I've been using several Linux distro's for some years now, but I've become more
interested in the BSD's the last few years. I have finally bought a new PC, and
I intend to install a BSD on it (I'm leaning heavily towards FreeBSD, although
I wouldn't preclude NetBSD yet). The overall philosophy, unity and maturity
really look interesting to me.
I still have a few questions though, and I hope you might be willing to answer
some of them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
The PC is a new Dell Studio XPS Desktop model, with an Intel i7 processor and
6GB of RAM. It sports an ATI Radeon 4850 graphics card.
It comes with Vista preinstalled, but I'll reinstall that on a small slice. I
want Vista just for games, which is also why I have ordered the Radeon. I don't
really care about my graphics for serious work (in fact, I quite prefer wmii).
The screen is a 23inch 1920x1080 S2309 (by Dell too, I believe).
Would that be compatible in its native resolution, you think? I sure hope so,
because now I still have to switch windows far too often, and I'm really longing
for a nice, wide resolution. 8)
I actually do want the 64bit OS-version, since my specs can handle it,
and also because I have a bit of a weakness for new stuff, and because
I intend to update and install userland from ports. And I would like to use the
64bit potential for calculation speed (I'm a student of Engineering).
I know of some of the drawbacks to 64bit, and how that conflicts with my
statement supra about maturity, but I'll take the challenge.
Since Dell preconfigures the system, I suppose all components will pretty much
be compatible with one another on the actual hardware level.
I can't find any real information about the motherboard though.
Wireless is not necessary: I use Ethernet. USB-support is only necessary for big
external hard drives (which all work perfectly well with Linux) and, of course,
for keyboard and mouse. I suppose it all depends on the specific devices, but as
a rule of thumb, would you say the BSD's can handle those things?
I need to connect to my university over VPN with a Citrix Client. It works (but
just barely) in Linux. Do the BSD's have options for this situation? Are they
stable (i.e. stable enough for overnight calculations)?
Are there any specific points I need to bear in mind? (Flash, audio and video
codecs, Maple and Matlab compatibility [although I'd be perfectly happy to use
Octave and Sage instead], VPN connection, Citrix Client,...)
Phew... Quite a post. Anyway, I'd be really happy if some of these points
could be clarified. Feel free to nudge me either way in the FreeBSD -- NetBSD
choice, by the way. I'm still holding out on torrenting the iso's.
PS: I just found out about Pedro Giffuni's EuroBSDCon 2008 talk about
working with Engineering applications in FreeBSD. I haven't yet had the time to
listen it through, but I will do so soon.
My best regards,