Chad Perrin: SOB

28 October 2008

IM convo: reasons to use FreeBSD

Filed under: Geek — apotheon @ 12:42

(12:36:50) him: i thought you used linux

(12:37:52) me: I use FreeBSD, actually.

(12:38:16) him: open bsd has better security… which is the only reason to run any bsd

(12:38:25) me: Bah.

(12:39:09) me: FreeBSD has better security than most Linux distributions, too. It also does the “install from source” thing better than Gentoo, and has more software available through ports than any Linux distro other than Debian has available through their software management systems.

(12:39:44) me: It’s the most stable OS I’ve ever used, has some of the best user documentation I’ve ever encountered for an OS, and has a better community than the vast majority of Linux distributions.

(12:40:36) me: It’s easier to configure and manage a lot of stuff, at least in part because of the better-integrated design of its base system, and I like its licensing model a lot more than any Linux distribution’s licensing.

(12:40:53) me: There are plenty of reasons to choose FreeBSD.

10 Comments

  1. me too: I agree…

    me too-2: but… I seem to be not able to get any of the present BSD varities to work well on my older machines. (pre-P IV’s or equivilent with low memory.) poo. (but Fedora Core II is still kicking on those) -d

    Comment by dawgit (D. Taylor) — 28 October 2008 @ 04:40

  2. What kind of problems have you had? I can’t imagine that a Pentium III wouldn’t support FreeBSD.

    Comment by apotheon — 28 October 2008 @ 06:06

  3. Hi, I think that it is a CPU Speed issue (<500mhz), or the lact of memory (128 or <), or the small disk space available, – or -, all the above combined. One of my pet projects has been to re-vitalize and re-use, older equiptment. This in my mind (yes folks, I still have one.) achieves many (good) goals. It helps to solve the disposial problem and keeps the land-fill problem to a minimum, and it also could provide low-cost, or free, computers to more people that otherwise wouldn’t have one. It is, IMHO, one of the driving forces in the rapid adoption of Linux World-wide. (Not the only one of course.) There’s not a good way to find, aquire, install, and distribute, Win95, or Win98, as an example. Legally. that is. Microsoft products are not know to be particularly backward compatable. (example: Vista and older equiptment.) No matter how popular Microsoft might be. Linux fits that sceanario perfectly. I can (Legally) find, install, (and then give away, for free, if I chose to.) a Linux dirivative, or distabution, of say the Kernal 2.4.x (or older) Legally, and with-out problems. (or, maybe, a few minor ones.) Did I mention Legally? That being said, it caused more than one Company, (big ones at that) or Comunity, (as in major city, state, or even country.) to take a close look at that, and impliment such. The bottom line is Money. People can’t and won’t keep throwing their money away chasing the “Bigger and Better” mentality any longer. I think the BSDs do do some fantastic things, and do them well. (and some things that no other OS does as well) But unfortunatly, I haven’t found a BSD variant to do that (the above) for me either. At least not with-out a lot of time consuming work. (Time is not what I have a lot of lately, in spite of what some people might think.) That’s just my personal observation. In all fairness, Sun’s Solaris is not very good at that either, and I like Solaris. -d

    Comment by dawgit (D. Taylor) — 29 October 2008 @ 03:31

  4. There shouldn’t be any problem installing FreeBSD (or NetBSD or OpenBSD) on a system with a processor under 400MHz or RAM under 128MB. I’m not really sure what the minimum hard drive space required for an install would be, but if you have at least one gigabyte of hard drive space, I would think you’d be able to install at least the base system.

    Okay, I decided to stop being lazy and look it up. I found the minimum hardware requirements for FreeBSD:

    Both FreeBSD/i386 and FreeBSD/pc98 require a 486 or better processor and at least
    24 MB of RAM. You will need at least 150 MB of free hard drive space for the most
    minimal installation.
    
        Note: In case of old configurations, most of time, getting more RAM and more
        hard drive space is more important than getting a faster processor.
    

    . . . so whatever the problem is, it must be something else, unless by “small disk space available” you mean “less than 150MB”. Of course, there’s the possibility you were trying to install too much stuff, I suppose.

    But unfortunatly, I haven’t found a BSD variant to do that (the above) for me either.

    I have no idea why. FreeBSD definitely should, and I imagine NetBSD and OpenBSD wouldn’t have greater hardware minimums than FreeBSD. Probably the opposite, in fact, if there’s a difference.

    Comment by apotheon — 29 October 2008 @ 10:56

  5. It could just be the the BSD distro-Disks that if gotten ahold of.

    Like I said, I don’t not like BSD, in fact I’m rather pleased with what it does do. Amazed actually.

    But, with the older machines I use for test intstallations, it falls flat. -Takes at least 1 to 2 hours per attempt. -When the installation, does finish, and Suposedly sucessfuly, Computer turns to slush. -After installation, any programs I try to run or use will give me an error on the lack of space available.

    I’v tried several different variations of formatting, and File sys. set up, but still no luck. I believe you, that I’m probably asking too much of BSD on that type of machine, but… The same machine(s) had been used with every flavor of MS, (except Vista of course) and to some degree funtioned. With Fedora Core II, those machines became fully funtioning, happy little computers.

    Desired out come: an OS, Internet & e-mail capabilities, and an office program of some kind. (I prefer OO.o myself)

    Typical Machine set-up: Intel P II (or equil.) ~200mhz to 500mhz, ~128Mb RAM, 1 to 2 HD with total cap. ~6GB (or <, but ~4GB to ~6GB) Basic VGA, Sound maybe. (optional)

    There a tons of these types availble and make perfect computers for students, or the old folks needing to make / keep conections.

    of course, it could just be me, I’ll admit that. So thanks for the input. -d

    Comment by dawgit (D. Taylor) — 29 October 2008 @ 03:39

  6. After installation, any programs I try to run or use will give me an error on the lack of space available.

    That sounds like a problem with hard drive space. On the other hand, your suggestion that it works fine with MS Windows XP seems at odds with that, since XP requires a few gigabytes to install properly, which is far more than FreeBSD requires for a minimal install.

    The same machine(s) had been used with every flavor of MS, (except Vista of course) and to some degree funtioned. With Fedora Core II, those machines became fully funtioning, happy little computers.

    Are you installing the same software on both the Fedora and FreeBSD systems? If you’re running Fluxbox on Fedora and KDE on FreeBSD, that might be part of the problem.

    Intel P II (or equil.) ~200mhz to 500mhz, ~128Mb RAM, 1 to 2 HD with total cap. ~6GB (or <, but ~4GB to ~6GB) Basic VGA, Sound maybe. (optional)

    That should definitely work. There must be some other factor getting in the way of proper operation, though I obviously don’t know enough about your circumstances to offer much in the way of a guess.

    of course, it could just be me, I’ll admit that. So thanks for the input. -d

    Maybe you’re just unlucky, and either got bad installation media or a rare piece of old hardware that doesn’t work with a BSD Unix system. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

    If you feel like giving it a shot again, I’d recommend getting on the freebsd-questions mailing list.

    Comment by apotheon — 29 October 2008 @ 03:57

  7. on: “Maybe you’re just unlucky, and either got bad installation media or a rare piece of old hardware that doesn’t work with a BSD Unix system.” I think you’re correct on all three points, at least the first two.

    Fedora was / is running the Gnome desk top candy. For the slow machines I think a KDE might be a little to greedy. (otherwise I do use it. – I’m old, I’m spoiled.) With the BSD’s I started with just the CLI, and still no luck. The last was with a machine that has a Celeron running about 500Mhz, (maybe, on a good day.) 128Mb RAM, and 2 HDs each with 2.5Gb. (Matched) BSD should have worked. I have been to several forums, if nothing else than just to keep up with what’s going on. I have to say that I’m a big fan of the BIONIC goings on. Which was in my mind when I was trying to do the installs. As for the medium, I’ve had a bad feeling about them since I bought them. While they appear to look good, seem to run ok, in the end there always a problem. hummm. I think I would be better finding another sourse.

    There’s always another day. I haven’t given up yet.

    Now though, another Project (like I need another one) has got my interest… Remember Ada? -d

    Comment by dawgit (D. Taylor) — 30 October 2008 @ 01:41

  8. You bought media . . . ? I’m surprised you didn’t just download ISOs and burn them to CD yourself. When you do that, you can even check the downloaded ISOs against provided checksums to ensure the file wasn’t corrupted in transit.

    Now though, another Project (like I need another one) has got my interest… Remember Ada? -d

    I’m familiar with Ada mostly by reputation. Have fun with that. Maybe I’ll get around to learning it in five years or so.

    Comment by apotheon — 30 October 2008 @ 03:23

  9. :) That’s what I said about 5 years ago. It look like fun though. (Forth is still my favorite ‘fun’ language.)

    ok, ok, but you should know by now that I don’t run with the herd. Have a safe week-end. -d

    Comment by dawgit (D. Taylor) — 31 October 2008 @ 11:36

  10. It’s good to know I have something to look forward to in 5 years — especially since, if I’m working on learning Ada by that point, that means I’ve gotten through all the other stuff I want to learn first (unless for some reason Ada moves further up the priority list).

    Comment by apotheon — 31 October 2008 @ 01:55

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