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    the part that people have traditionally found the most scary in OpenBSD installing: Disk setup.

    It’s not scary. It’s just… really old school. And that’s OpenBSD’s weak point. After you get used to ZFS, OpenBSD’s filesystem story feels like waking up in 2000 :(

    Meanwhile, FreeBSD’s laptop (ThinkPad in particular) support has leveled up quite a bit. My favorite recent commit is called “psm: add support for evdev protocol” and that means the PS/2 mouse driver now works like on Linux, in that it actually separates the TrackPoint™ into a separate /dev/input device!! And the trackpad’s two finger scrolling is pixel-precise with libinput. (note: Xorg for now doesn’t use libinput for auto-detected devices so I had to list them in xorg.conf.)

    drm-next is still unofficial… but the important thing is that it exists :) Intel GPU support there is excellent. The modesetting Xorg DDX with glamor acceleration works, just like on Linux!

    And hey, with drm-next and the recent evdev stuff… Wayland on EGL is totally a thing on FreeBSD. The current state of Wayland ports is kind of a mess (FreeBSDDesktop ports are really out of date from upstream), but I had working GTK+3 apps (with the native Wayland backend), weston-terminal and XWayland in sway :D

    What OpenBSD has over FreeBSD though is the Realtek SD card reader driver. (Why in the hell did Realtek not just use the mass storage standard??) And suspend/resume I guess – my laptop still does not resume

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      What OpenBSD has over FreeBSD though is the Realtek SD card reader driver.

      You are welcome :)

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      I really wished more OSs were installed like OpenBSD or DragonFly.

      Having installed so many OSs those two always seemed like the most straight forward to me, despite being very different.

      I really dislike how many installers either give you no options and install a lot of stuff, or give you options where you have to guess what they really are about (OpenSuse, Fedora, etc.) or installers that somtimes have horrible bugs and confuse people on the first time (Debian).

      Oh NetBSD also has a pretty nice installer.

      If they don’t live up to that expectation I’d prefer installing them like Gentoo, Arch Linux or Exherbo so I know what I am up to.

      Of course there is many installers in between that are okay. For example Slackware and similar (some of the source based ones) are okay too.

      Disclaimer: I am using FreeBSD right now (first contact in 2005) and I think its installer isn’t really great. It’s somewhere between Debian and Slackware. I really wished it would finally use the DragonFly installer.

      Anyway, in real life those systems get installed once and when it’s servers automatically. So I also don’t think it’s worth the effort most of the time.

      Another thing I want to mention is that actually having complex or no install wizard, but good documentation is better than people often think. Exherbo, Gentoo (especially!) and Arch Linux are great at providing rather straight forward guides, while still giving a great amount of flexibility.

      It’s really counter-intuitive, but those “ugly” installers tend to be way nicer to users that don’t know systems well. I think it tricks more technical people sometimes, as it might seem hacky simply because one is used to other things. But who remembers that for the longest time the Windows installer was split into a text menu and a graphical part and people got completely lost on the first one.

      Shiny tools sadly often are the cover for an ugly insides. I am not sure whether things changed to be like that, or whether it always was like that. I can’t count how many times some partitioning tools failed on me.

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        Having just set up a Thinkpad T420s with OpenBSD recently, I’ve been really impressed and simultaneously disappointed with the move. All of my disappointments have been related to the Thinkpad hardware. All of my positive impressions have been with OpenBSD. It feels slower than Linux on the same box (which may be down to Nvidia support) but it’s perfectly fine and I feel in control of what’s happening (which I can’t say is the case on most Linuxes, thanks Systemd!).

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          Nvidia support

          The proprietary nvidia driver is available on FreeBSD ;)

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            “sort of”, they mask out quite a few features in the driver that are enabled elsewhere (last I checked, EGLStreams+modeset).

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              yeah, I think they were working on modesetting but it wasn’t there. When I had my nvidia based iMac, the console was all black after running Xorg.

              But 3d acceleration was 100% working!

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                  It’s there on Linux and if you patch bits in the driver you can kind of get it to work but not in a stable way - surprising since it should be one of the easy giveaways because of their HAL approach. It’s the same on Android (shield, …).

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            Does anyone have any laptops I can easily buy in the US to recommend?

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                It sounds like installing OpenBSD in 1996. :)

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                  I could’ve sworn there’s been quite a bit of work gone into improving and streamlining the installer in the past ten years.

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                    You don’t need to worry about MBR and CHS vs LBA as much for sure. And there’s a slightly different set of questions, but the principle is very much the same. It would be hard for me to identify what release of OpenBSD was being installed merely from a list of questions asked without consulting a reference sheet. Maybe it asks about ntpd or maybe not, but you’ve really got to be paying attention to notice.

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                  This is something I often get when I show others how to install OpenBSD. But then they are stunned by how fast the process is and that the defaults are sane and most of the time I just hit enter. Also I find it sexy that I can drop into a shell for setting up complicated stuff the installer doesn’t handle and pickup the installation more or less where I left it.

                  I think the installer doesn’t get enough credit just because it’s not using X11 or curses.