FreeBSD vs Linux
omniBSD at speakeasy.net
Wed Apr 20 10:57:27 PDT 2005
koen de wijs wrote:
> Hello folks,
> I'm new to unix. This year I tried FreeBSD. Some friend of mine adviced
> FreeBSD. I think it works great. Only one thing that I don't like is
> that you will need to know a lot to setup a lot of basic stuff.
> I want to try out Linux. I heard it is more user friendly and the basic
> stuff will be set up during installation.
> I really don't like the sysinstall menu. It is really unlogically. Why
> isn't there a desktop and a server installation?
The above is a matter of taste, so I can't really do much other than
share my personal experience. There is also a link closer the bottom if
you want to skip my rant and get an answer to your second question.
I use (i.e. administer) FreeBSD, OpenBSD, GNU/Linux (Debian), Solaris
and Microsoft Windows Servers on a daily basis, so I have seen my share
of different installation methods throughout the years. I started in the
Windows world a few years ago and moved to the UNIX world around 1995
(Windows95 was a bit too much for my 486DX2-66 with 4MB of RAM to
handle, so I gave Redhat a spin). I've personally found sysinstall(8),
to be a rather straight forward and logical mechanism for configuring
all of my "basic stuff", eg:
- disk partitioning
- network configuration
- pkg-installation 
- input devices (e.g. keyboard/mouse)
- console configuration
- Xwindows configuration
I admit that printing and sound are not configured "out of the box",
however getting them up and running is not incredibly difficult.
My positive experience with sysinstall(8) may be due to the fact that I
spent a few minutes to go over the instructions provided in the
handbook, which is available in multiple languages (including, what I am
assuming is your native tongue, German):
If your complaint is that FreeBSD and the community around it expect you
too read some documentation, then FreeBSD probably is not the right OS
for you. This is not to say that either you or FreeBSD are deficient,
rather simply incompatible.
There are UNIX like operating systems that allow you to have the instant
gratification of a (usually) mostly working install out of the box
without much reading (e.g. Mandriva (or OS formerly known as Mandrake),
Suse, Fedora Core, etc...), so perhaps you would be more comfortable
using one of those.
Personally, I'm OK with the FreeBSD way of doing things so that's what
I've been running as my primary desktop/workstation for the last few
years. I do keep a GNU/Linux install (Currently Suse 9.2) on a laptop
that I occasionally use so I remain up to date on the desktop side of
If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive and easy to configure
desktop only machine, but want still to play around with some UNIXy
stuff, then perhaps Windows XP + (Cygwin  or Microsoft Services For
Unix ) is a better route for you.
> Could anyone give me a good site that describes the differences between
> FreeBSD and Linux?
This is a good place to start:
> (I don't want to start a flame war, only some good sites)
Unfortunately, due to the tone of your e-mail, you may find yourself
getting flamed a bit. Hopefully, your e-mail was sincere and you get
some helpful answers. If you're trolling with that e-mail, then I hope
no one takes the bait.
In any case, I hope you find a solution that works for you.
 I admit that I haven't used sysinstall(8) for this purpose in years,
as I prefer to cvsup base and ports after installing a bare system and
go from there.
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