How did you come to the FreeBSD world?


Aspiring Daemon

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Wanna to see some special stories.
What you used before, how switched to our dear FBSD? :beergrin


Well-Known Member

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Windows (since 95? 98?) till 2004, then about a year with Mandrake 10. But that time there was no almost internet connection (pretty expencive dial-up), and i was forced to use wine for many apps, and that sucked. In 2006-7 i've became a member of local lan network with unlimited internets, and so installed ubuntu. To the end of year i became gentoo user, than arch. After hw-update in middle-2008 or something iowait came to me, and i was searching for alternatives. Due to some bad info about BSD family from russian linux/unix-users web-site first i was trying to use windows with cygwin, which was not too bad, but still not good enough, so i've tried out linux zen-kernel (i didn't do that before cause linux kernel compilation and configuration is the almost worst thing i hate about linux usability. menuconfig & .config with non-obvious params both suck. The worst one is repos: you have two variants, one is to use pretty old sw like in debian stable, second one is to use pretty up-to-date sw like in rolling-release distros, but if you want to install some sw or update your distro after 2-3 month of no-updates - get ready to run around in pain with anger) After couple of failures (kernel with compiled-in drivers had some huge troubles with my sata, and with modules there were troubles, too, not huge as monolith-kernel, but still) i've decided, wtf, if my local linux community guys love this, BSD could not suck as hard as they say.



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Desktop: DOS->Win3.1->OS/2->WinNT->BeOS->WinXP->FreeBSD
Server: WinNT->Redhat->Slackware->Debian->FreeBSD

Eventually all roads lead to FreeBSD. :)


Aspiring Daemon

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Tried out Windows, Fedora, and Ubuntu before using FreeBSD. Someone introduced me to FreeBSD in my first year of high school, and I have been using it ever since.


Well-Known Member

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I used Berkeley Unix in grad school. Hey -- it was Berkeley, and it was everywhere. Went through SunOS, Windows (all colors) and have wound up back home.


Well-Known Member

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Desktop: MSX->C64->DOS->Win3.1->Win95->WinXP->Ubuntu->FreeBSD

I'm still using Ubuntu for day to day stuff on 2 other machines until I have everything sufficiently working on FreeBSD, so that I can properly experiment.

I am not including several abortive attempts at running Redhat, Corel, Mandrake, Debian, SUSE, Puppy, DSL, PCLinuxOS and probably others I forget, that took place during the Win95 and WinXP years.

Server: CentOS -> FreeBSD

Network box: (Played around with monowall, IPCop, OpenBSD, ClarkConnect first), PFSense -> Zeroshell

Why FreeBSD? I'd still be using Ubuntu if it wasn't for the possibility to eliminate silent data corruption with ZFS. Why not OpenSolaris? Did not want to be beholden to Larry Ellison, and wanted ports.


Retired from the forums

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Was doing a search for operating systems and read a blurb.


Aspiring Daemon

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Using a computer since I was ~7-8y old (first pc was a 33MHz cpu with that lovely turbo buton -> going to 66MHz ...wohoooo :D). Started off with win3.11 all the way to win7. Somewhere along the way of xp, I bought my first pentium4 and it came with REDHELL 7 or something like this (I dnt remember). Somehow I already knew some ppl using linux at that point and I got some magazines about linux (I successfully compiled&installed apache but had no clue how to start it lol). I jumped to Fedora 1,2,3,4,5,6 (I hated it - so many resources going to hell) then I tried Mandrake (and Mandriva too - I liked it - the internet was faster on linux than xp :p). I used it around 6 months or something like that, then jumped to Slack (I was totally lost), Debian (couldn't get X to work properly - 640x480 bleah) and god knows what else. Ah, I remember Vector linux (very nice indeed - until u had to pay for it - mtfkrs ). All the forums I asked help fore were quite mean (for some reason).

After 2 days of work (straight work - no sleep) I managed to get a pppoe connexion working on Fedora (I think) and wrote a how to on a forum. Of course I was criticized. Then I got a pm from this guy who I never meat in my life. He called me at one point (or I called him?) and we talked for 4h or something like that over the phone and then he asked me to go talk some more over coffee. 4am and we were drinking coffee and telling stories of Linux, FreeBSD, his military days, chicks, and god knows what else. That was my first contact with FreeBSD. He got my attention and I made a picture of the OS as a good one.

So I tried it (9am - coffee finished - at home again - I cut school that day :p). He gave me some pointers how to install it and I went on with it. I managed to delete everything (of course lol ) and after 2 tries I had it running (installed base+kernel). Ended up with a black screen and a prompter (half scared to death). Logden in.... "startx" -> "cmd not found". (hmmm ... wtf ?). "xdm" -> "cmd not found" (hmm ... ok), "kdm/gdm" -> "cmd not found" (wtf ????).

Reboot (wanted to go to windows).... but there was no windows left ("holly shit") <- this is when I realized what I've done (called the guy - reply: "this is how u'r gonna learn" - "jesus f# Christ" I said).

That's when I lost my virginity lol and I became a big boy. I still had the linux ideas "tell me this" and "tell me that". the guy showed me the handbook and it was the first one in my life that made sense and the first one speaking my language (I could understand it - and it was "WOW"). I read it, I did it - it worked.

Current status: learning FreeBSD since 6.2. Never stopes amazing me. You can just rely on it with no problems.

half a year ago a friend of mine wanted to switch to linux (a router machine). No way he wanted something else. So linux it is ... Centos 5, REDHELL 5, Fedora 12 .... unstable, crashing or simply freezing (no idea why - maybe some "feature" lol). So we decided FreeBSD and guess what he is running for half a year already and I get congratulated for the system just about every time I talk to him (no downtime, no application crash, xfce4 running smooth - flash up - dhcp server running - ftp/www public server - 500+ daily IP's - gmirror, samba, nfs, virtualbox (for me), jails - CPU @ 80% all the time - absolutly no problems).

So I would like to say "Thank you FreeBSD and thank you guys" - rocksolid OS, hell-a-va cool guys, unbeatable docs, very impresive OS+ports, very good support (forums, mailing lists - usually I found out the answer before posting anything) and a very logical designe of everything. Thank's guys :)


Well-Known Member

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Now this goes back some time... I guess some forum members weren't even born when I had my first exposure to a unix-like FOSS with Minix around 1988.

Later I followed Bill Jolitz' article series in Dr.Dobbs Journal about the porting of BSD to x86 and downloaded 386BSD version 0.1alpha. (early '92 I believe). The whole system was on 11 floppies I think.
Making it run was not trivial as hardware support was a bit limited :) Especially X11 was a lot of fun as you had to compute the modelines manually for your particular graphicscard/monitor combo.

As the 386bsd project slowly deteriorated, I went on with the 'patch-kit' and netbsd up until about 0.8, then finally FreeBSD 1.0 in december '93.

FreeBSD has been my preferred OS both for server and desktop usage ever since.


Aspiring Daemon

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Thanks great stories =)
That my story: i started my way with pc near 13years ago, using dos, then win95. Dreamed to be a programmer :p Then i experimented with redhat, but got no luck with it - about 10 fails to install, about 5 system destroying (sometimes with windows too); i had no network at all so i did not understood anyting. Then i got job to fix lan network, got some experience with switches etc. Some day, tech director said to me: "Do you know freebsd?". I only know its unix haha)) Funny he was talking every time "linux is student's odd job". So, i becomed minor admin of this isp, working on some regular simple queries and tasks, then got full root; many times i got me vs server 1v1 fight ;) That was hard, but i got any experience on this (no servers have been maimed or destroyed haha). Then i was working to some other isps, then got job as a perl programmer. Now freelancing xD



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Eventually all roads lead to FreeBSD.
I agree with aragon :)
A big truth is that a lot of gentoo users became freebsd users.
I am one of them.
Also because i love Freebsd community and because Freebsd is that exactly i was looking for


Son of Beastie

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something like this
Win98 -> Win2000 -> WinMe -> WinXp -> Mandriva -> Gentoo -> FreeBSD -> Gentoo -> FreeBSD

first time I heard about FreeBSD was from Gentoo/FreeBSD project, I decided to try real thing... I love it


Active Member

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funny story

a man who love linux ( linux zailot) introduce freebsd to me as opensource alternative to windows which I used to use as main os he didnt thout that I would adapt freebsd , nowdays I use freebsd and he hate me and we always fight because he think that linux is better



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DOS -> Windows 9x -> zipslack -> FreeBSD

The other option is that I was half-asleep trying to re-create "Warren Pease" (a la Pierre Menard), but my fingers were in the wrong place on the keyboard and I accidentally spontaneously recreated the FreeBSD bootloader & it all went from there.


Aspiring Daemon

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During dot com era lots of people wanted UNIX like os and freebsd was free. That is how it was started for me.
DOS -> Novell -> Solaris / HP-UX -> FreeBSD

These days I spent time between FreeBSD, RHEL, and few Solaris database servers.


Aspiring Daemon

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I am new here. Just started using FreeBSD a couple of months ago.

I came from Windows 95/DOS (486DX-II) > Windows 98 > Windows ME > Windows XP > Various Linux Distros > Arch Linux > FreeBSD

When I was taking SLED Linux course in college I kept getting bad marks because of the inconsistent way of doing things in Linux x( . I had also been using Arch Linux for a year on my desktop as well and it worked for the most part but like people here mentioned sometimes it would do weird things if it wasnt updated in 2-3 months. Also I often cringed when seeing all the dependencies it was pulling down during an update:\

So I wiped my laptop and put on FreeBSD 8. It took me a while to figure out what modules I needed to load but I got it. It works so well and so smoothly(Lenovo t61p). I would get rid of Arch Linux on my desktop if the Intel drivers for FreeBSD didn't have performance issues. Almost everything on my laptop works with FreeBSD and using anything else is agonizing now. I used to think compiling was asinine but its actually better than using binary packages.:)

Thank you for creating this fine operating system. I love it :e.


Aspiring Daemon

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Radio Shack TRS80 CoCo -> TI 99 4/a -> DOS -> Win 3.1 -> Win 95 -> Win 98 -> Debian Linux -> FreeBSD 3.x

I started using Debian because Win 98 was killing the resources on my Pentium I (I forgot the speed) and I thought there has to be a free OS and the first thing I found when searching for it was Debian. Messed with it for 6 to 9 months and eventually started hating it because it was crashing too much like Win 98. Then one day I noticed the FreeBSD copyright was in a lot of the source code, so I downloaded it.


Staff member

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C64 -> Amiga 500 -> Amiga 4000 -> P-2 350MHz -> A lot more i386 crap

Intel assembly gives me the creeps, I seriously prefer 680x0. Never could get the hang of that little endian stuff, I still trip on it :e

Back in the old days I had heard about unix, and people were running it on the Amiga. This was NetBSD. Unfortunately I couldn't run it because my trusty old Amiga lacked an MMU. I could do a processor upgrade, move to a 68060 or even PPC, but it was way too expensive. So the idea got shelved.

While I was working at a PC repairshop, I had my first encounters with internet. Customers would have a dialup account that didn't work for example. After a while we had internet at the shop and I loved it. I could play around with hardware all day while surfing the web. Remembered NetBSD and started digging around. Also found FreeBSD. As it turns out for running on an Amiga NetBSD would probably be best but FreeBSD rocked on i386. Ended up getting FreeBSD to run and even Xfree86 on some spare test stuff. X I think I compiled from source, can't remember ever finding packages or the ports for FreeBSD. Didn't really know what I was doing anyway, just following instructions I found on the net. But I left the shop for greener pastures and it all got shelved again.

At the insurance company I came in contact with other systems like SINIX/Reliant Unix (Siemens), HP-UX and AIX. They also had a big Siemens mainframe, now that's something else. Also lots of networking and obviously lots of Windows. At that time PC hardware was getting cheaper and cheaper. A guy at work told me he was running Linux instead of Windows and showed me a desktop with windowmaker. It peeked my interest as I could run that at home. So Slackware it was, I think 3 or 4. At first everything worked fine but soon found myself in dependency hell when trying to upgrade something.

While looking around the internet for something better I found FreeBSD again. All I had to do was download 2 floppy images, boot the machine with them and everything else would be downloaded. Cool. Found the ports system. Neat. It all just downloads everything, builds it from source, installs it, and it works. No fuss, no dependency hell. Never stopping half way during a big build because a certain library isn't installed. Got hooked. Tried Linux again a few times after that but they all got scrapped in favor of FreeBSD.

I did once try to download the CD 1 image on ISDN dialup. My internet access was unlimited but my phone bill wasn't. It would have taken all weekend (cheaper rates) and had started downloading on friday night. Everything seemed to work, crawling in at around 7KB/s. But when I checked on sunday afternoon the connection had dropped at around 80% done :(


Aspiring Daemon

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checked on sunday afternoon the connection had dropped at around 80% done
wget has the -c option and it was added a long time ago; it saved my ass many times in the past �e


Aspiring Daemon

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Was selling my multiboot laptop to Chinese guy. To cut negotiations I stated that tried on this laptop all the OSs existing!!! The guy asked: And FreeBSD? I never heard: It's like freeDOS? Yeah... a kind of a sort of... said the guy but something on his face told me more. Then I decided to try. God bless China :)


New Member

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Apple -> dos -> xenix286 -> xenix386 -> 386bsd with patchkit -> FreeBSD 1.0, FreeBSD 2.2.8, FreeBSD 4.6, FreeBSD 6.5, FreeBSD 8.0.

In parallel I sometimes need to use XP.


Aspiring Daemon

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at home: Apple -> ZX81 -> C64 -> Amstrad CPC 6128 -> Amiga 1000/500/2000 (later some NetBSD 1.x for 68k)-> Apple Quadra AV/something i386 with Windows 3.x -> something Pentium with Windows 3.x and lots of PC hardware with WinNT 4.0, W2k, early Slackware/Debian, since about 5-6 years FreeBSD/OpenBSD, Slackware since the beginning :)

school/university/job: original IBM PC (DOS) -> Siemens Sinix (a UNIX in the 80s) -> SGI Irix (early 90s) -> Mac OS X on PowerPC and Intel hardware.