Any FreeBSD users here?

Been using BSD stuff for literally decades (SunOS 1.4.x early '90s) - and in 1999 had a customer whose servers were all NetBSD (they used them for managing digital video storage)… Used FreeBSD (and sometimes OpenBSD) on and off - and of course my home NAS runs FreeBSD (FreeNAS - been using it over 10 years now) - and also supported m0n0wall and pfSense firewalls running FreeBSD (and I ran a pfSense firewall/router at home for a few months too). Occasionally tried out desktop “flavours” (like DragonFly)…

Couldn’t get TrueOS to boot on one of my Lenovo laptops (Thinkpad W500)… anyway - yesterday at work, between tasks, took a look at FreeBSD running in a VM (virtualbox) and was pleasantly surprised, so I checked out GhostBSD desktop, which runs Mate… pretty nice…

So last night I installed GhostBSD on the W500 - wow! Sure it’s slightly “beefed up” from a standard circa 2011/2012 W500, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD (I did have to disable the discrete PCIe ATI/AMD GPU to get it to boot)…

I recently took a look at Mate (Ubuntu Mate) and kinda hated it 'cause I couldn’t figure out how to move the window control widgets to the left (something I liked from Mac - and got used to in Unity) - but it was piece of cake in Mate running on GhostBSD.

Bit of learning (e.g. there’s no systemd or init runlevels - so kinda tricky to figure out how to get sshd to run) curve, but I like it…

Anyway - the W500 has a lovely huge 15" 1920x1280 screen (i.e. 4:3) - and I used it to do some after hours work (basically a full screen terminal window with 4 tmux panes) last night - and it was great… those old school Thinkpad keyboards have been unsurpassed - I miss them…
— edit —
Probably won’t be a daily driver, as things like Chrome or Chromium are not trivial to install - but - I can always use it as an Xterminal and run GUI apps like Chrome from Linux machines (tunnel over ssh).


I found opnSense (which is basically FLOSS version of pfSense) a while ago when looking for router/firewall OSes and was contemplating if I should try out to use it. I didn’t try it out yet, because I wasn’t sure if I would get along with the BSD-side of it easily enough. On the other hand, I was researching at the same time a bit about BSD in general, the differences between FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD, as I wanted to at least try out some BSD, for the purpose of expanding my horizon.

Indeed, an SSD + 8GB is already very beefy for a Linux system. Especially in this time of year this was beefy as fuck.

Well, seems like that’s what I was anticipating when contemplating if I would get along with BSD.

Another way I considered trying out BSD to at least check it out a bit is this distribution I found:
(Seems like their homepage is currently down…)
Here is an alternative place for information:

I downloaded the latest ISO it had to offer but then I didn’t get to install it and try it out, so it got forgotten and sits on my HDD, still. Maybe I should take a look at it again.

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i have never used bsd, but have been interested in giving it a go just to (as @Akito said) expand my horizons. what file system is recommended to use with bsd?

There is only ever one answer to that question, and it is always ZFS :smiley:

One of the reasons I wanted to try it out on the desktop… as ZFS in Linux is still not quite ready for prime time :smiley:


in all honesty, i was kinda hoping it would be something different just to have a look at a new fs as well. thanks for the quick response :slight_smile:

cough I use ZFS on Linux since several years, actually. :joy: Mostly for serious backups where I have to rely on it to work properly. Ironically, at this time I exceptionally have a problem with ZFS on one of my Raspberry Pis. All other implementations work, though.


I’ve tried it a couple times on Linux… just didn’t seem as polished as it is on BSD and Solaris… I think one use case was as a receiver for ZFS send, but it was so many versions of ZFS behind that it wasn’t possible…

I was going to try it recently on a NUC I have “spare” (Gigabyte Brix) with Canonical Kubernetes, but never got around to it (got bored)…

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That’s why I created my own repository with the newest package versions that are usable in e.g. Debian Stretch, the current stable version of Debian. is the current stable version of ZFS on Debian Stretch.
0.7.12-1~bpo9+1 is the current highest possible version of ZFS on Debian Stretch, which is the one I am using.


Haven’t used FreeBSD for last 8 years or so :frowning:

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Used PCbsd (now TrueOS) for awhile about 7 years ago. It’s changed it name since then though. Have not used FreeBSD for long time. Had hardware problems with it as I remember.


Currently ZFS is the best for Bsd’s and clones.
However ZFS needs large amount ram for working; so you
could to choice UFS+ a nice filesystem too. :brain:

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? How?

I use several zpools consisting of several TB size on my Raspberry Pis and I have no issues with performance.


My FreeNAS 11.2 box only has 8 GB of RAM (and dual core AMD)…

It’s a HP NL40 microserver (bought late 2011)… 2 x 4TB HDD and 2 x 3TB HDD (the 4TB disks treated as 3 TB till I replace them with 4 TB)…

Never seen any memory issues with it - mind you - I don’t do dedupe, and the only plugin I use (through a jail) is Resilio Sync… been planning for years now to upgrade the RAM in it to 16 - but it just seems to plod along fine…

If I was doing dedupe with a bunch of plugins - sure - RAM AND CPU cores would be an issue…

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In desktop pc’s yes, large amount ram is recommended
for good performance; i not know about Raspberry Pis
because that is other type of computer.
I am was speaking about pc’s desktops.

I installed TrueOS a couple years ago to write a review. I haven’t been able to get Project Trident working on my laptop because of Nvidia driver issues. I’d like to start working with a BSD to learn some basics. Something for the future.


It didn’t get a great review by Jessie Smith on Distrowatch although other reviewers give it an okay one. I was going to give it a try on my tester machine, but after reading them and Jessie’s review have held back to see if the next version is any improvement GhostBSD might be worth looking at as it has a better DE


TrueOS no longer has a desktop focus… hence GhostBSD… seems okay from my brief play with it… bit of a PITA to get certain things running (e.g. SSHD, bonjour/zeroconf/avahi - but achievable if tortuous compared to Linux)…


I’m a BSD-curious and recently heard that OpenBSD (OS for the paranoids) does not support ZFS! I thought these BSD’s were closely related and porting would be trivial (POSIX at least)?

I haven’t tried OpenBSD for yonks… last time was on my Sun Ultra 5 - got it installed onto CF card (using a PATA/IDE to CF adaptor)… that was 2-3 years back… pretty sure the default FS was UFS (which is pretty good on its own anyway)… I don’t think an Ultra 5 (~400 Mhz sparc with 512M RAM) would have enough grunt to run ZFS anyway…

two-thirds of the way through a freebsd download (after having my interest piqued by this thread), i finally got to the part of the instructions where it says freebsd needs a primary or gpt partition. i had just switched my third partition to extended so i could add a few more distros. when i originally installed this hard drive, i only just knew the basics of gpt and somehow messed it up. it wasn’t until i had three distros onboard that i finally figured out that it was mbr. one of these days i may unload everything and re-try gpt, but until then does anyone have any thoughts about a different version of bsd that might give me a look at the basics?