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Date:      Sun, 31 Mar 2019 14:33:30 -0700
From:      David Christensen <>
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD desktop "best-fit" Dell platform suggestions?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <>

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On 3/30/19 10:37 PM, Frank Fenderbender wrote:
> I have 17 old-and-new systems running for a development LAN, wherein I will be developing cross-platform/platform-independent GNU-licensed software.
> With the more-open installations I see the logic of picking a system AFTER picking an OS is safer in terms of driver support and general compatibility.
> I've had problems with 32-bit TrueOS (aka GhostBSD) on an old Dell Dimension 4550; likewise with Debian GNU/Linux 5.0.3 (lenny) on an old HP Pavilion 6465 (p6400).
> My Ubuntu 16.04 desktop is running on a Dell Precision 5820 Tower, and my Ubuntu 16.04 server is running on a Dell PowerEdge T300 server.
> In terms of platforming FreeBSD, I've decided to stay away from systems of old, which have compatibility-availability-support issues galore.
> However, I do not want to trade in the problems of older systems which have drivers covered for newer systems which may not as yet.
> So, I am pursuing the "reverse engineering " methodology by fitting a system to an OS rather than shoehorning an OS onto a "hardcoded" system.
> I have my Dell account to work with and am looking for a dual internal HDD (1TB each) workstation with 32GB memory and 1 NIC.
> Since it's known that NVIDIA is directly-connected to CIA shenanigans which smells of a backdoor security breech from the get-go -- and, I see numerous issues on FreeBSD and Ubuntu forums revolving around NVIDIA -- I am opting for AMD graphics. I can be persuaded....
> Nevertheless, I would appreciate a word from the experienced installers (and post-install users) w/r/t their assessment of the "best fit" Dell for a FreeBSD desktop installation (perhaps the post-PC-BSD TrueOS' or the DesktopBSD rendering).
> My goal is a system whereon I can develop and test python3, pyqt5, and sqlite3 based software.
> I'm uncertain whether PyCharm now officially supported/released for FreeBSD, so if anyone has insight on that (or other quality free-to-low cost IDEs), I'd appreciate and value your input. Thanks.
> I have the following $2,107.33 (every system over the cost of maximizing ram and upsizing the internal hdd hurts) configuration in my "shopping cart" but am still leery unless I review some "hmm", "uh-oh", and/or "voila" comments beforehand, so that I may modify my choice(s) before pushing a "buy" button.
> If you've seen systems that quite childish, and the elitist views that feign dictatorial censoring "strength" only show cowardice and a an embracing of ignorance, "fake" awareness, and pseudo-tolerance. So, give me your from-the-hip truthful shots and all, even if at Dell. Sadly, only [cr]Apple offers credit (through barclayCard) but they cann'yt write an OS to save their SJW-converged company at all.. preferring to fire or ban or censor criticism instead. Who needs merit anyway?! QA only hurts bad programmers' feelings so it's bad and/or "privileged" os some other excuse for generalized drooling. ;-)
> Okay, back top my starting point system:
> Precision 3630 Tower - VR Capable ( $1,679.00 )
> <>;
> -------------------------------			-------------------------------------
> Precision Workstation				T3620 MT
> Dell Precision Tower 				3620 XCTO BASE
> Processor						7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-7700 (Quad Core 3.6GHz, 4.2Ghz Turbo, 8MB, w/ HD Graphics 630)
> Operating System				Ubuntu Linux 16.04
> Microsoft Office					No Productivity Software
> Chassis Options					Dell Precision Tower 3620 Up to 90% efficient 365W Chassis, v2
> Video Card						Integrated Graphics included
> Memory							16GB 2X8GB DDR4 2400MHz UDIMM Non-ECC
> Systems Management			No Out-of-Band Systems Management
> Wireless							No Wireless
> Internal Hard Drive Configuration	C2 SATA 3.5, 2 HD
> HDD Controller					Integrated Intel SATA Controller
> Boot Hard Drive					3.5" 1TB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
> 2nd Hard Drive					1TB, 3.5" SATA (7,200 RPM) Hard Drive
> 3rd Hard Drive					No Additional Hard Drive
> 4th Hard Drive					No Additional Hard Drive
> 5th Hard Drive					No Additional Hard Drive
> Optical Drive						16x DVD-ROM drive and 19-in-1 Media Card Reader
> Hard Drive RAID					No RAID
> Keyboard						Dell KB216 Wired Keyboard English Black
> Mouse							Dell MS116 Wired Mouse Black
> Network Card					1Gbit NIC add-in card (PCIe- Intel)
> Thunderbolt Card				No Thunderbolt Add in Card
> Serial Port / PS2 Adapter			No Serial Port/PS2 Adapter
> Power Cords						US Power Cord
> Placemat						Documentation MUI
> Resource DVD					Dell Precision T3620 Resource DVD
> Operating System Recovery Options	OS-Windows Media Not Included
> Energy Star						Energy Star
> Optical Software					PowerDVD Software not included
> Dell Threat Protection and Endpoint Security Suite​	No Dell Data Protection | Endpoint Security Suite Software
> Storage Volume					No Raid Configuration over 2TB
> Canada Ship Options				Non-Canada orders only
> Packaging						Dell Precision Packaging
> Driver							No Wireless LAN Card
> Regulatory Label					Tower 3620 Regulatory Label DAO
> Documentation / Disks			Safety/Environment and Regulatory Guide (English/French Multi-language)
> Non-Microsoft Application Software		Ubuntu Linux
> Cables and Dongles				Video Cable, DisplayPort-to-VGA, One VGAConnection, One Adapter
> UPC Label						No UPC Label
> Hard Drive Software				No Intel Technology enabled
> Processor Branding				LABEL,INTEL,CI7,7,SML,KBL
> Stands and Mounts				No Stand
> Hardware Support Services		5 Years ProSupport Plus with Next Business Day Onsite Service
> IEEE 1394						No Firewire Card
> Speakers and Soundbars			No External Speaker
> I figure it easier to re-install on an Ubuntu ws than a Windows 10 one, esp. when I do not want to pay a fee to Mictrosoft just to erase it.
> Many of us would like to be so well-off to do that... most of us are not.

I have a SOHO LAN with a few x86-64 machines.  Over the years, I 
periodically attempt to build a FreeBSD graphical workstation.  My most 
recent attempt was FreeBSD 11.2 amd64 and Xfce using a SanDisk
Ultra Fit 16 GB USB 3.0 flash drive, Intel DQ67SW desktop motherboard,
Core i7-2600S processor, and 2 @ 4 GB RAM (board supports up to 4 @ 8
GB).  The keyboard, mouse, graphics, network, and SATA storage all
worked, but the USB 3.0 ports had issues (must use USB 2.0 port).  Xfce
was noticeably slower and had fewer features than a Debian 9 amd64 Xfce
install on the same hardware:

The equivalent Dell product would seem to be the Optiplex 990.  The
mini-tower has 2 internal 3.5" drive bays, 1 Gigabit port, and 4 memory
module sockets.  Note that the specifications indicate 16 GB maximum
memory, but STFW I see posts by people who say 32 GB works:

I then tried booting the USB flash drive on two Intel 945G chipset
desktop boards, a Dell Inspiron E1505 (945GM chipset and over-spec Intel
Core 2 T7400 processor), and a mid 2015 MacBook Pro (unknown chipset,
Intel Core i7-4770 processor, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200).  X
windows failed to start on all of them.  I have yet to trouble-shoot,
but the solution could be as simple as installing the correct graphics
driver (?).

The Dell Precision 3630 tower specifications you posted indicate Intel
HD graphics and Ubuntu, so it should be possible to get FreeBSD, X, and
a graphical desktop working on that platform.  I would suggest finding
an example machine, booting live FreeBSD 11.x and/or 12.x USB flash
drives, and testing.

Please let us know what you find.


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