Linked by Adam S on Wed 30th Jan 2002 17:25 UTC
FreeBSD With more and more people migrating away from Microsoft's platforms, it's increasingly important for alternative operating systems to be well documented in order to attract and maintain new users. FreeBSD is already well documented; its on-line handbook is an extremely well detailed guide to the OS as a whole. But for the user new to FreeBSD, or even Unix as a whole, salvation may come in the form of SAMS' FreeBSD Unleashed by Michael Urban and Brian Tiemann.
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extremely well detailed?
by Martin on Wed 30th Jan 2002 20:00 UTC

I wouldn't go that far. Detailed, ok, and it's definately an on-line handbook. Ever tried to write a device driver for FreeBSD? I hope you're good at sorting through header files, and extrapolating from example source code, because that's about all you get. Don't get me wrong, the device driver interface is pretty sweet, once you get to know it, it's just not that well documented.

Re: extremely well detailed?
by Eugenia on Wed 30th Jan 2002 20:13 UTC

You are talking about the online handbook, not about the book we are reviewing. We called the handbook as "extremely well detailed" as compared to the focus of this review: the user. The review is about usability and guidance for the FreeBSD system and what you get from the book or the online handbook, we are not comparing the information that developers need to write drivers and such. ;)

Hey... sounds familiar
by Charlie on Wed 30th Jan 2002 20:33 UTC

I remember being cut down by readers of OS News when I suggested *BSD, especially FreeBSD, as a potential for a decent desktop.

And as I write this I'm making my way to to buy this book.

Da book
by Corey on Wed 30th Jan 2002 20:56 UTC

I bought it about 2 months ago in's a great book. But HEAVY!

Hmm..Might have to give this some thought!
by Nicolas on Thu 31st Jan 2002 00:10 UTC

I tried FreeBSD about 2 years ago, and couldn't get any X apps running. I really don't remember anything else, but I know that most the applications I use require X. I wonder if this is still a problem? Would like to know.. I am very interested in FreeBSD. I am a Linux Users (..and formall BEOS for that matter) but I am very interested in experimenting in different Operating Systems.


I wonder what was your problem. Using FreeBSD since 3.0 and never had the slightest problem with any app, X or not.

Not enough depth
by Hokan on Thu 31st Jan 2002 05:36 UTC

I like the book, it is a nice broad overview of FreeBSD, but I would prefer more depth. In particular networking got short shrift. I want more on NIS, NFS and AMD (FreeBSD's automount utility), as well as centralized monitoring.

Looking forward
by Azogtoth on Thu 31st Jan 2002 08:11 UTC

to reading it!!

Ordered it from just the other day!!! ;)

Newbie to FreeBSD, but making great strides (at least, it feels like it).
Chose FreeBSD instead of Linux (no particular reason, just did so), and am now running 4.3 on an old Pentium box.

I have had great benefit from all the documentation available in the handbook as well as other places on the net. Also more general *nix literature.


one question to *BSD
by Florian Kessler on Thu 31st Jan 2002 08:51 UTC

as a long time debian user i just love my /etc/init.d/service-name start/stop/reload/restart ...
is there any pendant to this in *BSD? How do i restart/reload my services?

thanks, florian

p.s.: i just ordered this book ;-)