Fwd: Glen Peterson from Wisconsin. Some questions

Matthew Seaman matthew at FreeBSD.org
Wed Jul 31 05:40:25 UTC 2013

On 31/07/2013 03:56, petersontr at aol.com wrote:
> I have been thinking about installing your FreeBSD onto some of my
> extra PC's that I have laying around, just to see what that Unix OS
> can do on my PC. I have a few questions, though, before I order your
> Install Disk to do that. I spoke to your receptionist there on 30
> July, and she suggested that I write to you with my detailed
> questions before I went ahead an purchased your well-recommended OS:

Receptionist? I don't believe we (FreeBSD) have anything like that.
We're not a business; just a bunch of people that write an OS and make
it available for anyone to use.  Perhaps you spoke to one of the
companies that sell FreeBSD derived products?

Note that you can simply download FreeBSD CD and USB stick images for
free (well, not counting anything you'ld have to pay for bandwidth) --
pre-written CDs come from third parties, but buying them will generally
result in some money going to the FreeBSD foundation.

> 1. I have a Dell Dimension 3000 PC with a 32-bit Intel processor in
> it. It has 2G's of RAM, and a 250GB hard drive under Windows OS,
> currently. I use A.T.&T. as my ISP and I have a DSL line supplied by
> A.T.& T. May I install your OS onto an external 80 GB Seagate
> Barracuda ATA IV Model ST380021A hard drive, and boot off of that
> into BSD and have it run on that Dell computer? The BIOS Chip seems
> to support external drives and USB sticks, since I have successfully
> used the later to boot this PC into Debian Linux.

Should work fine with FreeBSD.  The best way to test for full
compatibility is to boot from a USB stick or a live CD before installing
on your hard drive.

> 2. Do you have a version of your free BSD program with a graphical
> user interface (like that seen on Mac's and Windows boxes) that will
> run on that same Dell Dimension 300, mentioned above?

FreeBSD itself is just the basic operating system without any frills.
Graphical environments are certainly available, but they are considered
as add-ons and not part of FreeBSD itself.

I suggest that instead of FreeBSD itself, you start with PC-BSD
(http://www.pcbsd.org/) This is an integrated desktop system with all
the graphical bits layered on top of the basic FreeBSD operating system.
 It's much more like what you'll have see when you tried out Debian, and
as it has a nice graphical interface, it tends to be a lot easier for
people new to the Unix command line.

> 3. How much does the install CD cost me, including shipping to the
> Milwaukee area, for the Free BSD OS that will run on said computer?

It's free to download.  You can buy a boxed set of CDs or a DVD from here:


Looks like about $30 for CDs, $40 for a DVD.  Plus shipping nd handling
and the usual taxes.

> 4. I have another PC at work that has a 32-bit AMD chip in it with
> 1GB RAM and 250 GB under Vista OS, currently. Do you likewise have a
> version of your latest Free BSD that will run on THIS machine in a
> graphical environment like that mentioned for the Dell computer above
> from the same external 80 GB Seagate hard drive?

Yes, FreeBSD has versions for both the i386 (Intel 32 bit) and amd64 (64
bit) architectures.  Note that you'ld use amd64 for any 64bit capable
intel type CPU, including ones from Intel specifically and not just ones
from AMD.

> 5. Does the OS come with an application, like I have observed with
> some Linux distros, that enables me to get updates as they become
> available?

Yes, in fact there are several different ways of doing this.  If you try
out PC-BSD as I suggest, it has built-in update mechanisms which will
allow you to update from the net.

> Does your FreeBSD come with its own browser? If not, may I still
> connect to the web by some means to obtain a BSD-compatible browser
> (e.g., Firefox) that will run on this OS on either of the two
> computers above?

FireFox and Chrome and a number of other web browsers certainly are
available either as native FreeBSD applications, or by running the Linux
applications under emulation.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 268 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
URL: <http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-questions/attachments/20130731/ddcbdcb3/attachment.sig>

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list