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This isn't a full-fledged review (hence the title isn't "My Experience with..."), since I wasn't able to completely run this OS through its paces. I just had an interesting first ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    New kid on the block: PC-BSD


    This isn't a full-fledged review (hence the title isn't "My Experience with..."), since I wasn't able to completely run this OS through its paces. I just had an interesting first impression and thought I'd share it, for what it's worth.

    I ran across PC-BSD yesterday on DistroWatch, and since the idea behind it really "hit home" with me, I decided to give it a shot. What is the idea? Well, my biggest annoyance with BSD in the past has been that although I could get it installed (and that was usually an uphill battle), I could never get the X environment and all my devices configured properly just so that I could actually get around to doing something *productive* with the OS.

    I love Linux. I particularly love SuSE, which has a very slick installer that also configures a lot of your devices automatically. Don't get me wrong, I am perfectly capable of editing config scripts manually, but when you install as many OSes as I do on a regular basis, that sort of thing can get old fast. I've always heard how wonderful and stable BSD is, but I've never had the patience to bang away at it just so I could get to the REAL tests.

    Enter PC-BSD. It offers an Anaconda-like installer (think Fedora Core) with automatic hardware detection (think Knoppix), and gives you a preconfigured FreeBSD 5.3 system in about 20 minutes, with X and KDE installed and working. The project is still in the alpha stage (0.5a) but I found nothing broken at all. I was up and running with an X environment in no time with very little effort and I really felt that I'd *finally* found a BSD distribution worth my time.

    The only minor annoyance I had was that the default resolution for the X environment was 1024x768, which is fuzzy on my native 1280x1024 monitor. When I attempted to edit the XF86Config file to change it, it remained at 1024x768 regardless of what I did. BSD gurus, is there some difference between the way Linux and BSD handle their X configuration that I should know about?

    Other than that, PC-BSD is the one BSD that has successfully put me to the point where I can seriously play with BSD as an operating system, with all my gadgets working. Bravo, guys. I look forward to your first official release.
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    Linux Guru bryansmith's Avatar
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    I saw PC-BSD on Distrowatch as well and it looks interesting. It seems like you had good luck with it so I might go and download a copy now.

    Bryan
    Looking for a distro? Look here.
    "There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience." - Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
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    I am NOT a BSD guru, I actually never tryed BSD (But beleve me, I will).

    The XF86Config, Have you remembered to change the vertical and horizontal refresh-rate (or whatever it was called) to your monitors spesifications?

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaboua
    I am NOT a BSD guru, I actually never tryed BSD (But beleve me, I will).

    The XF86Config, Have you remembered to change the vertical and horizontal refresh-rate (or whatever it was called) to your monitors spesifications?
    Yes, I have.
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    Yes I saw it on distrowatch too, FreeBSD is relativley easy to install, the only pain Is configuring X and the ttys, which scares newbies away

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuvok
    Yes I saw it on distrowatch too, FreeBSD is relativley easy to install, the only pain Is configuring X and the ttys, which scares newbies away
    I am not a newbie by any means, and I do not share your opinion that FreeBSD is "easy to install". I find it tedious and unneccesarily time-consuming. Hence why I liked this particular distribution.
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    Actually, I wasnt calling anyone a newbie, I was refering to Newbies. I am well aware you are not a layman by any standards (Ive read some of your posts) . I still disagree, the FreeBSD Install does take a good hour I admit that, but it's easy. Maybe you should try OpenBSD, it takes alot less longer to install, and it's more enjoyable.

  9. #8
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuvok
    I still disagree, the FreeBSD Install does take a good hour I admit that, but it's easy.
    Perhaps we have different definitions of "easy". To me, "easy" means more than just "not complicated". Some people say the Stage 1 install of Gentoo Linux is "easy" because it basically just entails following instructions line by line, therefore it is not complicated. I do not consider the sheer amount of time and effort required to do this to be "easy". When I think of "easy" I mean "very little work".

    Maybe you should try OpenBSD, it takes alot less longer to install, and it's more enjoyable.
    Could you tell me a bit more about the difference between OpenBSD and FreeBSD? I've always been told that for a desktop user or someone with newer hardware (mine's pretty new) that FreeBSD was a better choice. What in particular in your opinion makes OpenBSD "more enjoyable"?
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    Im a little paranoid about security, (Lt Commander Tuvok, Security Chief ). Umm I use it mainly as a development platform. I only suggested OpenBSD because you hate the fbsd installer. Basically OpenBSD is good for servers and is very secure. You can get X running in no time on it aswell. The ports tree isnt as big as FreeBSD's though which is why not many desktop users like it. .

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuvok
    Im a little paranoid about security, (Lt Commander Tuvok, Security Chief ). Umm I use it mainly as a development platform.
    One thing I'd like to be able to do on BSD (which is what I do in Linux at the moment) is work on my Java development projects, preferably in Eclipse. I haven't researched whether there is even a VM for BSD, much less a port of Eclipse or something similar.

    I only suggested OpenBSD because you hate the fbsd installer. Basically OpenBSD is good for servers and is very secure. You can get X running in no time on it aswell. The ports tree isnt as big as FreeBSD's though which is why not many desktop users like it. .
    That brings up another crux that's kept me off many Linux distributions as well as the BSDs: reliance on a decent internet connection. Does the OpenBSD package set included on the CDs have everything I'd need to do what I need to do (see above)? I do not have access to any appreciable internet connection on my home computer (dial-up only, and very rarely).
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