115

If you want to know what's different so you can use the system more efficiently, here is a commonly referenced introduction to BSD to people coming from a Linux background. If you want more of the historical context for this decision, I'll just take a guess as to why they chose FreeBSD. Around the time of the first dot-com bubble, FreeBSD 4 was extremely ...


50

I don't think I will provide you and everyone with the perfect answer, however, using a BSD system everyday for work, I am sure I can give you a useful insight in the BSD world. I didn't ever use NetBSD, I won't talk a lot about it. Do they use the same kernel? No, although there are similarities due to the historic forks. Each project evolved separately....


47

FreeBSD has a reputation for a more robust network stack. From professional experience at a previous company, we had a proxy server that was falling over from the load. When we threw FreeBSD on it, the server handled the load with ease for well over a year (I moved on - could still be working). NetBSD has a reputation for running on a ton of different ...


44

In practice the distros all use much the same development tool chain, so they don't really differ significantly as a platform for general development work. Some do, however, have specific advantages that may be relevant to certain types of development work: The commercial distros (RHEL, SLES) have the best support from third-party closed source vendors. ...


29

I prefer the license philosophy of BSD license vs GPL license. To me, free means do pretty much whatever you want with the code. It's so free you can make it not free like apple did. Practically it probably has no impact on me, but I prefer it on principle and was one of the reasons I chose to use FreeBSD over Linux. Another reason is I wanted to tinker, ...


27

The answer is/isn't sexy, depending on your point of view. Perl is very useful. Lots of the system utilities are written in or depend on perl. Most systems won't operate properly if Perl is uninstalled. A few years ago FreeBSD went through a lot of effort to remove Perl as a dependency for the base system. It wasn't an easy task.


24

FreeBSD is an operating system. Linux is a kernel. So in your question you're comparing apples and orange seeds. Licensing and device support would be my two top reasons why someone would choose one over the other


24

In Larry Wall's original Perl v1.0 posting to the comp.sources.misc newsgroup on December 18, 1987, he said: If you have a problem that would ordinarily use sed or awk or sh, but it exceeds their capabilities or must run a little faster, and you don't want to write the silly thing in C, then perl may be for you. In a much later exposition, ...


21

NixOS supports upgrade rollbacks, although as I understand it, it doesn't go quite as far as you'd like: if you upgrade A, B and C in one operation, you can roll that entire operation back, but not just A and B. (You should be able to roll A, B and C back, and then upgrade C...) That makes sense from a transactional perspective though. Debian (in ...


19

Oh you will notice the differences... a git pull is way faster than the rsync one :) the automated kernel build is a real nice feature, you will see ebuilds that are maintained by CoreTeam have a cleaner structure, not so much usage of external modules but inline the ebuild so a build gets clean... GPT/GUID support is also very nice, cleaner structure of ...


17

Bodhi linux is worth trying out, your system requirements are met and you'll get a modern dektop (with an olden day footprint). It's Ubuntu-based and runs on the Enlightenment DE (which, debatably, is even more lightweight that LXDE). It can look however you want it to look, it's very easy to change the theme and look of the desktop from within menus.


16

(I can't give a complete answer, but I also can't turn away from this question, so...I'll just address some points...FreeBSD was the most used BSD (in 2005), so I try to offer some clues regarding "the others".) First of all, you're right to dismiss the one-line explanations, OpenBSD's motto is "free, functional and secure" and the NetBSD developers also ...


15

Ubuntu is a standard suggestion for beginners in Linux. As far as memory is concerned, go with a lighter version of Ubuntu.


15

If you come to Distrowatch, you can search all the available distros based on ones that have categorized as being "Scientific". You might want to include "Educational" as well in that search. I hit the search page here. These are the results from that search: Scientific Linux (40) Scientific Linux is a recompiled Red Hat Enterprise Linux, co-developed by ...


15

On any yum based distribution (e.g. Red Hat EL, CentOS, etc), you can: examine the history of changes to system using sudo yum history list Loaded plugins: fastestmirror ID | Login user | Date and time | Action(s) | Altered ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 10 | Administrator <...


13

Well, here you find some information, I don't know if accurate or not, I suspect not too much. Anyway, each major Linux distribution has almost everything one can ever need. What is missing are essentially niche applications, or applications that in some way cannot be packaged.


13

It sounds like Debian is a good fit for your requirements. The installer allows you to select what you want in a modular fashion, or you can deselect everything and install anything later pretty trivially with aptitude. It has the option to install X with a graphical desktop environment (GNOME) in the installer, as one of its options. Debian is also highly ...


12

Here's something I wrote about BSD unix variants in answer to a similar question on serverfault. Broadly, the code base of BSD systems is more tightly controlled than a typical linux distro. You will get something a bit more like a traditional unix and the system is very robust with a more conservative change policy. If you're a pure open-source shop and ...


12

The difference between BSD and Linux distributions dated back to the early days of Unix. AT&T owned Unix, but due to restrictions it could not compete in the computing industry. Due to this, they licensed Unix to Berkeley. Berkeley took off with this customizing and tweaking everything until eventually there was no AT&T code really present in their ...


12

Debian still officially supports running on a 486 (but not a 386). Everything else about which desktop environments and window managers to use on an older system has almost nothing to do with the distro choice.


12

Many distributions have some facility for a minimal install; essentially where you manually select only those packages that you explicitly wish to install. Debian has this ability and would be a better choice, in your situation, than the other obvious minimal contender, Arch Linux. Arch's rolling release status may provide a level of ongoing complexity ...


12

Is there such a thing as a Linux geared towards developers? Yes. It's called Linux. Fedora (or any Red Hat derivative) is as good as any Debian, Slackware, Gentoo or whatever. Seriously, you can develop with any major distribution, it's a silly question to ask for a "developer oriented" Linux. It's also silly to say that any of these distros is better ...


12

I don't think you'd find a general standard answer to this question. The truth is only you know the answer to it. Some random points to take into consideration: Avoid exotic distributions There are solid distros around (debian, centos, opensuse, ubuntu, fedora, ...) to chose from. No need to consider getting your own LFS or something like Gobolinux. Not ...


11

Puppy Linux: Wary is great for older hardware.


10

Like @User, I prefer the BSD license and is the main reason I use it as my primary OS. I'm in no way against the GPL, but if a MIT/MIT-like licensed app is available, I will use it first over a similar application that is GPL'd. It's so free you can make it not free That's very attractive to the business-oriented, as well as users such as myself. The ...


10

Since you're doing this just for fun and would like to have an opportunity to toy around with a different OS, you might as well try out OpenBSD. From my experience, I had no problems installing and running a fairly recent OpenBSD version on a system with Pentium I CPU at 166MHz and 24 Megabytes of RAM. Usually resurrecting and toying around with old boxes ...


10

POSIX does not specify a complete operating system, so any POSIX-compliant OS will have commands that aren't in POSIX (like init, mkfs, passwd, …). But different OSes have different extensions, and GNU tools (found on non-embedded Linux systems) have a lot. BusyBox is a set of command-line tools that is intended for embedded Linux systems. It contains most ...


10

You can afford to run a GUI without problems, but I would advise against the more recent "desktop environments". For a 133Mhz machine, I also advise against a standard installation of any recent "consumer friendly" distribution, as they tend to have a lot of background services running. Installing Debian, ArchLinux, Gentoo, BSD should be no problem. Get a "...


9

Linux Mint is, for me, the most user-friendly Linux Distribution, the UI is almost the same as Windows, on the contrary of Ubuntu's Unity. Plus, for me, it's much more stable and "better", in my opinion than Ubuntu. You may also want to take a look at Mageia, a fork of Mandriva, the old Mandrake Linux.


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