View Single Post
Old 20th July 2010
ocicat ocicat is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,294

Originally Posted by realitykid View Post
How friendly is BSD?
Usually, the Linux community associates "friendliness" with the ability to install by blindly accepting default choices. If this is your measure of friendliness, then the *BSD family may fall short.

Installing any of the *BSD's is not complicated, but it does require the user to familiarize themselves with the documentation provided by each project. Each of the *BSD's Websites have significant sections dedicated to installation, & studying this carefully should resolve most questions. The problems we typically deal with is users who have not taken the time to read the documentation.

Case in point, the OpenBSD install script is simply a shell script. Some may find this as barbaric, but experienced users prefer this for its simplicity & ability to get the job done efficiently. Installation has been clocked on YouTube at ~four minutes, not that this is recommended, but it points out that installation doesn't need to include the graphics of World of Warcraft nor soundtracks akin to the Hamster dance. Installation should not involve heavyweight applications which may alter, or introduce its own set of issues to the hardware environment. If problems occur during installation, it is simpler to ferret out problems if the installation process is lightweight and minimally obstrusive.

A better measure of "friendliness" is the documentation available. Each of the major projects in the *BSD family takes documentation very seriously, & the resulting clarity shows in the manpages. Here, the Linux community tends to fall short given that the common question coming from Linux users when first approaching the *BSD's is "Where are the howto's?". The various *BSD communities find this redundant given the time spent on cleaning up manpages. The information found in the manpages as well as on the project Websites should be sufficient for most questions -- both for the newbie & experienced user alike.
Does BSD interact well with most hardware?
Yes. Is there hardware that Linux supports that the *BSD's don't? Yes.
As in detecting it, having working drivers for it out of the box (or user installable drivers). I'm talking about stuff like video and audio specifically.
For common, easily accessible hardware, yes.
Does BSD do well with wireless connections?
When it comes to wireless, the *BSD family does about as well as Linux.
I'm not talking specifically PCI wireless cards, but also USB adapters (such as mine).
Without more information about what you specifically have, most common cards work on most platforms as they do on Linux.
Last, but certainly not least, does BSD usually have good community support?
It depends upon what are your expectations. The projects are smaller than Linux, & the communities are smaller as well. Researched questions are heartily greeted, as are informed questions requesting clarification. jggimi's earlier link to a thread discussing how to ask questions is very much worth your time to read.
Better as in what BSD can do better than Linux or what BSD can do that Linux can't.
The biggest thing Linux cannot duplicate is the BSD heritage. The *BSD family all have one to two different common sources. Each member of the family has diverged from the other, but all are built on a core source base which is over thirty years old. Linux is based on code which is only ~fifteen years old. Irregardless of how many smart people are working on it, there is just some stability issues that the *BSD's have worked out that Linux has yet to match.
Reply With Quote