OS to switch to

  • I was thinking of switching the primary OS that I am using from XP, I cant afford 7 for all of my computers. I have tried ubuntu before but am also considering freeBSD/pcBSD. I have done some basic research and found that most of the apps have equivalents or bsd/deb equivalents.

    So my questions are:
    What OS would you recommend
    thoughts on above OS's & Pros/Cons
    How hard is it to get a desktop on freeBSD
    What app is equivalent to pinnacle studio/roxio creator.
    availability of apps

    thanks for your input, sorry if i omitted anything, I dont know much about bsd.

  • You forgot to mention what you want to use it for, a seemingly insignificant but actually quite critical point.  I should also point out that questions about which OS is best tend to turn into little better than flame wars in many forums.  There is never a right answer, and often no wrong one, just ones that work for individuals.

    For simply browsing the web, listening to music, using email, writing documents - anything will do as long as it supports your hardware.  Whether you pick Ubuntu, PC-BSD, FreeBSD, Meego or anything else, it doesn't really matter.  All that will matter is whether or not your hardware is supported.

    Once you drift away from that your choice of apps becomes your decision point.  If those key apps are only available for one OS then you're stuck with that OS.

    I've personally used FreeBSD, PC-BSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Meego, Ubuntu, RedHat, Debian, Mandriva and probably a few others I've forgotten for my desktop over the years.  All have worked, some have taken a bit more effort than others.  My choices were sometimes driven by the hardware I was using, sometimes by the applications I needed to use and sometimes by other requirements.

    If I'm recommending a basic use OS to people I tend to recommend Ubuntu, just because it's fairly slick and easy for almost anybody to use and manage.  PC-BSD the last time I tried it was nearly as slick, though the hardware and application support wasn't as good. I'm quite impressed with Meego too, though it isn't for power users IMO.

  • I do not wish to start a flame war, thats why i listed those two choices. I did forget to mention their uses.
    I have narrowed it down to either ubuntu or freeBSD. From what I have gathered ubuntu is to debian as pc-bsd is to freebsd.

    There are a few scenarios that the computer would be used for:
    basic computer usage
    basic email/web/wordprocessing (work use), equivalents are acceptable.
    same as above but with video and picture editing, if comparable programs are available.
    media computer

  • Either will do what you're after, though still your individual choice of programs and hardware may force your choice.

    EMail - many tools available, whether you use Gnome or KDE may influence your choice
    Web - Firefox is available for all and Gnome and KDE also have their own browser
    Wordprocessing - Open Office
    Video - don't know, don't do any
    Picture editing - GIMP etc
    Media computer - playing or streaming?

    There's nothing you've listed that would strongly influence a choice one way or the other IMO.  Frankly I'd pick the one that you're most comfortable with, that works on the hardware you have.

  • i like picassa (it has contributed to my procrastination in organizing pics), ive read that you can use it in wine and it works really great.
    for video I was looking for something similar to pinnacle studio/roxio creator, if one exists.
    For the media computer, mostly playing with some streaming (not much)

  • Can I suggest you research yourself the software you're interested in?  A quick Google shows that Picasa exists for Linux, that there are many Pinnacle Studio alternatives and there are many playback and streaming options.

  • Actually I have. Was mostly trying not to download several different distros but just a few. My problem is that I like freebsd since pfSense is based on it and I have used ubuntu before and liked it. I was hoping to get some input on the differences between the two. After googleing I found a site that compares not just the os's I mentioned but almost every distro out there. As to the video editing, I found only four programs, but nothing that compares them to each other yet. I also found a few programs similar to picassa and will try those out.

    I will be trying a few distros later this week.

    Thanks for the input.

  • I know researching can be such a time consuming thing.. it's like digging trying to discover knowledge that already has been discovered by someone else… if only that someone else can break down hours of research and trying for you so you need not re-invent the wheel for yourself.. that would be great wont it?

    I too am gona suggest you research and try your top 3 distros... as re-inventing the wheel will not only get you the end result you want, but the things youll gain/learn along the way is GOLDEN.....

    ...........that is however if you have the luxury of time to do so..

    But i can understand your position as I am a very busy man myself, so i wish to save you a few hours by recommending from my experience..

    we are both on the same boat coming off Windows platform.. but as per our experience in our office environment thru trial and error the top 2 choices for Windows alternative is

    UBUNTU and MANDRIVA where the latter is more atone to Windows users..however unlike ubuntu, mandriva there are some installation issues 2/10 times.. i think it's picky on the hardware (?)

    We are now running most of our none windows office machines on Ubuntu and some on mandriva.. it's all good for us.. the only thing that really makes us suffer is YAHOO MESSENGER not being avaialble or portable to these systems.. we rely heavily on YM and its features, and though there are YM Client alternatives like meebo and pgdn etc  (w/c we're forced to use)there's really nothing like YM client, file transfers, buzzing, etc ..

    So even your best windows alternative will still require you some sacrifices and getting used to.. as for me those are my top 2..

    And while ubuntu/mandriva has tons of apps available and being developed for it, i dont know much abou the video editing app you require, so youll have to check their app store for that..

    hope this helps


  • There are plenty of linux messenger clients which will interoperate with Yahoo IM.  Pidgin, for instance, works on linux and Windows, and will allow you to combine a great many messenger accounts including YahooIM, AIM, Gtalk and IPoverCarrierPigeon.

  • Yea I was thinking either FreeBSD or Ubuntu. I like FreeBSD but I cant get gnome or xorg to work. If I cant get it to work I will be using Ubuntu.

    Also like submicron said, they are several messenger clients that work on both Windows, Linux and BSD.

  • @XIII:

    Yea I was thinking either FreeBSD or Ubuntu. I like FreeBSD but I cant get gnome or xorg to work. If I cant get it to work I will be using Ubuntu.

    Also like submicron said, they are several messenger clients that work on both Windows, Linux and BSD.

    Alright good luck and hope everyting works out for ya.

    re YM alternatives, yes as I mentioned we are using pigdin and meebo, but the lack of YM feature support  is a big issue .. file transfer, buzzing, album share, etc.. we had to work around things all the time w/c consumes extra "minutes to hours" / day.. hehe

  • sorry, I didnt realize about the specific features, that can be a big trade off.
    I would like to get the bsd issue fixed so i will be reading/posting on their forums.

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