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A Taste of FreeBSD With VirtualBSD

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the touches-of-os-x dept.

Operating Systems 43

ReeceTarbert writes "If you wanted to try FreeBSD but didn't have the right hardware, or enough time to make it useful on the desktop, VirtualBSD might fit the bill: it's a VMware appliance based on FreeBSD 7.1-RELEASE and features the Xfce 4 Desktop Environment and a few of the most common applications to make it very functional right out of the box. If you're curious you can have a look at the screenshots, or proceed to the download page and grab the torrent file right away. (Note: VirtualBSD also works in VirtualBox 2.x as long as you create a new virtual machine and select the virtual disk from the archive instead of creating a new one)."

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43 comments

Not quite... (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133403)

Note: VirtualBSD also works in VirtualBox 2.x

FreeBSD works in VirtualBox 2.1.2 and later. Earlier versions had a bug which prevented FreeBSD from working correctly.

Mod parent up (2, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133649)

Until just recently FreeBSD installs always failed in VirtualBox.

Re:Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27135961)

Recently?

I was able to install F'BSD 7.0 in V'Box 2.1.x sucessfully over a year ago.

Works fine, if prone to wedging the host periodically. I need to upgrade it to the latest bits and see if that fixes the problem.

Re:Not quite... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133827)

Earlier this year (there's been 1 virtual box update since then) I installed FreeBSD in virtual box, no problems. However, non-trivial disk acivity (such as compiling a port) caused the OS to shit itself with geometry errors.

Re:Not quite... (2, Funny)

jdong (1378773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133961)

However, non-trivial disk acivity (such as compiling a port) caused the OS to shit itself with geometry errors.

That's my experience too, even with VBox 2.1.2-VBox 2.1.4: Any nontrivially intense disk activity will panic/oops the kernel with disk controller related errors. Once or twice it even was triggered in the installation phase when I elected to install some ports from the second CD. And forget about SCSI controller emulation as a workaround -- that instantly dies on newfs.

Re:Not quite... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135859)

I have a FreeBSD 7.1 VM running in VirtualBox 2.1.4 that's managed to build world and a load of other stuff (llvm, etoile, etc) without issues. I am using the SATA adaptor for the virtual disk, which may make a difference. I have ACIP, VT-X and PAE enabled and am using the the Intel PRO/1000 T Server NIC.

Prior to 2.1.2, this VM would fail with the eflags error on any heavy activity. This is a stock install of FreeBSD 7.1, with no extra patching, and now works perfectly. Running Xephyr on the host and using remote X11 is very responsive (and lets me have hardware-accelerated render/composite and so on).

Re:Not quite... (1)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136971)

I've also got a working install of FreeBSD, I haven't done a build world, but I've buillt a number of ports, and it seems fine, using the IDE controller. The only quirk is that if I try and use any non-default option in the boot loader, including, ironically "safe mode", then the vm will fail to mount the virtual drive.

Re:Not quite... (1)

ReeceTarbert (893612) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137899)

FreeBSD works in VirtualBox 2.1.2 and later. Earlier versions had a bug which prevented FreeBSD from working correctly.

That's why VirtualBSD mentions VMware Player (or better) explicitly and only places hints about VirtualBox in /boot/loader.conf and /etc/X11/ReadmeVirtualBox.txt (you may also want to run /usr/local/bin/vmware-uninstall-tools.pl as you won't need them any longer).

As I see it, the only problem is that there is no free (as in beer) VMware Player for OS X as the only option is VMware Fusion -- and I don't know if Parallels can run VMware appliances, but that one ain't free either.

Reece

screenshots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27133511)

Hey look! More originality coming from the OSS world!

Re:screenshots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27133607)

FOSS has alwyas been popular with broke kids trying to emulate their betters, who run OSX.

They cloak their envy in cries of freedom even though most of them have never seen even 1 line of code and wouldn't know what to do with it if they did.

Re:screenshots (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134073)

Oi, as a broke kid I feel I have to paint my face and say... you may take away our code! But you'll never take away my... server 2003 torrent! yaahhhhHHH!!!! *rides off on a horse*

Right hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27133541)

If you wanted to try FreeBSD but didn't have the right hardware

Yes, because FreeBSD [freebsd.org] is so picky about what kind of hardware you use.

Re:Right hardware? (1)

Rynor (1277690) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134935)

Well, there was a bug in the sata driver for my motherboard for FreeBSD 7, no idea if it's been fixed yet.. but it prevented me from trying it out a while ago. FreeBSD 6.2 worked fine though.

Yes, But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27133601)

. . . does it run Linux?

Re:Yes, But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27135443)

FreeBSD does have a linux compatibility layer (or something like that), on which you can run Linux binaries.

Mostly for closed sourced Linux stuff, since most vendors don't bother to provide BSD binaries.

WOOF! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27133875)

Now I can make use of that 8gigs of ram that vista requires to run correctly.

Terminology (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27133931)

it's a VMware appliance

Did I miss some sort of shift in terminology? When did virtual machines start getting referred to as "Appliances"? When I think "appliance", I usually think of toasters, microwaves, stoves, refrigerators, etc. Images for operating systems is the last thing that comes to mind.

Re:Terminology (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134025)

Did I miss some sort of shift in terminology? When did virtual machines start getting referred to as "Appliances"? When I think "appliance", I usually think of toasters, microwaves, stoves, refrigerators, etc. Images for operating systems is the last thing that comes to mind.

I think it becomes an 'appliance' when it comes already configured and downloadable to you like a black box.

VMware currently hosts some large number here [vmware.com] . Like an 'appliance', you plug it in and go without worrying about the fiddly bits.

Of course, if you want to install it all from scratch, go ahead. :-P

Cheers

Re:Terminology (2, Informative)

x2A (858210) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134147)

"When did virtual machines start getting referred to as "Appliances"?"

When vmware player was launched I do believe... and it's not just any virtual machine, it's the use of a virtual machine to distribute a ready working self contained machine that does what it says on the tin (yes, virtual machines come in tins these days) rather than lengthy install procedures or live cds. It's an appliance because it's ready to plug in and go. But, as vmware say, "hate the game, not the player'

Re:Terminology (2, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137437)

When did virtual machines start getting referred to as "Appliances"?

When the "Marketing Department" got involved.

Re:Terminology (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140327)

The Amana "Internet Appliance" will be the next big thing. A gigantic iPhone that floats in the air and follows(stalks?) you around the house.

Surely you jest (4, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134305)

don't have the right hardware

It is almost more difficult to find wrong hardware for FreeBSD. Granted, it doesn't support quite as many systems as NetBSD, but unless you are running something quite odd it is likely you can run FreeBSD on it. Hell, most systems that are being thrown away right now can run it just fine.

FreeBSD 7.1 was released for:

And if you happen to be running an Alpha, you can still run FreeBSD 6.3 [freebsd.org]

Re:Surely you jest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27134489)

I found many hardware in the past that FreeBSD hasn't driver for, but OpenBSD has. You should definitely take a look at OpenBSD before FreeBSD if you're new to *BSD. OpenBSD is much more simple and straight forward.

Re:Surely you jest (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136261)

USB cameras and MIDI devices are examples of hardware categories supported by OpenBSD and not FreeBSD. Until 4.5, however, there is no DRI support on OpenBSD (there is some on 4.4, but it's not finished and not enabled by default).

OpenBSD also tends to have better support for ARM-based platforms. Unfortunately, it does not have any flash-focussed filesystems, although a port of NetBSD's LFS would probably not be too hard.

Re:Surely you jest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136957)

USB cameras and MIDI devices are examples of hardware categories supported by OpenBSD and not FreeBSD.

see UVIDEO(4) for usb cameras

Until 4.5, however, there is no DRI support on OpenBSD (there is some on 4.4, but it's not finished and not enabled by default).

OpenBSD -current is tagged 4.5.
Official release is may first.

Re:Surely you jest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27141495)

Surprisingly perhaps, the NetBSD uvideo driver [gw.com] might get out first, whenever NetBSD-5 solidifies.

Re:Surely you jest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27134723)

There are lots of *platforms*, but FreeBSD's actual driver support isn't as wide as linux or Windows.

Re:Surely you jest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136017)

Fact: FreeBSD is Dying.

'nuff said.

Re:Surely you jest (1)

ReeceTarbert (893612) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137733)

It is almost more difficult to find wrong hardware for FreeBSD.

True, as long as you run it as a server and don't need fancy graphics, audio, and whatnot -- and does a fine job at that. But try it on a modern, off the shelf PC, notebook or netbook and you won't be so lucky. I mean, even a onboard NIC might be problematic!

That said, this is clearly not FreeBSD's fault (as vendors seldom release source code or specifications and stick to binary drivers for select Linux distributions at best) but the result doesn't change: it's a very daunting task to get any kind of modern desktop oriented FreeBSD (that's not their goal either, but I digress).

Reece

Re:Surely you jest (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27140163)

even a onboard NIC might be problematic

I have several systems with onboard NICs, and even onboard wireless NICs, that worked fine right off the bat.

desktop oriented FreeBSD (that's not their goal either, but I digress)

Their motto still is

The Power To Serve

So I would say they aren't all that worried about desktop, yes

I think an argument could be made that anyone who loads FreeBSD on their desktop probably didn't really understand the purpose of FreeBSD to begin with...

Re:Surely you jest (1)

hotfireball (948064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146155)

It is almost more difficult to find wrong hardware for FreeBSD. [...] Hell, most systems that are being thrown away right now can run it just fine.

Right. But there is a proverb: "If you are so smart, why so poor?", IOW, if so cool, why popularity is so miserable and much smaller than Linux?

Re:Surely you jest (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27171781)

> And if you happen to be running an Alpha, you can still run FreeBSD 6.3

What if I have a Vax? What version of BSD can I get that will run on that?

(This is largely theoretical, although I *do* have a MicroVax 3100-40 sitting around doing nothing in particular...)

Also, you forgot to mention ARM processors, which are pretty common, and 8-bit and 16-bit x86 systems, which used to be pretty common, pre-PowerPC Macs (6800 processor), and the Z80, among other things.

Virtual? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27134949)

Thanks, but I'll just wait until Netcraft confirms it.

Elegy for *BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27135849)


Elegy For *BSD


I am a *BSD user
and I try hard to be brave
That is a tall order
*BSD's foot is in the grave.

I tap at my toy keyboard
and whistle a happy tune
but keeping happy's so hard,
*BSD died so soon.

Each day I wake and softly sob
Nightfall finds me crying
Not only am I a zit faced slob
but *BSD is dying.

Where's the login/passwd??? (1)

xioborg (1177539) | more than 5 years ago | (#27142085)

OK, for the most part, I agree with this being a BFD,but, what the heck, I like wasting my time, so I downloaded the file, but I cannot find anywhere what the login name and password to use are. I just noticed that this post has been moded down. Maybe delete would be better.

Re:Where's the login/passwd??? (2, Informative)

ReeceTarbert (893612) | more than 5 years ago | (#27142183)

You have it right a the login screen and in the readme file contained in the archive! ;-)

Anyway, here goes:

Username: virtualbsd
Password: virtualbsd

root: root4u

Reece

*BSD is Dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27155699)

It is official; Netcraft now confirms it: *BSD is dying
 
One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.
 
You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.
 
FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.
 
Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.
 
OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.
 
Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.
 
All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.
 
  Fact: *BSD is dying

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