Subject: Re: MacLinux vs. MacBSD
To: Prime <>
From: Adrian Forte <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 01/18/1995 02:17:18
On Tue, 17 Jan 1995, Prime wrote:

> I want to get some sort of Unix running on my 25MHZ 040 Centris 650.
> There seem to be be two options, both of which are to be released "soon."
> 1) MacLinux
> 2) MacBSD

>From what I've heard, you can't run MacBSD on an 040 Mac. Someone correct 
me if I'm worng.

Second, I don't think MacLinux is available at all, even in beta.

Drawing from my Linux experience on the 486 side and my MacBSD experience 
on the Mac side, here's a few pros and cons...

NOTE: I am a novice UNIX user. I will definatly NOT cover all of the 
technical areas very well. I come at the from the end-user side of things....


Linux was fairly easy to set up, with plenty of well-written FAQs.

MacBSD was a nightmare. Not to offend anyone, but the documentation was 
inconsistant in a few places, and not geared to a novice user.

Ethernet Support:

Linux: Yes.

MacBSD: Maybe, still in early beta.

SL/IP Support:

Linux: Early beta.

MacBSD: Yes

Works from the console:

Linux: Yes.

Mac BSD: Maybe. I couldn't get the console to work for more than 20 
minutes before crashing. So I was told to use the "dt" program to 
correctly set up my terminal. The binary wouldn't run and the makefile 
wouldn't make, so I couldn't compile it myself. The next solution was to 
go out and attach a dumb terminal to my Mac's serial port. This is not an 
option. Like I really want *another* piece of equipemnt on my desk. No 
offense, but a 1.0 release that involves this much trouble just to get 
the console to work should really be a 0.9 release. The whole console 
issue helped make this a very irritating install for me.


Linux: Working X-windows

MacBSD: Working??? Beta monochrome X-Windows. I never actually attempted 
this since I could never get my console to work.


Linux: Linux is very cool, but it isn't a perfect clone of UNIX.

MacBSD: MacBSD is BSD is BSD is BSD. From what I understand, working 
MacBSD is a nearly perfect clone of the Berkley UNIX distribution. 

>From what I've seen MacBSD has greater overall system support, but Linux 
has greater overal support for the Intel CPU. This may or may not be the 
case with a Mac version of Linux. (i.e. support for Mac-specific issues)

Some buddies and I installed Linux on a 486 and had it up and running 
for quite a while. It was very cool and we had few overall problems.

Now, however, the head of our little project has jumped over to the BSD camp.

Overall, I don't know which is truly better for *you*. And obviously, my 
Linux experience was on a MAC, not a PC.

I'll say this. If MacBSD will work for your machine, be sure you're fully 
prepared. I found the install to be a frustrating task. And after it was 
isntalled, I couldn't add a serial terminal, so I ended up dumping the 
whole idea.

On the other hand. I'm still on the list, which means I have hope for the 
future. Right now, however, I'm waiting for an fully 040 and console 
compatiable release before I try again.

These are just my opinions, based purely on limited experience, and I'm 
in no way trying to present them as cannon.

There's a few other things that mad MacBSD less than perfect for me. No 
NFS mounting for install, no working, solid ethernet support, and a few 

I loved Linux, but my friend now supports BSD for technical reasons I'd 
rather not embarres myself by discussing.

My advice would be that unless you're ready to dive into this will full 
gusto; wait.

I have nothing I can contribue technically. When I want to insuall Linux 
of BSD on either my Mac or my PC, I want a system that's ready to go, 
more or less. I'm not good enough, not motivated enough, to deal with 
MacBSD on my machine at this point in time. Maybe you are. If so, go for it.

Lots of people have Mac BSD installed an running nicely. I never made it 
that far. I'm sure most of the people on this list have. Which makes me 
sort of a "devil's advocate".

Hopefully this post will generate a lot of positive response on the BSD 
side, which will allow you to weigh your options objectively.

Again. These are my opinions and experiences, from a user who does not 
have a really full grasp of UNIX yet. I definatly bow to my greaters in 
this area, but if you're like me, do some careful consideration.

Hope this helps a bit.