Mininal skills

Matthew Seaman matthew at
Thu Jun 4 09:00:13 UTC 2020

On 04/06/2020 09:13, Brandon helsley wrote:
> 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!!!

I applaud your determination, and I also think it's pretty perverse for
people in *what is a FreeBSD channel* to tell enthusiastic newcomers to
go away and use some other operating system.  That's really not helpful.

Anyhow, my advice is that the best way to get to grips with the system
is to use it.  What I suggest is setting yourself a series of targets or
small projects which are in that sweet spot where you can already do
much of what is necessary, but there is an achievable step up.  Give
yourself some challenges, but not such huge ones that you get dispirited
and give up.

A fairly simple project might be something like:

  Configure a firewall and NAT gateway between your home LAN and the
  outside world.

Most of the time this would be done by some off-the-shelf router device,
but out of the box FreeBSD has pretty much everything necessary.  To do
this you will need to:

   * research the firewall applications available on FreeBSD, and select
     one to use
   * specify suitable hardware and network infrastructure -- for a
     light-duty home LAN, you should be able to do this with fairly
     cheap kit, but you'll want something with more than one network
   * understand the principles of TCP/IP networking and routing; what
     acronyms like TCP, UDP and ICMP mean; and what network ports are
     and how they are used to filter traffic
   * start learning how to use tools like tcpdump(8), ping(8) and mtr(8)
     to inspect network traffic and debug network problems

That's just an idea off the top of my head; there are very many other
small projects you could set yourself that will exercise different areas
and teach you new things.

One of the best ways you could contribute back while doing this is to
record your experiences as you're going along.  It can actually be
pretty suprising to see where exactly the uninitiated experience
difficulties, and knowing that means we can improve our documentation.



-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 963 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
URL: <>

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list