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jk07 07-22-2012 02:09 PM

Considering *BSD and have questions
 
I recently came back to Linux after being away for about 6 years, and I am not happy at all. Part of the problem is that I installed Ubuntu which has a philosophy behind it that I don't agree with, and I've expounded on this in other threads. Suffice it to say that when I last used Linux, it was a lot closer to Unix than it is now.

I am thinking of changing to a flavor of *BSD, and I have a few questions for those in the know:

1. Is there a flavor of BSD that would work best for a stand-alone desktop work station? I've heard about GhostBSD and PCBSD, but maybe there are others?

2. Other than my personal taste, is there anything that BSD offers that Linux does not?

3. I connect to the internet through a USB dial-up modem. Does BSD support dial-up modems? This is a deal killer for me if it does not.

Thanks in advance for any input you might have. I'm sort of learning about BSD for the first time because I didn't pay much attention to it earlier. I just want something Unix-like.

jefro 07-22-2012 02:36 PM

1, there are many bsd and ones that may be considered bsd like opensolaris. Freebsd is a popular one. Netbsd is another.

2. BSD may have claim to one of the most secure OS's. Dunno exactly how they prove that. ZFS is a great feature that seems will never get into linux. BSD is consider stable and is used by many companies and commercial uses.

3. We'd need to know the usb modem.

jk07 07-22-2012 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jefro (Post 4735293)
3. We'd need to know the usb modem.

Thanks for the quick reply! I appreciate it. Right now I am using a Zoom 3095 modem (I believe it is a "soft" modem), but I can buy whatever modem is necessary. It's just got to work.

TobiSGD 07-22-2012 03:28 PM

You don't have to abandon Linux just because you didn't like Ubuntu. There are about 600 other distros out there. If you want distros that give the user total control try Slackware, Arch or Gentoo. Or one of the other source based distros, like Source Mage or Lunar Linux.

joncr 07-22-2012 05:10 PM

I take your point about Unix-ness. Once upon a time I was engrossed in FreeBSD. It is a direct descendant of Berkeley Unix. No Linux distribution can say that it is a direct descendant of any version of Unix. That's not especially important, but it's true.

The differences are pretty minimal at a user level. While Linux uses a toolset from other people (the GNU tools) all those tools are part of the BSD codebase. Meaning sometimes they work differently. The init process during boot is different. Some files and libraries live in different directories.

FreeBSD is considerably less interested in holding your hand than Ubuntu and many other Linux flavors. It has a healthy community and you can get your questions answered. But, it is an OS intended for use on servers by people who support servers.

Go to freebsd.org to see if your modem is supported. You might spend some time reading there, too.

I also spent a lot of time with Slackware. It's also very good and very much worth a look for anyone who likes the Unix approach.

Caveat: If you don't like working at the command line, or if you are dependent on software installers that automatically resolve dependency issues, the BSD's and Slackware might not be for you.

jefro 07-22-2012 05:59 PM

It might be possible to get a soft modem to work in bsd's. Some modem can be used, may not be cheap.

nixblog 07-22-2012 11:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jk07 (Post 4735274)
I recently came back to Linux after being away for about 6 years, and I am not happy at all. Part of the problem is that I installed Ubuntu which has a philosophy behind it that I don't agree with, and I've expounded on this in other threads. Suffice it to say that when I last used Linux, it was a lot closer to Unix than it is now.

I am thinking of changing to a flavor of *BSD, and I have a few questions for those in the know:

1. Is there a flavor of BSD that would work best for a stand-alone desktop work station? I've heard about GhostBSD and PCBSD, but maybe there are others?

You've hit on the two main desktop ready BSD derivatives but you could probably add Dragonfly BSD to that too. There are a few more but they seem to have gone quite for a year or more now. Other than that, you can quite happily build your own desktop from FreeBSD, OpenBSD or even NetBSD.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jk07 (Post 4735274)
3. I connect to the internet through a USB dial-up modem. Does BSD support dial-up modems? This is a deal killer for me if it does not.

This could be hit or miss to be honest but without knowing the brand and model of the modem no one can give you a definitive answer.

jk07 07-23-2012 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TobiSGD (Post 4735334)
You don't have to abandon Linux just because you didn't like Ubuntu. There are about 600 other distros out there. If you want distros that give the user total control try Slackware, Arch or Gentoo. Or one of the other source based distros, like Source Mage or Lunar Linux.

I'm not abandoning Linux just yet. I have an old spare laptop that is currently running Ubuntu. I might try to install *BSD on it to see how I like it first before committing all the way. However, I have to resolve this issue with the modem first. Otherwise, installing *BSD would be just a waste of time. I also have to find out if *BSD supports the webcam. At least, I know that everything works under Linux.

I'm aware that there are other flavors of Linux that would be more to my liking than Ubuntu, and I will probably go with one of them if the experiment with *BSD doesn't pan out.

jk07 07-23-2012 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joncr (Post 4735381)
Go to freebsd.org to see if your modem is supported. You might spend some time reading there, too.

I tried finding modems at freebsd.org, but the most I could find were 2 supported modems. Basically, they talk about supported hardware in very general terms. Is there a comprehensive list of supported hardware somewhere?

honeybadger 07-23-2012 12:45 PM

Whatever *BSD you install is not an issue (I personally like FreeBSD - it is simply awesome) make sure that you have ZFS - else it sucks.
Look at this this way, linux can get all the stuff *BSD has (there is no strict licencing) and make a better product but unfortunately *BSD cannot take the product back (sounds like BS to me really). So _most_ of the times linux will have better products than *BSD.
My 2 cents

jk07 07-23-2012 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honeybadger (Post 4736075)
Whatever *BSD you install is not an issue (I personally like FreeBSD - it is simply awesome) make sure that you have ZFS - else it sucks.
Look at this this way, linux can get all the stuff *BSD has (there is no strict licencing) and make a better product but unfortunately *BSD cannot take the product back (sounds like BS to me really). So _most_ of the times linux will have better products than *BSD.
My 2 cents

Thank you, honeybadger. That actually was very helpful.

ocicat 07-25-2012 04:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joncr (Post 4735381)
No Linux distribution can say that it is a direct descendant of any version of Unix. That's not especially important, but it's true.

The by-product, however, has very long-ranging albeit subtle implications. Being based on the original 4.4BSD codebase, today's *BSD family builds on a decade of additional refinement (meaning bug fixes...) which directly affects functionality & stability.

hitest 07-26-2012 08:29 AM

My personal favourites for the BSDs are FreeBSD and OpenBSD. I am currently running FreeBSD 9.0 and I like it a lot. Slackware is a distro that offers a Unix-like experience set-up wise. Best of luck getting your soft modem to work. The FreeBSD hand book is an exceptional resource.

Added later: If you do decide to try Slackware or a BSD like OpenBSD/FreeBSD I suggest that you thoroughly read the excellent support documentation that is available. OSs like Slackware and FreeBSD do not hold your hand.

bigearsbilly 10-09-2012 02:35 AM

I use FreeBSD. I started on linux when SuSe was german, I tried BSD about 5 years ago and loved it.

Nearly everything works on it, except flash, so no youtube but I use virtualbox with linux for that.
I like the thought that goes into it, example simply like using /usr/local for stuff outside the main system so you don't
end up with /etc stuffed full of stuff you haven't a clue what it's for. Little things like that and the C compiler and
C library man pages don't need to be hunted down and installed and the man pages are usually better.

Most linux distros seem obesessed with a pretty desktop nowadays which I find a bit dull, wow I can play a DVD, how exciting.

vermaden 10-09-2012 04:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jk07 (Post 4735274)
1. Is there a flavor of BSD that would work best for a stand-alone desktop work station? I've heard about GhostBSD and PCBSD, but maybe there are others?

I use plain FreeBSD for that, but PC-BSD 9.1 (in beta state) should also do if You want more graphical tools/configurators.

Quote:

2. Other than my personal taste, is there anything that BSD offers that Linux does not?
ZFS is available on Linux already, so that is not the argument here.

FreeBSD 9.1 and PC-BSD 9.1 offer ZFS Boot Environments with beadm utility from the Ports tree: http://freshports.org/sysutils/beadm

Read more about the Boot Environments concept here:
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19963-01/...565/index.html
http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?t=31662
http://www.c0t0d0s0.org/archives/437...snapshots.html

Other are: Clean and logical system with great documentation and community. FreeBSD Jails, GEOM framework (along with GELI for encryption which can be used to also encrypt ZFS), the 23000+ available Ports (also in binary packages), a built-in better then OSS4 level sound system that does not suck, does not hang like PulseShit and works all the time without any problems. The saparation between the 'base system' and everything else (/ vs. /usr/local/ as PREFIX), a lot more.

Quote:

3. I connect to the internet through a USB dial-up modem. Does BSD support dial-up modems? This is a deal killer for me if it does not.
U am using 3G, WiFi and of course 'classic RJ45' Internet connection, but I haven't tried an USB dial-up modem, so I can't help here.


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