To BSD or not BSD, that is the question??
In other words, I'm a bit curious about FreeBSD. I downloaded and burned the two 6.0 i386 iso disc's. I already have Gentoo 2005.1 installed on my laptop which is what I'm writing this on, I've been using Gentoo for about a year now. I know that Gentoo has adopted some of it's package management functionality from FreeBSD's own "ports" package management system. Ultimately, I would eventually like to be thouroughly experienced with Gentoo, Debian, Slackware, and FreeBSD. So now I will get to the point, as far as learning curves go, is FreeBSD one of those distros that you should really do your homework on before attempting to tackle it or not???
I have two spare desktops and I'm installing Slackware 10.2 on one of them and I was thinking of installing FreeBSD 6.0 on the other...
FreeBSD - homework requirements ...
well, the amount of the homework requirement will depend upon what type of FreeBSD installation that you want.
Since you burned a couple .iso files onto CDR media, you will run the FreeBSD installer, which will be a no-brainer for a basic text mode setup. If the goal is a basic "text mode setup" for a web server, for instance, FreeBSD will practically install itself!
If you want a graphical user environment, then FreeBSD will require a little more homework. You will have to know about xorg configurations, window manager configurations, and so forth. A lot of the graphically oriented setup will be a manual operation. FreeBSD can be made to do almost anything with a little work, but for a "look - no hands ma" type of installation you could try PC-BSD, which is FreeBSD with a more automated GUI environment setup.
Some of the things that are still a pain to do in FreeBSD are mostly GUI and multi-media oriented. For instance, I have a working native mode Real-Networks RealPlayer on my FreeBSD machine, but the setup requirements were pretty close to what I would call ridiculous, as compared to many Linux distros.
I have the Gnome environment, Nautilus, Metacity, AbiWord, Anjuta C++ IDE, Mozilla, Opera, Acrobat and a host of other graphics mode applications installed from the ports, but a few of them required some manual intervention during the port building process.
Everybody has their favorite, and despite some of the shortcomings that might be found in FreeBSD, it is absolutely my favorite operating system.