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Hi Guys, I've farted around with BSD a bit but never too seriously. I occassionally mess around with FreesBIE and I've had brief installs of NetBSD and FreeBSD. I'm looking ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    Thinking of a Desktop BSD system...


    Hi Guys, I've farted around with BSD a bit but never too seriously. I occassionally mess around with FreesBIE and I've had brief installs of NetBSD and FreeBSD. I'm looking to familiarise myself more with it, but I don't really want to start from the ground up, more like have a usable desktop that I can look under the bonnet of. I'm not so much looking for a hardcore knowledge but just better familiarity. I see newish systems like PCBSD and Desktop BSD. Are these any good? PCBSD looks nice but I'm still undecided on their installer policy and Desktop BSD looks quite promising.

    Anyone any experience with these they'd like to share? I'll probably dual boot with my linux system, just mess around a bit. Also I've noticed in older installs a lack of ResierFS support. Are there any flavours that include this or am I looking at a Kernel rebuild?

    Any help appreciated guys in this, if all sounds good I'll have a Linux/BSD dual boot by the weekend

  2. #2
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    I did run OpenBSD on a desktop system for a while,
    but i was not impressed with the speed and the outdated ports.
    The system responded very slow on opening desktop apps (mozilla took about one minute to open on a 1.8GHz + 512Mb DDR 400 system).

    Now i am trying out NetBSB, and i must say, until now it looks good.
    Just i am still a little bit confused with the $PATH's, i need to search around before i find things

    I can't say anything usefull about FreeBSD, because i never gave it a try.
    (and probably never wil)
    FreeBSD is to much Slack alike for me.
    Help me getting a Opera licence
    Beginning with debian? -> read THIS!

  3. #3
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    Most would recommend a FreeBSD-based solution in your scenario. I have a lot of experience with FreeBSD itself, but not with any FreeBSD derivatives. I just did some research on DesktopBSD to write the Wikipedia article and it looks very promising. I'm a bit skeptical about the direction of the PC-BSD project (especially with the Qt-based GPL'd installer), so DesktopBSD is a breath of fresh air.

    The main issue is that both PC-BSD and DesktopBSD force you to use KDE by default. All of the utilities are integrated into KDE, so you don't really have a choice of anything else. If you like KDE, then that's perfect. But if you're not a KDE fan, I'd recommend using one of the mainstream BSDs instead.

    With over 13000 up-to-date ports in the ports tree right now, FreeBSD is probably the best solution for a desktop. It has an extremely large userbase and unparalleled documentation. Like alain_ suggested, OpenBSD isn't exactly desktop-oriented, but it will work in some cases. I have no experience with NetBSD, but it's my understanding that it's best suited for computers with obscure architectures, but it will still function fine on an x86-based desktop.

    I guess the best thing to do is try them all.

    Oh, and to my knowledge, Reiserfs is not supported on any BSD. I think there might be support for reading only of Reiserfs partitions on FreeBSD 5-STABLE. Check here: http://www.dumbbell.fr/projects/reiserfs/index.en.html

  4. #4
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guys. I've been thinking about it and I'm not mad on the idea of PCBSD, really because of the program installs (a full directory for each app, with all required libs thrown in). I may wait until Desktop BSD goes 1.0 thn try it. Simply because I'm a bit lazy about pulling down config for DEs later. Once I've gotten a bit more used to the diefferences in BSD I will most likely go for a FreeBSD install then.

    Cheers for the replies!

  5. #5
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtomrodney
    Thanks for the replies guys. I've been thinking about it and I'm not mad on the idea of PCBSD, really because of the program installs (a full directory for each app, with all required libs thrown in).
    I quite like PCBSD, and you're not forced to use their little package system. You are free to install things the traditional BSD "ports" way. I just like that PCBSD gives you a functional base quickly and with relatively little involvement from which you can tweak to your liking. But to each their own.
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  6. #6
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    Hmmm....

    As obvious as that is it hadn't occurred to me, maybe I'll reconsider. Until I read about the packagin system I was sold on PCBSD.

    Cheers Moe.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sether
    Most would recommend a FreeBSD-based solution in your scenario. I have a lot of experience with FreeBSD itself, but not with any FreeBSD derivatives. I just did some research on DesktopBSD to write the Wikipedia article and it looks very promising. I'm a bit skeptical about the direction of the PC-BSD project (especially with the Qt-based GPL'd installer), so DesktopBSD is a breath of fresh air.

    The main issue is that both PC-BSD and DesktopBSD force you to use KDE by default. All of the utilities are integrated into KDE, so you don't really have a choice of anything else. If you like KDE, then that's perfect. But if you're not a KDE fan, I'd recommend using one of the mainstream BSDs instead.

    With over 13000 up-to-date ports in the ports tree right now, FreeBSD is probably the best solution for a desktop. It has an extremely large userbase and unparalleled documentation. Like alain_ suggested, OpenBSD isn't exactly desktop-oriented, but it will work in some cases. I have no experience with NetBSD, but it's my understanding that it's best suited for computers with obscure architectures, but it will still function fine on an x86-based desktop.

    I guess the best thing to do is try them all.

    Oh, and to my knowledge, Reiserfs is not supported on any BSD. I think there might be support for reading only of Reiserfs partitions on FreeBSD 5-STABLE. Check here: http://www.dumbbell.fr/projects/reiserfs/index.en.html
    I would have to agree, FreeBSD would probably be your best choice, since it has been running stable on my server for over 2 years, without any hitches, as a desktop, it's much like FreeSBIE, and it has ports, which is amazing, quite possibly the best package manger ever. apart from the obscure (to me at least) device names, this OS is an awesome example of stability and reliability in action.

  8. #8
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    read techie moes review on pcbsd, it makes me wana try it...

    http://www.techiemoe.com/tech/pcbsd07.htm

  9. #9
    Linux User George Harrison's Avatar
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    PCBSD is like FreeBSD, just not as cool

    I use FreeBSD and OpenBSD and I am very impressed with both, if I were in your position I would go ahead and try out FBSD and see how you like it, lots of ports in there.

    btw, it is frowned upon that you use ports in OpenBSD - that is why they suck. Use the packages, that's what they are there for

    I use FreeBSD mainly, but I have OpenBSD sitting on a small partition. I like FBSD a bit more, and I'm only in it for Beastie - if he tells me to do something I do it.. wait a minute.. he's telling me to assassinate.. er..um.. nevermind.
    Registered Linux user #393103

  10. #10
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    Here's my advice:

    Dont go with PCBSD, it takes away the feeling and real power of FreeBSD.

    FreeBSD or NetBSD.

    Possibly OpenBSD if you can deal with outdated packages.

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