Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Jul 2017 14:24 UTC
FreeBSD

FreeBSD 11.1 has been released, and as you can tell by the version number, it's a point release. The release announcement, release notes, and errata are available for your perusal. FreeBSD users already know full well how to upgrade - they're probably already running it - and newcomers can go to the download page to download the proper ISO.

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compared to Linux as workstation?
by project_2501 on Wed 26th Jul 2017 17:14 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

I think it is great, and absolutely essential, that we have diversity in operating systems. I love how the BSDs have a different, "engineered", approach compared to Linux + userland.

Anyway - how does freeBSD / TrueOS compare to Linux based distros in 2017 for a general purpose workstation - multimedia, coding, driving a 4K external display at 60hz over displayport (Thinkpad T450s)?

Luckily there is less reliance on Flash these days, which helps BSD browsers.

How is ZFS for normal user performance .. I thought it was designed for server workloads and the attendant memory etc...

Reply Score: 4

FlyingJester Member since:
2016-05-11

For Multimedia, I can say that the BSDs work just fine. I've been streaming gameplay to Twitch using OpenBSD recently, and it's been more reliable using the same hardware than using Windows or Linux.

Reply Score: 2

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

FreeBSD has Thunderbolt support (not sure about TB2 yet, but I think it does). I'm pretty sure support is complete - being able to hook up PCI devices or drive DP displays should work.

It has the same driver support for Intel graphics, NVidia graphics (Binary blob or open source Nouveau), and supports the open source Radeon drivers.

Hell, even Flash works with Firefox browsers - there's an NPAPI shim available in ports that lets the Linux flash plugin work with native FreeBSD builds of Firefox.

And, ZFS is really good on the desktop. It isn't nearly as RAM heavy as people make it out - if you've got more than a couple gigs of RAM, you won't notice much of a difference in RAM usage - FreeBSD will work with ZFS on 512MB systems, even less, with some tuning. You won't need any tuning for more than a gig.

Laptop support is lacking, though. I'm going to fire this up on my Dell and see if anything's changed, though.

Reply Score: 4

xslogic Member since:
2011-03-09

And, ZFS is really good on the desktop. It isn't nearly as RAM heavy as people make it out - if you've got more than a couple gigs of RAM, you won't notice much of a difference in RAM usage - FreeBSD will work with ZFS on 512MB systems, even less, with some tuning. You won't need any tuning for more than a gig.

I've not used it myself but I read, somewhere, that the deduplication is the big user of memory in ZFS. (Which makes sense)

Reply Score: 1

ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

I switched 5 years ago to FreeBSD after using Linux for 10+ years. In summary, FreeBSD is brilliant, and I can’t see changing to any other OS in the near future. The organization of the OS is much better than the Linux mess. There is a clear separation between base OS and user installed software/libraries. I use proprietary NVidia graphics and performance is just as good as Linux or Windows with the same NVidia drivers. I drive a triple monitor setup. I run the occasional OpenGL software and games, but not much time for the games really. The Ports collection is brilliant as I hate binary packages with terrible dependencies. With Ports I can compile my software with the dependencies I need - and it is all done with two or three commands in a console window. ZFS is my file-system of choice even on my collection of USB sticks. I will not trust my 6TB of data on any other file system. I run four server spec hard drives in ZFS RAID-Z2 and use an SSD as my boot drive. I have upgraded multiple times from FreeBSD 9.0 to the latest - and the upgrades work brilliantly and reliably every time. More than I can say for any Linux distro I’ve tried - and I’ve used Slackware, Red Hat, Suse and Ubuntu. Slackware and Ubuntu were my most used Linux distros.

Bottom line, I highly recommend FreeBSD as a desktop OS. It’s rock solid and a brilliant performer.

Reply Score: 5

charlieg Member since:
2005-07-25

Does Steam run on FreeBSD?

Reply Score: 2

FlyingJester Member since:
2016-05-11

The Windows version might run via Wine.

I have played many games from GOG on FreeBSD via Wine though, the compatibility has been the same as on Linux.

Reply Score: 2

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

It appears so.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=steam-on-freebsd

or, the GitHub link
https://github.com/SteamOnFreeBSD/SteamOnFreeBSD

YMMV, but the Linux emulation has always worked pretty well for me. Some developers even consider failure to run in Linux emulation as a bug in their own software. Epic Games did at one point, at least.

Reply Score: 2

Bringbackanonposting Member since:
2005-11-16

All the best with that. 10 years of Linux and now FreeBSD is great you say. I'd say your example is a rare case. I've been a100% Linux user since 2004 and using FreeBSD is like going back in time to 1997. It's fringe purist territory to me. If you think DEs are all bad and you work in an office you call a bat cave, FreeBSD is for you! ;)

Reply Score: 3

karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

Anyway - how does freeBSD / TrueOS compare to Linux based distros in 2017 for a general purpose workstation - multimedia, coding, driving a 4K external display at 60hz over displayport (Thinkpad T450s)?

The only thing that I miss is Spotify: there is no native client and it can't be used from the web because "protected content" and there's no Widevine Content Decryption Module for FreeBSD -- ain't DRM grand?

Except for that, I should say that it's more than fine for day to day use but, on the other hand, the software that I need to use is available for just about any OS and I could easily switch between any of them -- which I do from time to time, as my data sits on a NAS and it's always available anyway.

Maybe the ISO image of TrueOS/PC-BSD works as live OS too and you can take it for a spin without committing to an actual installation?


RT.

Reply Score: 2

ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Did you try to run it through Wine?

Probably doing something similar to what is described here?

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Spotify

Reply Score: 2

Maybe i should give it a try once more
by cybergorf on Wed 26th Jul 2017 17:19 UTC
cybergorf
Member since:
2008-06-30

Years are flying by...
Once I had FreeBSD running on my laptop - and it was much easier to get some unsupported hardware running, than it would have been under linux.

The documentation and structure of the (Free)BSD kernel is a dream!

But ... on my my next computer Linux was running much faster, than BSD ...

And after Linux ... well If you consider macOS a BSD than I am back already.

Has anyone some experience of FreeBSD on Pi?

Edited 2017-07-26 17:20 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

I started with FreeBSD back with 4.6. I loved it, much more than the Linux distros I was messing with at the time (Red Hat, Slackware, Caldera, and a fourth one I can't remember).

For me, when I last bothered to compare FreeBSD vs Linux, I was doing graphics comparison with the NVidia driver, and FreeBSD was about 60% faster than Linux playing Unreal Tournament 2004 (Yes, even using Linux emulation).

Basically, it was the same speed as Windows+OpenGL at the time. Linux's graphics stack has changed significantly since then. I wish FreeBSD's laptop support was better, 'cause then I'd be using it much more than I do.

Reply Score: 3

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12
jessesmith Member since:
2010-03-11

I have run FreeBSD 11.0 on the Raspberry Pi 2. It's stable, it works. One of my few issues with SD card access is a lot slower on FreeBSD than under Raspbian. In the range of five times slower. USB drive access is comparable though.

Basically FreeBSD is a good OS for the Pi, so long as you don't need to do a lot of SD disk access, like you would with, say, compiling.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 26th Jul 2017 17:56 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Hyper-V Gen. 2 support is pretty cool. I'll probably give it a whirl this weekend, though I tend to prefer VMWare for my hobby needs.

Reply Score: 2

Nice
by rleigh on Thu 27th Jul 2017 14:26 UTC
rleigh
Member since:
2014-11-15

Upgraded two systems from 11.0 to 11.1. No problems seen so far, all smooth sailing.

clang 4.0.0 (from 3.8.0) is a nice improvement, and a lot of other nice improvements as well.

Reply Score: 1