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I first picked up OpenBSD with the release of version 3.5. I was drawn in by the claims that it was "the most secure operating system on the planet" and that every line of source code was audited to ensure the correctness of code. Just recently, 3.7 was released so I gave it a try on my Compaq Presario 900 laptop -- I was quite impressed.
Already having a few years' experience with FreeBSD, OpenBSD was easy to install and configure. There were a few major differences between it and other Unix-like operating systems, but anything I was confused about was quickly answered in the OpenBSD FAQ.
A major difference that I liked was that there was no heavy emphasis on compiling programs from source like there is on FreeBSD. The GENERIC kernel is configured to have support for the most common devices, so no recompile was necessary. OpenBSD's packages are also compiled with the most frequently used settings, so there was no need to compile applications from the ports tree.
OpenBSD's PF firewall is unparalleled. If you're thinking of making a home-built firewall/router, OpenBSD is the way to go.
I like the direction Theo de Raadt is taking the OpenBSD project. OpenBSD 3.7 has still proven to be extremely secure and bug-free. Many new hardware devices are supported each release. And 3rd party applications that conflict with OpenBSD's philosophy of freedom are reworked and reimplemented with less restrictions by the OpenBSD team (Apache 2.x as an example).
The single major issue I had with OpenBSD 3.7 was that my audio device did not work. For a laptop that I use as my primary machine, this is a bit of an issue. All other hardware devices worked flawlessly, however.
I was impressed with the new features of the package management system, but I'm still disappointed to see that the full path to packages must be specified. For example, this may be the way you would add "foo-package"
# pkg_add ftp://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/3.7/packages/i386/foo-package-1.0p1.tgz
A bit annoying and unnecessary when on FreeBSD, the same package might be obtained and installed with
# pkg_add -r foo-packge
There is still some work to be done on OpenBSD before I'd want to use it as my primary laptop operating system, but it's still great for many applications (servers, routers, desktops/laptops that are fully supported).
I've been using FreeBSD for about one year now and I'm quite satisfied. The release of 5.4 has been an important step in strengthening FreeBSD's 5.x releases. 5.4 is an improvement on the already stable, fast, and highly-functional 5.3-RELEASE.
*Extensive documentation. I have yet to find another UNIX-like operating system with documentation up-to-par with FreeBSD's Handbook.
*Easy installation. FreeBSD's sysinstall is very intuitive and functional.
*Ports. With about 13,000 programs in the ports tree, there's no need to go hunting on the web to find the right application for the job.
*Base system. The base system is a perfect starting ground to build up a working system. It's very small and fast to begin with.
*Emphasis on compiling from source. Though it's easy to get around compiling programs from source on FreeBSD, there is still heavy emphasis on it and as a result, some applications or options for applications can only be obtained by compiling them from the ports tree, which is not optimal on older, slower, computers.
*Security. Security problems on FreeBSD are quickly discovered and patched, but there's no easy way to track the patches. Following -STABLE is not safe; following the security branch requires recompiling the entire system, and patching the source manually is not fun. Though there are 3rd party applications like freebsd-update, there should be a builtin security update feature in the base system, similar to apt-get's.
*GENERIC lacks support for burning CDs. Not a major issue since most FreeBSD machines are servers, but for workstations, it's not always fun to recompile the kernel. Even OpenBSD's GENERIC has support for this.
knoppix was the first linux live cd i ever tried. i was impressed by how quickly it booted and by how easily it recognizes hardware. a lot of regular distros don't even recognize some of the hardware knoppix does.
i was also amazed at the number of apps they fit onto one cd. it's pretty much all anyone needs in terms of software.
my 7-button mouse was annoying to use however - it was sort of jittery. other computers i tried knoppix out on didn't always work perfectly with it, but overall it's a great tool to have in your linux distro cd collection.
Product Details: "3.6" by jeremy - posted: 08-24-2004 - Rating: 9.00
Last Review by sether - posted: 09-11-2004 03:05 PM
this book is great for anyone interested in BSD systems. i've used it to customize my FreeBSD computer exactly how i like it. a lot of the information in it cannot be found on the internet (at least not easily) and it is all packaged into one convenient book. there are a wide range of hacks, useful for system administrators or just average users.
there are however some hacks that may get the novice user into trouble, such as recompiling the kernel. though it is encouraged in the book, some of the people on LQ suggest that it's not absolutely necessary and should not be done. i can see why this is - possibility of not being able to boot to the new kernel, certain devices you thought weren't needed you accidentally removed, etc....
overall, the book is a good reference if you're a BSD user. it doesn't exactly provide the reader with step by step tutorials on BSD, but it's more of a random compilation of interesting things you can do to your system.
(i'm not gonna go into great detail because the other reviews sum it up just as good.)
i was first introduced to linux via redhat 9. i eventually moved to fedora core 2, and for the first time decided to try a different distro. mandrake was the first one i tried. after using mandrake for just a few days i could already see the advantages: easier install than fedora/redhat, less additional stuff packaged in by mandrake, which translates into less bugs. essentially mandrake, fedora/redhat, suse, and the other all-around mainstream distros are pretty much the same, but if any one has an advantage over the others, it's mandrake.
basically, if you're looking for a good all-around distro, go with mandrake. it's not my personal favorite though, but its probably good for most people.
by the way don't try installing mandrake on older systems. i got a bunch of problems installing it on an old PII laptop. if you've got the additional drivers floppy for mandrake available, then you'll probably be good though.
Product Details: "10.0 Community Download" by raalynthslair - posted: 03-15-2004 - Rating: 7.64
Last Review by sether - posted: 09-01-2004 01:59 AM
This is one of the greatest operating systems I've ever tried. I did, however, have problems setting up an internet connection, and numerous other problems with hardware (that are fixable, but you sure as hell've gotta know what you're doing). *BSD is used on servers because it pretty much never crashes, so why not run it for your own personal use? If you're not extremely comfortable with UNIX/Linux, then you might not want to mess around with FreeBSD. But other than that, it's great.
I am a Linux user at heart, and I still haven't managed to convert completely to FreeBSD, but non-newbie Linux users should definitely give FreeBSD a try.
I love Slackware, and CollegeLinux is based on Slackware. I still think Slackware is better because it allows the user to configure more options in the install than in CollegeLinux. I would only recommend CollegeLinux over Slackware to those who want a more user-friendly distro than Slackware.
I heard a lot about Yoper and I was eager to try it - they say it's the fastest distro out there so I wanted to see it for myself.
The install is pretty straightforward, and the new graphical partition utility makes it easier than version 1. It installs extremely fast (4 minutes for my system), but I would still appreciate a progress bar or something.
Though it's blazingly fast at everything, for some reason it doesn't seem to boot any faster than other distros, maybe even a lot slower than most. But if you don't turn on and off your computer a lot, it doesn't really matter, because the speed of everything else makes up for it.
People seem to be divided on the issue of software included in linux installs - some want tons of software and others want a minimal install so that they can install their own software and customize their system exactly how they want it. If you're the latter, Yoper is probably good for you.
I was, however, greatly disappointed with the fact that there are no options to select specific software anywhere in the install. If you don't like KDE, too bad, because it's the only desktop environment that comes with Yoper.
I do like how Yoper is minimalist and allows the user to customize it to his or her own liking, but I hate how they preselect all the software for you. They should allow users to install GNOME instead of KDE, or at least include some lightweight window managers with the install (c'mon, how much space could fluxbox, fvwm2, and windowmaker take up on an install cd??).
Overall, I got a vibe that Yoper is sort of put together sloppy (I encountered several bugs here and there, and the install prompts are written with weird grammar that you've gotta re-read to understand sometimes). If you don't mind all this and you're in it for the speed, then go ahead!