Future of FreeBSD 7.0 and up

Brian bri at sonicboom.org
Wed Feb 28 22:44:12 UTC 2007

John Nielsen wrote:
> 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 
> any.
> 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 
> Computer Coordinator?
> 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[1] 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.
> JN
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If you use pkg_add -r then a sunsequent cvsup or portsnap, followed by 
portupgrade is advised.  I have seen it happen often where the package 
is older than the port.


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