Intel Macs and FreeBSD?

Mark Edwards mark at
Sun Apr 30 09:03:44 UTC 2006

On Apr 27, 2006, at 1:52 PM, Bill Moran wrote:

> On Thu, 27 Apr 2006 15:47:37 -0500 James Riendeau  
> <jtriende at> wrote:
>> Why?  Mac OS X has a complete unix freebsd-like core called darwin
>> ( ).  There's no reason to install freebsd on
>> it.  Just install Mac Developer Tools (included in the Applications
>> folder), compile your favorite progs and go.
> Have you actually tried this?  Installing ports from FreeBSD is about
> 50x easier than getting software compiled/installed on a Mac.  I've
> been working with the Macs here at the office for a few weeks, and  
> I've
> come to realize just how wonderfully well-maintained FreeBSD's ports
> are!
> I'd take FreeBSD over MacOS any day.  Perhaps it will get better over
> time, but I'm not impressed with it right now.

At the risk of digressing on this topic, I want to add that I am  
actually at this point deciding between FreeBSD for the migration  
(i.e. 4.x on an old Gateway to 6.x on a Intel Mac Mini) and Ubuntu.

The idea of moving to Ubuntu is that it might be simpler and less  
time-consuming to maintain a package-based system rather than  
building so much from source as I end up doing on FreeBSD.  And that  
the fact it is a GUI-focused distribution might simplify things a bit  
(the idea being that Ubuntu has a very set design, less open-ended  
than FreeBSD, perhaps easier to upgrade?).  The GUI might also help  
when others who are less unix-savvy than I have to or want to work  
with the server.

I considered migrating to OSX on the mini, and I do maintain an OSX  
Server machine at work, but I don't like the lack of a port system.   
Everything has to be built and fitted in manually, and all monitoring  
of updates is also manual labor.  Fink has its usefulness for desktop  
software, but the server packages are lacking.

For the record, this server runs apache/php/mysql, exim, cyrus-imapd,  
proftpd, netatalk, samba, spamassassin, clamav, squirrelmail,  
mailman, and DNS.  Stuff like that.  It has about 20 users, it isn't  
super busy.

So, how about it?  Is the concept of running this off of Ubuntu being  
easier than FreeBSD just a pipe-dream?  I have messed with Debian and  
Ubuntu, but never tried to run a server off of either.  I would love  
to hear from people who have been down both roads, whether there is  
some sense to it, or if I should just stick with FreeBSD.

Thanks for any insight, and thanks for the responses to this thread  
thus far...

Mark Edwards

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