Bad experience switching to SSD on FreeBSD 10.3

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at
Fri Jun 24 21:44:55 UTC 2016

On Fri, June 24, 2016 3:24 pm, Manish Jain wrote:
> Hi,
> I have a rather bad experience switching to SSD on FreeBSD 10.3 amd64.
Things would have been much worse had the SSD switch not worked for my
other OS - Windows XP, a bit surprising because XP does not support SSD
> For my upgrade, there were 3 components which I upgraded simultaneously
> 1) Keyboard -> LED backlit keyboard (Cooler Master Devastator, USB) 2) 2
GB DDR3 RAM -> 8GB DDR3 (G Skill)
> 3) Sata HD -> SSD (Samsung EVO 500 GB)
> The keyboard upgrade itself failed for FreeBSD. The moment I switch on
> LED backlight light for the keys, console output freezes till I turn off
the backlight. This is surprising because the keyboard works well on XP,
which was developed almost 2 decades back. The reason this is important
for me is because I love working in the dark, with no bright lights
around. LED keyboards make that possible. Not just that, the keyboard
looks sensational - particularly with LED on, when the thing looks

It's useful that you share that, but it doesn't resemble the subject... I
know, sometimes it is really hard to make subject say what you will

> So I resigned myself to working without the LED. Upon installation of
FreeBSD and Gnome3, the desktop started crashing. I suspected the RAM to
be defective and reinstalled the whole OS with the RAM switched to the
original 2 GB - which was working flawlessly on previous FreeBSD 10.2
installation. Upon reinstall, things were much better, but then Gnome
Tweak Tool just does not work. This makes it impossible to get the
Applications menu and the Window list, which I find absolutely
> There is no way I can work the Activities system that Gnome ships with
> default. Hotspot makes things much worse, although I think there is an
extension that disable hotspot. But first I have to get the Activities
menu and the Window List, without which I just can't use Gnome. If I
> get Gnome to work for me, FreeBSD itself becomes useless as a desktop

I suspect some hardware problems, maybe not fully compatible or flaky new
RAM. Your SSD sounds really good, I exclude that just based on its
reputation. I myself just switched to similar Samsung (only 1 TB) my
laptop (FreeBSD 10.3; Fujitsu Ultrabook U904). All happily works and rock
solid for me. I do not use Gnome, I use Mate instead. My laptop keyboard
backlite turns ON and OFF without problem (I can see somebody already
figured out what happens in your case). I didn't test/tweak many thing yet
(and usually I only tweak a few)... Question: did you have the same
everything (hardware wise and settings/tweaks wise) before you switched to
SSD? As I for one can not see any reason to blame switching to SSD for
this bucket of problems.

> So I crapped the FreeBSD installation and switched to Windows XP +
> On XP, the whole thing works fantastically. My system is much faster,
roughly 3 times compared to when I had the SATA HD. Now I am stuck with
Windows XP, when the entire upgrade had targeted removal of XP and
> as the only OS.

Windows XP is not supported for quite long, and after the end of support
there were several security problems discovered, which your unsupported XP
is vulnerable to. I would recommend to relly quit on Windows XP. I have to
use windows occasionally (I run it under VirtualBox on FreeBSD
machines: laptop and workstation), nothing lower than Windows 7 can be
safely run.

Good luck making FreeBSD work for you! Even if it takes some effort it's
well worth it.


> The LED keyboard situation is unwarranted - FreeBSD should
> by now be having support for USB LED keyboard. The Gnome situation is an
equal concern. FreeBSD is famous for making sensible choices. The Gnome
developers have screwed up the desktop environment with rotten user
interface choices, and the thing now needs to be fixed with extensions
> tweak tools. This leads directly to inavailability of FreeBSD for me for
the time being. I was prepared to go without the keyboard - I could have
tried passing the USB commands to Widows XP hosted under VirtualBox.
> might have been possible, although I am not sure it would have worked.
> the additional Gnome problem leads me to
>   revert
>  to XP as the only OS for the time being. Hopefully things will be fixed
> with FreeBSD 11.0. Luckily for me, I used MBR partitioning when
> initializing the SSD - against the advice from this forum. Because of
that, I was able to try out XP, rather than having to roll back the
> upgrade.
> I hope developers at FreeBSD and Gnome become aware of my experience - I
dearly wish things will be fixed ASAP.
> Thank you.
> Manish Jain
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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