Unix basics (was Re: For My Edification)

illoai at gmail.com illoai at gmail.com
Tue May 3 17:34:30 UTC 2011

On 2 May 2011 19:37, Chris Hill <chris at monochrome.org> wrote:
> On Mon, 2 May 2011, Louis Marrero wrote:

>> Being familiar only with general knowledge on the Windows XP that I use
>> daily, I've gone on the web to find out more information on some of the
>> terms used by this programmer, such as "BSD", "shell terminal", "nc -u",
>> etc.  Since my friend knows that my computer is strictly MS Windows, when my
>> friend writes down something like "In a shell terminal type nc -u
>> 5555." it makes me wonder what I'm missing.
> When he says "shell terminal", think "command prompt". nc is netcat, but I
> didn't know Windows had that. In your friend's defense, I use Windows every
> day (at work) and I can't always remember what things are called. Especially
> since MS changes terminology every now and then, evidently just for the hell
> of it.
>> 1.  I know that Windows is an OS, and Linux/Unix as well as FreeBSD are
>> other Operating System.  My very basic question is this: Is it even possible
>> to install a second OS, like FreeBSD on an existing Windows-based computer?
> Yes. You can either set it up for dual boot - either by adding a second hard
> drive, or by partitioning your existing drive if there's space - or you can
> run another OS within a virtual machine of some sort. The latter would need
> a pretty fast machine if the guest OS is to have decent performance.
> Having said that, I found it easier to get started using an old PC that was
> too slow to run a modern Windows, but perfectly fine for a GUI-free BSD. I'm
> typing this on an old Dell that I bought on ebay.

Another possibility is to install cygwin ( http://www.cygwin.com/ )
which will give you a rather goodly number of unix/gnu programs,
though they have the unfortunate habit of defaulting to bash, and
if you install a compiler and some basic build tools a nigh-unto
infinite number of programs become available.

That said, buying an older, cheap machine to install FreeBSD on
is probably the easiest.  And who doesn't enjoy buying more stuff?

>> 2.  Is it possible to link my Windows laptop to a web server with Unix or
>> FreeBSD and exercise Unix/Linux commands.  If so, how is that done?
> The server's admin would have to give you a shell account. Most commercial
> ISPs won't do that, but maybe your friend will.

With PuTTY, you can connect to any unix/linux/bsd machine
with sshd enabled (though you need an account on that
machine to actually log in).
( http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/ )

X forwarding onto a windows machine
( http://www.math.umn.edu/systems_guide/putty_xwin32.html )
may be best reserved for the 201 course.


More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list