BSD Challenge

Awww yeah, as Bruce Buffer always says:

It’s go time! Similar to the 1 Year Linux Challenge, this is for those that want to give a BSD or Unix OS a try.

Technically, I’ve been using FreeBSD for a while. But, I just performed a fresh install on my HP Pro Desk for this challenge. Aim is to go one year :sunglasses:

Companion threads:


User OS Description Thread Start Date End Date
Goalkeeper DragonFly BSD ??? Goalkeepers Dragonflybsd Adventures 2019-04-15T00:00:00Z TBA
redgek OpenBSD Home server, git, storage Redgek goes full tinfoilhat with OpenBSD 2019-04-12T21:00:00Z BAILED
BookrV ??? Kubernetes Performance & Stability *BSD - Daily work on BSD 2019-04-13T00:00:00Z TBA
AdminDev FreeBSD Server, battlestation, development workstation (C and Python) AdminDev Labs 2019-04-11T05:00:00Z NEVER
Even747 GhostBSD, for now Daily driver, workstation Even747's stunning BSD adventure - The BSD challenge blog 2019-04-12T21:00:00Z TBA


plz make ty


I’ll join… on Monday. As I’m busy over the weekend.

I have an old dell all in one that I could throw this on for learning. I’ll go for… dragonflybsd.


lol, does my router count?





ayyyyy I’ve got a 85 day head start :sunglasses:


You might be third place :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m going to force some community engagement and summon freqlabs


A BSD challenger appears


now I have to start my pf-sense router up. I don’t need it in this house but was what I used forever, my dad is a zealot for them and got me on them.


Jack Danials, and Honey Bunches o’ Oats.


Dude is the stuff of legends :wink:

1 Like



I’ve run FreeBSD in various places and various capacities since 4.0. Mostly servers, that’s where it excels.

If you’re going to try and run a Desktop, you’re probably better off with TrueOS (what became of PC-BSD), however 3d support is… not as good as Linux in that respect.

I’m no super-wizard with FreeBSD, but if people have general questions I’ll do my best.

A big difference between FreeBSD and derivatives and linux is the use of /usr/local and the seperation of the core OS and packages.

FreeBSD installs any add on packages (and/or ports) under /usr/local. This can be maintained separately from the base OS. So it is for example possible to run a stable OS from 2 years ago with updated add on software via ports.

This is in contrast to linux where it is somewhat “all or nothing” if you want to install new software from packages and keep such stuff up to date.

BSD also tries to maintain ABI backwards compatibility with previous releases (via optional shims), whereas linux does not.

ZFS and DTRACE are first class citizens.
BSD is the reference TCP/IP implementation…

Also, top tip(s)

The default shell, like most proper unix boxes is “sh”. Not bash, not zsh, or anything else. Regular plain old “sh”. You can change this. You can install bash (or zsh, or whatever - from ports). But the default is sh. Until you do that, csh is a little more friendly and at least has tab completion somewhat…

This may be a little off-putting for newcomers.

Actually that’s not exactly true:

Also, the FreeBSD handbook is essential, and something that Linux desperately needs.


I really want to put around with some FreeBSD installs, but I want something with a GUI out of the box, or at least decent documentation for it. I thought TrueOS was going to be good but starting at some version they stopped focusing on GUI and went server/cli only.

Also, love pfSense and FreeNAS. Rock solid for years :smiley:




MehOS, but real.


I’ve got a head start on my home router.


Actual question, is bsd able to be used as a normal desktop os, or is it in that weird workstation spot still?

1 Like

Depend what you want to do with it, but if 3d acceleration is something you want, you’d be FAR better off with Linux.

You CAN run FreeBSD as a desktop OS, and I’ve done it before - but as above… it really is like hammering nails with a screwdriver.

You can do it, eventually, but its really not the right tool for the job. Unless you have some specific need/desire for FreeBSD instead of Linux for the desktop (e.g., licensing, the unix way, fuck you to Linus or whatever) you’re just going to find it more difficult in general. It’s definitely not impossible for most stuff and i’d highly recommend people have a play to see just how things are on the “other side” but Linux has kinda won out on the desktop side.

And as a result… If 3d is something you want to do, you’re going to have problems. Neither Nvidia nor AMD have put anywhere near the effort into FreeBSD drivers. Not sure if either even support FreeBSD officially any more. Nvidia used to, i think.

Non-3d stuff? Browsers work, most desktop environment stuff works, sound works better than linux, etc.

Server wise, the minimum footprint for BSD is way smaller. This is my external nameserver for example:

last pid: 92442;  load averages:  0.15,  0.17,  0.17   up 139+04:38:14 14:30:44
22 processes:  2 running, 20 sleeping
CPU:  0.8% user,  0.0% nice,  0.4% system,  0.0% interrupt, 98.8% idle
Mem: 21M Active, 429M Inact, 196M Wired, 110M Buf, 327M Free
Swap: 3072M Total, 3072M Free

Note: 21 MB active memory… contrast to a minimal linux install these days… this box is quite old and due to be retired; all it runs is base OS + BIND and ntpd