Ubuntu Linux

From Ubuntu Homepage:

"Ubuntu" is an ancient African word, meaning "humanity to others". The Ubuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.

I was reading a lot about this new distribution of Linux lately (on various sites including Slashdot). I found many people praising it.

It is a debian based distro with a 6 month release cycle. It has Gnome (2.8 at present) as its Desktop Environment. It actually didn't sound bad, so I thought of giving it a try.

Downloaded the installation CD and started. The installation program is text based GUI and is designed to for a straight forward installation.

But I did not opt for installing the boot-loader (I already have one) and then it gave me hard time (harder than FreeBSD and all others) to set it up properly. It might not be Ubuntu's problem because it is designed for enterprise workstations in mind and I was trying a strange installation setup (3 OS already residing in the same disk).

Well, after the setup, I logged to into a nice clean Gnome desktop with a very beautiful (or shall I say smooth) "Human" theme.

It is good as it is debian basically. Points to be noted are specially designed professional look, disabled root account (all system administration is done by "sudo" commands). I tried to install something from Ubuntu repository but it was not available showing the fact that Ubuntu repository is pretty small but good thing is (as it is debian basically :-) most of the debian packages work.

I think Ubuntu is very nice and if I had a faster computer I would have loved to use it but on the hardware I have it is slow for all my day-to-day work.

Yoper (Linux) stays as primary desktop.


I read about freeBSD a lot lastly. Many people had praised it.
Read their documentation, and found the idea impressive.

My primary Desktop is Yoper and more or less I am happy with its performance, but I feel the network speed is slow when I do apt-get update etc. (this might just be my feeling or yoper servers might be slow)

FreeBSD is famous for network performance, so I thought I should give it a try.

Downloaded bleeding edge version at present (5.3-beta6) and started the installation. Installation is straight forward if anybody who is installing for the first time spares some time to read the BSD disk-layout and partitioning information. It is little different than Linux.

While installing you have to give freeBSD a "Primary" partition with enough free space. freeBSD calls it a "slice". Then inside this "slice" freeBSD makes room for mount points /, var, tmp, usr and swap.

The / (root) mount point is called "a". So in first IDE disk in third primary partition (slice), freeBSD / will be : ad0s3a

If partitioning is understood rest of the installation is easy.

I faced some problems in writing to the disk, so I chose the safe-mode for booting the installation disk.

I found freeBSD very good. It is fast, responsive and very robust.
feeBSD gives you 2 options for adding packages
  1. Binary (pre-compiled) packages :pkg_add "package-name"
  2. Source compilation using ports: cd "port-directory";make install;make clean
I tried both methods. Everything went clean without a single error. All dependencies were resolved automatically. As I said, robust.

Now I wanted to do some configuration to suit my taste and problem started. I know Linux methods which are more or less are the same on all the Linux distros, but freeBSD is totally different OS.

I like freeBSD very much and wanted to make it my default desktop but as somebody said in a forum once "freeBSD is a nice system, but the benefit you get for migrating from Linux to freeBSD are worth the effort of learning a totally new system only if you have lots of free time".

:-( I don't have that much free time at present.

Yoper (Linux) stays as primary desktop.