Exist more advantage in doing design using open source or operating system of closed source?

John Holland jholland at vin-dit.org
Mon Mar 23 23:19:50 UTC 2015

Interesting. I’ve been using Linux, FreeBSD or Solaris for about 20 years. I’d been on Linux (mainly RedHat and Debian) for the last maybe 8 years. I recently switched to FreeBSD on my server and started booting into OS X on my Macbook out of disgust with the systemd situation. I still have a really nice Debian/enlightenment setup on the other partition on the Macbook. I haven’t booted it in a few weeks.

I’m finding FreeBSD to be very nice, the fact that it has pkgng now is a big plus. Everything is very clean and well thought out, and documented, as you say. I’ve learned a little new stuff like jails. 

I was using zfsonlinux.org to get ZFS on Debian, but it is so much better in FreeBSD where it is well integrated. 

I think Linux is headed into uncharted territory, that may make the statement true that “GNU’s not UNIX”.

On Mar 23, 2015, at 7:09 PM, Bigby James <bigby.james at dimthoughts.com> wrote:

> On 03/21, John Holland wrote:
>> why the switch to freebsd and what virtualization solution are you using?
> I just use VirtualBox, with a virtual disk just large enough to hold Windows 7
> Pro and Adobe Creative Suite 6, plus some room for updates. I'm using an SSD and
> quad-core CPU, and dedicate half my (usually unused) RAM to it, so it starts up
> in ten seconds or so and runs perfectly fine.
> As for why I switched from Linux to FreeBSD, that's a little involved; I'll try
> and keep this short. Up to a few months before making the switch I'd been using
> Arch Linux for several years (still do on my Raspberry Pi), and 90% of the time
> that worked extremely well. But minor inconveniences due to frequent, untested
> updates had started to annoy me, and I'd recently gotten on a real kick about
> system stability and preserving my data. So I started looking at other distros.
> The problem was that, due to the way GNU/Linux systems are built, there's no way
> to get a system that offers both a high degree of relatively certain stability,
> and a high degree of low-level control over the system structure. No distro I
> tried could be "Arch, but without the risk of breaking something every day." The
> list of distributions I considered worth my time and effort ended up being
> pretty small (four, in fact). I'd been interested in FreeBSD for a while because
> its design philosophy jibed with me---I'd read Matt Fuller's "BSD for Linux
> Users"[1] some years ago---but since I exclusively use laptops I had to wait 18
> months or so for the integrated GPU driver to catch up before giving it a proper
> try on my present machines. In the meantime I'd grab a snapshot every so often
> and see how it ran. Through sheer serendipity FreeBSD-RELEASE 10.1 came out
> while I was on my new OS hunt, and all the important stuff worked out of the
> box, so I installed FreeBSD to a second disk and figured I'd give it two weeks
> or so to see how it might work as a primary OS.
> It only took about four or five days for me to fall in love with FreeBSD. Most
> of my Linux knowledge translated just fine. The outstanding documentation, the
> "rolling-release you update anytime you feel like it with substantially lower
> risk of breaking something" nature of the ports tree and -STABLE branches, the
> layout of the filesystem, the similarities between Arch and FreeBSD software
> management (thanks to pkg(8) integration), the quality and features of UFS and
> ZFS, the astonishing simplicity of building a custom kernel and setting custom
> build-time options for ports and the base system, the easy manner of configuring
> and automating system services, the fact that there are conventions of style and
> organization for the code and documentation, and the careful consideration that
> clearly goes into choosing components of the base system, and the obvious
> determination to focus on getting one thing right instead of reinventing the
> wheel every couple years---it's all just too awesome. Hell, I think one of the
> most impressive features that helped lure me in was the simple fact that the man
> pages in FreeBSD are complete, coherent *and* are width-constrained. I'd gotten
> used to reading poorly written man pages that were 600 characters long and
> contained little more than "This man page is incomplete. I'll get around to
> finishing it later. (Dated July 2009)." And the man pages that did it were
> sound(4) and build(7)---even *concepts* behind the system are documented here.
> That's some commendably insane attention to detail.
> As a comparison to Linux, FreeBSD basically takes the best features of Debian,
> Gentoo and Arch, combines them, and improves upon all of them. Which makes
> sense, considering that comparison is backwards and all three distributions were
> in fact inspired in varying degrees by FreeBSD. ;)
> [1]: http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/01
> -- 
> "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely
> foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." - Douglas Adams
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