Nikolai Lvovich runs BSD


I am from Ukraine. I work as a soil researcher, and part time school teacher in my hometown. Besides, I am a university student, pursuing post graduation in Mathematics currently. I used to be a shitty gamer, messed with digital audio, I still bang my head with Ibanez RGD 2127z.

Linux Period

I first encountered Linux with Ubuntu 10.04. I bought an HP laptop, which had Ubuntu installed. I didn’t even know what is an OS or GUI, or package manager at that time. Windows was the OS by that time for me.

I played with Ubuntu a few days, installing PPAs, random commands copy pasted from the Internet until the system went to hell. Having the only OS broken, I needed to do a fresh install of it. Honestly, I never installed an OS before, so I decided to do this time, ended up installing Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. It took me few a bit time to figure out that I screwed my data of whole hard drive during installation as I chose “Use the whole disk for Ubuntu”.

That’s the hell of my UX experience with Ubuntu. And since then, understood what it likes to be a member of GNU/GPL church, anti evil corporate, distro hopping from Linux Mint, elementary, Arch, to Gentoo and so and so. But I honestly, never liked this kinda socialism in technology myself.

When I realized, I have spent enough time on this, decided to stick to something stable. I stayed in Debian since version 7 to Debian 9 release, but something always bugged me, Debian 9 was completely strange for me. So I started to keep scratching my hipster head within new cool kinds of stuff vs stability.

BSD Period

I was learning to program as a hobby at first. Starting with bourne shell, then influenced by the simplicity of C. These days, languages are bloated all over the places, trying to solve various problems. Be it Go, Rust, JavaScript and what not. While learning about space-time complexity, I was introduced into LLVM. Chasing it, I landed up in OpenBSD. I was running OpenBSD as a guest inside Void Linux host. It’s a simple operating system, as you all know. To be honest, I initially screwed up by the BSD userland. Commands were not the same, doing things were different, different init system (not systemd, or SysVinit, etc, etc).


The OpenBSD reddit community r/openbsd helped me a lot. I able to get familiar with OpenBSD tools and userland, learned basic system administration for casual desktop use cases. OpenBSD Clang was really helpful at teaching me common mistakes while I was beginner.

By the time passes, I bought a MacBook, where I used dtrace a lot for my programming practices which FreeBSD includes into. So this time, I considered about installing FreeBSD on bare metal. Other things I considered about FreeBSD system is..

So, I decided to go with FreeBSD. I started with FreeBSD 11.0, currently running FreeBSD 12. I use a Window manager, called bspwm, which is based upon binary tree design in mind. However, userland changes over time.

My desktop

My experience with FreeBSD on the Desktop is polarizing… i.e. when it works well, it’s fantastic, way ahead of any Linux distro. Great drivers’ stability, no bullshit with audio, 3D graphics works great, etc. Really good. But only if it works… If hardware doesn’t fit inside a fairly narrow box (e.g. Nvidia Optimus), things fail horribly. I still encourage people to try out FreeBSD or OpenBSD with various boot environments.

So this is my story of Unix, Linux, and BSD. What’s yours? I am eager to hear.

03 Jan 2019

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