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Why do you use FreeBSD?

ishpeck

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#51
Amzo said:
I am curious as to why people choose it over other operating systems such as Linux, Windows or OSX.

I'm a refugee from Arch Linux. I left after they announced the move to systemd (a piece of software which I despise). Figured I'd give FreeBSD a try and have never found a compelling reason to leave yet.
 

throAU

Aspiring Daemon

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#52
GreenMeanie said:
Have you read these FORUMS at all?
Most people here tell others to go use another Distro when asking questions.


As above, if the question isn't about FreeBSD, users are suggested to use the appropriate forum for that product.


Also, I think you'll find many FreeBSD users are a lot more pragmatic and less politically motivated than other free software users. I am myself, anyway.

Personally for example, I am not using FreeBSD due to semi-religious idealogy (e.g., GPL zealots). I'm using it because it fills a need and is fairly apolitical.

No one operating system fills all needs. They all make different trade-offs.

If FreeBSD does not fit a particular use case, I will happily use (and suggest use of) something else. I run OS X on my desktop, for example - because for the stuff I want to use my desktop for, it makes sense. The nature of BSD development means that the code is given away free to use by any other project without need to contribute back.

There's less "we must take over the world with our holy OS of choice" attitude (which seems to be rife in the Linux camp - and I used to be one of them about 10 years ago).

Thus, you're more likely to get a more honest answer with regards to what would be a more suitable operating system for your use case.
 

Cisco

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#53
I started with Linux in 2003 and then I needed an OS for a personal server I have at home.
I searched and found out that FreeBSD is a perfect for it and I was always interested in trying it.

So, here I am.

Coincidentally, it also helped me for my work :e
 

ralphbsz

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#54
Preface: I have about 2.5 decades of Unix experience, and I have used Linux since 0.99.14. I have contributed a little kernel code to Linux, and at work I regularly do some kernel hacking (Linux and other OSes).

Having said that ... I use FreeBSD for one machine, which is my server at home. It is the NFS / AFS / CIFS / DAAP / HTTP server for the home internal network, and handles all the storage (including local backup and offsite disaster recovery) for the house. For the internal network, it acts as the DNS / DHCP / NTP / LPD / what have you server. It is the network router for the home network (connecting two wired one one wireless internal network, and the outside world), and it acts as the NAT box and firewall to the outside world. It is the access point for wireless at home.

And that last function is exactly why I run FreeBSD. For many years, I had been using OpenBSD, and I was absolutely delighted with it. Not because of the often touted security aspect of it, but because the file system layout, release and upgrade mechanism, and general system layout are so well done. Everything is minimalist, clean, and organized. You can set up an OpenBSD system that has very few moving parts; the amount of of unnecessary software is very small. But there is exactly one thing that in the end prevented me from using OpenBSD any longer: It's 802.11 AP mode stack is missing one vitally important function, namely it can't handle wireless clients that go into power saving mode. On some client OSes (Linux and Windows) you can turn "power saving mode" off, and they will work perfectly well with an AP implemented on OpenBSD. But there is one all-important class of wireless client devices where power saving can't be turned off, namely Apple devices (both MacOS computers, and iOS phones/pads). Since I can not legislate these devices away (we have too many useful Apple items at home, my kid and my wife would kill me if I told them to get rid of them), I have been forced to use FreeBSD instead.

Having said that: I'm about 80% happy with FreeBSD. Linux would be so much worse (today's Linux distributions have become so disorganized and fat, they make Windows look lean and neat), Windows is clearly not eligible for an internet-facing server, and I don't think I could teach a Mac to perform all these functions.
 

throAU

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#55
Just as an aside, OS X server will do all of the above, except for NFS (maybe?), to my knowledge - plus time machine backups, apple device provisioning, etc.
 

thethirdnut

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#56
I came over to this side of the fence mainly for ZFS. I found ZFS most attractive long-term filesystem in regards to its data integrity framework + hardware redundancy. If BTRFS wasn't still in petri dish we liklely wouldn't be having this conversation.

I'm not running any production services or anything - just backing up media for use with the home theater ie. XBMC.

This isn't worth millions of dollars to any corp or anything, but it is a requirement for my own enjoyable consumption of beer, scotch, wine, etc on the weekends so I do find it terribly important.
 

jamie_none

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#58
ishpeck said:
I'm a refugee from Arch Linux. I left after they announced the move to systemd (a piece of software which I despise). Figured I'd give FreeBSD a try and have never found a compelling reason to leave yet.
I just recently re-installed archlinux.... (I came from gentoo) I feel your pain. Thought archlinux was supposed to honor simplicity over junk, but systemd and their crazy journal /var/log nonsense... I just may try freebsd as a desktop again (if I can..)

FreeBSD is awesome on the server, I really like the simplicity in it, I like the jails, I like the way it can milk every last bit out of the hardware. I like the people I've dealt with. FreeBSD is where old farts go when they're sick of teenage hax0rs? :)

For me, it's incredibly disturbing that there would be "one true unix-like system", we're repeating the same mistakes over and over. UNIX variants & open source gave us options, if linux doesn't cut it for you... you could use FreeBSD, or Solaris, or .... whatever. But... that seems to be changing.

Linux is great in many ways, but it's taking over. I'm uncomfortable with that. I'd be uncomfortable if FreeBSD did the same.
 

fonz

Son of Beastie

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#59
jamie_none said:
FreeBSD is awesome on the server,
It works fine on the desktop too, it just takes some manual labour to set up.
jamie_none said:
FreeBSD is where old farts go when they're sick of teenage hax0rs? :)
Being "only" 35 years old I'm somewhat hesitant to consider myself an old fart. Moreover, I was in my early to mid twenties when I switched from Linux (and IRIX, and HP-UX, and SunOS) to FreeBSD. I do get rather sick of script kitties and other wannabees though.
jamie_none said:
For me, it's incredibly disturbing that there would be "one true unix-like system"
As far as I'm concerned, there is no such thing. No one UNIX to rule them all, no one UNIX to find(1) them, no one UNIX to bring them all, let alone in the darkness bind(2) them.
jamie_none said:
Linux is great in many ways, but it's taking over. I'm uncomfortable with that.
That depends. If Linux is taking over from Microsoft (and/or Apple), it would be like Batman's butler taking over from the Joker: not perfect ("damn you, sir"), but still an improvement. The more dominant Linux becomes, the easier it gets for FreeBSD to hang on to Linux's coat tails and e.g. get drivers and stuff. If Linux can "outdominate" Microsoft and/or Apple, that's fine with me. FreeBSD is not hell-bent on world domination, but if Linux dominance can finally persuade hardware vendors to publish their specs (as they should anyway) I ain't complaining.
 

ChalkBored

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#60
fonz said:
The more dominant Linux becomes, the easier it gets for FreeBSD to hang on to Linux's coat tails and e.g. get drivers and stuff. If Linux can "outdominate" Microsoft and/or Apple, that's fine with me. FreeBSD is not hell-bent on world domination, but if Linux dominance can finally persuade hardware vendors to publish their specs (as they should anyway) I ain't complaining.
Or hardware companies simply produce Linux driver blobs once it becomes economically viable to target Linux.
 

fonz

Son of Beastie

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#62
ChalkBored said:
Or hardware companies simply produce [red]Linux[/red] driver blobs once it becomes economically viable to target Linux.
Fine with me, too. Some purists despise binary blobs, but it appears that most of them are over at Camp OpenBSD. However, binary blob drivers for Linux are not going to help FreeBSD a whole lot, I would imagine.
 

cpm@

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#63
@fonz: I'm agreed with your statements about development driver's imperialism (MS before and later Linux). FreeBSD is like a experiment out of control for both informatics enterprises, as for the manufacturers (legendary history about legal issues). We can not expect help from those who attack the necessary aims of the Project (develop the system differently). Great principle is "to serve for help", that they fear.

They think - Hey, who needs the little red devil? The answer: their greatest deception ;)
 

jamie_none

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#64
cpu82 said:
@fonz: Hey, who needs the little red devil? The answer: their greatest deception ;)
You know, that little red devil is a major reason FreeBSD hadn't caught on as fast as linux did. I've actually spoken to people who wouldn't touch FreeBSD for that reason, they percieve it as "satanic".

Mr. Torvalds made a pretty good choice for the mascot, an innocent little penguin is a lot easier for some folks to swallow than "flirting with the devil". Yea, you can explain the concept of daemons & whatever till you're blue in the face, in the end, fear trumps reason every time. (and for many, beastie is the ultimate symbol of fear)

Heck, fear is why so many people continue to use windows, they're afraid of making a risky choice. They used to say "no one ever got fired for choosing IBM". Well, windows is kind of the same way. It's a "safe choice".
 

wblock@

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#65
jamie_none said:
You know, that little red devil is a major reason FreeBSD hadn't caught on as fast as linux did.
Citation needed.

I've actually spoken to people who wouldn't touch FreeBSD for that reason, they percieve it as "satanic".
People who feel threatened by a cartoon mascot should pick a different operating system. Wish them well, carefully, and send them on their way.
 

cpm@

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#66
wblock@ said:
Citation needed.

People who feel threatened by a cartoon mascot should pick a different operating system. Wish them well, carefully, and send them on their way.
Good answer to try comfort the beast ;)
 

fonz

Son of Beastie

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#67
jamie_none said:
You know, that little red devil is a major reason FreeBSD hadn't caught on as fast as linux did. I've actually spoken to people who wouldn't touch FreeBSD for that reason, they percieve it as "satanic".
Incorrect. The only discernible major reason is the AT&T lawsuit at the time. Linus Torvalds has even stated that without that he probably would never have created Linux in the first place. A few intellectually challenged amoeba who probably couldn't use a BSD operating system if they wanted to do not constitute what you call "a major reason" by a long shot.
 

jamie_none

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#68
fonz said:
Incorrect. The only discernible major reason is the AT&T lawsuit at the time. Linus Torvalds has even stated that without that he probably would never have created Linux in the first place. A few intellectually challenged amoeba who probably couldn't use a BSD operating system if they wanted to do not constitute what you call "a major reason" by a long shot.
Here's one example of it:

http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-chat/2011-November/006642.html

In the above case, it wasn't the user, but the users concerns of other peoples fears.

You can find other accounts of it as well. In my own case, it was via telephone so I can't really cite it for you. :)

I'd agree, it's silly. But, fear plays a big role in peoples decision making process, if not because of a cute little beastie figure, it's fear of ridicule should something go wrong. If you do as the other sheep do & use windows (or linux), you're shielded from that ridicule to a large degree.

I have to stress that I am not justifying beastie phobia :) I think it's just a silly quirk of human nature.
 

wblock@

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#69
It happens, but does it happen often enough to be a major factor in FreeBSD acceptance? Personally, I doubt that. In many years of mailing lists, I can think of maybe half a dozen of those posts.

And there's a practical matter. If the mascot was changed today, would those people change their minds about FreeBSD? Or would they feel it was just a trick to pander to them, and that FreeBSD's original mascot could not be erased by changing it later?
 

throAU

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#70
Re: driver support.

My 2c... but...

Any driver support (binary or not) is better than none.

Once there are drivers, the platform becomes viable for many other things, and we can fight the driver war with greater numbers of people.

Non-viable/niche platform = no incentive to care to either write drivers or assist open source developers to do so.

And yes, even if Linux gains share FreeBSD (and BSD in general) doesn't have to lose. It's far easier to port/emulate Linux applications than Windows ones.
 

kpa

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#71
Binary only drivers are the reason why windows is so successful, same applies to OS X as well. A stable KLD ABI would do a lot of good for FreeBSD, it would make possible to get proper support for a lot of hardware that now is ignored by hw vendors because writing the kernel drivers and supporting them is next to impossible because the ABI keeps changing all the time.

It's an impossible dream to expect commercially operating companies to reveal their trade secrets just out of goodwill, there has to be better incentive for them to do so.
 

cpm@

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#72
All clear, FreeBSD has strong support, sponsors, and a development team in a continual state of improvement in coordination with the Community, IMHO starts running a large gear again. Responsiveness Community through voluntary donations marked the end of the Foundation's financial trouble. Conclussion-to-respond, are most satisfied by good work of this team?
 

Terry_Kennedy

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#73
wblock@ said:
And there's a practical matter. If the mascot was changed today, would those people change their minds about FreeBSD? Or would they feel it was just a trick to pander to them, and that FreeBSD's original mascot could not be erased by changing it later?
Wasn't Beastie removed from the boot screen because of these concerns?

Here is a story from 20 years ago regarding what happens when some folks encounter Beastie for the first time.
 

wblock@

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#74
Terry_Kennedy said:
Wasn't Beastie removed from the boot screen because of these concerns?
No, or at least it was repeatedly stated that the desire was for a logo that could be used in addition to the mascot. That the logo has horns tends to lend credence to this. And in fact, Beastie is still there:

/boot/loader.conf
Code:
loader_logo="beastie"
 

segfault

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#75
I actually like the logo more than the slightly dated looking beastie, though he does have "personality". The logo looks cool on any swag and is probably much easier to use thanks to its simplicity.

...but back on topic:
I have been using FreeBSD as my OS of choice on laptop/desktop at home for 4 years after about 10 years of Slackware/Gentoo and am now totally hooked thanks its no-nonsense, straight forward way of doing things (specifically: wireless config, devd+automount, UFS, pkg_add!!) and the documentation. I love that I can type
Code:
man rc.conf
or
Code:
man nv
and get details on config files and drivers. To my knowledge Slackware never came close to this kind of coverage.
And last but not least, I cherish the BSD license. Am hoping to start some small biz in the future using FreeBSD so any time spent learning it on personal time will really pay off during biz time. And would definitely contribute back if I managed to accomplish something of value. The fact that all the devs here work so hard to give this away (no strings attached) is infectious and inspires one to also want to contribute.
Would also like to say thanks to everyone who keep this amazing OS going. Respect to you folks who consistently contribute as my own contributions are sadly few and far between.
Well done and keep up the great work!
 
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