From: R (bsdrockford_at_pastrytech.com)
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 12:28:47 +0900 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm a new subscriber, and just thought I'd post my experiences. I
decided to use FreeBSD on a web server project, and just recently
installed 4.9 on a cheap used PC to practice for the real installation
on the eventual real server. I'm using Zope and MySQL, and perhaps an
I'm used to Macs and Windows, and no Linux experience besides playing
around with Knoppix. However I love the Amiga OS (which was based on
unix) the most, so I'm quite used to CLI stuff. In fact, if I can get
an Amiga "look" (AKA "skin") for X I might put FreeBSD on my next
laptop... perhaps with a dual install for Windows games. Or just boot
into UAE (I had done this with my old laptop using Windows, but Windows
has a lot of overhead...). So far I haven't been able to get X to work,
but I haven't given it much of a try because I'm making a server and I'm
mostly telneting into it from my Windows laptop anyway.
Installing FreeBSD was not easy. I thought I could get by with online
info, but ended up buying 2 books: FreeBSD: An Open-Source Operating
System for Your Personal Computer, and The Complete FreeBSD. The latter
was especially helpful, while the first was somewhat helpful but a
strange mix of complete beginner info and glossing over of more advanced
things that I wanted to know.
My biggest installation problems: setting up a domain and IP for the
machine, and configuring Samba so that my laptop could talk to the
server. I think networking information should be explained more
completely online and in the books I mentioned above. I did a lot of
trial and error, which proved fatal with Samba, because as it turns out
Windows XP Home is intentionally crippled when it comes to networking
and using Samba is difficult (if not impossible - I still don't
understand, and I wasted a week screwing around trying to get it to
work). Finally I gave up and just use FTP to move files back and forth.
Works fine and at least I understand it, unlike Windows "shares."
Most FreeBSD directions assume the user has an internet connection and
therefor champion ports. I used packages because I don't have a
landline (I'm in Japan and it's $700 for a licence to have a phone). I
use a cell phone and cellular modem in my laptop to get online.
I don't like how different programs/packages get placed all over the
filesystem... It means more typing and more lost moments trying to
remember where everything is. That kind of gives me pause about using
FreeBSD as a desktop.
I tried several times to get X working, with no luck. Part of the
trouble is that this is a used system so I don't have manuals for the
display card and monitor. I used Knoppix to get some idea of what I
have, and tried the closest drivers/settings, but no luck. Anyway, this
is a server so CLI is fine.
As for the programs, the newest Zope compiled with no problems. I used
a package of Python and MySQL. I have had some problems getting the
mysql-python and mysqldba (database adaptor) working with Zope and
MySQL, but that appears to be just a mixture of poor documentation, a
corrupt gzip, and a multitude of version combinations, of which only a
few are correct. (I gather that's a problem with OSS in general.)
Anyway, I've enjoyed tinkering around but I've had a few headaches along
the way! I have plenty of super-newbie type questions that I'll
probably start asking on freebsd-questions...
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