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Date:      Tue, 14 Jul 2020 22:33:29 -0700
From:      David Christensen <dpchrist@holgerdanske.com>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: Trying to install FreeBSD 12.1 on Librem laptop
Message-ID:  <00be91c7-5bb8-5a7f-22b5-5fad5237c135@holgerdanske.com>
In-Reply-To: <6155f5a2-4f0a-1828-481a-e1b6090816a0@cisek.email>
References:  <b0977dd7-1b12-3286-0069-7fa03461e5c3@cisek.email> <90d59a0b-4399-ccd7-5c6e-af6463ba43ad@holgerdanske.com> <11544df2-e8e4-d02c-ce64-9ffbf7ff792e@cisek.email> <c47b2951-5a42-d180-14f3-a99a95f35fb9@holgerdanske.com> <6155f5a2-4f0a-1828-481a-e1b6090816a0@cisek.email>

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On 2020-07-14 16:09, Patryk Cisek wrote:
> 
> 
> On 2020-07-14 3:12 p.m., David Christensen wrote:
> 
>> If your motherboard firmware is current, there are no configurable CMOS
>> settings, and the 12.1-RELEASE installer does not work, I suggest that
>> you get a (used) server with ECC memory and several drive adapters/
>> bays/ racks, install FreeBSD, install services that you need and use,
>> and run it 24x7.  This will give you the best "real world" FreeBSD
>> experience.  After that, you will be in a much better position to do
>> development on or for FreeBSD.
> 
> Thanks for suggestion David, but I'm not interested in running FreeBSD
> in a server-like scenario. Saying that full blown server is the best
> "real world" experience is a subjective -- and therefore false for many
> people (including myself) -- opinion. In the long run, I intend to focus
> on end-user experience running FreeBSD as a daily driver on their
> laptops/workstations. And help resolving similar problems, that the one,
> I'm having right now. This is, what interests me, thus for me this is
> the most important use-case.


Then your choices would seem to be:

1.  Debug the FreeBSD installer when it runs on your laptop.  I use the 
"memstick" version, burned to a USB flash drive.  Run the installer in 
text mode and switch back and forth between the installer and another 
virtual console (Alt+F1 and Alt+F2).  The memstick filesystem(s) will be 
mounted read-only.  I can and have crawled the installer shell script 
code.  I have also remounted the memstick filesystem(s) read-write, and 
hacked /usr/libexec/bsdinstall/zfsboot so that the system disk is 
partitioned to my liking.  (I can and do mount the memstick 
filesystem(s) read-write in a working FreeBSD machine, when I want my 
development tools.)

2.  Find a compatible computer, install FreeBSD, and install packages 
and/or ports as required to meet your definition of "daily driver".


Understand that there is a common set of knowledge and skills in running 
a FreeBSD server and running a FreeBSD graphical workstation/ desktop/ 
daily driver.  I am not suggesting that you set up a "full blown 
server", which I would define as a server on the public Internet.  My 
idea was that you set up a small server for your LAN, using services 
that you are already familiar with (I chose Samba and CVS).  This will 
allow you to learn the common set and cover well-trodden ground.


All of my experiences using FreeBSD as a daily driver have been a 
struggle, especially on the one laptop I tried (Dell Inspiron E1505).  I 
did run FreeBSD-11.1-RELEASE and Xfce as a daily driver for several 
months, but it was clunky, missing features, and brittle.  I went back 
to Debian stable and Xfce for my daily driver.


David





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