Which BSD system choose?

scottro

Daemon

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I don't know if it was the old Complete FreeBSD or even if it was Greg Lehey, though I'm pretty sure it was him, who wrote that each BSD's slogan helps give you a clue if they're the one you want. I'm paraphrasing broadly, but I hope I keep the spirit of what he wrote. FreeBSD has the slogan, the power to serve. If you're looking for a server O/S it may be your best choice. NetBSD's slogan is (was? I don't see it on their home page now), Of course it runs NetBSD, meaning they emphasized clean, portable, code. OpenBSD's slogan, at the time was something like only one security hole in 20 years (it's changed slightly, but it's similar now), meaning, if security was your primary focus, it might be your best fit.

I don't know if DragonFly was around then. I've not used Net or DragonFly in years. OpenBSD often is better at working out of the box on laptops. On the other hand, I've found it harder to multiboot it on a laptop with other systems if the laptop uses uefi boot, but I'm a moron, so that doesn't necessarily mean anything. FreeBSD, and some desktop oriented offshoots, such as GhostBSD and Hellosystem, all seem to run pretty well on laptops, as well as towers and servers. (I've only tried Ghost and Hellosystem on laptop, no idea on towers or servers).

But as I think has been said, one good thing to try is running whatever suits your fancy in VirtualBox or other VM. You might feel, Wow, this is great, or perhaps Wow, this was a mistake. But my opinion, and everyone else's are, at the end of the day, just our opinions and your will matter most to you.
(Boy am I great at stating the obvious or what? No applause, just throw money).
 

olli@

Daemon
Developer

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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.
Well, not exactly. Python source code is not interpreted. It is compiled into bytecode, which then runs on a Python VM – this is very similar to Java, and in fact there is a Python variant that runs on top of a Java VM instead. There are also JIT (just-in-time) compilers for Python, and compilers that produce C code (which in turn can be used to create native binaries), and so on. There is even a JavaScript implementation so you can run Python code in a browser (but the performance is probably not very good – I haven’t tried it myself, though)

Actually, today there aren’t many languages anymore that are purely interpreted. Basically, only the bourne shell comes to mind, but it isn’t used as the main language for any large, wide-spread projects (as far as I know). Even awk(1) uses a built-in bytecode compiler.

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.
I think Dragonfly BSD is a very interesting project. I used to have an installation of it running inside a VM, just out of curiosity and for playing around (I ditched it when I reinstalled the machine, but I plan to set up a new Dragonfly BSD VM again). It has some neat features, like variant symlinks (I really, really wish FreeBSD had these, too!) and process checkpointing, and I also like the HAMMER file system that can do some things that ZFS can’t (and vice versa, of course).
 

Zirias

Daemon

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There is even a JavaScript implementation so you can run Python code in a browser (but the performance is probably not very good – I haven’t tried it myself, though)
It doesn't have to be too bad either, if the result follows at least asm.js conventions – modern browsers know how to optimize this. (the next step would be binary "webassembly")

As an example, here's a vice 2.4 (Commodore emulator written in C) compiled to asm.js using emscripten (which works with llvm), so it runs entirely in the browser: https://vice.janicek.co/
 

mark_j

Aspiring Daemon

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[Snip]

I think Dragonfly BSD is a very interesting project. [Snip] It has some neat features, like variant symlinks (I really, really wish FreeBSD had these, too!).
And NetBSD has 'magic' symlinks...
 
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