View Full Version : Mepis to PC-BSD
I'm new here and am currently using Mepis based on PC-BSD. I'm real hpyed about trying freebsd because of all the good things I have heard. Before switching though, I am wondering if installing and searching for programs are as easy as installing them in Mepis (I heard of Ports, how do they compare)? Mepis uses synaptic and apt-get. Also does anyone know if the R programming language work under bsd, I heard some news it might have some problems? http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/htdig/ ... 23538.html (http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/htdig/freebsd-ports/2005-May/023538.html)
I need it for school and it is a very nice statistical programming language. Thanks for your time in answering these questions =)
07-06-2005, 05:18 AM
nm.. I did my own searching and it seems like the transition is real easy. I have actually just installed PC-BSD and everything works fine so far. I like it because it is a lot less bloated than Mepis, and packages are easy to install. I have also found a way to install the latest R programming language instead of sticking w/ an older version. The great thing about PC-BSD is that my internet works out of the box while Mepis and some other distributions, I need to turn on eth0 everytime I login to KDE. Kudos to Kris and the freebsd ppl for making such a great system =)
07-06-2005, 05:20 AM
Mepis is based on Debian, with its wellknown (rightfully so) apt-get system. It installs binary packages.
Ports installs packages from source. Although PCBSD's pbi packages are steadily growing, it's a long way from the 12,000 or so ports. (I don't know how many apt packages there are, but I never ran into something in Debian that I had to compile from source, save for the rare times I wanted to hack the package).
Debian, for many reasons, tends to lag behind with some versions of software. Ports will often have a more current package than what you'd find in Mepis.
FreeBSD, and therefore, PCBSD also has binary packages--if one is available, you can add it with the command
pkg_add -r <packagename> in the same way you'd use apt-get. (I never did use synaptic, so not sure about that one--but if you were used to typing apt-get install <packagename> pkg_add -r works the same way.
SImplyMepis is still better as a desktop O/S--PCBSD is far newer, and more of a fresh project--by that, I mean that Warren had other successful desktop Linux distros to observe when creating Mepis, while Kris is basically starting from scratch. (That is not to denigrate Warren or his project, I often recommend Mepis to people wanting to try Linux for the first time).
PCBSD has some bugs that are being worked out--of course, so does Mepis, but to the casual user they're less apparent. Linux--err sorry, Mr. Stallman, GNU/Linux, is still ahead of the BSD's in some aspects of the desktop, especially in the multimedia department.
If the multimedia isn't that important, and you basically just do some browsing, email and the like, they will seem quite similar.
I'm not familiar with the R programming language. It seems from the link you posted that the older version works. :)
Other minor differences, PCBSD's default shell is csh, but that's easily changed with pkg_add -r bash. (There's a pbi as well, but when I last tried it, it didn't add the line for bash to /etc/shells.)
By multimedia, FreeBSD's firefox with flash will freeze on some sites that LInux's firefox seems to handle without problems. (Drj thinks this may be java related, but neither he nor I care enough about it to research it.) Aside from that, the various well known multimedia programs are all available.
Hope this long-winded answer is of some help. Perhaps you have an extra free partition (primary--the BSD's, unllike Linux, do require a primary partition) where you can try it.
07-06-2005, 07:19 AM
Thanks Scott for taking your time in answering my concerns, your answer is real thorough. I actually just erased the whole linux partition on my second hard drive to install PC-BSD. I am real happy with bsd, and I actually wanted to try it before hand but I had problems with my usb keyboard w/ previous versions of freebsd. PC-BSD has simplified the process and made it easy to do things. I think it can be a replacement for my desktop since I don't play games anyway. About the R-language, it seems that someone has fixed the bug and has updated ports so the newest version works now, its actually a real nice math language like matlab. I am looking forward to seeing PC-BSD 0.8 so that I can upgrade the whole system without reinstalling the system.
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