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Old 07-11-2014, 11:40 PM   #1
punchy71
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Which of the BSD's should I choose?


Greetings,
I'm totally new to BSD. So how should I go about choosing between FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and DragonFlyBSD to see which one suits my needs? I'm kind of approaching this selection from a 'security' stand point. I read the "about" section's on three of the BSD's home pages and they all sound similar.
Also; I read recently that the BSD license is generally not as restrictive as the GNU/Linux licenses are and was wondering if there were any validity to that or not? I have not compared license's.

Thanks

Last edited by punchy71; 07-12-2014 at 08:38 AM.
 
Old 07-12-2014, 03:21 AM   #2
jamison20000e
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All...
 
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:24 AM   #3
kooru
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Hi,

well, it depends on some things, as for example if your hw is old or not, your architecture, if you want to use it for Desktop or Server purpose, etc.
Anyway, if you're new and you're interested especially for Desktop then I suggest you PC-BSD and FreeBSD.
For Server purpose I'd say OpenBSD or NetBSD. OpenBSD has more documentations and a bigger community than NetBSD. But if you give a chance to NetBSD, I'll be happy. We're always too fews using NetBSD
 
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:43 AM   #4
PrinceCruise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kooru View Post
Hi,
For Server purpose I'd say OpenBSD or NetBSD. OpenBSD has more documentations and a bigger community than NetBSD. But if you give a chance to NetBSD, I'll be happy. We're always too fews using NetBSD
I see this as a good opportunity to ask this, why do I keep reading everywhere since years that it may be very easy to use and maintain NetBSD but its more complicated to contribute to it because of their policies and some internal politics.

I may have got a totally wrong idea but these 2 pages I have bookmarked since long :-
http://julipedia.meroh.net/2013/06/s...ng-netbsd.html
http://www.xteddy.org/netbsd.html
And there are others too. Since I know you are a NetBSD user and a good one what's your opinion on this please? Just to convince me that this is half or no truth.

I've rejected PC-BSD10.0 because I discard the idea of self contained binaries(PBI, too much junk) and OpenBSD because of the 6 months life cycle. The only BSDs I'm interested in NetBSD and FreeBSD, but I want to start small i.e. NetBSD but I'm not convinced somehow.

Regards.
 
Old 07-12-2014, 07:08 AM   #5
kooru
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Hi PrinceCruise,

thanks to define me a NetBSD good user
But I'm just a NetBSD normal user, who (since many years) uses it for home server and little projects/experiments. I'm not a developer and I've never contributed developing on NetBSD. Just some fixes and docs, always shared with the net, like LQ or github. I follow the mailing list to keep myself updated but I've no contact with "the team".
Said that, you're completely right. In my opinion NetBSD politics is wrong, antiquated and under some features I'd say dictatorial too. Often I've the sensation who NetBSD is like a college confraternity, which if you're into then ok, otherwise you're perennially unheeded. The most serious things are the lack of objectives and a true community. And these are the reasons because NetBSD isn't enough used in comparison with other *BSD system.
So, why do I use NetBSD? Because its simplicity and cleanliness in the code is fantastic and it's very portable and fast as well. It's like when you love a women but you hate her parents

There's a new project based on NetBSD called EdgeBSD. The team is trying to create a system for Desktop purpose and with a better community/politics than NetBSD. Honestly this project seems that goes very slow but at this link you can listen the leader of the project who, talking about EdgeBSD, talks about NetBSD problems as well.
 
Old 07-12-2014, 09:21 AM   #6
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punchy71 View Post
Also; I read recently that the BSD license is generally not as restrictive as the GNU/Linux licenses are and was wondering if there were any validity to that or not? I have not compared license's.

Thanks
Yes and no. You really need to say which point of view you are looking at this from. What might be restrictive for a user, might be a liberation for a developer, etc.

The big difference (aiui, and ianal, etc) is that you can take BSD-licensed code, modify it, and you don't have to contribute back. For Linux code (the kernel), if you modify it, you have to make the modified version available. So, you could regard this as being 'freer' than Linux, but then you'd have to ask, as a user, 'How much of an advantage is it, to me, as a user, that Megacorp as a developer can come up with an improved version of the BSD kernel code and isn't forced to make that improvement available back to the developers, and can legally keep it secret?'

Now, I'm not trying to tell you which approach is the best, in every case, but you might see that the considerations are different if you are a Megacorp from if you are an ordinary user. Which is freer? Point of view, I suppose.

Note also that these things are composite works; if you are interested in, say, the details of an Office package, the it will be the license that the Office package is made available under, rather than the kernel license that you'll be interested in, and, if it is the same package on both platforms, then the package will determine that. Some things, like, err, SSH will be available under different licenses eventually, and that will take some research, if you are really interested in following doen to the ultimate detail (Theo de Raadt has been rather irritated about Linux's SSH package, and has said he will do his own, to get around issues with the developers and development of OpenSSH; whether this was the only way that progress could be made is probably an open question, but Theo's way, which may well be painful, is one way that could work. The end result will be a package licensed the way Theo likes it, and so that will be different packages performing the same function).

Quote:
...from a 'security' stand point...
Just don't think that getting it out of a different box makes your security problems go away. I know that you didn't say that, but there are an awful lot of people who seem to think that if only they'd selected the one rated as better for security, they could have carried on without further consideration of the security issues of whatever they were trying to do.

There are a lot things that can be made secure, with a suitable degree of effort, but security is mostly about what you do rather than whether you get it of a box labelled BSD or Linux.
 
Old 07-12-2014, 12:27 PM   #7
PrinceCruise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kooru View Post
There's a new project based on NetBSD called EdgeBSD. The team is trying to create a system for Desktop purpose and with a better community/politics than NetBSD. Honestly this project seems that goes very slow but at this link you can listen the leader of the project who, talking about EdgeBSD, talks about NetBSD problems as well.
Thank you for replying. That seems like a good talk, just started it. And sad to hear that all that stuff is actually true. No wonder NetBSD has been so low in popularity. Looks like they even care less for their developers than their users.

Regards.
 
Old 07-12-2014, 04:49 PM   #8
astrogeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punchy71 View Post
Greetings,
I'm totally new to BSD. So how should I go about choosing between FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and DragonFlyBSD to see which one suits my needs? I'm kind of approaching this selection from a 'security' stand point. I read the "about" section's on three of the BSD's home pages and they all sound similar.
Also; I read recently that the BSD license is generally not as restrictive as the GNU/Linux licenses are and was wondering if there were any validity to that or not? I have not compared license's.
I recently started my own BSD journey and had to ask the same basic questions. I settled on FreeBSD and have never looked back! (Although I suspect I might say the same thing about another BSD had I made a different initial choice!).

So, here are a few of the things that helped make my own choice, and that I have observed along the way:

1. NetBSD politics turned me away from it. As kooru points out, it is a terrific BSD, and among the oldest, but it has fewer ueser, partly for this reason. It has the reputation for security which is one of your criteria, but as others have pointed out, security is a process, not something you install, so any well managed BSD will be secure.

2. I chose FreeBSD partly because it had recently had a major release, and also because I had successfully installed it in a VM in the past couple of years to play with. But I will say up front, my VM experience with it in no way resembled my actual use! A real install and actually using it is a MUCH better, if different experience! So I would say don't play, install and use and if you decide to try another, do the same with it.

3. Additionally, I differentiated FreeBSD and PC-BSD based on perceived differences in resource useage and installed base packages. I tend toward the minimal and FreeBSD wins on that basis. Since using it I have been a little surprised just how minimal the installed base really is - but that is all for the good in my case! PC-BSD is derived from FreeBSD so there should be a lot of similarity, but PC-BSD will get you into a running graphical environment with pretty much all the GUI tools, out of the box. With FreeBSD you will have to build and/or install pretty much everything (X, browsers, DE,... everything). I consider that a benefit, so it was a pleasant surprise to myself, others may not feel that way!

4. It is my understanding that all the BSDs have the Ports system built in, while they differ in their other package management tools. The FreeBSD Ports have proven to be very much to my liking, and I have not used their pkgng tools to this point - after learning my way around it, Ports alone is just what I wanted! But then, even with GNU/Linux I prefer to build and almost never install pre-built packages. So if you want a full featured package manager FreeBSD has pkgng, PC-BSD has PBI (I have not used it either), so you might want to look into those for more detail to suit your own preferences.

5. To be fair to others, I considered Dragonfly and thought it looked pretty good, downloaded but never installed after starting with FreeBSD. OpenBSD the same - considered and downloaded, but never installed once FreeBSD was going!

So take these comments for whatever they are worth to you! But mostly - pick your best guess and install, you still can't beat hands on experience for answering all your questions!

Good luck!
 
Old 07-12-2014, 05:07 PM   #9
ReaperX7
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PC-BSD is more of a distribution for beginners. It's GUI driven so you can learn more interactively.
 
Old 07-12-2014, 05:13 PM   #10
jamison20000e
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I would like to rehash my all statement, if something is"free" try it see for yourself. Too many what should I but not enough I tried buts...
 
Old 07-12-2014, 06:33 PM   #11
hitest
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by punchy71 View Post
I'm kind of approaching this selection from a 'security' stand point.
From a security stand point you cannot go wrong with my favourite BSD which is OpenBSD. OpenBSD is arguably one of the most secure operating systems on the planet. However, there is no "best" BSD; it all comes down to what you need for a server, desktop, and what you yourself like. I would say that FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and Dragonfly BSD are all outstanding operating systems.
Enjoy yourself. Try the BSDs out and see which one meets your needs.

Last edited by hitest; 07-12-2014 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Repetitive
 
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:02 PM   #12
ReaperX7
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NetBSD might be the best solution for Notebooks and such portable systems.

PC-BSD and FreeBSD are better for workstations.

OpenBSD is best for servers and security sensitive computers.
 
Old 07-13-2014, 12:06 AM   #13
hitest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperX7 View Post
NetBSD might be the best solution for Notebooks and such portable systems.

PC-BSD and FreeBSD are better for workstations.

OpenBSD is best for servers and security sensitive computers.
OpenBSD does indeed make a fine server, it also makes an excellent desktop PC. Any BSD can make a fine work station.
 
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:54 AM   #14
gor0
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Originally Posted by punchy71 View Post
I'm totally new to BSD
http://www.ghostbsd.org/

 
Old 09-26-2014, 06:06 PM   #15
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punchy71 View Post
So how should I go about choosing between FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and DragonFlyBSD to see which one suits my needs?
What are your needs? FreeBSD and PCBSD, which is pretty much a pre-configured FreeBSD, have the largest package repositories/ports collections. So they would be the best choice if you want a desktop with a large selection of packages. If you want to keep the learning to a minimum, PCBSD and GhostBSD (another pre-configured FreeBSD) would be the best choices. They are beginners systems that include GUIs with a full set of applications. If you want a minimal system that you can build to your liking, FreeBSD and OpenBSD are good. I cannot comment on NetBSD and Dragonfly, due to ignorance of those systems. Myself, I am using OpenBSD as a desktop system on a laptop computer. It suits my needs admirably.

Last edited by Randicus Draco Albus; 09-26-2014 at 06:07 PM.
 
  


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