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.
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.
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..
It actually looks and works like an OS. An operating system should
be a platform to run applications on top of it. I never liked all
packages being thrown into
/usr/bin, from dhcpcd, to LibreOffice
in Linux userland. This always bugged me. In fact, if a distro
comes with a full-blown DE, and users try to uninstall it/any part
of it, most of the time, it uninstalls critical parts like
NetworkManager, Xorg etc too (unless users pin that as manual
I always needed a dirty backup solution. I have been using Clonezilla, fsarchiver in Linux, but It was very time-consuming. ZFS can be used to work around here. I tried btrfs, and I failed to understand the concept of subvolume. Snappy on btrfs works in a way that makes me go nuts.
Clang+LLVM, obviously, my go to. Autocomplete with company inside Emacs works great. With Clang, I can mix the compiler front-end with a targeted back-end and end up with highly portable and efficient compiler. Clang can perform static analysis of my code, and lets me write tools that give information about a program. Static analysis is a technique whereby the program is read and ‘understood’ to the point where obvious bugs are automatically detected, such as dead code, memory leaks, double-frees, bad pointer references, and other such conditions.
BSD license. It’s so free you can make it not free. I’m in no way against the GPL, GPLv2/v3 both are good licenses, but I think that’s not practical. Besides, as Neil says, “What is more important that more people run our *BSD code than we have control of what other people can do with it”. I prefer the license philosophy of BSD license over GPL license. To me, free means do pretty much whatever you want with the code. It’s so free you can make it not free like apple did. Practically it probably has no impact on me, but I prefer it on principle and was one of the reasons I chose to use FreeBSD over Linux.
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 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
Mischa Peters and
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