Gentoo or FreeBSD for noob w/VERY little UNIX smarts?
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No need to do that.
I''ve used both the Minimal CD and the Universal one more than ten times, and i can assure you that they can be used for many different things.
I've used them for many kinds of things but installing Gentoo.
For example i've IRC'ed with IRSSI and browsed the internet with links2.
Yes you can do that with Gentoo discs, just like you can do similar things with other distros installation discs, but I still don't see how they can be classed as live discs. Anyway this digresses from the thread, so lets leave it be.
Well, that was okay, guys. No problem discussing things that are educational to all of us. I'll tell you how I mean:
Without having read your back-and-forth, not one word of it, I had in fact downloaded that Gentoo CD and made an ISO and I had my CD. Now, in my world, I was using what Ubuntu seems to feel is the definition: Ubuntu makes two CDs, and labels one of them "install CD" and the other one "live CD". Well, whether Ubuntu intends to do so or not, those two bright red CDs certainly seem to infer that a "live" CD is one that runs a program without installing it onto the hard drive.
Well, I put in my brand new Gentoo CD, and—OOPS!!—it actually said, "Installation". I broke out in a cold sweat. My tongue swelled up. My hair stood on end. I forgot my mother's maiden name. My whole life flashed bef-oh. Well, not REALLY, but I thought some very strange thing might have happened, and somehow I was now about to erase everything on my computer and install a very ungentle Gentoo.
A few moments later I read, "Installer Live CD". By this time I felt all was okay, and my take—just a guess—was that here was a CD that would do anything you wished. That you could run Gentoo from it (what I would have called "Live", after Ubuntu's use of the word) or else you could install Gentoo with it. It also occurred to me that it might mean the CD "installed" (temporarily) the "live" Gentoo OS.
Then I came back here, and got edoocated.
Haha! So don't feel bad at all! The main thing is we know what one another means! And, if you like Wikipedia, here is Wikipedia's take on things:
"A live CD (or liveCD) is an operating system (usually containing other software as well) stored on a bootable CD or DVD that can be run directly from the CD or DVD drive, without installing into permanent memory, such as a hard drive. (A live CD does not alter the current operating system or files without a user's doing.) The system returns to its previous OS state when the live CD is ejected and the computer is rebooted. It does this by placing the files which typically would be stored on a hard drive, into temporary memory, such as a ram disk. In fact, a hard drive is not needed at all. This however does cut down on the RAM available to applications, reducing performance somewhat. 256 MB - 512 MB of RAM is recommended. Some live CDs do fine with less."
Edit: I should add 2 more things:
—One of the very best ways to learn is by dialogue, so two people taking opposing views are actually of great help to all of the silent folk who are wondering about whatever is being discussed.
—I kind of like that KDE desktop, Reddaz. In fact I got me the GIF. I think the flutter bye is in good, um, hands. ;-)
it is really user friendly, but only if you want it to be. While other Linux distros that claim to be user friendly are usially just annoying. PC-BSD seems to be more convienient than the windows style "walk you through every simple thing and offer you no other options"
I had usially been all for linux, but then I started using *BSD and it is so much better.
- more secure
- seems faster to me
- better package management
Ports is the best way of installing software from source. All dep's are included and automaticly compiled and installed with the main program, so you can install from source without getting in dep hell.
In my opinion, go with PC-BSD, you can use the nice easy gui features when conveniance is what you want. But when you want to learn- simply dont use them.
i started out with debian, and that didn't go so well. at the moment i could have been experiencing an obscure bug, but the dependencies for playing dvd's weren't working. i tried everything everyone reccommended to me in the forums, and no go. i checked out the docs, and it seemed like a real hassle to "upgrade" from one release to the next (eg. woody to sarge). the doc said one might have to enter a particular command (dpkg with some kind of "force" option?) an arbitrary number of times until it "worked." well i decided that was not for me!
i went to gentoo, and it was cool, but i was trying out a lot of stuff and breaking my system. not understanding how to recover it, i ended up doing several installs. and for someone new, it can take 48+ hours of work to 'emerge' a multimedia capable desktop, when you don't know what apps you need for those tasks!
i moved to ubuntu, and left it as of dapper 6.06. it uses xorg >= 7.0, and my savage card doesn't display properly with that driver. i figured why recompile it, pull in dependencies, and all that, when i can set up my own system from source in a minimal kind of setup with gentoo. no, my emachines atholon-xp 2400+ has not turned into a 64x2. no, my sh*box is not a ferrari because of gentoo. but it is faster, because i don't have a whole bunch of services running, app features, etc, that i don't need.
the advantage with gentoo is the experience is geared more towards understanding how to move towards a system with the functionality you need, from an absolute minimal install. watching gcc doesn't mean you "know linux." but generally, i have found:
1) if you want support in departing from "the beaten path," many gentoo users are able to help, and they are *very* friendly
2) the main docs, and the rest of the experience are not geared towards obfuscating system functionality in terms of config files, packages & dependencies, etc. in something like ubuntu, you could configure your system just as much as gentoo. but i don't know if it would be easier in terms of support, because less people are "trimming the fat."
if you want something that "just works," i reccomend ubuntu. if you want to be forced to make many more choices, and the hassle of compiling everything on your own machine (which takes a while) then use gentoo. and if you want pretty much the same choices, but would strongly prefer to install binaries for quicker upgrades, etc., use debian.