Linked by the_randymon on Fri 25th Jan 2013 09:21 UTC
Linux After about a year of work, the ArchLinux distribution now offers a variant running on the FreeBSD kernel. Says the developer, "Why would I do this? If like me, you enjoy FreeBSD and love it, but also like the philosophy behind Arch Linux, which is a fast, lightweight, optimized distro, I figured why not combine the both. Even though you could just do it on FreeBSD using the ports, not everyone wants to compile." This now puts Arch in the same category as Debian with Debian GNU/KFreeBSD, which offers a Debian userland on top of a FreeBSD kernel.
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RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by sorpigal on Fri 25th Jan 2013 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

FreeBSD tends to be pretty good in supporting a lot of Linux's standards though - or it might be GNU supporting BSD switches. I can't recall off hand. But switching to Solaris is even harder in terms of switch incompatibilities.

Oh my yes. Sometimes it's little things like the requirement that switches to e.g. ls go *before* and not after the file list. Why? Historical reasons, or something; GNU figures out what you meant, the more traditional versions rely on the order.

At last FreeBSD (and to some extend other BSDs) are willing to include improvements when they are improvements. My favorite example: You can use -print0 with FreeBSD's find, an extension that AFAIK originally came from GNU. Now I understand why a lot of the crazy GNU extensions don't get adopted everywhere, but the fact that the most modern find distributed with Solaris doesn't support -printf or -print0 is just plain ridiculous. Is it any wonder that most Solaris admins' first act is to install the GNU file utils?

A favorite gotcha of mine: Conflicting utilities! FreeBSD supplies a watch(1), but it's not the watch(1) you've come to expect if you've used Linux. Little things like this can be frustrating. Then there are the "I didn't know that wasn't standard" things that are pretty much the same across all Linux distributions but which are actually Linuxisms and not the same elsewhere--things like behavior and usage of ifconfig/netstat, or managing disk partitions.

FreeBSD is, compared to its commercial brothers, a modern and forward-looking *nix that is extremely straightforward and logical. If you're coming from the oddities of traditional UNIX I'm sure it's a breath of fresh air, where Linux would be a much scarier radical departure. That said, coming from the Linux side FreeBSD seems needlessly stodgy and Solaris and other commercial Unixen can be positively asinine.

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