On Mon, Mar 08, 2004 at 07:38:39AM -0800, Tosin A. Atolagbe wrote: > Hi, > > My name is Tosin and I just have three questions regarding the FreeBSD operating > system? > > I intend on starting a business in the summer and I plan on using a secure operating > system (definitely not MS Windows). > > 1. Is FreeBSD useful for a desktop environment for people to use in a workplace, > (e.g. secretary, accountant, and manager) ?
Basically, yes, but it depends on the abilities of your staff and their willingness to adapt to what may be a foreign environment for them. OpenOffice provides a very good stab at the same sort of functionality as Microsoft Office: it's usable, but there may be a few odd corners and rough spots. Other applications -- like web browsers -- far outclass the standard Microsoft equivalents. You'll find that FreeBSD based systems need someone knowledgeable to build them into a network-wide structure (ie. setting up LDAP, mail systems, file shares etc.) -- there aren't any point'n'drool interfaces for setting that sort of thing up. (One unexpected bonus of that is that you will be able to build something that precisely matches your needs, instead of bodging your organization around the closest pre-canned setup you can afford to buy). > 2. Is FreeBSD completely free to download and use for commercial use? If so, are > there licensing issues to worry about? It's absolutely free in monetary terms, for whatever use you want to make of it. No licensing costs for anything under the BSD license. That license says in essence: Here is the software. Do with it what you will, just don't claim you wrote it, and don't blame us if you break it. Bits of the system, and many 3rd party add-on packages use the Gnu Public License, which is very similar and usually equally free of cost, but has extra restrictions that probably won't affect you limiting the manner in which you may redistribute software. (ie. you have to provide it under the same license and you must provide source code). > 3. Is FreeBSD a 64bit operating system, because I may also think of having a lot of > the projects on a server for accessing from other computers or even at home? FreeBSD runs on a number of 64-bit platforms, yes. Tier 1 platforms at the moment include: Alpha, AMD64, IA64 and Sparc64 (See http://www.freebsd.org/releases/5.2.1R/hardware.html) with work on PPC and MIPS in the pipeline. However, the best supported, most reliable system for running FreeBSD on is still the IA32 platform. The UFS2 filesystems in FreeBSD 5.x are fully 64bit in their internals on all platforms, and capable of providing terabyte scale filesystems. FreeBSD also supports the PAE extensions on IA32 machines, meaning that the OS can make use of more than 4Gb RAM on a 32bit platform. Cheers, Matthew -- Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil. 26 The Paddocks Savill Way PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey Marlow Tel: +44 1628 476614 Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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