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    Devshed Demi-God (4500 - 4999 posts)

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    Making the Leap to FreeBSD


    So I'm going to install FreeBSD (4.4, just downloaded it) as an experiment (with pppoe, no less! This is on my network at home).

    I'm nowhere near a *nix newbie, though much of my experience is with Linux.

    Here's the scenario- I have an Athlon 700 with two drives, a master that's currently partitioned with a total of 10 gig for RedHat 7.2, and 30 gig for a windows partition, with an 8 gig slave dedicated to Win98. MBR is on the 40 gig drive.

    I really don't want to wipe my windows drive (games, you know. . .) and I'm also not afraid of partitioning my drives. I've read much of the installation docs, and I plan on taking the partitions allocated to RedHat and turning them into FreeBSD partitions.

    I guess I'm wondering if the install will be as intuitive as it seems, and whatever pitfalls not covered in the docs there are from other FreeBSD users.

    I like what I've read about FreeBSD, and and depending on what I think, I may start converting my production servers to it (all are currently RedHat 6.2, 7.1, or 7.2)

    Thanks in advance!
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    Slacker
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

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    Hi.

    ...Pitfalls... Pitfalls are holes in the ground, right. I'm pretty sure that BSD doesn't come with those

    If you follow the documentation, you should have no problem.

    FreeBSD is quite easy to install, and scince you're not a total newbie I can't forsee any problems for you.
    You just partion the way you want them (You've used Linux so I assume you know aboute /usr /home and so on and that you need a swap)... That's the only potential pitfall I can think of. That's not really a pitfall either if you aren't a newbie. And besides... partioning is covered in the docs anyway.

    /Fjodor
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    Gödelian monster
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    FreeBSD should be no problem to understand, and I prefer it for most server usage, but I have found just a couple things to think about:

    In migrating webservers to FreeBSD. Some web application libraries, such as PHP modules, etc... have been written primarily for Linux, and can be a little cranky to get running properly in FreeBSD. For example, I still have not been able to get DOM XML support on PHP (I haven't tried too hard for that, yet). Last year it took me days to figure out the right (undocumented) configuration to get PHP with GD and Freetype working. I gave up messing with PHP-Imlib, and a few other toys, such as SWF or Ming libraries (server-side Flash creation)

    I know most of these are not serious modules, and FreeBSD really rocks on the more serious end of things. My point is, if you have to provide any of these media/eye-candy services, you might be better keeping that stuff on a dedicated Linux box. Or, you could toy around with trying to run some of these services using FreeBSD's Linux compatibility mode, but I think that way madness lies...

    Generally, Linux will give you an easier time with multimedia and graphics-intensive applications than FreeBSD, but FreeBSD will give you a much easier time on networking, databases, and traditional Unix services. There are plenty of people working at writing DVD players, 3D renderers, games, audio, etc... stuff for Linux, while FreeBSD developers tend to concentrate more on, well... the FreeBSD slogan says it all: "The Power to Serve".

    Also, Linux tends to have more business-backed "packaged solutions", such as clustering, distributed computing, graphic development environments, etc...

    I know these are generalizations, but generalizations are..., generally true.
    The real n-tier system:

    FreeBSD -> PostgreSQL -> [any_language] -> Apache -> Mozilla/XUL

    Amazon wishlist -- rycamor (at) gmail.com
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    Note though, that you can run most Linux apps on BSD aswell scince you have linux emulation or whatever it's called... I forget.


    /Fjodor

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