Re: When Unix Stops Being Fun

From: Glenn Sieb (
Date: 10/03/04

  • Next message: Michal Pasternak: "Re: When Unix Stops Being Fun"
    Date: Sun, 03 Oct 2004 06:56:45 -0400

    bsdfsse said the following on 10/3/2004 3:12 AM:

    > Ironically, I'm switching to FreeBSD because I'm already tired. My
    > bones are aching from years of abuse. I'm tired of..


    Hear Hear!!

    > ..of Linux distributions with fatal flaws. I went on a giant search
    > to pick the perfect Linux distro, and I ended up selecting FreeBSD.
    > Every single distro had some aspect I didn't like.

    I started with FreeBSD in the Fall of 2000, when I started at Lumeta. I
    loved it so much that when I built my personal server, I used it (and
    Wing's now running on 4.10-STABLE, and when 5.3 is out of BETA I'll most
    likely upgrade it...). I had played with RedHat (3 or 4.. I still have
    the CDs somewhere!), I had used Unix System V (on a Unix PC (AT&T PC
    7300) no less!) in the early 90's, but had ended up working with Windows
    mostly at my jobs, and thus, at home. Every time there was a new version
    of Windows, there were new idiosyncracies and more bullshit to cram into
    my head. When I started at Lumeta, I found those old Unix skills
    creeping back out of my memory--and they STILL WORKED! *gasp* ;)

    Things that attracted me to FBSD:

    1) The ease of the Ports collection. No messy rpm commands to have to
    memorize or read man pages on--just cd /usr/ports/tree/package && make
    install clean -- Wow. How much easier can it get? Oh I know... when you
    don't want the port anymore? cd /usr/ports/tree/package && make deinstall ;)

    2) The support in the community--I've never lacked at being able to find
    help. Granted, this is more Unix-oriented than FBSD-oriented.. But I
    have to admit that the mailing lists have been a *HUGE* help when I've
    needed it.

    3) Finding that O'Reilly hosted articles about *BSD (Like Dru Lavigne's
    many articles discussing the ports tree and other nifty things in
    FreeBSD, and how to maintain & keep them in tip-top shape)!

    4) Finding that I could actually *run* more than, say, 2 or 3 services
    on a particular server! (The first FBSD server I helped configure at
    Lumeta served as our: general development, Samba-shared, user home,
    network print server, DNS, DHCP, Apache, RT, email server--I was amazed
    you could run all that on one box without it crashing daily, like
    Windows would at the time!)

    5) The ease with which I was able to take an existing port
    (misc/instant-workstation) and make a Lumeta package which would run
    over the course of a weekend, hands-free, and build a developer's
    workstation to our specs! For free! I didn't need to learn any weird
    packaging script language (read: InstallShield), nor did I have to worry
    incessantly about "how many licenses do we have left for ..." like I had
    to with our Windows boxen.

    (There are others, of course, but these are what come to mind

    > ..of proprietary formats. All the emails I lost over the years that
    > were in some kind of Outlook format that at the time I was either too
    > lazy or too ignorant, to make a back up of.

    Yeah--early on I switched from Outcrack to Eudora, which, though better,
    still wasn't perfect--but at least it was in a Unix-like format! :)

    > My point is, the knowledge you gain about UNIX is your's forever. The
    > freedom is forever. The control is forever.
    > If want to be a sysadmin, you don't have to be master of everything.
    > You just need to be on the path - and you are.

    It's not all about what you have memorized. It's knowing where to look
    for the information. I have *no* qualms telling people in interviews,
    when they ask me a question I don't know the answer to off the top of my
    head, that I could easily find that information via man <command> or a
    Google search. In general, I have found that if the person interviewing
    you Has Clueage, that's better to them than someone sitting there
    scratching their head going "Um.. let me think... um... " for a few

    Myself, I am preparing to migrate my home PC from WinXP to FreeBSD 5.x
    soon. Mostly because I'm sick of the stupid driver conflicts,
    spontaneous reboots where M$ blames my NVidia drivers, and software that
    ceases to work because of SP2 (my screensavers, no less. And--do they
    cease to work gracefully? Noooooo--that'd be too polite--it just locks
    the PC with a black screen and a mouse pointer which is the only thing
    that responds to anything, forcing a reboot. Nice eh?). I'm already
    using Firefox, Thunderbird, and OO.o, so the switch shouldn't be too bad :)


    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary 
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." 
              ~Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
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