software/hardware question

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Mon Jun 16 13:18:54 PDT 2003

> hi all, i've just recently heard of bsd and am seriously considering going 
> that way, but before i go much further i have what is likely a stupid 
> quesion but since in the past i've disregarded such questions thinking 
> they were unimportant or that the answer was obvious only to later regret 
> it i shall ask my stupid question.  nearly all software and hardware is 
> window compatable and most require a windows o/s, does this mean bsd users 
> are left out in the cold or are there alternative releases or is most 
> software/hardware also compatable with a bsd o/s?

While it is true that hardware makers target their stuff at windoz,
and many of them don't bother to make drivers for FreeBSD, the FreeBSD
community is very active in trying to keep up with the latest hardware.
Generally, most hardware except some very esoteric and/or cheaply
thrown together stuff is aupported by FreeBSD.    New drivers and
updates of existing ones are becoming available all the time.  

As for software, last count I heard there are over 7000 ports available 
free for FreeBSD.  Many of those are very good, well made and reliable.
I expect you are mostly thinking of desktop and office stuff.  There are 
equivalents for most things and some of them are even superior to those 
that come with Win - word processors, spreadsheets, etc.   Some can be
a little disappointing and some require a little extra work to get
going and get looking just like you want.  But, it can be done.

If you are talking about server software, what is avialable for FreeBSD 
generally is far superior to what is available in the MS world.  Web 
servers, DNS, NAT, Firewall, proxy, network disk, etc, etc.


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