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Other BSD and UNIX/UNIX-like Any other flavour of BSD or UNIX that does not have a section of its own.

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Old 22nd December 2008
Randux Randux is offline
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Default Which BSD should I use?

I've used several BSDs over the past three or four years including OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and DragonFly. To me they all have things I really like about them but I still use Slackware for my main workstation partly because of my own ignorance and partly because the gnu tools make it easier to build most source on Linux than on BSD. I've been multibooting a bunch of different OS on one box and it wasn't a good way to really learn BSD because I didn't have a dedicated box to live with day to day.

I do now.

I am setting up a new box and I want to choose one BSD that can do what I need. I have three major goals for this box.

One, it should be a good desktop with all the applications I need. I've made acceptable desktops with all the BSD I mentioned so this is not an issue.

Two, on Slackware I'm able to download source for just about anything and compile it and make my own package with the package tools available on Slackware. I don't understand how to do this on BSD because of the dual make/gmake, autoconf, configure, etc. It seems to me that I have to use ports or pkgsrc because things need so much tweaking to compile on BSD. Is there any easy way to do this yourself and not rely on something being in ports or pkgsrc? (I know you can make packages from ports or pkgsrc, but I want to be able to do this on my own. Is it reasonable & possible.)

Three, I need to run Winbloze for some apps I need for my job. I refuse to waste a box on Bloze, so now I'm running it in VMWare. I need to be able to run a winbloze system in a VM or emulator. NetBSD seems to be a little behind FreeBSD on the VMWare version and OpenBSD doesn't have it at all in packages. I haven't checked ports yet.

Thanks for any helpful suggestions.

Rand
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Old 22nd December 2008
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Welcome to daemonforums mate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randux View Post
To me they all have things I really like about them but I still use Slackware for my main workstation partly because of my own ignorance and partly because the gnu tools make it easier to build most source on Linux than on BSD.
You may add all these GNU utils by:
# pkg_add -r coreutils

And all GNU command wil lbe avialable with g prefix (ls = gls, shred = gshred etc ...)

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Originally Posted by Randux View Post
Three, I need to run Winbloze for some apps I need for my job. I refuse to waste a box on Bloze, so now I'm running it in VMWare. I need to be able to run a winbloze system in a VM or emulator. NetBSD seems to be a little behind FreeBSD on the VMWare version and OpenBSD doesn't have it at all in packages. I haven't checked ports yet.
There is no VMware for BSDs, you will have to use QEMU (with kqemu) which is slow unfortunelly, if you choose NetBSD, then you will be able to use Xen 3.3 which is great virtualization sollution (even better them VMware imho).
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Old 22nd December 2008
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Default OpenBSD and virtual machines

VMWare:

When a VMWare guest, the vic(4) and vmt(4) drivers provide kernel interoperability with the host OS.

There is no longer a VMWare port/package for using OpenBSD as the host, after OpenBSD 4.4, due to conflicts between 3rd party kernel modules and these new drivers.

QEMU:

This is the most popular hardware emulator. There are others, in ports/emulators

The kqemu accelerator is available for OpenBSD/i386, but functions only with uniprocessors.

Last edited by jggimi; 22nd December 2008 at 03:52 PM. Reason: clarification on VMWare port
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Old 22nd December 2008
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Hi guys, nice to see you both still working on BSD!

Thanks for the tip on Xen, Vermaden. I will keep it in mind.

I'm still not sure about how helpful the coreutils package is. Can you compile anything on Net/FreeBSD that you can on Linux, without tweakage? And can you make your own packages automatically or do you have to be an expert?
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Old 22nd December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randux View Post
Can you compile anything on Net/FreeBSD that you can on Linux, without tweakage? And can you make your own packages automatically...?
No and no. To meet your overarching Linux-based software building requirement, you may be better off sticking with a Linux OS.

The BSDs are not Linux. There are some applications that will require no "tweakage" at all. Unfortunately, many applications designed for Linux are not so easily ported, due to "Linuxisms" which are not directly replicated in the BSDs. For ready examples, just review the patches created to port Linux-based applications to the various BSDs ports/pkgsrc systems.

Port/package building systems vary between the BSDs. But I'm not aware of any of them that automagically build port/package infrastructure to create installable binary packages. Each requires some manual effort.

There are Linux compatibility ABIs, but ... these are for prebuilt binary executables, not for Linux source code. And they have varying restrictions, such as architecture, syscall list, and scope of /procs emulation.
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Old 23rd December 2008
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I don't think it's really a "Linux -based software building requirement" so much as I don't want to have to depend on somebody else to have built all the packages I want. On Slackware I can do it myself, and in the end the system is a lot leaner.

I don't think that's really such an unreasonable goal and I wish it were simpler on BSDs.
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Old 23rd December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randux View Post
I'm still not sure about how helpful the coreutils package is.
coreutils package provides these binaries:
Code:
% pkg_info -L -x coreutils | grep bin
/usr/local/bin/g[
/usr/local/bin/gbase64
/usr/local/bin/gbasename
/usr/local/bin/gcat
/usr/local/bin/gchgrp
/usr/local/bin/gchmod
/usr/local/bin/gchown
/usr/local/bin/gchroot
/usr/local/bin/gcksum
/usr/local/bin/gcomm
/usr/local/bin/gcp
/usr/local/bin/gcsplit
/usr/local/bin/gcut
/usr/local/bin/gdate
/usr/local/bin/gdd
/usr/local/bin/gdf
/usr/local/bin/gdir
/usr/local/bin/gdircolors
/usr/local/bin/gdirname
/usr/local/bin/gdu
/usr/local/bin/gecho
/usr/local/bin/genv
/usr/local/bin/gexpand
/usr/local/bin/gexpr
/usr/local/bin/gfactor
/usr/local/bin/gfalse
/usr/local/bin/gfmt
/usr/local/bin/gfold
/usr/local/bin/ggroups
/usr/local/bin/ghead
/usr/local/bin/ghostid
/usr/local/bin/ghostname
/usr/local/bin/gid
/usr/local/bin/ginstall
/usr/local/bin/gjoin
/usr/local/bin/gkill
/usr/local/bin/glink
/usr/local/bin/gln
/usr/local/bin/glogname
/usr/local/bin/gls
/usr/local/bin/gmd5sum
/usr/local/bin/gmkdir
/usr/local/bin/gmkfifo
/usr/local/bin/gmknod
/usr/local/bin/gmv
/usr/local/bin/gnice
/usr/local/bin/gnl
/usr/local/bin/gnohup
/usr/local/bin/god
/usr/local/bin/gpaste
/usr/local/bin/gpathchk
/usr/local/bin/gpinky
/usr/local/bin/gpr
/usr/local/bin/gprintenv
/usr/local/bin/gprintf
/usr/local/bin/gptx
/usr/local/bin/gpwd
/usr/local/bin/greadlink
/usr/local/bin/grm
/usr/local/bin/grmdir
/usr/local/bin/gseq
/usr/local/bin/gsha1sum
/usr/local/bin/gsha224sum
/usr/local/bin/gsha256sum
/usr/local/bin/gsha384sum
/usr/local/bin/gsha512sum
/usr/local/bin/gshred
/usr/local/bin/gshuf
/usr/local/bin/gsleep
/usr/local/bin/gsort
/usr/local/bin/gsplit
/usr/local/bin/gstat
/usr/local/bin/gstty
/usr/local/bin/gsu
/usr/local/bin/gsum
/usr/local/bin/gsync
/usr/local/bin/gtac
/usr/local/bin/gtail
/usr/local/bin/gtee
/usr/local/bin/gtest
/usr/local/bin/gtouch
/usr/local/bin/gtr
/usr/local/bin/gtrue
/usr/local/bin/gtsort
/usr/local/bin/gtty
/usr/local/bin/guname
/usr/local/bin/gunexpand
/usr/local/bin/guniq
/usr/local/bin/gunlink
/usr/local/bin/guptime
/usr/local/bin/gusers
/usr/local/bin/gvdir
/usr/local/bin/gwc
/usr/local/bin/gwho
/usr/local/bin/gwhoami
/usr/local/bin/gyes
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randux View Post
Can you compile anything on Net/FreeBSD that you can on Linux, without tweakage?
Depends, I compiled many things from source on FreeBSD without any problem (./configure && make && ...) but some apps did not not passed configure, other failed at make, but I do not remember exact examples, tell me which apps you have in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randux View Post
And can you make your own packages automatically or do you have to be an expert?
It is as simple as (at least on FreeBSD, but NetBSD and OpenBSD provide similar mechanisms):
Code:
# cd /usr/ports/sysutils/coreutils
# make package
Also read this, it will give you nice overview of the FreeBSD:
http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/
http://www.cons.org/cracauer/freebsd.html
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Old 24th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post


There is no VMware for BSDs, you will have to use QEMU (with kqemu) which is slow unfortunelly, if you choose NetBSD, then you will be able to use Xen 3.3 which is great virtualization sollution (even better them VMware imho).
How good are Win4BSD and Wine for FreeBSD for simple desktop applications? Would it be possible for me to install lets say Win4BSD + Win Opera + Flash and Java plugins? I tried running a Linux distro inside Qemu on my OpenBSD desktop in order to use Flash and Java since I need it in order to access my insurance informations . After I got couple core dumps I just gave up.
Java plugins are ROCK solid on OpenBSD + FIrefox although there is no binary distro for plugins (yes I do know there are binaries for JDK 1.7 but they do not contain plugins) so I made my own repository for my machines

Unfortunately Gnash just can not cope with most Flash sites as it is only
7.0 able
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Old 24th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oko View Post
How good are Win4BSD and Wine for FreeBSD for simple desktop applications? Would it be possible for me to install lets say Win4BSD + Win Opera + Flash and Java plugins?
Win4BSD is essentially qemu/kqemu. As such, it does work well enough but it is terribly slow. The old version of VMware in ports is much more responsive and stable, even though you can only use a single CPU core. I use W2K in Win4BSD and XP in VMware, FWIW.

I run Windows Firefox and Flash9 in Wine. It works, mostly, but there are sites where the videos do not play properly. I'd guess it works right for about 50% of the sites I visit; another 25% are so so, and 25% are dismal failures. I'd suspect it is similar for Opera, and of course it depends on the sites you visit.

Sadly, this area of *BSD is not very strong.
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Old 24th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oko View Post
How good are Win4BSD and Wine for FreeBSD for simple desktop applications?
I havent checked Win4BSD for longer time so I will not add any input here, but WINE does the job, I can play Fallout / Heroes of Might and Magic III without any problems, ocasional Windows apps also does not make a problem.

Quote:
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Would it be possible for me to install lets say Win4BSD + Win Opera + Flash and Java plugins?
I personally use WINE + Win Opera + Win Flash 10, works very good (only when in need of flash/java of course), its a lot faster then doing that @ Win4BSD, I would want to see a VirtualBox port to FreeBSD, its very fast especially with Guest Additions.
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WINE does the job, I can play Fallout / Heroes of Might and Magic III without any problems, ocasional Windows apps also does not make a problem.
Well, I don't play these sorts of games. I still find Wine to be the most frustrating program in all of BSD.

Many years ago I had an old version of Acrobat (v4?) and Office 2000 running under Wine (I don't recall the version). Later, and even now, they don't. In between, they worked with some major diddling to which libraries were native and which were not (guided by Tom Wickline, who really knows Wine).

With enough futzing you can get many things to work, particularly if they are older applications. But my goodness, it can take an unbelievable amount of work.

VMs do work better for most things. Games are not one of those things, though. And BSD VMs stink.
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VMs do work better for most things. Games are not one of those things, though. And BSD VMs stink.
Depends what games, I tried the ones that I mentioned @ VirtualBox with Guest Additions and they work real nice, like native I would say, IMHO porting VirtualBox to FreeBSD (along with contonuing work on Xen) should be very important targets.
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Old 24th December 2008
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Thanks vermaden. I will read your links after I fix the latest problem I'm having

As an example, on Slackware I can download anything I want and compile and package it. As long as I get all the dependencies there is nothing to stop me. Now suppose on Net or FreeBSD I want to get the -2 version of something because I like it more than the newer ones. How do I do this and make a clean job of it? If the ports tree has the latest version, can I get some earlier version and not cause problems for myself? An example is claws-mail. I like to stay a few version back and let other people break instead. I see mucho problem reports on new claws-mail releases, while I'm happily running 3.2.0 with zero problems for a few years...
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Old 24th December 2008
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>As an example, on Slackware I can download anything I want and compile and package it. As long as I get all the dependencies there is nothing to stop me.

Well it depends, I'm using Slack too since the beginning. Maybe 90% will compile without any problems, but try the same e.g. with Fedora, Debian etc. - there you will have maybe 70% success or less. With FreeBSD you should find most of the usual software in ports: http://www.freshports.org/ (at the moment 19515 ports). The rest should be a matter of some tweaking as mentioned above - nothing spectacular but necessary.
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Old 25th December 2008
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In the case of ports, you'll find that virtually everything is stored under CVS, including the makefiles for individual ports. When it comes to pkgsrc, I have no clue.


To do things "by hand", one should be able to fetch the dependencies, search the ports tree, and apply any necessary configure arguments or patches needed to make it compile -> and dig up old versions via CVS if necessary. With things not in the ports tree, to build by hand whether using the usual configure script & make process; you'll have to try it for yourself (making a port for it would be nice too, if you succeed). For more minor things, like an old version of claws-mail; I would guess flip to an old version of the Makefile and distinfo - so it fetches the version that you want instead, which would save you some time in doing things by hand (e.g. install claws-mail manually, using the ports files as a reference of what's needed to make it build on the system).



The only thing I build myself outside of the ports tree, is usually vim; which I have automated into fetching, configuring, and building the code. (I generally build vim from source on all my machines, except for Windows). Some programs are more agreeable then others -- some really need kicking, Qt/KDE 4 bindings to Ruby are one example.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP View Post
When it comes to pkgsrc, I have no clue.
Try to learn. You might fall in love with it. Works very well on OpenBSD and FreeBSD too. Works also on Slack Works on Open Solaris as well.
It is probably the most flexible tool for building packages for Unix like
systems. It also allows you incredible ways to customize your compilation.
On the another hand most people in reality do not need that kind of tweaking and have no clue what most things mean.
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Old 31st December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
There is no VMware for BSDs, you will have to use QEMU (with kqemu) which is slow unfortunelly, if you choose NetBSD, then you will be able to use Xen 3.3 which is great virtualization sollution (even better them VMware imho).
Have you set up Xen under NetBSD? I get the feeling that it is still beta code from reading the NetBSD doc on setting it up. For example, since when does Grub have a 512M boot partition limitation? That sounds like stale information.

I'd like to hear from somebody who is running a winbloze guest how easy and clean it is to get going.
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Old 31st December 2008
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@Randux
I havent tried it unformatunelly.
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Just follow this guide: http://multiplicity.bsd.lv/netbsd-xen.html

and if you have further questions maybe you could ask Dr. Hubert Feyrer, http://feyrer.de/hubert_feyrer_english.html regarding the implementation of Xen in NetBSD.
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Old 31st December 2008
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Thanks, I wonder if it only works on the i386 port. I will have to check. For me, I want the 64 bit port.
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