I am 31, I earned an advanced degree in IT (something between high school and college). I’m learning ANSI C and Math in my spare time.
First, I began with Debian Woody in 2003. A rough start, because I had no documentation around (just an article from a magazine), but I began to truly understand computers. Thanks to the Unix-like operating systems I had a solid ground on how actually these machines work. And those OSes were fun, hackable, expandable.
A few years later, I tried a Live CD with FreeSBIE—OS based
on FreeBSD. It ran faster than Linux, even from the CD. Finally,
I’d got my internet connection. First, I had read FreeBSD manuals,
and later I discovered NetBSD and OpenBSD. I was amazed. Clear
steps to setup X, daemons easily explained, everything. No more
/etc/sysconfig. pf(4) syntax is saner than iptables, and
compat_linux(8), and it ran Opera even (proprietary, I know, but
back in the day it was preferable). I hadn’t switched to BSD yet,
but I applied a lot of its philosophy on my Linux setup, it was
wonderful. I began to like distros like Crux and its ports. Later
I tried DesktopBSD 1.x, and it felt as fast as the old FreeSBIE
distro, but now it was installable.
So, with OpenBSD 5.3 all my hardware was recognized according to dmesg(8)—I made my final switch. OpenBSD is easy to install and manage (binary ports!). I followed afterboot(8) tips, before reading the FAQ, which exmplains all the basics. Every upcoming release improves performance a lot and, what’s more important, what I’ve learned stays as is. I realized how many years I wasted switching operating systems, when one BSD gives me all. All my half-baked knowledge from now defunct Linux distros is outdated. It’s different with BSDs: all you’ve learned will serve you well for years.
The tipping point for me was a complete base, great documentation, and availability. Linux was everywhere: in magazines, on book covers, in libraries. While getting a BSD distro was a matter of luck, because for a teenager ordering CDs from outside of Europe would’ve been really expensive. With broadband at home BSD was an easy choice.
Back to OpenBSD. I run OpenBSD on my desktop PC and I do everything on it: IT theory, homework programming exercises, pf(4) testing under vmm(4)/vmd(8), web browsing, media playing, gaming (source ports and emulators). Nobody would believed me in 2004, if I told them that I am playing a Game Cube game under OpenBSD and MESA. All of that on a low-end 4GB machine.
Now I’m getting another Advanced Degree as a developer, and all Linux VMs run under vmm(4) with VNC for Mono Develop IDE.
Find me on Mastodon.
11 Aug 2018
Mischa Peters and
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