POLL: Linux preferences from FreeBSD users

Fred C kei-29ij at myamail.com
Fri Jul 3 19:39:29 UTC 2009

On Jul 3, 2009, at 6:01 AM, Polytropon wrote:

> On Thu, 2 Jul 2009 08:28:01 -0600, Modulok <modulok at gmail.com> wrote:
>> That and Linux seems to only ever get the abridged version of manual
>> pages. When you compare manual pages for an equivalent commands
>> between FreeBSD and most Linux flavors, it really shows. I noticed
>> this when I went from Debian to FreeBSD. "Finally! Real
>> documentation!"
> There ware two things that I found to be solved better in FreeBSD than
> in various Linusi:
> 1. Amount of manual pages: FreeBSD does not only document commands,
> it documents configuration files, kerlen interfaces, library functions
> and maintenance procedures. The tradition of manual pages furthermore
> is carried by third party software (ports), e. g. "man opera" - you
> would not guess that it existed. In the opposite, try to find a
> manpage of some KDE program (as if anyone would read manpages for
> KDE things).
> 2. Quality of documentation: The manpages are excellently written.
> No "look at our Wiki" or "this page intentionally left free" there.
> furthermore, the OS's source is very tidy, uses good names for
> functions, variables and datatypes, and has lots of useful comments.
> As a developer, documentation is a MUST HAVE for me. Having all
> the documentation avaliable "off line" right after installation
> is very good.
> Sadly, Linux didn't (doesn't?) offer this.

I agree, the linux documentation is very scarce. Having good man pages  
is very convenient, specially when you are in a data center with just  
a console on a cart. Having to go online to check some badly organised  
wiki is not always convenient or possible.

I also have my share of frustration with the logs. The messages in the  
log files are often inconsistent and unhelpful. In this following  
example the kernel is reporting a disk error but forgot to specify the  
most important information, the disk.

Jul  3 00:07:53 locdata204 kernel: [5706229.550000]     res  
41/40:00:52:4a:73/83:02:27:00:00/00 Emask 0x9 (media error)


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