
> What I found interesting is that China comes in with a machine 
> ranked 18th in the world, on IBM hardware, and it's running
> AIX.
> 
> Just add this to the other replies as an incidental information
> point.
> 
> Bill
> 
> 
It is at this stage the 'plot' got lost.  I think that the original 
poster was questioning the reason that Linux is more popular than 
FreeBSD, not 'how' that result has occurred.

I would suggest two reasons.  One is the use of a core team that takes 
overall control of the distribution.  If I was IBM or HP, I would find 
that acrid.  True that it might led to a more concrete distribution, but 
the 'freeness' gets lost in the bargin.  The other is hardare support. 
Linux is miles ahead of FreeBSD.  I am just investigating the use of 
FreeBSD and have problems in getting the distributions to boot on my 
laptop.  I posted the problem here a week ago and got the response that 
this was the wrong forum.  It appear that the problem is related to 
ACPI.  Sorry, guys, that problem was solved in the Linux domain two 
years ago.  You guys are still in the denial phase of rectifying such 
problems.  And that is only an example problem that I am aware of.
0
Ross
10/29/2005 2:09:06 PM
In article <4362d82d$0$21713$5a62ac22@per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au>,
Ross Maloney  <rmatycorp@iinet.net.au> wrote:
>Bill Vermillion wrote:
>> In article <1130307019_269@spool6-east.superfeed.net>,
>>  <galactic_war@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> 
>>>Hi all:
>> 
>> 
>>>Just curious. Is it because of the more advanced SMP features?
>>>My understanding is that most super-computers (e.g., ASCI White,
>>>Blue Gene) use Linux or some proprietary version of Unix instead
>>>of BSD.
>> 
>> 
>> If you look at the lists of the super-computers you'll see
>> that 51.8% of of the installed super-computers are from IBM, and IBM
>> has been pushing Linux on it's various large systems for several
>> years.
>> 
>> Next up is HP - with 26.2% of the systems installed.  So you have
>> 78% right there with two manufacturers who support Linux.
>> 
>> The first [and what I can see only] BSD based system is 
>> the University of Virginia at #14 in the top-500.  It's running
>> Mac OS/X which is based on 4.? BSD. [it was 4.2 and I'm not sure
>> where it is now].  You don't know it's BSD unless you know about
>> the roots of OS/X.
>> 
>> What I found interesting is that China comes in with a machine 
>> ranked 18th in the world, on IBM hardware, and it's running
>> AIX.
>> 
>> Just add this to the other replies as an incidental information
>> point.
>> 
>> Bill

>It is at this stage the 'plot' got lost.  I think that the original 
>poster was questioning the reason that Linux is more popular than 
>FreeBSD, not 'how' that result has occurred.
>
>I would suggest two reasons.  One is the use of a core team that takes 
>overall control of the distribution.  If I was IBM or HP, I would find 
>that acrid.

IBM and HP support Linux - but they do not control the
distributions - they work with vendors.   This goes back a couple
of years regarding licensing, copyrights, etc.  I suspect the
'suits' are happiner with supporting a vendors distribution than
being wholly responsible for the OS themselves. 

IBM has enough OSes to worry about :-)  The old legacy ones and
their AIX, and they always seemed to have problems in the PC/Intel
market as you can see by the history of PC-DOS and OS/2.

HP has the HP-UX and other legacy OSes it got in the merger.

And for companies like that if they don't have total control they
won't be happy.  And with Linux it is far too easy for the user to
change things and that plays havoc with support teams.  

Bill
-- 
Bill Vermillion - bv @ wjv . com
0
bv
10/29/2005 3:15:01 PM
2005-10-29, Responding to Michel Talon...
> Ross Maloney <rmatycorp@iinet.net.au> wrote:
>> 
>> I would suggest two reasons.  One is the use of a core
>> team that takes overall control of the distribution.  If
>> I was IBM or HP, I would find that acrid. 
>
> You mean it is better than IBM is the real boss in the
> Linux arena? Sorry i don't buy this situation as "more
> free" that the FreeBSD system. A core team is necessary to
> sort the chaos that results necessarily from a bazar
> system, as far as Linux is concerned, the chaos has been
> sorted by a few cpompanies gaining the effective power,
> namely IBM, RedHat and Novell.

Did Slackware just vanish already? ;)

-- 
----
* Another squeaking wheel @ http://tinyurl.com/b28fq
* Mike's (curious) Brain  @ http://tinyurl.com/4872c
- Have a nice day, it really does do you good! :)
0
MikesBrain
10/29/2005 8:34:59 PM
In article <43643b3c$0$20409$5a62ac22@per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au>,
Ross Maloney  <rmatycorp@iinet.net.au> wrote:
>Bill Vermillion wrote:
>> In article <4362d82d$0$21713$5a62ac22@per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au>,
>> Ross Maloney  <rmatycorp@iinet.net.au> wrote:
>> 
>>>Bill Vermillion wrote:
>>>
>>>>In article <1130307019_269@spool6-east.superfeed.net>,
>>>> <galactic_war@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>Hi all:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>Just curious. Is it because of the more advanced SMP features?
>>>>>My understanding is that most super-computers (e.g., ASCI White,
>>>>>Blue Gene) use Linux or some proprietary version of Unix instead
>>>>>of BSD.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>If you look at the lists of the super-computers you'll see
>>>>that 51.8% of of the installed super-computers are from IBM, and IBM
>>>>has been pushing Linux on it's various large systems for several
>>>>years.
>>>>
>>>>Next up is HP - with 26.2% of the systems installed.  So you have
>>>>78% right there with two manufacturers who support Linux.
>>>>
>>>>The first [and what I can see only] BSD based system is 
>>>>the University of Virginia at #14 in the top-500.  It's running
>>>>Mac OS/X which is based on 4.? BSD. [it was 4.2 and I'm not sure
>>>>where it is now].  You don't know it's BSD unless you know about
>>>>the roots of OS/X.
>>>>
>>>>What I found interesting is that China comes in with a machine 
>>>>ranked 18th in the world, on IBM hardware, and it's running
>>>>AIX.
>>>>
>>>>Just add this to the other replies as an incidental information
>>>>point.
>>>>
>>>>Bill
>> 
>> 
>>>It is at this stage the 'plot' got lost.  I think that the original 
>>>poster was questioning the reason that Linux is more popular than 
>>>FreeBSD, not 'how' that result has occurred.
>>>
>>>I would suggest two reasons.  One is the use of a core team that takes 
>>>overall control of the distribution.  If I was IBM or HP, I would find 
>>>that acrid.
>> 
>> 
>> IBM and HP support Linux - but they do not control the
>> distributions - they work with vendors.   This goes back a couple
>> of years regarding licensing, copyrights, etc.  I suspect the
>> 'suits' are happiner with supporting a vendors distribution than
>> being wholly responsible for the OS themselves. 
>> 
>> IBM has enough OSes to worry about :-)  The old legacy ones and
>> their AIX, and they always seemed to have problems in the PC/Intel
>> market as you can see by the history of PC-DOS and OS/2.
>> 
>> HP has the HP-UX and other legacy OSes it got in the merger.
>> 
>> And for companies like that if they don't have total control they
>> won't be happy.  And with Linux it is far too easy for the user to
>> change things and that plays havoc with support teams.  
>> 
>> Bill

>It is control that I am referring to. With FreeBSD they have no
>control, but with Linux they have at least some influence (which
>would be acknowledged). It is nice to have your own OS, but
>supporting it is costly. The name of the game is cost against
>that warm fuzzy feeling that nobody else has what you have.
>With a larger pool of hackers available, costs can be reduced
>less, I propose, using Linux than FreeBSD. Maybe IBM and HP have
>determined that a cost/benefit is better in the super-computer
>domain at least by using Linux.

They may have influence but they have no control and no LIABILITY.
IBM likes to OWN everything it puts it's name on - so I'm assuming
that's why they support it.  I suspect the lawyers would get
twitchy if the IBM had more control.  ISTR that SuSE was the first
Linux ported to the S390 ?? - since renamed into the Z series.

It could easily run 2500 instances of Linux in the same space
that you could only put about 200 linux servers if mounted in racks
- not to mention the mess of wiring those 200 units would take.
They've done some interesting things letting the machine
communicate IP internally instead of the typical way of going
through NICs. At least that's my understanding.  When you look at
the 6 figure cost for one of those beasts the cost/server gets
below what you can reach using individual machines - or even blade
servers - though those are getting cheaper.

>Although it is agreed that Linux does not support the latest
>'sexy' hardware (as somebody else raised), that support occurs
>quicker with Linux than FreeBSD. This again is a function of the
>larger group of hackers available. So it is sexy feature against
>cost. No enterprising corporation would overlook that aspect.

I thought Linux supported the latest 'sexy' hardware faster than
most others.

The downside to having a large group of hackers as opposed to
a smaller core of those controlling a fully intergrated OS in
FreeBSD instead of the Linux mode of a standardized kernel with
all the other pieces come from vendors - and those pieces may not
be the same - means you have more control over the OS - and can
keep things fairly well structured.

But in the end it's now that OS you choose - as you should select
the OS that runs the application that you need in the best manner
possible.  And if that's some OS with only 5000 users total that
no-one has heard of - then that's what you should use.

I see many commercial entities lose sight of that very important
fact.  

Bill



-- 
Bill Vermillion - bv @ wjv . com
0
bv
10/30/2005 4:35:00 AM
Bill Vermillion wrote:
> In article <4362d82d$0$21713$5a62ac22@per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au>,
> Ross Maloney  <rmatycorp@iinet.net.au> wrote:
> 
>>Bill Vermillion wrote:
>>
>>>In article <1130307019_269@spool6-east.superfeed.net>,
>>> <galactic_war@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Hi all:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Just curious. Is it because of the more advanced SMP features?
>>>>My understanding is that most super-computers (e.g., ASCI White,
>>>>Blue Gene) use Linux or some proprietary version of Unix instead
>>>>of BSD.
>>>
>>>
>>>If you look at the lists of the super-computers you'll see
>>>that 51.8% of of the installed super-computers are from IBM, and IBM
>>>has been pushing Linux on it's various large systems for several
>>>years.
>>>
>>>Next up is HP - with 26.2% of the systems installed.  So you have
>>>78% right there with two manufacturers who support Linux.
>>>
>>>The first [and what I can see only] BSD based system is 
>>>the University of Virginia at #14 in the top-500.  It's running
>>>Mac OS/X which is based on 4.? BSD. [it was 4.2 and I'm not sure
>>>where it is now].  You don't know it's BSD unless you know about
>>>the roots of OS/X.
>>>
>>>What I found interesting is that China comes in with a machine 
>>>ranked 18th in the world, on IBM hardware, and it's running
>>>AIX.
>>>
>>>Just add this to the other replies as an incidental information
>>>point.
>>>
>>>Bill
> 
> 
>>It is at this stage the 'plot' got lost.  I think that the original 
>>poster was questioning the reason that Linux is more popular than 
>>FreeBSD, not 'how' that result has occurred.
>>
>>I would suggest two reasons.  One is the use of a core team that takes 
>>overall control of the distribution.  If I was IBM or HP, I would find 
>>that acrid.
> 
> 
> IBM and HP support Linux - but they do not control the
> distributions - they work with vendors.   This goes back a couple
> of years regarding licensing, copyrights, etc.  I suspect the
> 'suits' are happiner with supporting a vendors distribution than
> being wholly responsible for the OS themselves. 
> 
> IBM has enough OSes to worry about :-)  The old legacy ones and
> their AIX, and they always seemed to have problems in the PC/Intel
> market as you can see by the history of PC-DOS and OS/2.
> 
> HP has the HP-UX and other legacy OSes it got in the merger.
> 
> And for companies like that if they don't have total control they
> won't be happy.  And with Linux it is far too easy for the user to
> change things and that plays havoc with support teams.  
> 
> Bill

It is control that I am referring to.  With FreeBSD they have no 
control, but with Linux they have at least some influence (which would 
be acknowledged).  It is nice to have your own OS, but supporting it is 
costly.  The name of the game is cost against that warm fuzzy feeling 
that nobody else has what you have.  With a larger pool of hackers 
available, costs can be reduced less, I propose, using Linux than 
FreeBSD.  Maybe IBM and HP have determined that a cost/benefit is better 
in the super-computer domain at least by using Linux.

Although it is agreed that Linux does not support the latest 'sexy' 
hardware (as somebody else raised), that support occurs quicker with 
Linux than FreeBSD.  This again is a function of the larger group of 
hackers available.  So it is sexy feature against cost.  No enterprising 
corporation would overlook that aspect.

Ross
0
Ross
10/30/2005 3:24:05 PM
>>  The other is hardare support. Linux is miles ahead of FreeBSD.
>
> Oh? I never noticed. In fact, I think that FreeBSD has a good solid
> base of supported hardware, even if it doesn't reach out as far as
> linux into fancy and obscure stuff.

We have found the FreeBSD docs useful in determining what sorts of
hardware are likely to be *properly* supported on either Linux or
FreeBSD.

For instance, when looking for what fibrechannel cards are supported
by Linux, it tends to be the case that the docs are pretty "weaselly"
as far as indicating 32-vs-64 bit PCI support.  The FreeBSD docs tend
to be more straightforward in indicating what kind of behaviour the
hardware *can* support.

That sort of information is *really vital* when trying to run AMD64
systems; there is a lot of "weaselly hardware" out there that isn't
really 64-bit compatible. Which the FreeBSD docs successfully
convey...

Often enough, the result pretty much is "that hardware is unsuitable."
But knowing what hardware not to buy is pretty important.
-- 
(reverse (concatenate 'string "moc.liamg" "@" "enworbbc"))
http://cbbrowne.com/info/
If we were meant to fly, we wouldn't keep losing our luggage.
0
Christopher
10/30/2005 10:13:00 PM
Reply:

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