Admin Job at Oxford University.

John Murphy freebsd001 at
Thu Apr 26 16:41:13 BST 2007

Jon Mercer wrote:

>On Thu, April 26, 2007 01:43, John Murphy wrote:
>> I've been messing with a certain Feisty Fawn on the desktop recently.
>> My first experience of any Linux. It's good, in some ways, but I've
>> already decided to blow it away and put Free back in its place. I
>> won't go into the reasons for doing so here, except to say has
>> certainly made me appreciate Free's documentation and man pages all
>> the more.
>I'd be very interested to hear those reasons. Have been using Dapper, Edgy
>and now Feisty on the desktop and on the whole it works really well but
>it's not FreeBSD and it's not so easy to configure. I also really miss the
>ports collection...

Well mainly that familiarity breeds contentment (to paraphrase Mr Aesop).
I'm sure that with a little research I could configure the underlying
system to seem like FreeBSD. I could get to know synaptic and apt-get
and know when to use which. I could get rid of bash and its colour-
isation, replacing it with tcsh configured exactly like the FreeBSD
default. But I'm not sure I could manage without the one stop source
of all answers which is the freebsd-questions list, or the fine manual.
I was quite surprised by how poor Linux man pages are by comparison.
Sure, they often refer to the 'info' system, but that seemed to merely
provide the same small amount of information, mostly.

I could build a leaner kernel (was it 68MB in Feisty?), but a quick look
at a Linux kernel config file put me off doing so. Does every line need
to start with "Config"?

>From a top level, ex MS Windows POV, it's brilliant. Installation was a
breeze, and gpart was intuitive and forgiving. After a few adjustments
to /etc/fstab to stop it fscking and mounting every file system, boot
up speed, from grub to a loaded desktop, was a very reasonable fifty
seconds on my aging hardware.

I found the default mouse pointer speed was just right in Feisty, which
I could never seem to get quite right on any desktop environment over
FreeBSD, but I'm off to try PCBSD and DesktopBSD... So much choice :)

One thing I miss, comparing the open source side to MS Windows, is the
window placement scheme. Whereas most MS applications remember their
placement and window size from session to session, most open source
ones do not. I thought, maybe I could live with manually setting each
one with 'devilspie', but it failed to compile. There's a FreeBSD port
of devilspie available. I'll probably try that.


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