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Old 10-20-2005, 02:13 AM   #1
FraQture
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Newbie: How is FreeBSD/PC-BSD?


Hi all,

As a linux newbie (only know some basic commands) I was wondering how 'newbie-friendly' FreeBSD is. I'm using Ubuntu atm but the internet connection stalling problem is a BIG downside for me. According to some, *BSD doesn't have this issue. That's why I'm considering FreeBSD for my desktop (desktop only, no server as of yet).

The other alternative, which seems perhaps even more attractive to me is PC-BSD, but I'm afraid that may be too 'young' and 'underdeveloped'. I might be wrong about that so I hope people can tell me more about both BSD editions. How newbie-friendly are they and would you recommend them for desktop use?
 
Old 10-20-2005, 03:38 AM   #2
reddazz
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Its hard for me to describe how easy or difficult they are for newbies because when I started using FreeBSD I had lots of experience using Linux on the desktop. Anyway, give them both a try, but don't expect them to act and behave exactly like Linux. Also if you get stuck take a look at the handbook.
 
Old 10-20-2005, 03:57 AM   #3
grant-skywalker
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Indeed i'm a newbie too. but i've been using linux on and off for a while. I've seen FreeSBIE which is a livecd, which looks really cool!

Unfortunately, i think FreeBSD(family) is not as easy comparable to linux... Even the LiveCD as of FreeSBIE also never has any GUI that pops up for my nic ip and stuff. Quite a big different tho, have to refer to handbook most of the time.

regards,
Skywalker
 
Old 10-20-2005, 07:05 AM   #4
FraQture
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Anyone else?

(perhaps this should be moved to General in order for it to get soms more replies )
 
Old 10-20-2005, 08:21 AM   #5
halo14
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To me.. FreeBSD is an excellent desktop.. with over 13,500 software in ports, it has everything and more than almost all Linux distros, excluding Debian...

It certainly took me a while to understand how it works.. but now that I have... it just 'feels like home'. That's the only way I can explain it. I understand ti better than Linux.. It's more sane.. I love ports... the design, the tools for working with it... everything about it excellent... When I was first working with FreeBSD a lot.. I completely screwed stuff up.. installing odd combinations of ports and packages... couldn't get hardly anything to work.. I read a little bit.. did a few "pkgdb -F" commands, and portupgrade -af then portupgrade -Rarf and everything fixed itself... I know this is probably all greek to you.. but suffice it to say that I fixed my system from a very broken state. The breakage was not FreeBSDs fault, simply my own..

Anyways.. it's great.. I run straight FreeBSD... but as for PC-BSD... it's very nice int hat it has the .pbi files for easy installation like in windows... however there are not very many of them. DesktopBSD follows the stable FreeBSD branch and uses ports for everything... therefor you have a LOT more software available...

If you decide to go with it, just stick with it. Don't give up because things are not the same as they are on Linux... Some things may actually be easier for a newbie, because you don't really understand how Linux works yet and all the configuration stuff...

I feel I may be rambling, so I'll end it here. I wish you good luck.

Last edited by halo14; 10-20-2005 at 08:24 AM.
 
Old 10-23-2005, 10:52 AM   #6
fuzzybud
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Too succeed with FreeBSD you will have to do a lot of reading. Fortunately there is a lot of good information available. I too am mostly a newbie to Linux and now FreeBSD. It was easy to install a Linux distro and surf the net without really knowing what was happening under the skin. Slowly a person will aquire enough experience to know what they don't know and where to go get it. I give Linuxes credit for being that easy so a person can migrate from Windows. But at some point the BSDs will look interesting as happened to me. In the past two years I have tried to work with FreeBSD a few times, returning to the easier Linux distros because I was too lazy to really dig in and learn. Eventually, even a lazy person like myself learns enough to configure a BSD (Installing is easy.). As for PC-BSD it is easy, very easy to install. But, once again, you will have to know how to configure under the skin. None of it is hard once you learn. Then you will be happy to have moved to the BSDs.
 
Old 10-23-2005, 11:29 AM   #7
Ahmed
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Quote:
Originally posted by halo14
The breakage was not FreeBSDs fault, simply my own..
In the open source world, 95% of all errors are between the computer chair and the keyboard

I can't wait for FreeBSD 6.0 stable to come out. Been trying out all kinds of Linux distros to find the perfect system (for me), now it's BSD time..

-A
 
Old 10-23-2005, 05:57 PM   #8
halo14
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I've been using RELENG_6 since BETA4... and it's very nice.. plenty stable.. I haven't moved any servers yet.. but it runs excellently on my notebook and my desktop.
 
Old 10-24-2005, 02:58 PM   #9
SlipAway172
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im running pcbsd and i love it. i tryed installing freebsd only to find that it wont work........ but pcbsd is easy to get your feet wet then move onto the mothership , freebsd. highly reccomended.

FYI: pcbsd, the program networkmanager is missing, so i would install a pci ethernet so it will need NO config.
 
Old 11-20-2005, 04:49 PM   #10
mipia
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A lot of good point have been brought up in this thread.
FreeBSD does come into play for a lot of people who are interested on whats available beyond Windows and various Linux distrobutions. I myself am more focused on web development. Or as most people call it, builing web sites. I consider myself lucky that this type of interest can go across the board. Mac, Windows, Linux, BSD, anything really. The OS is a means to an end.
I havent gotten into the real meat of all the available technologies and languages available, but it is all available to use on which ever flavor of system I want to use and this has helped greatly in maintaining my interest. Whether it be writing markup, or doing a bit of photo manipulation or graphic design.
For FreeBSD there are many many packages and pages of documentation available. The hardest part for me is trying to find the free time to read what I need to. As I said above, by interest is in web development, but I also have a full-time job and a wife and son to keep watch over
Its been about 5 years now and I am just starting to settle into what I feel comfortable with. Luckily I have still been able to get "work" done through it all. If you are having a hard time making up your mind then I congradulate you, you have one hell of a fun hobby! Dont get frustrated, enjoy whats available!
 
Old 11-20-2005, 11:45 PM   #11
anomie
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Quote:
Anyone else?
It's all been said already, but I will throw in my two cents anyway. I made the move from Linux to FreeBSD (well, I didn't make a move; now I use both) a couple months ago. I am very happy with it.

Just be prepared to begin learning all over again. While it has a lot of similarities with Linux, it has some notable differences too. As another poster pointed out, keep the handbook URL* handy. And if I could recommend a good book on FreeBSD for new users it would be The Complete FreeBSD by Greg Lehey.

Good luck.

* http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO...ooks/handbook/
 
Old 11-22-2005, 09:47 PM   #12
Tsuroerusu
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Re: Newbie: How is FreeBSD/PC-BSD?

Quote:
Originally posted by FraQture
Hi all,

As a linux newbie (only know some basic commands) I was wondering how 'newbie-friendly' FreeBSD is. I'm using Ubuntu atm but the internet connection stalling problem is a BIG downside for me. According to some, *BSD doesn't have this issue. That's why I'm considering FreeBSD for my desktop (desktop only, no server as of yet).

The other alternative, which seems perhaps even more attractive to me is PC-BSD, but I'm afraid that may be too 'young' and 'underdeveloped'. I might be wrong about that so I hope people can tell me more about both BSD editions. How newbie-friendly are they and would you recommend them for desktop use?
I'm in the process of moving to FreeBSD because I like the features of it's package management system, but as the guys in the above answers has said, FreeBSD is one you need have a good read on, it's not that time consuming but you will need the knowledge you can get by reading the FreeBSD Handbook.

If you aren't that familiar with the commandline, I say stay with Linux, but get rid of Ubuntu, if you like GUI configuration, which I do in my busy everyday life when I don't have time for some hacker hours, I say look at SUSE Linux 10, I really love it, and I still have it installed on my machine.
 
Old 12-04-2005, 09:10 AM   #13
ibmercurial
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Just started paying attention to the handbook. I installed freebsd 5.4release several times, saw that everything was broken, no sound, no net, no java, no k3b etc, and hosed off the drive an reloaded slackware.

I installed 5.4 again recently, read the instructions in the handbook this time, and I'm impressed. It's fast. I had to read for 3 days to get java installed, and I'm happy that it's finally done. I strayed from the instructions a bit and got it going. FreeBSD does everything I want it to do, it does it well, and it does it fast. In some repects it's easier then linux, at least as far as re-rolling the kernel. I think the documentation is more comprehensive then linux, and because freebsd is "Centralised" It seems tighter, better documented. The portage system is excellent, and without it, I'd have never been able to get java working. Apps seem to run better on freebsd.. Gnu-Backgammon for instance. I have winblos xp, freebsd 5.4 and freebsd 6.0 residing on the disc. 6.0 did not install until I disabled acpi. In my short time with linux and freebsd, I think I would prefer freebsd for my desktop.
 
Old 12-04-2005, 09:23 AM   #14
ibmercurial
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I'm un-able to access other partitions on the drive. With linux all
I had to do was mount -t reiserfs /dev/hdx /somewhere. I need to read, probably something in man mount. I want to transfer the java source packages and patches to the partition hosting freebsd 6.0 so I don't have to jump through the Sun Java hoops again
 
Old 12-04-2005, 10:06 AM   #15
phil.d.g
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FreeBSD doesn't support reiserfs from what I have read.

I have recently installed FreeBSD on my develepment/test machine with a view to replacing my slackware installation on my server with it. I have to agree with the comments above.
Quote:
Originally Posted by halo14
it just 'feels like home'. That's the only way I can explain it. I understand ti better than Linux.. It's more sane.. I love ports... the design, the tools for working with it... everything about it excellent...
I'm starting to get that feeling, I've only worked on it for a couple of hours, rebuilt the kernel and world, had a go at configuring the firewall, installed apache+php+some php extensions from ports and a few other bits and bobs. I'm looking forward to carry on working with it.

One thing I will say, is if your starting out with it you want another computer next to you with a browser window for google and another with the handbook contents page
 
  


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