LinuxQuestions.org
Latest LQ Deal: Latest LQ Deals
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Other *NIX Forums > *BSD
User Name
Password
*BSD This forum is for the discussion of all BSD variants.
FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, etc.

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 05-24-2020, 10:18 PM   #1
rhimbo
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 19.04 on Lenova ThinkPad T440
Posts: 132

Rep: Reputation: 28
FreeBSD versus OpenBSD...?


Hello folks,

Is there a good summary of the differences between FreeBSD and OpenBSD? If not, could someone give me a synopsis here?

I'm looking for a distro to use as my primary work and personal system. I am trying to avoid tinkering and would prefer something "that just works." From reading the OpenBSD web site, it sounds as if it's more oriented towards use on servers, in data centers, etc.... strong security, robust, well-written code, etc.

But I also need a good desktop.

Thanks,
 
Old 05-24-2020, 10:25 PM   #2
sevendogsbsd
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2017
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 1,849

Rep: Reputation: 790Reputation: 790Reputation: 790Reputation: 790Reputation: 790Reputation: 790Reputation: 790
In all honesty, none of the BSDs “just work”. FreeBSD is my favorite, for ease of install and overall performance, but you have to build the desktop yourself. The install is just the base OS, nothing more. Not saying FreeBSD cannot be a desktop; I have ran it as such for a couple of years but it has idiosyncrasies.

I attempted to install and run OpenBSD once but I found the install very confusing and performance on my ultra wide monitor was dismal.

My .02.
 
Old 05-24-2020, 10:30 PM   #3
rhimbo
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 19.04 on Lenova ThinkPad T440
Posts: 132

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevendogsbsd View Post
In all honesty, none of the BSDs ďjust workĒ. FreeBSD is my favorite, for ease of install and overall performance, but you have to build the desktop yourself. The install is just the base OS, nothing more. Not saying FreeBSD cannot be a desktop; I have ran it as such for a couple of years but it has idiosyncrasies.

I attempted to install and run OpenBSD once but I found the install very confusing and performance on my ultra wide monitor was dismal.

My .02.
OK, thanks. That helps. You seem to answer a lot of my questions. ;-) Thank you.

So I understood that I have to find the right combination of X-window system environment that works, X, DE and window manager. Yeah, that might be a bit of work. And, from past experience years ago when I used to write Xlib and Xt code (back in 1988, 1989, 1990) I remember it was not a trivial task even to get the config files right...! Tangentially, that's one reason I really like the declarative style architecture of Sun's Open Look.

After my previous post, I read some details on the OpenBSD site. It really seems like an enterprise-class, robust server platform. And, I would have to find out if there is file system interoperability or interfaces with exFAT, EXT4 file systems. I suppose if not I could live without that because I can do rsync network back ups.

Thanks, sevendogsbsd.....
 
Old 05-24-2020, 10:57 PM   #4
rkelsen
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: slackware
Posts: 2,494

Rep: Reputation: 733Reputation: 733Reputation: 733Reputation: 733Reputation: 733Reputation: 733Reputation: 733
I noticed in your other thread you're asking about Debian vs. Ubuntu.

Given that you're asking about the BSDs, have you considered Slackware Linux?

The last stable release was some time ago, but the development version is coming along nicely.
 
Old 05-24-2020, 11:15 PM   #5
rhimbo
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 19.04 on Lenova ThinkPad T440
Posts: 132

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
I noticed in your other thread you're asking about Debian vs. Ubuntu.

Given that you're asking about the BSDs, have you considered Slackware Linux?

The last stable release was some time ago, but the development version is coming along nicely.
Hi. Yes, at this point here is my short list of distros I'd like to try (not in any particular order):
- Debian
- Slackware
- openSUSE
- Arch (not for the simplicity, but because it gets praise for clean, fast, simple)
- Endeavours (based on Arch but with a nice graphical installer)

So, yes, I would like to try Slackware. I decided to do one more "look see" because there were a wide range of opinions about Slackware. All said it was good but the opinions on the user friendliness were mixed. Curious about your opinion regarding comparison between Debian, Slackware and openSUSE; and make it as enthusiast as you like... ;-)

I thought I read somewhere a year ago that the Debian developers all defected to Ubuntu, but don't know if that's true.
Regarding Endeavours, I am leaning to just go with Arch as these "based on" distros don't seem to improve things -- just complicate things.

I don't really care about a graphical installer. I used apt via bash shell when I ran Debian. I really should not have mentioned it. If the package manager has dependency checking that's probably good enough for me. The other issue is a "better" DE that looks somewhat professional and easy to do things. I mean, I know this probably sounds mundane and everyone will roll their eyes, but I just want to be able to pin icons to the dock for easy startup, have some user friendly tools and a good user experience.

A nice graphical tool that hides some complexity for doing the more "sophisticated" sysadmin stuff would be nice... installing printers, dealing with NFS, account management. OR, something with excellent documentation so I can go read something to tell me which command line commands to use and how to use them to set up accounts, partition disks, etc. I'm not too worried about things like LILO or GRUB as there is plenty of documentation around.
 
Old 05-24-2020, 11:33 PM   #6
Turbocapitalist
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2005
Distribution: Linux Mint, Devuan, OpenBSD
Posts: 4,829
Blog Entries: 3

Rep: Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398
If you were looking for FreeBSD packaged up for the desktop, there was until very recently a downstream fork of it called TrueOS.

There are still other FreeBSD-based options.

Here is a fork of FreeBSD:

Here are some distros and which are, as far as I know, still available:

As for OpenBSD it works well when it works at all. That appears to be a priority but also a side effect of the developers actually using it on their own machines, usually both at home and at work. Unlike FreeBSD which has outreach and marketing and whatnot, OpenBSD is for its own developers by its own developers. Being Free and Open Source Software, it is also available to the rest of us, but it is expected that we do all the reading necessary to get going with it.
 
Old 05-24-2020, 11:34 PM   #7
rhimbo
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 19.04 on Lenova ThinkPad T440
Posts: 132

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 28
Oh, I forgot to say....

I really dislike Windows, but I do find that their UI is pleasing and pretty easy to use as is the macOS DE. I mean, just "managing" either of those desktops is pretty user friendly... configuring the dock, changing themes, colors, notifications, etc. It would be nice to find a Linux distro that supports the DE I like and that I can get up and running without too many wasted days. Does that help? I discovered MATE this evening and it looks pretty nice from the screen shots on their web site.

I started a few threads in the past week on this topic, and many people have provided good insight for me. I'll try to sum up my thinking here.

I have been asking about a "standard-like Unix-like" distro in case I have to do system management from the command line. But, as others have said, I'm not sure what "standard" is anymore these days. But here is an example.

For the past month I have been baking my head against the wall trying to figure out if I have a hardware problem on my iMac. Activity Monitor is not working, but "top" and "ps" and "iostat" seem to give consistent, reasonable data. So I assumed that I did not have a hardware problem (despite what the Apple fan boy pansies on the Apple discussion forums so patronizingly leered). As part of that exercise, I encountered the good ol' Apple SIP which locks down your system even if you're running set UID root via sudo.

Well, I only really discovered "diskutil" when I was making the ISO for my Linux distro 2 days ago. I mean, if I hadn't seen some instructions on a web site related to making the ISO, I wouldn't have known about it. Back in the SunOS and Solaris days, we just used "mount" "fsck" "du" "df" "netstat" etc....

So I would like to avoid a Linux distro that does things too far differently from "standard" Unix-like OSs. I hope I explained that reasonably well. Not sure I did....
 
Old 05-24-2020, 11:35 PM   #8
rhimbo
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 19.04 on Lenova ThinkPad T440
Posts: 132

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
If you were looking for FreeBSD packaged up for the desktop, there was until very recently a downstream fork of it called TrueOS.

There are still other FreeBSD-based options.

Here is a fork of FreeBSD:

Here are some distros and which are, as far as I know, still available:

As for OpenBSD it works well when it works at all. That appears to be a priority but also a side effect of the developers actually using it on their own machines, usually both at home and at work. Unlike FreeBSD which has outreach and marketing and whatnot, OpenBSD is for its own developers by its own developers. Being Free and Open Source Software, it is also available to the rest of us, but it is expected that we do all the reading necessary to get going with it.
Oh, great. Thanks. Actually that info helps a lot... gives me good context....
 
Old 05-24-2020, 11:36 PM   #9
sevendogsbsd
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2017
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 1,849

Rep: Reputation: 790Reputation: 790Reputation: 790Reputation: 790Reputation: 790Reputation: 790Reputation: 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
OK, thanks. That helps. You seem to answer a lot of my questions. ;-) Thank you.

So I understood that I have to find the right combination of X-window system environment that works, X, DE and window manager. Yeah, that might be a bit of work. And, from past experience years ago when I used to write Xlib and Xt code (back in 1988, 1989, 1990) I remember it was not a trivial task even to get the config files right...! Tangentially, that's one reason I really like the declarative style architecture of Sun's Open Look.

After my previous post, I read some details on the OpenBSD site. It really seems like an enterprise-class, robust server platform. And, I would have to find out if there is file system interoperability or interfaces with exFAT, EXT4 file systems. I suppose if not I could live without that because I can do rsync network back ups.

Thanks, sevendogsbsd.....
Typically, on my PC hardware anyway, xorg just works, no config necessary. The FreeBSD install is simple, and I can have a desktop up in a couple of hours. Itís all manual after the install though, but not difficult.
 
Old 05-24-2020, 11:41 PM   #10
rhimbo
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 19.04 on Lenova ThinkPad T440
Posts: 132

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevendogsbsd View Post
Typically, on my PC hardware anyway, xorg just works, no config necessary. The FreeBSD install is simple, and I can have a desktop up in a couple of hours. Itís all manual after the install though, but not difficult.
Great. Thank you. That helps. Even if there is some command line work and some editing I don't mind. I just don't want to get into a situation where I'm asking myself "what the hell am I doing by editing this line in the config file"?! ;-)

But it sounds like it won't be that bad. I just went to the FreeBSD site and found that it does support Linux EXT file system (and I assume EXT4). And, honestly, that's only important if I want to directly hook up my USB external drives in the event my iMac crashes. But the idea is that I would be backing up regularly (using rsync) before the iMac gets old, decrepit and dies. ;-)
 
Old 05-25-2020, 12:12 AM   #11
rkelsen
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: slackware
Posts: 2,494

Rep: Reputation: 733Reputation: 733Reputation: 733Reputation: 733Reputation: 733Reputation: 733Reputation: 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
Curious about your opinion regarding comparison between Debian, Slackware and openSUSE; and make it as enthusiast as you like... ;-)
I can't say much about openSuse, because I haven't tried it recently (i.e. since about 2002! Time flies ).

I've never liked Debian. Its "package management" is a little too over-zealous and I feel like it tries to control & 2nd guess me all the time. I cannot overstate how much that infuriates me. While I'm in control, the computer needs to shut up and do what I want it to do. Nothing more and nothing less. I don't need my hand held thanks... And then they made the switch to the init-which-shall-not-be-named, which pretty much sealed Debian's fate around here.

Slackware has been my main desktop for over 2 decades now. It is not without it's faults, but is certainly the most flexible Linux distro available. I've got a couple of VMs running Slackware at the office. One runs my backups and the other one is my VPN gateway. Both services were fairly easy to set up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
I thought I read somewhere a year ago that the Debian developers all defected to Ubuntu, but don't know if that's true.
I don't know about that, but a bunch of them did start a new distribution called Devuan after it was decided to change init systems. It seemed that they were quite upset about the decision being rushed through "undemocratically."
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
If the package manager has dependency checking that's probably good enough for me.
Slackware's package manager doesn't do dependency checking. But here's the thing: The whole distro is on the DVD, and the expectation is that you install the whole lot. Because of that there is no official repo. You can add whatever you like from anywhere else, but it doesn't hold your hand. That said, there are a few unofficial repos, and they'll usually list dependencies for anything you need to add. There is quite a lot in the full installation, and it is not often that I find things missing. Bigger packages like LibreOffice and VirtualBox are easy to add.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
The other issue is a "better" DE that looks somewhat professional and easy to do things.
Linux distros are all the same in this regard. Slackware doesn't come with GNOME, but has KDE and XFCE in the default installation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
A nice graphical tool that hides some complexity for doing the more "sophisticated" sysadmin stuff would be nice... installing printers, dealing with NFS, account management.
Again, most Linux distros are the same here. If you run CUPS, then you get a nice GUI config tool in your web browser at localhost:631.

NFS setup is not that difficult, is it? I dunno if there are any GUIs for it. There possibly are, but my machines only have a few shares each. It's quite easy to edit the text file.

There are a few different GUIs for account management.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
OR, something with excellent documentation so I can go read something to tell me which command line commands to use and how to use them to set up accounts, partition disks, etc. I'm not too worried about things like LILO or GRUB as there is plenty of documentation around.
There's plenty of documentation for most GNU software. I've never struggled to find any. If anything, its too much sometimes.
 
Old 05-25-2020, 12:23 AM   #12
Turbocapitalist
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2005
Distribution: Linux Mint, Devuan, OpenBSD
Posts: 4,829
Blog Entries: 3

Rep: Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398Reputation: 2398
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
I thought I read somewhere a year ago that the Debian developers all defected to Ubuntu, but don't know if that's true.
I don't know about that, but a bunch of them did start a new distribution called Devuan after it was decided to change init systems. It seemed that they were quite upset about the decision being rushed through "undemocratically."
From what I recall, Mark Shuttworth took some massive amount of Debian mailing list archives with him on his trip to Antarctica and pored over them both manually and with programs he wrote. He mapped out who the key developers were and then hired most of them away to work on Ubuntu. That went great until he dropped his guard and microsofters started to infiltrate Ubuntu development and then Canonical itself.

As for those that started Devuan, that was as much about the tangled mess that systemd had already become as anything else. I'd use Devuan in place of Debian any day of the week and would rather see it become the base for Linux Mint and Ubuntu, but if you are already leaning towards the BSDs yet prefer to stay within GNU/Linux, that would point you towards Slackware.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-25-2020, 02:35 AM   #13
fatmac
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2011
Location: Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants Border, UK
Posts: 3,636

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Sounds like you need to take a look at MX Linux.

Re FreeBSD & OpenBSD, I use OpenBSD in preference to FreeBSD, because it is a 'lighter' set up than FreeBSD for what I use, mainly Fluxbox & Firefox, with Mplayer & XMMS.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-25-2020, 09:54 AM   #14
TheTKS
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2017
Location: The deep south... of Canada
Distribution: Slackware, Xubuntu, OpenBSD, elementary, Puppy, TinyCore
Posts: 131

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevendogsbsd View Post
In all honesty, none of the BSDs “just work”.
...

I attempted to install and run OpenBSD once but I found the install very confusing and performance on my ultra wide monitor was dismal.
I run OpenBSD with Xfce for personal, individual, mostly everyday usage, the only exception that some day I would like to use it to do stuff with my Arduino Uno and my Raspbery Pi 4.

In last ~2-1/2 years that I’ve used it (6.2 or 6.3, through 6.6), it and Xfce have installed quickly and easily. I’ve tried it in several ways: in VMs on some flavour of Ubuntu; direct fresh installation; once upgrading from previous version; and from both DVD and USB. Works fine on my 16x9 monitor.

Part of what drew me to it is the project’s focus on clean and lean code.

Two things if you want to try it:
- Read the information available. There are sites where you can get help, but you won’t get handholding.
- Look if the software available includes what you want. There’s a lot, but a lot less than for Debian or Ubuntu.

I can’t comment helpfully on the other BSDs, although I trial installed FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonflyBSD, and tried live GhostBSD, and each for their own reasons, found OpenBSD a better match for me and my hardware.

If you decide to go Linux, I second the recommendation to try Slackware (for reasons already posted by others here) if you’re looking for something different from Ubuntu flavours or derivatives (which I’m not going to slag, despite GNOME and some other things I dislike - I use Xubuntu for some things, and elementaryOS for others.)

If you want to try minimal, have a look at TinyCore.

TKS

Last edited by TheTKS; 05-25-2020 at 09:55 AM.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-25-2020, 02:03 PM   #15
rhimbo
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 19.04 on Lenova ThinkPad T440
Posts: 132

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTKS View Post
I run OpenBSD with Xfce for personal, individual, mostly everyday usage, the only exception that some day I would like to use it to do stuff with my Arduino Uno and my Raspbery Pi 4.

In last ~2-1/2 years that Iíve used it (6.2 or 6.3, through 6.6), it and Xfce have installed quickly and easily. Iíve tried it in several ways: in VMs on some flavour of Ubuntu; direct fresh installation; once upgrading from previous version; and from both DVD and USB. Works fine on my 16x9 monitor.

Part of what drew me to it is the projectís focus on clean and lean code.

Two things if you want to try it:
- Read the information available. There are sites where you can get help, but you wonít get handholding.
- Look if the software available includes what you want. Thereís a lot, but a lot less than for Debian or Ubuntu.

I canít comment helpfully on the other BSDs, although I trial installed FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonflyBSD, and tried live GhostBSD, and each for their own reasons, found OpenBSD a better match for me and my hardware.

If you decide to go Linux, I second the recommendation to try Slackware (for reasons already posted by others here) if youíre looking for something different from Ubuntu flavours or derivatives (which Iím not going to slag, despite GNOME and some other things I dislike - I use Xubuntu for some things, and elementaryOS for others.)

If you want to try minimal, have a look at TinyCore.

TKS
Thank you. I put it on my short list.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FreeBSD versus OpenBSD ? Xeratul General 4 05-15-2017 02:52 AM
LXer: OpenOffice versus LibreOffice versus The World LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 03-05-2013 11:30 PM
LXer: TLWIR 35: Open Versus Closed Mobility ‚?? The Nokia N900 Versus The Nokia Lumia 900 LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 04-07-2012 06:31 PM
[SOLVED] bash - versus --perl - versus python ow1 Linux - Software 2 05-03-2010 07:57 PM
OpenBSD: nvidia drivers, screen resolution and FreeBSD binaries on OpenBSD ::: *BSD 2 08-21-2009 04:18 AM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Other *NIX Forums > *BSD

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:25 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration