Which BSD system choose?

Zirias

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[BSDs] different from every other linux
Don't take this as an attack, as I assume you of course know that now, but just to emphasize: That's where the problems start ;) The only thing BSDs have in common with GNU/Linux systems is that both are "Unix-like" and attempt to comply to POSIX. And it's at times surprising how much of the behavior of some command line tools (IMHO especially with GNU, but also with BSD) goes way beyond POSIX :)
 

decuser

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Don't take this as an attack, as I assume you of course know that now, but just to emphasize: That's where the problems start ;)
No worries. Linux is a great gateway to unix, but it definitely takes some adjustment to move to BSD. Thankfully, most of the crowd who resented (looked down on?) LXers have been crowded out by more helpful, and almost tolerant folks who'll gently nudge these folks onto the correct path, so long as they're willing to learn and work at understanding. That said, there's no hope for the 'How come my nVidia MonsterStrobe 9000.x453, rev 29 2000 core GPU works fine with Arch, but won't composite properly in KDE 6 on FreeBSD" folks.
 

20-100-2fe

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That's where the problems start

Definitely. I experienced that twice with FreeBSD.
First time was last century, I had no clue as to what to do once in the installer and couldn't go further. Second time was last year, but in the meantime, I had learned and practiced self-observation and it greatly helped.

I realized how conditioned to using Windows and Linux I had been, and also that I could use all I had learned with those systems to deal with FreeBSD instead of complaining or just feeling lost.

However, not everyone can do this. The pressure we have to live with nowadays is so strong that most people just try and get to the end of the day with what they are familiar with. They see the unfamiliar as yet another burden rather than as a positive experience.
 

Zirias

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So, all you guys have more experience than me :) I was always pragmatic, GNU/Linux (in Debian's flavor) worked fine for me for a very long time and I wasn't interested in anything BSD at all, cause there was no need. I hate to say it, but it was the introduction of more and more poetterware that changed that ... pulseaudio was already a PITA, but when Debian introduced systemd, I really hit some annoying problems, and only then I started to look for alternatives ... so, the first FreeBSD version I ever looked at was 11-CURRENT (yep, I ignored the warnings about running -CURRENT, cause FreeBSD 10-RELEASE didn't support my graphics card back then) and just had a go.

Anyways, just wanted to point out that much frustration can be caused by FreeBSD command line tools (and, if you're a programmer, APIs) can work slightly different than on GNU/Linux. If you try it with the "just another (Linux) distro" mindset, you will fail. You have to be willing to try out something really different :)
 

Hakaba

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I choose FreeBSD for the ZFS support and jails (server side).
I install FreeBSD on a laptop with unsupported hardware because I was curious. Now this is my main computer. As you said you are curious, there is no bad choice, just enjoy to discover a new world.
 

diego

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FreeBSD is to Fury and Ghost as Debian is to Mint and MX Linux.
Dragonfly is to FreeBSD what Devuan is to Debian.
FreeBSD is to NetBSD what Debian is to RedHat. It's not a perfect analogy, but it's mine :).
I love this analogy !!

First time I tried Linux years ago was just impossible ( a nightmare)
Second time years later was "bearable"
Third time, it became my main system until 2019 + professional IT working 100% in Linux Environments

First time I tried FreeBSD: since 2019 ----> till today :)

Plenty of feed-backs in this forums from people with a lot of experience on FreeBSD and beginners (as me)
Go for it. How much curious you are?
 

mark_j

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I've tested the main BSDs and my opinion on them is:
[...]
- NetBSD : good documentation, very interesting philosophy, problematic quality (e.g. package repositories, UTF-8 support)

I know it's your opinion, but I have been using netbsd (professionally ) for a long time and I've never had issues with pkgsrc (or fore-runners). The use of WIP repositories is another thing I like.

I would also add that NetBSD packages support many more architectures than FreeBSD. I cannot comment on OpenBSD.
Not all the packages available for x86/amd64 are available for Sparc (none?) or all Arm versions, on FreeBSD.

But, there's always a downside. It's a small OS, developer wise, and doesn't support the number of ports/packages FreeBSD does, but then again, who knows if anyone other than the porter actually uses half the stuff in the ports tree? :confused:

But, overall, I agree with your assessment, FreeBSD is the better balanced OS [for Intel/AMD].
 

mark_j

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Don't take this as an attack, as I assume you of course know that now, but just to emphasize: That's where the problems start ;) The only thing BSDs have in common with GNU/Linux systems is that both are "Unix-like" and attempt to comply to POSIX. And it's at times surprising how much of the behavior of some command line tools (IMHO especially with GNU, but also with BSD) goes way beyond POSIX :)
GNU is Not Unix...;)
 

mark_j

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OpenBSD is easier to use on a desktop than NetBSD, in my opinion. Of all BSDs, FreeBSD and its distributions GhostBSD, MidnightBSD, FuryBSD et cetera are probably the most comfortable though. (I like to call FreeBSD "the linuxiest BSD" for various reasons.)
I don't mind GhostBSD but the truly bizarre solution of choosing openRC as their init system defies logic.
 

mark_j

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My experiences mirror those of 20-100-2fe with the exception that I have used FreeBSD for a couple. of years very successfully and OpenBSD for about 30 minutes, very unsuccessfully. OpenBSD performance was terrible and the installer is very difficult and unintuitive to use. Yes, it does set up a desktop for you but at what cost. FreeBSD is fast, simple to configure and for me, worked very well, albeit you have to configure everything yourself, which takes a little bit of time but is quite easy.

I'm a bit like you. I only tried OpenBSD for the first time last week. My comments on it:
It uses a basic installer, not much better than the old FreeBSD sysinstall, but still functional.
It uses good-old disklabels for sectioning disks. Ah, brings back memories.
It uses device tree similar to FreeBSD.
Overall, it's a bit like the FreeBSD of the late '90s. That's not a bad thing, IMHO.
 

memreflect

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I choose FreeBSD for the ZFS support and jails
Same here, plus bhyve means I don't need to deal with VirtualBox or QEMU wasting space on my drive. It's not that I dislike them, but considering all I need is a small-ish Linux VM to be able to run docker and some other things, bhyve with sysutils/vm-bhyve is more than adequate.
 

olli@

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Same here, plus bhyve means I don't need to deal with VirtualBox or QEMU wasting space on my drive. It's not that I dislike them, but considering all I need is a small-ish Linux VM to be able to run docker and some other things, bhyve with sysutils/vm-bhyve is more than adequate.
I wish I could use bhyve, too … But I need to be able to pass raw devices (in particular, a BD drive) to the guest. VirtualBox supports that, but bhyve doesn’t.
 

Lamia

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I wish I could use bhyve, too … But I need to be able to pass raw devices (in particular, a BD drive) to the guest. VirtualBox supports that, but bhyve doesn’t.
I was under the impression that most , if not all, devices would passthru. One only needs to collect the desired PCI code/numbers (e.g. via dmesg) and enter into loader.conf and the specific VM conf.
 

olli@

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I was under the impression that most , if not all, devices would passthru. One only needs to collect the desired PCI code/numbers (e.g. via dmesg) and enter into loader.conf and the specific VM conf.
You can pass through a PCI device, but that doesn’t help me because I don’t want to pass through the SATA controller. That would be a bad idea. I only want to pass through the BD drive. VirtualBox lets me do that.
 

diego

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Same here, plus bhyve means I don't need to deal with VirtualBox or QEMU wasting space on my drive. It's not that I dislike them, but considering all I need is a small-ish Linux VM to be able to run docker and some other things, bhyve with sysutils/vm-bhyve is more than adequate.
Agreed.
I have been using bhyve for docker and docker swarm with much better the performance than virtualbox

We have missed the point of this post --> Which BSD system choose? :)
 

hitest

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Good morning, I'm using Linux on my main PC, but now I have a second cheap pc that I don't use anymore, and I want to install a BSD system because I'm very curious.

I'm running OpenBSD 6.7 on an older T420 Thinkpad; it has a 2.5 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, and an 111 GB SSD. It runs XFCE 4.14 well enough for my needs. FreeBSD is also an excellent choice. Check hardware compatibility before the installation.
 

teo

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I'm running OpenBSD 6.7 on an older T420 Thinkpad; it has a 2.5 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, and an 111 GB SSD. It runs XFCE 4.14 well enough for my needs. FreeBSD is also an excellent choice. Check hardware compatibility before the installation.
Interesting your comment, I would like a portable machine that recognizes BSD all the drivers and take full advantage of performance, for the reputation of failures that has the ThinkPad from a few years ago to the present would prefer one of the brand DELL with 500 GB or 1 TB of SSD or HDD.
 

decuser

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I heart my T430 w/FreeBSD 12.1 and Plasma as the desktop. No problems that I know of, but it's not that recent either. Dell's fine, too. In terms of performance, it's not a huge concern of mine, but I don't play games on it and I don't do video editing, YMMV.
 
OP
P

pirmat

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Thanks to everyone for the replies.
I think I will try FreeBSD. For now, I don't install it in my main PC, but I can try the operating system, the program that I usually use and so on.
Just a curiosity: in wikipedia, I read this:

Some BSD operating systems can run much native software of several other operating systems on the same architecture, using a binary compatibility layer. Much simpler and faster than emulation, this allows, for instance, applications intended for Linux to be run at effectively full speed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Software_Distribution#Binary_compatibility


FreeBSD have this functionality? how it works? If this is true, it means that I can run software for all operating system in a BSD?
 

SirDice

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FreeBSD have this functionality?
Read the handbook: Chapter 10. Linux® Binary Compatibility

If this is true, it means that I can run software for all operating system in a BSD?
No, you can't. Although you can run various Linux binaries on FreeBSD the compatibility layer is far from perfect. Besides the kernel there are also various other considerations, like libraries. This is only for Linux. There's also an OpenSolaris compatibility layer, it's mainly used for ZFS. There used to be a System-V R4 layer too but it was removed with 12.0. With regards to Windows software you're limited to what emulators/wine is capable of. There is no OS-X/MacOS compatibility.
 

olli@

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Basically, yes.
how it works?
When a binary is executed, the kernel detects for which platform it was built (FreeBSD, Linux, …). If it is a non-native binary – i.e. not FreeBSD – two things happen: First, the kernel switches to an alternative set of system calls that implements the system calls of the binary’s target platform. Second, the location of file system paths is changed so that files are searched under /compat/<platform> first. If it doesn’t exist there, it is searched in the usual place, i.e. rooted at “/”.

The above is a somewhat simplified explanation, but basically that’s how it works. And in fact it works surprisingly well. I'm using several Linux programs on FreeBSD that are closed-source or cannot be compiled on FreeBSD for other reasons. There are even some Linux programs in FreeBSD’s ports collection.

Note that you can even install a complete Linux system inside a jail(8) environment. FreeBSD provides special linprocfs(5) and linsysfs(5) file systems that can be mounted on /proc and /sys, respectively – They're not 100 % complete, but it’s enough to make most Linux programs happy.
If this is true, it means that I can run software for all operating system in a BSD?
Not, not all. Currently, compatibility layers exist for Linux 32bit and 64bit binaries. In the past there existed several others to execute SysV and BSD/OS binaries, but those have been removed because nobody used them anymore.

To execute Windows programs, there is WINE, which works about as good as it does on Linux.

For everything else you need to run a guest OS inside a VM. FreeBSD has a native hypervisor named bhyve(4), but it also supports several 3rd-party hypervisors like VirtualBox (emulators/virtualbox-ose). Qemu (emulators/qemu) is an option, too.
 

wolffnx

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Thanks to everyone for the replies.
I think I will try FreeBSD

good,go for the original
I am trying OpenBSD because of my work,and not feels so clean,fast than FreeBSD
maybe I have to learn,but my heart allways will be with beastie :)
great performance,good documentation, good comunity, ZFS , jails,and you can tunning everything
great for the desktop and server(in my case need a L7 firewall :rolleyes:,for that I am trying OpenBSD) but the
Code:
PF
ported in FreeBSD is more that enough,if
Code:
PF
is your choice of course
 

mark_j

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[...]

Not, not all. Currently, compatibility layers exist for Linux 32bit and 64bit binaries. In the past there existed several others to execute SysV and BSD/OS binaries, but those have been removed because nobody used them anymore.

Funny you should mention that as someone on one of the NetBSD mailing lists rued the "recent" loss of the bsd/os layer.
 

olli@

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Funny you should mention that as someone on one of the NetBSD mailing lists rued the "recent" loss of the bsd/os layer.
Well, at some point, very old things need to be removed that get into the way of developing new features. This is especially true for things that don’t have a maintainer anymore, or that are difficult to maintain because none of the developers has hardware or software old enough to test the code in question. As a consequence, the code will rot and fail to work properly.

For those reasons, for example, FreeBSD removed SVR4 binary support, IBCS2 and COFF support, MCA bus support, and so on. FreeBSD used to support Xenix system calls, too (yes, really). FreeBSD 12 still has it, but 13 doesn’t. But actually I’m not sure if it still works, even on FreeBSD 12 or 11, because it’s not really easy to get your hands on some Xenix binaries for testing. Note that the last version of Xenix was released in 1991, that’s 29 years ago.

By the way, BSD/OS ended relatively “recently”, 17 years ago (in October 2003), but still that’s an eternity in OS history. In the same month, FreeBSD 4.9 was released.
 

donallen

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I've tested the main BSDs and my opinion on them is:

- OpenBSD : very good hardware support, but: no user-centricity at all, poor performance, poor documentation, restricted and poorly maintained application offer
I disagree with some of this. The documentation is excellent, in my opinion (the FAQ and man pages are very comprehensive and accurate), and if you run Current, the application repository is pretty up-to-date and quite extensive. I am not a Theo de Raadt fan -- quite the opposite. I think that while he's clearly a major talent, he's a nasty piece of work. I've had my own run-ins with him and lost interest in the system because of him. But the system is undeniably good, in service of correctness and its security focus. It is definitely slower than Linux or any of the other BSDs, especially when you care about multi-core performance. But how fast is fast enough? Today's hardware is so fast that even a slow OS is often fast enough. Look at the prevalence of Python code in today's computing landscape. It's interpreted code, of course, but in a lot of situations it does the job.
- DragonflyBSD : Was initially focusing on performance. However, FreeBSD has improved a lot since that time and I can't imagine any compelling reason to use DragonflyBSD over FreeBSD.
You are raising a legitimate issue. I'm a DragonflyBSD fan, but when I look at the benchmarks vs FreeBSD and Linux, I wonder whether the project still makes sense.
In short, the only reason I can imagine for not using FreeBSD is that you get on so well with people using another BSD that you choose to use the same system as them to have an occasion to spend more time with them. ;) Which is a very good reason, as people are much more important than computers. :)

As a conclusion, I'd recommend you try them all to see where you feel the best. :)
 
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