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·2 mins

I’ve been using unix and unix-like systems since my first student job at the University of Maryland “North Lab”. We supported the parallel computing facility there (the main system was composed of a few dozen Z80 microprocessors.)

Back then it was mostly SunOS on the workstation (there was only one in the lab!) and true Berkeley 4.2 and 4.3 Unix on the VAX systems accessed via dumb terminals. Once I got out of academia, I needed to hook myself up with a real unix box to work on, so ended up buying a Gateway2000 Pentium 66MHz box and ran BSDi’s version of BSD unix on it (it was cheap for students). After a few years, BSDi mostly became stale and has since more or less vanished. About 5 years ago, I switched to using FreeBSD. I haven’t looked at anything else since then for many reasons, including stability (as in it doesn’t crash and things don’t change willy-nilly for random reasons between versions) and ease of getting applications to run with it.

Recently I found a very nice essay on BSD vs. Linux, and thought I’d point some more people to it. For anyone looking to use unix on standard PC type hardware (and even on more heavy-duty iron like ultra sparc and Opteron), I urge you to take a good look at FreeBSD.