PC-BSD or Desktop-BSD? - BSD

This is a discussion on PC-BSD or Desktop-BSD? - BSD ; I am reclaiming an old PC from one of my children. It has 256MB RAM (upgradeable to 384 if necessary) and twin 266-MHz Celerons on an old Intel BX chipset motherboard. I know it will run a number of Linuxen ...

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Thread: PC-BSD or Desktop-BSD?

  1. PC-BSD or Desktop-BSD?

    I am reclaiming an old PC from one of my children. It has 256MB RAM
    (upgradeable to 384 if necessary) and twin 266-MHz Celerons on an old
    Intel BX chipset motherboard. I know it will run a number of Linuxen
    but I've always thought BSD had a lighter footprint. I may throw an
    old SCSI array on and use the machine as a household NAS server, or I
    may use it as a household mail server or any of half-a-dozen things.

    The question is, which port to install? I haven't used FreeBSD for 2-3
    years (last used on an old Compaq Armada) and just want to make the
    machine useful; it seems a desktop port would be easier to get working.
    Of the two desktop BSD projects, which is more mature? I don't need
    KDE or anything fancy - Openbox or Xfce would be just fine.

    Also, how is wireless support these days? Is it still an ndiswrapper
    effort? I have an old Belkin 802.11b card in the machine and would
    like to recycle the whole kit. I had to go the ndiswrapper route with
    Ubuntu 5.10 (what the box is running now - and boy, does it chug).

    Thanks in advance -

    Kind regards,
    jh


  2. Re: PC-BSD or Desktop-BSD?

    Begin <1164724462.230444.163450@l12g2000cwl.googlegroups. com>
    On 2006-11-28, jared wrote:
    > I am reclaiming an old PC from one of my children. It has 256MB RAM
    > (upgradeable to 384 if necessary) and twin 266-MHz Celerons on an old
    > Intel BX chipset motherboard. I know it will run a number of Linuxen
    > but I've always thought BSD had a lighter footprint.


    Sure, BSD has a lighter footprint, but it's ancient. Better use a more
    recent member of the family. NetBSD is pretty light. FreeBSD arguably
    less so, but it devotes quite a bit of extra logic to creating a fast
    path, and so is fast.

    But really, the OS is pretty much immaterial at 256MB. It's the
    graphical applications that do you in. X is a traditional hog of memory.
    Firefox surpases it. KDE and gnome surpass that again.


    > The question is, which port to install? I haven't used FreeBSD for 2-3
    > years (last used on an old Compaq Armada) and just want to make the
    > machine useful; it seems a desktop port would be easier to get working.
    > Of the two desktop BSD projects, which is more mature? I don't need
    > KDE or anything fancy - Openbox or Xfce would be just fine.


    ``port'' usually refers to a ported application from the ports tree, and
    not usually to FreeBSD or the niced-up derivatives. If you don't mind
    figuring out how to work FreeBSD, use that. Less fluff and extra stuff
    that interferes with getting it to work in the name of userfriendlyness.
    If you like the latter, pick something else.


    > Also, how is wireless support these days? Is it still an ndiswrapper
    > effort? I have an old Belkin 802.11b card in the machine and would
    > like to recycle the whole kit. I had to go the ndiswrapper route with
    > Ubuntu 5.10 (what the box is running now - and boy, does it chug).


    Haven't a clue about your card. If wrapping the windows driver doesn't
    do it for you, use a different card. I don't know what else you're
    running --besides the kernel--, but IIRC your two 266MHz celery
    processors don't have any cache, and no amount of software can fix that.
    You'll be better off replacing them with two pIIIs that do have cache.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  3. Re: PC-BSD or Desktop-BSD?

    jared wrote:
    > I am reclaiming an old PC from one of my children. It has 256MB RAM
    > (upgradeable to 384 if necessary) and twin 266-MHz Celerons on an old
    > Intel BX chipset motherboard. I know it will run a number of Linuxen
    > but I've always thought BSD had a lighter footprint. I may throw an
    > old SCSI array on and use the machine as a household NAS server, or I
    > may use it as a household mail server or any of half-a-dozen things.
    >
    > The question is, which port to install? I haven't used FreeBSD for 2-3
    > years (last used on an old Compaq Armada) and just want to make the
    > machine useful; it seems a desktop port would be easier to get working.


    "Packaged" distributions like that are more frustrating for me than just
    installing what I need from ports. I prefer to add to a minimal base
    rather than try to remove from a large system.

    > Of the two desktop BSD projects, which is more mature? I don't need
    > KDE or anything fancy - Openbox or Xfce would be just fine.


    PC-BSD is better known and probably the first one to try. It's KDE,
    though, so I suggest you add some more memory.

    You might also look at freesbie.org, since their live CD can be
    installed onto a hard drive.

    I don't know if this will be easier than an X-User install with xfce4
    from ports.

    > Also, how is wireless support these days? Is it still an ndiswrapper
    > effort? I have an old Belkin 802.11b card in the machine and would
    > like to recycle the whole kit. I had to go the ndiswrapper route with
    > Ubuntu 5.10 (what the box is running now - and boy, does it chug).


    As of 6.1:

    http://www.freebsd.org/releases/6.1R...i386.html#WLAN

    Packaged distributions often lag behind, though.

    --
    Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota * USA

  4. Re: PC-BSD or Desktop-BSD?

    jpd wrote:
    ....
    > not usually to FreeBSD or the niced-up derivatives. If you don't mind
    > figuring out how to work FreeBSD, use that. Less fluff and extra stuff
    > that interferes with getting it to work in the name of userfriendlyness.
    > If you like the latter, pick something else.


    At the risk of heresy in this group, I should point that I got ubuntu
    6.10 with its as-standard gnome up and running and highly usable on a
    laptop in about an hour (wireless networking, widescreen, and all) and
    that from a position of almost total ignorance of linux. I tried
    installed gnome on an already-running fbsd 6.1 desktop box - after
    several days of mucking around with the various ports it's nearly
    running, but not what I'd call usable or remotely user-friendly. Make
    what you will of that.

    --
    Please use the corrected version of the address below for replies.
    Replies to the header address will be junked, as will mail from
    various domains listed at www.scottsonline.org.uk
    Mike Scott Harlow Essex England.(unet -a-t- scottsonline.org.uk)

  5. Re: PC-BSD or Desktop-BSD?

    Begin
    On 2006-11-30, Mike Scott wrote:
    > At the risk of heresy in this group, I should point that I got ubuntu

    [and so on]

    Not so much heresy (hey, if it works, and you're happy with it, but then
    what are you doing in this group, eh?) as that the OP asked for ``BSD'',
    where in context probably FreeBSD was ment.

    As to actually setting gnome up, well, I haven't even tried that in a
    long time. And for good reason. :-)


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

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