Friday, June 29, 2018

Mac or BSD

The eternal question:  Which is better - EMACS or Vi?
OK, this post is actually about the other eternal question!
As I use Linux, Mac, Open and Free BSD, I think I can answer objectively:
Both OpenBSD and FreeBSD are reasonably easy to download and install and run on pretty much anything. At least, I have not found a server/desktop/laptop computer that it would not run on.  I even ran OpenBSD on a Sparc Station - remember those?

OpenBSD

Theo De Raadt has a 'cut the nonsense' mentality so OpenBSD is simpler, with a smaller repository of programs, about 30,000 packages. However, with a little effort, you can install FreeBSD software on OpenBSD to get the rest. After a few days of use, you will know how. 

FreeBSD

FreeBSD can also with some effort, run Linux programs and you can use a virtualizer to run other systems, so you are never locked into one thing.
In general, OpenBSD feels a lot like Slackware Linux: Simple and very fast.

MacOS

By comparison, other distributions look fancy and are very slow - there are many reasons why. MacOS obviously falls into the fancy and slow category. So if you want a Mac replacement then you first need to decide whether you want a fancy or a fast system.
My preference is to install a reasonably fast system on the host, then use a virtualizer for experiments and work and I frequently run multiple systems at the same time.  All the BSDs are good for that, be it Open, Free or Mac.
My home use system is a Macbook Pro running the latest MacOS with the Macports and Homebrew software repositories.  I even have the XFCE desktop installed, so when I get annoyed with the overbearing Mac GUI, I run XFCE, to get a weirdly satisfying Linux-Mac hybrid.


Linux

Linux is the step child of UNIX, which took over the world.  Of the Top 500 Super Computers, all now run Linux.  My work system is an ancient Dell T420 running the latest Fedora Linux on the host.  All my machines have Virtualbox and a zoo of virtual machines for the rest.
The answer? It depends...
:)
Herman

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