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ronaldlees

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 241
Best answers: 2
Messages: 631

#1
I mentioned in another thread that the FreeBSD forum has had a strong uptick in activity during the past few years. So, I think an appropriate (and interesting) question would be: "New member: where do you come from?" I don't mean "come from" as jurisdiction or geographical area, but rather ("I switched from Linux" - or - "I've always used FreeBSD but the forum's more intersting now" - or - "A particular interest I have has a lot of related conversation (maybe like Raspberry Pi)) - etc, etc.

I may be considered new myself (2011) - although I have been using FreeBSD for much longer than that. I'm here because I have time now.
 

robroy

Active Member

Thanks: 84
Messages: 155

#2
I joined this forum in 2014, though I've been using FreeBSD off and on since ~1996.

I'm here because of root-on-ZFS support appearing in FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE's installer (thank you Allan Jude).
 

aragats

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 343
Messages: 858

#3
I came to the forum in 2013, although used FreeBSD before, starting from ~4.5, but not extensively. I participated the mailing lists, but then discovered that in most cases Forum is better in many aspects. It was totally opposite with Arch Linux when I extensively used it for 10 years or so.
 

CraigHB

Member

Thanks: 25
Messages: 95

#4
I'm not a professional administrator, just do it at the hobby level. I joined the forum only a couple weeks ago. I've known about FreeBSD since I started playing around with Linux many years ago. FreeBSD always seemed like a fringe system to me with limited support for hardware and software, but I'm finding that's not the case anymore. It seems to support ~most~ hardware and ~most~ software these days. There's some stuff they seem a little weak on, but my main goal is to run a Destktop system with older supported hardware, should be no sweat.

The motivation for me to try FreeBSD is I feel the systems I've been using are suffering from the "too many cooks" syndrome about now. They're just too big for their own good anymore both in the number of developers and bloat in the products. I also feel they're starting to get entrenched in the corporate mentality. I really like the engineering model for FreeBSD where the whole design is under the control of a core group from the ground up. I think it's much less prone to fragmentation and poor design changes from upstream.

Right now I'm out of disk space since what I have has already been allocated to other systems, but I have a disk on order, should be here today actually. So I'm kind of excited about it, might be loading it up for the first time today.
 

Preetpal

Active Member

Thanks: 25
Messages: 114

#5
I first started using FreeBSD 10.3. I initially wanted to use FreeBSD since it switched over to using Clang as the system compiler (I mainly wanted to ensure some C and C++ code that I was writing was portable) and since it could be use in place of Linux in a server context. I then discovered ZFS and started to like the OS enough to want to use it. I eventually joined the forum (after running into some issues...) to learn more about FreeBSD.
 

michael_hackson

Member

Thanks: 45
Messages: 75

#6
Hello! New to FreeBSD since 6 months maybe. For me it was quite coincidental: Had an interrupt from university studies here in Sweden and as I went back to school the whole programming approach had changed from solemnly Windows-only into "Make it with GNU compilers"; "Use of IDE is deprecated". So at home I downloaded Cygwin and looked up alternatives for Windows since it was very poor to install the MinGW. At the same time I was talking regularly with a guy brought up with the demo culture and he was surprised in a positive matter and asked me if I was about to become user of *nix instead.

I scouted the web to find something other than the big Linux whale (oops, penguin, *aherm*) because, as I experienced it, a lot of the current presented Linux systems was about looking good and cool. Stumbled in on FreeBSD as a derivative/descendant of Unix and by reading the front page of freebsd.org I realised that this was something great to work with, a lot of thanks to the ever so bright Handbook.
According to Online-documentation BSD had a greater history of security and stability than Linux, and a lot of major servers run BSD, so this made me settle.

The breakpoint came when I started to crash the lovely Windows tinkering with drivers and some other software and through all years windows for me has been: "Hello Sir! You have this problem, but we don't know exactly what caused it, so if you think of solving this you may either spend a day learning what the he_ck just happened or you could buy something new".
(What made me survive 11 years with Windows was games and a high interest for operating systems themselves.)

As soon as I changed, things came to another and deeper understanding and what never seemed to work under Windows due to crappy software or just poor programming was working fluently on FreeBSD - My uncle gave me this laptop stating that the wireless card was busted (and it sure seemed to be under Windows), and after clean FreeBSD install: Voilá! :)

All on all I have felt very supported directly from the start joining the forums and I have also learnt solving things in another way.

Great thread. :)

--> This one will not be a Windows user anymore.

- - - michael_hackson
 

ronaldlees

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 241
Best answers: 2
Messages: 631

#7
I came to the forum in 2013, although used FreeBSD before, starting from ~4.5, but not extensively. I participated the mailing lists, but then discovered that in most cases Forum is better in many aspects. It was totally opposite with Arch Linux when I extensively used it for 10 years or so.
I started with FreeBSD in roughly that era, I suppose. It was late nineties and I was shopping at a computer book liquidation shop (I used to gobble that stuff up, so that a short time later I could help pad the landfills with nice paper filters to do my part fo the environment). For some reason there was a Walnut Creek CDROM there and it contained FreeBSD. No kidding. Otherwise, would probably be using Linux today.

As far as the forum goes, I didn't have a lot of disposable forum time in the nineties. Later, after the dry cleaner BSD-ish forum shut down, I went looking for a replacement fountain of knowledge, and it proved to be successful search :) .
 

aragats

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 343
Messages: 858

#8
For some reason there was a Walnut Creek CDROM there and it contained FreeBSD.
What a providence!!
I got my CDROMs with FreeBSD and FreeSBIE form a friend who worked for an ISP company in Armenia, and they used FreeBSD in their servers.
 

forquare

Active Member

Thanks: 77
Messages: 195

#10
I came to FreeBSD on the server from (Open)Solaris via Linux. On the desktop at home I'm a Mac user, but when my old 2006 MacBook gave up the ghost I couldn't afford a new Mac so went for a cheaper Lenovo laptop and installed FreeBSD - that was late 2015. I still have my 2011 iMac, I'm a sucker for the easy interface on top of a (albeit outdated) mostly BSD userland, but am increasingly thinking that my next workstation will be a FreeBSD install.

While I've done Linux admin'ing at both work and home, my first proper introduction to UNIX was Solaris 10. With the death of OpenSolaris I was in limbo for a while and 'put up' with Linux, when I properly took the time to explore FreeBSD I was instantly converted, and this forum along with the mailing lists and the BSDNow podcast really helped me feel welcome and comfortable using the system.
 

xavi

Active Member

Thanks: 71
Messages: 104

#11
What a providence!!
I can go one better! I started with a Linux distro (a Ubuntu/Fedora spin called Fuduntu) but within 3 weeks of installing it, the main developer decided to call it a day and the project folded. I looked at the front of a few Linux magazines for another distro disk and ironically came across one containing a version of PC-BSD (as it was called back then). I remembered the BSD's from reading Dr Dobbs Journal back in the day so decided to give it a go. I put it on an old laptop, it worked well and I played with it for a few months. I then decided that learning the underlying OS (FreeBSD) would be more instructive and installed that instead. So, I now use FreeBSD all thanks to a Linux magazine :)
 

swegen

Member

Thanks: 45
Messages: 71

#12
I joined here in 2011 just when FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE was about to be announced. I had some experience of FreeBSD before with a m0n0wall firewall system I built to an old PIII box. My background is mostly from DOS/Windows era with some OS/2 mixed in. I also experimented with Debian and Arch Linux as home servers.

Then a data-storage job/project came up and I started to look for options. I read a lot about ZFS and its benefits. First I tried to use the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD that natively supported the ZFS with then-familiar GNU userland. But something in that aberration did not feel right in addition that it used an outdated FreeBSD kernel with outdated ZFS version support. So I took the plunge and built the system with FreeBSD 9.0 release candidates and when the actual release came out I put the system right into production.

I have found the sensibly structured FreeBSD just about perfect for easy-to-deploy server usage with its separate configuration for OS and ports. Not to mention the great documentation and this helpful-and-friendly user community. I really enjoy being here and I'm excited about all the developments the new versions are bringing in like the partitionless booting of a whole ZFS disk with zfsboot().

Nowadays I mostly work with macOS and Windows desktops but all my servers are purely FreeBSD.
 

Eric A. Borisch

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 202
Messages: 310

#13
I started using FreeBSD in 2012 with 9.0 after looking for solid ZFS support when migrating some file servers off of OpenSolaris. I found the base system / ports collection split to be a nicer design for my tastes and needs. I've also found the kernel to be much easier to dive into when there is something I need tweaked, and with WITH_META_MODE builds, and beadm, it's extremely fast to try something out and recover if it all goes pear-shaped.

I still use linux for computing nodes where users log in and run Matlab, etc., but all of the file servers / backup storage are on FreeBSD now. It's spread to my home systems (ZFS is infectious in a why-would-I-touch-something-else way once you use it) including main storage server (with three bhyve VMs to manage Windows for automated uploads overnight, Ubunutu for Mythtv backend, and a soon-to-be-retired crashplan server) a laptop, and a small firewall box.

I joined the forums ~ a year ago to share (and get feedback on) a script (https://github.com/eborisch/ethname) that I wrote to scratch an itch on the firewall box -- USB ethernet devices not coming up in a consistent order, and needing to make sure the firewall is facing the right direction! (Can also be used on PCI ethernet when, for example, you're installing an additional ethernet card, and you don't want to worry about which one ends up with 0. Or if you just like pretty names for your networks.) I've put a few other ZFS / beadm system utilities up on GH as well if you're interested.

I stick around because there's (usually) civil and frequently interesting discussions, where I've gotten help and been able to help.
 

ronaldlees

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 241
Best answers: 2
Messages: 631

#14
...
I joined the forums ~ a year ago to share (and get feedback on) a script (https://github.com/eborisch/ethname) that I wrote to scratch an itch on the firewall box -- USB ethernet devices not coming up in a consistent order, and needing to make sure the firewall is facing the right direction!
...
Glad you decided to create a login and join the group! I think you may be typical of many FreeBSD forum readers who may use FreeBSD for many years before joining the forum. I like to watch the members/guests ratio displayed in the forum stats. Often it's twenty or thirty - to - one (overpoweringly guests). It's good to know that there are many more FreeBSD users out there, even though they're often very quiet.
 

CraigHB

Member

Thanks: 25
Messages: 95

#15
Was able to install FreeBSD for the first time last night. No problems. I'm liking the system a lot. Seems really well laid out and easy to work on. I still have a lot to do on it before it's ready for regular desktop use, but it's taking a lot less time than it did with the system before it. I used to feel that way about Debian, but getting back into it after a few years away and some three revisions later it seems like a complicated mess now, really turned off to it. FreeBSD is like a breath of fresh air, easy to deal with the way a proper Unix system should be. Looking forward to getting X up on it and using it for some workstation stuff.
 

hitest

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 36
Messages: 314

#16
I started using FreeBSD at version 5.x and have been a member here since this forum started in 2008.
 

ronaldlees

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 241
Best answers: 2
Messages: 631

#17
Was able to install FreeBSD for the first time last night. No problems. I'm liking the system a lot. Seems really well laid out and easy to work on. I still have a lot to do on it before it's ready for regular desktop use, but it's taking a lot less time than it did with the system before it. I used to feel that way about Debian, but getting back into it after a few years away and some three revisions later it seems like a complicated mess now, really turned off to it. FreeBSD is like a breath of fresh air, easy to deal with the way a proper Unix system should be. Looking forward to getting X up on it and using it for some workstation stuff.
The FreeBSD installation is pretty clean. I'm glad you've gotten back into it. Actually, I have good memories related to Debian Sarge and Etch, and used Etch long after it was supposed to be dead. In those days, it was not so bloated. It makes sense that the FreeBSD forum would collect an old Etch user. The FreeBSD kernel is not much thinner than the Linux kernel, if my LOC numbers are correct:

FreeBSD 16M (but includes userland)
Linux 17M (without userland)
Debian 81M (with desktop)
Minix 7M (with desktop)

These figures came from openhub, and I don't know if they're spot on. Taken from memory, so forgive any inaccuracies on my part, but it seems that FreeBSD is more lean. Sorry figures are a little bit apples vs. oranges.
 

CraigHB

Member

Thanks: 25
Messages: 95

#18
My Etch system was awesome, fast and clean. Stretch has given me a gigantic headache, I've given up on it. It runs like crap for me too, even my Win7 system leaves it in the dust. FreeBSD=Etch.
 

ronaldlees

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 241
Best answers: 2
Messages: 631

#20
ronaldlees In The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System (2005), not the current edition, it shows the FreeBSD kernel as being 800K LoC.
drhowarddrfine Thanks for the information. That's what I get for accepting a non-FreeBSD site for my info - 16M seems pretty high - now that I think about it.

I'm thumbing through my copy of D and I at this moment - and wondering if the quoted figure was for just the kernel, per se. How did you find it so fast?

Edit: Found your reference on page 24, and it's just the kernel. 16M still seems very high though. I wonder what method they used to develop the number. It could be that the other numbers are affected by the method they used, but relative comparison is probably informative. Of course, twelve years would have caused the figures to inflate some ...

What I liked about their site is that it provides LoC numbers for nearly every OSS project in existence. Maybe their algorithm just uses some kind of github poll. It's easy to do a count from source tarball. Maybe that can be a chore for today.
 

ralphbsz

Daemon

Thanks: 566
Best answers: 3
Messages: 1,015

#21
One has to be super careful with LoC counts, since they depend heavily on coding style (indentation convention), commenting, and whitespace usage. Just as a simple example, there is a factor of ~3 between these two examples, which have exactly the same content:
C:
// If foo is the same as bar, say hallo to ten numbers.
if (foo==bar)
{
    for (i=0; i<10; i++)
    {
        printf("Hallo item %d\n", i);
    }

// If foo was not the same as bar, say hallo to everyone.
else
{
    printf("Hallo world\n");
}
and
C:
if (foo==bar) {
    for (i=0; i<10; i++) {
        printf("Hallo item %d\n", i); }}
else
    printf("Hallo world\n");
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MarcoB

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 88
Messages: 327

#22
I started using FreeBSD in ~1998. My first computer had OS/2 installed, so from then on interested in "alternative" operating systems. Used Linux briefly but at the time only FreeBSD had a driver for my blazingly fast ATA/66 disk controller, so since then I use FreeBSD as main OS. It's installed on my workstation. Also used BeOS for some time, I even had 4 OS's installed at the same time once.

I also own a Digital PWS600au which runs OpenVMS currently (FreeBSD in the past, but alpha isn't supported anymore), an old Dell D620 laptop which runs NetBSD and a Sony laptop running Slackware linux (because of the Broadcom wireless).

On this forum since 2009.
 

ronaldlees

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 241
Best answers: 2
Messages: 631

#23
Well, the LoC chore had to wait until today. ralphbsz : yes, getting a logical LoC count is much more complicated than getting the physical count. To get a ballpark estimate that I could use to check against the openhub numbers I posted earlier, I used misc/cloc - which is a physical LoC utility which makes a separate count for comment lines.

New Lines-of-Code counts:

  • FreeBSD kernel source tarball - 2.64M LoC (w/o comments), 3.91M LoC (with comments)
  • FreeBSD base tarball - 78k (w/o comments), 148k (with comments)
  • Minix3 tarball (source+userland) - 1.08M LoC (w/o comments), 1.82M LoC (with comments)

So, the numbers I quoted previously were seemingly pretty high. I can't draw a conclusion about Debian, based on using a ratio from the new numbers, because the relationship to the first numbers isn't linear. I'm wondering how to tackle that one. Didn't do the Linux count because I'm running on my Pi ATM and it's out of space. Maybe my memory is in error about the openhub numbers, or I simply misunderstood them. Good lesson - to always check things like this out, and not blindly quote.

Is cloc correct? Perhaps a comparison with another tool could help. Now back to the regularly scheduled thread.
 

-Snake-

Active Member

Thanks: 21
Messages: 125

#24
I joined in 2015, I have used gnu/linux from 2011, but in 2015 I tried freebsd out of curiosity and I discovered my favorite system!

I still use gnu/linux (debian) on some machines due to the hardware support, the reasons why I like FreeBSD most about gnu/linux are basically:
  • More coherent system (userland + kernel)
  • Much more unix-like, that I think has been lost in gnu/linux, it is very simple to understand how FreeBSD works thanks to its design
  • Your community, even being smaller, I think it is healthier, besides the BSD license is more attractive
  • Without systemd :D
 

forest_bear59

New Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 2

#25
In 2003 I started using Linux almost exclusively as my working system. Starting with SuSE I came to Kubuntu and - in 2012 - to Arch Linux. At the moment this is my 'workhorse', but I started to develop some interest in "what else exists out there" ;) .

I started to get in touch with freeBSD last December - first in a VirtualBox, but on a real machine following soon. It's a bit tedious for me but nevertheless very rewarding.
At least it'll give me some interesting insights ... but maybe I'll use it for real work some day.
 
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