My PC-BSD Experience
I have been using a Linux System for the past 7 years. I’m not a guru by any stretch of the word but I can make my way around the CLI environment. Yes I prefer a GUI but CLI is necessary. I’ve been wanting to do a really geeky thing for me and that is to do a freebsd install. Problem is I know nothing about the “BSD” world. I know its based on the Unix system and its sorta like Linux but different. This will be the beginning of my BSD experience.
I have been a faithful follower of fedora for the last 5 years and 2 years before that was dual booting between Open Suse and Windows. My hatred for the proprietary system had me look for alternatives that were far better than the buggy, virus, spyware, malware infestation known as Windows. I was searching Linux alternatives and came across Open Suse 8 I think it was. I decided that I wanted to give it a real go. I was using a live environment.
Open Suse defaults with the KDE desktop and while it was ok at the time it was reminding me to much of Windows trying to do everything and have a program for everything. While that in itself was not bad I really wanted good cross platform apps that I could use in either environment. KOffice is a Linux only thing Like MS is a “Windows and Mac only thing” I then discoverd Gnome 2. A simple yet elegant desktop that was sufficent for my needs. I found programs like Open Office and VLC. I started learning the Linux way.
I was finding myself wanting to move from KDE and go completely gnome so I tried out Ubuntu and liked it well enough then I went back to something I had used only in a live version a few years before and that was Fedora. I liked it much better than Ubuntu and had decided that it was going to be my distro of choice. For the last at least 5 years it has been so. Fedora 15 introduced a few new concepts that I was not liking 1 was Gnome 3 I really didn’t care for it at first but I allowed it to grow on me and it didn’t bother me so much. Another thing they did was change from /media to now its /run/username/media/mountedmedia I mean really why? I also started just feeling like all the customizations that you could do at one time where being taken away and it started to feel like MS all over again. If I wanted a system to dictate to me I would get Apple or MS.
Fedora is continuing on the road that they are on and I’m thinking this is where I want to get off. I want true choices and the freedom to have it my way. My ultimate goal is to run freebsd however to get me there I plan on keeping up with PC-BSD. I have already seen some small differences in the way they do things and one which is a small issue for me but something I can overlook for now is a monitor issue. In Fedora I can run 2 monitors and have them as an extention of each other. I can in BSD as well however my resolution for my larger yet better monitor has been scaled down to 1280×700 I’m used to getting 1920×1080. Not sure how to solve this yet I’ll be hitting the forums over there to find out if there is anything I can do. So for now they are just a mirror of each other which is not a great big deal as I only used the other monitor to store some widgets on and Pidgin on. I will live with the realestate change for now. The other small issue I am having is PC-BSD does not have read write support for ext4 file systems. And Linux does not have support for ZFS file systems. So I’m having to copy my home directory from the backup over the network that I have. At 400 gig its a slow process but a doable one.
I have a lot of reading to do for my new OS and a lot of questions to get answered. However I can say that I am so far liking it. I have went back to KDE for a desktop for now even though I can have as many destops managers as I want. I’m sure I’ll mix and match to get the best experience that I can. Yes I could have done the same with Linux to a degree but I want to be able to have it my way all the time 🙂
Stay tuned as I plan on doing my best to keep a journal going of my experience with this OS.