ashgtx has written up his experience of his now successfull FreeBSD installation and use of the FreeBSD ports:
The elusive *nix. Nobody knows about it yet it is one of the most widely used server operating systems. The wikipedia entry mentions it as the unknown giant of the internet. Huge internet portals like Yahoo! run on it. Why is it that no one knows about this widely used OS?
Please remember that I am no *nix guru. I have used a lot of Linux distributions (mostly Debian based) in the past two and a half years. I don’t know anything about programming but I don’t mind messing around at the command line. In fact I am a medical student whose main hobby is Linux. Weird but true.
I have tried at least three times before to get FreeBSD installed on my laptop (a three year old Think Pad R60) but failed spectacularly all three times. I didn’t like the ncurses like installation interface nor did I like the unfriendly options I had to select through. But this time I did it. OK, it’s in a Virtual Box environment but still, come on, I’ve got a working FreeBSD 7.2 install.
I like FreeBSD now. I have fell in love with Ports. Compiling from source has its own advantages as you can specify several compile time options and the compiled program is better optimized for your particular system. And it feels so damn geeky! I love it.
I’ve been running FreeBSD for more than 10 hrs now and I haven’t had a single crash other than the initial trouble with getting GNOME to work.
There are several features in FreeBSD which make it a server guy’s best friend (like jails and stuff) but this is just the beginning for me. I hope I learn more about this great operating system which has stood the test of time and M$.
I’m looking forward to a great experience from FreeBSD. Kudos to the FreeBSD team for creating Ports. :)