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Topic: Why use *BSD?

Hi guys, just trying to get more activity on these forums. I think they're great.

Anyways, I was just wondering why you all use BSD?

Currently I am using FreeBSD-7.0 as my desktop OS. Prior I had Archlinux, and prior to that I had Slackware (Can you see the progression? ;p).
I'm not really a hardcore computer-user. I'm only a programmer by hobby. I do run a few services, but only things like my personal website. Nothing big or serious. I suppose I enjoy FreeBSD on more of an intellectual/philosophical level than a practical one (granted, I find FreeBSD very easy, practical, and intuitive).

How about you guys?

Re: Why use *BSD?

I have had similar road:
Slackware (with KDE) --> Gentoo (with Fluxbox) --> FreeBSD (mostly Fluxbox) <--> OpenSolaris

Most of the things I know about UNIX I learned on FreeBSD because it was clean, simple and well documented, also community support was very good.

I do not want to talk Linux kernel bloat and mess again as I did that many times before wink

"religions, worst damnation of mankind"
[color=Blue]Linux is not UNIX! Face it! It is not an insult. It is fact: GNU is a recursive acronym for

Re: Why use *BSD?

i like pf and other features that openbsd has.

freebsd is super-fast and clean, just as i like it. smile

Re: Why use *BSD?

Unter certain conditions it's the best, in the end 'it sucks less'.

F!XMBR

Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. --Pericles

Re: Why use *BSD?

I haven't used BSD on my desktop for a while because it's more practical to me to be running OS X right now (both due to the hard I have, a MacBook, and that I don't really have time to be messing around with silly stuff like Flash not working so well).

OpenBSD still runs on my router/firewall though, and has been for a couple of years. I wouldn't consider putting anything else on there. pf rules and I know BSD networking fairly well.

I used to use that same box as a webserver, but I have since gotten a 256slice running Ubuntu from Slicehost for, among other things, the superior bandwidth to my home connection.

once my MacBook dies I will probably run some FreeBSD or Linux on some old desktop hardware for a while. keep it low key smile.

Re: Why use *BSD?

I'm mostly a Linux(Debian) user; have used PC-BSD on a laptop and installed FreeBSD a couple times on desktops.    Now that Linux is being offered on retail computers I'm starting to become a little uncomfortable.   I'm feeling a need to "get-back-to-basics", and distance myself from the crowd.

Re: Why use *BSD?

hrsetrdr wrote:

Now that Linux is being offered on retail computers I'm starting to become a little uncomfortable.   I'm feeling a need to "get-back-to-basics", and distance myself from the crowd.

Hmm, following the Joneses *weird-smirk*
Following the crowd or letting them get you a little uncomfortable is for those without wisdom, knowledge.
I am an independent thinker, that makes me free and manifests freedom; NetBSD is my nirvana.

Would you let those that are deaf, dumb, and blind, lead you on a journey only for you to see your walking in a giant circle?

I hope, emphatically not. 
To me NetBSD is just plain simple and clean.

Re: Why use *BSD?

Bitweiler wrote:
hrsetrdr wrote:

Now that Linux is being offered on retail computers I'm starting to become a little uncomfortable.   I'm feeling a need to "get-back-to-basics", and distance myself from the crowd.

Hmm, following the Joneses *weird-smirk*
Following the crowd or letting them get you a little uncomfortable is for those without wisdom, knowledge.
I am an independent thinker, that makes me free and manifests freedom; NetBSD is my nirvana.

Would you let those that are deaf, dumb, and blind, lead you on a journey only for you to see your walking in a giant circle?

I hope, emphatically not. 
To me NetBSD is just plain simple and clean.

Wow, that's certainly an interesting interpretation of my statement, just about 180 degrees in the opposite direction I'd say.   *weird-smirk*

Re: Why use *BSD?

Is it? He's pointing out you're making your choices based on what the crowd does (either by choosing to do whatever the crowd does, or by choosing to do what the crowd does not do), instead of acting independently. The question now is whether it's really necessary or desirable to act totally independently of the crowd, after all, humans are social animals and we should have some relation and interaction with others. Personally, I think the smartest thing to do is to find the middle ground: factor in the bigger picture (i.e., what the rest of the world is doing) into your decision making process, without letting it dominate the process nor neglecting it. Of course, it's easy to say such things...

As for my BSD usage: these days, FreeBSD runs on my servers and firewalls. On my desktops, it has been replaced with Gentoo and openSUSE. And if I had to reinstall the machines currently running Gentoo, I'd go with openSUSE on those too.

Re: Why use *BSD?

I certainly didn't originally choose Gentoo because it saves time doing configuration and customization. I chose it because it seemed to be closest to FreeBSD in overall design. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with several aspects. For example, with FreeBSD I usually got up to date ports and still they manage to create a stable system. With Gentoo, I either follow the stable branch get the same months old ports that I get with any other Linux distribution, or I pick the ~x86 branch and get frequent system breakage. The other thing is that while it's source based, it's much harder that it is in FreeBSD to modify the source. In FreeBSD, when installing a port, I can "make extract" it, then modify the source at my leasure, and finish the install normaly with "make install clean". Gentoo for some reason doesn't let you interrupt a build like that, it insists on restarting from scratch whenever you start a package build (of course, if there's an easy way around this, please do tell). Hence why I'm now favoring openSUSE

Re: Why use *BSD?

Maxlor wrote:

Is it? He's pointing out you're making your choices based on what the crowd does (either by choosing to do whatever the crowd does, or by choosing to do what the crowd does not do), instead of acting independently. The question now is whether it's really necessary or desirable to act totally independently of the crowd, after all, humans are social animals and we should have some relation and interaction with others. Personally, I think the smartest thing to do is to find the middle ground: factor in the bigger picture (i.e., what the rest of the world is doing) into your decision making process, without letting it dominate the process nor neglecting it. Of course, it's easy to say such things...

As for my BSD usage: these days, FreeBSD runs on my servers and firewalls. On my desktops, it has been replaced with Gentoo and openSUSE. And if I had to reinstall the machines currently running Gentoo, I'd go with openSUSE on those too.

hehe,  you know...it never occurred to me when I posted to this thread that my motivations for using BSD would come under such intense scrunity, with such degree of psychoanalytical fever.


Here's the deal short & sweet:

I am an independent and am a free thinker, I make my choices based on my sensory perceptions to a greater than average degree.  I've still got to interact with other humans (wife, kids & coworkers) to live a peaceful and rewarding life.    BUT, I feel no compulsion what-so-ever to follow the inane, short sighted and greatly "dumbed-down" path that society at-large follows.   Perhaps it's just some sort of emotional flaw within me, but I find much of what today's society has to offer somewhat repulsive.    Case in point entertainment:  Aside from the Science channel & History channel(+ a couple others} I find the program offerings on television to be utter garbage.  I resent being fed garbage, and reject the notion advanced by the Entertainment Industry that they are merely providing what the Public wants to have.   My favorite response to that is: "if you feed pigs slop, then they will eat slop and love it.  However, if you feed pigs top quality corn, then the pigs will eat that and love it as well".  Any way, I could go on & on but I hope the picture is much clearer.    My apologies for not taking the time in my original post to be more explicit, in describing my position.

Re: Why use *BSD?

qmemo wrote:

Maxlor, what can I say .... How Sweet....taking the long road for a nice worm walk with a distro that starves to present for you every thing in GUI (There is absolutely nothing wrong in that..) let me remind you after all, GUI has and still MS Windows way..even if the whole world said no....the facts speaks of it self.

The GUI is not the point. The point is that the openSUSE folks have done a lot of the (repetitive) work I'd normally do, maintaining a system, for me. It doesn't matter whether I install flash via yast (the GUI), or via "zypper install flash" at the command line, what matters is that the package has been set up in such a way that it actually works after the installation.

qmemo wrote:

the bottom line there is nothing wrong to have an easy to use a Desktop OS, it's just dropping the BSDs as Desktops will make them focus more on being a Server OS and yet the very same history will rewind once more...are the BSDs ready for Desktop.

In my opinion, BSD doesn't have to be

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Re: Why use *BSD?

Maxlor wrote:

In my opinion, BSD doesn't have to be

Re: Why use *BSD?

I'll give a slightly different take to this thread.

As a developer, it behooves me to stay abreast of where the market is going.  I've had a few gigs which were done on FreeBSD, but I started playing with OpenBSD for my own use & have never ventured far from it.  I've occasionally installed Linux, & they are taking great pains of make the experience mindless for the mass market, but with it comes a lot of clutter.  While the Linux community has been so busy hating Microsoft, they have become just as bad trying to appease everyone & being pulled in so many different directions by big money.  Not that I necessarily prescribe to the Open Source religion, but the Linux code base ironically has a lot of NDA'ed drivers for such a movement that preaches openness, & BTW, that openness has to be done exactly their way.

The *BSD's aren't as encumbered as Linux, & OpenBSD has the least commercial influence of all.  The development model is rather authoritarian, but it works very well.  Many other projects are now trying to duplicate its frequent release cycle.  Consequently, the state of the OpenBSD code base is well understood virtually at all times, & I'm running -current on most of my hardware.  For a large part of the time, it has been exceptionally stable which is surprising for a development branch. 

As an example, when the Eee PC came out, OpenBSD ran on it first amongst the *BSD's.  There were some lii(4) network driver issues, but that was resolved pretty quickly.  Yes, wireless doesn't work on that platform, but the only known driver that works is the one for Linux, & it's NDA'ed.  Thanks, Linux & ASUS;  you both sold out.

Yes, OpenBSD is weak on the desktop in comparison to most other projects, but with discipline, this isn't that hard to overcome.  It simply isn't a high priority for the developers.  Nevertheless, 3D video acceleration is coming for those that want it.  Flash is another desktop feature often brought up, but this too is slowly getting better.  Most desktop applications I use have already been ported to OpenBSD, but there are occasions where I still have to go back to Windows.  So be it.

So at this point, stability is something I really like, & OpenBSD with their focus on correctness has been delivering.  Their networking solutions are quite innovative.  So that's why I'm staying with it.  It works.

Last edited by ocicat (2008-07-23 06:54:47)

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Re: Why use *BSD?

qmemo wrote:

I am guessing that it would be like "we are not all developers !!"

Well, I am a developer (biological tools), but not a software developer.  I *use* software.

we are not talking here about what we do daily...

That's exactly what my intemperate post was about.  I use computers as tools to accomplish certain tasks, and those tasks are not limited to web browsing, playing music and videos, email and that sort of thing.  I like BSD a lot, and have used it for most desktop things for quite a long time.  I have about reached the end of my rope, though, because the things that I really need to do on the computer increasingly cannot be done on BSD -- or Linux or Solaris, for that matter, but they at least have decent VMs to make up for much of it. 

It is really frustrating that BSD software is so very limited for the things I do.  I can live with the other inconveniences.

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Re: Why use *BSD?

qmemo wrote:

if it went as it seems to be going now, then "Sayonara BSD as Desktop OS" and let me ask being busy as a developer (biological tools), what exactly would you run a BSD for? HTTP Server...!

I use it on my server, which runs a reference database manager, an electronic lab notebook, as well as the usual email and an internal web page.  I don't need any outward-facing servers yet.  Since nothing goes on the server without being tested first, I will also keep it on my development box, together with Windows and the "test OS of the week."

I probably won't ever leave desktop BSD entirely, as it is an important part of my text processing chain.  I'll just use it in a VM or off the server.

I do wish that there were an alternative.

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Re: Why use *BSD?

qmemo wrote:

the Idea is to use it as a Desktop OS even for Testing wither it be on a VM or a real machine, as long as saying what do you think of that or that.

Sure, why not?  When I use a Windows box, I usually have a shell window open on BSD (using putty), and am always transferring files back and forth (with WinSCP).  For most things I don't need the GUI, though I have that working too (as a remote X session).  The way the BSDs and other Unix derivatives do networking is really lovely, so why not use it?

Whether you want to use a VM instead is a personal choice.  There are advantages to them: you can keep a revision history and roll back if you screw something up, and they are a lot more convenient to back up (usually they use just a big file).  These days the good ones are responsive enough, but forget about games.  BSD runs fine in them, at least they did the last time I checked.

I should add that my main box for doing 80% of things still runs BSD.  It is just that the percentage of tasks that I can do with the available software is going down.  I just like BSD, so I use it when I can.

Last edited by DrJ (2008-07-23 20:30:44)

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Re: Why use *BSD?

For me, BSD is just what I know.  I've used it for 25 years all the way back to the 4.2BSD days at Berkeley.  It is just wired into my fingers.  I never did care much for the Linux -this-is-an-insanely-long-option-name method or info pages.  Simple options and man pages just suit me better, as does the more rational file layout and maintenance.  And *real* man pages.

I know you didn't ask, but hey...

Re: Why use *BSD?

Maxlor has made some great points that I concur with him on with regard to maintaining a BSD desktop.

I'm currently using Ubuntu as my desktop as all the hard work has been done for me - once installed the OS is ready to go/use. No need to start compiling and installing X and a browser - it's all already there.

I too seem to have less time these days to maintain my desktop

"UBER" means I don't drink the coffee... I chew the beans instead
             -- Copyright BSDnexus

Re: Why use *BSD?

Hi brianeide - glad to hear you had a good experience

"UBER" means I don't drink the coffee... I chew the beans instead
             -- Copyright BSDnexus

Re: Why use *BSD?

It is the best. It contains many nice features and functionalities. It works very well. It is simple, effective and flexible. It is very well documentation. So i like it.

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