FreeBSD installation on AMD64

Danny Pansters danny at
Wed Apr 2 00:24:41 UTC 2008

On Tuesday 01 April 2008 15:06:24 Ivan Voras wrote:
> Sébastien Morand wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I'm new in FreeBSD, I'm used to GNU/Linux from many years but I'm trying
> > to migrate to FreeBSD.
> > My hardware is AMD64 / 1GB RAM / envy24ht network car / nVidia 7300GS GC
> > / USB Scanner / HP 660 Printer
> This looks like a desktop computer, with multimedia capabilities. It's
> very likely you won't be able to use some or all of the non-essential
> components.
> > So nothing to worry about except the AMD64. I read that FreeBSD i386
> > installation is faster on AMD64 than amd64.
> This is not very likely, or at least as valid as in any other comparison
> between a 32-bit and a 64-bit operating systems.
> > I installed amd64 and was quite
> > disappointed by the performance issue, particularly because the nv driver
> > is not good, and I got a lot of slowdown when some operations are made
> > within X server.
> Yes, nVidia doesn't have good FreeBSD drivers, and I think they don't
> have any drivers for 64-bit FreeBSD. You're probably using the default

As you should know, they have a published wishlist of certain kernel 
requirements that "we" have yet to implement.

> X.Org drivers, which have only basic functionality.

I found that with a gforce (SLI) card in my amd64 box I have to disable any 
and all HW acceleration. The xorg drivers have more functionality but it 
needs to be disabled for xorg to work at all without freezing (with anything 
multithreaded -- this last observation is mine).

People send one complaint after another but no one seems to be able to connect 
the dots let alone look at the real problems. And no, I don't care enough 
about my spare (testing) box to fix it but the problems are real.

> > So before reinstalling everything, I'd like to know :
> > Is it a reasonable choice (in terme of performance, reliability, and
> > compatibility terms) to install i386 over amd64 arch?
> > Will I be able to install nvidia drivers and every i386 tools? (I got
> > "only working under i386" several times when installing port)
> > Are there other issues I should be aware of using such an installation?
> While there are people using FreeBSD for a graphical desktop, and some
> of them are even using the 64-bit version, they are few and far between,
> and most of them are satisfied with the bare essentials. For X.Org
> issues you might try the freebsd-x11@ mailing list. For issues with
> specific ports, try stable@ or freebsd-ports at . Be ready for a lot of
> manual configuration (as compared to Linux).

It's considered TIER-1. It doesn't come close.


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