1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

FreeBSD on a desktop

Discussion in 'General' started by lorenzo, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. lorenzo

    lorenzo New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi guys,

    I'm new of this forum, I want to ask you a question. This morning I decided to change OS, actually I'm an Arch Linux user, but I'm studying computer programming and I think I'm wasting too much time learning how to configure my system rather then to program. I'm looking for stable, comfortable and flexible operating system that allows me to program and that works correctly without strange errors or too many configurations.

    Is FreeBSD a good choice? Else, I downloaded the Debian ISO.

    Thank you. ;)
     
  2. graudeejs

    graudeejs Member

    Messages:
    4,594
    Likes Received:
    0
  3. lorenzo

    lorenzo New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your answer.
     
  4. graudeejs

    graudeejs Member

    Messages:
    4,594
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perhaps you should tell more in details what software do you need and some other requirements.
    Who knows maybe you need some exotic programming language/IDE that isn't available?
     
  5. lorenzo

    lorenzo New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fortunately, I haven't particular requirement, I use just common softwares, like vim and some compilers.

    BTW, yesterdey I installed FreeBSD on my laptop, actually I have some issues with the X Server, but I'm reading the Handbook you suggested me to solve it.

    I found this system quite similar to Arch Linux and other Linux system, except some configuration files (like rc.conf ...).
     
  6. graudeejs

    graudeejs Member

    Messages:
    4,594
    Likes Received:
    0
    In general Unixes are quite similar.
    However the longer you use FreeBSD, the more love you will have :)

    I myself as most of forum members here are ex-Linux user.

    If you can't solve your problem with X, just open new thread, and we'll help you ;)
     
  7. Martillo1

    Martillo1 Member

    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    2
    As for multimedia (flash and youtube) A fast and temporary solution is installing an emulator like emulators/virtualbox-ose and run a spare copy of XP.

    (ducking for cover)
     
  8. fonz

    fonz Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    2,436
    Likes Received:
    5
    Here on FreeBSD 8.2-RELEASE all I had to do was installing www/linux-f10-flashplugin10. Opera even picked it up right away, without the symlink trickery that was needed in the past.

    Fonz
     
  9. akregator

    akregator New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Virtualbox with XP virtual machine a fast solution? Don't think it's faster than go to ports and make flash.

    But, if you want to configure your system: Debian. but I think FreeBSD, and perhaps all others BSD systems, are much more stable than any Linux distribution. But you can have some problems with hardware so be careful before trying to install.

    I've a friend who studies computer programming too and when he tried to go on Linux he was bored, bored and bored.
     
  10. randux

    randux New Member

    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know how you will be able to stand Debian after using Arch. Arch has a rolling release and keeps pretty current, it is very similar to the FreeBSD model. FreeBSD has tons and tons of ports and packages. I am a Slacker but I like the big 3 BSD also. I tried Debian a few times and wanted to throw my machine out the window like I do whenever I have to spend 5 minutes on a Windows box.

    Debian is not a distro for coders, imho. It's a good server distro and an ok enterprise desktop distro. It's intentionally backlevel, safe and stable but boring and I personally hate the package management. If you want newish gcc and other compilers you won't find them on Debian, even unstable is going to lag behind FreeBSD ports if history continues. It all depends on what you like. For a development desktop FreeBSD is hard to beat. I would say only Slackware beats it ;-)
     
  11. Martillo1

    Martillo1 Member

    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    2
    Well, I should have added "dirty" to the other two epithets :r

    P.D.: I do not like Linux compatibility elements intalled in my system, if I would, I had just stayed with my ArchLinux system as I have done for the last seven years, and that is not the case.
     
  12. namor

    namor New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    FreeBSD certainly isn't the perfect choice for all laptop systems. The number one reason I wouldn't suggest it to anyone ad-hoc is hardware support. If you don't have a valid BIOS, you might have ACPI problems. If you don't have a well supported WLAN device, expect it not to work at all or crash the system. If you wish to protect the data on your laptop from theft (when the laptop's stolen), either spend a day reading how to install FreeBSD by hand or use Linux. All major Linux distros I've used some time ago let you use full disk encryption out of the box. Sysinstall (from 8.2-RELEASE) doesn't.

    You said you come from Arch. Prepare to have a hard start configuring your new BSD system and getting used to reading man pages exhaustively. There are plenty of WTF moments like "WTF, USB storage shows up as a device, but I can't see any partitions?!" "A: You'll have to load the MBR module yourself on a GPT system..." or "WTF: Why does mount fail with obscure internal errors? Wasn't this partition FAT32? Even BSD should be able to mount THAT!" "A: mount isn't smart enough to figure out the formatting itself, pass it -t msdosfs. (BTW: great if someone gives you an USB stick but forgot what FS is one it. ;-) )"

    But, as killasmurf said, you'll start to love the system anyways. I'd rather call it Stockholm Syndrome, though.
     
  13. drhowarddrfine

    drhowarddrfine Member

    Messages:
    1,034
    Likes Received:
    3
    @namor - Those are a lot of "ifs". IF my laptop is supported, and two of mine are as well as a lot of people's here, then there are no such issues.
     
  14. DutchDaemon

    DutchDaemon Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Messages:
    10,611
    Likes Received:
    13
    It's obvious that all that pampering makes for a continually perplexed admin when the pampering stops.
     
  15. namor

    namor New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, IF :) only I had one of those.. My good old Dell laptop's DSDTs don't even compile with a recent iasl My friends HP consumer laptops were supported even worse, though.
    @topic: Still, IMO using FreeBSD on a laptop - even if not fully supported - makes a lot of sense if you wish to learn about Unix/BSD.

    Haha, I couldn't agree more.
    If that (having a perplexed admin in the end) is good/worth it is another question.
     
  16. kpedersen

    kpedersen New Member

    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    0
    It seems that you will need to be learning something new whether you stick with Arch Linux or change to FreeBSD. I read on Arch's website that they have completely changed their blacklist system so rather than using !module in /etc/rc.conf you need to start messing about with linux's ugly modprobe files.

    Luckily FreeBSD very rarely has changes this extensive because it does not rely on an external project's kernel. It is in complete control of it's own development.

    From personal experience, I have found the hardware support on FreeBSD to be consistently better than linux. I found different versions of different linux distros always broke something lol.

    So FreeBSD on your desktop? Go for it!
     
  17. d_mon

    d_mon New Member

    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    totally agree! :thumb up:
     
  18. d_mon

    d_mon New Member

    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK! but the Achilles’ heel on BSD is flash...:OOO
     
  19. fonz

    fonz Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    2,436
    Likes Received:
    5
    Sure used to be, but it seems to be working pretty well now.

    Fonz
     
  20. vermaden

    vermaden New Member

    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    0
    Works well on my box under COMPAT_LINUX.
     
  21. ahavatar

    ahavatar New Member

    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    I second this. Flash used to be buggy on FreeBSD in the past, but there were some breakthoughs recently, and I have absolutely no problem with it for more than a month on my FreeBSD system.
     
  22. YZMSQ

    YZMSQ New Member

    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I think the video card support, for instance, Intel and ATI, and wireless issues are the so-called "heel".:\
     
  23. d_mon

    d_mon New Member

    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    debian also!
     
  24. vermaden

    vermaden New Member

    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not a big Debian fan but isnt it released every 2 years or so with new version like 3.0, 4.0, 5.0? (not rolling release)
     
  25. jrm

    jrm Member

    Messages:
    778
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree. I have two eight-year-old laptops, one an IBM R51 and the other an Asus M6N. Both work well, but the wireless driver (iwi) sometimes causes kernel panics and logging out of Xorg while using the radeon driver almost always freezes the systems. I asked about the status of the radeon driver on IRC and a developer told me that the driver was in a sad state with no maintainer. I'm curious why this is. Are these drivers difficult to develop compared to other OS components? Maybe it's the closed nature of the hardware manufacturers? All the BSDs and GNU/Linux use Xorg as a basis for a GUI, but it seems to have a higher proportion of problems than other pieces of software for Unix-like operating systems. I also wonder why there are so few implementations of X? Think of the number of window managers. I'm guessing the answer is that it's much more effort to develop an X implementation than a window manager.

    If I had to add another, less-serious "Achilles heel" it would be ACPI support. It would be awesome to reliably suspend/resume a laptop. As far as I know, this isn't going to improve any time soon.