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FreeBSD

Started by Fedora-Tan, October 09, 2012, 07:12:27 am

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Fedora-Tan

Hello,

I would like to know - in all objectivity - if there are any interesting points in considering FreeBSD (and / or any other BSD), with real-life tried experiences of yours.
No need to point me wiki pages and / or generic docs, i just want personnal feedback from people who really used / use it.

My questions are including but not limited to :
1) What's the advantage towards linux (for exemple)
2) How are the softs installed (source / packages) ?
3) How does it deal with 32/64b ?
4) Compatibility of softs ? If it's source i'm not too worried...
5) Perfs
6) Security
7) User management
8 ) Others

And of course, no trolls please.

Fedora-Tan

* Fedora-Tan scared everyone :p

Paul

Hi!

I've tried FreeBSD approximately one year ago, honestly I couldn't find any real advantage over my trusty Arch Linux setup.
The major deal breaker for me was that the driver situation is worse than most linux distributions - some hardware of mine simply refused to work (IIRC Nvidia support was particularly fickle).

Software installation is via so-called "ports", essentially sourcecode with custom BSD patches and a makefile. The system works quite fine, but for some sources written for Linux the process can be tiresome and unsatisfying.

Security... BSD systems are normally considered very secure, but there was a scandal not too long ago about some NetBSD programmers responsible for the TCP/IP stack being bribed by some American intelligence agency to include loopholes in the firewall.

Anything else, I can't really comment on since my time with BSD was pretty short....

Fedora-Tan

Mmmm that's actually interesting since i also consider Arch Linux just yesterday or day before - don''t remember. If you have feedback on this one i'll take it gladly too.

Paul

Feedback on Arch? I'll gladly deliver! :D

I've been a Linux user for some time, made my first steps with SuSE back in 2005 (I was 12 at the time, everything was quite confusing at first). Eventually I learned my way around the CLI, filesystem concepts etc, but SuSE soon felt quite bloated. Tried Debian and Ubuntu, until Ubuntu also became more and more bloatware. Eventually I decided to start with the bare minimum, adding only packages I really needed.

The criteria were:
-> satisfying driver support and lots of packages
-> a nice package manager
-> good documentation
-> overall speed

Of all the distributions I tested, Arch beat the other ones everywhere. Granted, being greeted with only a CLI, the bare minimum of software, and the package manager was adventurous in the beginning. Yet, Arch has the absolute best documentation, the most comprehensive wiki (guides about EVERYTHING) and incredibly helpful people on the forums. Sure, it takes some time until you've put together a full desktop system with all the bells and whistles, but it's really fun.
What's different than, let's say Ubuntu is, that Arch is a rolling-release distribution. That means, frequent updates and no real OS version numbers. I generally update twice a week to get the latest stuff, sometimes something goes wrong, but is usually fixed really fast by looking at the forums.
Package management is done via pacman, a handy CLI tool that takes care of software installation/removal/update. I personally use yaourt, which is pacman with the AUR added. The AUR, or Arch User Repository basically is a huge collection of software ported to Arch by users, you install those packages from source.
And Arch is incredibly incredibly fast. I'm at the graphical login prompt (LXDM in my case) in about 16 - 17 seconds. (Hardware is a ThinkPad T510 with an i5-520, 8 Gigs of RAM and a standard 2.5" HDD)