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Old 9th August 2009
oscurochu oscurochu is offline
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Default Uncompatable BSD programs and drivers

I wasn't sure which would be the most appropriate forum for this question, so I just decided to put it in BSD general. Please feel free to move it if there would be a better place for this thread.

I wanted to try BSD, but after a little but of research comparing linux to BSD. From what I found, BSD is generally faster than linux, and a few other pros, but cons I found include BSD needing to use linux emulation for certain programs which is sometimes and usually unstable.

I am a desktop user, I would like to use enlightenment, firefox (unless i find a lightweight browser i like AND gives me great performance), flash player, webcam (the one build into the dell mini 9's), wireless (Broadcom BCM4312 built in wireless), amsn, pidgin, cheese, evolution (or thunderbird, or possibly a more lightweight alternative), and rhythmbox. If any of these programs (or dirvers) aren't natively available for BSD , please let me know.

Also, what programs are NOT natively available for BSD? I would like to know before I make the switch so Im not surprised when something doesnt work like I expected.

Thanks
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Old 9th August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscurochu View Post
I would like to use ....., flash player, webcam ..., wireless (Broadcom BCM4312 built in wireless),

This means you should likely be using Windows XP.


All the other programs you mentioned are basically available natively, even Cheese. The flash player plugin requires use of the Linux ABI but may be used with native Firefox - however YMMV when it comes to the end result of using various versions of flash on BSD. Broadcom is as far as I know a very poor choice of kit with open source unix systems due to issues with the hardware vendor. My only personal experience is with the Broadcom paper weight built into my laptop, buying a PC card that works with BSD however is a trivial affair if you know how to shop.





You can go to http://www.freebsd.org/ports/ and search the site in a varity of ways to see what software is available without having an installed ports tree to work with. You can also look at the various mirrors of ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/ports/ and see what binary packages are available. Most software that requires the Linux ABI will contain linux in the port/pkg name and will always list linux dependencies that makes it otherwise obvious.
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Old 9th August 2009
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I agree with Terry here.

Also, I think many Linux users have the wrong idea about what BSD is generally used for. I know you CAN use it for a desktop if you want to, but that isn't where it shines or where it's purpose really is. Servers. Period. It does servers and it does it very very well, I dare say it blows Linux in the weeds. Mission critical server apps is what i do with it. No GUI - anywhere.

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Old 9th August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscurochu View Post
I am a desktop user, I would like to use enlightenment, firefox (unless i find a lightweight browser i like AND gives me great performance), flash player, webcam (the one build into the dell mini 9's), wireless (Broadcom BCM4312 built in wireless), amsn, pidgin, cheese, evolution (or thunderbird, or possibly a more lightweight alternative), and rhythmbox. If any of these programs (or dirvers) aren't natively available for BSD , please let me know.
  • All of the BSD's have a port of the Enlightenment window manager, at various versions..
  • Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird are supported.
  • Flash is evil, emulation would be required.. several discussions on the forum here and elsewhere.
  • amsn, pidgin, cheese, evolution and rhythmbox are also available.
Driver compatibly is has very much improved for all of BSD derivatives, but saying that one has "more" drivers is inaccurate.. drivers exist for a wide range of hardware, from traditional hardware.. to more exotic things, sometimes things are ported between the individual BSD projects, and even eventually used by Linux (..it is very likely that one of the drivers you use in Linux was based off of a related BSD driver).

USB Webcam.. OpenBSD supports UVC compatible cameras, implementing a V4L compatibility layer for video applications.

Broadcom is a very awkward company, they do not release documentation for their chipsets.. BCM4312 revision 1 is supported by OpenBSD via bwi(4), but revision 2 is not, I'm not sure how the other BSD projects fare in this regard.. so you'll have to try things out for yourself (..FreeBSD supports the morally questionable ndiswrapper, so that might be an option for you).

The integrated graphics in this laptop is from Intel, so it should work on all of the latest releases of OpenBSD/NetBSD and FreeBSD.. DRM/DRM acceleration is supported by all of them as well.

Your wired Ethernet chipset is supported by all of the BSD projects via the re(4), re(4) and re(4) drivers.

Sounds, SD Card Reader, Bluetooth.. it all depends on the capabilities of the individual BSD projects, but they should all work fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oscurochu View Post
Also, what programs are NOT natively available for BSD? I would like to know before I make the switch so Im not surprised when something doesnt work like I expected.

Thanks
Flash player is not natively available for *BSD, but it really shouldn't be.. Flash is horrible and soon to become obsolete post HTML5 adoption.
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Old 9th August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windependence View Post
I agree with Terry here.

Also, I think many Linux users have the wrong idea about what BSD is generally used for. I know you CAN use it for a desktop if you want to, but that isn't where it shines or where it's purpose really is. Servers. Period. It does servers and it does it very very well, I dare say it blows Linux in the weeds. Mission critical server apps is what i do with it. No GUI - anywhere.

-Tim
All of the BSD projects are General Purpose Operating Systems, they can be and are used for many different purposes.

The mentality that BSD is and only should be used in a Server environment is also a common Linux community mentality.

FreeBSD in some regards is favoured by people trying to use BSD on the desktop, but OpenBSD and NetBSD also work very well in this regard.. they wouldn't support X11 + DRM/DRI 3D acceleration or high quality sound chipsets if nobody ever intended for them to be used as "workstations" or "desktops".

Therefor I humbly ask that you stop spreading this misinformation.
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Old 9th August 2009
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Quote:
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Flash is horrible and soon to become obsolete post HTML5 adoption.
What made you say that? How would HTML5 eliminate Flash?
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Old 9th August 2009
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What made you say that? How would HTML5 eliminate Flash?
Perhaps not directly, or by itself even.. but a combination of HTML5's new <video> tags, high performance Javascript engines, and perhaps SVG graphics.

All of these open technologies have the potential to eliminate Flash altogether, and.. many common "Video" sites are already preparing to support this.

http://www.youtube.com/html5
http://openvideo.dailymotion.com/

It's still early, and I probably won't be more interested in streaming online videos.. but at least I'll have the option of doing so if I choose.
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Old 9th August 2009
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Also in regard to finding software that works on a given BSD, look here for an OpenBSD resource. I would also included a link to NetBSD pkgsrc equivalent, but I don't have familiarity with that system.


@BSDFan ty for poking the server guy ;-). Now if only <video> and friends was going to actually mean something in the short term (<5yrs).
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Old 20th August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscurochu View Post
Also, what programs are NOT natively available for BSD? I would like to know before I make the switch so Im not surprised when something doesnt work like I expected.
Wicd and NetworkManager. But this shouldn't matter because we're not supposed to be using BSD as a desktop.
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Old 20th August 2009
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That's true joekiser, a stream of bits really does make a poor substitute for a wooden desktop surface.
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Old 23rd August 2009
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Quote:
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Wicd and NetworkManager. But this shouldn't matter because we're not supposed to be using BSD as a desktop.
You can do whatever you want of course. You missed my whole point.

You know, I don't post much here but I've been around since the BSDforums days. Are you guys really making that much fun of me or is this all tongue in cheek? This is one place I feel (or felt) at home. I answer tons of questions on the Ubuntu forums, and it's so refreshing to come back here after dealing with the "I have to have a desktop for everything" crowd. I figured we had more command line guys here.

Maybe I'm just taking this all too seriously, but I just don't use BSD as a desktop. IMHO it makes the best server out there, but I never said you weren't supposed to run a desktop on it. I just hope it doesn't end up like Linux, that's all, because there is no place to go after BSD. I retreated to BSD when Linux became dumbed down for Windoze users. I'm not ready for that here. If I have a choice fine, but in Linux you are practically forced to use the bloated stuff they have today.

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Old 25th August 2009
oscurochu oscurochu is offline
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Well I did intend to use FreeBSD as a Desktop, however I will be using it for a server, as well. As soon as I get enough cash I will use that to build me a faster server.

Well I never actually thought that it really mattered what we use BSD for, whether it be desktop or server. My idea of it was an alternative to linux. Maybe I was wrong? The broadcom card is in my laptop, yes I have both a laptop and desktop and I was thinking about switching them both over, but I just didn't want surprises.

I don't like flash either, but some web sites I go to use flash so unfortunately I have to use it. Either that, or not use my favorite web sites, like youtube. Support for it sucks in linux as well, imo. I can't even get my web cam working with flash on linux (even after playing with flash settings, and adding the domain to the trusted list, or whatever it was called), but it works fine for cheese, and amsn. I haven't tried any open source alternatives for use with my web cam because I've never had good experience with them just trying to play regular videos with firefox.

As compared to linux, and since the main use of my desktop computer would be a desktop environment and the server would be more like a secondary use, might it not be the best idea or would this decision have to be based completely on my own opinion alone?
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