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NetBSD is a free, secure, and highly portable Unix-like Open Source operating system available for many platforms, from 64-bit Opteron machines and desktop systems to handheld and embedded devices. Its clean design and advanced features make it excellent in both production and research environments, and it is user-supported with complete source. Many applications are easily available through The NetBSD Packages Collection.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10
Clean, simple, small footprint, rock solid, and forgettable.
Install is not easy for first time users. Almost all configuration is by hand.
I am trying to remember when exactly I installed this product but can't seem to remember exactly when that was. I installed it as an upgrade to NetBSD 1.6.2, which had been serving as the backbone of my network before. I mention that it is forgettable in the positive aspects because it really is a positive point. Since I have installed NetBSD on my router (dhcp server, name server, NAT, firewall, etc), it has been almost a chore to remember the computer exists. It has been weeks, if not months, before I remember that it is sitting there. The last time I paid attention to it was after a long power-outage when I needed to walk over to it and power it back up. I don't even know if rock solid goes far enough in describing the stability and service this operating system provides.
The system is very clean with a minimal amount of programs installed at boot and almost nothing running in the base install. Which leads to some of the points which could bother many users. It does not set up much of anything for you. The installation is text based and bare-bones.
Once the system is installed you have to configure everything you want. You also need to install any programs you desire to use (they have a package system to make this fairly simple). But there is no selection in the install which leaves you with a perfect desktop system on the first boot. Of course, that is mainly because it is not the objective of the project to make the perfect desktop.
If you desire one, you could set up a very nice desktop with NetBSD but it will be a little more work than some of the Linux Distributions out there.
Personally, I think NetBSD is an ideal system... especially for what I am using it for. The upgrade was perfect (it left all my old configuration intact so the system came back up running like it was before ... just upgraded)... and I have nothing more to really add. I'm very pleased with NetBSD 2.0.