tinkering with FreeBSD

By | 2008/10/17

I had some time this morning on the bus into work so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to post _something_ here. I know its been quite some time since I’ve been blogging, and I’d like to get started again, life is just hectic right now.

Between starting a new job, having a 7 month old baby and our b0rken economy here in the US blogging is not the first thing on my mind.

One of the other things that has kept me busy is learning FreeBSD. We are very much a RHEL/CentOS shop at work but we have quite a bit of FreeBSD mixed in there as well. After I found that out I decided I should dive into it and get familiar with it. Well, so far, I’m enjoying it quite a bit. I feel like I’m back to the learning stage that I enjoyed so much when I started with Linux years ago. So many new things to explore and troubleshoot.

If any of you loyal readers are FreeBSD fans I’d appreciate any tips that you have or good resources to look into. So far I have been doing minimal installs + ports, and I like how efficient it seems to be.

I have a bunch of FreeBSD related articles I could write up, but I don’t know how fitting they are for this blog so I may put them on my other blog. Lets see if I have time today to write one up.

Anyhow, I hope this posts turns out as I am writing it via elinks on FreeBSD sans GUI on my laptop.

9 thoughts on “tinkering with FreeBSD

  1. Noel Nuguid

    Hi! nice to know someone is trying FreeBSD. I suggest taking a scroll into bsdguides.org. Although a lot of its guides are a bit old they are still relevant due to the nature of the ports three.


  2. Kedar

    Ahhh, FreeBSD. Brings back (fond) memories. 🙂
    I used to have it as my main desktop for a year or so. I had a podcast about it back then as well 🙂 Google FreeBSD podcast, it’s the first link. Anyways waiting eagerly to read what are the latest happenings with the BSDs.

  3. David Adam

    (Your OpenID functionality appears to be broken)

    The FreeBSD documentation is fantastic, so always remember to check out the manpages and the handbook before you start trying to do something.

    Rather than using the ports tree simply with ‘cd $port && make install clean’, you should investigate portsnap (or csup) to keep your ports up-to-date, and then portmgr or portupgrade for installing and upgrading ports.

    Also consider using binary packages to save on download and build time: pkg_add -r $portname is a good start.

    FreeBSD comes with sendmail as part of the base system, so you might want to replace that with postfix or another mailer sooner rather than later (unless you particularly enjoy editing m4 files).

    Finally, I think the most attractive thing about FreeBSD is the development philosophy of ‘POLA’ – ensuring that what you learn today is likely to remain more-or-less constant for years to come.

  4. John

    Also, check out the book _Building a Server with FreeBSD 7_ by Bryan J. Hong (No Starch Press, 2008). Step-by-step instructions for getting things up and running like Apache, WordPress, MediaWiki, MySQL, OpenVPN, Postfix, etc. etc. etc. I’ve been finding this book very useful in furthering my own learning process.

  5. Jason H

    No Starch Press’ Absolute BSD is great. I worked at an ISP for a while and the sys admins preferred FreeBSD over linux for most servers, so I spent some quality time with FreeBSD. I now work on a test team that uses RHEL, but I really enjoyed BSD. To me simplicity provides more power than flexibility (I’m also a Mac fan) and I think in many cases FreeBSD is way better than Linux. I would enjoy seeing FreeBSD related articles here. I haven’t really used it much since the 4.x days.

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