Hello all,

Glad to see that there is already a FreeBSD, and greater BSD, community already created on Lemmy. Although with 40 subscribers and the last post here being almost a month old let’s try and get this community rolling. To that end I pose the following question: What is your FreeBSD setup like?

For me I have a few FreeBSD boxes that I use. I have a general use desktop with herbstluftwm running where I do most non-work related things. I also have a small server that I use mainly for building a few ports that I maintain, and trying to get more into maintaining/contributing to other ports. I also have a Bhyve VM here running a dev version of PacBSD (kind of a defunct project sadly, but do intend to try and kick it off again). I also have a FreeBSD VM running on DigitalOcean which hosts my personal website and runs ZNC (toying with the idea of replacing this with a Matrix <-> IRC bridge as I experiment more with Matrix). I also have a FreeNAS box where I store most of my media (Music, TV shows, Movies, etc) that I access either with NFS to play locally on another box or through Emby.

I’m here because I like small and independent operating systems, though personally I havent been able to get it running on bare metal yet.

vendion
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Nice, sounds like my interest in Minix and other micro-kernel operating systems, although I don’t have any systems that run any.

I havent been able to get it running on bare metal yet.

The way that is worded has me currious is that due to time, hardware constrains, or something else if you don’t mind me asking?

A mix of all three, although time isn’t too much of a constraint atm I don’t have very open source friendly hardware (mainly because of my NVIDIA graphics card) and also I do not have a spare drive to set it up on either. I also kind of wanted to get proficient in linux before I started branching off into smaller (and more pure) unix systems on bare metal so I haven’t been particularly rushing to get it done.

It’d be my dream to have a bunch of small drives with small OSes like BSD, Haiku, ReactOS, and others with a boot switcher but from my understanding thats impossible at the moment and very time consuming.

@ajz
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Interesting that you mention Haiku and ReactOS since I have played with both a few times in Virtualbox (or qemu) a while ago. Also https://www.redox-os.org/

Yeah ReactOS is my favorite project but it takes it’s time lol. You mentioned you like microkernal operating systems, have you heard or google fuchsia or dahliaOS?

@ajz
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Fuchsia is the supposed follow-up of Google Android where Google will go more closed-source, that’s what I’ve read. Never heard of DahliaOS, which appears to be an open source Fuchsia ! https://dahliaos.io/

As someone who doesn’t fully understand microkernels is developing for a microkernel system harder? From what I’m understanding more system functions are offloaded to the individual processes.

vendion
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210M

This talk by Andrew Tanenbaum would probably be worth checking out https://talks.discoverbsd.com/2016/01/31/a-reimplementation-of-netbsd-using-a-microkernel.html

There is quite a bit more complexity to microkernel systems, but they also give more flexability.

Thanks I’ll check them out

I remember reading about redox on hacker news a few months ago. Never tried it, have you?

@ajz
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I’ve tried it in Virtualbox or qemu. Looks like an interesting project.

@ajz
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I used to run FreeBSD years ago, on my desktop and on servers (I actually, iirc, also ran FreeBSD jails with kFreeBSD/Debian in them, was very cool), but compiling (ports, system, kernel) took too much of my spare time. Lately I’ve started with with FreeBSD on a laptop again (Also OpenBSD), and I am happy to see that via packages it is easy to install and update things. I really like the fact that FreeBSD with ZFS and encryption is so easy to install, but I am too busy with all kind of things to push myself to use that as my main computer. I wanted to test Bastille containers on a server with FreeBSD but didn’t have the time to figure out how to proceed. Looks nice, but needs time. And I wondered why I would not use ezjails instead.

I also like NomadBSD, and I bought a few usb sticks for NomadBSD (and Tails), so that is is a little project to play with in the future.

I’ve always liked the clean approach of BSD, and the focus on security.

vendion
creator
210M

Yeah the introduction of packages and pkg is a huge plus vs having to build everything from the ports tree. Also mixing ports and packages are no longer a bad thing as they are aware of each other and a lot of issues that came up when you have some things installed via pkg and others installed from ports has been resolved.

For jails I use iocage to build and manage those, and vm-bhyve to manage my VMs and happy with both. I think ezjails is no longer maintained, the last release I see for it was from 2015. Iocage was really easy to get setup and easy to use (assuming you have a ZFS pool setup for it).

I heard good things about NomadBSD, and for live environments you can run off a USB drive there is also FuryBSD as well that may be worth looking into.

@ajz
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With your mention of iocage and vm-bhyve you have inspired me to check this out for desktop purposes. If I can run FreeBSD with vm-bhyve for some Linux stuff, then FreeBSD could become my main desktop machine. \o/

vendion
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210M

Nice I wish you luck with that. I switched my desktop over years ago and have not looked back. Altough switching for me was fairly easy as I have been playing with FreeBSD in VMs for a while before that (so I was already familiar with the differences between the two OSes) and all my bare metal machines were running Arch Linux. Now just my work laptop runs Arch Linux.

@ajz
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Nice ! Thanks for the iocage and vm-bhyve pointers. And good to hear about ezjail possibly no longer maintained with last release from 2015. I see that the handbook still have a section about it, https://www.freebsd.org/doc/handbook/jails-ezjail.html I tried NomadBSD some months ago just for quick testing, and I quite liked it.

@ajz
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A search for ezjails - whether it is still working fine - shows lots of iocage fans :) https://www.reddit.com/r/freebsd/comments/cl615b/ezjails_and_freebsd_12/

vendion
creator
210M

Yeah I’m sure it still works, just no release since 2015 and it looks like the last commit for it was in 2016 of course they may have migrated their development somewhere else and not updated their site. So it may “just work” or it’s days of working may be limited. Of course YMMV.

I don’t think the jails ABI is in a massive state of flux, but it would probably be wise to test it with FreeBSD-CURRENT (soon-ish to be 13.0) or look into a different tool.

@ajz
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Cheers ! For the record I’d like to also include the link to Bastille : https://bastillebsd.org/

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