Future of FreeBSD 7.0 and up
lists at jnielsen.net
Wed Feb 28 20:02:37 UTC 2007
On Wednesday 28 February 2007 14:26, Dwight Smith wrote:
> My name is Dwight Smith, and I only had a question or two in terms of the
> future useability of FreeBSD. I have used it on and off and found it to be
> a great UNIX operating system for servers, but my only major concern was
> the amount of time it takes to prepare a server such as an Apache Server
> with PHP and MySQL support as opposed to a Linux system which is what I am
> currently using now as well as my company. I guess my question is that will
> the ease of building or installing software for FreeBSD ever streamline to
> where you do not have to do as many steps and text config file entries?
If you don't need any customizations, "pkg_add -r packagename" will
automatically download and install almost everything available in the ports
system. It will even get the newest version appropriate for the version of
FreeBSD you are running.
If you prefer to compile from source or need a non-default setting, going into
the relevant directory in the ports tree and typing "make install clean" will
again do everything automatically. In most cases the same command will also
present you with an easy-to-use menu of options available for the port, if
Which of those one-line commands strikes you as being less than easy from the
point of view of a systems administrator, developer, technical end-user or
If you have concerns about a specific piece of software, sending a message to
this or another appropriate list or directly to the port's maintainer will
typically yield good information, and if you have ideas for improvements they
should be well received in the appropriate forum.
> What had me curious to asking this is this article I read about a review on
> FreeBSD 6.2 (http://www.softwareinreview.com/cms/content/view/67/) The
> reviewer had a lot of criticisms that seemed harsh, but at the same time
> raised some valid points. I only ask this question as I would like to see
> FreeBSD get the same recognition as Linux as FreeBSD is a powerful OS that
> should not be overshadowed and I hope it doesn't cause it saved my IT job
> many a times when a server crashes and I have to piece together an old PII
> with 32 MB RAM and install FreeBSD with Samba. So thanks in advance for
> your attention in this and I wish all of you the best.
My initial take on that review is that the reviewer had an earlier bad
experience with FreeBSD (perhaps as a result of failing to understand that
5.0 and 5.1 were developer preview releases), tried installing 6.2 once on a
single system, ran down his pre-existing checklist of complaints to see if
any of them had magically been fixed (as a result, perhaps, of the FreeBSD
developer community reading his mind and finding themselves in agreement),
did little if any troubleshooting of the hardware compatibility issues he
mentioned (even reporting such occurences is a good way to contribute to a
volunteer-based project), and wrote the whole thing off as being stagnant.
Some of his points and recommendations might have merit, but many seem to be
the writer's wishlist for making FreeBSD into something it isn't (some hybrid
of Gentoo and Fedora, perhaps). That and his general attitude of hopeless
negativism make it hard to take his review seriously.
Personally, FreeBSD 6.2 is the best OS I have ever used and I find it
extremely well-suited to my needs and tastes for both server and desktop use.
The only way to see if that is the case for you is to try it (again). If
there are shortcomings, be proactive about reporting them. FreeBSD's user
community is one of its biggest strengths.
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