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FreeBSD installed


I finally managed to get FreeBSD installed on my system.Much thanks to
Mr. Palani for the disk!!! Took me about
one night to go through the whole process. Overall it hadn't been as
much as a problem as I had thought it would be. And by the end of the
session, I was connected to the net and browsing on Netscape.

All of what is below is what /my/ conclusions were at the end of the

My present system config is like this :
 - I have Windows 98, Linux and FreeBSD-4.2-Release installed on a AMD-K6II w/
   20GB HDD and 128 MB RAM.
 - The Partition details are:
    a) 1st - primary partition: 5GB , windoze 98
    b) 2nd - extended partition: 5GB , Linux
    c) 3rd - primary partition : 5GB, FAT 32, common data
    d) 4th - primary partition : 5GB, FreeBSD
 - Video card: S3 Trio
 - Modem: DLink 56kbps (ISP: NOW,VSNL,MTNL)

I did one more installation at office. According to one of the folks
at my office who has been struggling with Debian in the past one week,
the installation was *much* easier, with the Network Card working
without ANY effort.

Connecting to net was easy too. FreeBSD has a user level process
called ppp for which you have to make changes to just *one* file
called /etc/ppp/ppp.conf(For script based auth). ppp does the rest.

The package system is much unsettling for anybody used to the Linux or
Windoze way of downloading packages and installing. Every package in
FreeBSD (called "port") is sort of "registered". When a FreeBSD
release is made, all the *tested* ports are made available. When you
are installing, you are asked to install the ports collection. This is
basically a "skeleton" of /all/ ports available at the time of
release. Each skeleton is nothing more than a Makefile and a couple of
package descriptors. Each skeleton has the capability of taking out
the pristine sources from the cdrom or ftp site or http site or many
other sources,  apply freebsd specific patches, compiling and installing
them. Unlike many tar.gz , each port /has/ to take care
of installation /and/ un-installation.

For RedHat users - beware! You don't have Xconfigurator(only
xf86config), no mouseconfig, no netconfig, no sndconfig(I haven't
found out how to configure sound yet).

For all installation of ports, configuration of X, X Window Managers
and many other configuration , there is one program called
sysinstall. In fact for the first one or two days, I would recommend
having sysinstall open on one of the virtual terminals as long as you
are working at the console. For those used to linux distribs, you
would discover from time to time that certain libraries haven't been
installed, so you would be running sysinstall again and again.

FreeBSD has a boot manager called BootEasy. I decided to use BootEasy
in MBR and LILO in the extended partition itself. What I like about
BootEasy is that you can select any option using the keys F1,F2
etc. .i.e. just one key for the other options. I haven't been able to
figure out how to configure booteasy yet though. Somehow at the home
installation it doesn't give an option to boot using Linux, while at
the office installation it does. 

Rest later. 

- Sandip

Sandip Bhattacharya 
sandipb @ bigfoot.com