Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Nov 2009 19:41 UTC, submitted by Gabor
FreeBSD Astute readers probably already saw this one waiting in our backend, but since there was no official announcement yet, I decided to wait. Now that it's officially here, let's rejoice: the FreeBSD team has released version 8.0 of their operating system, packed with new features and improvements.
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Doc Pain
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I've used PC-BSD, but for me, it has practically nothing over a good Linux. But, once you get below the GUI, it is different enough that I can't go and dismiss it.

Well, I have the same experiences. Personally, I would not use it because it's very KDE centric (and I'm not a big fan of KDE, I have to admit), but it's a great OS for novice users. The advantage for me (as a professional user) is that, despite all the fancy GUI stuff, it's FreeBSD under the hood, the OS I'm most comfortable with. So if a friend has a problem with his PC-BSD installation, it's easy to use "basic means" of FreeBSD for diagnostics and intervention.

But as you said, for some fields of use, especially when a user requires "Flash" and some "nich market programs" such as native Mathematica or MatLab, he would be better off using a Linux distribution.

It may be 2009, but good hardware isn't dead.

I know that, because I realize it every day. Furthermore, I know that often people have problems getting fancy hardware (especially USB stuff and some wireless devices) working correctly with FreeBSD. The same applies to "egg-laying wool milk sow" type printers that require very specific drivers. Why doesn't this disturb me? Because I simply refuse to buy such devices. I'm happy with used office-class devices, such as a good laser printer that can understand PS and PCL and can communicate through ethernet, or a good SCSI scanner. Of course, that's extraordinary, I can understand that, but it is a good example that FreeBSD has no problems talking to hardware that has been designed to run for a long time (in opposite to our "modern" throw-away-after-use hardware).

My Mobile Pentium III 1.13 Thinkpad, with its SuperSavage video, will not die. And, until it does, or a netbook with an equivalent display and keyboard come around, I'm not ditching it.

This applies to most of my home IT infrastructure. :-)

Now that you know a bit about the kind of IT stuff I'm using I can try to introduce why I so much like the FreeBSD OS:

With every release, the system provides more features and runs faster ON THE SAME HARDWARE. It's so great to see that - you update your system, your system runs better!

Still, there's a downside: What the OS gives, the applications take away. X runs slower, libraries need more time to load, things that worked before need some intervention to work again.

After all, and I need to emphasize this, it is not the fault of the FreeBSD developers. I always keep in mind that they are delivering a great OS for free.

I can use the same modern OS on new hardware, as well as on my old hardware that is still working flawlessly, and I can profit from the advantages of this OS, no matter which platform I run it on, or how good the resources are that this particular platform provides.

Of course, this is just my very individual point of view. And I'm not so stubborn that I could not image ditching FreeBSD one day - it will surely happen when it doesn't run the applications anymore that I need, or when it forces me to buy things I don't want to buy, or when it simply runs too slow. (By the way, this is one reason why I don't like KDE very much, next to its insufficient german language support.)

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