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I guess this is as good a post as any to get recommendations. No, I'm not going to start a *BSD equivalent of "what distro should I choose?", I actually ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    FreeBSD on AMD64 problems? **CLOSED**


    I guess this is as good a post as any to get recommendations. No, I'm not going to start a *BSD equivalent of "what distro should I choose?", I actually have some pretty specific questions for the *BSD folks.

    I've tried FreeBSD 4.x and 5.x, as well as FreeSBIE and none of them seem to like my USB mouse/keyboard or my 3D card (Geforce 6800). Are any of the other BSDs (Open, Net, DragonFly) focused on the desktop enduser? I've read that FreeBSD was supposed to have the best support for new gizmos, but is there something better?
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    Quote Originally Posted by techieMoe
    I guess this is as good a post as any to get recommendations. No, I'm not going to start a *BSD equivalent of "what distro should I choose?", I actually have some pretty specific questions for the *BSD folks.

    I've tried FreeBSD 4.x and 5.x, as well as FreeSBIE and none of them seem to like my USB mouse/keyboard or my 3D card (Geforce 6800). Are any of the other BSDs (Open, Net, DragonFly) focused on the desktop enduser? I've read that FreeBSD was supposed to have the best support for new gizmos, but is there something better?
    i think FreeBSD is your best bet. what version of 5.x did you try? there may be additional support for your hardware in 5.3 or the upcoming 5.4 (it'll be a while though).

    what kind of mouse/keyboard do you have? because it should be compatible. you may need to play with the xorg.conf file a little but it should work.

    as for the nvidia card, you'll need to install the nvidia driver from the ports via
    Code:
    cd /usr/ports/x11/nvidia-driver
    make install clean
    and then add "nvidia" to the driver section of xorg.conf. nvidia geforce cards should work just fine with that, but i'm curious as to what problems you had exactly with your other hardware.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sether
    i think FreeBSD is your best bet. what version of 5.x did you try? there may be additional support for your hardware in 5.3 or the upcoming 5.4 (it'll be a while though).
    The version of FreeBSD I tried was 5.3 RELEASE if I'm not mistaken. It installed fine but X was a no-go. I imagine I probably could have tweaked it but I'm a little spoiled by Linux distros like SuSE lately that configure all that for me.

    what kind of mouse/keyboard do you have? because it should be compatible. you may need to play with the xorg.conf file a little but it should work.
    I have a Logitech MX700 wireless mouse with a Cordless Comfort keyboard (ergonomic). They connect via either one USB or 2 PS/2 connectors. FreeSBIE didn't like this configuration; the keyboard would work but the mouse wouldn't.

    I'll give that Nvidia thing a shot. Is that nvidia driver included in the base system install or do I need to download it? You've convinced me to give it another go. I'll report back (in another thread) with specifics on my problems.
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    the nvidia driver isn't included on the install cd, but is available through the ports. you can always use the xorg generic "nv" driver temporarily. for initial configuration of X, do xorgcfg -textmode and that should get you up and running with X. but it's my experience that you'll have to go and edit the specifics in xorg.conf to get everything working to your liking.

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sether
    the nvidia driver isn't included on the install cd, but is available through the ports.
    Ok, that brings me to a deal-breaker question. Is it worth my time installing FreeBSD on a system that has no internet access? That's what's kept Debian and Fedora off my home computer; they just need an internet connection to be useful.

    Might it be possible to download sections of the /ports/ tree to CD and transplant them to my home computer?

    ::EDIT:: Did some research on "ports." I must say my interest is piqued.
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    Quote Originally Posted by techieMoe
    Hmm.. Mayhap a mod might break this thread off? I didn't mean to hijack the poll...
    Done.

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonlambert
    Done.
    Much obliged.
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    freebsd thrives off of the internet, but it's not absolutely necessary that it has internet access.

    my first question is what do you want to use freebsd for? and my second is what kind of hardware are you putting freebsd on (how fast is the cpu)? i ask these questions first because i want to make sure it's worth it to even install the ports system.

    anyways, the way the ports system works is you install a ports tree (usually through the initial system install). this doesn't actually give you the files necessary to install any of the ports, but instead gives the system instructions on how it would go about compiling any one of them. so for example, let's say you want mozilla installed. if you install the ports system, you'll have a /usr/ports/www/mozilla/ directory with a few small files in it that basically describe what files are needed to install mozilla, what patches to apply to make it run on freebsd, etc., but not the actual source code. if you did
    Code:
    cd /usr/ports/www/mozilla/
    make install clean
    it would search /usr/ports/distfiles/ for a tar.gz or something of the like that contains the mozilla source code, which it would then compile. if it's not there, it would automatically download it for you.

    so this is where you come in if you don't have internet access. you'll need to manually download this file and place it in /usr/ports/distfiles/.

    1) go to http://www.freebsd.org/ports/index.html
    2) type "mozilla" in the search
    3) find www/mozilla
    4) get the sources by click "Sources" under the description
    5) download the source file from one of the locations given: http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/pds.cgi?ports/www/mozilla
    6) somehow get it into /usr/ports/distfiles/ on freebsd

    trying to burn all sources for all ports on one cd will be impossible, unfortunately, since there are over 12,000 ports. so i think the easiest way would be the way i described, by manually fetching each "dist" file.

    one problem: you have to make sure the sources for whatever port youre getting are the same version as the ports tree on your system is. since port version change daily, this might be a problem.

    also, if you expect to get really up to date ports on your system, internet access would be nice since you'd be able to "cvsup you ports tree" - that is, update the directories and files in the ports tree to match the newest sources. the ports tree on the 5.3 cd is sort of old - i know for a fact mozilla 1.7.2 is on there, and 1.7.5 is the newest currently.

    also, you'll be missing out on one of the best utilities, portupgrade, which painlessly downloads and updates ports on your system for you.

    an alternative is using packages, which don't need a directory tree like the ports do. just obtain a package (small file) and do pkg_add mozilla, if you were, for example, installing mozilla. but again, you're missing out on using the -r option which will download and install all dependencies painlessly.

    so this is why i'm asking what you'll use freebsd for, and what hardware you have, as compiling ports can take a long time on slow machines.

    phew

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    oh and by the way, you won't need to go through the hassle of installing the nvidia driver through the ports if you don't want to. if you look on nvidia's website, one of the OS options when obtaining the driver is FreeBSD, so you can just download that and install it without a problem.

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sether
    my first question is what do you want to use freebsd for? and my second is what kind of hardware are you putting freebsd on (how fast is the cpu)? i ask these questions first because i want to make sure it's worth it to even install the ports system.
    Well, I'm planning to stick FreeBSD on a spare 40GB partition on the SATA harddrive of my main system (specs are in my signature). What I plan to do with it? I guess I'm not really sure yet, since I'm focusing more on just getting the thing installed and working first.

    If I were to successfully get it up and running, I'd probably want to do some programming (mostly Java) and run a few games (nothing as intensive as Doom 3; that's what SuSE is for) and burn CDs/DVDs.

    The computer I have at home (specs below) isn't online and will likely never be for any time in the foreseeable future.
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