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

mhj

New Member

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Messages: 1

Hi all,

I'm a huge FreeBSD fan. I run one of my sites on it, and am planning on running another of mine on it too. Currently for my main computer I use Linux(The Guix distribution, a stateless one with boot environments and BTRFS), and on the Pinebook Pro I run Manjaro, but I am looking to convert what I can to FreeBSD.

I have been a *nix fan since before 2015, but didn't start seriously using it until then. I await progress for things like GhostBSD and whatnot.

Answering the top questions though, I am student, probably going into cyber security in the fall, and as for why I choose FreeBSD and/or it's derivatives, it's because of it's unrivaled documentation, stability and slow evolution.
 

lloyd

New Member

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Messages: 4

Hey everyone, new here to the forum and wanted to say hi on this mega thread.

I chose FreeBSD because it doesn't use silly names like "Xenial Xerus" or "Ice Cream Sandwich" or "Wheezy" for version releases. Projects that use version names instead of numbers drive me absolutely bonkers.

But seriously, I'm a big computer nerd and OS geek. Have been almost my entire life. There's a place in my heart for all different OS's, so I can't say that "I chose FreeBSD" with any sort of exclusivity. I think there's a time and place for all different types of OS's, just like how someone might have a few different cars (or bicycles) based on the trip they want to take.

I run Debian for production work personally and professionally, and I ran my personal desktop PC with various Linux flavors (landing on Arch for the longest stretch) for years. I am fond of the vanilla upstream approach of Arch, and their wiki is easy to work with and contribute to. Debian has been a solid home for me for years -- until the sudden init system change to systemd, or until they changed to the nftables firewall that had almost no publicly available documentation, or until...

Despite my very opinionated nature I'm not an outright Linux or GPL or systemd hater or something like that... Just lately I have been finding comfort in the stability and reliability of the FreeBSD universe. The FreeBSD architecture appears to be largely independent and well-defended from trendy outside influences that may have dubious value. I've tinkered with FreeBSD off and on for years and have been running a XigmaNAS box in my homelab that is a workhorse and that has given me zero troubles in many, many years.

There's quite a lot of FUD on the interwebs about FreeBSD. Here's some of the stuff I've read lately:
  • Linux is more supported than FreeBSD.
  • FreeBSD is harder to learn than Linux.
  • It's easier to find help on Stack Overflow for Linux than FreeBSD.
  • FreeBSD used to be king, but Linux caught up.
  • No one runs production workloads on FreeBSD anymore.
That sorta stuff. Plus, there's simply more people out there talking about Linux than FreeBSD. I can see how someone might get the impression that Linux is "the right choice" over FreeBSD just because of conversational volumes. But just because lots of people are talking about something doesn't mean that it's the best option.

The only way for me to know is to get my hands dirty and see for myself. I think the outlook for FreeBSD in my life is good. I'm currently working on moving over little things to FreeBSD on an AWS Lightsail box, starting with personal stuff. Baby steps. (And the fact that AWS natively supports FreeBSD says something in itself, eh?)

Who knows? Maybe one day in the future I'll post here again and say with confidence, "Yes, I have chosen FreeBSD."
 

Jose

Daemon

Reaction score: 849
Messages: 1,022

  • Linux is more supported than FreeBSD.
This is unfortunately true, at least where it comes to hardware support.
  • FreeBSD is harder to learn than Linux.
This is meaningless since there's no such thing as Linux. Gentoo is significantly harder to learn than Freebsd. Ubuntu is somewhat easier.
  • It's easier to find help on Stack Overflow for Linux than FreeBSD.
This might be true. I don't spend as much time on SO as I used to, so I don't know.
  • FreeBSD used to be king, but Linux caught up.
This is nonsense. They might've been neck-and-neck in terms of popularity back in the early '90s when only a handful of people used freeware Unix work-alikes.
  • No one runs production workloads on FreeBSD anymore.
This is not just wrong, it's lazy. Simple Internet search will debunk this in seconds.
 

hunter0one

Member

Reaction score: 48
Messages: 30

Howdy,

I was an avid Devuan user until I came to realize the disaster that is GNU/Linux. The GPL, the file disorganization, and my constant distro hopping made me seek an alternative. I first tried FreeBSD 12 in February of this year but I was turned away because I had microstuttering and screen tearing, so I switched back to Devuan. I started to think that maybe my ignorance was the issue so on May 1st I gave FreeBSD another try (this time with the new 13 release). I still had little bugs here and there but one by one I fixed them thanks to the help of this forum and the FreeBSD Handbook (although I had to scour the internet for an obscure sysctl command to fix my microstuttering problem). The documentation really is something extraordinary.

I've been using this operating system on my main computer since May 1st and I have no plans to switch to anything else since I'm getting used to the way it works. Currently I'm trying to debug memory issues (for some reason, it seems if I compile a port my memory stays almost full).

I've learned that it's more than possible to use FreeBSD as a daily driver. Yes, you will run into hitches, but there's always a solution somewhere and on the bright side you learn more about it by problem solving. I think it's complete bull to say its unusable because of an out of the box issue, just like my first experience where I ran away from it.

I, for one, am proud to say that I use FreeBSD.
 

Alain De Vos

Daemon

Reaction score: 541
Messages: 1,880

For memory,
I reduce the zfs arc size to one third of the memory
sysctl.conf
Code:
vfs.zfs.arc_max= 2500000000
In poudriere.conf i have
Code:
USE_TMPFS=no
 

Trihexagonal

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 2,051
Messages: 2,620

I first tried FreeBSD 12 in February of this year but I was turned away because I had microstuttering and screen tearing
Are you sure you had the right video driver?

I've learned that it's more than possible to use FreeBSD as a daily driver.
It's the the most usr friendly desktop oriented OS I have ever taught myself to use and what I use for general desktop purposes on a daily basis.

Yes, you will run into hitches, but there's always a solution somewhere and on the bright side you learn more about it by problem solving. I think it's complete bull to say its unusable because of an out of the box issue, just like my first experience where I ran away from it.
That's what we like to hear.

I, for one, am proud to say that I use FreeBSD.
And we're glad to have you.
 

hunter0one

Member

Reaction score: 48
Messages: 30

Are you sure you had the right video driver?

I was using the generic drivers at first but I switched to xf86-video-amdgpu and had the same problem. But the first time I got frustrated and just quit there. It turns out the solution was simple, I just needed to enable FreeSync / tear-free (I prefer FreeSync) in an xorg config. That fixed the screen tearing. The microstuttering was fixed with the kernel value kern.sched.steal_thresh=1. I still need to study what this does exactly but together that solved my initial problems.

I didn't mention that I also initially had no sound because my default sound device was something besides my headphones, but again I figured it out in DSBMixer and all is good now.

That's what we like to hear.

And we're glad to have you.
Thanks!
 

tgl

New Member

Reaction score: 4
Messages: 1

Hi all,

this is my first post here!

I am tgl a short way to say (the) Gnuserland, this the nickname I selected for my online journey.

I am here because I got tired about the all non-sense around Linux, and I started to explore FreeBSD! It is ended up that FreeBSD is actually pretty cool!

My first project was to open my Gemini capsule, which is online and running on FreeBSD 12.x. I am planning to move to FreeBSD 13 and jailing everything but this requires time and study, I hope to get this done as soon as possible.

I am not a coder, or a programmer, neither a sysad but I have always been attracted by the the informatics science (my firsts computers were a Vic20 and a C64), mine is more like a passion and thus it must be fun, lately I noticed that FreeBSD is still fun as Linux was ten years ago...

You can (or cannot) check my capsule at gemini://gnuser.land

Thanks for reading!

tgl

p.s. this forum doesn't have support for the capsules yet... ;)
 

hardworkingnewbie

Member

Reaction score: 44
Messages: 64

Hello,

time to introduce myself here, since already the friendly and patient community here solved all of my various questions about Pf.

I am hardworkingnewbie, and well that's just a nick name I choose for this forum, because it is true. I am still quite the newbie to FreeBSD, but not to Linux. I started my journey there back then 1994 with Slackware and kernel version 0.99.pl14, later used SuSE for some time and then kind of stuck mostly with Gentoo most of the time. I also got some Arch Linux running on my Raspberry Pi, and used Debian here and there whenever I wanted a stagnating cough cough stable platform with often quirky package maintainer decisions in terms of enabled features of some programs.

Gentoo itself borrowed quite some ideas from FreeBSD. The portage system there was modeled after FreeBSD, it also still uses an init system which is easily understandable named openrc. I never bothered to install systemd on my Gentoo boxes there, all the different stuff which systemd tries to do now and then, like re-inventing DNS resolvers, NTP clients, blocking port 53 "just in case" and many more always gave me a big headache I really can better live without.

Although Gentoo still runs nicely, in my opinion and experience the quality of its portage tree really deteriorated over the last view years. I am there always on the stable branch. Every time there's some update for KDE or Python, emerge just always pukes out a bunch of blocked packages I then have to figure out how to resolve the problem. This is something I can really live without, it just gives me a headache when doing an upgrade I always have to figure this stuff out on how to remove this first by hand before the process can run. Really, really annoying.

As a pet project I've got a Zotac C329 nano mini box which I do use as my internet gateway and router, it has builtin two real Gbit ethernet ports. This box for a long time was running Gentoo with Arno's Iptables Firewall, which is just a bunch of shell scripts then configuring Linux' netfilter engine in the kernel via iptables calls. This was running without problems, but in the long term I was not really happy about having to have a compiler on my router, update times and also used file system size due to a lot of stuff lying around. Also I really, really hate iptables with a vengeance. As long as you are using stuff like AIF that's no big problem, but when you really want to understand what's going on the syntax is messy and overcomplicated.

So I first tried to give OpenBSD a chance, because I wanted Pf as my packet filter. I got it up and running, but turns out that OpenBSD uses a way of NAT where I whould have to punch many holes in the firewall in order to get some of my games running. Which is something I really didn't want to do.

So next thing was switching over to FreeBSD, and trying Pf here. And it works so far. ipfilter seemed to be to old to me, and ipfw reminds me too much of iptables that I really would enjoy learning it. Aside that I wanted to have Pf, because I like its syntax and here I am right now.

I also like obviously that FreeBSD has no systemd, and fast binary updates which really work well and normally don't break stuff, like I experienced sometimes in Debian.

For me FreeBSD is one of the unsung heroes of the internet. It doesn't get so much publicity compared to Linux, but is just often there and used, like Netflix, Whatsapp and many others. Cheers mates!
 

complexnumber

New Member

Reaction score: 5
Messages: 5

FreeBSD was my first foray into UNIX-Like Operating systems. I was studying UNIX at university and I started to research UNIX and came across BSD. I found Linux later on in the piece but I was obsessed with FreeBSD. I read as much as I could about the history and development. I have gone over the handbook multiple times when stuck as well as reading Absolute FreeBSD from No-starch press. I even have a copy of the Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System. While my C is not that great I am working on it. I like that the source is all included and I also like the governance model of FreeBSD compared the the benevolent dictator model that is Linux. Linux is great, don't get me wrong. But FreeBSD is, in my opinion superiour. I'm reading the source code so I can understand at a deep level how it differs from Linux Kernel. I'm working on my C and am reading and writing code. So that's me. I want to be able to contribute to the project,. I suppose I need to find something that needs to be done and get stuck into it. I'm still a coding neophyte but am getting better and I think helping with bug reports would be a good place to start. Anyway that is me. Greetings from Melbourne, Australia!
 

dacrackerx64

Member

Reaction score: 16
Messages: 24

I've been using Debian and Windows at work for more than a decade now. My previous laptop (Macbook Pro, 2009) ran MacOS
and I've been a happy user for many years. The one thing that made me look for options was that Apple decided to deprecate
my laptop by not releasing new versions of MacOS for it, which I find annoying since the laptop works just fine. This event made
it a priority to find a new OS which would let me decide when its time to give up on my hardware.

I first considered using Debian since I know it well and am quite pleased with it (maybe with the exception of SystemD). Etiher
way I figured it would be fun to try FreeBSD again since I hadn't tried it for a few years. This time I really decided to give it some
time and FreeBSD 12.2 runs beutifly on my newish Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 7th gen. I am really impressed with ZFS, clang,
jails, bhyve etc. I now have a nice setup based on Openbox that suits me really well as a platform for my various code projects.

I do wish that FreeBSD focused more on some security mitigations. Other then that I am very happy with my little laptop and
see no reason to change OS anytime soon. In fact, I am considering applying to become a commiter since I want to learn more
about the FreeBSD kernel and wish to help the FreeBSD project.
 

astyle

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 240
Messages: 537

I've been using Debian and Windows at work for more than a decade now. My previous laptop (Macbook Pro, 2009) ran MacOS
and I've been a happy user for many years. The one thing that made me look for options was that Apple decided to deprecate
my laptop by not releasing new versions of MacOS for it, which I find annoying since the laptop works just fine. This event made
it a priority to find a new OS which would let me decide when its time to give up on my hardware.

I first considered using Debian since I know it well and am quite pleased with it (maybe with the exception of SystemD). Etiher
way I figured it would be fun to try FreeBSD again since I hadn't tried it for a few years. This time I really decided to give it some
time and FreeBSD 12.2 runs beutifly on my newish Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 7th gen. I am really impressed with ZFS, clang,
jails, bhyve etc. I now have a nice setup based on Openbox that suits me really well as a platform for my various code projects.

I do wish that FreeBSD focused more on some security mitigations. Other then that I am very happy with my little laptop and
see no reason to change OS anytime soon. In fact, I am considering applying to become a commiter since I want to learn more
about the FreeBSD kernel and wish to help the FreeBSD project.
Same thing happening with M$ releasing win11 last week... I checked my 3-year-old laptop (Lenovo IdeaPad 720s ARR), and it's not compatible - but it looks like M$ is backtracking a bit on that.

As for applying to be a committer - I'd suggest that you figure out a port to maintain first, just to get a handle on the process. A couple examples of ports without maintainers: audio/lash and multimedia/aegisub.
 

dacrackerx64

Member

Reaction score: 16
Messages: 24

Same thing happening with M$ releasing win11 last week... I checked my 3-year-old laptop (Lenovo IdeaPad 720s ARR), and it's not compatible - but it looks like M$ is backtracking a bit on that.

As for applying to be a committer - I'd suggest that you figure out a port to maintain first, just to get a handle on the process. A couple examples of ports without maintainers: audio/lash and multimedia/aegisub.

I appreciate the suggestion, though as a fairly experienced C/C++ programmer I think I could do a lot more good for the
project commiting actual code. But I shall keep your suggestion in mind if I feel I have the time to contribute to the
FreeBSD project. Thank you!
 
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