I made the switch to FreeBSD, mostly because I wanted to try something else. Philosophically, it was the best fit.
Now that I've got my new laptop (Dell XPS 15z), I HATE that I can't use FreeBSD on it!
1. Optimus doesn't work (I know it doesn't on Linux either, but at least there is Bumblebee which can at least turn the nVidia card off)
2. Display brightness keys don't seem to work. (ACPI issue I assume - which AFAIK is extremely hit or miss in FreeBSD at the moment)
3. Trackpad doesn't work (Cypress trackpad - not a Synaptic)
I haven't heard of anyone working on porting Bumblebee, and my inquiry about porting the trackpad driver went unanswered on the mailing lists. ACPI is something I imagine people are working on, but I'm definitely not holding my breath.
I really hope that one day FreeBSD becomes as popular as Linux seems to be getting. As it stands, everything gets developed for Linux, and then if something ever comes to FreeBSD, it's because some (amazing) volunteer wants to help out.
I came to FreeBSD just over a year ago after using Linux for 5 years. My first reason was for stability and just to find out more about BSD.
Also the FreeBSD development team just seem much more organized. It's a group working together and Linux seems more like loads of people doing their own thing with not much communication between them. I think this shows through in both operating systems as well.
I also prefer the directory layouts of FreeBSD over Linux. The places where things are just makes much more sense on FreeBSD.
Also, when I was a Linux user I used to change distro about every 2 weeks to a month. I just always found things I didn't like in each distro. I also can't stand all the automated configuration that seems to be in most Linux distros. It just annoys me and feels like it gets in my way, where on FreeBSD it can be annoying configuring some things but when it's done it's done, you don't usually have to change much after you do it the first time.
Also another thing I really like about FreeBSD is the community: it's much easier to find good answers to questions and problems from searching about. The handbook is easy to follow and seems to cover nearly everything.
I am using Linux since 1998 and FreeBSD since 2004. The main reasons for FreeBSD for me are:
- excellent documentation
- excellent support on IRC and this forum
- very clean architecture
- continuity of architecture (I am becoming more and more unable to restart a service under Linux: Was it "restart [servicename]", or "/etc/init.d/[servicename] restart" or "service [servicename] restart"?)
- strict distinction between base (configs in /etc) and ports (configs in /usr/local/etc)
- jails (to be more specific: ezjails)
- stability under all conditions (load 38 on a dual-core is heavy, but just slows things down, no hickups - system was still usable via SSH)
Thanks to the FreeBSD community and developers.
Great great job!
I'm not using it exclusively, but here's how FreeBSD fits in my universe.
* Fantastic hardware.
* Typographic quality font rendering.
* Integration with all the iStuff.
* Native MS Office, Adobe software. Loads of applications.
* Nice GUI.
* Complex. Can't understand ps ax output. Little control.
* UNIX buried under the GUI way too much.
* I'm cautious where Apple is going to be in a few years.
* Feeling like a money bag. App developers charge $ for utility software that is typically free on other platforms.
- VS -
* Phenomenally fast, no bullshit OS.
* Suckless (dwm).
* Highly customizable, feeling myself at home.
* Full control, strong CLI usage.
* BSD way - highly traditional. Same tools used since late 70's.
* Wine is now mature enough to run MS Office, Photoshop, etc.
* Community-driven, free and open source. UNIX heritage.
* BSD license allows to build commercial products on it.
* Fantastic forums, great people to be with.
* Sometimes easy to shoot in the foot, e.g. mess with fdisk.
* Font rendering still needs improvement, but way better than Windows anyways.
* Linux'isms, signs of Poettering disease here and there.
* What to do with all the Apples?
* Where to get quality hardware?
And just for comparison with the past:
* Ugly GUI.
* Font rendering sucks.
* Needs Cygwin.
* Where to get quality hardware?
* Poor portability. (Can't move to new hardware as easy as other OS).
Some reasons I choose FreeBSD :
1. FreeBSD is a fast OS . I know you can trim the fat on a linux OS, but you have to undo some preconfigure scripted settings . You install FreeBSD, its fast . Shallow reason but still true .
2. It supports many aging machines . Unless you get into some of the older ISA type hardware, it'll run pretty solid on older machines . And, will support many of the ISA machines with the need for some occasional kernel re-compilation . This is Good, as I tend to feel the newest machines are way over rated .
3. Silly, but I like to download the entire package set from the OS I use . Just in case I need it in a pinch with no net for repo or port access . I like copying one folder and I have it all . And the folder design with links to the actual package is genius . Admittedly some Linux distros have simple repos, like Fedora .
4. The package collection is quite full . Unless you wanna use Ubuntu, or 3rd party repos in the other linux distros, its hard to find that . Not to mention FreeBSD !PORTS! .
5. FreeBSD is straight forward in probably all respects . Mind you not effortless . You will need to read . The only thing that limits the ability for many to use FreeBSD if they really wanted to, is a lack of terminology .
6. A pretty tight developement system . Also it seems that the newer implementations remove overcomplicated or reduntant steps . Like slowly killing sysinstall and birthing bsdinstall . I know some have complained about it . But, once you think about it, many of the steps that people miss from sysinstall are like a crutch and uneeded . "No...... not the comand line!!!!!" I'm not saying that the developers are not going to provide those abilities agian . But, I could appreciate them not being there . I'd rather they had less needless code to maintain, so that the could maintain the code I want to use more/most .
I have heard the phrase "The Debian Way" . I think with FreeBSD the way is "Don't make it for monkeys" .
Promote a user base that thinks when they utilise the system . I can get on-board with that .
I'm a newcomer to FreeBSD. I've always been intrigued by it and have tried many OS's. Now that I have it installed, I love it. I enjoy it's stability and simplicity. There is a learning curve and the documentation is a great aid. I also really like the fact that the developers take the time to resolve things in a correct manner verses a patch it job. I also like the unity and helpfulness of the FreeBSD community. Installing by source is fun, but my old lappy doesn't necessarily agree with me. I can see myself eventually converting all my pc's to FreeBSD.
An observation as a newcomer, distro's (not sure that's the right word in this case) like PC-BSD are really valuable if BSD's are to ever start reaching a broader community. Most users are less technical and have a plug 'n play mindset, they don't want to think about how the computer works. I think this is why Windows is everywhere, Mac's are appealing and why Linux distros were able to greatly expand the Linux community. They seem to try to simplify (or dummy it down) for the end user. PC-BSD and incoming distros like Debian can package FreeBSD into easier transition systems for these people. I think if there were BSD's that made it an easier transition from Windows (plug 'n play), then I think there'd be more growth.
I believe I understand where FreeBSD is as a complete operating system and I think it's going down the right track and doing a great job. I feel packages (that seems a better word than distros maybe) like PC-BSD are a great place to increase the size of the BSD community. Encourage them others to cater to the plug 'n play community and I believe the growth will come.
Edit: Oh yea, forgot to mention there is something about building my system port by port into what I want that is very fulfilling. With FreeBSD, you sort of feel like your building your own system.
I'm not always sure that kinda growth is what FreeBSD is about . But, I doubt any one minds the efforts of the projects trying to do that . Certainly if there were highly script configured versions of FreeBSD out there, it would fulfil the needs of the people that just wanna say they used FreeBSD when behind the GUI they really can't tell the difference .
I have to put a nail in my own cross a little here . If some one were to take Slackware and develope it the same way FreeBSD is developed, give it the same exelent package management as FreeBSD, script some really good souce managment "like ports", so on and so on.... "Basicly make it the Linux FreeBSD", then I might have a reason to have another machine around with such a linux on it . But, I don't know why anyone would go through all that trouble when FreeBSD is already here .
Me too. Very different systems - I seem to be always fixing Arch breakages, but my BSD systems have Uptime Unlimited as their main sponsor. Arch bleeds, freeBSD just IS. Now I'm more used to it, I love the configurability of ports but some other aspects of port management less so. Lots of solid common sense in the freeBSD approach - eg SELinux is a pain on Fedora, but hardening your system is straightforward configurable and very logical on freeBSD.
I'm moving towards freeBSD as my standard, but I'll wait till I know it better, and until I am happy that linuxolator works OK, as there seems to be a lot of ports that depend on that.