Introduce yourself, tell us who you are and why you chose FreeBSD

RedPhoenix

Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 64
Messages: 269

Let's see. The first game game is 32-bit Windows app from 2006 and probably runs acceptably well under Wine (or not at all). Steam never (!) had any significant problems with Wine in the first place, so I don't even consider that a valid complaint. The second game will not run without WoW64 Wine, although finding a Pacman clone/port which will run on FreeBSD shouldn't be difficult.
Oh, I should have known that. :D Actually, my real-life identity is Captain Obvious. :) I miss the obvious, until someone helps me. :) Thanks! :) I'll try it out now! :) As you can imagine, being a Superhero like this helps a LOT with Programming and the CLI. :D
 

TW1920

New Member

Reaction score: 2
Messages: 15

I am not someone who says that this is THE OS. My experience on notebooks is rather negative with FreeBSD. Unfortunately not all hardware works properly.
In the server area I have been using FreeBSD for quite some time now. Why? So far very good experience regarding stability. Furthermore less resources are used by the system, so here is something more efficient than Linux.
In addition I like jails very much. Or the zfs integration.
I would like to see a broader support (manufactures and vendors) and distribution (more user) of FreeBSD.
 

LVLouisCyphre

Member

Reaction score: 15
Messages: 72

We probably should also tag this as a Linux or Windows anonymous discussion. :cool:

I've used some form of BSD for decades. During my college years, I was using BSD on VAX mainframes for class assignments.

I started out in the IT profession in tech support with Suns in 1989. The year that the SPARCstation 1 made its debut. When I attended my Sun training in August 1989 we went over kernel configuration. This was the first time I experienced BSD at the sysadm level. I experienced a level of rapture in the form of a geekgasm configuring my first BSD kernel for the first time during that class. Having very fine granular control over the OS.

Before I went into the IT profession, I was an old school dialup hacker during the dialup BBS days and ran my own UUCP site under SCO Xenix and subsequently ISC Unix. I programmed 6502 assembler in my secondary school days. I took typing in 7th grade becaude I knew I would it need with the career path I was on plus there were lots of lovely girls in my class. I was one of the few males in the class.

A man can't live by a CLI alone. :cool:

My use of FreeBSD is probably another confirmation of the law of atrraction. While I have had some peeves with FreeBSD, I'm very happy with the direction it's evolved in. I can take FreeBSD and create whatever I want with it. It's the enterprise class OS Lego set. There's some pride in optimizing your kernel and fine tuning it like a custom vehicle.

Do not get me started on Linux. Linux has created a Unix (like) hardware abstraction layer. Basically Torvalds took Windows and Minix and threw it into a coding telepod like in The Fly. We're most likely going to see WalMart Linux.
 

Sevendogsbsd

Daemon

Reaction score: 644
Messages: 1,089

It's funny, I have been bouncing back and forth between Linuces with systemd, FreeBSD and Linuces without systemd. I am on FreeBSD now (again) and hope to stay there. I don't mind Linux without systemd but there are so few of them and most of them are a one person shop so that makes me nervous they will just up and vanish overnight. Then there is Slackware but OMG no. Went there, got the t-shirt, dropped the shirt and ran away screaming.

My Linux/FreeBSD float has been solely due to Steam. I have been slowly re-buying games on GoG so I have their versions instead. Most of these run just fine in wine on FreeBSD so I "should" be good 🤣

I love the fact FreeBSD (base) is maintained by a team of folks. I think in the 3 years or so I have been using it, I have only had one issue: the x11/drm-lmod and 12.1 issue, so I am staying on 12.0 and using "latest" packages. Works perfectly for me.
 

rockzombie2

New Member


Messages: 7

Hello friends! I'm currently in the process of setting up my desktop with FreeBSD as my main operating system. (Shameless plug: I do most of my ricing live on twitch)

Most of my background with operating systems has been with Windows. I used it for most of my life: growing up, at school, at work. In college I installed Slackware as my first linux distro. I settled on Crunchbang (debian) for a while on my laptop, but still used Windows for my desktop. I would consider myself a Windows power user (NOT a powershell user lol). I used Cygwin and had many customizations done via regedit. I hacked the shit out of Windows to theme it to my liking.

The straw that broke the camel's back: Windows Sticky-notes. An application I used often as a simple, virtually disposable scratchpad. Then Windows did the unthinkable: they updated it. I now had to log in to my Microsoft account to sync my sticky notes to the cloud. The exact opposite behavior I want out of a sticky-note. When I throw away a note, it goes in the garbage. Done. I don't want it hanging around in the cloud forever.

I was furious. I decided I no longer wanted a black box; an operating system that decided for me what my desktop experience should be without my input. I wanted every aspect of my desktop experience configured to my specifications.

Thus, I did some research and settled on Arch linux. I was very satisfied using it as my main operating system. Inspired by r/unixporn, I had all of my config files version controlled and riced to my liking. I had a PKGBUILD to patch my version of dwm. I was very happy.

I had been aware of FreeBSD for a while by this point (I listen to BSD Now for fun). I had tentatively installed it before in the past. In fact, I had my old laptop harddrive in my PC now and had FreeBSD on a partition. Which is actually part of the reason why I decided to switch to FreeBSD for my main operating system: my set up was a mess.

It resembled the following:
Code:
250 GB SSD:
- Windows partition
- Arch partition
750 GB HDD (old laptop):
- Windows partition
- FreeBSD partition
1 TB HDD:
- Storage
1 TB SSD (new!)
- The chance for a clean start

I figured setting up FreeBSD could not be any worse than it was to set up Arch, and I stood to gain a lot of benefits: ZFS, a complete operating system (not just the kernel), great community, and ports. I didn't fully realize at the time how ports was exactly like my PKGBUILD system for dwm, only designed as a critical component of the operating system. This was my chance for a clean start; to put each operating system on it's own drive and not have to deal with running out of space on the partitions.

So anyway, that's where I'm at now. I'm very much looking forward to learning FreeBSD and hopefully contributing back to this community as much as I can! I'm going to buy the Absolute FreeBSD book and I'm stoked as I get more familiar with ports to be able to contribute to them.
 

Sevendogsbsd

Daemon

Reaction score: 644
Messages: 1,089

Welcome! So, one thing if you don't know already, is that ports and packages are completely separate from the base OS. There are some overlaps like an app you install needs an account created, for example. The cool thing about this is you can get rid of every app you installed and not break the base OS - it will keep on trucking happily. I like the separation, unlike Linux where you want to switch desktops or something and end up killing the whole thing.
 

rockzombie2

New Member


Messages: 7

Very cool, indeed! I came across the man hier command and I've been meaning to sit down and read through it to really understand where everything is laid out. I think that separation between userland apps and base OS is one of the most common praises I've heard regarding FreeBSD. Just the fact that everything seems so well organized is also one of the major things that attracted me to FreeBSD in the first place.
 

Sevendogsbsd

Daemon

Reaction score: 644
Messages: 1,089

I agree. FreeBSD is so simple, to me anyway. The installer is good, the docs are good (some outdated), and the community helpful. I love the stability also.
 

jomonger

Member

Reaction score: 25
Messages: 56

Hello,

I'm robotic and control engineer and worked with industrial welding robots, java and C and also in energetic branch (not much tho, I'm 27) and also late college student.
I was using Windows from 95 version (almost since I was born), through all of them and I always loved it and still love for desktop. But we always had legal professional version for free, and that propably changes my view. I had hundreds of legal XP and Vista keys and was giving them to friends. Now system is connected to microsoft account. I don't imagine to use diffrent OS for desktop.

But windows for server sucks (and I can't have it for free), and I become more interested in field of network. So I tried linux RedHat for like a month, got hacked (my fault, not Linux!) and started to read more about OSes and security. BSD systems had opinions of being faster, more secure and stable with less aplications avaible. For me it seems great as I'm not going to use lot of 3rd party software (only basic) I'm going to code some things. First I wanted to install OpenBSD, but then I changed to FreeBSD becouse of nice handbook and autoinstall from provider. Information that PlayStation 3 forked FreeBSD also was important for me (I have never had PS). I will try OpenBSD for sure, maybe someday NetBSD for embedded.

So I'm using FreeBSD 12.1 for server, Windows 10 for desktop and Android for mobile phone.

I hope that someday I'll be good enough to get some really low level code like kernel.

Cheers.
 

munocat

Member

Reaction score: 7
Messages: 44

Hello

I live in Washington, USA, but originate from elsewhere. I am new to FreeBSD but not to UNIX. My first Nix experience was install from floppies Linux in late 1992, while at university. My first UNIX experience is with a Sun SparcStation 5, since then I have worked on and owned (still own some) many Sun WorkStations.

I have briefly used NetBSD (90's), however, I want to set up my 2 Mac Mini's 2009 to run motif.

I have loads of system in my home lab. Non run windows. 90% run linux. My current desktop go to machine is a Raspberry Pi, It is heavily configured with cool-retro-term and DEC VT220 fonts.

Why FreeBSD? I want to make my main GUI mvm, long term goal, on a RPI 4, running / from USB.
 

GlitchyDot

New Member

Reaction score: 1
Messages: 10

Hi,
I'm new to FreeBSD and ThinkPad maniac with a hint of OCD and also I'm a Linux user and still using it, but due to many laptops at home, I decided to give FreeBSD a chance ( i like Logo a lot and its sort of KISS ). So hopefully I will find it fun to use as my main goal to use BSD as a NAS for my HTML stuff ( beginner ) because I'm trying to create few website projects and if I'm at my PC - coding on it if I'm in bed I'm coding with my laptop`s and I hate to transfer files to USB all the time and no, I'm not using ssh due to no NANO support ( my hosting has only VI/M support and I am NANO addict ) but still ill be using my TP as a fun toy for coding as well ... oh and my Raspberry PI is not doing well so maybe my BSD laptop will help me on that side for tv series and movie binge :)
P.s. if anyone can help me to OCD type of FreeBSD install and link to web style repository for BSD packages I would be grateful!
P.P.s. no offense for BSD wiki but it's hard to adjust to other wikis than Arch Wiki ( my first and probs last Linux distro - love Pacman and wiki and detailed info of it )
 

Zvoni

Active Member

Reaction score: 72
Messages: 144

Chipping in:
No IT-Professional, but i was fiddling around with computers since the mid-80's, when i wrote my first database in Basic on a C64 at age 14.
I went through the whole Windows-Experience up to Windows 7.
First tentative contact with the *nix-World was somewhere around end of 90's/start of 00's with Suse-Linux, but the manual configuration (compared to Win98/2K) threw me off.
Now, some 3 years ago, i decided to spoil myself, and finally buy me a Laptop (funny enough: before that i wasn't a friend of laptop for home-use!).
At that time (early 2017), Windows 10 was running around the world and already wreaking havoc.

I still remember the face of the sales-guy at the local PC-shop:
Me: "at least 4 cores, 8GB RAM, and 1TB HD"
Salesguy: "What do you intend to do with it, mainly?"
Me: "a bit of this, a bit of that, internet, programming, Video-editing -> very important"
Sales-guy: "Well, we have this model here already setup with Windows10...blablablabla ...for 800 Euros"
Me: "Deal! You'll get 700 Euros, if you get me that Laptop WITHOUT Windows10"
Sales-Guy: "?!?!?!?!"
Me: "Windows will never darken my doorstep again! Period! Either you have a bare-metal machine, or i'm going to look in another shop! I'm not going to pay you 100 Euros extra just for the Windows-license (which i know is calculated into your sales-price), just to erase it from the harddisk"
....i got my bare-metal laptop, installed Linux (Ubuntu at that time, right now preparing everything to switch to Manjaro --> backing up everything to hell and back), and never looked back.

As for FreeBSD: in October 2019, the boss of my skydiving-club approached me with the question, if i could help them setup an Infra-structure with fileservers for the videos we produce.
My first thought was Linux of course, but FreeBSD was a close second, because i was fascinated with the information i gathered during my research.
Well, now we have 2 identical FreeBSD-Servers running an FTP-Server along a Fileserver with Samba-Exports on a Gluster-Volume.
I don't consider myself an expert (and probably never will), but i'm really impressed with the OS, and the community here.

As for Windoze10: My employer (trading company) is preparing steps to exchange all computers and to upgrade all clients to Windows10.
Since i'm the local go-to-guy for computer-problems in the company (read: local admin), i'm really considering stepping down from the admin-post because of that. I've really started to despise Windows10....

My 2 €-cents from Germany
 

emensee

New Member


Messages: 6

I've been using Linux on the desktop since 1999. I was bored with Microsoft Windows and frustrated with the antivirus because it complained constantly that the program that I was developing had segfaulted. I formatted everything and installed RedHat 5.2. I moved on to Mandrake and tested other distros like Corel, Slack, SUSE, Debian, and Caldera before eventually settling on Gentoo.

In 2005, I switched to Mac OS X on the PowerBook G4 with 2GB RAM, FW800, DVI, and an amazing keyboard. Apple was truly ahead of the competition. I eventually upgraded to the Macbook Pro, but was never as impressed like I was with the PBG4. Since Apple's recent style of innovation is to remove functionality, I jumped ship in 2016 and came back to Linux, but this time on Debian testing on a ThinkPad P50. It's great to be back, but now I'm looking for something more fun and interesting.

I've been keeping an eye on FreeBSD for many years now, for desktop use, checking in every few years. I used to manage FreeBSD servers for an Ohio-based hosting company in the early 2000's so I was already familiar with the OS. Now that KDE Plasma 5 is here in addition to ZFS, it's a no brainer. I'm currently dual booting Debian buster and FreeBSD 12.0-BETA2 while working on my plan to move entirely to 12.0-RELEASE.
Snap, thats what I have, well actually I triple boot with win 7 pro, but i wont be using that anymore, All on a thinkpad x270.
 

ColorfulOne

Member

Reaction score: 4
Messages: 35

Who's new to FreeBSD? Did you migrate from another OS and what was your reason?
I have had a very off and on entry level IT career that ended decades ago. I got introduced to Solaris and Linux in a past job. I like FreeBSD because no matter how basic my questions are, I feel like I understand why my computer is doing what it is doing so much better with FreeBSD. I really enjoy tinkering with FreeBSD so far, and I am really enjoying the community here. I am surprised at how helpful everyone has been. Even though my questions have been unbearably novice, I feel like the ones offering help have been quite patient and nice in spite of my simple questions. You have a good community here, I think. I hope FreeBSD lives on as long as it can.
 

Jose

Daemon

Reaction score: 875
Messages: 1,058

I had to implement a firewall in a panic back in the mid '90s because my boss wanted to provide Internet access to the higher-ups using a bank of modems and AOL accounts. I was a desktop support jockey back then, and knew a thing or two about how much of a pain supporting a single modem was, let alone a bank of them, and let alone for aged higher ups with little computer knowledge and less patience for technical problems.

Thing was, the place already had a massive (10Base5! It's still the only one I've ever seen) network, and a T-1 connection to the Internet, but being semi-government, the T1 connected network was not connected to the enterprise network. I figured it would be less of a pain to figure out how to connect the more modern network to the legacy network than to support a bunch of modems and dial-up accounts on Windows for Wastebaskets.

I did a bunch of reading about Internet security and it filled me with Fear & Loathing. There was this TIS Toolkit thing that I barely understood. I managed to find a DOS-based firewall, and was off to the races. DOS and PC hardware were very much my comfort zone back then. The DOS thing kinda worked, and had hilarious angel and devil pictures in its configuration screen. Unfortunately, it didn't handle many concurrent connections well. OK, it didn't handle them at all.

Now I'm really between the modem-bank immovable object and execs-need-Internet irresistible force, and the deadline looms ominously. Some more frantic Internet searching (Infoseek or Altavista, I don't remember) led me to stumble upon the Netscape Proxy Server. I figured that's what I needed plus a locked-down Unix server. I'd done the thousand-floppy, compile-the-kernel Slackware Linux install recently, and it had not exactly filled me with confidence. The NPS didn't support Linux anyway. It only supported Solaris or something called "BSDI". Solaris meant Sun hardware, which I'd only just recently seen for the first time, and the price of which gave me cold sweats. There's another story about me, the Anderson consultants, and the new Sun workstation.

This BSDI thing supported PC hardware, and I knew that really well. I figured at least I'd be able to troubleshoot hardware problems. I girded myself for the worst, had the uncomfortable conversation with my boss about buying thousands of dollars of hardware and software, and waited anxiously for the mail room.

BSDI was one of the most pleasant surprises of my career. It installed and ran flawlessly (keep in mind that I was expecting a Windows for Wastebaskets experience.) It also came with the "Unix System Administration Handbook" by Nemeth et al, which is still one of the best technical books I've ever read. I screwed up the IP address configuration (hey! it was my first time) so I had to call their support. I was girded for the idiot quiz ("is it plugged in?; is it turned on?"), and in a combative mood. We'd spent a lot of money on this thing after all, and the deadline had me in no mood for foolishness. Another pleasant surprise. The support rep was knowledgeable, precise, and terse. Given just a cryptic ARP error message, he pinpointed the mistake I'd made setting the netmask and told me exactly how to correct it. Everyone got seamless access to the Internet. BSDI made me a hero.

Then I moved to California, and got another job supporting Windows on PCs. Massive increase in pay aside, I was still a little sad about leaving BSDI behind. Lo and behold, I stumbled upon this Freebsd thing that was the same as BSDI as far as I could tell, and it was free! I got me a Walnut Creek CDROM subscription and set up my first mail server using fetchmail over my dial-up connection.

Over the years I tried and mostly failed to get Freebsd adopted at various workplaces. The irony of having some hipster freak out about using Freebsd while tapping away on his Macbook Pro! The few times I did succeed Freebsd's reliability was its undoing. The Freebsd machines worked so well and needed so little maintenance everyone, including me, would forget about them.

At some point I switched my home firewall to Openbsd 'cause I really liked the pf(4) rule syntax. I'm sad to say I got into an abusive relationship with Gentoo Linux for more than 15 years. I finally had enough of LVM and systemd-creep and decided to try ZFS on Freebsd -- aaand I'm back! I so wish I'd done this years ago.

Thank you for reading the wall of text.
 

ralphbsz

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 2,215
Messages: 3,159

BSDI was one of the most pleasant surprises of my career.
I never got to use it. When I was needing it (about 93 or 94), it was not ready for X, and I needed X urgently at the time, so I ended up having to try Linux instead. Indeed, the 30-floppy installation of SLS and Slackware, with kernel compiles that ran over night. Also, running X without an FPU was insanity, because it turned out that font rendering was done in floating point, and was laughably slow.

It also came with the "Unix System Administration Handbook" by Nemeth et al, which is still one of the best technical books I've ever read.
Eva Nemeth was also a super pleasant person. I met her at a few Usenix or LISA meetings in the 90s and early 2000s. She is one of the people I know who died on sailboats, which makes me very sad, and worried about going onto the ocean.

At some point I switched my home firewall to Openbsd 'cause I really liked the pf(4) rule syntax.
Today you can have pf on FreeBSD. But OpenBSD is also around, and also a very fine operating system. I happen to be using FreeBSD, but wouldn't mind switching to OpenBSD for production if it had what I wanted (the biggest issue being ZFS).
 

quamenzullo

Active Member

Reaction score: 21
Messages: 162

Hi!

I've been a Linux user since 2005 (got rid of Windows then because of the incredible amount of time spent on cleaning it from spywares and viruses, really crazy).
I've been using FreeBSD too but only to run my server, since years now. So I'm not really new on the forums actually.
Last week I finally gave a try and managed to setup a vanilla FreeBSD desktop on an old laptop, with XFCE. Still some quiks remain to be solved, but it globally runs well. Hope I can set it up on my main desktop too.

Something I especially hope with FreeBSD is that it generally remains stable in terms of software too. I find it boring to have to change my habits too often (and without any warning, nor definite place to find a warning or explanation): configuration files go elsewhere at some point, or disappear (replaced by GUI stuff) or a command is removed, replaced by another... Things tend to get a little bit unstable, from this point of view. Not to talk about systemd. Well as a user, it's not a problem, it starts really quickly. But as a developer it gave me headaches: poor support for python (some time ago, it might have changed since) and an entirely different way of handling even system logging, that is not "portable" in any way.

So, my journey with FreeBSD goes on...

PS I'm not really a professional, I'm a math teacher though with computer science background. I love to develop (in python especially) and started to use FreeBSD as server to host my website and python software that's making math for children.
PPS weird pseudo was generated randomly and set a long while ago, I guess it's not possible to change it now.
 

RedPhoenix

Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 64
Messages: 269

Hi!

I've been a Linux user since 2005 (got rid of Windows then because of the incredible amount of time spent on cleaning it from spywares and viruses, really crazy).
I've been using FreeBSD too but only to run my server, since years now. So I'm not really new on the forums actually.
Last week I finally gave a try and managed to setup a vanilla FreeBSD desktop on an old laptop, with XFCE. Still some quiks remain to be solved, but it globally runs well. Hope I can set it up on my main desktop too.

Something I especially hope with FreeBSD is that it generally remains stable in terms of software too. I find it boring to have to change my habits too often (and without any warning, nor definite place to find a warning or explanation): configuration files go elsewhere at some point, or disappear (replaced by GUI stuff) or a command is removed, replaced by another... Things tend to get a little bit unstable, from this point of view. Not to talk about systemd. Well as a user, it's not a problem, it starts really quickly. But as a developer it gave me headaches: poor support for python (some time ago, it might have changed since) and an entirely different way of handling even system logging, that is not "portable" in any way.

So, my journey with FreeBSD goes on...

PS I'm not really a professional, I'm a math teacher though with computer science background. I love to develop (in python especially) and started to use FreeBSD as server to host my website and python software that's making math for children.
PPS weird pseudo was generated randomly and set a long while ago, I guess it's not possible to change it now.
FreeBSD is fun, isn't it? :)
 

quamenzullo

Active Member

Reaction score: 21
Messages: 162

FreeBSD is fun, isn't it? :)
Yes, once the first troubles were over (graphical card, keyboard, flash drive...) and more exactly I like to have the feeling to really learn and have control on what's going on in any domain.
 

RemoteBroccoli

New Member

Reaction score: 1
Messages: 1

Started (again) with FreeBSD as I felt I needed to learn something new with all this... Crap in the world, and installed it on my Thinkpad X220 on a spare drive.

Some two days later, I installed in on my main drive and I am now currently making plans on building a small firewall for my home and my WiFi.
I remember using FreeBSD as a server some years ago, and thought "Well, this is fun" :)

Still learning, but it feels more at home than I felt with Linux (Linux is fine, but yeah..).

Still having to use Windows a lot tough because I need software for scanners that scans negatives and glass prints.

But that's really all. A welcome but sweaty side effect is that I realized that I need to rebuild a few things at home as to avoid pain in shoulders and back. So, I did that and let my thinkpad build Xorg.
 

Jared

New Member


Messages: 1

Sup everyone,
I am 20 years old from the island of Trinidad and Tobago; located in the Caribbean and I am generally new to the BSDs and Linux in general as I have only started using them during December of last year. Unlike, seeingly most people in this thread and forum, I have no background in computer science or information technology sector (at least as yet). I have installed FreeBSD onto a laptop with the only problems I have encountered were with the Nvidia drivers and SD card reader. besides those two problems, everything else ran smoothly.
 

temmie2511

New Member

Reaction score: 3
Messages: 8

The only problem make the young generation like me using FreeBSD is learning how Unix works and try to keep it alive. We should hope that next generation should have Unix passion blood too.
 

Sevendogsbsd

Daemon

Reaction score: 644
Messages: 1,089

Agree: most people, young and old, only know 2 things: MacOS and Windows. They have no idea there are alternatives out there, some better than (some) commercial offerings, depending on use case.
 

hruodr

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 231
Messages: 810

But do users of Linux distributions learn what is UNIX with it? I mean a typical unix system? I think UNIX is hidden there, and only people that know UNIX recognise the UNIX there.
 
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