Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Mon Aug 29 07:06:53 UTC 2011

On Sun, 28 Aug 2011 14:09:30 -0700, Spencer Thompson wrote:
> Dear FreeBSD.org,
> I would like to order a CD with FreeBSD for an IBM Thinkpad.  What is the
> best package to get? 

I would suggest to get the most recent RELEASE version.
Currently that's 8.2. Depending on the hardware you are
using, use i386 (the 32 bit system) or AMD64 (the 64 bit
system); note that you can run i386 on 64 bit hardware
without problems in most cases (except you need a specific
64 bit functionality).

> Will it work perfectly? 

This depends on the particular Thinkpad's hardware. See
the list of supported devices. The FAQ's chapter "Hardware
Compatibility" does have a good list:


Also see the current release's hardware notes:


In case of questions, you may ask IBM for statements about their
FreeBSD support. A basic statement from my personal experience:
Whatever hardware is compatible to standards, it will work
without any problems.

> I want a package with the
> manual, man-pages and how to use FreeBSD perfectly in books.

Please see "Appendix A. Obtaining FreeBSD" in the FreeBSD
Handbook for information how to get FreeBSD:


Also see:


And of course:


I think you'll also get suggestions from this list about
which books are recommended; "Absolute FreeBSD" is a book
commonly mentioned:


It can be ordered from No Starch Press.

Also note that you can - if you _want_ to - turn your local
manpages, the Handbook and FAQ into printable PS, which means
you can selectively print the sections that you need. The
tools to do this are provided by the system.

> What does Free in FreeBSD mean?  Does it mean Free as in Free of charge?  Or
> is there an alternate meaning?

"Free" means two things here: FreeBSD is a _free_ operating
system within the open source ecosystem; it's developed
by the FreeBSD team. And you can obtain it for _free_,
i. e. for no charge.


Please see the web site as an excellent resource to answer
most of your questions. The main page


contains references to all relevant topics like online documentation,
mailing list archives, wikis and related projects.

> I'm wanting the best operating system for my laptop.  Is this the one? 

This depends on what you intend your laptop to be used for.
It therefore depends on the hardware you want to use, as well
as on the software.

> Why
> is it free of charge when I want to pay for it? 

You actually _can_ pay for it, e. g. by ordering media and
documentation from a vendor, or you can donate money to
the project. The strength of the FreeBSD system is that even
poor people can "afford" it as you don't need a pirated
copy (which is illegal in most legislations) in order to
use a professional, secure and versatile system.

So if you want to pay in order to support FreeBSD, see


for where to direct donations at.

You can see that this is another meaning of "free" in
FreeBSD: You are free to pay for it if you want to.

> I don't want something
> stupid.

Be confident: You won't get.

> I don't want to read the man-pages on the internet.  Or the manual on the
> internet.  Nor download anything.  I don't like that.

Then FreeBSD is a good choice. All documentation is available
locally (man pages, Handbook, FAQ and so on). You don't need a
web browser or an Internet connection to access it. Most 3rd
party software available for FreeBSD shares this approach and
brings good documentation.

> Does it come with all the applications I need for business and marketing?
>  That's all I need.

No. The FreeBSD operating system brings an operating system,
nothing more or less. You will have to install the programs
you need because FreeBSD is a multifunctional OS, serving on
workstations, servers, combined forms and even embedded
systems. How _should_ it come with business applications
in such a case?

Furthermore, the term "business applications" is very wide.
What _are_ business applications - in YOUR case? Because
in _my_ case, business applications may likely be something
quite different from yours, and from anyone else's.

If you are interested in a FreeBSD system that comes with
KDE and lots of average productivity applications preinstalled
and preconfigured, check PC-BSD:


See if this fits your needs.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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