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Re: Learning the UNIX Operating System - NetBSD Edition

Thanks for all your recommendations!

Let's see them in detail:

1. Live CDs (I refer to LiveUSBs and DVDs as live CDs as well, later on)

@mike (without capitalization) recommended Frenzy  which might be totally OK for my purposes, it is just happened to be discontinued for many years and I prefer - if possible - current themes, for just the heck of it, why not? In the Linux world it's quite easy to have live CDs, almost everything Linux comes as a live CD these days. Strangely, it's almost the opposite with BSD Unix. I dug the net and the mailing list archives and was not able to find any current, widely used, accepted, and respected live variant of any of the 3 major BSDs. A live system might come as a handy tool.

@Joachim recommended the Jibbed live CD, which actually looks good, except in a few year old, but still most recent topic on it in this very list it was not really recommended, actually for a very similar, learning situation. Even the NetBSD site does not link to it, does not mention it as at least being tolerated. I could use it without problem, nonetheless; just sayin'

So, why no (official) love for live CDs from the BSDs?

In searching for Unix-like live CDs (not necessarily a BSD, let's try different flavors as I'm learning Unix, why not?), I came across OpenIndiana, which comes as a live CD by default, but I was unable to make a bootable media from Windows (never had such problems with any Linux live CD).

I also found Minix, which might be interesting later on, as an OS designed for learning, serious learning, but I'm not there yet. It also dropped the live CD option from the latest version for security purposes, though I also tried to make bootable media from the earlier version, without success.

@Clark: Thank you for the best recommendation, the SDF Public Access UNIX System - I didn't know about it! As I am lazy, and given the situation with the live CDs described above, I probably will just use the SDF for the time being.

Extra thanks for the Unix Haters handbook download link and recommendation; this looks like a fun read for winter evenings.

@Marina: all the guys 'got' my question, with respect, you may totally misread my original question, by both of your answers.

In your 1st mail you recommended me to
a) install BSD
b) as a virtual system.

I may assume, you may made some assumptions but did not put them in writing, hence I'm not getting your point.

a) We (the list, altogether) concluded before (see my 1st mail in the thread) that at this point I may not want to install anything, just run a Unix OS (as the NetBSD manual starts with, it's not for newbies to start from scratch)

b) Virtual system? It depends:
- If you have one, very powerful machine, then yes, you may consider installing something virtual on it
- On the other hand, if you have, say, three, medium or less powerful machines spare, why install any OS as a virtual machine, why not just install any OS natively on one of your boxes?

I'd go for the second version as noted author of two BSD books (except for NetBSD), Michael Lucas also suggests a native install as well - and most importantly, I agree with him! He says virtualization might cause problems not present with software run natively, why even start with that, if you don't have to?

Your 2st answer: you recommending me reading OS code in C - again, I think you made some assumptions of my level of C knowledge (it's absolutely zero at this point; but it's not required to just run the OS, as per my original question, right?). Jumping from zero knowledge to reading OS source code might not be the most effective 'introduction to C 101 course,' I guess.

Thanks for your contribution, though.

Merry Christmas to all!

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