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Old 07-08-2013, 01:15 AM   #1
ReaperX7
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Question Thinking I should start to make a choice on my future in UNIX: Slackware or FreeBSD?


With all due respect towards the maintainers both official and unofficial of Slackware, as well as the Slackware community, I want to come out and say this.

As much as it pains me, I do not agree with the direction Linux is being guided down by the upstream developers as well as organizations and companies that do not have the best interest of the free open source software community, the end-users, or the network and system administrators at the forefront of developments to make the end results of the Linux experience better. A lot of effort is being made to "Dumb down Linux", almost to the point to where the novice users can simply have a clone of another unmentioned operating system that is another Mac-like or Windows-like point-click-and-go, rather than an operating system with a higher learning curve to help you rethink what an operating system is and how you need to learn how to use it.

For me Slackware has been the best example of what a dive into the Linux side of the UNIX spectrum should be. You the user and admin learning about the system, not just at the fundamental levels, but the key core levels as well. This being only mirrored in projects like Gentoo and LFS which teach nearly the same aspects, but not on the same simple terms as Slackware.

As of recent I've debated one of the upcoming major projects Linux is diving into, and in my opinion honestly, a dive being made into a pool that has not been check for how full it in. I completely disagree with how this project has been handled by certain developers, and distribution maintainers that have exerted their personal wills and the will of a less than scrupulous developer who need not be mentioned, against that of the will of the knowledgeable long time users and administrators.

I respect the grounds that the Slackware leadership and crew has taken a stand on to say "if it is needed it will be added, but if not we will do everything in our power to not use it". However, this may not be the case if this developer who need not be mentioned has his way and forces other projects into his inner circle and malformed guidance as to what Linux should be.

For me, this has forced my hand not only as an end-user, but a systems and network administrator as well to start a search into other variants of UNIX-like systems, such as FreeBSD to find a system that will be end user and admin friendly with that learning curve that allow me to have total control over the system without the need for overburdening tools that automate everything taking away from my experience, teaching me down at the fundamental and core levels also.

So, now I'm having to make a hard choice, stick it out with Linux and Slackware until the possible inevitable comes barring a remote chance of total revolt against this one need not be mentioned project by developers and distribution maintainers alike, or jump ship to FreeBSD and see where the wind and currents take me out into the UNIX ocean that is free from this project that has caused enough turmoil and controversy to last a lifetime.

To me FreeBSD is similar to Slackware and Gentoo in many ways, but in many ways it's not. It's minimal, has everything I need to be a proper administrator of my system and network, great documentation that has eased me into the fold without too much of a hiccup, and allow me to have as much control of my system as I want to have with few things automated unless absolutely necessary. It's taken a day for me, but I've really learned a lot about how FreeBSD works, I've set up a nice and powerful system that meets my needs, and everything works more or less, just not out of the box right away.

Care is taken by the developers very similar to how much care Patrick and crew take towards Slackware to create a stable system that works how it's supposed to work without sending users and admins into a panic after installation because a key package failed to work and caused problems.

I also like the fact that FreeBSD allows more freedom of what software can be used within the system the fact that if you want something, chances are it can be ported in because the BSD License allows for so much more to be allowed than the GPL does. This opens a lot of doors for FreeBSD in my opinion to be an advanced futuristic operating system.

So here's my thing, I want good quality feedback on what I am making as a choice of switching to FreeBSD from Slackware. This included experiences, comparisons, and even complaints about FreeBSD and Linux in general. I really want to know if this is also something others are looking into besides myself and if your reasons are similar to mine also.
 
Old 07-08-2013, 01:52 AM   #2
Totoro-kun
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Honestly, I think you are just making a house out of a matchbox. How would we know which software you should use? just try different ones and find out for your self. So far I've only understood that you like to get attention, so yes I think you are cool because you tried freeBSD, good for you! I have also tried when I was a kid and it sure kept my head high, other than that I just hated the system, Linux is way ahead whenever you like it or not.

In Linux world one thing is stable - the change. So it's constantly changing, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but there always been a never ending learning curve, even for those experienced users. Linux is a product of a community, and community is formed out of people who live free and thus makes things by their own hands, therefore they often recreate or invent, or simplify expensive technology which is already there. As a community we can also counterweight worse changes and make them work for the better. If we see a nice feature of windows or mac, or whatever, we usually want to have it also. So if you can't cope with a never ending learning curve, just go for BSD, they most likely try hard to keep things constant, but that which is not growing is dying, so in order not to die even they have to grow and change sometimes.

Might not be what you wanted to read, sorry, just felt you could use some grownup thinking. Cheers!
 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-08-2013, 02:07 AM   #3
Didier Spaier
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I'm afraid that wording your question in so general terms will just trigger one more useless big-endian vs little-endian discussion.

At the end of the day choice will be yours, so why not just try both for a sufficient time?

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 07-08-2013 at 02:19 AM.
 
Old 07-08-2013, 02:09 AM   #4
Didier Spaier
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(Duplicate post)

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 07-08-2013 at 02:10 AM.
 
Old 07-08-2013, 03:24 AM   #5
STDOUBT
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>I do not agree with the direction Linux is being guided down by the upstream developers

Me neither. I do like Linus, and I do like RMS. Love me some PV & crew. Most everyone else are just hangers-on IMO.
So, ReaperX7.... If in fact you are a working sysadmin, you should just learn and love and live whatever OSs are out there running networks. Why be so monogamous?

Now, when Slackware 14 came out, and not only was GConf included but freaking NetworkManager, I actually had a bit of a temper tantrum. Like you, I can be pretty particular about what software is on my machine. And I do agree that most distros are sucking ever harder with each passing year. But keep in mind, that most people who use computers do-not-g-a-f how they work. They just want it to print their coupons, and check their ebays. I have always admired the BSDs, but they just seem so...'stayed'. Part of what makes Linux FUN for me is what I finally have started to learn thanks to Slackware: you don't have to upgrade.

BSD will make you upgrade. With Linux, you can choose your core system components. As a competent system admin, you can choose to stick with known good configurations. You can audit the stack and only run what you want. You can roll your own core and just use that. Run a LinuxLibre kernel. Run the init system of your choice.
[In the voice of Charleston Heston as Moses in "The Ten Commandments"]: ReaperX7........ROLL YOUR OWN DISTRO ALREADY ;-)
 
Old 07-08-2013, 04:06 AM   #6
metalaarif
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I totally agree with STDOUBT, and you seem to be mad at the changes seen in Linux and I do agree with you. But I think what STDOUBT suggested was the best choice rather than staying in Slackware or going for FreeBSD. Just go for it and develop your own DISTRO where you can do what you want and who knows we might be there to support you.

Cheers
 
Old 07-08-2013, 06:28 AM   #7
gezley
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For me there are some things the BSDs are better at. There are some things GNU/Linux is better at. And there are some things where Microsoft Windows (and third-party Windows software) is light years ahead. That's where virtualization comes in. Why sweat the small stuff? Why not run the whole lot simultaneously? Pick a host platform you feel comfortable with, one which will do all the audio and video stuff that doesn't run as well in a VM, and then sit your VMs on top. Problem solved. I use a NetBSD Xen dom0, with NetBSD and Slackware PV domUs and Windows HVM domUs. Does a paravirtualized Slackware run more slowly on this setup? Faster, if anything. The only caveat is that you have to trick around to get audio and video working well.

I have come to really loathe a lot of the puerile developments going on in GNU/Linux lately, but Slackware remains a gold standard. NetBSD is also a stunning piece of engineering in my opinion. So why not use both? I trust hardware with virtualization support is cheap where you live?

The danger of switching completely to FreeBSD is that its own shortcomings will begin to frustrate you, and you will have nowhere else to go. My advice: just run the whole lot, and let each VM do what it does best. You will still be able to use Slackware 14.1 in 20 years' time anyway. It will do pretty much all you need to do on a computer. The beauty of the old Unix way to which Slackware and the BSDs adhere is that its methods and values are timeless, and powerful enough to be more than relevant in decades to come. Those who are trying to destroy these old ways will live to regret it, but I no longer lose sleep over what they do. We all know what fate awaits those who take the 30 pieces of silver.

Last edited by gezley; 07-08-2013 at 02:35 PM.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-08-2013, 06:55 AM   #8
TL_CLD
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Why does it have to be an either/or thing? I've been managing servers since the mid 90's and if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it is that no one tool fits all jobs. The world is more than just hammers and nails.

For some things Linux might just be what the doctor ordered, for others it might be BSD. A good system administrator subscribes to no religion, he/she use what is best for the job at hand. FreeBSD is a great OS (so are the other BSD), as is Slackware.

There are technical advantages and disadvantages to both. Learn both and have fun while learning. Enjoy the fact that you have the freedom to choose whatever you want. There is no war here: BSD and Linux can happily co-exist and benefit from each other.

If you want to make a switch for purely idealistic reason, then that's a whole different ballgame. I can't give you any advice on that, but take it from an old rat: These "upheavals" come and go, so if you jump ship because of changes in the Linux world, where will you go when the BSD folk decide on doing something you don't like? Windows? OS X?

The biggest drawback to BSD (IMHO) is the inferior hardware support. If you can live with that, then FreeBSD is a mighty fine OS. The biggest advantage to BSD is the awesome manual. I really like that manual. Oh and ZFS of course.
 
Old 07-08-2013, 07:42 AM   #9
Darth Vader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperX7 View Post
With all due respect towards the maintainers both official and unofficial of Slackware, as well as the Slackware community, I want to come out and say this.

As much as it pains me, I do not agree with the direction Linux is being guided down by the upstream developers as well as organizations and companies that do not have the best interest of the free open source software community, the end-users, or the network and system administrators at the forefront of developments to make the end results of the Linux experience better. A lot of effort is being made to "Dumb down Linux", almost to the point to where the novice users can simply have a clone of another unmentioned operating system that is another Mac-like or Windows-like point-click-and-go, rather than an operating system with a higher learning curve to help you rethink what an operating system is and how you need to learn how to use it.

For me Slackware has been the best example of what a dive into the Linux side of the UNIX spectrum should be. You the user and admin learning about the system, not just at the fundamental levels, but the key core levels as well. This being only mirrored in projects like Gentoo and LFS which teach nearly the same aspects, but not on the same simple terms as Slackware.

As of recent I've debated one of the upcoming major projects Linux is diving into, and in my opinion honestly, a dive being made into a pool that has not been check for how full it in. I completely disagree with how this project has been handled by certain developers, and distribution maintainers that have exerted their personal wills and the will of a less than scrupulous developer who need not be mentioned, against that of the will of the knowledgeable long time users and administrators.

I respect the grounds that the Slackware leadership and crew has taken a stand on to say "if it is needed it will be added, but if not we will do everything in our power to not use it". However, this may not be the case if this developer who need not be mentioned has his way and forces other projects into his inner circle and malformed guidance as to what Linux should be.

For me, this has forced my hand not only as an end-user, but a systems and network administrator as well to start a search into other variants of UNIX-like systems, such as FreeBSD to find a system that will be end user and admin friendly with that learning curve that allow me to have total control over the system without the need for overburdening tools that automate everything taking away from my experience, teaching me down at the fundamental and core levels also.

So, now I'm having to make a hard choice, stick it out with Linux and Slackware until the possible inevitable comes barring a remote chance of total revolt against this one need not be mentioned project by developers and distribution maintainers alike, or jump ship to FreeBSD and see where the wind and currents take me out into the UNIX ocean that is free from this project that has caused enough turmoil and controversy to last a lifetime.

To me FreeBSD is similar to Slackware and Gentoo in many ways, but in many ways it's not. It's minimal, has everything I need to be a proper administrator of my system and network, great documentation that has eased me into the fold without too much of a hiccup, and allow me to have as much control of my system as I want to have with few things automated unless absolutely necessary. It's taken a day for me, but I've really learned a lot about how FreeBSD works, I've set up a nice and powerful system that meets my needs, and everything works more or less, just not out of the box right away.

Care is taken by the developers very similar to how much care Patrick and crew take towards Slackware to create a stable system that works how it's supposed to work without sending users and admins into a panic after installation because a key package failed to work and caused problems.

I also like the fact that FreeBSD allows more freedom of what software can be used within the system the fact that if you want something, chances are it can be ported in because the BSD License allows for so much more to be allowed than the GPL does. This opens a lot of doors for FreeBSD in my opinion to be an advanced futuristic operating system.

So here's my thing, I want good quality feedback on what I am making as a choice of switching to FreeBSD from Slackware. This included experiences, comparisons, and even complaints about FreeBSD and Linux in general. I really want to know if this is also something others are looking into besides myself and if your reasons are similar to mine also.
So you walk into a mosque in the Muslims Holly Mecca, and ask the parishioners what Prophet you shall follow: Mohammed or Jesus?

You want to be just brave or ... lets say, hmmm... ask for troubles?

Last edited by Darth Vader; 07-08-2013 at 07:49 AM.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-08-2013, 08:32 AM   #10
hitest
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I've used FreeBSD since 5.x and OpenBSD since 5.0. At the moment I'm only running Slackware. FreeBSD is an elegant OS, but I prefer Slackware. There's nothing wrong with running both Slackware and FreeBSD. It is up to you. If FreeBSD meets your needs then go with it. I am happy over here as a member of the Slackware community.
 
Old 07-08-2013, 09:17 AM   #11
ttk
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In 1999 I was using Slackware, RedHat, and FreeBSD, and made a deliberate decision to focus on Linux, to simplify my life (and dropped RedHat soon after, as well).

It's been the right decision so far, but I keep a wary eye on Linux's trajectory. If the project goes south, NetBSD is the direction I'll jump. I have a NetBSD machine set up for learning (though I haven't been doing enough with it to learn much, yet), and one of my friends is a NetBSD developer who is happy to answer my questions.

It's good to keep a *BSD in your toolbelt as a hot spare, but imo Linux hasn't actually failed yet (and might not, for years, decades, or ever). Until it does, there's no point in making the jump.
 
Old 07-08-2013, 01:13 PM   #12
dugan
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How did you choose FreeBSD over the other BSDs?
 
Old 07-08-2013, 01:50 PM   #13
jtsn
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The fun thing is: Once you notice, that don't agree with the majority, you end up with your own Linux distribution or *BSD derivate. Look how many there are!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperX7 View Post
So here's my thing, I want good quality feedback on what I am making as a choice of switching to FreeBSD from Slackware. This included experiences, comparisons, and even complaints about FreeBSD and Linux in general. I really want to know if this is also something others are looking into besides myself and if your reasons are similar to mine also.
I used FreeBSD eight years from 2000 to 2008 as my main workhorse. In the 4.x days FreeBSD was commercially well supported, had a good development pace and was IMHO well ahead of Linux. Meanwhile they have a hard time keeping up due to sheer man-power issues. Hardware support is not the only issue.

My strategy is to not put all the eggs in one basket, I have always several irons in the fire. So while having fun with FreeBSD, I still kept up with Slackware and Linux developments. Once I ran out of compatible hardware and couldn't run modern Linux binaries anymore, I didn't have a hard time promoting Slackware (back) to my primary base. (Moving to Apple was out of the question). Of course, I still have an outpost in BSD land and keep a close eye on the developments there, especially ZFS and LLVM look interesting.

But the main issue is a complete different one: There is only one FOSS ecosystem, on which both Linux and the BSDs depend on. This formerly cooperative effort is falling apart and has become a competitive environment, in which contenders are not interested in contributing to the big picture, but in excluding minor participants from the game instead. This is an issue, that you can't solve by switching to another operating system kernel. The whole process could be so damaging, that it has the potential destroy the well-working whole, that is greater than the sum of the parts. And if that happens, BSD is screwed too.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-08-2013, 02:30 PM   #14
bsdunixdb
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FreeBSD/Slackware?

Why not have the best of both worlds? I too have grown despondent with the way Linux is going. But I am not willing to give up on Slackware just yet. My laptop has just given up the ghost but the hdd is fine. So I am going to take the opportunity to dual boot Slackware and FreeBSD on my desktop.
 
Old 07-08-2013, 02:35 PM   #15
tronayne
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I came to Slackware some time ago -- I honestly don't remember precisely when but the distribution media was a set of CD-ROM, not mini-floppies, had to be sometime in the 90's but I don't remember exactly when. I was coming from Solaris which I came to from SVR4 which I came to from System 3 from which I came to from a BSD clone that ran on Motorola 68020's. I was developing and supporting large-scale data bases and needed to work remotely (with 56K dial-up!).

Never did like BSD, just didn't, compared to AT&T SVR4 it was just clumsy (and they really, truly wanted you to use C-Shell which I never could tolerate and still get the shivers when I think about having to use that mess). Oh, SVR4 incorporated Berkeley extensions (pretty nice, in fact) but other than that it (and Solaris to this day) was as intended by Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson, and the other developers at Bell Labs.

Slackware was and remains the "most like System V." There's no incorporation of stuff that doesn't make any sense, there's rock solid stability, dependability and reliability (kinda like SVR4 and Solaris). I was bouncing back and forth between Solaris and Slackware, developing on Slackware and doing trivial ports to Solaris of identical code (that would C, C-ISAM and ESQL/C (an Informix C API, now included with PostgreSQL under a slight different name). And when I say trivial, I mean exactly that: change the CFLAGS and LDFLAGS in the Makefile and that was a done deal -- type make, hit the return key and wait a while.

KornShell on Solaris, KornShell on Slackware (still and always as far as I'm concerned). No release early and often, no downward slide to the click-'n'-drool school (well, in fairness, BSD isn't really doing that either).

I'm doing a server build for an non-profit to support large diversified collections of books, papers, art and other interesting things using DSpace to manage the collections -- this will be going for years -- both in terms of recoding the collection information and then making it available to researchers (think Smithsonian writ smaller and no bugs 'n' bones... or airplanes either, darn it). I've specified Slackware simply because I know that I can count on it -- and even if it goes the way of the dinosaurs (get it? bones?) I'll be able to use it for some years due, essentially, to the stability and reliability -- there are folks out in the world running Slackware 10 and 12 not to mention 13.37 and, occasionally some earlier versions. What more could you ask, eh?

The other thing about Slackware is the good sense that is shown in the administrative set up (Slackware pretty much comes up running without a heckuva lot of screwing around with configuration stuff). The default settings more or less just work -- you need to answer a couple of basic questions during installation, but, what the heck. It's easy to custom configure if you want to; it's just as easy to not bother with it -- you get a working box out of the box.

BSD, well, stick VirtualBox on your Slackware system and install it. See if you like it.

Hope this helps some.

Oh! Forgot to mention -- when I'm talking about Solaris, I'm talking about SPARC, not Intel ports, for what that's worth.

Last edited by tronayne; 07-08-2013 at 02:38 PM.
 
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