Minimal skills

Brandon helsley brandon.helsley at
Thu Jun 4 08:15:01 UTC 2020


I started using FreeBSD about 2 months ago and have purchased books like absolute freebsd and have learned a lot.
I can set up a desktop environment that has all the programs I need, so that's not the problem. It's that I want to progress past simple editing of configuration files and minor system administration tasks like the crontab. I want to try and stick with FreeBSD as my main and probably mostly only OS. Meaning, I would like to skip the ubuntu step. It seems as though the FreeBSD docs is the way to go. Just read it over a few times, as well as the porters handbook. I'll get straight to it so I can contribute to ports and docs, even if it takes a couple years!!!


> On Jun 4, 2020 at 1:58 AM, Ralf Mardorf via freebsd-questions  <freebsd-questions at>  wrote:
>  On Thu, 4 Jun 2020 07:41:34 +0200, Polytropon wrote:  >If you don't mind, I'd suggest to dedicate a workstation PC  >or a laptop for FreeBSD, while having a second computer (or  >a smartphone) for web access (documtnation, mailing lists,  >or web forums). On Wed, 3 Jun 2020 18:27:40 -0700, David Christensen wrote:  >For self-learning, the starting point is to obtain a working personal  >computer (PC) and Internet access. I suggest a Windows or macOS  >desktop or laptop computer [...] Do not make any dramatic changes to  >the PC, and do not attempt to install FreeBSD or any other operating  >system (e.g. "dual boot"). [...]  >Install virtualization software on your PC (I suggest VirtualBox).  >Create a virtual machine (VM). Install FreeBSD on the VM (see chapter  >3 of AF3E). Don't worry if you make mistakes during installation --  >delete the virtual machine and start over. Once you have a working  >FreeBSD VM, shut it down and take a snapshot. Hi, it's not easy to decide which of
 those two approaches is the better one. I would say it's better to install FreeBSD on bare metal. While the recommendation to use VirtualBox is very good, since it's the easiest to use virtual machine, I dislike this idea for two reasons. To learn how to maintain a computer, it's wise to learn the basics regarding hardware and software, so it's way better to avoid a virtual machine that fakes hardware and getting your hands dirty by touching real hardware. Btw. starting with a desktop tower PC and a screwdriver IMO is better, than starting with a laptop, since IMO you literally should get in touch with the hardware. I started with hardware modified C64 and Atari ST computers. In the beginning a friend helped me with the hardware. The Atari ST had a 80286 hardware emulator and was running DR DOS. I learned different levels of programming BASIC, PASCAL, Assembler, Turbo C++. Later I migrated to a Windows 98 and user-friendly Linux distro dual-boot PC, before I used FreeBSD and a user-
centric (non-user-friendly) Linux distro. I do not program with programming languages anymore and I do not modify computer hardware using a soldering iron anymore. Nowadays I only write shell scripts and I only piece together ready-made computer modules. A desktop tower PC's motherboard has got slots to connect hardware cards, RAM etc. and shell scripts are quite powerful. It's good that I used programming languages and a soldering iron in the past, but not necessarily needed to maintain a modern computer. Btw. one of my few contributions to FLOSS communities is helping novices with Ubuntu Linux. My recommendation before starting with a BSD or not user-friendly Linux distro is to start with a user-friendly Linux distro. A dual-boot with  e.g. Windows isn't necessarily required. Consider to use Ubuntu first. While for some domains I'm using an iPad,  e.g. for drawing, the idea that a beginner should have a Smartphone or tablet computer is only useful to get information/help via Intern
et. A second PC or laptop would allow to download and  e.g. burn software, something that might be even more helpful in some dead ends a greenhorn could experience. OTOH neighbours or friends might assist, if you need more than a Smartphone or tablet computer to fix an issue with your FreeBSD (or maybe Ubuntu ;) computer. Regards, Ralf _______________________________________________ freebsd-questions at  mailing list  To unsubscribe, send any mail to "freebsd-questions-unsubscribe at" 

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