DesktopBSD...best choice for BSD newbie?
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Thread: DesktopBSD...best choice for BSD newbie?

  1. #1
    Senior Member C:\Saw's Avatar
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    Cool DesktopBSD...best choice for BSD newbie?

    Hey All You AO-ers!
    I'm currently dual-booting Linux (PCLOS) and XP, and lately I've been interested in UNIX, so I started checking out BSD. Now, I've already downloaded DesktopBSD and have checked out the LiveCD on my desktop (bet a few of you didn't know BSD had liveCDs!), and it seems stable enough on my laptop. Just wondering if anybody here is using BSD as their main OS and what are the advantages (if any) of using it over other *nixes? I know I know...depends on the user...and I've read a few good articles off the homepage. I mean filesystem wise, hardware-wise, and longevity-wise (I've heard computers running BSD last longer and are more efficient). Feel free to throw down your two cents!

    --btw, I love this forum...this is my first post (obviously)--no flaming please...I've seen a few on here though
    "...to give correctly is to give them what they need from us, for it would not be skillful to bring gifts to anyone that are in no way needed."
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  2. #2
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    For a regular user, there really isn't a difference. And I knew BSd had live CDs, I still have a copy of BSDeviant from unixpunx. And Freesbie.

    I use FreeBSD on one machine here, the main difference between that and say the Slackware and SUSE installs, is the package manager and how things get handled.

    There are differences but for a basic user, they aren't really noticeable. The same tools are available, the same packages, and for the most part, hardware wise, Linux is better in that area.

    For someone who's more than a desktop user, BSD is different in where things are, and how things are set up.

    For example in BSD, when you install an update for FreeBSD, you have to recompile from source and reboot. With Linux only Kernel updates need a reboot. Some BSD updates don't always require a reboot, but from FreeBSD's from page a lot do.

    For stability, I've yet to note a real difference. They both will stay up no matter what you throw at them. My 200 days uptime was on SUSE with X loaded and full desktop going and I was using it dailey.

    FreeBSD is pretty much the same unless you install patches, then you need to reboot.
    Kill the lights, let the candles burn behind the pumpkins’ mischievous grins, and let the skeletons dance. For one thing is certain, The Misfits have returned and once again everyday is Halloween.The Misfits FreeBSD
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  3. #3
    Senior Member wolfman1984's Avatar
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    The Wolfman doesn't use any of the BSD's so i can't provide much insight on your query, but welcome to AO c:\saw.

    btw, have you ever met "format c: /s" I don't think the two of you would get along.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member isildur's Avatar
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    I haven't had much experience with DesktopBDS but I have played with FreeBSD in the past. If you are used to Linux it can be a bit disconcerting that the file hierarchy is a bit different. Also I had some problems with the stability of some individual apps. I had the impression that they were written for Linux and someone did their best to throw together something for BSD, but didn't spend too much time doing it. Of course the ports system is a really nice feature where you can simply and efficiently build most any package that you would ever want.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member C:\Saw's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input guys...
    decided to just fill the blank partition on my drive with something else...
    don't know what though, hmmm.
    Does anybody know how to merge linux partitions (i.e. an existing partition w/directory and merge it with an unformatted one)? I want give my PCLOS a little more breathing room...sorry in advance for not posting this on a new thread
    "...to give correctly is to give them what they need from us, for it would not be skillful to bring gifts to anyone that are in no way needed."
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  6. #6
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    I'm a mod here and if you'd like to, I can start a new thread for you with that, however, I think it's just fine to ask it in this one, so it's your call

    As for your question, well, you'll want to at the very least format the partition that isn't used. Partition Magic offers a merging partitions and shrinking and resizing option, but in my personal experience I'd say you're WAY better off to just format the partition and mount it as a file system in Linux.

    Merging Partitions and resizing them without a format, HUGE chance of failure and screw up.

    I once had a RedHat install go so bad on me that the partition table was gone. That only took a little time to fix because literally I re-format that machine about once a month for a new distro to play with and sometimes 10 times in the same day when I want to use it for a while with something I know well, like BSD and Slackware and SUSE, so I've actually formatted it 10 times in one morning reinstalling an OS each time until I figured out which one I wanted.

    Anyway this is starting to ramble, but in shorter space:

    If you REALLY want to do that, get Partition agic, it's WAY easier than using other tools for this, and I highly HIGHLY recommend you don't do this either way unless you aren't worried about re-installing.

    Just a heads up because of what could happen if something goes wrong.
    Kill the lights, let the candles burn behind the pumpkins’ mischievous grins, and let the skeletons dance. For one thing is certain, The Misfits have returned and once again everyday is Halloween.The Misfits FreeBSD
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  7. #7
    Senior Member C:\Saw's Avatar
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    Thanks gore
    I've already tried Partition Magic, unfortunately it only merges NTFS and FAT partitions (at least in version 8)
    So, I guess I'll try messin around with Parted --very carefully lol--

    , sorry Wolfman, haven't met format C:\S yet, sure we wouldn't get along to well

    ~have a great day everyone!~
    "...to give correctly is to give them what they need from us, for it would not be skillful to bring gifts to anyone that are in no way needed."
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  8. #8
    Senior Member isildur's Avatar
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    Seems I recall a lengthy discussion about deleting a partition then trying to resize an existing one to fill the space a year or two ago on alt.os.linux.slackware but I don't recall if any one had a good solution that was dependable. Depending on the size of this partition and how you currently have your linux partitions laid out, I would look at using it as a linux partition and for example migrate your /home if you don't already have it separated out (as gore suggested). If you already do have it that way, perhaps /usr/local or simply a strorage partition, or fat32 to enable moving data from linux to win.
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  9. #9
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    Partition Commander has worked ok in the past for me, working with RH9 and Fedora Partitions..... Only done it once or twice, but both times it merged the two without problem.
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  10. #10
    Just Another Geek
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    /me is sad to see you're not going to give FreeBSD a shot

    /me is a long time FreeBSD user (more then 10 years now).

    Just to clear up:
    Quote Originally Posted by gore
    FreeBSD is pretty much the same unless you install patches, then you need to reboot.
    You only really need to reboot if you recompiled/updated your kernel. The rest of the base OS doesn't need it (most of the time). But it's good form to reboot if only to make sure everything starts correctly.

    One has to note though.. FreeBSD is a complete OS, linux is just a kernel. When updating you're actually updating a full OS (this includes all the stuff in /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin etc).

    One other thing to note, FreeBSD doesn't have any of the IP/license issues linux currently has. That has all been dealt with 10 years ago. The fbsd source really is free. Free to use, free to modify and you're even free to sell your product running a modified freebsd without having to publish your sources.
    Last edited by SirDice; February 19th, 2008 at 05:29 PM.
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