Linked by Nathan Mace on Thu 31st Jan 2002 18:45 UTC
FreeBSD By now, anyone who is even remotely related to an IT-type position has heard about Linux, and has most likely used it, if only to see what all the hype is about. However, GNU/Linux is not the only "free" Unix type OS available. FreeBSD and its cousins, NetBSD and OpenBSD are all offshoots of BSD UNIX, a commercial UNIX also known as Berkeley Software Distribution. This article will help you learn more about FreeBSD, its differences from Linux, and it will ease a potential migration process.
Order by: Score:
author obviously in love with bsd
by Gregory P. Smith on Thu 31st Jan 2002 20:38 UTC

He didn't mention that FreeBSD ports don't know how to deal with hand installed software (just like rpm and deb/apt-get) that has been installed without using a port. The ports system is very nice, but its not much different than using a linux distribution with a real packaging system (Debian and Gentoo come to mind) rather than something rpm based. If a port/package isn't available for something when you install it and becomes available later, you're in the same boat. i highly recommend using GNU stow to manage such installations.

He also seems to think that what comes in the "default" install matters. Nobody serious about their computer will use a default, especially for a server; the minimal option and adding needed software later is best there. FreeBSD only has one distribution and one default; linux has zillions with zillions of defaults.

FreeBSD is a great OS, but take off those rose colored glasses. Claiming that "they prefer tried and tested code over flashy new features" is wrong. They simply do not have nearly as many interested hackers working on random device drivers and new flashy features as linux does. If you want to run FreeBSD, be sure to treat it like any other niche OS: choose your hardware specifically for the OS. Do that and you'll have a great time! (Mmmm.. soft updates!)

what is going on?
by Mike Microphone on Thu 31st Jan 2002 20:42 UTC

FreeBSD me here and FreeBSD me there.
What's going on really, seems like people are talking FreeBSD propaganda all over the place.
Not that it's bad though, but I can't really see a reason for changing server OS's from Linux. Maybe it's a geographic thing, Europeans might prefer Linux still..

Re. what is going on?
by Jonathan Belson on Thu 31st Jan 2002 20:55 UTC

>What's going on really, seems like people are talking FreeBSD propaganda all over the place.

Are you kidding? It's about 1000th of the Linux propaganda in the media at the moment. As mentioned earlier, this is OSNews's FreeBSD week - if you don't like it, hang on a few more days and it will all be over.

--Jon

Errata
by Passer-By on Thu 31st Jan 2002 21:02 UTC

I think that a couple of things should have been made clear at the top. First of all, it's "UNIX", not "Unix." The Open Group, currently the owners of the name and product, has guidelines to proper usage. The rest of the article would carry more weight if the author hadn't made this gaffe, making himself look more like an outsider than someone whose instructions you would follow. It's also worth noting that there is no more BSD UNIX. The U of C closed down that project nearly a decade ago. Nor is "BSD" synonymous with "UNIX." Berkeley resold AT&T UNIX, with their own value-added extensions and utilities. Many of these utilities are now freely available, and that's what you get in FreeBSD et al. What you specifically don't get is UNIX.

That leads me to the most important point. Why should we change? The article doesn't say. Frankly, I can think of a number of reasons to stay with Linux. While Berkeley's networking stack and utilities were state of the art in the 80s, they're antiquated now, in the 21st century. GNU has taken the torch that Berkeley dropped, as Berkeley did with AT&T. Times have changed, and the epicenter of innovation is far closer to Linux than it is to FreeBSD.

Don't get me wrong, FreeBSD is a fine distribution. If your shop is already running FreeBSD, or if you're a developer charged with replacing some old, creaky VAX with BSD UNIX on it, then FreeBSD is the logical place to start.

I think the author is confused about what an OS is, vs. what utilities, libraries and applications are. When dealing with the UNIX paradigm, this kind of knowledge is essential! Even if the installers are different, the programs that are being installed are the same -- this seems lost on the author. So is the fact that the X Window system is used by both FreeBSD and Linux, but belongs to neither.

In summary, I was disappointed to see so many cheap shots, often based on a poor understanding of Linux and the greater UNIX paradigm. The title should not have been "Migration Guide." It was more personal opinion than anything else. But it does illustrate the prime factor that separates the maintainers of FreeBSD and Linux -- their attitudes. The FreeBSD folks are reactionary, and a little snobbish. Linux has exploded in popularity, in good part because of the openness and approachability of its maintainers. Change is inevitable. Those who embrace change are the ones making a difference.

>He didn't mention that FreeBSD ports don't know how to deal with hand installed software (just like rpm and deb/apt-get) that has been installed without using a port

How would this be possible? If the software you built from source has a make uninstall option then you can use that, otherwise find out where the files were installed and delete them.

A FreeBSd user with any experience would make a port to compile and install the source, then send-pr it.

>Claiming that "they prefer tried and tested code over flashy new features" is wrong

I don't recall FreeBSD ever replacing the VM with a buggy, unreliable one then backing it out a few revisions later. The author didn't mention the way FreeBSd is developed (-current, -stable, -release), but basically new features are integrated into -current first to undergo extensive testing, then backported into -stable when the code is considered well, stable.

It's fair to say that Linux has more developers than FreeBSD but that's largely due to the amount of media hype around Linux - people are hardly going to start developing for an OS they've never heard of 8^P . FreeBSD certainly has been expanding its userbase though (check out the mailing list archives, they've increaed in size significantly every year)

--Jon

Errata
by Ivan V on Thu 31st Jan 2002 21:40 UTC

>The FreeBSD folks are reactionary, and a little snobbish. Linux has exploded in >popularity, in good part because of the openness and approachability of its >maintainers.

This could be said only by a person that has never had any contact with the developers of *BSD. And about the nifty, shiny _useless_ features, just an example: when did NetBSD got USB2 support? and when did linux?

Urg !
by Steve on Thu 31st Jan 2002 21:43 UTC

> The FreeBSD folks are reactionary, and a little snobbish. Linux
> has exploded in popularity, in good part because of the openness and
> approachability of its maintainers.

Urg ! Everything is from a point-of-view. I found this quote funny, because I'm neither from freeBSD nor Linux worlds, but I personnaly found Linux folks reactionary, a little snobbish, and with not so openness.

- Steve

uhmm...
by Geoff Ludwiczak on Thu 31st Jan 2002 21:44 UTC

Another difference between Linux and FreeBSD, is that with FreeBSD, 99% of what you install via ports or packages defaults into /usr/local, where as in Linux most of it goes into /usr, and sometimes /opt. This is for the most part a minor difference, however it is nice to know that whatever you have installed is in /usr/local and not spread all over the filesystem.

Obviously, this guy has never heard of the FHS. Debian installs everything to /usr. In fact, when you do an install of Debian, you'll find nothing is in /usr/local, because it is strictly for the user's use. It makes things easier to manage in this way, because you know exactly what you compiled by hand (most programs install themselves in /usr/local, if you compiled and install them). I can't say the same about other distributions (I don't use other distributions), Slackware installs things in almost random places, it's a fscking nightmare, thank god for standards.

Errata, you say
by Anonymous on Thu 31st Jan 2002 21:57 UTC

I usually write UNIX myself, but as you say, that's the Open Group's trademark and doesn't in that sense apply to FreeBSD. The same term in common usage definitely applies to the *BSDs, and "Unix" conveniently distinguishes the two. It's debatable, but it's a damn silly argument and his usage is hardly a "gaffe". Your other complaints are presented with so little substance that it's hard to comment on them. The article barely mentions X11 and never suggests that it's part of Linux, or FreeBSD - looks like you invented that.

The rest of it seems to boil down to the assertion that GNU and Linux are about change, and FreeBSD isn't ("take the torch", "epicenter of change", "embrace change", blah blah.) Talk about cheap shots and poor understanding.

Re: Errata
by Eugenia on Thu 31st Jan 2002 22:01 UTC

>The FreeBSD folks are reactionary, and a little snobbish. Linux has exploded in >popularity, in good part because of the openness and approachability of its >maintainers.

While I am not part of any of the two communities, I had my share as a user on both systems trying to find support, and also as a "journalist". The FreeBSD people have no match on being helpful & most importantly: open minded. If I start talking about Windows-something (and even when relevant to the topic) in a Linux chat or forum, chances are that I will be kicked or shouted about. FreeBSD people seemed to me far more receptive, open minded and clueful. Linux has the hype and attracts many trollish kids, while FreeBSD has interesting and intelligent people in it. Not that Linux does not have many intelligent people (it does!), but the jerks and trolls are so many, that outnumber the good population in the Linux world. And that's sad.

Re: Errata
by Anonymous on Thu 31st Jan 2002 22:04 UTC

> While Berkeley's networking stack and utilities were state of the art in the
> 80s, they're antiquated now, in the 21st century.

Your last copy of BSD must BE from the 80's to make such a comment.

> Don't get me wrong, FreeBSD is a fine distribution. If your shop is already
> running FreeBSD, or if you're a developer charged with replacing some old,
> creaky VAX with BSD UNIX on it, then FreeBSD is the logical place to start.

Or if you want to remove that buggy Linux off your x86 box. See I can make snide remarks as well as you.

I started out with Linux using the SLS distribution (v0.99.14). I used it all the way until 2.2.12. With FreeBSD v3.2, I switched and have been quite happy with my decision.

I am the author.....please read
by Nathan on Thu 31st Jan 2002 22:40 UTC

i'd like to take some time to clear a few things up that people have mentioned in the above comments.......

1)someone made the comment that said i was to concerned about what was in the default install. the poster was right in that the default install DOESN'T matter in some ways. he's right in saying that alot of stuff is changed after the install to suit your needs. however, I was making a point about the default install in terms of what gets installed if you use the default selections. for example, the major linux distro's tend to want to install quite a bit of software by default. by default Freebsd installed the base freebsd OS. during the install routine you can tell it to install more than that, but the default is different than the default on linux

2)someone else commented that I said unix and not UNIX. yes, I know there is a difference, and that poster was right to point it out. my bad. i'll see that it doesn't get repeated

3) to say that the BSD networking code is antiquated is wrong. just because it has been in existance longer than linux doesn't mean it's not updated just as fast or faster than linux's networking code.

4) i'm not sure where people are getting the "/usr/local" arguments from? people are commenting that /usr/local/ is stricly for the user's use. well what do you thing installing 3rd party apps are? maybe i didn't make it clear i what i meant? when Freebsd is first installed, /usr/local is empty...a poster said the same of debian. /usr/local is filled up when i compile something from the ports tree or install a package or compile from source. and i do know the difference between apps and the OS itself. do you? where is it that i seem to have confused the two?

5)someone also pointed out that i did not give any real reason for switching from linux to BSD. are there any points specifically that you would like to have expanded? i explained the differences between the ports tree & RPM. i explained that Freebsd is not several different distro's like linux, and i explained that Freebsd is geared more towards the server room where as linux is trying for the desktop.

finally, although it might seem like my opinion, i based the article on my experiences from switching from a linux based desktop to a freebsd based desktop. i tried to remain impartial, however i think a *little* opinion makes for a better article than no opnion at all.

also, it's not a migration article, it's more of a comparision. finally, i'm glad that people actually took the time to read it. i enjoyed writing it.

Nathan

nice but...
by ealm on Fri 1st Feb 2002 00:00 UTC

An overall nice article!


But this quote I find simply silly since the FBSD community really has been stressing the need of a FBSD compatible nvidia driver...

Perhaps the next biggest difference between Linux and FreeBSD is the philosophy behind how the OS's are designed. Linux tends to have newer features and drivers(such as the closed source nVidia graphics card drivers) well before FreeBSD. The FreeBSD developers have taken a much more conservative approach to things.

They might be more conservative in their approach than the Linux community, but this example is just horrible.

rpm error
by DataZone on Fri 1st Feb 2002 00:17 UTC

"RPM doesn't recognize programs that are compiled from source."

Actualy, since RPM 4.0, you can make your rpm package check for libs it requires.

I personnaly avoid anything Linux ...
by Steve on Fri 1st Feb 2002 00:18 UTC

> Linux has the hype and attracts many trollish kids, while
> FreeBSD has interesting and intelligent people in it. Not
> that Linux does not have may intelligent people (it does!),
> but the jerks and trolls are so many, that outnumber the
> good population in the Linux world. And that's sad.

Exactly my opinion. I avoid like hell anything Linux, since a big amount of the Linux community are just a bunch jerks totally close minded (note that I didn't generalize: I know a *lot* of great people amongst Linux ranks). So if I really want a good time in a community, I'm currently having a real good time in the BeOS one (now the OpenBeOS). And I'll surely try to know more about FreeBSD, because I never, from these people, get flamed just because I wrote something like "I appreciate Windows for some aspects..."


All users are jerks
by Anonymous on Fri 1st Feb 2002 01:26 UTC

There are *BSD jerks, BeOS jerks, Linux jerks, Windows jerks and every flavour of jerk. Always people are saying "All the people in MY camp are friendly, and most of the people in the OTHER camp are just trolls and jerks. They suck"

No-one can claim for the FreeBSD, NetBSD or OpenBSD camp that they are free of jerks because each group has seen one of its leaders being a JERK in archived public forums (but Theo wins as king among BSD jerks). No-one would even bother claiming that Linus Torvalds isn't a jerk. Bill Gates is obviously a jerk, and outside the Church of Apple I'm pretty sure everyone knows Steve Jobs is a jerk.

In fact it's hard to think of key figures from OS history, especially in the free operating systems, without thinking of jerks. The Unix haters handbook is a splendid example of what jerks we all are. We have nothing better to do than complain about everyone else's contribution.

So this sort of discussion might as well just be written as "I like FooOS and so I put up with the other jerks who like FooOS". Good for you.

The #1 way to annoy people is to assume that they're jerks. Set the right expectation and you'll get a punch in the face right on cue.

peacuful life for al OS users
by Anonymous on Fri 1st Feb 2002 01:52 UTC

everyone should shut up about their OS and go watch TV
I'm tired of all these os#1 is better than os#2 trolls!

FBSD not a fun install
by Anonymous on Fri 1st Feb 2002 02:30 UTC

Ever try to install FBSD from a network with an old laptop? By god i just about went crazy trying to do it. Maybe its that i had only Linux experience and wasnt aware of how to properly add modules and such. But doing the same task with Debian took minutes. The support i got from #freebsd on OPN was far from good, i got mocked mostly for my lack of knowledge of the BSD system. But, i wont put that experience against what i think of FBSD, its known as one of the most stable OSes out there, and i think thats an important factor for ANY type of OS, not just servers.

And for that whole /usr/local thing: Debian GNU/Linux starts with a clean /usr/local/ directory, as does FBSD (so i've read). The difference is that when you use apt, you down the binaries which go in /usr/. But then whenever you compile stuff yourself, it goes in /usr/local/. Because in FBSD you are always compiling stuff yourself via ports, it goes in /usr/local/.

BSD flavour OS, Linux and Window$
by Emey on Fri 1st Feb 2002 03:07 UTC

Actually I am a Window$ convert. My fisrt time using linux cause me to think that this OS (that time RedHat 5.x) are useless since it is not as user friendly as Window$. However, when the RedHat 6.0 came out I've tried again and manage to install everything in working order with flasy graphical system.

Once again I face the same situation when trying to install FreeBSD which until now I fail to have a nice graphical desktop base on FreeBSD, although now am using a Linux desktop made from scratch.

In my opinion maybe FreeBSD (or other BSD) is good but it is not user friendly. Linux distribution managed to make Linux more user friendly compared to xBSD. I think this is the reason many more are interested on linux. However as we all can see, still no other OS that can compete with Window$ in term of the number of users. Why? All are related to user friendliness. I've seen a case where a buyer get a computer which was preinstalled with Linux distribution that cause her a headache since she cannot use the computer for office works. Can FreeBSD resolve the problem like this? If it cans I am confident, many new user migrate to it compared to Linux.

Maybe those of you that very good in programming will say I am totally jerk, this is the real situation. Doesn't matter what your propaganda say about window$ such as it is unstable, buggy, full of security hole or what else, the main income for Microsoft is not from the server platform, it is the desktop platform that most of it contain data that not very critical.

Currently I like GNU/Linux since it is the second user friendly OS which support high variety of hardware. (Mac is good but only works on Apple hardware). Anyone that love xBSD should take not that you must first help the developer to make it more user friendly before expecting a major migration from other OS.

SAYING THE OTHER CAMP IS BAD DOESN'T MAKE YOU THE BEST UNTIL YOU PROVE YOU ARE ONE.

by WorknMan on Fri 1st Feb 2002 03:24 UTC

Why choose FreeBSD instead of Linux?
For me, I think FreeBSD may be a little easier to manage because there is only one FreeBSD, whereas there are who knows how many Linux distros.
The documentation you find on Linux (often times outdated) does not always work from one distro to the next because they all do things slightly differently. Some put scripts/files/dirs in different places and many have different configuration utilities and COMPLETELY different package managers.
I don't see that as being as much of a problem with FreeBSD, but I'm not sure, so I welcome any comments.
Another reason I have been considering FreeBSD is because I heard it makes a great web/database/mail server and that's about all the interest I have in *Nix anyway.

Software=Distro?
by Ruper Miles on Fri 1st Feb 2002 04:04 UTC

I think most people confuse the pure software with a distribution. Saying "Linux" is more user-friendly than "FreeBSD" (or vice-versa) is, if you look closely, a little ridiculous. "Linux" or "FreeBSD" are only as userfriendly as people, who package individually developed programms into a distribution, put thought into how to do it. Couldn't you say that FreeBSD is only so consistent because there is only one distribution of it? As somebody who hasn't worked with BSD I wonder: how much different (or alike) are FreeBSD, NetBSd and OpenBSD. How related *are* they?

Debian was mentioned and the author seemed quite pleased with it and even seemed to recognise many similarities he liked. So there is a distribution in Linux-land that is regarded more or less "equal" to FreeBSD, so why not disregard the other Distros? After all: though there exist also NetBSD and OpenBSD they were hardly mentioned (or even discussed in their difference), so if you disregard other BSDs, why not disregard the other Linuxes? If you just use a distribution that is put together with stability and up-to-date documentation in mind, why should you bother with the stuff developers do? With FreeBSd (as I read) you too only get what somebody deliberately puts on a server that is meant to be served as "distro-fodder".

I have an opinion too!
by Bob the Monkey on Fri 1st Feb 2002 04:15 UTC

Linux > FreeBSD > Macos X > Windows.

Whoopie. I have an opinion.

The article is titled "Migrating from Linux to FreeBSD", it should be titled "I like FreeBSD more than Linux, so there."

It lacks any technical discussion of the differences in the kernels.
When you're comparing FreeBSD to "Linux", the kernel is the only thing you can compare.

You know why that is? Because Linux is a kernel.
Maybe you should have titled your article "I like FreeBSD better than Redhat."

You may even title your article "I like FreeBSD because the ports system is better than RPM! And FreeBSD lacks drivers for new things, so it must be more stable/better/etc."

You present no real reasons to switch to FreeBSD.

Wanking on about the differences in distributions making it hard to maintain a network of Linux PCs/Servers/Etc is pretty stupid. You know, if you have Redhat installed on every system, it's no more difficult to maintain than FreeBSD.

Who the hell installs SuSE RPMs on a Redhat box and expects it to work?!

Oh, and I thought the point of the article was to discuss the merits of FreeBSD as a desktop OS. What about X? Desktop environments? Anything else? How is it any different to a Linux distribution?

I have used both.
I maintain 40 Linux servers 30 Linux workstations and 3 Beowulf clusters.
I've tried FreeBSD.

Looking at it from a server point of view:
It's the same as a good Linux installation.
It feels awkward to me. But someone else may say the same thing about Linux, WHO CARES. It's up to the individual.

Looking at it from a desktop point of view:
It's worse because it doesn't have the drivers that Linux has.
It doesn't have the desktop user community that Linux has.

Talking about default installations as a major reason to use FreeBSD is beyond stupid.

Looking at it from a server point of view:
Who the fuck clicks 'I want a server install' and doesn't specify individual packages?

Looking at it from a desktop point of view:
Who cares wether XMMS is installed right now, or if you have to cd /usr/ports/x11/xmms ; make ; make install. Whoopie.

or even easier.
rpm -ivh /mnt/cdrom/Redhat/RPMS/xmms-*

Irk, default installs.

Lets look at it from a new user desktop OS point of view.
Ok, so maybe Aunt Telie is installing FreeBSD.
The installation process is already not suited for her.
But she gets daughter, who has a CS degree to install it with the default installation.

But what's a default FreeBSD installation anyway?
WHICH default?
Base, System, X?

Anyway.
So it's installed.
She has a nice KDE desktop running.
Suddenly, she wants to play some MP3s, so she wants to install XMMS.
Uhhh ... yeah ok.

Under redhat:
It's either already installed, or,
She pops in the Redhat CD.
GNORPM launches.
Multimedia/Audio
XMMS
Install.

Whoopie do.

Now lets look at it from the server point of view again:

Both systems will achive enormous uptimes.
Both systems have great network stacks, with very good performance.
Both systems are much more reliable than a Windows server installation.
Both systems, when administered by a competent systems admin, will function flawlessly.

Linux 2.2 kernels are extremely stable.
Linux 2.4 kernels are still stabilising, but that doesn't mean that you can't have a reliable system with one.
I have a 2.4 system with a 200 day uptime.
It hasn't missed a beat.
I'm sure a FreeBSD kernel wouldn't either.

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference.
To me, FreeBSD feels awkward, while a Linux system has a nice feel. I don't really know how to describe that, but there's something there.

Anyway, the best way to figure out if it's worth "switching" to FreeBSD, is to try it.

You can even have FreeBSD and Linux living side by side. It's not hard.

If you shuffle the paragraphs around a bit, this post may make more sense. :-)

scalability
by none on Fri 1st Feb 2002 05:05 UTC



i believe the writer of this little article conveniently forgot to mention how well freebsd scales with smp. as i understand it, work is going into it for -current, but a 5.0-release is still quite a while away. in -stable, there is no support for kernel level threading. so anyways, -current is _definately_ not suitable for production level servers. <sarcasm>this writer has definately convinced me that i will be running oracle on freebsd instead of linux because this writer thinks freebsd is _cool_ and _conservative_ and all around better than linux</sarcasm>

Nothing is user friendly
by arougthopher on Fri 1st Feb 2002 05:23 UTC

First, no, I just skipped you comment. Just a tiny-bit too long for my taste.

Second, someone else a couple hundred lines up stated that Windows is more user friendly than "fill in blank here". I would agree, that when you first install Windows, it is this way. But I get calls weekly from friends who have problems with the windows box. Usually due to bad software. Which is my point. Nothing will ever be completely user friendly. I have 7 OSs installed over 4 boxes, just because, and I'll admit it, I'm a geek. We're all geeks, otherwise we wouldn't be reading this comments area. But, as long as people write lousy applications, the user experience is going to be bad, and this happens on every os. There are many other reasons that *each" os is user/not-user friendly, but not ONE is completely user-friendly.

oh another thing
by none on Fri 1st Feb 2002 05:42 UTC

My rantings for BSD.........since BSD is all about careful innovation and conservatism as you would likely say, I'd like to mention soft updates and ports in BSD. Consider when you have a filesystem that's almost full or already full, and you don't even know it... this will catch you sometime.. not to mention how slow soft updates is on IDE drives.. the whole ports/pkgs thing in FreeBSD is sort of ridiculous, if you like spending your day compiling _ALL_ your software and its dependencies, then you may like ports, but from my experience, it has been hell. The dependencies don't always work out well, and given any port, it's not guaranteed there is a pre-compiled package that can be used as well. I usually prefer installing pre-compiled binaries because it's faster and usually, there is no difference in speed if you compile with w/ or w/o optimizations instead

by Jonathan Parker on Fri 1st Feb 2002 05:50 UTC

Yeah, I have had similar experiences with ports too. It makes it so difficult sometimes because you can install a port, and it doesn't often work right away, plus you have to fix problems that the maintainer never thought about. At least in Debian, they have a strict policy that results in properly working packages.

I hate Linux community for 10% of them ...
by Steve on Fri 1st Feb 2002 06:11 UTC

> There are *BSD jerks, BeOS jerks, Linux jerks, Windows
> jerks and every flavour of jerk. Always people are saying
> "All the people in MY camp are friendly, and most of the
> people in the OTHER camp are just trolls and jerks.
> They suck"

Errr ... I'm NOT in the BSD camp. I'm NOT in the Linux camp. I just need to go around in geeks place, and I always found *TONS* of Linux jerks. Period. I never said that Linux is not a good OS, or bad, or wathever, because *** I DON'T CARE ***. The only thing I care is that I'm *** TIRED *** of all those stupid acnee teens that use the Linux Hype as their cause for rebellion and frustration.

That's why I *** HATE *** the Linux community, because of the loud 10% of them. I have no problem with 90% others ...


FreeBSD Rocks!! With that said, I would like to know about the author's statement,

"The ports tree also handles any dependencies that Apache needs to run. It doesn't matter if I've installed something via the ports tree, compiled it manually, on installed it via a binary package. The ports tree can find it as long as it is in your $PATH, and act accordingly"

I have been using FreeBSD since 2.2.2 and this has never happened to me. In fact to use the author's example of QT, FreeBSD does not care if you have the latest QT in /usr/local/qt, because for 2.x KDE it is looking for moc2(the package QT2).I am afraid of the impending KDE 3 due to the possibility of a moc, moc2, and now possibly a moc3. Wes if you are reading this, please drop the support for KDE1.4X.

by Anonymous on Fri 1st Feb 2002 10:54 UTC

*BSD is dying

Well written,
by Purp on Fri 1st Feb 2002 12:16 UTC

Great article. Everything was very well said and extremely true.

I been using FreeBSD for a few years, and I feel that FreeBSD deserves more attention then the crappy linux "kernel" and the GPL of evil.
If u really understand open source you cant argue against the fact that GPL is wrong/evil creation.
FreeBSD is the only real PRACTICAL open source OS, thats whats wrong with Linux, it claims to be all "Free" but its not, There have been stories of companies going as far as having no GPL software .. it claims to be "flexible" but its not, nobody touches the source theres no standard way to upgrade running servers over NFS and have down times of a single reboot in other words its trying to keep u from going to far with it, infact its very similar to Microsoft, it keeps you under its control. You dont control it because its evolved around selfish GPL.

by san on Fri 1st Feb 2002 14:48 UTC

> *BSD is dying


Nice try...

by Anonymous on Fri 1st Feb 2002 15:08 UTC

"The support i got from #freebsd on OPN was far from good, i got mocked mostly for my lack of knowledge of the BSD system."

I'm sorry, but had you bothered reading the FAQ http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/faq/support.html#I...
you would have known that "#FreeBSDhelp on EFNet is a channel dedicated to helping FreeBSD users. They are much more sympathetic to questions then #FreeBSD is."

Next time you decide to try FreeBSD, please read the first few chapters of http://www.freebsd.org/handbook/index.html before you begin.
Good luck with your next FreeBSD-install ;)

Everyone is forgetting stability.
by SuperDuG on Fri 1st Feb 2002 15:41 UTC

I really can't believe that everyone is forgetting to mention how rock-stable yahoo is. Hell it ran hotmail forever and a day before MS came along and forced hotmail to run on windows (side note: anyone else know they had to throw three times as many computers at it because of that?), yahoo uses it, heck ... go to http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/today/top.avg.html" http://uptime.... anyone else notice that FreeBSD is holding it's own with the commercial big boys? Ahh yes ... also make note that Linux sorta missed the boat there ...
<P>
Here's where I will get the most flack I know. I like um both ... FreeBSD is stable and Linux is fun ... they've both taught me so much. FreeBSD, Slackware, and Debian are all my choices for a server OS for one reason. They all follow the same model, Get the computer up and running minimally after install. Then make it easy to grab everything the user will need. And boom, you have have security because you know exactly what's been installed. You have stability because we all know that you set debian to STABLE for a server ... right?
<P>
Hey ... no matter what ... they're all command line to me :-)
<P>
SuperDuG

linuxens and bsdians
by granpa junior on Fri 1st Feb 2002 18:09 UTC

many linus torvalds' worshippers would yell, "man, i hate all about windoze,the gui,the logo,the icon,bla,bla,bla...". and then most of freebsd's ass kisser would definitely preach this one,"hmmm, u know what, freebsd is the nearest-unix-like os we ever seen, and we like to keep it that way...". well pal, being a micro$oft hater or unix purist doesn't do any good. linux and freebsd are stable and powerful, but how the hell can we make them powerful, if the user interface are so goddamn complicated ? recompile the kernel just to make sound cards functional, have to edit many .conf files in /etc just to mount cdroms and another hdds,installing apps with those messy rpms and ports, blablabla. windoze controls the world, that's because of its easy damn user interface. even a stupid ass like me can install windows 98 and its apps as easy as having a pee. so linuxen and bsdians, why don't ya just share each other's knowledge,'steal' some micro$oft's gui, and share your powerful and stable os to many more users like me ?

linuxens and bsdians don't care
by boris on Fri 1st Feb 2002 19:49 UTC

>why don't ya just share each other's knowledge,'steal' some micro$oft's gui, and >share your powerful and stable os to many more users like me ?

that's simply becouse they don't care...

Calm down, guys...
by fifteen on Fri 1st Feb 2002 19:53 UTC

I've been using linux for more than 3 years before changing to FreeBSD, so I can say I know both. I really like both, but for different reasons. I have some web/dns/mail servers, and had some nasty experiences with the current linux distributions, so I've changed them to FreeBSD. For this task, it's way better for me, than struggling with 'gnu<->linux kernel<->distributions' wars, while I only need some stable, secure, and low maintainance time machines. But on the other hand on FreeBSD I cannot always have the level of multimedia support I could have under linux. And it's just one example. I advice linux for desktop use for my friends, use windows for playing, and freebsd for everyday work. All system has its place. The only question is will it do the job for You? I won't try playing Max Payne on my BSD, for it's not built for this purpose, neither will running anything serious on M$ stuff, but the only 100% sure way to choose the best one You need is trying them. And please, even after You've tried them, but was not satisfied with some feature or support in it, don't flame it. They're just different, like us ;) . G'nite ;) .

fif

FreeBSD's speed and stability are great
by Mosl Roland on Fri 1st Feb 2002 22:46 UTC

I used to use Linux, but I got tired of the bugs, instabilities, and upgrade headaches. I gave FreeBSD 4.3 a try and haven't felt the urge to go back since. The FreeBSD development process is far safer than that of Linux, since changes are tested in a -CURRENT tree and backported to -STABLE, after which -STABLE goes through several prereleases before and actual release is provided. No sudden rewrites of the VM system in a new release, etc. I can't imagine going back to Linux for actual work, although the hardware support is nice for dealing with digital cameras, downloaded porn and music, etc.

Contrary to at least one of the previous comments, the ports system really does know how to detect required software that has already been manually installed, since it looks only for the presence of the required files and not a package or port.

FreeBSD's speed and stability are great
by Mosl Roland on Fri 1st Feb 2002 22:47 UTC

I used to use Linux, but I got tired of the bugs, instabilities, and upgrade headaches. I gave FreeBSD 4.3 a try and haven't felt the urge to go back since. The FreeBSD development process is far safer than that of Linux, since changes are tested in a -CURRENT tree and backported to -STABLE, after which -STABLE goes through several prereleases before and actual release is provided. No sudden rewrites of the VM system in a new release, etc. I can't imagine going back to Linux for actual work, although the hardware support is nice for dealing with digital cameras, downloaded porn and music, etc.

Contrary to at least one of the previous comments, the ports system really does know how to detect required software that has already been manually installed, since it looks only for the presence of the required files and not a package or port.

Having fun with free UNIX systems
by Miklos nemeth on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 07:20 UTC

I enjoyed the article and the comments as well.
I installed WindowsME, FreeBSD 4.4 and RedHat 7.1 on single a DELL Latitude C600 notebook (trial boot using LILO as boot manager).
To my big surprise the easiest was the RedHat, it recognized all hardware elements (except the built-in winmodem). Second was FreeBSD, because I had to download and install XFree86 4.x to support the video card. Both free unices immeditely worked with my wireless PCMCIA card, and all my other PCMCIA gadgets.
WindowsME was a bit disappointing. I had to dowload the drivers from DELL's site for the video, network adapter, winmodem. I had to install drivers for the wireless card. So much for the user-friendliness of Windows.
The only negative of the free unices was that they do not support winmodem and I had to buy a real PCMCIA modem card.
I think very user-friendly bash should be the default shell on FreeBSD as well.
You should install Midnight Commander, too.
Miklos

BSD != UNIX ?
by Roger Kaputtnik on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 11:38 UTC

think that a couple of things should have been made clear at the top. First of all, it's "UNIX", not "Unix." The Open Group, currently the owners of the name Hi

> Nor is "BSD" synonymous with "UNIX." Berkeley resold AT&T UNIX, with their own > value-added extensions and utilities. Many of these utilities are
> now freely available, and that's what you get in FreeBSD et al. What you > specifically don't get is UNIX.

Wuahhh. You dont know the history of UNIX.
In Berkeley they implemented TCP/IP years before System V (AT&T). SystemV took the TCP/IP Code from BSD. And, there is a lot more code who was first in BSD.
So, a lot of stuff you are using in a regular UNIX, is the Code of BSD.
So i would say BSD == UNIX.

Axel


OS of choice
by Peter on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 13:05 UTC

It is really sad that people are "bashing" each other just because of the OS they use. I believe that everybody should use what he likes at the most because that is what it is all about: choices. Everybody makes his choice for one reason or the other and for the most it is a personal choice. I personal(!) like Red Hat on my desktop but that doesn't mean that everybody should use it or that it is the best. It is just the most easy way for me personaly(!) and I'm just too lazy to learn about Debian, SuSe or Slackware. It is like using MS over so many years, you get used to all the bad things. I just started using OpenBSD and i kind of like it. Would i put it on my desktop? No, i guess not....would i put it on my server or firewall? Yes, i would. But this is only my personal(!)choice/opinion.
What i really would like to say is: be happy about all the choices. Use what you like and comfortable with. That is what it is all about.
Peter

He didn't mention that FreeBSD ports don't know how to deal with hand installed software (just like rpm and deb/apt-get) that has been installed without using a port.

Incorrect - The ports system is only designed to provide a secure/stable resource to 3rd party software applications and is in no way intended to be intrusive on applications installed out side of the ports tree; Take for example, If you want to build the p5-Expect perl module and have an existing or nonexistent perl installation the ports tree will be aware of that and only install the appropriate software; On the flip side of that you as the systems administrator have the option to build a ports version of the Expect module over the existing information; Say if you horribly fubar the first attempt with out ports.

The ports system is very nice

Agreed

but its not much different than using a linux distribution with a real packaging system (Debian and Gentoo come to mind) rather than something rpm based.

This is not exactly true, For starters the FreeBSD "package" system which is designed to install pre-compiled binary data is the closest thing to a _REAL_ package system as provided by AIX, HPUX, Solaris and IRIX

If a port/package isn't available for something when you install it and becomes available later, you're in the same boat. i highly recommend using GNU stow to manage such installations.

Great so you like stow what's your point; This is the job of the systems administrator not someone's laze-ware; Multiple factors can contribute to a "Port" not being available which include:
<ul>
<li>Not updating your ports tree</li>
<li>Insecure software - very common</li>
<li>Not having internet access</li>
<li>The port it self not being avalible</li>
</ul>

And with any of these if you or your users require the software you attempted to install via the ports system; And that install for what ever reason fails; It is the duty of the systems administrator to resolve this issue, If you disagree with this maybe you should be using Windows XP which will solve these issues for you.

He also seems to think that what comes in the "default" install matters. Nobody serious about their computer will use a default, especially for a server;

I do and have for both my computer and my servers; Unlike a linux distribution you know what you're going to get and you know that the software with in the default installation has be audited for security and performance problems.

the minimal option and adding needed software later is best there.

Once again the "best" option is the one which best suits your needs,

FreeBSD only has one distribution and one default; linux has zillions with zillions of defaults.

"FreeBSD" is an Operating system, You haven't really looked have you; the "BSD" system has many different distributions each with a "unique" goal; Rather than simply repackaging the same software over and over again.


FreeBSD is a great OS, but take off those rose colored glasses. Claiming that "they prefer tried and tested code over flashy new features" is wrong. They simply do not have nearly as many interested hackers working on random device drivers and new flashy features as linux does.

That's why we can count on kernel features added and removed from the FreeBSD system to be added 6 to 9 months down the line in Linux; As for tried and true: what's wrong with this?

If you want to run FreeBSD, be sure to treat it like any other niche OS

Yes; a niche OS which has been around since 1992, drives Apple OSX; and is what is generally used when security stability and performance are required;

choose your hardware specifically for the OS. Do that and you'll have a great time! (Mmmm.. soft updates!)

Agreed; Broken & Ultra-cheap communist made hardware won't run on FreeBSD ;-)

Remember folks

Linux Is Not Unix

Cheers.


FreeBSD or Linux ?
by Luan on Sun 3rd Feb 2002 05:53 UTC

I personally use Debian GNU/Linux for now over 5 years. So remember, if i talk about Linux I mean Debian GNU/linux.

I installed FreeBSD two weeks ago. I must say that i am really amazed. The famous VM is really true ! The whole system feels somehow smarter...:-)

Ports are superb, but not the nonplusultra. I really like the way how many things compile so smooth, but there are also ports that do not compile out of the box without fixing by hand (which everyone could manage, if he/she really wants to use a non-MS shit).
Debianīs APT and dpkg is by far more advanced than pkg_tools and the prots tree. Thatīs my personal opinion.

However, i am sure that my next two servers for my clients will be installed with FreeBSD. For server it is perfect (amazing performance !).

For my Desktop maybe...canīt say it in two weeks. At the moment i am using FreeBSD on my Desktop and i am still evaluating.

greetings from Germany,

luan@windows-sucks.com

devil ...
by Wagner Bonfim on Mon 4th Feb 2002 12:44 UTC

The FreeBSD is very good NOS, mainly for servers, maybe, better than Linux, in this area.
But I donīt like of litle devil, the "Chuck" ...

Well, it is a very misleading article.
by Mike Hoskins on Tue 5th Feb 2002 21:17 UTC

This is part rant and part plea. Something both Linux and FreeBSD camps need is credibility and truth. They both get mired by the Machine in Redmond, who lies and lies and lies. They are both superior operating systems; they both kick Microsoft all over the place and have similar merits.

First, I definitely agree that FreeBSD beats Linux in several areas. However, since the converse is true, we must be fair in our assessment of both.

In your article at http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=571 you said, "It [FreeBSD] currently has support for IP version 6 addresses (the internet currently uses IP v4), multi-processor capabilities, reliable TCP networking, true multi-tasking, and has binary support for Linux, SCO Unix, and BSD/OS, and NetBSD, which means that if a specific application hasn't been natively ported to FreeBSD, it can still run it as if you were running a different OS!"

While that's all true, it's also true of Linux. So what, you ask? Well, the opening line (usually where you put the topic sentence which defines the rest of the paragraph) says this, "On the other hand, in some ways FreeBSD is more mature than Linux, due in part to the fact that it is based on BSD, which has been in existence since the mid-80's."

If a newbie came along, they'd think that the top paragraph was proof that FreeBSD is more mature than Linux, when, in fact, Linux had most of those capabilities before FreeBSD, precisely for the reason you stated: "It also has something to do with the maintainers [of FreeBSD] sacrificing the latest and greatest features for wonderful stability and robustness."

While it is true that FreeBSD is more mature and less buggy than Linux, Linux has more leading-edge (even bleeding-edge) features than FreeBSD, as you point out. The whole paragraph, though, makes a newbie think Linux is far behind and is still far less stable. In fact, Linux has its advantages, and FreeBSD has its advantages.

I really don't think you intended to mislead people, as my subject indicates. I know you have to condense content for the editors, yada, yada. I just wanted to point out the apparent contradiction and misinformation I think (I hope) you accidentally put in that paragraph.

In your next paragraph, though, you oddly say this: "Keep in mind however that while Linux is aiming for the corporate desktop, FreeBSD is designed to be a server OS." This isn't true of Linux. Linux aims to please in multiple areas, but there is no way it is aiming for the corporate desktop, or else it would be dead, buried, gone. This simply isn't true at all. It also sounds like you don't think Linux is stable -- it is very stable. However, I'd agree that it isn't as stable as FreeBSD; and this paragraph is a bad charicature (or outright exaggeration/flamebait/whatever). You also contradict yourself both in the next and previous paragraphs, when you say it'll basically run all the same stuff as Linux -- the same stuff that is bleeding-edge and crashes servers!!!

FreeBSD is claimed to be working on 32-processor support in 4.5. Linux is claiming 64 - 256 processor support (and higher) in 2.4 and especially 2.5. Just look at IBM's and HP's massive scaling projects, especially surrounding NUMA, which is far better than SMP. Also, look at the tremendous number of processor support in clustering projects such as Beowulf and MOSIX (also available for BSD's). If we use those numbers, then we unfairly conclude that Linux is more scalable than FreeBSD. However, that's bad, too -- just on the other side of the fence. Both OS'es have similar capabilities, in this case.

For file system journaling, we have Reiser-FS, ext3 (also does logging), JFS, and XFS. We also have logged filesystems -- JFFS, DTFS, and others. We also have something unique in a new one called Tux (not the same thing as the kernel-based web server by the same name). This, of course, is only the tip of the iceberg, for Linux advanced filesystem support -- the largest anywhere. Does FreeBSD have all of these, and more? Nope. How mature are they? At least the journaled stuff in Linux is considered to be of excellent production-ready quality and maturity.

Is FreeBSD faster and more stable than Linux? Yes, probably it is quite so, but it depends on setup of either. Does Linux have more features and software, including or excluding emulation? Yes, definitely so. Do both scale up almost equally well? Probably, but it depends on definition. In fact, software that must be emulated on FreeBSD (I'm assuming iBCS or something similar, not VMWare under iBCS, which is another story, altogether), such as Oracle definitely won't be scalable or reliable, since the COMBINED limitations of both OS'es and the emulation layer, itself, will wind up hurting it. Besides, who'd be silly enough to have a productional SCO or Linux version of Oracle running in FreeBSD under emulation, just because you can? Nobody worth their salt, of course.

I am a Linux fan (or bigot, depending), plain and simple. I don't think Linux is the best tool for every job, though. FreeBSD shines in areas where Linux doesn't, and vice-versa. Solaris, HP/UX, AIX, Tru-64, SCO, BeOS, OS/2, MacOS, and others can boast the same thing. Windoze even has a few good points, especially on the desktop -- I really hate to admit that. What I don't think is right is unfairness to any OS (except, maybe M$ -- just kidding). Something I notice about FreeBSD people is that they often take cheap pot shots at Linux -- ALOT -- while Linux people, more often than not, DEFEND FreeBSD, and have tried it/liked it. I'm doing the same in this email, and so do the owners of Slashdot, for instance. FreeBSD rocks, at times, but so does Linux, and others. Be fair, is all I'm asking. This article wasn't. (Why is this common among FreeBSD fans, and what did we do to you?)

OK, rant mode over.

Oh, and by the way
by Mike Hoskins on Tue 5th Feb 2002 21:40 UTC

I know this is flamebait, but here goes anyway. Try Mandrake 8.1 Linux (or wait for 8.2, which is in Beta).

As far as a webserver goes, it hauls. Out-of-the-box, they have secured and optimized basically everything. They have Pentium optimizations, all of the recommended Apache optimizations, and all of the SGI optimizations. With Reiser-FS (done at install time) on a fairly good piece of hardware, I bet you'd be hard-pressed to beat it, performance-wise. Use Bruce Momijan's [sp?] PostgreSQL optimizations and PHP's recommended optimizations (Zend Optimizer, in particular) and viola -- performance that beats just about anything else, in only a few minutes (or hours, if you're a newbie) of extra setup.

It smokes RedHat, and I bet it'd beat most (but certainly not all) FreeBSD setups, especially out-of-the-box, for performance. I don't how how it'd compare on reliablility, but it would still be very good.

On the other hand, FreeBSD is still an option I'm considering, for reliability and relatively good performance. Right now, it's a toss-up between Mandrake Linux, with Reiser-FS, PHP with Zend Optimizer or APC cache, PostgreSQL (with "normal" optimizations) vs. FreeBSD, for me.

Benchmarks on most things show that Linux Kernel 2.4 has been sped up to the point of being basically the same as FreeBSD, anyway. (Just see Moshe Barr's [sp?] article in BYTE, for instance). The VM system in Kernel 2.4 does need more improvement, but it's getting there.

Both choices are good. Repeat. Both choices are good. Say it with me now.

All OS are fun...
by JYL on Wed 6th Feb 2002 05:29 UTC

I will sound pretty old, but most OS have something that the others do not have. I have work on many OS (RSTS/E, VMS, XENIX, SCO, OS/2, NT and several more?) I do also operate a number of Linux, OpenBSD, ME/NT/2000/XP machines (no FBSD yet).

I am always amaze by the advocacy groups that claim that such OS is the best "OVERALL" and that the others suck big time (of course, Micro$oft deserve it at time). I hear this rhetoric for the last 20 years and honestly, it does not work that way. Other factors influence a lot more than the technical merit of any given OS. Take VAX/VMS in the 80?s, this OS was very advance, with clustering, security and everything. Guest what, this guys have lost most of it popularity over time.

To me, instead of being a nice and shiny sailboat or racecar, I perceived an OS to be more like a freight truck or a transatlantic gas tanker (boat). They are tools, not our good-looking girls? friend that we try to exhibit to everyone.

Often too, the claim of one avocacy group cannot be substantiated. Take one of the posts referring to netcraft to indicate that *BSD is more stable than Linux. Wheel, better than 1200 days of uptime is commendable ? However, Linux will never report better than 497 days of uptime. The server can be up for 1200 days, but the best uptime it will report is 497 days. Therefore, Netcraft do not know if Linux is better or worse than *BSD. So Netcraft cannot be use to compare the two.

Linux and OpenBSD are two very capable OS. I do favor OpenBSD for all security related task because this OS is build for that and it shows. An OpenBSD Firewall can be setup in less than a day by almost anyone with the support of a knowledgeable person (someone that have done it before). This will be an industrial strength firewall, ready to handle some serious cracker/hacker activity. Therefore, this is a good fit for Firewall, Mail Server, Web Server, Proxy Server, PPPOE Gateway, NIDS, IPSEC VPN and Router like function. On good hardware, this thing can keep going for hundreds or thousand of days without a single reboot.

You can do the same with Linux, but this is a lot more work and a much more complex process. (I do operate a few Linux firewall)

Linux shine at the desktop, number of RPM that can be easily installed, this is a perfect toy machine to try new thing.

However, Linux code and installation feels somewhat more experimental, needs more care and patching (security patch), the development process seem accelerated so much so that one have to upgrade very often to kept current.

Linux is also good for production server. I have MySQL and E-MAIL server that work flawlessly on Linux

Finally, Linux is pretty stable too but not yet with the *BSD league. Anyway, should we really care since anything that can do better than 180 days of stable operation under load is probably good enough for 99% of our need. Just look at several large corporations that are perfectly happy with NT.

Obviously, you can setup a shiny desktop and install a lot of software with OBSD. But, this is a lot more work and a much more complex process.









My 2Ē
by David on Sat 9th Feb 2002 19:01 UTC

I just recently move from Mandrake Corporate Server 1.01 to FreeBSD 4.5. The FBSD box has been more stable and a lot leaner than my Mandrake box was. I have been able to do things a lot faster and easier with this FBSD box than with linux and I think linux has lost this user indefiniatly. This FBSD box is much better for www serving than linux.

BTW good article, made me sure I made the right descsion.

~Dave

Computer Science Student Opionion
by Russell Jackson on Sun 10th Feb 2002 01:45 UTC

Being an experienced systems administrator for both freebsd and gnu/linux, I would say that freebsd is the "cleaner" system. By clean I mean that everything is more organized and clear cut. Everything in freebsd is put where you would expect it. On the other hand, gnu/linux systems are comprised of bits and pieces that have been bundled together in a some what organized manner.

I'm not claiming either are better than the other, I just believe that freebsd is better suited for a production enviroment where one depends on things working in a sane and predictable way. On the other hand, I have found linux better suited for desktop use purely as a result of binary only released software. The nVidia board drivers, for instance, fall into this category as well as the macromedia flash plug-in for netscape/mozilla.

When it comes to software development, I have also found that freebsd comes into it's own. I have had never ending problems with libraries/headers while trying to program under gnu/linux while having much less trouble under freebsd. Again, this is a result of the more integrated whole that is freebsd instead of the piece meal mess that is gnu/linux.

Most of these arguments I have read on this article seem to be based on incorrect or trivial matters. One I read claimed that freebsd uses an "ancient" tcp/ip stack. While freebsd has it's roots in the traditional BSD UNIX, much of freebsd is new code. It has little in common with the old BSD UNIX system. There are others, but I'm not going to address all of them as I'm sure no one wants to read a ten page argument.

The bottom line is, each system has it's use. Use it for that purpose and stop turning computer operating systems into a reason for religion.

Migrating... Bit of a misnomer
by waylander on Thu 14th Feb 2002 11:29 UTC

Reading the title of the article, I did not expect the article to be about which is better; Linux or FreeBSD. I am throughly disappointed...

Migrating... Bit of a misnomer
by waylander on Thu 14th Feb 2002 11:35 UTC

Reading the title of the article, I did not expect the article to be about which is better; Linux or FreeBSD. I am throughly disappointed...

This was very disappointing.
by Unix Lover on Tue 19th Feb 2002 07:08 UTC

I use Linux for 99.9% of my work. But recently I've been playing around with FreeBSD. I was interested in this article because the title made it sound as if it was informative. It was not. FreeBSD can only profit from Linux's success (I wouldn't have tried it otherwise!). This was pointless propoganda. Get a grip. I think it's sad that this was placed on OSnews, this was completely useless.

Some Unix History
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Feb 2002 10:46 UTC

For anyone interested in the story of UNIX, I recommend
"A Quarter Century of UNIX" by Peter H. Salus - an excellent book.

BTW (From the Ackonwledgments of that book) "Doug McIlroy told me that he thought spelling UNIX with capital letters, rather than Unix, had been a grave error. I have adopted his suggestion and used Unix in most places."

Damn - now I've done it myself! This *really* isn't the most important point in a discussion about Linux and FreeBSD.

I have used Linux since 0.99 and use it still. However, whilst all the hype (and popularity) have brought benefits they have also brought problems. It's the same thing with the internet - more useful information and things you can do - and more spam and script kiddies.

I used to like Unix for its attitude that things should "do one thing and do it well". The code was written by excellent people.

Now we have KDE written by a bunch of kids who think Windows the best user interface to copy and isdn code written by the "isdn4linux crew". Kewl name. Apologies to both sets of coders.

Anyway, the biggest problem I see for Linux is the existence of all the different distributions. The deliberate incompatibilities and "product differentiation" are a real pain.

Maybe it's time to look at FreeBSD. Hope it can deal with xDSL :-)

SickOfLinuxUsers
by SickOfLinuxUsers on Thu 21st Feb 2002 19:02 UTC

I am so sick of the linux community. All they do is bash windows and microsoft. Why don't you make the OS and the GUIs user friendly and actually "beat" Microsoft at their own game. Microsoft made an OS that the average person could use, the person without alot of technical knowhow. The average user doesn't care about most of the crap you can do with Linux, they just want their pc to do what they need it to do...and Windows does that pretty well. They are all a bunch of communist pigs.

I personnaly avoid anything Linux ...
by Ben on Wed 27th Feb 2002 23:50 UTC

Since 1994-1995, I have setup hundreds of servers for people and it is not suprising that by far the highest support questions and problems are with Linux System V type systems. In System V systems updating packages seems to be the second biggest problem the updates stomp all over other packages already installed. By far the major problems are hackability and reliablity. I have never seen an OS/kernel with so many holes that have gone on for so long other than MicroSoft. Security should be the first concern of anyone then functionality and ease of use.

Linux type systems are great for home users. The X windows and KDE systems make it a nice system. FreeBSD also offers the same X windows, KDE and more. The problem is Xfree86 packages are many are buggy and contain big security risks that many do not know about until it is too late. The FreeBSD group is always looking for hackable packages in there 3rd party collection and the FreeBSD collection. When they find one it's fixed and Security advisories with fixes are sent out to those that have them.

The battle of the OS's is not over. Apple's OSX is now a big contender. It may well take over both Linux and FreeBSD. While I do not and have never owned and Apple system in the past, that has changed. I am in awe. And the most Awing part is when I found BSD under the hood after being convinced of its potential. All the machines in our server room will not be changed overnight or anytime soon. I will say that for the time being FreeBSD will be the OS of choice as it runs both System V Linux apps as well as BSD apps. I am telling you all watch Apple's OSX closely.

No, I did not mention MicroSoft here because any system that needs to be rebooted frequently to fix memory leaks or crashes as much as there's was not well designed from the start.

The Long and the Short of it
by Chris on Thu 28th Feb 2002 05:42 UTC

Obviously this is a tech related forum, but I feel the need to point out something: this article should have had an editor. Aside from the back and forth above that kept me entertained for the past 1/2 hour I feel it didn't really offer anything in terms of actual information.

Now, had it simply been a post... that could be overlooked, but it wasn't, it was a feature.

It is a little difficult to take something seriously when the author is tripping over his words... and typos?!

Perhaps that's why I even bothered to read the rants that followed.

Article contains no substantial info
by Garen on Thu 28th Feb 2002 17:58 UTC

I read this article on the apparantly incorrect assumption that it would contain information relevant to its title "Migrating from Linux to FreeBSD". I thought curiously to myself "Are there really all that many migration issues"? I was unfortunately mistaken.

At the beginning, the author first makes an apt distinction that the word "Linux" often refers to mainly the kernel. Yet, later in the article the author refers to "Linux" as something much more generic as if to refer to any system using "Linux".

i.e.: "99% of what you install via ports or packages defaults into /usr/local, where as in Linux most of it goes into /usr"

Which is entirely incorrect. His mention of: "SuSE putting KDE in /opt while Red Hat puts in the /usr folder" also makes it entirely obvious he hasn't actually tried a recent version of SuSE or RedHat lately for at least a year or two -- and a lack of knowledge of the LSB. Plus, the author must have not actually looked into how source-packages are almost always packaged: they always default to installing into /usr/local, anywhere else is the result of a vendor-modification. Someone who's ever been a user of Slackware would know that intrinsically.

This article does not contain any concrete information about migrating from a Linux-based system to a FreeBSD one whatsoever. Instead, it contains one persons personal diatribe and opinion piece on what "Linux" and FreeBSD is.

Being for *BSD or Linux is also entirely irrelvant, which is what nearly all the comments I've read above refer to. This article is out of place, misleading, and therefore fatally useless.

Any existing idea of credibility for neutral principals regarding this entire site for approving such an eye-soring piece of junk has now gone the way of the dodo for me.

This is kind of dissapointing.
by Rob on Fri 22nd Mar 2002 05:46 UTC

I opened this expecting to find something about migrating from Linux to FreeBSD. All I got was propaganda. Sure, all sides in the OS debate are constantly going off about how everyone else sucks, but I would have been happier reading a document with actual information on how to move data/applications, what to expect if you're a bash user suddenly faced with a tcsh shell, how to *use* ports, etc.

The only thing keeping me from using FreeBSD is the lack of documentation. The handbook is AWFUL. And if there's anything like the LDP and it's HOWTO's for FreeBSD, I can't find it. Can someone please point me to a place where I can get *concise* instructions on upgrading a ports tree, or how to configure RAID, or a CD Burner, or all those other things that I can find for Linux? That's what a migrating user needs!