Why FreeBSD over Linux for desktop?

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RedPhoenix

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#51
With an underlying theme of why can't FreeBSD be more like Linux.
It's bad when someone wants an OS to be a clone of another one..... :3 Where's the diversity then.....?? :3 That's why I started using FreeBSD....! :) Something different!..... :) That said, I WOULD like to be able to play Games with Acceleration, but that's just my Laptop and FreeBSD..... :)
 

French Fries

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#52
I don't know if this Debian tool has an equivalent under FreeBSD (and I am looking for an equivalent).
When looking for vulnerabilities using debsecan in Debian, it returns hundreds of entries:


debsecan --suite=sid
CVE-2017-11333 libvorbisfile3 (remotely exploitable, low urgency)
CVE-2017-11735 libvorbisfile3 (remotely exploitable, low urgency)
CVE-2016-10317 libgs9-common (remotely exploitable, medium urgency)
CVE-2017-11714 libgs9-common (remotely exploitable, medium urgency)
CVE-2017-9611 libgs9-common (remotely exploitable, medium urgency)
CVE-2017-9612 libgs9-common (remotely exploitable, medium urgency)
CVE-2017-9726 libgs9-common (remotely exploitable, medium urgency)
CVE-2017-9727 libgs9-common (remotely exploitable, medium urgency)
CVE-2017-9739 libgs9-common (remotely exploitable, medium urgency)
CVE-2017-9835 libgs9-common (remotely exploitable, medium urgency)
[...]


The Linux kernel has only few vulnerabilities.
Most of vulnerabilities are in applications and libraries.
Because GNU/Linux has an unsecure design, it makes a very unsecure environment.

It must be a "breeze" to break-in a GNU/linux system, using dedicated toolkits.
 

malco_2001

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#55
FreeBSD works okay for some use cases to run Linux based desktops. It's more compatible than the other BSD's but less it is less compatible than Linux, and can lag behind a little. It's easy enough to get going, and you get ZFS along with jails. There are benefits, and it can be more rewarding but it can be also be more limiting than other Linux options for the desktop use case. It really just depends on individual wants for hardware, and application compatibility.
 

Zirias

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#56
The major reason for me personally is indeed systemd. I just hate this concept, with a passion. But then, trying out FreeBSD brought me to a whole new world. The management tools are just amazing. Being able to build my own packages repository in a clean and automated way with poudriere is perfect. ZFS works great, I can install a new base system to a new dataset and just null-mount this to my jails as needed.

Of course, this doesn't focus on the desktop. But, when I do all that, why not use my own "package repo builder" and install a desktop from that without unnecessary hassle? It just works, and it works great. In a few weeks, my new machine will be ready to distribute software to the machines of other family members, just by exposing the output dir of poudriere on a web server.

As for this "anyone can push any crap to ports" I had to read here: This definitely isn't the case. I'm maintaining two ports myself (and I hope I can work on them now, after a 2 year hiatus because I didn't have a decent internet connection) -- several changes were rejected in the past because they didn't pass the tests. That being said, I really wished FreeBSD would finally switch to git. Subversion is really a thing of the past ... with git, I could maintain the ports much more easily, just having a local branch and pulling updates from mainstream and merging locally. Oh well ....
 

tobik@

Daemon
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#57
Subversion is really a thing of the past ... with git, I could maintain the ports much more easily, just having a local branch and pulling updates from mainstream and merging locally. Oh well ....
The official Git mirror for ports (https://github.com/freebsd/freebsd-ports) is updated very regularly and you can use it for exactly that purpose.
 

Oko

Daemon

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#58
Disclaimer: I do use FreeBSD at work but I have not run FreeBSD desktop since the Spring of 2007. However I have been using OpenBSD exclusively on all my laptops and desktops for the past 12 years. I am familiar with DragonFly BSD desktop as well as major Linux distributions (Red Hat, Ubuntu) which I manage at work both as server and desktop OSs. These are my top 10 reasons why one would not prefer to run BSDs over Linux on the desktop/laptop.

1. Currently Linux kernel have almost 21 millions lines of code. Compare that to a bit under 9 millions of FreeBSD code which have the kernel implementation of ZFS (Solaris kernel re-implemented for all practical purposes) and just a bit over 2 million lines of code including Xenocara (OpenBSD pseudo-fork of XOrg) in the case of the OpenBSD.

https://www.linuxcounter.net/statistics/kernel

A simple extrapolation will tell us that Linux must have at least 10 times as many bugs as OpenBSD.


2. I concur that having the ability to log each command and keep the track of all sysadmin actions is of paramount importance for the mission critical servers. When one needs such tools they should use AIX because it has SMIT or Solaris 11 because it has Service Management Facility (SMF).

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/servers-storage-admin/intro-smf-basics-s11-1729181.html

systemd is a big fat joke and Linux guys are 15 years too late for the party. A desktop system with a correct implementation of systemd utility exists and is called OS X (the utility is launchd).


3. Linux lacks usable native file system. XFS is OK but in reality it is the 20th century file system comparing to ZFS, HAMMER, HAMMER2, and APFS (Apple File Sytem).

4. If PF is good enough for OS X, and Solaris than it must be really good. Sorry but I am used to having first rate stateful packet filter on my desktop (PF). IPTables (bastardized step child of FreeBSD IPFW) or whatever Red Hat is calling it now is just not going to cut it.

5. Linux just as any other proprietary OS is full of binary blobs!

6. I really don't want to use drivers with 1.5 million lines of code

https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=152465462030464&w=2

Most people seem to be interested from the point of view of polaris/vega
which are not supported in linux 4.4. Ignoring the parts of the shared
drm/ttm code that would have to be updated the latest
drivers/gpu/drm/amd in linux has over 1.5 million lines of code. Which
is multiple times larger than the complete OpenBSD kernel source...
7. Canonical I really don't want to sent you any info about my servers and I could care less about you partners. Please stop doing data harvesting on my servers.

8. Because in spite all the turmoils in BSD camps we somehow always find the way to purge people like
Lennart Poettering from our communities (the case of Jordan Hubbard comes to mind). systemd alone would be enough in my book to earn him a life long ban on using computers let alone Avahi daemon, and Pulse Audio.

9. I consider D-Bus harmful and unnecessary for desktop users.

10. I really don't need 300+ Ubuntu based "distros" with custom wallpapers. Actually I not only know how to install wallpaper, I also know how to configure my computers. For everyone else I recommend buying a Mac:)
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

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#59
Oko what about the UFS filesystem that the ordinary desktop user might use with FreeBSD.[Your Point 3]
I realize it is a 20th Century filesystem but compared to ext4 how does it rank?
Seems some here have complained about UFS while I have had no problems on over probably 40 builds.
Oldie but goodie or trash?? What filesystem do you format thumbdrives with, when needed.

I had no idea that UFS2 allowed for snapshots. I just saw details about it researching FFS.
 

Oko

Daemon

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#60
I had no idea that UFS2 allowed for snapshots. I just saw details about it researching FFS.
If you install XFS on the top of the Logical Volume Manager (LVM2 to be precise as LVM1 is no longer used) you can take snapshots too. However those snapshots are neither efficient and nor very useful. ZFS is much more than version control system built into the file system. What is the use of the snapshot of a degraded file system? Or what is the use of the file system which can't self heal. I recommend you do some reading. Red Hat is pushing XFS+LVM2 (LVM2 can also do the RAID but I like most old school Linux guys prefer mdadm when I have to do Soft RAID on Linux) as "alternative to ZFS". BS which comes out of their public relations office is just incredible.
 

meine

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#61
I would like to know why would FreeBSD be a better choice than Linux.
_Better_ depends on what you are looking for.

For me switching from Fedora (10-26) to FreeBSD was because:
  • control over what software is installed -- I wanted a lean and distractionless system using CLI in the first and GUI in the 238th place. lean means speed and stability;
  • renewed adventure in personal computing -- plug and play is too comfy and less fun;
  • my computer should do its job, so the operating system should be a stable environment.

I'm too low-tech for running away on systemd and alike issues. I didn't encounter any trouble, but am not interested in such dilemma's either. I liked the Fedora Forum over *buntu/Mint forums, but have --by far-- the best experience here at FreeBSD. People are really helpful and documentation is good.

I mostly work on texts reading, writing and editing. Vim, a decent web browser, mail, pdf viewer and a file manager is basicaly all I need.
 

drhowarddrfine

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#63
There's an electronics shop in town that I go to often. When I'm there, I'll sometimes overhear conversations from others about their computer. I heard the same conversations elsewhere, too. It's not usually Windows but Linux (if not some embedded stuff). My first inclination is to think "bumbling amateur hobbyist" and some kid with his toy and I'm usually right. The very few times I've had one say they were using BSD it was always a professional in the field or a very highly effective hobbyist who could probably work for me if he wished.

That is not the reason I started using FreeBSD. It's an indicator of why I stay with FreeBSD.
 

ronaldlees

Aspiring Daemon

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#64
I agree that you're much more likely to encounter Linux talk in a electronics/computer shop, especially one that does custom builds for people. These shops are under stress tho. With the university's switch-over to the Windows/Apple world, the young ones get pre-implanted with a supposedly "correct" world view - one that usually doesn't include alternative operating systems. So, I see the local PC shops in decline, and it's not just Amazon that's doing them in. Regardless of cause - soon, we will have only the internet for custom built hardware parts sources here. So, if they're talking Linux in the shops, it's OK with me. Beats the alternative.

I can tell the shops are under stress by the inventory they're holding: it get's weaker all the time, and caters more and more to commercial stuff, especially smartphone, etc.

With desktop Linux I feel like I'm overdressed with winter clothes in the hot summer, when the lower layers don't seem very clean to me. Any full blown Linux install will de-power my machine to the point of its developing an annoying lag via the desktop environment's cycle wasting. I then always have to wonder "what it's doing".

However; overdressed Linux is a distro problem. I run a built-from-scratch Gentoo with an i3 window manager and the hated lag isn't any more than on FreeBSD with the same configuration. I still prefer FreeBSD tho - it has fewer layers of clothing, and the BSD undergarments seem to itch less in the hot summer sun.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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#65
OT: It's an interesting electronics only shop that doesn't do any PC building and the people behind the counter are more likely to be able to help you build an audio amp from scratch. They've been around forever and every nerd in the region knows of them. If you need some strange, off-the-wall, hard-to-get part, they probably have twelve of them. Both surplus and new.
 

ralphbsz

Daemon

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#66
My reason no.1:

FreeBSD: 66 security vulnerabilities since 12/1999 between 5-5.99 CVSS score, no vulnerability equal or above 6

- Linux: 566 vulnerabilities with CVSS score between 7-7.99 since 12/1999
And what is the number for OpenBSD? I presume much smaller.

And what would be the number for a computer that I Turned off in November 1999, and have never turned on again? It would be zero, the best possible one. The most secure computer is one that doesn't work at all.

What we need to look for is a compromise. Something that is reasonably useful, yet reasonably secure. Different people have different weights on these factors; for some people security is incredibly important, and is worth a lot of investment of money and time. And the definition of "useful" depends on the intended use: desktop, laptop, generic server, network server, and so on. For my use case and preference, FreeBSD is an excellent server operating system; I do not use either FreeBSD or Linux on the desktop/laptop.
 

Trihexagonal

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#67
Different people have different weights on these factors; for some people security is incredibly important, and is worth a lot of investment of money and time. And the definition of "useful" depends on the intended use: desktop, laptop, generic server, network server, and so on. For my use case and preference, FreeBSD is an excellent server operating system; I do not use either FreeBSD or Linux on the desktop/laptop.
Personally I like the fact FreeBSD is primarily thought of and used as a server. It gives me all the pros that come with it and I can still get a fully functional desktop (laptop) out of it that suits my needs.

Though I have learned one thing recently from my observations:

"Root does not a SysAdmin make."
 

ShelLuser

Son of Beastie

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#69
Ok, this is a wee bit of a troll so don't take it too seriously ;)

FreeBSD: 66 security vulnerabilities since 12/1999 between 5-5.99 CVSS score, no vulnerability equal or above 6

- Linux: 566 vulnerabilities with CVSS score between 7-7.99 since 12/1999
See, this means that there's much more fun to be had on Linux. FreeBSD is boring: you install it and keep it updated and things just continue to work. Linux on the other hand actually gives you something to do for those times when you sit bored behind your PC wondering what to do next. Not to worry: there's always a vulnerability to be found somewhere.

I mean... given the massive amount of vulnerabilities of Windows and it's high popularity as a desktop OS (generally speaking) I think it's safe to conclude that a good desktop brings its own fair share of vulnerabilities!

... I'll go get my coffee now and wake myself up a bit ;)
 

alx82

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#70
9. I consider D-Bus harmful and unnecessary for desktop users.
I do agree on all of your points except this. Probably D-Bus is not mandatory for a desktop environment, but why you consider it harmful?

To me, D-Bus is not perfect, but I see no alternative to it. D-Bus benefits desktop developers by providing a common framework, type-safe messaging, event notification, etc... Of course all those mentioned features can be implemented differently, but having them in a common framework eases thing a lot for developers.

My opinion and experience is very different for shits like Policykit, systemd, and Pulseaudio, enough have been said about those.... But for D-Bus, using it as a developer (also its gio abstraction) have been always a positive experience.
 

Trihexagonal

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#71
I do agree on all of your points except this. Probably D-Bus is not mandatory for a desktop environment, but why you consider it harmful?
I build from ports using ports-mgmt/portmaster and if memory serves me D-Bus is pulled as a dependency with the graphics/gimp meta port, and I consider that a part of my desktop I use it so much.

sysutils/hal gets in there, too, but I'm not certain what program pulls it in with my build.
 

michael_hackson

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#73
I agree that you're much more likely to encounter Linux talk in a electronics/computer shop, especially one that does custom builds for people. These shops are under stress tho. With the university's switch-over to the Windows/Apple world, the young ones get pre-implanted with a supposedly "correct" world view - one that usually doesn't include alternative operating systems. So, I see the local PC shops in decline, and it's not just Amazon that's doing them in. Regardless of cause - soon, we will have only the internet for custom built hardware parts sources here. So, if they're talking Linux in the shops, it's OK with me. Beats the alternative.
That is a very interesting thing and my generation comes with a Windows domination everywhere. Windows (and MAC OS) was my only connection with what was named "computers" for my whole childhood and youth. That was the reason why I was late into *nix and the only times I heard of *nix was when a friend of mine had "severe problems with his Linux kernel" or "We have one room of Linux-computers in the university, but nobody uses them".

Haven't tried Linux yet but one of the main reason why you should pick FreeBSD over anything is because it really indulges you to start learn about computers. I thought I knew quite a lot about computers, running Windows XP being able to help friends, but I came to realise that it was only an illusion. Windows is like frontend knowledge, if you want something deeper you should go *nix and most appreciatively FreeBSD.

>> The more you get preconfigured, the less you learn, and my feelings for Linux is that it's not as "bare" as FreeBSD for desktoping.
 

Beastie7

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#74
The more you get preconfigured, the less you learn, and my feelings for Linux is that it's not as "bare" as FreeBSD for desktoping.
Ironically, FreeBSD itself is preconfigured; because the base is shipped with kernel/userland defaults that are put into fruition by the developers.

In the context of systems administration or development, you can learn just as much about it with Windows; you just have more abstractions in your way that can hinder learning concepts. You don't really "learn the desktop".

Edit: spelling
 

michael_hackson

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#75
Ironically, FreeBSD itself is preconfigured; because the base is shipped with kernel/userland defaults that are put into fruition by the developers.

In the context of systems administration or development, you can learn just as much about it with Windows; you just have more abstractions in your way that can hinder learning concepts. You don't really "learn the desktop".

Edit: spelling
Well, you are not wrong in what you are saying, though I would find it a little over the top to restrict myself too much from preconfigurations. I mean, you really really can build everything from scraps but then again you must be very dedicated.

And yes, you can do "same things" with Windows. It's just that I had never seen a computer environment able to take input without having a desktop in front of me, so installing an OS without desktop was a challenge itself. At least I feel that I "learn the desktop" when I set it up with different WMs and binaries. I now got a better understanding of drivers and how programs communicate with eachother and library dependencies. That wasn't something I managed to get with Windows, guess I was blinded by those "abstractions" (distractions).
 
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