:> I'm sure that this has been brought up in this group many times before,
:> here is my question.
:> I am currently running Linux, and I am very new to it. It's great, but
:> there are a few things I don't like about it:
:> 1. The problem where you download an application for Linux only to find
:> that it won't run corectly because the distribution you have happens to
:> things slightly different then the distribution it was compiled on.
Linux: That is annoying, but you can work around it. I don't recall
seeing this happen on FreeBSD, unless perhaps you try using applications
built for a different rev of the OS. Even then, FreeBSD tries to maintain
compatibility through the use of backwards-compatibility libraries.
:> 2. You download a source package only to find out that you don't have a
:> particular library that is needed to compile it, even though that library
:> is included with another distribution.
Linux: That is annoying, but you can work around it. This usually doesn't
happen with FreeBSD "ports", although sometimes a source out on the Internet
becomes unavailable or outdated. The FreeBSD "packages" are precompiled,
and work around this problem quite nicely. The main annoyance is that some
are dependent on others, so you may have to play "install two or three
packages" to get something to work right. It's usually very well documented
through a warning, though.
Some of us just like to compile our own programs though.
:> 3. The "Linux kernel of the week". Things change so fast that you can't
:> keep up with it. And then when you do upgrade your kernel, you find that
:> things that used to work don't anymore, because you have to upgrade
:> something else too.
I've seen that happen, every so often, with FreeBSD. Devices that were
once well-supported because somebody "loved them" become stale and
obsolete. This, however, isn't the norm, and usually happens over the
period of a year or two.
It's usually not a problem unless you're using some obscure device like
a MumbleCo Proprietary CD-ROM that's no longer made.
I try to select my hardware carefully. I pick hardware that is used by
a lot of people, and hardware that has drivers written by long-time
FreeBSD hackers, because both of these types of hardware will tend to be
better supported. I read the lists and pick and choose on that basis.
Some friends swear by 3Com Ethernet cards for their Novell/DOS boxes.
I wouldn't touch a 3Com product with a 10 foot pole for use in a FreeBSD
system. They've historically been very poorly supported, and the several
tries I've made to use them have been failures. I'd recommend most SMC
hardware, generic NE2000's, or DEC Tulip based cards without a second
:> Would I be happier with FreeBSD? Or does it have the same problems?
Everything has problems. FreeBSD may offer some different problems. I
suspect that the problems you're complaining about would not be as
serious under FreeBSD, but you might run into others.
:Oh. One more question I forgot to ask. Will it run apps like Applixware? Or
:Star Office? Is there some kind of emulator I can get to make it run those
:Linux apps? I plan to get rid of Windows 95 completely and run everything
:off of Linux or FreeBSD, so an office type package is important.
FreeBSD does Linux emulation, although setting it up is an adventure in
reading TFM. I don't know if that'll run Applixware/Star Office, since I
don't have a need for them.
Other comments: your complaints remind me very much of the complaints that
I had about Linux, before FreeBSD existed, and I was experimenting with
using Linux. It's reassuring to know that Linux is still capable of causing
the same frustrations in other people, four or five years later. :-) Linux
may be older, but it still lacks the air of discipline and professionalism
that surrounds FreeBSD.
You can probably get Linux to do what you need. It's a matter of how much
work you're willing to put into it.
You can probably get FreeBSD to do what you need. It's my opinion that it
will probably be less work than Linux, but that may not be the case for
Whatever you do, it can't be bad to get away from Windows95.