need help choosing appropriate BSD distro - BSD

This is a discussion on need help choosing appropriate BSD distro - BSD ; t2000kw@nospam.inva lid wrote: > Again, I'll have to give the install instructions a careful re-read a > third time and see if I think I can understand them well enough to do > the installation. > One question that might ...

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Thread: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

  1. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    t2000kw@nospam.invalid wrote:
    > Again, I'll have to give the install instructions a careful re-read a
    > third time and see if I think I can understand them well enough to do
    > the installation.


    > One question that might come up for me is this: If I do the install
    > with a USB Ethernet adapter (not wireless) and later switch to
    > wireless, does the OS recognize it at boot time or do I need to
    > "teach" it that it is there somehow.
    >
    > Of course, if I can get the wireless device not only recognized but
    > working during the install from the install CD before reverting to a
    > more conventional Ethernet adapter, I wouldn't need to do a switch
    > later on.
    >
    > But when you change hardware, if it's something supported by the OS,
    > do you have to load other files/modules/etc. to support it or does it
    > usually do what it needs to support it?


    Provided the wireless adapter is supported at all, it's very likely to
    work in at least the CD-based install kernel. If not, setting it up
    after the install is not too difficult; take a look at /etc/hostname.*
    and hostname.if(5).
    OpenBSD is not Linux; an OpenBSD kernel is not modular and mostly
    includes everything you could want it to include. So changing hardware
    configuration and booting into the old system almost certainly just
    works.

    (To be fair to Linux, a modular kernel does have advantages, and at
    least the big distributions are usually pretty good at working despite
    changing hardware[1]. It's mostly the hand-compiled 'optimized' kernels
    that break...)

    One thing you might consider is setting up some PC emulator - qemu is
    the canonical one - on a fast machine (i.e. your Ubuntu desktop) and
    going through a few OpenBSD installs first. Especially the 'copy things
    to disk' phase will be painfully slow, but at least you won't be able to
    destroy more than your qemu disk.

    And the 'copy to disk' phase might not be required, even; all the hard
    questions are asked before that stage. This would also save you having
    to set up qemu's networking (I assume you'd install from the network),
    which is not that difficult but decidedly non-trivial - and probably not
    worth the effort if you're only going to use it for this application.

    Joachim

    [1] Although Linux does have a disturbing tendency to more-or-less
    randomly renumber devices when you change hardware. OpenBSD takes care
    to prevent this.

  2. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    jch wrote:
    > Customising the system so that it becomes a nice workstation (if that is
    > your goal) takes some time. You you need to be prepared to spend
    > another half day or so to install the various packages you want to use.
    > There is a good write up on the net about how to build a good
    > workstation. I have modified that procedure a bit, and it is somewhere
    > on my system. If you want a copy, i would be more than happy to post it
    > on my web server. Your knowledge of Linux will be very valuable in the
    > OBSD case.

    _____
    Have a look at . You will find the
    following:
    Index of /OpenBSD
    Name Last modified Size Description
    [DIR] Parent Directory 07-Jun-2007 15:34 -
    [DIR] 3.9/ 07-Jun-2007 15:35 -
    [DIR] 4.0/ 23-Jun-2007 17:03 -
    [DIR] 4.1/ 23-Jun-2007 17:03 -
    [ ] Xsession 24-Jun-2007 15:29 2k
    [ ] fluxbox_menu 24-Jun-2007 13:19 5k
    [TXT] obsd_installation.txt 24-Jun-2007 12:55 7k
    [ ] rc.conf 24-Jun-2007 13:23 4k
    [ ] rc.conf.local 24-Jun-2007 13:23 1k
    [ ] vimrc 24-Jun-2007 15:39 1k
    [ ] xstart_home 24-Jun-2007 15:25 1k

    File obsd_installation.txt has all the details you need to make OBSD
    into a workstation. I can no longer find the web page this procedure
    came from.

    I have provided some extra files that are needed; my fluxbox menu plus
    my gvim=vim resource file. The file xstart_home is optional. It is
    read and processed by /etc/X11/xdm/Xsession if it exists. The procedure
    in obsd_installation.txt may seem daunting, but it is actually quite
    straightforward. Just take your time.

    Also have a look at:
    http://www.drones.com/openbsd.html
    http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html#Install. The OBSD installation
    notes are VERY complete, and accurate.

    The key OBSD installation concept that may not be clear is that the
    bootable CD or the floppy for a particular release actually provides a
    very small version of the OS itself. It has two functions: 1) repair of
    the OS on the hard disk(s) using various utilities, and 2) the
    installation of the OS itself. For example, i use the bootable CD to do
    a "bare iron" restore (via dump and restore) of a complete OBSD system
    if the need arises after a disk crash. If you want details, please let
    me know.

    As a test of the OBSD partitioning tasks, i just reinstalled OBSD 3.9 on
    a 20 Gb disk. With PartitionMagic v5 i first created a primary NTFS
    partition (simulating, say, Windows 2000) of about 14 Gb, leaving around
    5 Gb for OBSD. The installation process went well using an ftp install
    from a Swedish site (which contains most releases). The actual
    installation is done with a shell script. The script can be aborted
    with "Ctrl-C", and restarted from scratch by typing "install" at the
    prompt. Or, the installation script can be suspended with "Ctrl-Z", and
    restarted with "fg %1". This lets you pop into the command shell, and
    say "dmesg | less" to see what devices OBSD detected.

    Here is what fdisk and disklabel reported after the installation:
    # fdisk wd0
    Disk: wd0 geometry: 2434/255/63 [39102210 Sectors]
    Offset: 0 Signature: 0xAA55
    Starting Ending LBA Info:
    #: id C H S - C H S [ start: size ]
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    0: 07 0 1 1 - 1784 254 63 [ 63: 28675962 ] HPFS/QNX/AUX
    1: 00 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 [ 0: 0 ] unused
    2: 00 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 [ 0: 0 ] unused
    *3: A6 1785 0 1 - 2433 254 63 [ 28676025: 10426185 ] OpenBSD

    # disklabel wd0
    # Inside MBR partition 3: type A6 start 28676025 size 10426185
    # /dev/rwd0c:
    type: ESDI
    ....
    bytes/sector: 512
    sectors/track: 63
    tracks/cylinder: 16
    sectors/cylinder: 1008
    cylinders: 16383
    total sectors: 39102336
    ....
    16 partitions:
    # size offset fstype [fsize bsize cpg]
    a: 7842114 31260096 4.2BSD 2048 16384 328 # Cyl 31012
    - 38791*
    b: 1047879 28676025 swap # Cyl
    28448*- 29487
    c: 39102336 0 unused 0 0 # Cyl 0
    - 38791
    h: 1536192 29723904 4.2BSD 2048 16384 328 # Cyl 29488
    - 31011
    i: 28675962 63 unknown # Cyl
    0*- 28448*

    Note that i deleted slice "a" first, then i assigned a SWAP space of 2
    times RAM=512 Mb, followed by a home partition=750 Mb, and finally the
    /root slice on the remainder of the OBSD partition. The OBSD folks
    recommend different arrangements. But this simple setup suits me fine.
    If you want to alter the partitions later, you MUST use dump and
    restore to do so. It is NOT possible to alter partition sizes on the fly.

    Here are some final observations:
    1) OBSD is lean and fast. The installation process is NOT graphical
    to keep things small. Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) are very
    expensive to build, contain a lot of code and can be confusing. In
    general, you will most certainly need to master the VI editor as a
    minimum. Most configuration tasks are done with the (G)VI(M) editor, or
    EMACS if you prefer that tool instead. There are virtually no GUI
    configuration tools that i know of.
    2) If you need to work with MS Windows files, then it is best to run
    MS Office under Windows 2000, or XP. I tried wine many years ago under
    Linux RedHat, and was not very happy with it. I do not recommend the
    wine approach with OBSD. Windows and OBSD on one machine implies a dual
    boot setup. I use GAG=Graphical Boot Manager (v4.1) found at
    . GAG is now at release 4.9. Once OBSD is
    installed, just create a GAG floppy, and boot the machine with it. The
    setup is very simple to use, and you will be able to boot Windows 2000,
    XP, or OBSD from the hard drive after setting it up.
    3) OpenOffice works well enough with MS Windows files. I still use
    the Linux emulation. It is a tad slow, but otherwise fine. There is
    also a program called "antiword". It appears to work well with MS *.DOC
    files.
    4) Printing with OBSD proved to be difficult. I tried CUPS, and
    could not make it work. Instead, i had instant results with apsfilter.
    In fact, i use apsfilter and samba installed on my OBSD v3.9 firewall
    and my workstation. Since the firewall machine (233 MHz i586, 128 Mb
    RAM, 700 Mb hard disk) runs 24/7, the print server is always available.
    It even prints to a remote Windows ME machine with printer when it is
    up. Any Windows system can be told to route print jobs to the
    firewall=print server using samba on the server. Same for Apple
    MacIntosh machines.
    5) Web browsing and email work beautifully with FireFox and
    ThunderBird respectively. Support for certain plug-ins is available,
    but it is not as extensive as for the Windows versions.

    The web page will be available for about
    a week. I will shut the machine down after that time.

    Good luck.
    --
    Regards / JCH

  3. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    jch wrote:
    > Customising the system so that it becomes a nice workstation (if that is
    > your goal) takes some time. You you need to be prepared to spend
    > another half day or so to install the various packages you want to use.
    > There is a good write up on the net about how to build a good
    > workstation. I have modified that procedure a bit, and it is somewhere
    > on my system. If you want a copy, i would be more than happy to post it
    > on my web server. Your knowledge of Linux will be very valuable in the
    > OBSD case.

    _____
    I forgot points 6), 7) and 8).

    Here are some final observations:
    ....
    ....

    6) Have a look at rox-filer-2...tgz. I am still using the early v1,
    and still like it better than the recent release. In any case, it is an
    essential ingredient to have. Rox supports drag and drop very well.
    7) The KDE desktop is also available. It has a very large memory
    footprint, and is too slow for my taste. However, its complement of
    functions is phenomenal. Gnome is similar. Why do i use the venerable
    fvwm2 window manager? It is very small, simple to use, and very fast.
    However, it is rather involved to set up. If someone wants to try out
    my configuration file, please let me know and i will post it on the web
    site.
    8) For graphical work, have a look a xfig for CAD type line drawings,
    GIMP for photo editing (similar to PhotoWorkshop), and don't forget to
    install xv. Xv is probably the graphical display tool i use most. Xv
    is also needed to render the various backgrounds i use under fluxbox and
    fvwm2.

    Good luck.
    --
    Regards / JCH

  4. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    On Sat, 23 Jun 2007 21:16:12 -0400, t2000kw wrote:

    > I see an iso image on the file mirrors, but it's only 4.9 megabytes. I
    > doubt that it would have support to get me online with the wireless
    > card.


    Heh. The floppyC image has most of the wireless drivers in 1.44 MB.

    Never underestimate OpenBSD or the fiendish ingenuity of its developers.

  5. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    jch wrote:
    > jch wrote:
    >> There is a good write up on the net about how to build a good
    >> workstation. I have modified that procedure a bit, and it is
    >> somewhere on my system. If you want a copy, i would be more than
    >> happy to post it on my web server. Your knowledge of Linux will be
    >> very valuable in the OBSD case.

    > _____
    > I forgot points 6), 7) and 8).
    >
    > Here are some final observations:
    > ...
    > ...
    >
    > 6) Have a look at rox-filer-2...tgz. I am still using the early v1,
    > and still like it better than the recent release. In any case, it is an
    > essential ingredient to have. Rox supports drag and drop very well.

    ....
    ....
    _____
    I noticed from the access logs on the web server that about four to five
    OBSD group readers have retrieved the procedure and files needed to set
    up a workstation. Please let me know how it worked out for you, and if
    you have any observations and improvements i should include in the write-up.

    I did not mention the typical minimum requirements for an OBSD
    workstation. It depends on the type of work you do.

    I do a reasonable amount of drafting using xfig. GIMP is good for image
    manipulations and is complemented by xv. Beyond that i use OpenOffice
    2.2 (linux binary for now) quite a bit. I do heavy duty technical
    writing (includes many math formulas and sketches) with LaTeX (and some
    TeX). Email and web browsing are the most frequently used programs on
    my workstation.

    So, in hardware terms a minimum workstation would include:
    1) 1+ GHz CPU, i586
    2) 512 Mb to 1 Gb Mb of RAM
    3) 5 Gb hard disk
    4) 10/100 NIC RJ45 style or suitable wireless version
    5) Video card 4 Mb to 8 Mb RAM
    6) CDROM/DVD plus suitable burner
    7) Suitable optical USB/PS2 style mouse with 3 buttons (i assume that
    most people are aware of the superior copy and paste procedures using a
    3 button mouse under X-Windows)
    8) 17" monitor or equivalent LCD screen capable of 1024x768
    resolution or better

    Depending on your budget and inclination, you may wish to buy an older
    computer with a 233 MHz CPU, 128 Mb RAM, and a 1.5 Gb hard disk. When
    complemented with another 30 Gb hard disk and a removable 10 - 20 Gb
    disk cartridge, you can make a simple file server (NFS) for all other
    machines on your network (including Windows machines and Apple Macs).
    You can provide software to do automatic backups (with amanda) of OBSD
    systems, and all data files for all users on the network. The removable
    disk cartridges are ideal for this task.
    --
    Regards / JCH

  6. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    Sounds like I wouldn't have the minimum needed . . .

    On Mon, 25 Jun 2007 19:03:01 GMT, jch wrote:

    >So, in hardware terms a minimum workstation would include:
    > 1) 1+ GHz CPU, i586


    233 Mhz on the laptop

    > 2) 512 Mb to 1 Gb Mb of RAM


    383 (?) MB RAM

    > 3) 5 Gb hard disk


    4 GB partition

    > 4) 10/100 NIC RJ45 style or suitable wireless version


    Probably OK here

    > 5) Video card 4 Mb to 8 Mb RAM


    Probably OK here

    > 6) CDROM/DVD plus suitable burner


    No burner, but a DVD/CDROM reader

    > 7) Suitable optical USB/PS2 style mouse with 3 buttons (i assume that
    >most people are aware of the superior copy and paste procedures using a
    >3 button mouse under X-Windows)


    a 2 button touchpad only

    > 8) 17" monitor or equivalent LCD screen capable of 1024x768
    >resolution or better


    Probably OK here. 1024 x 768 LCD 15" screen

    I haven't had the time to fool around with it, nor to try loading the
    other BSD I haven't given a chance.

    After what happend the last time, I couldn't recover my master boot
    record the usual easy way with fidsk /mbr and it would boot and say
    something about no operating system.

    I had to reinstall Win 98 SE to get it back. Now I'm a bit shy of
    allowing another OS to put a boot manager on the disk. Most of the
    BSDs did OK that way and were fully recoverable with that fdisk trick.
    I'll have a lot more reading and re-reading before I can try it out.

    Don

  7. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    t2000kw@nospam.invalid wrote:
    > Sounds like I wouldn't have the minimum needed . . .
    >
    > On Mon, 25 Jun 2007 19:03:01 GMT, jch wrote:
    >
    >>So, in hardware terms a minimum workstation would include:
    >> 1) 1+ GHz CPU, i586

    >
    > 233 Mhz on the laptop
    >
    >> 2) 512 Mb to 1 Gb Mb of RAM

    >
    > 383 (?) MB RAM
    >
    >> 3) 5 Gb hard disk

    >
    > 4 GB partition
    >
    >> 4) 10/100 NIC RJ45 style or suitable wireless version

    >
    > Probably OK here
    >
    >> 5) Video card 4 Mb to 8 Mb RAM

    >
    > Probably OK here
    >
    >> 6) CDROM/DVD plus suitable burner

    >
    > No burner, but a DVD/CDROM reader
    >
    >> 7) Suitable optical USB/PS2 style mouse with 3 buttons (i assume that
    >>most people are aware of the superior copy and paste procedures using a
    >>3 button mouse under X-Windows)

    >
    > a 2 button touchpad only
    >
    >> 8) 17" monitor or equivalent LCD screen capable of 1024x768
    >>resolution or better

    >
    > Probably OK here. 1024 x 768 LCD 15" screen


    This is not necessarily a problem; don't try to run anything else and
    Firefox at the same time, and be wary of OpenOffice, KDE and such, and
    you'll do fine. It's not going to be as fast as modern machine,
    obviously, but pretty usable.

    Before my Thinkpad died, I had a similar setup, but with about one third
    of the RAM and no DVD reading capability. I did have a 6 GB disk. That
    laptop was quite usable.

    > I haven't had the time to fool around with it, nor to try loading the
    > other BSD I haven't given a chance.
    >
    > After what happend the last time, I couldn't recover my master boot
    > record the usual easy way with fidsk /mbr and it would boot and say
    > something about no operating system.
    >
    > I had to reinstall Win 98 SE to get it back. Now I'm a bit shy of
    > allowing another OS to put a boot manager on the disk. Most of the
    > BSDs did OK that way and were fully recoverable with that fdisk trick.
    > I'll have a lot more reading and re-reading before I can try it out.


    If you have enough disk space on the disk, I'd advise you to try

    you@desktop$ nc -l 1234 laptop-backup

    you@laptop$ sudo dd if=/dev/rwd0c bs=4096 conv=notrunc | nc desktop 1234

    Or some other backup scheme along these lines. Or just use qemy, as I
    suggested yesterday.

    Joachim

  8. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    Joachim Schipper wrote:
    > t2000kw@nospam.invalid wrote:
    >> Sounds like I wouldn't have the minimum needed . . .
    >>
    >> On Mon, 25 Jun 2007 19:03:01 GMT, jch wrote:
    >>
    >>> So, in hardware terms a minimum workstation would include:
    >>> 1) 1+ GHz CPU, i586

    >> 233 Mhz on the laptop
    >>
    >>> 2) 512 Mb to 1 Gb Mb of RAM

    >> 383 (?) MB RAM
    >>
    >>> 3) 5 Gb hard disk

    >> 4 GB partition
    >>
    >>> 4) 10/100 NIC RJ45 style or suitable wireless version

    >> Probably OK here
    >>
    >>> 5) Video card 4 Mb to 8 Mb RAM

    >> Probably OK here
    >>
    >>> 6) CDROM/DVD plus suitable burner

    >> No burner, but a DVD/CDROM reader
    >>
    >>> 7) Suitable optical USB/PS2 style mouse with 3 buttons (i assume that
    >>> most people are aware of the superior copy and paste procedures using a
    >>> 3 button mouse under X-Windows)

    >> a 2 button touchpad only
    >>
    >>> 8) 17" monitor or equivalent LCD screen capable of 1024x768
    >>> resolution or better

    >> Probably OK here. 1024 x 768 LCD 15" screen

    >
    > This is not necessarily a problem; don't try to run anything else and
    > Firefox at the same time, and be wary of OpenOffice, KDE and such, and
    > you'll do fine. It's not going to be as fast as modern machine,
    > obviously, but pretty usable.
    >
    > Before my Thinkpad died, I had a similar setup, but with about one third
    > of the RAM and no DVD reading capability. I did have a 6 GB disk. That
    > laptop was quite usable.

    _____
    I agree with Joachim's comments above. The CPU speed at 233 MHz, RAM at
    383 Mb, hard disk at 4 Gb, plus a CDROM reader are an acceptable but
    bottom end starting point.

    I do emphasize that a three button mouse (ball or optical style) is
    really useful with X-Windows instead of the built-in touch pad with two
    buttons.

    Indeed, KDE is a fine window manager, but it is very demanding in terms
    of memory and CPU cycles. If you also run OpenOffice and FireFox at the
    same time under KDE, then the laptop will not be too responsive. This
    is why i recommend for window manager the fluxbox or the default fvwm(2).

    I have added my fvwm(2) configuration files to my web site. Should you
    decide to use it, remember that it must replace the supplied
    configuration file with the usual .(dot) in front. Also, my fvwm(2)
    window manager setup is linked to work with rox file manager. I made an
    attempt at changing colour schemes on the fly. Hence, there are two
    config files, each with different colours. To switch between them you
    access the menu, which in turn runs the Scheme_.. scripts. Fvwm(2) is
    very configurable, but it is a lot of work to learn to do it well.
    Hence fluxbox.

    >> I haven't had the time to fool around with it, nor to try loading the
    >> other BSD I haven't given a chance.
    >>
    >> After what happend the last time, I couldn't recover my master boot
    >> record the usual easy way with fidsk /mbr and it would boot and say
    >> something about no operating system.
    >>
    >> I had to reinstall Win 98 SE to get it back. Now I'm a bit shy of
    >> allowing another OS to put a boot manager on the disk. Most of the
    >> BSDs did OK that way and were fully recoverable with that fdisk trick.
    >> I'll have a lot more reading and re-reading before I can try it out.

    >
    > If you have enough disk space on the disk, I'd advise you to try
    >
    > you@desktop$ nc -l 1234 laptop-backup
    >
    > you@laptop$ sudo dd if=/dev/rwd0c bs=4096 conv=notrunc | nc desktop 1234
    >
    > Or some other backup scheme along these lines. Or just use qemy, as I
    > suggested yesterday.

    _____
    Your concern about damaging the MBR is a very common and valid issue.
    Joachim's recommendation above to make a system backup is a good one.
    In fact, i was not even aware of the nc utility! I learned something new.

    To save the first 63 sectors of the boot disk (with the MBR on it) to a
    floppy, you boot the OBSD 4.1 CD, and do "dd if=/dev/rwd0c of=/dev/rfd0c
    bs=512 count=63". This makes a raw copy on the floppy which can not be
    used for much else at this point. To restore the MBR, simply swap the
    if=/of= arguments like this "dd of=/dev/rwd0c if=/dev/rfd0c bs=512
    count=63". I make a habit of saving MBRs this way. You actually only
    need to save the first 512 bytes. Once in OBSD proper, you can use
    hexedit to look at the MBR code on the floppy or the hard disk.

    One final thought. There is really no need for a dual boot setup if you
    wish to leave the MBR alone. Simply boot the OBSD 4.1 CD, and just
    after the boot prompt comes up type in "boot wd0a:/bsd". This will
    launch the OBSD kernel and the system will come up. If you had another
    customised kernel you wanted to test in the / directory, you can boot it
    with the same command "boot wd0a:/bsd_custom". This is way easier than
    working with Linux. I have run this way for quite a while during tests
    on a 450 MHz machine with Windows 2000 Pro on it. The boot command is
    documented on the OBSD web page.

    Good luck.
    --
    Regards / JCH (John)

  9. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    Thanks for the information. I'm going to store some of these posts
    until I'm ready to try it again. I might wait until I can replace my
    laptop and that one will have much more hard drive space, a faster
    processor, etc.

    I have used fvwm2 before. I don't particularly care for it. It reminds
    me of KDE (and Windows 95) and I don't like KDE, but I realize that
    choices get more limited when you need a GUI that doesn't tax the
    system as much as the others like KDE and Gnome. I'll probably have to
    settle for a lightweight GUI. Gnome, with Ubuntu, however, on that
    laptop, was slow but acceptable (barely so) if I'm not trying to do a
    lot with it at the same time, as you mentioned.

    Are any of the lightweight Xwindow managers similar enough to Gnome
    that I might feel more at home with it?

    I am impressed how far the Unix-like OS's have come in the way of
    making it easy for people to use them. I cut my teeth on DOS 3.3, then
    4, then 5, then 6, then went to Windows, so I'm not afraid of using
    commands, but it is much easier to click something and not have to
    memorize a lot of commands (it helps to know some, of course).

    My wife, who's good with Windows but not command line things like DOS,
    can get by with Linux now for most of what she does. I look forward to
    the point where a person who is not real comfortable with computers
    can install BSD or Linux and run with it, never looking back to
    Windows again.

    On Tue, 26 Jun 2007 18:17:39 GMT, jch wrote:

    >One final thought. There is really no need for a dual boot setup if you
    >wish to leave the MBR alone. Simply boot the OBSD 4.1 CD, and just
    >after the boot prompt comes up type in "boot wd0a:/bsd". This will
    >launch the OBSD kernel and the system will come up. If you had another
    >customised kernel you wanted to test in the / directory, you can boot it
    >with the same command "boot wd0a:/bsd_custom". This is way easier than
    >working with Linux. I have run this way for quite a while during tests
    >on a 450 MHz machine with Windows 2000 Pro on it. The boot command is
    >documented on the OBSD web page.
    >
    >Good luck.


  10. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    On 25 Jun 2007 10:03:47 +0200, msm wrote:

    >Heh. The floppyC image has most of the wireless drivers in 1.44 MB.
    >
    >Never underestimate OpenBSD or the fiendish ingenuity of its developers.


    Somehow I overlooked this post before.

    It is simply amazing that they crammed all of that in there. Some
    really smart people putting this all together.

  11. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    On 26 Jun 2007 07:17:10 GMT, "Joachim Schipper"
    wrote:

    >
    >If you have enough disk space on the disk, I'd advise you to try
    >
    >you@desktop$ nc -l 1234 laptop-backup
    >
    >you@laptop$ sudo dd if=/dev/rwd0c bs=4096 conv=notrunc | nc desktop 1234
    >
    >Or some other backup scheme along these lines. Or just use qemy, as I
    >suggested yesterday.


    Since I don't have a recordable CD drive (it is an old laptop), my
    only options are backing up to floppies or Zip Disk 100's. The Zip
    disks would take a few more disks than I have (around 30 or so) to
    back up just the Windows partition, but I could get all of the data
    backed up that couldn't easily be replaced or reinstalled with a lot
    less.

    If I had a failure I could start over with a fresh install of Windows
    and then restore the Zip disk data, then reinstall programs.

    If I had successfully set up my network, I could back up and restore
    over the network. But I can't get Windows/Linux to do file sharing
    here, just printer sharing. I've been through the help forums and
    posted there and no one was able to figure out what needed to be done.
    (I'm not looking for a solution to that now as it really only was
    important to me to get printer sharing set up.)

  12. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    t2000kw@nospam.invalid wrote:
    > Thanks for the information. I'm going to store some of these posts
    > until I'm ready to try it again. I might wait until I can replace my
    > laptop and that one will have much more hard drive space, a faster
    > processor, etc.
    >
    > I have used fvwm2 before. I don't particularly care for it. It reminds
    > me of KDE (and Windows 95) and I don't like KDE, but I realize that
    > choices get more limited when you need a GUI that doesn't tax the
    > system as much as the others like KDE and Gnome. I'll probably have to
    > settle for a lightweight GUI. Gnome, with Ubuntu, however, on that
    > laptop, was slow but acceptable (barely so) if I'm not trying to do a
    > lot with it at the same time, as you mentioned.
    >
    > Are any of the lightweight Xwindow managers similar enough to Gnome
    > that I might feel more at home with it?


    I'm definitely not an expert on GUI stuff, but what GNOME-like stuff do
    you want to have that KDE does not offer? As in, what are you looking
    for?

    Joachim

  13. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    t2000kw@nospam.invalid wrote:
    > On 26 Jun 2007 07:17:10 GMT, "Joachim Schipper"
    > wrote:
    >>If you have enough disk space on the disk, I'd advise you to try
    >>
    >>you@desktop$ nc -l 1234 laptop-backup
    >>
    >>you@laptop$ sudo dd if=/dev/rwd0c bs=4096 conv=notrunc | nc desktop 1234
    >>
    >>Or some other backup scheme along these lines. Or just use qemy, as I
    >>suggested yesterday.

    >
    > Since I don't have a recordable CD drive (it is an old laptop), my
    > only options are backing up to floppies or Zip Disk 100's. The Zip
    > disks would take a few more disks than I have (around 30 or so) to
    > back up just the Windows partition, but I could get all of the data
    > backed up that couldn't easily be replaced or reinstalled with a lot
    > less.
    >
    > If I had a failure I could start over with a fresh install of Windows
    > and then restore the Zip disk data, then reinstall programs.
    >
    > If I had successfully set up my network, I could back up and restore
    > over the network. But I can't get Windows/Linux to do file sharing
    > here, just printer sharing. I've been through the help forums and
    > posted there and no one was able to figure out what needed to be done.
    > (I'm not looking for a solution to that now as it really only was
    > important to me to get printer sharing set up.)


    The above does use the network, but no file sharing. Are you not
    familiar with netcat (nc)? It sends data over the netwerk, via TCP by
    default.

    The above commands mean 'listen on the network and gzip the data into a
    file laptop-backup' and 'send the whole disks to the desktop' (of
    course, "desktop" should be replaced with a name or IP address -
    192.168.0.2?)

    Of course, this is rather one-off and limited, but it does work rather
    well for one-off and limited setups.

    Joachim

  14. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    --{ t2000kw@nospam.invalid a plopé ceci: }--

    > Are any of the lightweight Xwindow managers similar enough to Gnome
    > that I might feel more at home with it?
    >

    Xfce.



    --
    Ya pas pire vieux con, qu'un vieux con qui s'y connais, car non
    seulement il râle, mais en plus il a raison.
    --{ LC (connaisseur) in f.m.b.l }--

  15. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    On 27 Jun 2007 22:52:58 GMT, "Joachim Schipper"
    wrote:

    >I'm definitely not an expert on GUI stuff, but what GNOME-like stuff do
    >you want to have that KDE does not offer? As in, what are you looking
    >for?


    I figure that I can put a menu at the top or bottom just by dragging
    it, so that's not the issue, but I do like the top menu instead of the
    bottom one, even though I'm not a MAC person.

    I'm used to where everything is at, and I do like the Gnome networking
    setup (in Ubuntu, at least, in case it's not the same in BSD's).

    Something I haven't asked is if this or any BSD has a package manager
    of sorts, or do you have to compile programs from scratch?

  16. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    t2000kw@nospam.invalid wrote:
    > On 27 Jun 2007 22:52:58 GMT, "Joachim Schipper"
    > wrote:
    >>I'm definitely not an expert on GUI stuff, but what GNOME-like stuff do
    >>you want to have that KDE does not offer? As in, what are you looking
    >>for?

    >
    > I figure that I can put a menu at the top or bottom just by dragging
    > it, so that's not the issue, but I do like the top menu instead of the
    > bottom one, even though I'm not a MAC person.


    Do you mean the ability to have a menu bar? At the top?

    I think quite a few window managers have that...

    > I'm used to where everything is at, and I do like the Gnome networking
    > setup (in Ubuntu, at least, in case it's not the same in BSD's).


    No idea if that works.

    > Something I haven't asked is if this or any BSD has a package manager
    > of sorts, or do you have to compile programs from scratch?


    All BSDs have a package manager (pkg_add, pkg_info, ... for OpenBSD) and
    ports system (/usr/ports). The interaction between those two differs
    (FreeBSD users seem to mostly compile their own applications directly
    from ports; normal OpenBSD users are encouraged to use (pre-built)
    packages).

    Joachim

  17. Re: need help choosing appropriate BSD distro

    On Jun 24, 6:06 pm, t200...@nospam.invalid wrote:
    > On 24 Jun 2007 21:47:57 GMT, "Joachim Schipper"
    >
    > wrote:
    > >Most well-written applications would work on any *BSD, but not all.

    >
    > Are most Unix-compatible (this might not be the best choice of words
    > for this) programs able to work in Linux and BSD?
    >
    > I understand that Sun Microsystems is either making a version of
    > Solaris that will run Linux programs (and maybe BSD programs--heard
    > this secondhand) or doing something to support Linux programs. I just
    > wondered how close all of these somewhat similar but also very
    > different (in some respects, at least, like the actual code) operating
    > systems are to each other.


    Solaris has "branded" zones (akin to BSD "jails") that you can run
    most Linux code natively.

    While each OS has it's place, I'm not all that fond of Linux and much
    prefer the BSD's and Solaris. Granted this is a OpenBSD group, but
    I'd like to suggest you also look into Solaris Express Developer
    Edition http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/...xpress/get.jsp as
    it's probably easier for a novice to install than any of the BSD's.
    Further, there are several unique features of Solaris that make it a
    compelling consideration, but you can't go wrong with either Solaris
    of any of the find BSD OS's...all true complete operating *systems*,
    not just a kernel.



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