Is FreeBSD a suitable choice for a MacBook?

Andrew Reilly andrew-freebsd at
Wed Oct 8 03:49:14 UTC 2008

On Sun, Oct 05, 2008 at 02:10:59AM -0700, Kip Macy wrote:
> > You sound as if you just got the machine and haven't given MacOS X a chance.
> > Give MacOS X a chance. Download (if its not on your MacOS X install DVD) X
> > Code, and Apple X11.
> X11 is barely usable under Leopard.

I've heard a few people complain about X11 on Mac, and I wonder
what it is that they're doing that I'm not.  Since my "other"
systems are all FreeBSD, I use quite a few X11 applications
on my two MacOS laptops (Tiger on PPC, Leopard on intel) The
*only* problem I've ever had with X11 was on Tiger, where every
so often the X11 server couldn't be contacted after coming out
of sleep.  Restarting X11 fixes that with no particular grief.
Under Leopard it's rock solid reliable for my use.

> Apps crash regularly and
> full-screen doesn't work.

Apps in general, or X11 ones?  The only X11 full-screen app that
I can think of is openoffice's presentation thing.  I remember
that working OK, but so did the Java GUI on NeoOffice, and
now I'm using the experimental Aqua version, which also works
properly, as far as I can tell.

> He may simply want to be able to boot in to FreeBSD as well.

Sure.  I've thought about it myself on numerous occasions, but
ultimately I can't think of anything that I could do within
FreeBSD that I can't already do under MacOS.  If I really,
really want a FreeBSD environment, I've got VMWare (which is
currently doing some Debian Linux, which IMO is much more
annoying than either FreeBSD or MacOs, but that's probbly just
my inexperience talking.)



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