Jeff Elkins wrote: > This is not a troll. > > I've installed FreeBSD 5.2 on a spare SCSI drive and am compiling kernels, > updating ports, etc,etc. Thus far, other than some minor hassles, it's > equivilent to my Debian sid. > > I have to ask: Why FreeBSD rather than Linux? > > Honest question.
For me, this question has been answered twice in different attempts to "give linux a try". I'm a Sys Admin, and we run FreeBSD almost exclusively at work. However, every new employee we hire walks into the building with an attitude that Linux is somehow better than FreeBSD because they're heard so much about it and haven't heard anything about FreeBSD. So, on two separate occasions, I decided to "give linux a try". Both ended miserably: Occasion 1.) I bought a new laptop. I was having trouble getting suspend and resume to work under FreeBSD, so I decided to "give linux a try". I decided on Debian linux ("woody" originally, and later "unstable" and finally the "testing" branch). Installation went smoothly, but I immediately ran into massive problems with the console driver. 4 or 5 lines of text were "hidden" below the bottom of my LCD. Very frustrating. I later found out that I couldn't use DRI/DRM with Debian because the version of XFree86 wasn't current enough. I ran into many many other problems, but some of these may have simply been due to the "learning curve" for a new O/S. gpm behaved badly, difficult to install wireless drivers, etc... Pros: Great packaging system. Upgrades were comparatively as easy as FreeBSD, once you learned a few tricks - like upping the amount of RAM the package tools could use. Binary security updates were a great feature that FreeBSD is only now attempting to implement. Cons: Very difficult to actually figure out how to use new software. Incredible lack of `man` pages, which are replaced by terrible and usually unintelligible `info` pages. Excruciatingly out-of-date packages. It takes *years* for new releases to come out, and even the testing branch (most unstable branch they have) lags months behind other distributions in some areas (like XFree86). Switched back to FreeBSD. Installed 5.1-RELEASE. Toughed it out and got suspend-resume working. Couldn't be happier. This laptop is still in service and happily runs FreeBSD 5.2-RELEASE every day. Occasion 2.) Got sick of Win 98 SE on my wife's computer, so I decided to "give Linux a second chance". This time I WANTED to go with Red Hat, since it's arguably the most popular Linux distro. However, one look at their new licensing made me change my mind in favor of Gentoo - The most BSD-like Linux distro. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but I couldn't find an automated install process. I had to read a text file and copy and paste install commands by HAND to get Gentoo installed. This was painful and tedious. It took probably 4 hours to install. Their motto is "freedom of choice" or something similar. Well where is my freedom to choose a quick install??? Pros: Very nice BSD-like portage system. Top notch. Cons: Terrible install process. Took forever. Just as I got X11 installed and configured, my dog hit the "reset" button on my case. The computer wasn't even DOING anything. It was just sitting at a command prompt. However, upon rebooting the machine my ReiserFS filesystem was TOTALY hosed. This NEVER happens under FreeBSD. At this point there was NO WAY I was going to wade through another 4 hour install session, so I gave up and installed FreeBSD 5.2-RC1 (now upgraded to -RELEASE). Now, maybe I just got unlucky both times. It happens. I know. Even FreeBSD acts strange on some hardware. And maybe one day I'll give Linux a 3rd chance, but it isn't today, and probably won't be anytime soon. Also, the enormous number of Linux distros makes Linux very unappealing to me. I've heard Linux described as "Managed Chaos" before, and I agree. It just doesn't compliment my way of doing things very well. But hey, maybe it will for you. YMMV. Hope the above rant helps a little. Also, here's an article I found a few weeks ago that is very in-line with my experiences using *BSD and Linux: http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/bsd4linux1.php -- Jesse Guardiani, Systems Administrator WingNET Internet Services, P.O. Box 2605 // Cleveland, TN 37320-2605 423-559-LINK (v) 423-559-5145 (f) http://www.wingnet.net _______________________________________________ [EMAIL PROTECTED] mailing list http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-questions To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[EMAIL PROTECTED]"