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Old 3rd September 2010
shep shep is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
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I do not have the unix admin skill that many of the regulars on this forum do but I have tried alot Linux Variations and 3 of the main BSD's. The all have their strengths and weaknesses. There are ways to watch a flash video in a BSD but not with the convience of a browser plugin. For me choosing an OS to install boils down to 3 factors:

1)Hardware - I have a small, low powered Asus C3 Terminator that uses
the Via SATA driver. In OpenBSD it only supports 1 drive - I had a SATA hard drive and a SATA DVD drive. NetBSD only supported the chipset as RAID. It works fine in FreeBSD 7 but gives an interupt storm in FreeBSD 8
No issues with linux kernel > 2.6.26

2)What I want to do - If I want to surf the internet and watch flash videos from a browser plugin securely in my opinion your best option is linux and if you have want 64 bit processing, a linux with 32bit libs since the 64bit Flashplugin for linux has a security flaw that has not been fixed. If I want a secure home ftp server, web server OpenBSD is a good choice. The availability of software packages also plays a factor in what you want to do. FreeBSD by far and away has the most packages, the largest community and the most rapid development.

3) A somewhat hard to quantify factor is how well the BSD is working. I recently tried to set up a NetBSD xfce4 desktop on wireless. The NetBSD wiki (with the wireless instructions) went down months ago and the maintainers that set up a new wiki decided to "audit" the wiki content. They must be very busy because the new wiki is still devoid of any content and new users attemping to configure a new NetBSD install have to rely on cache'd web pages. Additionally, the binaries at the NetBSD nyftp site generate a host of errors at install and the NetBSD guide has not even updated the fact that the pkgsrc ftp site moved from California to New York although you can find it in somewhere in the mailing lists. My sense is they support too much with too few developers

So I would recommend starting with a description of your hardware and what you want to do with it.
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