Getting to know FreeBSD 5.0

Thursday, 10 April 2003, 11:34 AM EST

This is all well and good, but lately there has been an overflow of reviews written by total beginners and their experiences with the main distributions. So then I decided to write a review of FreeBSD 5.0, "a victim of isolation and Linux's hype," as Eugenia Loli-Queru well put it. The way I see it, FreeBSD will gain ground faster each day without any hype, but why not contribute?

That said, I would like to tell you about myself. I am not a complete beginner in the Linux/Unix world, but I'm not a guru either. I've been sniffing on different Linux distros since I received a PC Format CD with SuSe on it. For several years I have used Windows as my main OS, but I've always had a partition free to be occupied by another OS (QNX, BeOS, BSD, Linux).

I've had no rush changing my main OS, Windows has always given me the possibility to do whatever I wanted, which is pretty much programming, listen to music, browse the Internet and checking my mail. Since I gave myself unlimited time to choose and experiment with several operative systems and distributions, I found it easy to change it when I first decided on doing it. Linux has never really been my favorite, I've always liked QNX and BeOS much better because of the clean GUI and the easy-to-configure set up. (I can't wait until OpenBeOS is released.) It was not until fall 2001 I discovered the BSD tree. A friend and colleague told me about his good experiences he had with OpenBSD at his own company. I read more about it, and found FreeBSD to be a very good choice, with the biggest package system available and all. At this point I had used Linux distributions as Slackware, Trustix and JBLinux on my private home server, so FreeBSD seemed perfect on my server and on my workstation as well. And it was. Ports/Pkg is nothing but smooth. Problems rarely occurred, and the dependencies are always getting installed without any problems. Speed and stability are two keywords that describe FreeBSD with great accuracy.

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