> > It has recently come to my attention that FreeBSD is "similar" to
> > Gentoo Linux.  I've been a Gentoo user for about 5 years and I love
> > the concept, but it feels like the project is slowing down.  I like to
> > learn/use/know one OS for server, media system, laptop, router, etc.
> > How would you compare the two OSes?
> >
> > - Grant
> I only have the time to give you a very general impression.
> I use FreeBSD at home since at least 1995, I deployed Gentoo at my current
> employment because people were less afraid of it than of FreeBSD.
> For me, Gentoo is the next best thing to FreeBSD...
> I don't know, but I guess that Gentoo portage was heavily inspired by FreeBSD
> ports, in that with one command you fetch the source, apply patches, compile 
> and install.
> Gentoo however, takes the concept much further in that everything you have on
> your system is a port, so portage really controls everything. Even when you
> install a stage-3 tarball, all files are also registered with portage.
> On FreeBSD, the ports collection is only used for addons to the base system; 
> the
> base system could be compared to a stage-3 tarball except that it is much more
> complete (cron, syslog, dhclient, bind9, openssh, tcsh, nvi, ncurses, 
> sendmail,
> pam, opie, telnet, ftp, traceroute, to name a few are installed in the base 
> system)
> so you really can have an operational base system.
> For instance, if you want to install a web server, perhaps the base system +
> apache is enough, the same goes for database server.
> Typically, the base system plus what is required for your application.
> Not so with Gentoo.
> Because such fundamental services such as cron, syslog, etc are on the base
> system, most things also come much more configured than they do on Gentoo.
> It is a lot more work to get things going on Gentoo.
> Even so, FreeBSD is clean enough to fit in about 250MB.
> Now, for server or router: in my opinion, FreeBSD is much easier to setup for
> any server setup (of course, I've been using it for much longer). For router,
> you don't need to add anything to the base system.
> FreeBSD is much, much, much better documented than Gentoo, most common server
> setups are covered in the handbook.
> Gentoo's documentation is very nice, but still covers only a few loose topics.
> Most of the time you have to resort to disperse Linux documentation if you're
> not a long time Linux geek.
> For media/desktop system: FreeBSD is probably worse. It's a pain to get
> google-earth working on FreeBSD, lots of Linux applications crash a lot. Even
> FreeBSD natively compiled applications such as mplayer are hard to get 
> properly
> compiled.
> On Gentoo it's quite safe to put CFLAGS=-O3 in make.conf, not on FreeBSD. The
> USE flags framework work surprisingly well, there's ufed, revdep-rebuild, etc.
> Not so much on FreeBSD, the older ports system is evolving slowly. The Gentoo
> designers benefited from designing from scratch.
> On the other hand, the ports collection on FreeBSD is much less likely to 
> break
> things than portage is. Try updating expat on Gentoo and everything will stop
> working; on FreeBSD, the shared libraries are kept and everything keeps 
> working.
> Actually, the ports collection in itself seldom breaks anything. Portage does.
> For laptop: I run FreeBSD amd64 on my laptop, everything works very well. And 
> it
> is a radeon card, 3D without hardware acceleration is surprisingly fast these 
> days.
> There's no hibernation. I don't know if you have that on Gentoo.
> AMD64: Runs lots of 386 binaries unless they require a lot of i386 ports, 
> which would
> require you to install a i386 ports tree side by side with amd64; this isn't 
> supported.
> You can't get linux_dri on AMD64, so that locks google-earth out for me.
> After two years using Gentoo, after the first very positive impression, I'm a
> bit tired of breaking things due to updating one port.
> It's also too much of a pain reconfiguring and recompiling the Linux kernel.
> Perhaps it's my lack of experience.
> On FreeBSD, you can compile the kernel every day with no trouble at all, even
> the whole base system weekly, if you're so inclined. I can't be objective, 
> but I
> think in this respect FreeBSD is much, much, much better.

I just had a search through the FreeBSD ports list and just about
everything I user is listed there.  gnucash, gimp, firefox, etc.  Does
that mean they are work perfectly on FreeBSD?

- Grant
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