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back to article PlayStation 4 is FreeBSD inside

As Sony's PlayStation 4 pre-orders take off (perhaps at the expense of the already-unloved Xbox One), speculation has emerged that the console's underlying operating system is based on the FreeBSD operating system. The apparent identification of the OS comes not from anything so exotic as a leaked console, but from someone with …

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Happy

*looks at Eadon and laughs*

They've chosen open source (as Eadon keeps banging on about) yet it's not his beloved Linux.

Sigh - how will he react?

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Trollface

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

Who even cares? BSD is way better anyways.

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@M.B - Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

Unfortunately the more liberal license is the reason we're all bickering here about Linux almost forgetting the BDSs. Could it be a reason why Microsoft was always frightened about GPL but never worried about BSDL ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

Sigh - how will he react?

A fiver on "EPIC SONY FAIL" please

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Windows

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

> Who even cares? BSD is way better anyways.

Depends on what you do with it. I (a Linux and - sadly - also a Windows user, hence the icon) occasionally take a look at some new BSD release and always find it like a time-machine trip 20 years in the past with respect to user interface and - what is worse - device support. And that was compared to modern Linux! But it certainly is a stable solution for servers (provided you can arrange compatible hardware), and for embedded systems for the GPL-phobics.

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Thumb Up

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

AC 0410, Thats a sucker bet and you know it.

Especially as he's repeatedly demonstrated that he doesn't really know a damn thing about Operating Systems, as evidenced by the glaringly obvious fact that he has no idea that Linux is a kernel and has nothing to do with the GNU userland that "Linux" depends on, his insistence that there is no such thing as *nix malware and that you don't need AV on any Linux system, even those touching a Windows or Mac environment, his accusation against Trevor Pott claiming that he's an MS schill, etc.

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Mushroom

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

Free BSD - so with built in NSA spying libraries then.....

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/15/openbsd_backdoor_claim/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

Haha. I bet he will struggle to be critical of FreeBSD. After all, it is proper Unix not Lunix.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

But then if you booted up some commercial Unix it would be similar? it's sort of like that when starting up Solaris.

It wasn't that long ago that on SCO Unix you needed to build a new kernel to change the IP address?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

"Free BSD - so with built in NSA spying libraries then.....

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/15/openbsd_backdoor_claim/

House Rules "

open!=free !

also "Perry's allegations are being taken seriously even though they don't come alongside anything substantial by way of evidence"

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

I thought he'd got banned tbh.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

I had an epiphany regarding Eadon a couple of days ago. I suspect he is actually The Evil one himself (or a senior shill), only posing as a Linux lover.

Think about it: he is so extreme that all sane people want to distance themselves from him as far as possible. What better way to promote Windows/MS as the OS of choice, than to come over as such an obnoxious person and spouting such patent nonsense so that even Linux fanbois will rethink their stance? I mean, if THAT is how Linux users/devs/whatever are like that, how horrible is the OS then?

And yes, his ignorance surfaces from time to time during his more rabid postings.

It is quite a revelation how one (if he is only one) person has managed to generate such strong negative feelings against himself in such a short period.

On the other hand, maybe the real Eadon's account has been hijacked, as his earlier posts were quite, shall I say, sane?

EPIC BALLMER^H^H^H^H^H EADON FAIL!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

I occasionally take a look at some new BSD release and always find it like a time-machine trip 20 years in the past with respect to user interface and - what is worse - device support.

Seeing as the BSD's run the same interfaces as Linux (GNOME, KDE, Xfce, etc.) that comes as a surprise. As for device drivers, in fifteen years of running a mix of Linux, FreeBSD and NetBSD the only thing device I've owned that wasn't supported by the BSD's was an obscure USB FM radio receiver.

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

> Seeing as the BSD's run the same interfaces as Linux (GNOME, KDE, Xfce, etc.) that comes as a surprise. [...

I was thinking of installation and administration tools. You can set up a mainstream Linux distribution without touching the command line or editing text files, but not BSD, last time I looked. I emphasize that is perfectly fine for many users, but makes it rather specialized these days, Also, does hot-plugging USB devices work in any BSD yet? I mean like putting in a USB memory stick or disk drive and getting it automatically mounted without further incantations.

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Anonymous Coward

Eadon is dead!

Just went looking for him via an old thread I remember him enjoying and found all traces of him have been expunged from the fossil record. Seems his little tantrum at TP yesterday finally got him dispatched to the great server room in the sky.

Poor Eadon. ????-2013

RIP

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Childcatcher

Re: Eadon is dead!

Your Google Fu is weak, but your surmise seems to be correct:

Eadon - 3 August, 2009 - 24 June, 2013

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Re: Eadon is dead!

Tantrum? I missed all the fun

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Go

Re: Eadon is dead!

Indeed.... Must say my mouse wheel is thankful for not having to skip over so many MS FAIL posts but would have been nice to keep the existing comments going.... in particular the referenced "tantrum".

El Reg - any chance of an article of recognition. Quite a change that's happened with him gone!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

"It wasn't that long ago that on SCO Unix you needed to build a new kernel to change the IP address?"

yes they have a patent on that apparently

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eadon is dead!

The tantrum wasn't all that epic unfortunately. A few of the of the usual ranting posts amounting to Trevor being an "MS SUCK-UP WINDOWS SNAKE OIL SALESMAN FAIL" and the like. I have most of it handy if you're really that interested. Nearly re-posted it here, then thought better of it. ;-)

Finally, may I add that Eadon was not a good commentard. His incessant impetuous rantings made many of us want to scratch out eyes out and wish him dead. Well now he is.

EPIC EULOGY FAIL

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

Nope, to be pedantic FreeBSD is Unix like and Unix compliant, the same is true of Linux.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_UNIX_Specification

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eadon is dead!

...would have been nice to keep the existing comments going...

My thoughts too.

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

yep, hotplug does work on *BSD although in some cases it's not out of the box.

BSD tends to be a lot more predictable and better documented than Linux, and the install programs are pretty solid (I've had a lot of grief with Linux distros trying to be too clever then failing badly when installing on something vaguely unusual)

driver support in Linux is better especially for brand new graphics cards. application support depends on the BSD variety - NetBSD is very portable but IIRC you're restricted to older versions of Skype and Firefox rather than Chromium. OpenBSD focuses on openness and security, so you won't be seeing ZFS any time soon.

For a Linux user FreeBSD is probably more familiar and friendlier than the other BSDs - you might find NetBSD shockingly bare bones. On the other hand if you look closer OpenBSD is remarkably coherent and well thought through.

for all occasional hassle I've had with *BSD there are equivalent issues with Debian, Arch, Ubuntu etc especially when you want to tell them to stop being 'clever' and do exactly what you want (insisting on the use of the network notification stuff, for instance, rather than 'here is my nic, here is my bridge, do not mess with them - that's the user's job')

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

It's Sony so in the eyes of many who post on here (no idea if this includes Eadon but probably) it's automatically the Devil's very work.

Given that Sony killed OtherOS I would have to say you're almost certainly right about Eadon. And to be fair though Sony has earned its lumps in that regard. They still build the best consoles on the market in my opinion, but some of us have gotten tired of them assuming that all their customers are thieves and being treated as such.

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MJI
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Re: Hot plugging

It does on the CellOS variant, for keyboard and PS Eye

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eadon is dead!

Daaaaamn, I was travelling and lost all the fun! What happened? Guys? Guys?

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

I'd be curious to find out how he'd react if Sony or Microsoft released hardware that used Linux as the OS...

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

It sort of is. Mac OS X is proper "UNIX" so was BSD/OS. None of the rest are certified. The fact Mac OS X is a UNIX and doesn't even have focus follows mouse means the definition is not one worth worrying about.

Maybe this will mean AMD's Linux drivers actually get decent. (Or someone works out how to hack these ones to work with Freebsd that would be ideal for me I think if that was possible.)

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

Building the kernel to match the machine it is running on is not really a bad thing.

It is more time consuming than it should be to build a decent one on Linux (Disabling modules).

It is easy to do the same thing on at least Netbsd and Freebsd.

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

It is not UNIX compliant because the only way is by getting the trademark from the open group. There is other things that it doesn't do for legacy reasons that would have to be done to get it the certification.

Linux isn't UNIX compliant for that reason. (It is not even POSIX compliant or certified doesn't support POSIX AIO - At one point Linux FT was going to be certified by POSIX and paid for but I don't think it ever was). It mixes too many things up as well. If you make any reasonably complicated application on Linux primarily and try and just do a simple make on other real UNIX systems chances are it will be a fair amount of effort to sort it out. (The other way is easier.). Funny Linux is copying the embrace extend extinguish thing from MS.

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

At the vary least the GNU userspace is known to be non-compliant with POSIX/SUS. It is not considered to be a bug, but a design-choice.

Of course most people who bring POSIX up, don't know the specification well enough to know the difference.

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

It wasn't that long ago that on SCO Unix you needed to build a new kernel to change the IP address?

You never needed to do that. You could well need to do a kernel relink after adding a new interface but the IP itself could be freely changed while still multiuser. Even the relink process wasn't a big issue although obviously it meant a reboot since the entire process was automated - in practice even the relinking tended to be invoked automatically rather than you needing to trigger it manually. In that respect SCO of twenty years ago was actually more advanced than a Linux system is now, although the motivation for that has largely fallen away: shaving a couple of megabytes off the kernel isn't as big an issue as it was when 16MB was a shed load of RAM.

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

It's interesting that there's a link about the alleged NSA back-door into Free BSD (didn't actually read it yet though) - because it is also the underlying operating system of all those Israeli Checkpoint Firewalls out there.

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Re: @M.B - *looks at Eadon and laughs*

Unfortunately the more liberal license is the reason we're all bickering here about Linux almost forgetting the BDSs

No, the licence had nothing to with it. AT&T took UC Berkeley to court at the same time as Torvalds was cloning Minix. Until the court case finished, and this being America it took a few years, BSD was considered tainted so there was an incentive to use something else, Linux was around and the rest is history.

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

@MacroRodent

You might want to take a look at PC-BSD. Comes with all the creature comforts of many modern Linux distros, it's just FreeBSD underneath.

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

Rebuild to change the IP address?

I think you're getting confused with the nightmares of Windows NT4 service packs. Arrrrgghhh! They're sending shivers back just thinking about the farcical things we had to do to NT4 just to make some otherwise what should have been simple changes.

As for Linux vs BSD - they share a lot of code and features and there's a lot of movement going both ways. This makes a lot of sense and saves reinventing the wheel code wise.

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Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

As for Linux vs BSD - they share a lot of code and features and there's a lot of movement going both ways. This makes a lot of sense and saves reinventing the wheel code wise.

Between BSD and Linux itself (i.e. the kernel) traffic is comparatively rare these days and is only ever one way, BSD→Linux. The BSDs try to avoid GPL'ed code wherever practical even in the userland but this is absolute within the kernels themselves - if it's GPL it won't be accepted into the kernels. There aren't the same kind of issues using two- or three-clause BSD stuff in GPL code.

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Megaphone

Re: *looks at Eadon and laughs*

Many jurisdictions along with punishing the vermin also punish the people who feed the vermin. Useful comment on this story has been drowned out by the troll-feeding, even though the troll has not even commented. This saddens me.

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Joke

Devil? No, no, his name is Beastie, and he's a *Daemon*.

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El Reg have been known to stretch things a lot further than that just for a good headline pun...

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Boffin

FFS - It's a development kit, not a prototype or manufacturing sample

Does nobody these days have even the most basic grasp of how these things work ?

HINT: It was some time before there was any development environment for creating Windows applications that actually ran ON Windows. I can sit here today with a Microsoft Windows based Development Kit that produces code that runs on OS X or even Android or iOS.

To really bake your noodle, I can use a Windows guest OS in a VM running on an OS X host, using a Windows based development kit to produce Android / iOS / Windows / OS X software.

For the dense of skull, just because the Development Kit is running a FreeBSD variant/derivative, that is no proof that the code produced from the back-end compilers in that SDK are targeting the same - or even similar - OS.

It isn't to say that it isn't either. But you might just as well speculate that the PS4 will be based on .. oh, I dunno... just make something up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FFS - It's a development kit, not a prototype or manufacturing sample

Yeah, but it could have run Windows. Even if it is nothing but a development kit, why not go with the best ? Why lower to something as mundane as FreeBSD ? Does Sony have no style ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FFS - It's a development kit, not a prototype or manufacturing sample

Where do you live RICHTO? AU/NZ?

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Re: FFS - It's a development kit, not a prototype or manufacturing sample

Given that a PS3 devkit is a PS3 with "TOOL" on the side and some flags in the firmware unlocked, it wouldn't be surprising if the PS4 is similar.

Now PS2 devkits, they were quite the chunky beast. Imagine a PC-tower-sized PS2 and you're about right on the money.

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Re: FFS - It's a development kit, not a prototype or manufacturing sample

Proof - no. Fits the picture - yes. Sony research has a very long history of building things on FreeBSD and contributing code to it. In fact PS3 was a bit of an oddball chosing linux. Overall - nothing particularly surprising here.

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Mushroom

Re: FFS - It's a development kit, not a prototype or manufacturing sample

UK.

nb - if they are using BSD, then this should negate some of the perceived performance advantage of the PS4 hardware. Current Windows kernels plus Direct-X are significantly faster than Open BSD 9 + Open GL on the same hardware....

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MJI
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Re: FFS - It's a development kit, not a prototype or manufacturing sample

They won't use Open GL they will use their own faster libs

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Re: FFS - It's a development kit, not a prototype or manufacturing sample

Yes, you're right. It's common practice to make Mac OS desktop app in a Windows environment running inside a VM on a Mac, rather than use the development tools in the native environment.

There's really no developer I've known in my career that prefers to develop apps in an environment as close as possible to the deployment environment. Who in their right mind would want to natively run the development environment instead of the test environment?

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