FreeBSD. A very useful UNIX distribution that makes using your computer a lot of fun.

I have just setup FreeBSD with a high resolution framebuffer console easily. I just typed vidcontrol -i mode to list all available framebuffer video modes and then I set the appropriate mode for my laptop screen. I then added this line to the /etc/rc.conf file: allscreens_flags="MODE_332". This sets a 1366*768 resolution for the framebuffer console. After a reboot this worked perfectly. FreeBSD 10 works perfectly in VMware. Use the command pkg install xf86-video-vmware to install the vmware video driver. This helps with performance when using Xorg in FreeBSD 10. When I set the console resolution using this trick; this also set the Xorg resolution to the same value. This is because I have not used an xorg.conf file; I am letting Xorg set its own resolution deriving it from the resolution of the framebuffer console. FreeBSD 10 is a very good operating system to use if you want to learn the UNIX csh shell. As you will be using it a lot whilst you setup your installation. But setting up FreeBSD is more rewarding than Gentoo; you do not need to compile everything from source for a miniscule increase in speed with CFLAGS. The binary packages that FreeBSD supplies are very good and quick to install.

Typing pkg update -f is the way to update the package repositories on FreeBSD; this is equivalent to sudo apt-get update on Linux Mint or Ubuntu. I had an error when trying to install a package and that is how I fixed that problem. You need to keep the package repositories up to date and this is true for Debian based distributions as well as Solaris or a *BSD distribution. I tried the new OpenSolaris distribution in VMware and it worked quite well. For some reason, it was slow, but usable. FreeBSD is the best, you build up your own UNIX system from scratch, this allows a great amount of customisation. A Linux Mint distribution with the KFreeBSD kernel would be a very interesting proposition. That would be something I would like to install and try out.

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