updating a FreeBSD workstation

David Christensen dpchrist at holgerdanske.com
Sat May 23 18:52:47 UTC 2020

> On Sat, 23 May 2020 at 09:39, Doug Denault <doug at safeport.com>
> wrote:
>> Thoughts/questions on updating a FreeBSD desktop.

>> My solution has been every so often start fresh because I can not
>> afford the time to risk a non-working desktop.

On 2020-05-23 00:47, Odhiambo Washington wrote:
> Use your Linux of choice

On 2020-05-23 01:02, Polytropon wrote:
> ... if you want a "just works", use Linux.


I have been using Debian for desktops for many years (currently Debian 9 
amd64 xfce).  I try very hard to keep my installs as close to OOTB as 
possible.  Xfce has more features and is better integrated on Debian. 
Almost all of the software I need is available as binary packages.  By 
choosing hardware with Intel graphics, I avoid problems with proprietary 
graphics drivers.  Debian, plus Ubuntu and other derivatives, have a 
large enough install base that some software projects/ vendors release 
binary packages and/or operate package servers (Google, Mozilla, 
Oracle).  Minor version updates/ upgrades are easy, and rarely fail.  (I 
backup/ wipe/ install/ restore for major version upgrades.)

That said, there are non-trivial differences between FreeBSD and the 
various GNU/ Linux distributions.  It is not uncommon that you have to 
learn two ways to accomplish the same goal -- one for each platform. 
For interactive terminal use and for shell scripts, I install GNU tools 
on FreeBSD.  The FreeBSD feature I miss the most on Debian is ZFS. 
While I can install ZFS on Debian and use it successfully for data 
disks, using ZFS for a Debian system disk has too many costs and risks.


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