I continue my path into FreeBSD, begun in original posts here
, but thought it best to start a new thread as that thread was actually PC-BSD 10 related.
I have run various BSDs in VMs in the past, but only from curiosity and never for actual use. My intent now is to learn and support at least one BSD to the comfort level I now have with Slackware, and I have decided to do that with FreeBSD, at least for now.
Documentation and Guides
In addition to this forum as a resource, I have added the FreeBSD Handbook, FAQs and a few others to my local library server so that is available on demand and is my primary reference. Overall I find it to be of excellent usefulness and have been able to answer most of my own questions along the way - so far. The only thing I find lacking is maybe a top down view of major topics before jumping into "how-to", for example on ports and packages mentioned below, but I have been able to get things going!
Boot and mounts
As noted in the above posts, I decided on FreeBSD-10.0, and was able to install and multi-boot with Slackware managed Lilo on a two-disk system.
I am able to mount the FreeBSD root slice under Slackware as type '5.xbsd' (something like that), readonly. I have an ext3 partition that I use for shared data among my Slackware installs which I would like to mount under FreeBSD. I have not yet gotten to that except that I did not see support for ext3 built-in. Anyone care to point me in the right direction?
Packages and Ports
I am a Slackware user and find the slackbuilds system to be the absolutely best method of managing my own systems ever!
I think that I will come to feel the same way about the FreeBSD ports system - once I learn my way around!
I have read the Handbook package and ports sections, several times, and find all the answers there, but I still have not found that solid orientation of how pkg, pkgng, portsnap, portmaster and other things actually fit together. Some of it seems to be historical and some architectural, but I still feel a little adrift with it from an overall perspective.
That said, I have figured out how to build and install my necessary packages such as vim, tmux, bash, sudo (yes, I think I will remain a basher-sudoer). xorg-minimal is building as I type this.
I installed the ports and sources from DVD using the installer options, and built vim, tmux, bash and a few other things from there. But when I began to build xorg-minimal I repeatedly hit "missing" pieces that could not be downloaded. I manually found a few, then decided something was not right. I then discovered portsnap fetch, extract and update, which seem to have fixed the errors. I had thought that since they were installed with the system they would have been up to date, but apparently not so. I then found the extract step to still be necessary which seemed counter to the Handbook and the fact that it was installed... confusing but I now have that ironed out I think.
These are not complaints by the way - just the result of disorientation on my part I think!
I find the level of automation a little frightening - I love SBo and prefer to build incrementally from my own dependency list! On the other hand I like "make" and find the makefile based package management very appealing! I can learn to use 'make all-depends-list' and 'pkg info' to organize my own level of control/granularity, or hopefully, I can build my confidence in the ports system and build from the top - old dogs and new tricks...
I setup my network without any bumps in the road - static IP, local DNS, ifconfig and route - a little different but no surprises.
I also had to learn my way around the user account manager tools and methods, a bit different than my habits expect, but that is what man pages are for!
I added my user to the wheel group and still installed sudo - old habits and commonality of methods with my GNU/Linux systems.
A further comment on csh vs bash, sudo, etc... I actually found that I was mostly at home with csh and write scripts to 'sh' under Slackware anyway, so I was tempted to use the defaults. But my tired old eyes and some well refined shell defaults convinced me keep it the same across systems, so I installed bash, an inputrc, set up colors, and other things for familiarity mostly.
The filesystem tree is a little different than I am used to, but nothing problematic. The use of /usr/local/... seems consistent and reasonable, but unfamiliar.
vidcontrol was a pleasant surprise - makes setting console resolution a snap! Also /etc/rc.conf simplifies many things kernel and boot related!
So far the only thing that looks like it will need extra effort is that I will want to set up a PXE based installer for FreeBSD 64 and 32 bit versions to fit into my sphere of things. FreeBSD does not seem to have an easy path to PXE installs (although it does have diskless boot support, but that is a different thing). Apparently OpenBSD has native PXE installer support, but from what I have read I will need to build my own kernel and modified installer to get it for FreeBSD... anyone here done this?
So to wrap this post up - I am very happy with my intro to BSD/FreeBSD! I am not really looking for support - yet - but will probably do so as I progress, this thread will be the place!
Looks like my xorg-minimal has finished... now to see if it works...
Thanks to all who encouraged and who have answered questions here for others, which has also been a help to me!