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Ask Slashdot: Workaday Software For BSD On the Desktop?

mgmartin Just went through this a few days ago (267 comments)

I just went through this a few days ago. Seems every year or two, I re-visit FreeBSD and ask myself, what would I miss if I switched entirely. A brief description of my encounters with FreeBSD 10.1 this week below:

1. ZFS cross platform worked beautifully. I have a multi-disk "ZFS on Linux - created" pool. I had no problems importing the pool with FreeBSD. And, as I switched back after running the pool under FreeBSD for a few days, I encountered no issues re-importing the pool under ZFS on Linux.

2. I have many KVM/qemu VMs. I'd love to run bhyve, but many VMs are Windows. It's not too hard to convert the images to boot up under VirtualBox. VirtualBox under FreeBSD works very well. For managing multiple VMs across several servers, I prefer virt-manager /KVM, but VirtualBox could certainly fill this need.

3. While copying large vm images, I realized BSD's cp command doesn't support sparse files. One is left to use rsync. There is the linux/compat cp command which does support sparse, however this cp command crashed on me while copying large files.

4. Minecraft -- It worked great under FreeBSD -- just be sure to follow the directions to point to the correct Java runtime in your Minecraft profile.

5. I installed serveral other programs I use frequently (some binary installs from pkg and some source compiles): Chromium, Thunderbird, Blender, KDE, Gimp, Kdenlive, LibreOffice, OpenJDK , NVidia driver using a 3-headed display, VLC, MPV, HandBrake, FFMpeg, and others. All these worked fine. For the most part, my FreeBSD desktop was indistinguishable from my Linux desktop.

6. I set up several NFS4 exported mount points. No issues mounting these from multiple Linux hosts.

7. Webcam tested no issues. I had to install webcamd and follow the instructions.

8. Audio tested and worked well out of the box.

9. VNC server and clients worked fine.

Overall, I'm -- once again -- very impressed. Setup was fast ( even ports package compiles were very fast ). I'm familiar with FreeBSD, so that helps with the install time. Newcomers should always expect to put in extra time (As mentioned, PCBSD can help get you into a graphical environment quickly, so less of a learning curve). What would I miss if I switched over 100%??? I would miss KVM/virt-manager, native cp support of sparse files, native mkvmerge, and I'd love to get a native Eclipse IDE Luna port., and an intel 7260 Wifi driver. To be fair, I still need to give it more time. I might try again this weekend and coming week, since I'll have some free time. If you enjoy tinkering and learning the details of configuring your OS, FreeBSD is great. For a quick, get-it-up-and-working, PCBSD works very well.

about a week ago
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One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

mgmartin Re:Legacy file systems should be illegal (396 comments)

As does zfs: man zfs
copies=1 | 2 | 3 Controls the number of copies of data stored for this dataset. These copies are in addition to any redundancy provided by the pool, for example, mirroring or RAID-Z. The copies are stored on different disks, if possible. The space used by multiple copies is charged to the associated file and dataset, changing the used property and counting against quotas and reservations. Changing this property only affects newly-written data. Therefore, set this property at file system creation time by using the -o copies=N option.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't You Running KDE?

mgmartin Funny You Ask (818 comments)

I'd been running KDE 4.8 on Debian Wheezy for several weeks now. I chose KDE, since GNOME 3 fails miserably on my 3 headed display -- 3 separate X screens with no Xinerama and NVidia 302.11 binaries GTX 560 Ti and a Geforce 9600 GT. KDE at least would load. GNOME3 menu bar gets all messed up with duplicated calendars and other horrific menu strangeness ( even on a new, clean user account ).

KDE 4.8 works well, but a few anyone things like trying to open a konsole from the menu never opened on the active head. Composite would sometimes just stop working on one head, but continue to work on the other heads. A kwin --replace would fix this issue ( after several attempts ).

My biggest complaint with KDE is my computer just felt slooooooow. for a quad core with 12GB mem. Even with composite disabled, things felt slower than what I had been used to from running GNOME 2 for some time prior. Slow login and even after login I would launch a Konsole icon and sometimes sit and wait for 20 seconds while KDE continues to initialize or do something. Alt tab between apps, min/max windows and general paints just seemed very sluggish. Not a scientific benchmark, but spending years and hours in front of a Linux desktop, and you just know.

I switched to XFCE4 / Slim packages a few days ago and couldn't be happier. I feel like my computer is back again. Very fast, and it understands the 3 heads very well for placing Panels where I want them placed. And the Terminal Emulator menu actually opens the terminal on the active head with mouse focus. Compositor works well, though not as feature rich as KDE, I get nice transparencies and shadows that work.

I noticed xfce4 tears playing video in VLC more that KDE when compositor is enabled, but a quick disable of the compositor works fast and well to turn on and off which fixes the tearing. Turning composite on/off with the KDE system caused issues.

XFCE4 is now also on my laptop and it works very well for me.

more than 2 years ago
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Kernel.org Attackers Didn't Know What They Had

mgmartin I'd Still Like To Know... (183 comments)

How they got root access after logging in. Was it something simple like a sudo? Was it a known, unpatched kernel vulnerability? Or, was it some new vulnerability current kernels are susceptible to? Last I read, they logged in under a user account, then they got root access.

more than 3 years ago
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Starz To Pull Content From Netflix

mgmartin Netflix Starz Lacked HD and 5.1 (314 comments)

Although the content offered by Starz on Netflix was good, I was always disappointed the encodings were not high definition or even with a 5.1 surround sound channel. I won't be missing Starz ( too much ).

more than 3 years ago
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Fedora 16 To Use Btrfs Filesystem By Default

mgmartin Availability Notice (198 comments)

Quoted from man mkfs.btrfs on Fedora 15.

...Btrfs is currently under heavy development, and not suitable for any uses other than benchmarking and review.

That sure limits the uses of a default Fedora installation.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Is Serious, Chrome 13 Hides URL Bar

mgmartin It's all good (417 comments)

I still prefer the separate process per tab Chrome provides over the alternatives. And, as long as I can still enable the location bar if I want to, it's all good.

more than 3 years ago
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Alternative To the 200-Line Linux Kernel Patch

mgmartin 4 Lines Is Not All. Let's Not Forget... (402 comments)

Mounting the cgroup file system and multiplying the 4 lines by every user account on the system in order for Lennart's patch to work.

about 4 years ago
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Sun and Eclipse Squabble

mgmartin Re:Eclipse vs. NetBeans (423 comments)

Oops, I meant to put a plug in for jfacedb--not dbexplorer.

more than 10 years ago

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