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Date:      Sun, 31 Mar 2019 16:58:22 -0500
From:      Valeri Galtsev <>
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD desktop "best-fit" Dell platform suggestions?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <>

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On 3/31/19 4:33 PM, David Christensen wrote:
> 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:

Unless things changed recently, with Dell you never know what you will 
receive inside your box. Except for what specifically is said in 
configuration, witth these there will be no surprise (e.g. if in 
configuration you chose specific Intel WiFi card, you will get that; if 
to the contrary you chose 802.11n WiFi card, you can get anything with 
matching specification, it can be ugly Broadcom BCM43xx, brilliant 
Atheros, ...). In the past my friend would put it this way: Dell changes 
chipsets almost on the daily basis. So, someone's Optiplex 990 may have 
come with system board ('motherboard" is common jargon for over 30 
years) that supports 32GB of RAM, but yours may be not. It not only is 
up to memory controller which is inside the CPU case, but may depend on 
system board as well.

Just my $0.02


> 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.
> David
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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