Just a review of myself since i’ve need it for my talk
I’ve started playing with Linux in 2000/1, and since then I have been switching between Linux and Windows from time to time. By the end of 2001, I switched completely to Linux because I had enough of windows blue screens problem. After some hardcore testings of other distributions like debian, slax, crux, fedora, suse and gentoo, I finally stayed with Gentoo for 1 ½ years. But after portage got more and more buggy, I started to look for a new challenge. I’ve met some BSD Guys in IRC, and after a while I setup FreeBSD in dual boot and started playing with it. I was really surprised on how fast and stable it runs, and also the community impressed me with their helpfulness. If you ask anything over the mailing list, you will always get helpful answers from the developers and users. My experience with Linux community is totally the opposite. It was common for me to get answers such as “RTFM” or “Try google”, which is not what I hoped for. I still remember today how many times I had to reinstall Linux just to fix up some mess. After a while with Linux I have the impression that Linux is going more and more towards mainstream, which is of course nice for the end users, but the fact that anyone can install Linux without knowing what happened in the background makes it even worse. Not to mention about the kernel size, which I have always seen some new stuff in, but the old codes were left unmaintained. This leads to a bigger kernel with more security holes, which leads to system instability. The kernel is now 63MB, which is so much bigger compared to FreeBSD kernel.
I believe that Linux now has a big user base where 70% of the users do not understand what is occurring in the background or if they even know what ‘terminal’ is Thank you Ubuntu, Suse, Fedora. Well alright I think I stop here because you maybe start thinking that I’m bashing Linux, which I am not :-). I also have a lot of good experience with Linux and of course I won’t forget which user base I was from :).
In November 2005, I moved completely to FreeBSD. After a while using FreeBSD, I was thinking on how to give something back to the community. I started submitting patches to the FreeBSD project, and in Jun 2006 I got my FreeBSD ports commit bit. Since then I am one of the most active member in the Project. At least, this is something that I could do in return of being able to enjoy a good and a stable system with a big choice of applications that is easy to handle using the package management system.
There are a lot of things that I love about FreeBSD, and I bet you know most of them already. FreeBSD has a clean structure that makes it so easy to understand. It is a rock solid system, very stable and easy to maintained. For applications, you have a choice between package system, if you want it fast, or the famous ports system, if you wish to compile applications yourselves with specific options. Another great thing about ports system is its easy framework, which provides flexibility to FreeBSD users to build their own stuff.
FreeBSD’s user base is probably not as big as Linux’s, but I can safely say that FreeBSD’s community support is one of the best in the open source world. As I have mentioned previously, I have not been in a more helpful community than FreeBSD’s. If you’re in the mailing list or a community member, you’ll know what I mean :).
FreeBSD has a lot to offer to new users. The deep learning curve is probably tough for a first timer, but all is worth it. And FreeBSD has the best gift to new users, the handbook. FreeBSD handbook is one of the best documented operating system, and this is another reason why I like FreeBSD so much.
Well there another 5000 reason…
So long miwi