Back to FreeBSD aka Day 1

So, a long time ago, I had a box which was running FreeBSD 4, running on a Pentium. This housed my public server, website, and mail server. After I while, I had to rebuild it, and went back to Linux.

14 years later, I have decided to get back into FreeBSD, now at FreeBSD 10. I have it running headless on two boxes, and I have decided to take the ‘30 Day Challenge’. You know, all the bloggers tell you to try something for 30 days before you give up on it.

I am going to try to give FreeBSD a go as my daily driver for 30 (or so) days. I cannot do this full time, as I so Linux support in my day job, so I cannot change over the work laptop (yet). I have installed PCBSD-10 on one of my spare laptops. Why PCBSD and not pure FreeBSD? Well, I do not know enough yet to get past UEFI boot and the NVidia/Intel dual graphics, so I cheated. I imagine that I before the end, I will either reload this laptop or start from scratch on my current daily personal driver.

So, most of my cli tools came over very cleanly, with the exception of abook. On Linux, I track the git repo, and the version in the ports tree is a bit older, so I will need to either compile it from git, or change my config to use the older version. But the rest, mutt, tmux, newsbeauter, irssi, and such, all work out of the box.

In the X department, PCBSD has my current favorite window-manager, i3, so that is all good. The only issue I hit is the version of firefox in the PCBSD port tree is broken, and I am going to stay away from the PBI as much as I can. I feel that PBI are too much like installing something under windows, i.e. install the app, and all the libraries it needs to run. In my option, a waste of space, and un-patched libraries on my system. Thank you, I will pass. I ended up enabling the normal FreeBSD ports tree to install it.

I have ported most of my custom scripts over. Most of the work is in the fact that bash lives somewhere different (/usr/local/bin vs /bin). There are a few commands either missing or I have not installed them yet, and a couple of core commands have very different syntax.

I figure for most of what I do, this will be very easy to switch over, but the main area I am unsure of at this point is in photo editing and photo management. I use a commercial Linux package, and I will need to figure out how to make it work under the Linux compatibility layer.

I do not promise daily updates, but I will try to keep a journal of my progress.