MegaZone (zonereyrie) wrote,

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My first FreeBSD install - ugh...

OK, I just installed FreeBSD 4.7 on a box here at work. It is going to dual-boot that and Red Hat 7.3 (which is updating at the moment) for development.

I have to say, Linux in general, and Red Hat in particular, has me spoiled. I found the FreeBSD installer to be tedious, a bit confusing, and just generally a pain in the ass. (Since I'm not up on FreeBSD distros, this is the CD set from FreeBSD Mall in case it really matters.) The little booklet that came with the CDs didn't match what happened in the installer either.

By comparison the RH installer is a breeze. And RH got the HW detection and X config right, FreeBSD didn't. I had to muck with the X configuration manually until I hit the right settings. Oddly, running xf86config from shell did a better job at creating a starting point than the installer did. Not quite right, but close enough. The installer's config was out in left field.

Yes, I'm a geek and I can do the installs from scratch, and I don't really need a nice installer, etc. But, dammit, it makes life easier, and I have shit to do. I'd rather have a tool that lets me work faster.

Oh, and the first time through the FreeBSD install, when I got to the X config step I selected the graphical config tool. And it wouldn't display on my monitor. Suck. So I had to go around again and the second time I did it text based.

Even after being configured, there is something different in FreeBSD. The Gnome desktop in FreeBSD looks a lot cruder than the one under RH7.3. Probably something FreeBSD doesn't install by default that I missed while slogging through the installer picking things.

The FreeBSD boot loader doesn't seem as nice as Lilo, and Lilo is old - GRUB kicks both of their asses.

So far the experience just makes me glad I started using Linux all those many years ago. :-) The FreeBSD install reminds me of Linux circa 1995 or so I think. I've often heard FreeBSD users lament the dominance of Linux in the market. Well, you know, there are reasons for that.
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