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Author Topic: FreeBSD anyone install it recently?
rednecklinux
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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2002 11:20      Profile for rednecklinux     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Normally I would just figure this out for myself but after reading all I could I need some help. Is there anything quirky or dangerous I should be aware of before installing FreeBSD 4.5? I read the comments people have and it seems a little "different." I've done alot of different linux installs and feel confident with it but maybe I just need some assurance that FreeBSD will not be too different. So...anyone have some BSD stories they would like to share? Is booteasy REALLY boot easy? What is the package system like? Any and all comments and/or suggestions would be welcome.
Posts: 21 | From: the darkside of the south | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
+Andrew
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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2002 13:24      Profile for +Andrew   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've done a few installs of FreeBSD, and if you can install Linux (e.g. Slackware, etc.) you can probably handle FreeBSD. As with any OS, partitioning can be tricky so I recommend trying the install on a computer without *any* important data.

-Andrew


Posts: 349 | From: Boston, MA, USA | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
MrJ
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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2002 13:29      Profile for MrJ     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Quirky: FreeBSD wants its own primary partition and then has its own sub-partition structure. You can't install it on an extended partition. Some programs, particularly threaded ones, exhibit strange bugs that don't seem to exist when used on Linux. MySQL comes to mind.

Dangerous: FreeBSD will happily overwrite any existing data just like most Linux installs. Also FreeBSD 4.5 in particular has not had an
excellent history of stability. I think that's related to specific hardware though.

My laptop boots Linux, FreeBSD, and Windows using LILO. I had no trouble installing FreeBSD 4.5 from a CD (very simple, so simple that I don't remember much about it except that it reminded me of a slackware install a long time ago). Of course I had to tell it to stay away from my boot configuration and then went to Linux to configure the boot sector into LILO. LILO runs the boot sector and FreeBSD's boot loader finds its kernel automatically. You don't have to do anything if FreeBSD is the only thing you want to boot. After it gets all the base stuff on the system you can install ports from binary packages on the CD, over the network, or compile them from the network. You'll want cvsup installed if you want to compile things up to date between releases. FreeBSD's package management is flexible but I don't like how easily everything can get messed up (upgrading related packages, library versions that it accepts even though they aren't compatible) and how hard it is to keep track of everything. There are some new programs to solve the upgrading problem but I haven't tried them. If you're used to editing system config files and managing packages yourself, FreeBSD will not be too different.


Posts: 35 | From: near Grand Rapids, MI | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
omega996
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Icon 1 posted April 23, 2002 07:55      Profile for omega996   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
if you're coming from linux, there are quite a few concepts that are different. you'll no doubt spend a lot of time reading the man pages to find out which command replaces the linux command you're used to. the best place for help, aside from finding someone you can pester with questions, is the FreeBSD handbook:
http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/index.html

BSD doesn't use a dos-style partition setup like linux. you allocate a primary partition for BSD (called a slice), and divide that into 'partitions' that form your filesystems and swap (this applies to any bsd, and solaris under ia32 as well). Section2 of the aforementioned handbook has pretty good information on setting up disks.
devices under FreeBSD (and the other BSDs as well) are named according to driver, not device type. so while under linux your 3com 10/100 nic is eth0, under freebsd it's xl0.

I'd suggest, if you can, that you have a computer that you can install and mess with FreeBSD several times, until you get familiar with the differences. either having a printed copy of the FreeBSD handbook or another computer so you can access the online version while doing the install will be a good thing.... Any good book on 4.4BSD will be a great investment, since FreeBSD is a derivative. There's also a great book titled 'The Complete FreeBSD' that is all about FreeBSD, and helps someone familiar with SysV-based unices and unix clones (like linux) to adapt.

The boot manager is amazingly easy to use - virtually no-touch.

i've been using linux since 1994, and i switched over to FreeBSD about two years ago. Now, the only time i'll use linux is if i absolutely can't run the application under FreeBSD (FreeBSD will allow you to run linux applications pretty painlessly - if you're going to using FreeBSD on a workstation, or on a server install where the software only runs on linux, make sure you choose to install linux compatibility libraries (it's near the end of the installation). performance is as good or better than linux, and it's generally much more stable (esp. on a multiprocessor machine when comparing freebsd to any linux with 2.4.x kernel).

the best part of FreeBSD is probably the ports tree - the package manager is ok, but i prefer to build my own where possible, and the ports tree allows this. if you're familiar with dpkg or apt-get under debian, you won't have too many problems with the concepts of the freebsd package manager (or the ports tree). i generally don't install X unless it's on a workstation, and even then i build it from the ports tree - X is an amazingly complicated build (even more so than KDE or GNOME), but i can change the the appropriate directory in the ports tree (/usr/ports/x11/XFree86-4) and build the entire X suite by typing 'make install'. in the case of X, you'll be prompted for which servers to build, which fonts to install, etc. but for other packages, it's generally 'make install', and it takes off. any dependencies are automatically built along the way. it's easy to set up cvsup to keep your ports tree (or your kernel source tree or the entire OS source tree, if you so desire) up to date, and in the case of the source tree, a 'make world' will rebuild the installation to use the latest and greatest sources/versions. quite impressive.

if you like UNIX, i think you'll love FreeBSD, once you get used to the differences between it and the SysV derived OSes...
and, if you have questions, you can email me and i'll do my best to answer them...


Posts: 46 | From: brea, ca | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
omega996
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Icon 1 posted April 23, 2002 08:04      Profile for omega996   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
odd, i run a pretty good-sized database that keeps a record of logins and workstation configuration changes on freebsd with mysql and have had zero problems. it gets several hundred independent connections a day. i built mine from the ports tree, though...

since FreeBSD 4.5 has only been out since the end of january, how could it have built up a reputation for stability on anything?


quote:
Originally posted by MrJ:
Quirky: FreeBSD wants its own primary partition and then has its own sub-partition structure. You can't install it on an extended partition. Some programs, particularly threaded ones, exhibit strange bugs that don't seem to exist when used on Linux. MySQL comes to mind.

Dangerous: FreeBSD will happily overwrite any existing data just like most Linux installs. Also FreeBSD 4.5 in particular has not had an
excellent history of stability. I think that's related to specific hardware though.

My laptop boots Linux, FreeBSD, and Windows using LILO. I had no trouble installing FreeBSD 4.5 from a CD (very simple, so simple that I don't remember much about it except that it reminded me of a slackware install a long time ago). Of course I had to tell it to stay away from my boot configuration and then went to Linux to configure the boot sector into LILO. LILO runs the boot sector and FreeBSD's boot loader finds its kernel automatically. You don't have to do anything if FreeBSD is the only thing you want to boot. After it gets all the base stuff on the system you can install ports from binary packages on the CD, over the network, or compile them from the network. You'll want cvsup installed if you want to compile things up to date between releases. FreeBSD's package management is flexible but I don't like how easily everything can get messed up (upgrading related packages, library versions that it accepts even though they aren't compatible) and how hard it is to keep track of everything. There are some new programs to solve the upgrading problem but I haven't tried them. If you're used to editing system config files and managing packages yourself, FreeBSD will not be too different.



Posts: 46 | From: brea, ca | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
rednecklinux
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Icon 10 posted April 24, 2002 07:25      Profile for rednecklinux     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks folks,

I'm going to try it this weekend and just install it on its own hard drive to get used to the system before I try to put it on a multi-boot machine. Plus I get to wear cool daemon swag too!

I'll let you know how it goes.

rednecklinux


Posts: 21 | From: the darkside of the south | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
catsdorule
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Icon 14 posted May 04, 2002 18:07      Profile for catsdorule   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
nope got OS X
Posts: 31 | From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
SupportGoddess

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Icon 1 posted May 04, 2002 18:52      Profile for SupportGoddess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by rednecklinux:
I'm going to try it this weekend and just install it on its own hard drive to get used to the system before I try to put it on a multi-boot machine. Plus I get to wear cool daemon swag too!

I'll let you know how it goes.


So, how did it go?

I'm actually going to try it sometime this coming week myself, but I will have a dedicated box for it. Planning on trying OpenBSD too. I've heard good things about it.

------------------
"Programming is like sex: one mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life."
-Michael Sinz


Posts: 1150 | From: The Digital Temple | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
greycat

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Icon 14 posted May 08, 2002 12:50      Profile for greycat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
OpenBSD is great fun. It does absolutely no hand-holding whatsoever. It expects you to know how to run vi and be able to figure out the syntax for their partitioning program by looking at sample output.
Posts: 1522 | From: Ohio, USA | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged


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