This doesn't appear to be the usual troll as Dan does ask some real
> I run Debian Linux.
> The evil thing has crashed for the last time.
> I was convinced that one program was not supposed to
> be able to bring down an entire system, yet netscape
> apparently could.
> Anyway, X also crashes.
Lets qualify everything first by observing it *is* PC hardware, where
"cheap" rules. FreeBSD is the greatest thing this side of MacOS X but
if the hardware is broken then it too is going to crash. Considering
most manufacturers consider "it works with Windows" to be the
definition of not-broken doesn't mean its so.
A pet peeve of mine is lack of ECC memory. I have seen enough memory
errors detected by ECC hardware but missed by "memory checkers" to be a
believer. Few PC's have ECC memory but many have capable hardware.
> My Questions:
> 1. Apt-get. Anything similiar in FreeBSD?
> I loved being able to apt-get upgrade.
The preferred method with FreeBSD is to use cvsup to bring your sources
up to date. Then update using make.
> 2. ATI XPERT 2000.
> Supported? Hardware Accel?
Check with XFree86. FreeBSD uses the same sources as Linux. But some
vendors are supplying binary only Linux drivers. Sometimes these can be
made to run under FreeBSD too.
> 3. Memory. Can one program ever crash the system?
Its been known to happen. Netscape Communicator is known for its
flakeyness and ability to lock up window managers. No telling how much
of your problem was due to using the latest and greatest bleeding edge
beta Gnome? I'm just guessing you were running Gnome? Or KDE?
> 4. Ease of use:
> (Keep in mind I can program c++, and have manualyy configured much in linux,
yet I am a full time student and can;t muck around too much)
Then you won't miss not having a GUI for the installation.
FreeBSD makes far fewer assumptions on setting up X than I've seen in
Linux. So in general FreeBSD starts with X being less "full featured"
than Linux. Then again, the Linux distributions have to have something
to distinguish themselves from each other so they put a lot of effort
into getting the user into the prettiest X environment as quickly as
> 5. How is the support for say, an acer cdrw (ATAPI, mmc compliant) 6x4x32?, f
or a K6-III?
FreeBSD doesn't do SCSI-emulation for ATAPI. We have a pretty
interesting direct to ATAPI feature set, including burncd in the base
system. My system is an Athlon.
> 6. What is the stability of the system like in general?
> compared to linux?
Not many on this list could really say how FreeBSD stands vs the
current Linux. OTOH a large number (myself included) are former Linux
users, disillusioned, looked for something better and think we found it.
> 7. Same as above but for speed?
Of course FreeBSD is the fastest. :-)
Seriously, from what I've seen of the FreeBSD core developers they don't
sweat "speed for speed's sake". The emphasis is on doing it right,
reliable, and something that can continue to provide a solid foundation
for the future. If it needs to be slower to be safe, then it is. Such as
the filesystem. UFS is usually very fast. It is a safe place for your
data. But on installation expanding /usr/ports/ into place is taxing.
Believe this is because creating directories is an "expensive" process
with UFS, and /usr/ports is all directories and small files.
Under load FreeBSD behaves better than Linux.
I left Linux when my system crashed and trashed the filesystems three
times in one week. Never looked back. Altho some friends and I are
going to invite ourselves to a Linux UG meeting next week. :-)
> 8. How do I install it? I have a T1 connection though my school.
Download the two boot floppies and boot 'em. Or download the ISO image
and use your Linux system one last time to make a FreeBSD CD. Better yet
purchase the FreeBSD CDROM set. That's the only way to make sure BSDi
can afford the electricity to keep this email list running.
> 9. Can I run debian apps on it?
Probably. Not sure why you would want to. But there is an optional
so-called "Linux emulation" layer in FreeBSD where Linux apps are
recognized in their native form an Linux syscalls are mapped to
appropriate FreeBSD syscalls. Linux Netscape will run. As will Acrobat
Reader, and WordPerfect.
> 10. How fast are you at incorporating new technology, programs?
Just because its "new" doesn't mean its better. Its hard to say about
many things. Such as "removal of 2G file size limit" is new for Linux
but was never an issue with FreeBSD.
Couple of years ago SMP was the Big Hot Thing. Some said Linux had it
and FreeBSD didn't. Now the smoke has cleared it has not proven to be
that big of an issue. Linux's SMP turned out to be less than the hype.
FreeBSD has been making some massive internal changes with SMP in mind.
FreeBSD has had SMP for quite some time. But the point I'd like to make
is that "newer" and "newest" are often sexy, "but what good is that if
she can't cook?"
> As compared to linux (both redhat speed, and debian speed)?
Certainly slower. FreeBSD lets Linux debug "new stuff" such as gcc.
FreeBSD took a year or so longer to move to ELF but when we did it was
done so well many didn't know it happened if they had not been told.
Apparently Netscape still doesn't know as the only FreeBSD native
Netscape apps are still in a.out format. But still run.
> 11. If When I take this comp home, and it is no longer hooked up in any way t
o the internet, how could I install new stuff? Just as easy? (ie are there pa
A FreeBSD "package" is a pre-compiled FreeBSD "port". A FreeBSD port is
a Makefile and supporting files capable of downloading, verifying,
patching, compiling, installing, and removing, an application.
The port may recurse and install other ports needed to build or run the
port you requested. Installing Netscape will build XFree86 if its
missing. Installing the Linux Netscape will install the Linux runtime
stuff needed by other Linux apps.
Over a 28.8k modem cvsup can do its thing with about one 20 to 30
minute session per week.
> 12. How clean/easy is uninstalling a program?
make clean # cleans up after compiling
make deinstall # one way to undo the install
It is better to use pkg_delete rather than "make deinstall" as
pkg_delete can remove what you installed, while deinstall can only do
the exact version you have in ports.
David Kelly N4HHE, firstname.lastname@example.org
The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its
capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.
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