Sharing my thoughts on FreeBSD as a newcomer coming from Linux

triguy

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Yo what is cracking FreeBSD community?! This is my first post as a new forum member! I've been a happy Linux user since 2016 and it's been a really great experience. I appreciate the multitude of diverse communities, extensive hardware support, constant security patches, the massive catalog of native software, and so on. I really like the open source ecosystem and how customizable everything is. However, one major gripe I have with it is the lack of unity between different distributions and even between intermittent releases of the same ditro. Simple things like installing a driver for a proprietary piece of hardware such as the Apple Magic Mouse 2 touch support, or for a crappy laptop WiFi card such as certain Realtek cards, can be a completely different process depending on the OS. Even something as simple as setting up a basic WiFi network through the command line can be very involved due to a lack of network protocol standards. Some distributions use ifconfig tools for WiFi, others use iwconfig, others use wpa_supplicant, etc. Most distributions have major differences between the included base software packages, permissions, filesystem layout, and so on, that it just gets very tiring to use it sometimes. All this coupled with lackluster CPU architecture support makes it cumbersome to use sometimes.

I recently discovered and started using FreeBSD. I tested the v12 release and had some graphics card issues on my modern AMD GPU as well as with my Intel 2nd gen GPU and I struggled with getting it to boot on specific UEFI-only hardware. However, the new v13 release seems to have fixed all of that and it boots on everything I've tested so far. I am a big fan of the install process as it's minimal and highly customizable with an easy-to-use interface. The package management system and ports tree are very impressive, the overall design and structure of the OS is also very consistent and straightforward. I think that FreeBSD is a very powerful operating system and I cannot believe it took me so long to find it. I don't think I've ever been more impressed by any other piece of open source software. Desktop support is still a little lackluster with various major desktop programs still needing to be ported but overall I am so impressed by everything the developers and community have done for it. I've never seen an operating system with more official and well-written documentation (except maybe Archlinux) and I've never seen such an OS as coherent as FreeBSD.

I can't wait to contribute to FreeBSD by writing software for it and porting things to it. I've written several utilities for Linux that I will extend to support FreeBSD and potentially other Unix operating systems. I hope to use it as my daily driver eventually. I think the most compelling feature of FreeBSD has to be its architecture support. The fact that it supports PowerPC processors, various Arm processors and SOCs, x86, RISC-V and so on is amazing and I will definitely be utilizing this cross-platform support. Thank you to everyone who's supported and worked on this project for so many years! I fully intend to donate to the FreeBSD foundation and to help support the OS in any way I can. :)
 
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