*BSDThis forum is for the discussion of all BSD variants.
FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, etc.
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I recently uninstalled Mandrake Linux and was thinking about a different Linux distro but I think I want to give FreeBSD a try. I was on their FTP server, and there are a few versions - 4.9, 4.10, 5.1, and 5.2.1. According to the readme.txt file, 4.x versions are "production releases" and the 5.x releases are "new technology" releases. Many Linux distros have stable versions and development versions. Am I right to assume that a "new technology" release is similar to a development version in the sense that it isn't fully-tested or -stable?
And, while I'm writing does anyone know where I can download a FreeBSD DVD ISO? I know that some places sell FreeBSD DVD's so I know there must be an ISO somewhere. I'd buy a DVD but I'm just kind of trying it out FreeBSD for the time being - not sure if I'll keep using it.
Uhm, just grab a CD iso... you aren't going to find a DVD iso out there. Just grab the first one... and burn that to a CD.
You are fairly correct in your assumption about stable being 4.x and 5.x being less stable. Enough so that pointing out the subtleties isn't useful at this point. Just pick either one (4.10 or 5.2.1) and try it out.
Originally posted by frob23 You are fairly correct in your assumption about stable being 4.x and 5.x being less stable. Enough so that pointing out the subtleties isn't useful at this point. Just pick either one (4.10 or 5.2.1) and try it out.
Hearing about the subtleties wouldn't be bad. Basically, I'm wondering how experimental is experimental. I'm using my computer as a desktop - not a server or anything - so stability and security aren't a necessarily a must but I don't want something that is going to be buggy and crash all the time. Basically, it just has to be usable.
Oh, and does FreeBSD come with a bootloader like LILO on Linux? I want to use BSD but will still need Windows.
Okay, I use 5.2.1 on my desktop machine. Since I have installed it, I have never had a crash. It performs very well (although I rebuilt my kernel to remove the debugging information -- which you may not want to do). I run it on an 866 and it is very snappy with or without the debugging information. I did notice a difference running a debugging kernel on an older 400Mhz machine.
FreeBSD has different levels of what they call stable. The 4.10-Release is rock solid. After it is setup, you can expect a long term power outage to be the first thing to bother the uptime. In my experience the 5.2.1 series approaches that level but the developers won't encourage it for applications that _expect_ that to be true. At this point I think you can trust 5.2.1 as most of the warnings were meant for the people who ran it right when it came out because they would be the ones to find an issue if it existed.
You really should read this paper, as it covers what the differences are. Keep in mind that this was written when they didn't know how stable the system really would be once it was out there. In my experience it is a very usable system.
As a normal user, especially a new administrator who is going to be playing with setting up and running FreeBSD, you are not going to have a problem with either. Keep in mind that most of the warnings about 5.2.1 over 4.10 were aimed towards people migrating current systems to the new version. Aka, people who were using the systems for real work and might have real problems if something didn't work right.
Yes, FreeBSD does come with a bootloader (a very simple one). Basically it presents you with a menu and you push F1 or F2 (maybe more Fx's depending on the number of Os's) to choose which OS to boot. It tries to guess what is what (but sometimes will say DOS when it means windows and sometimes doesn't know ??? but will boot it anyway). It defaults to loading the last OS that was run.
Like I said, very simple but it gets the job done.
I've been using FreeBSD 5.2.1 without any problems (except noted below). You will find *BSD a lot different than easy Mandrake, but close to nuts and bolts Slackware. Desktop stuff like flash is harder to setup coming from the Linux world. I really like the firewall, kernel configure and compile much better than Linux. You 'may' be confused on some things, but once you get in the game, it is worth it. I _highly_ recommend the The Complete FreeBSD, 4th Edition, which covers version 5.0. One word of warning, the KDE kuser has a bug and really borks the user/password files. They can be rebuilt using the toor user, but it's a pita.