Friday, May 13, 2005

FreeBSD 5.4

Before I start my rant about FreeBSD 5.4 and my experiences installing it, here is a topical and informative factoid: the fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia.

Back to the topic of the post:I downloaded FreeBSD 5.4 yesterday. I wanted to check out how an OSS, non-Linux OS looked like; in particular, how different it would be from a typical Linux distro. Answer: not very different. If it looks like Linux, walks like Linux, talks like Linux...

Anyway, the one thing I take away from my brief dalliance with FreeBSD is that it didn't get the bootloading right. During installation, it offered a choice of incorporating the existing OSs in its loader, but when I tried to boot my existing Suse installation, nothing happened; no error messages, just a beep. No way for me to get back to Suse.

I had to reinstall Ubuntu into the partition I installed FreeBSD in (this was the same partition which had earlier contained Ubuntu) to get things back to normal.

P.S. The disk partitioning part of the FreeBSD install needs some working over. It's strictly not for beginners and nowhere near as straightforward as that of even a pretty 'raw' distro (from an installation perspective, that is) like Ubuntu. I had to abort the installation thrice before figuring out the correct way to set up the partitions.