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.
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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.