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Old 31st December 2008
Konan Konan is offline
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Default Some first musings

These are just some musings of mine as I begin to explore FBSD. Feel free to comment.

I am a long time Linux user (about 10 years) and, with the exception of a non-Internet connected XP machine for a few favorite games (Civ II anyone?), it is all I use and has been totally stable and satisfactory. However, I am now helping a school district avoid having to move from XP to Vista by converting to Mac. To my surprise, the underlying OS for Leopard is BSD (Freebsd?). I have probably read that in the past, but it never sank in. When I run 'uname -r' on my new Mac, I get the version number of 9.4.0. But which version of BSD is that? As far as I know, the latest Fbsd version is 6.x

Before Linux, I was trained on AIX so the basic structure at the command line is familiar, although I have to get a book out when I hit a difference. Such as to find out where /etc/network is and what it is called in FBSD and so forth. I have installed Freebsd a couple of times, but never got into it for the same reason that Linux geeks can't get Windows users to switch - without a compelling reason it is too much trouble and what I now have works fine. Now, however, I have a reason.

But I also have a problem. At home I have only dialup, and half speed 26k at that. (Not my choice - the closest cable or DSL point is miles away. Please don't mention satellite - been there, done that). So downloading massive packages is out of the question. What comes on the install disk is what I get. With Debian I solved the problem by building a portable machine (a Shuttle) that is dedicated to downloading the entire Debian mirror. I haul it to a friends house, hook it up, and a couple of days later the entire 60 gig mirror is ready to take home and connect to my local network. I take it back to connect for updates every few months. Works great.
Question, is the above possible with Fbsd?

At this point, I don't need much beyond what comes on the install disk. I have a learning machine with version 6.1 that I can learn on and reload quickly if I trash it, and a Mac Mini with version ??? that I can learn the Apple gui with.

As an aside. By definition, all Linux users are technical or they can't run Linux and I assume that also applies to *bsd. (Ok, Ubuntu will install and setup as easily as XP, but if you get outside the GUI you either have to learn or get help - try setting up a wireless router with proper security by just clicking on icons!) Ninety eight percent of Windows users are just icon clickers and if told that their machine ran with little gears and levers, they would never know they had been spoofed - or care, for that matter. I assumed that Mac people were the same as *nix geeks, but not so. I have run across some Mac experts who must have slept with a Mac since it came out way back in the 80s. They know every keyboard key sequence (and there must be hundreds) by heart and the ins and outs of the GUI beyond any Mac book I have found yet. But, while they have heard that Mac now uses 'Unix' as the core OS, they know nothing about it. One time, I dropped to a terminal window to ask a question of such a person, and he took one look at the command line and said "Sorry, I never learned DOS." Several Apple techies have dropped by the school district during the selling process, but only one had any knowledge of Bsd. The same goes for the Apple store.

Does Apple use a generic version of BSD, or did they take one and are now forking it outside of the main BSD stream?

Any BSD dialup users out there? How do you handle getting software? Any BSD users who are also Mac geeks and can give me some enlightenment on the connection between the two?

Thanks
Konan
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Old 31st December 2008
jb_daefo jb_daefo is offline
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used dialup for years. settings in ppp.conf (ppp running in one terminal, say, tty0)
immediately gave error messages to the terminal rather than a log if the external
modem needed to be reset (sure easier than rebooting the PC) and/or the dialup
reinitialized. settings to wget (limit-rate) could allow simultaneous download of
distfiles and web browsing. Very large downloads you can even with the right
switches resume day after day rather than start anew.
...........
the only part of your post I actually read. Short of time today.
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Old 31st December 2008
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TerryP TerryP is offline
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The underlaying OS for OS X is Darwin on the user side and XNU on the kernel side, which does contain some parts of [older] FreeBSD userland and custom hacking of 4.3BSD/FreeBSD/Mach kernel into XNU. The 6.x whatever you got out of uname, is probably is the Darwin version used by OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard), unless you did it on a real FreeBSD machine, rather then OSX. Beyond the ksh and ksh93 part, I'm not familiar with AIX, but using one unix CLI is quite easy to pick up coming from the other.

FreeBSD 7.1-Release is coming in the near future, 6.4-Release and 7.0-Release and associated stable branches are currently in use. AFAIK, most elements of FreeBSD in OS X come from FreeBSD 5, but I don't work for Apple, nor own a Mac :-(


The method you mention about downloading a Debian mirror, should more or less work fine with FreeBSD, unless a mirror/package site bans your friend for extreme bandwidth usage. You can basically download the latest packages out of ftp.yourmirror.tld/pub/FreeBSD/ports/i386/packages-YOURVERSION/Latest/ and checkout a copy of FreeBSD source code via CVS (csup is more often used on BSD machines, then a normal CVS client).


I learned to use FreeBSD and 'live' in a shell, having never used a CLI for more then launching programs on 5 1/4" floppy out of MS-DOS 2; and never used a Unix like system. If you can use GNU/Linux at the CLI level, you shouldn't have much problem - read the man pages for details on changes of what flags mean what (most importantly, ls and tar). BSD systems have good manual pages, lots of other documentation, and in OS X's case: Apple hopefully borrowed the manuals along with the code. On the other hand, if you are used to using Distro specific tools (hiss) for configuring your rig, you're gonna have to learn a few things. If you know what you're doing, you'd be surprised how much you can do even on an XP machine via CLI.


Most people that I know who have used Macs, are either computer illiterate, Apple fan girls/boys, or like clickly clickly for some worky worky. Most people I've encountered who even know there is a command line interface in OS X, already knew Unix or GNU/Linux ;-). I believe classic Mac OS didn't even have a CLI, so no wonder.


For a primer on what Apple uses in OS X, read XNU and Darwin OS on Wikipedia, then check Google. Then take a look into the Mach micro kernel and BSD.



Do bare in mind, WinModems and LinModems like many softmodems, can be troublesome under BSD.
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Last edited by TerryP; 31st December 2008 at 05:18 AM. Reason: typo fixes
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Old 31st December 2008
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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I don't know much about Mac; but a friend of mine seems to appreciate the environment they offer.

TerryP covered most of the basics, and then some.. but from the GUI aspects of things, the main Apple tookit (Cocoa) is an OpenStep implementation. (..and then some.)

While I don't recommend much of anything from GNU land, the GNUstep project does claim to support some of those Apple extensions.

Good luck.. I wouldn't wish dial-up access on anyone, my 10Mbit line keeps me happy.
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