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Date:      Fri, 15 May 2015 11:29:11 +1000
From:      andrew clarke <mail@ozzmosis.com>
To:        Jeffry Killen <jekillen@prodigy.net>
Cc:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: Returning to FreeBSD
Message-ID:  <20150515012911.GA78765@ozzmosis.com>
In-Reply-To: <D29F22FA-E6CE-46B7-8A4B-B2BECA6700C8@prodigy.net>
References:  <D29F22FA-E6CE-46B7-8A4B-B2BECA6700C8@prodigy.net>

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On Thu 2015-05-14 12:59:05 UTC-0700, Jeffry Killen (jekillen@prodigy.net) wrote:

> I have had experience installing, configuring, and adding various 
> server software packages to FreeBSD. But the last version I have
> experience with is 6.2. I still have various hardware configurations
> that are from that era.
> 
> The current questions:
> How useful is the latest edition of Absolute FreeBSD? I see 3rd 
> edition available, but on the authors web site, version 7.0 is
> mentioned, and I see that the current version is up to 10.
> 
> I can look at hardware compatibility with respect to current version 
> but in general, will hardware that vintage be compatible? Later, I can
> get newer components.

You should be fine there. FreeBSD (and Linux to a large extent) tends
to support hardware long past its expected working life.

Surprisingly, assuming the documentation is accurate, FreeBSD 10.1
will still run on vintage 80486 machines:

https://www.freebsd.org/releases/10.1R/hardware.html

Although, I suspect the GENERIC kernel requires more memory to boot
than any 486 motherboard could ever support. I'd estimate you'd need
at least 32 MB just to boot the kernel and another 32 MB to run the
installer. That's assuming you had a way to boot from the install CD
on a 486 class machine.

OTOH I suppose there are 80486 virtual machines (QEMU?) that could
provide a reasonable memory footprint for modern FreeBSD to run as a
guest machine.

All fairly academic though, given that Pentium-class PCs have been the
standard since about 1995!

Probably the biggest difference you'll encounter since FreeBSD 6.2 is
the move from pkg_add etc to pkgng.

http://www.bsdnow.tv/tutorials/pkgng

Also, Poudriere may be worth a look if you intend on building your
own ports, although the system of running "make" etc from within
/usr/ports/ still works fine.

Also, CVS is no longer used, replaced by SVN.

Also, you can use freebsd-update to do in-place binary upgrades to
newer versions of FreeBSD. I'm not sure upgrading from FreeBSD 6.3 is
possible (or recommended) with freebsd-update, but it works nicely with
newer versions (FreeBSD 8.x onwards).

Regards
Andrew



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