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 From:  Chris Buechler <cbuechler at gmail dot com>
 Cc:  m0n0wall dash dev at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall-dev] Re: The future
 Date:  Wed, 12 Oct 2005 19:49:33 -0400
On 10/12/05, Pavel A. Grodek <m0n0wall at abletools dot com> wrote:
> Hello all,
>
> As far as I can see, besides technical matters, there is some
> "marketing" involved in the OS/language/code structure decisions, and
> it really should be taken into account.
>

this is absolutely true, and a good point, but all the "image" in the
world doesn't mean shit if the product doesn't have the required
features for the user base, doesn't perform well enough, doesn't have
sufficient hardware support, etc.

I bet at least 25% of the user base thinks m0n0wall runs on Linux. 
You see it on the list all the time.  Only a small minority really
care what it runs.


> b) Availability of developers. If there are many people in the world
> who use some development tool or environment, it would eventually
> translate into better product.
>

more importantly, the skill sets of the existing contributors.  I
haven't used Linux much since the 90's.  Most of the contributors are
primarily BSD guys, though I don't know how much Linux experience they
have.

It certainly wouldn't be in the best interests of the project short
term or long term to alienate the current contributors by switching to
something that isn't their core competency.  Yes, the openings from
those who are driven away might be filled in the long term, but who
knows...



>
> First - the OS of choice for a firewall/router project would be some
> kind of BSD. It's not as popular as Linux, but it has an image of
> industrial-strength OS, and it's already used in the current m0n0wall.
> I think the final choice would be between OpenBSD (as most stable and
> solid) and NetBSD (as runnig on most hardware), even though FreeBSD 6
> and DragonFlyBSD are strong contenders.

I definitely agree Linux shouldn't be a contender.

I wouldn't consider DragonFly at all at this point.  Too many things
won't compile without a whole lot of effort.  It'd be a real pain to
get together a working image.  It's probably the fastest of the bunch,
but that's about all it has going for it.

I discussed why Open isn't a good option earlier.

Net is an interesting option, due to the portability aspect (if we
could get people to maintain different ports, that's at least a decent
amount of effort).  I have never performance tested it, but network
performance is supposedly good.  It also has full support for the new
ipsec-tools, with enterprise-class IPsec support (NAT-T, DPD, Xauth,
etc.)

Free 6 is the other viable option, IMO.  Good driver support, decent
and improving speed, the best wireless features of the bunch, and
probably the most hardware compatibility of the bunch on x86.

I'd like to put together a comparison matrix of the various OS
options, with solid facts, not feelings or generalizations.  This
would also leave documentation on why the project progressed in the
direction that it eventually will.  Anyone interested in assisting?

-Chris