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Old 12th November 2008
ichbindev ichbindev is offline
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Default Reasons Not to Use FreeBSD

I am using and learning Linux these days. On an impulse, I looked up FreeBSD and found it to be very interesting. There is a lot of material out there suggesting why people should use FreeBSD. But I couldn't find any honest answers on why, when, and where FreeBSD would not be a good choice. If everyone interested in learning about FreeBSD could see a list of why FreeBSD might not be a good choice (its limitations), much more informed decisions could be made. For those of you using FreeBSD, can you give the *nix community any reason(s) in what situation you would say: "do not use FreeBSD"?

From what I seem to have gleaned from online resources, maybe the latest and greatest hardware is not supported right away; it may take some time for the hardware to be supported. What does your experience say about this and other "problems" with freebsd?
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Old 12th November 2008
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Even the hardware support issue can be dispelled. Often, Linux drivers even for some of the oldest hardware are very poorly coded. So, do you want more raw hardware support with crappy drivers on Linux or do you want less raw hardware support with better drivers on BSD. Remember, BSD is the epitome of Unix, so it's easy to see why there's so little information on why not to use FreeBSD.
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Old 12th November 2008
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Generally FreeBSD would be a bad choice where GNU/Linux would also be a bad choice - as is the case with any Unix derivative, really.

I guess one reason not to use FreeBSD instead of GNU/Linux is that it is supported by even less proprietary software (because *BSD doesn't get the "exposure" that GNU/Linux does). However FreeBSD has binary compatiblity with Linux from what I've read, so that shouldn't really be a problem.

There are plenty of reasons to use FreeBSD over GNU/Linux - friendlier licensing, better performance (in many cases but not all), kqueue, etc.

Last edited by nfries88; 12th November 2008 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 12th November 2008
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I for one can only think of the fallowing reason:
If you like playing 3d games, don't use BSD..... don't use linux..... use windows....

I was Windows user, then i switched to linux....
Then i tried FreeBSD.... and switched back to linux....
However in few days i used FreeBSD (about month) something changed in me...
And linux wasn't giving me satisfaction anymore....

So now i use FreeBSD


Reasons why not to use any particular system depends on individual itself...
I bet there are some creeps out there still using dos
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Old 12th November 2008
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FreeBSD Jails are OS-level virtualization feature and as such thing works great, but if you need full/hardware assisted virtualization like Xen/KVM/VirtualBox then FreeBSD is not for you.

I do not know any other reasons for 'no' instead of virtualization.
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Old 12th November 2008
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0/ OpenBSD has better wireless support
1/ FreeBSD default SHELL for root is (t)csh
2/ Multimedia plugins for surfing the web all suck, b/p to use Linux versions of all
3/ 3D Gaming needs more stringent hardware shopping guidelines.

that's about it, unless one wants to get into stuff like virtualbox/vmware/file systems/bike sheds
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Old 12th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP
0/ OpenBSD has better wireless support
Incorrect. FreeBSD support is better. (Just having few more poor quality drivers doesnt mean better wireless support), OpenBSD just got WPA recently ...., ignoring fact that OpenBSD doesnt support NDIS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP
1/ FreeBSD default SHELL for root is (t)csh
Irrelevant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP
2/ Multimedia plugins for surfing the web all suck, b/p to use Linux versions of all
Wrong, Flash can be used via gnash/wine/youtube-dl combination. Almost all multimedia on Web can be viewed via mplayer.
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Old 12th November 2008
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If you don't like reading, you don't want FreeBSD
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Old 12th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichbindev View Post
I couldn't find any honest answers on why, when, and where FreeBSD would not be a good choice.
... most answers you will get are based on individual taste, individual needs and individual experience - so ist mine:

- Ports: in my experience they are clumsy, ineffective and time-consuming (try to compile OpenOffice and you know what I mean).

- poor support for WebVideo and other multimedia applications (i.e. Flash et al.): Gnash & Co. are some kind of a workaround one can live with but almost any Linux-Distribution does it better (and right here right now I don't argue from an ideological point of view about blobs).

- no speed advantages on desktops or laptops.

I ran FreeBSD and Debian for a while on my PC. Both were used for plain average user tasks (surfing the net, writing letters, working on digital photographs, listening to music and so on). I didn't found anything that FreeBSD did better than Debian exept one thing: It's easier to configure a new kernel for FreeBSD.

Well, that sounds quite negative, but I wouldn't say that FreeBSD is a bad OS. No, it's ok, but it didn't serve my needs as good as other OS did (and do). Other people will think totaly different.
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Old 12th November 2008
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1) Because all you want do is play Fallout and Oblivion.
2) Because you want to be cool like everyone else.
3) Because your mom said your not allowed to.
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Old 12th November 2008
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If you plan on using FreeBSD on any machine which isn't i386 or AMD64-based, you might want to reconsider.
Yes, FreeBSD does run on UltraSPARC, PowerPC, and ARM, but these other architectures are not nearly as well-supported as the generic PC versions.

Also, if you're very politically or philosophically minded, you might want to avoid FreeBSD because of its use of blobs (although systems without blobs built-in are rare).

OpenBSD, however, is not affected by these problems.

EDIT:
While I'm here, I must ask: Terryp, this is probably just my ignorance, but what is so bad about the root user's shell being tcsh?
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Last edited by snes-addict; 12th November 2008 at 04:53 PM. Reason: Want to ask another question.
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Old 12th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nihonto View Post
- Ports: in my experience they are clumsy, ineffective and time-consuming (try to compile OpenOffice and you know what I mean).
Using OO as an example of ports is like showing the Yugo as an example of cars. Ports are an example of a good utility other OSes wish they had. If you don't want to use ports, there's packages, which works as well as any other system.
Quote:
- poor support for WebVideo and other multimedia applications (i.e. Flash et al.): Gnash & Co. are some kind of a workaround one can live with but almost any Linux-Distribution does it better (and right here right now I don't argue from an ideological point of view about blobs).
This is true but a fault of Adobe and not fbsd.
Quote:
- no speed advantages on desktops or laptops.
Compared to what? FreeBSD can run Linux apps faster than Linux can.
Quote:
Well, that sounds quite negative, but I wouldn't say that FreeBSD is a bad OS. No, it's ok, but it didn't serve my needs as good as other OS did (and do). Other people will think totaly different.
The only reason I run Linux on my laptop is so I can watch Flash videos. Other than that, I prefer fbsd.
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Old 12th November 2008
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I'm compilling everything from sources....
This much i can tell
FreeBSD (optimized with CPUTYPE, and even without it) compiles OOO faster than Gentoo (optimized with various options), on same PC
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Old 12th November 2008
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1) Suspend to RAM and to disk doesn't work for a ton of machines, and I may be wrong, but I don't believe it works at all for SMP machines?

2) amd64 lacks a nvidia driver (due to freebsd lacking certain requirements that nvidia needs for its driver) which makes laptops with nvidia cards that have powermizer absolutely miserable to work with....

3) wireless drivers don't work as well the openbsd ones (at least wpi doesn't in my experience)

4) no adobe flash support except through linuxulator (which is starting to work a lot better, i will admit)

Cheers,

Alphalutra1
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Old 12th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichbindev
For those of you using FreeBSD, can you give the *nix community any reason(s) in what situation you would say: "do not use FreeBSD"?
If your shop is standardized on a different OS, it may not be appropriate to use FreeBSD for production deployments.

For example: I work in a RHEL-friendly environment, so that's what I have used for most critical services. There are some less-used services and testing servers that run FreeBSD. (And I intend to move to move several production web frontend servers to FreeBSD when I've convinced the right people.)
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Old 12th November 2008
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Following up on anomie's point about servers in a standardized environment, when would you not use freebsd for server? I can see here that virtualization is not very comprehensive like Xen or others like it. But what about other stuff? For example, database, file server, or even more "enterprise" applications.
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Old 12th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichbindev
Following up on anomie's point about servers in a standardized environment, when would you not use freebsd for server?
Speaking only for myself / my situation, the decision was made some time ago at a department level. I don't know what the exact reasons were for going with RHEL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ichbindev
For example, database, file server, or even more "enterprise" applications.
Honestly, for any services I could run from the base system or from ports, my own preference would strongly be FreeBSD. This would include: a firewall device, a web server, a file server, etc.

For running proprietary apps - e.g. Oracle - I am actually more comfortable with RHEL because it is vendor-tested and validated. I am not going to go out on a limb to kludge something together (running under Linux emulation).
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Old 12th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardpl View Post
Incorrect. FreeBSD support is better. (Just having few more poor quality drivers doesnt mean better wireless support), OpenBSD just got WPA recently ...., ignoring fact that OpenBSD doesnt support NDIS.
I count by drivers available / chipsets supported, not by quality (beyond ones I've used) and I do not count developments not to reach a RELEASE near me. Drivers ported or documented as "first appearing in" Net or Open BSDs, I also count as lesser support from FreeBSD - due to porting time needed, not to mention time for it to reach a RELEASE or associated STABLE branch.


OpenBSD will never support tools like nidsgen, period.


Quote:
Originally Posted by richardpl View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP
2/ Multimedia plugins for surfing the web all suck, b/p to use Linux versions of all
Wrong, Flash can be used via gnash/wine/youtube-dl combination. Almost all multimedia on Web can be viewed via mplayer.
0/ WINE is not FreeBSD, if it was I would use Vista instead.

1/ In my experience the MPlayer plugin is buggy and just how much depends on the browser used. I've often had to send SIGKILL to flock-bin processes after closing linux-flock or just closing a tab, due to having the MPlayer plugin in use when the window/tab was closed. Viewing multiple video streams at once has also caused my browser to hang on many occasions. I do not call this usable enough, to not say that it sucks.


2/ My note to be prepared to use Linux versions of software, is because of increasing need for Flash 8+ plugins and the road to FreeBSD 9. Not to mention that a number of people can't live with out that infernally annoying website known as youTube!


3/ I do not consider downloading and opening MPlayer independently to be a 'browser plugin', if you mean making the web browser use an mplayer plugin whenever a flash plugin (et. al.) is requested for video playback , then I see your point ;-)


N.B. I use MPlayer for almost all my video playback needs, be it in a web browser and beyond.
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Last edited by TerryP; 12th November 2008 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 12th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP View Post
I count by drivers available / chipsets supported, not by quality (beyond ones I've used) and I do not count developments not to reach a RELEASE near me. Drivers ported or documented as "first appearing in" Net or Open BSDs, I also count as lesser support from FreeBSD - due to porting time needed, not to mention time for it to reach a RELEASE or associated STABLE branch.


OpenBSD will never support tools like nidsgen, period.




0/ WINE is not FreeBSD, if it was I would use Vista instead.

1/ In my experience the MPlayer plugin is buggy and just how much depends on the browser used. I've often had to send SIGKILL to flock-bin processes after closing linux-flock or just closing a tab, due to having the MPlayer plugin in use when the window/tab was closed. Viewing multiple video streams at once has also caused my browser to hang on many occasions. I do not call this usable enough, to not say that it sucks.


2/ My note to be prepared to use Linux versions of software, is because of increasing need for Flash 8+ plugins and the road to FreeBSD 9. Not to mention that a number of people can't live with out that infernally annoying website known as youTube!


3/ I do not consider downloading and opening MPlayer independently to be a 'browser plugin', if you mean making the web browser use an mplayer plugin whenever a flash plugin (et. al.) is requested for video playback , then I see your point ;-)


N.B. I use MPlayer for almost all my video playback needs, be it in a web browser and beyond.
1. I've used MPlayer Plugin for almost 5 years and never had a single crash.

2. Flash 9 works on FreeBSD with the Linux compatibility layer and nspluginwrapper quite well at least on PC-BSD. swfdec is also progressing very well. One thing that's good about swfdec is that it blocks flash content by default and that Youtube and Google Video compat are very well maintained.

3. I care about quality drivers, not raw support. If I cared about the latter, then I'd use Linux.
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Old 12th November 2008
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Laptops where you want to use standby/suspend/sleep, as it's very hit-and-miss on whether or not this will work with any laptop + FreeBSD version combination.

Servers where you want to use Xen, KVM, VMWare as there is no host support for these in FreeBSD. FreeBSD works fine running in a VM as a guest, though.

Desktops where you need fast 3D graphics for playing games.

Desktops where you want to run pure 64-bit, as there are no 64-bit versions of Flash, binary 3D drivers, binary sound drivers, a handful of apps, etc. This is also a problem with 64-bit Linux and 64-bit *BSD, though.

Beyond that, it's pretty much "which OS are you most comfortable in", and "which OS can you be most productive in" for deciding which OS to put on which system.
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