New Freebsd Install Guide Available

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Mon Apr 4 21:01:24 PDT 2005

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Jerry
> McAllister

> Well, both types of documentation are needed.   The official formal
> documentation, which, of necessity , needs to be written in a rather
> formal language style and other explanitory docs for newbies and
> those of us who need a more conversational and step by step style
> at least to get started at things.   There are several good books
> out with more conversational style and some reasonable web sites
> with tutorials.
> The only problem with many of the web sites and even the books is
> that they tend to take a personal preference prejucidial attitude
> toward things rather than encouraging readers to try out various
> things and giving them instruction toward those other choices.
> Some examples are installing and using Gnome.   To read some guides,
> one would think it is impossible to run FreeBSD without Gnome.
> Some seem to imply it is absolutely necessary to install a third
> party MBR/boot manager such as Grub to boot FreeBSD, just because
> they like it.  Some tend to think the only possible shell to use
> is bash or sh and anyone using something else can't possibly get their
> work done.  The list could go on.

That sort of thing may be present in some books but it wasn't in

I will say one thing though, that a 3rd party book must specialize on
some aspect of FreeBSD if people are going to buy it.  People that
buy documentation usually have a more specific need than that they
just want to boot FreeBSD on whatever spare PC they have lying around.
So, for example in my book all examples were Bourne shell, because
the focus of the book wasn't on running shells under UNIX.  However I
never wrote in the book that that readers should only use Bourne.
In fact, on the section on system administration I specifically said
Bourne and csh wern't optimal for new users, and tcsh and bash were
more popular, followed by an overview of the major shells.  Please
be careful where your swinging that tarpot and brush in the future.

Ted Mittelstaedt
Author, The FreeBSD Corporate Networker's Guide.

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