Saturday, May 05, 2007

Mixed thoughts on FreeBSD

I was always curious to know what makes BSD different from linux, so i gave it a try last weekend.

I picked FreeBSD 6.2 and a spare HP Vectra box we had in our lab.The whole installation process was kinda different from most of the linux distros i have experienced so far.

The complete CLI based BSD installation can make you feel little uncomfortable if ur too used to Redhat's Anaconda. Sometimes i felt like im running in circles, configuring and choosing the same install parameteres twice, but well everything takes its little sweet time so in a few mins i got used to the interface. Harddrive partitioning was a little confusing but glad figured a way without getting messed and made a clean Standard Install. Choosing the packages is difficult , but worse was yet to come. Installer repeatedly asked for switching the cd's , i was kinda pissed with that part but then cant really help it.

The naming conventions for the drives are totally different in BSD , the same applies for the ethernet interfaces. Ethernet interfaces were named like dc01,dc0 , fxp0 .I had a single SATA hardrive on the HP box , BSD gave it a strange name /dev/ad0s1a unlike the usual hda0,hdb0 and so on.

The installation finally got completed now it was time boot up the box and put it on network. I struggled to bring the network , only after getting too disappointed i came to know about the "netif " , the network startup script in /etc/rc.d. So the network was up , now how to setup routes, again BSD has its own way of doing things, a different "route" syntax than usual linux box. Also BSD gives you a default csh instead of a regular bash.

Finally everything was set. The routes , IP Adresssing , DNS and i smiled , at least didnt had to switch the cd's again for something i had missed.

bsd01 # uname -a
FreeBSD bsd01 6.2-RELEASE FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE #0: Fri Jan 12 11:05:30 UTC 2007 i386

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