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FreeBSD Challenge: Day 10 of 30

Tonight I decided to hit my trust scout master FreeBSD Handbook.  In tonight’s chapter of “Free BSD Bedtime Stories,” I take a look at working with disks and hardware inside your system.  Intrigued?  Amused?  Still laughing at my attempt to use BSD?  Great! Read the rest of this entry

FreeBSD Challenge: Day 09 of 30


Tonight I tried to get more acquainted with trying a few more desktops before I settled on one.  I landed on trusty good ol’ XFCE, and it’s cross distro strengths really show.  I did take a gander a several commands in the handbook, and thankfully many of them are basic ones I use on Linux as well.  While some programs seem out of date or not available, working more with the ports system leaves me rest assured I can find most common software.  I likely will end up with PC-BSD on my new ZaReason laptop.  But, I have to say, it is quite fun learning the underpinnings of it with FreeBSD.  I won’t know

Once I get my hands on PC-BSD, later on, I’m sure I will be allured to its easy to set up allure.  I really should get going, but tinkering is too much fun.  Dr. Who is distracting me…


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Announcement – No FreeBSD Tonight

Sorry folks, have a few family matters to attend to, so the FreeBSD Challenge will be delayed until tomorrow.  I plan on looking at device management tomorrow on FreeBSD, so stay tuned!  Thank you for understanding.

FreeBSD Challenge: Day 08 of 30


Smokey the bear always warned me about forest fires, he never said anything about kernel panics and root mount failures.

The morning rapport

Today I wanted to focus on getting a few things done for future test purposes.  If you are using a Virtual Machine hypervisor, it is paramount to take snapshots if you wish to revert backwards for any issues.  Me, like a great scholar again, did not take a snapshot and had a few issues that I really wished I had avoided.  So, in order to do this, I removed my existing Installation of FreeBSD x64, and reinstalled, aiming to capture a “base install” which is always a great idea for a starting snapshot of course. Read the rest of this entry

FreeBSD Challenge: Day 07 of 30

Tonight will be a fairly short update due to a lot of work I was doing unlocking, rooting, and getting the latest nightly of the new cm10/hammerhead image on my Nexus 5.  Hope all goes well!  Normally I stick to AOKP, or Liquid Smooth, but I am getting tired of not having my customizations.  Tonight I did a little work on getting Steam up and running.  I found two methods that potentially could work, but as you’ll find out, I hit a few issues. Read the rest of this entry

FreeBSD Challenge: Day 06 of 30


Serial Software Hijinks

Today, since time was limited, I wanted to focus on getting most, if not all of my “common” software installed.  Sure I use plenty of power user tools, but the aim was to get the common set installed, such as browsers, chat programs, Steam, word processing, video conferencing, and a few things like samba and CUPS.  For the software below, I did as many installations through pkgng that I could, and cleaned up the rest I couldn’t with ports.

The software conundrum Read the rest of this entry

FreeBSD Challenge: Day 05 of 30

The Legend Continues: The Return Of the Macbook


The Macbook lives!  Rather than progress what I have done on the VirtualBox instance of my FreeBSD installation, I will opt to start the install, now that I have more of a hang of it, on the Macbook.  In some reading, I may have some issues, but what’s the point of a challenge without…a challenge right?  Torx screwdriver, hardrive, and FreeBSD disc in hand, I am ready to Begin.  But first a few words. Read the rest of this entry

FreeBSD Challenge: Day 04 of 30

I had a ton of fun today getting acquainted with FreeBSD.  While I am still installing my common set of software I use daily, I learned many valuable lessons, and why FreeBSD has to be so stable.   Hint: its not just because compiling ports sometimes takes eons.  All Joking aside, it was a great day, and very profitable.  Read on for more! Read the rest of this entry

FreeBSD Challenge: Day 03 of 30

Well, due to some unforeseen “new home-owner” emergency (good bye ol’ fridge, it was grand!), tonight may be a short update.   Today I wanted to explore package management on FreeBSD, and install a few common items to get accustomed to the process.  Have no fear, FreeBSD is here!


  • Installing using the default package manager
  • Installing software using the Ports system
  • What alternative methods exist?
  • Can I find my general use programs and install them with little to no fuss? Read the rest of this entry

FreeBSD Challenge

freebsd[ Index ]

Day 01 | Day 02 | Day 03 | Day 04 | Day 05 | Day 06 | Day 07 | Day 08


Taking the dive into FreeBSD for a few weeks.  Without a doubt, this should be quite a fun experiment.  After using Linux for 9 years, I wanted to explore the other side of the fence for a bit.  I’ll be setting up common computing options with potential exploration of administrative tasks.  Can I use FreeBSD in the same way I can on Arch Linux and equivalents?  Can this be a “daily driver,” so to speak, for the average user?  Of note, I also wanted to explore this experience of using FreeBSD over suggested alterntives, such as OpenBSD and PC-BSD.  At the end of the challenge, I will make a decision on what I feel I should stick with personally.

Also, this is not so much a “30 days to setup” challenge, rather a use case for 30 days on how well I can use it to adapt my normal daily routine, as a desktop alternative other than Arch Linux.  I almost certainly can use PC-BSD, and get up and running very quickly, but the alure of a good challenge is what brought me to giving this a good run, and an extensive use test.

The Purpose Of This Challenge

The purpose of my FreeBSD Challenge, is to evaluate FreeBSD as an alternative desktop to Linux.  Obviously, the focus of *BSD is more tailored and meant for server tasks rather than the desktop experience of an average user, but I know a few that use it almost to that point, not just for the system design.  So, the question has to be asked, why not?  I’m sure I will stumble and fall along the way, but always the exciting aspect to Linux and Unix.   Questions so far are this:

  1. Can BSD be used fully as a full desktop?
  2. How difficult is *BSD to install and configure vs. the Linux alternatives?
  3. By comparison, what skill set should you foresee to have before and after?
  4. Is driver support sufficient for common desktop applications?
  5. Are common packages available for desktop use?
  6. How does the community fare when asking for help?
  7. How is the project documentation?
  8. Would I recommend this to Joe Schmo, or my Grandmother?  If not, an average user?
  9. What gaps or shortfalls are there, if any?

Please, please, keep in mind I am not a professional journalist, or Linux/Unix professional.  While I hold a professional Information Services job in my daily life, that does not qualify me as such.  I will do as well as I can to highlight key areas of the journey, and very much welcome corrections, insight, and guidance along the way.  As always, thank you for reading.

-Mikey D