Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments
NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

use Perl Log In

Log In

[ Create a new account ]

djberg96 (2603)

djberg96
  (email not shown publicly)

Journal of djberg96 (2603)

Tuesday June 29, 2004
03:24 AM

Thoughts on FreeBSD

[ #19567 ]
Last year I installed FreeBSD 4.9 on my laptop as part of a dual-boot setup (with Windows XP Home on the other half). Here are some thoughts, keeping in mind that I haven't played with it too heavily:

The Good

  • Fast - I've run various I/O benchmarks of my own on Solaris, FreeBSD, Linux, HP-UX and Windows. FreeBSD always seems to get the best performance, and the filesystem just *feels* fast in general.
  • Secure - more so than Windows and even Linux (based on Security Focus and user comments in general)

The Bad

  • Installation - Ugh. If a FreeBSD expert hadn't been sitting *right next to me* the whole time, I never would have gotten this thing installed.
  • Unable to write to NTFS - Yep, it's read only. Pain in the arse.
  • Despite RTFM, I can't get my (definitely supported) wireless card to work.

The Strange

  • Ports - Feels like a weird halfway point between building from source and, say, Solaris packages. There do appear to be packages, too, and I've used those when I can. Maybe I just need to get used to it.
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
 Full
 Abbreviated
 Hidden
More | Login | Reply
Loading... please wait.
  • I'm surprised you found the installation so bad. It's not graphical or anything, but frankly, I found it to be very simple and straightforward (you want a bad installer try NetBSD!). Did you do a standard install or jump to expert? Not that I'm a freebsd guru or anything, but standard installs have always worked well for me.

    Keep playing with the ports system. I was a skeptic at first, and they are a strong reason that I stay with FreeBSD now. They make life SO easy for me.

    Good luck! :)
    • Did you do a standard install or jump to expert?

      To tell you the truth, I don't remember. All I remember is a lot of manual tweaking, and the FreeBSD expert going "hmmm..." a lot. It took a long time to get it going (a couple hours iirc).

    • What sucks about the NetBSD installer?
      I've run into the occasional bug, but they were usually
      just polish issues.
  • Maybe it's just the way my brain works, but I like the ports system much more than Debian's apt and friends (never could find an intuitive way to navigate) or Redhat's rats-nest of RPMs. I'm especially fond of having pkg-descr and pkg-plist as text files sitting on my file system.

    There are drawbacks, of course. Every few months there's a new case of "you must upgrade these ports in exactly the right order, or everything goes boom." Gnome, mostly. And I was less fond of ports a few CPU generations back.