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Date:      Tue, 3 May 2011 09:46:04 +0200
From:      Polytropon <>
To:        Kevin Kinsey <>
Cc:        Louis Marrero <>,
Subject:   Re: For My Edification
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <000001cc091a$e041f380$a0c5da80$@com> <> <>

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On Mon, 02 May 2011 20:07:54 -0500, Kevin Kinsey <> wrote:
> > On Mon, 2 May 2011 18:47:11 -0400, "Louis Marrero"<>  wrote:
> >> Being familiar only with general knowledge on the Windows XP that I use
> >> daily, I've gone on the web to find out more information on some of the
> >> terms used by this programmer, such as "BSD",
> > Berkeley Software Distribution, from which FreeBSD is
> > derived. There are other BSDs.
> >
> >
> >
> >> "shell terminal",
> > A dialog terminal that runs an interactive shell, a
> > command-line processor that you use to issue commands
> > to the system. The term's origin is the "terminal",
> > a stand-alone device (often called "dumb terminal")
> > that served the same purpose - communicate with the
> > computer - without being "a real computer".
> >
> Windows systems also have a command interpreter,

I didn't claim they haven't. :-)

> though (arguably) it's hardly used and considered
> arcane by most users.  On all the NT and later systems
> this is "cmd.exe".

There also is an additional tool called something like
"Power shell" (not fully sure, I'm not a "Windows" person)
that is more like a UNIX shell than CMD.EXE, which has
its origins in the COMMAND.COM of DOS - not the _real_ DOS
of course. :-)

Using a command line interpreter in "Windows" violates
the "concept" of that specific environment, so its
hardly known that it even does exist.

Also "detaching" control from a "Windows" system isn't
something typical (e. g. starting jobs on a computer
that you're currently not sitting infront of), but I
think it's possible to do so, via some kind of remote
access, RDP-based. At least it's comparable.

> >> My very basic question is this: Is it even
> >> possible to install a second OS, like FreeBSD on an existing Windows-based
> >> computer?
> > That's easily possible. You need to do a proper partitioning
> > of the hard disk and then install FreeBSD into a free partition.
> >
> > You can also make use of so-called "Live systems", a thing
> > not common to "Windows": This is an installed and configured
> > operating system that you boot from a CD, DVD or USB stick.
> > You do NOT have to install it.
> >
> >
> And this is the only *real* interesting input.  Download
> Sun's Virtual machine software, "VirtualBox" (I believe
> they just released version 4.0.6) and you can set up a
> FreeBSD machine *inside* your windows machine with
> no need to add any additional hardware or do any
> repartitioning of the hard disk.

Good advice, I didn't think of this primarily, simply
because I'm neither a "multi-booter" nor a user of
software that runs on any "Windows". Using a virtualized
environment gives you the chance NOT to deal with
hardware issues in the first place, while keeping your
disk content fully intact. System power and disk space
shouldn't be any problem today.

This reminds me to the following link I have in my
"bookmarks box": How about trying VirtualBSD?

Although the homepage states it's primarily intended
for VMWare, it should also work with VirtualBox (see
navigation tab on the right).

> >> I'd be grateful for any information.
> > I may point you to the EXCELLENT documentation online: The
> > FreeBSD Handbook and the FAQ. Those are QUALITY material
> > not comparable to anything you find in "Windows" land. If
> > you're dealing with IT matter, you'll have no problem to
> > determine _what_ to read. Those resources can be easily
> > accessed through the FreeBSD web page, but can also used
> > locally (maybe on systems without Internet or web access).
> +1 for the FreeBSD Handbook.  Ten years ago, I downloaded
> it, and now scores of people in my area think I'm the guru to
> match all 'Nix gurus.  Of course, they're all Windows users ;-)

I would like to add the excellent manpages of the system.
Unlike many Linusi, those manpages are kept current by the
FreeBSD operating system developers and their documentation
assistants. So whenever you're not fully sure about something,
use "man <something". This applies to commands, configuration
files, kernel interfaces, library calls and maintenance
procedures. *Everything* is well documented. And you don't
even need Internet access to get that information, as the
manpage doesn't direct you to some arbitrary Wiki on the
web. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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