BSD vs Linux and wifi

Started by syklops, March 20, 2006, 10:51:25 AM

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I spent ages configuring Linux and my wireless card a WPC11 v4. Using the orinoco driver. Most things worked except monitor mode, and packet injection, which made breaking wep keys pretty difficult. I didnt give up per se, but a copy of FreeBSD came with Linux Format so i installed it. OMG! Its great. Some of it is not as obvious as linux, and you have to configure your user settings yourself. Im still getting everything just they way i wanted it, but it found my wireless card with out a problem. Recognised it as an Intersil based chipset, gave it a driver, and now i have monitor mode, packet injection, and anything else i want. My questions are,  why can BSD do it and not linux? Did BSD give it the driver for Intersil cards, and is this not a better way of doing it then using one driver for every card which is even vaguely based on orinoco?

I am amazed at the way BSD has found everything. I was always under the impression it was a nightmare to configure. I now have X, KDE, along with gnutella, Msn messenger, and everything else I use.

Does everyone know this already?

Quickly since I have some things I need to do... I hope this is what you're asking and not utter gibberish. Let me know if it's not what you were after though.

Think kernel and code:

Linux is not an OS, but the kernel. The OS is the distribution (the kernel + libraries etc). The kernel is simply the core of the OS.

*BSD is a complete OS  itself (that means they have their own kernel as well, which is smaller than the Linux kernel I think).

I haven't used BSD in ages (I use Gentoo Linux, but for the reason below). I still love BSD though...

Anyway, Linux is probably more widely used, which is why I use linux these days (plus I feel the GNU C library is more complete). Actually, something I develop's live server uses Linux so I figured I'd use it instead.

But the complexity and massive size of the Linux kernel comes with a price: speed, space, etc. Even if you customize your kernel, BSD is still more efficient imo. Certainly, OpenBSD has a pretty good track record of default security too.

Basically, it's completely different code.. and based off different versions of unix. And more importantly: Goals and intentions of the developers.

As for detected hardware, your guess is as good as mine. Naturally if the hardware specs are proprietary by the manufacturer, there are problems. If the hardware is broken (as far as not following standards etc), there is also a problem.

As for features and whether or not Linux can do something BSD can do.

Sure they can. Doesn't mean everything needs to be put in ther kernel though. And for the hardware that is not in the kernel: remember that the developers of linux don't develop every module; it could very well be the company that made the hardware (and that's not always the best).

I really haven't done much work on BSD in a long time, so I can't be sure, but I imagine not everything is in the kernel (since otherwise it'd make things complex).

All this makes me want to try BSD again. I might just have to do that some time soon... Ok, going to download it for the hopefully soon future.

Anyway, does this answer your question any (or did I totally misunderstand ?) ?
"My Terminal is my Soul"

I was hoping for a discussion more than just having a question(this being a discussion forum and all). I am pleased with your answer though.

I was just asking if people had had better performance with BSD and wireless connections, then they had with linux. I was surprised that my normal wireless tools being included in BSD included in the ports distribution. I guess i figured wireless and BSD were not good bed fellows yet.

It makes sense that the code for the drivers is completely different  to the linux stuff. I was unsure of the actual boundaries between the too and assumed they used alot of the same code.

Ah, ok...

Well I did this ages ago, so probably was just unsupported hardware (and no patience from me), but I had difficulties with BSD and X. However, I am sure they improved by now (since they've apparently moved two full trees up). Everything else was fine though...

Linux I've never had much trouble with.

But honestly, I don't use X much anyway. My linux boxes are mostly used as servers, so no need for X clutter. I've always been into command prompts anyway. I do like X11 though (favourite window manager is Gnome).

But I've actually only used Linux the last few years. I started on SunOS, then moved to FreeBSD and also used Solaris (a version of SunOS) and then Linux (Gentoo). That was over the last 10 years or so.

I need to get back to some of the others. I might even want to try Solaris on x86 arch...

What about you (experience and otherwise) ?
"My Terminal is my Soul"

I started with redhat 7.3 when I was 18(4 years ago), quite liked it, then went to RH9, which I hated, moved to debian and stayed with debian for about 3 years, got freebsd on a magazine, and was getting annoyed with my current installation of deb. Installed FreeBSD, have not had much problems, though im still getting it working the way i want it to, shell preferences etc. I use X, because its on my laptop and all I use windows for now is when my wireless card does not work, or watching DVD's. Have not tried watching dvd's on bsd, as its more stable it might solve the problem I had previously of it dropping frames. I use bsd as a complete replacement of windows, using IM programs, chat, web browser etc in it. In work i work on a bsd server for shells web server etc, and when i get my pc set up, ill probably have it as a deb or BSD server and just ssh into. Although I will have it downloading music and stuff, and i think gnutella needs X to work.

Because I have been living in rented accomadation for the last 2 years, or so, I have not had a spare room to put servers in and play properly. Would like to get my hands on an AIS/6000 or Sparc box and install Solaris or HPUX, so i can have some large server experience.

I had issues with some OSes myself.

My complaint with Linux before I switched to Gentoo, was the speed issue. Every other Linux I tried seemed slower than BSD and other Unices in processing input/output. That annoyed me. I might have been spoiled by trying the others first.

Anyway, when I heard of Gentoo some years ago, it sounded quite cool of an idea. Not only doing a manual install, but compiling things, customizing, optimizing. I was hooked on the very idea. Then I tried it, and the heart of Gentoo (portage) impressed me a lot. Sure RPMs are faster (no compile time), but Gentoo is faster than the others in my experience (at least at the time).

Gentoo is a bit much for some people though. Those that complain of it taking for ever to install on more than one system, just aren't experienced with it I think (probably frustrates them so why bother ?). But, there are solutions to the problem which speed things up quite a bit.

But it doesn't matter really, since everyone has their own preferences, likes and dislikes, etc.

After I tried Gentoo, I actually went back to BSD for a while. But when I started a project that uses Linux as its base, I figured it'd be better if I used Linux. And that's what made me switch back to Gentoo (which made quite a lot of progress since I had gone back to BSD).

As for how I deal with only command prompts, I have one win2k box (one of the few versions of windows I tolerate) and ssh into my servers. I also have another monitor though, and often use that on my servers as well.
"My Terminal is my Soul"

Ahhh... takes me back to the good ol days! I think I started with Redhat 5.x? something really early like that. I was a poor little archaeology student who couldn't afford ye olde MS. So my buddy the Unix server admin hooked me up. The rest is history as they say! Right now I'm running Ubuntu on a laptop, I like that quite a bit although, things are different with the Japanese keyboard layout ;)
All's fair in Love and Brewing.

I can't take Gentoo, man--it's way to much for me.  I'll take debian, thank you very much.

benthehutt@awesomevilleUSA:~$ apt-get install whatever-I-need

Fedora is also pretty cool, but it seems a little too clunky for me.  I started on Redhat 8, then moved to FC3, but Debian takes the cake in my book.  I also like ubuntu, but I also think it's a little clunkier than Debian.

I don't have much experience with unix.  I've got FreeBSD on my laptop and it's pretty cool--though I admit, I haven't gotten much into the nitty gritty.  It seems to me to be very similar to Linux, except completely streamlined..

I've gotten alot of experience with Mac OS X, though.  It pretty much rocks my face off.  But something bothers me about it.  It has one of the coolest GUIs, and it's got a solid core, so why doesn't it blow everything else out of the water?  I'll tell you why--it's too dumbed down.  The shell disgusts me--it has so much potential but is so limited...  I'm not even sure it beats (dare I say it) CMD.  And the same with the GUI.  It's got so many good ideas in it, but it lacks so much. (*sigh*)

I guess I'll just have to keep my unix/debian/windows XP triple boot system with a mac mini on the side...

(Maybe Vista will quench my thirst)
Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

What about Gentoo can't you take (just curious - don't worry, won't laugh ... much). They actually have a gui installer now (pretty neat for those who can't handle the text install). Or is it the fact you have to compile everything ? I just set my server to make tarballs so that I can emerge the files from the tarball, without having to compile. Not sure if I'll use it, but I might.

Fedora is... bloated IMO.

OSX looks nice (it's based on BSD if I remember right ?). I'd love to get my hands on it, but I don't feel like getting a mac, or finding a x86 version (assuming it's possible currently - don't feel like trying to port it).

Debian I hear isn't so bad, but I still prefer Gentoo.

Oh, and BSD is like Linux, except for the internals ... if that's a good way of putting it. Most commands are similar. One I can think of off the top of my head that isn't is 'w'.

Last I checked BSD has the option '-d' for the w command to print out all processes by the users, as opposed to the current one. But Linux doesn't seem to have that option to that command.
"My Terminal is my Soul"

Would be interested getting Mac OSX working on an Intel Machine, Have it triple booting on my PC. Alot of the basic networking tools have had nice features added which are only available for Mac. Kismet for example looks very pretty. Not that I care too much about aesthetics that much, but if I am working in a GUI, I like it to be responsive. I like the interface for K, but its not as responsive as OSX or (dare I say it) windows. I brought this subject up on another forum once, and the reaction I got was "Maybe you could modify it so its better."

Does OSX work off of the X server, or a similar graphical server? If so, could you install a normal freeBSD system, configured the way you want, but when you want a gui, initialise the video server and use the OSX desktop? If so we could start seeing OSX as a competitor to KDE and GNOME.

My guess is it uses X11 (last I heard FBSD used that too). I can't be certain though (haven't checked and haven't read about it in a while). Maybe our mac expert can help... (or if not I'll do a quick check some time).

I think there are ways to get it working on x86, but I can't be certain there either. And if not currently, I reckon it'd be possible with some work (although maybe you'd have to know both kinds of system architecture).

"My Terminal is my Soul"

Taz could probably field this one better than I, but my understanding is that no, OS X does not use X11.  In fact, there is a Mac OS X X11 download on their site:

Instead, it uses the Aqua server--a completely proprietary graphical server.  However, it's deeply rooted inside of OS X.  By this I mean that there's no way (theoretically I'm sure there is) to install Aqua on a BSD system.  In the case of OS X on the new intel based systems, that may be a bit more possible (but still incredibly difficult).

There's a great mac architecture read at:
Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


If I had the system I'd give it a try maybe, but alas, I do not.

It'll be interesting to see if anyone is up to the challenge though. Even more interesting to see if someone will actually succeed.

How much is it based on Intel architecture ? I think depending on that variable, it could be much easier to port ... if the person(s) involved knew the architecture at a low level ...

"My Terminal is my Soul"

OS X uses Aqua and it rox! You can however install X and run a seperate X server process which I use for xhosting to other servers that I need to. The windows manager is awesome. Never could stand KDE... ewwe! Fluxbox on the other hand is great and is what I use on all my BSD boxes if I need X. But anyhoo, we've covered that topic already in other threads. As far as BSD goes for WiFi, most Orinoco cards work very well with it. Don't know about most Linux distros other than SuSE and a few LiveCD distros like Knoppix...
*** Sleep: A completely inadequate substitute for caffeine. ***

Appears Gentoo has drivers for it ...

shrink ~ # emerge -s orinoco
[ Results for search key : orinoco ]
[ Applications found : 2 ]
*  net-wireless/orinoco
      Latest version available: 0.15_rc4
      Latest version installed: [ Not Installed ]
      Size of downloaded files: 83 kB
      Description: ORiNOCO IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN driver
      License:     GPL-2 MPL-1.1

*  net-wireless/orinoco-fwutils
      Latest version available: 0.1
      Latest version installed: [ Not Installed ]
      Size of downloaded files: 5 kB
      Description: ORiNOCO IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN firmware utilities
      License:     GPL-2

"My Terminal is my Soul"

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