NomadBSD 14.0

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  • This topic has 11 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated Apr 2-10:26 pm by Brian Masinick.
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  • #128601
    Moderator
    Brian Masinick

      NomadBSD resembles antiX in some respects.
      “NomadBSD is a persistent live system for USB flash drives, based on FreeBSD®. Together with automatic hardware detection and setup, it is configured to be used as a desktop system that works out of the box, but can also be used for data recovery, for educational purposes, or to test FreeBSD®’s hardware compatibility.”

      Requirements
      The images for 64-bit and 32-bit computers fit on a >=5GB USB flash drive. A system with a 1.2GHz CPU and 1G of RAM (2G for the ZFS version) should be able to run NomadBSD decently. Booting is possible via BIOS and UEFI.

      Current Version
      140R-20231121

      For those who sometimes try other types of systems, this is an interesting one.
      https://nomadbsd.org/

      --
      Brian Masinick

      #128607
      Member
      olsztyn

        Thanks for bringing this system up for consideration…
        As I remember I tried it about two months ago. Some things about it the way I remember:
        – Very limited software
        – The worst possible browser choice (Firefox). No Chromium or Chrome in sight.
        – Hardware detection and drivers appeared too limited to work on some of my laptops

        As much as I like BSD architecture, it seems too restricted for day-to-day user unless lots of work to make it useful across the board.
        Please correct me if I am wrong in such determination… I am open to correct my opinion…

        Edit:
        To be completely clear, I do like BSD architecture in a way better than Linux architecture, but unfortunately not much seems to be done on the open software side to make it really useful for end user. I think it is so because not many developers devote much effort to BSD.
        On the commercial side though, the best designed OS (MacOS) is based on BSD. All Apple hardware runs MacOS. My kids Love MacBooks and MacOS for being so well designed and useful, dumping Windows laptops…

        • This reply was modified 3 months ago by olsztyn.

        Live antiX Boot Options (Previously posted by Xecure):
        http://antixlinuxfan.miraheze.org/wiki/Table_of_antiX_Boot_Parameters

        #128673
        Moderator
        Brian Masinick

          I got NomadBSD to work once, but other times I have had problems. Apparently those who work on it are limited so I wouldn’t put much time into it. Nevertheless being a software enthusiast, occasionally I try other things.

          I don’t stay long because antiX is really all I need. It perfectly suits me.

          --
          Brian Masinick

          #128743
          Member
          olsztyn

            Yes, indeed.
            I like to test other distros but nothing beats antiX so far. I like utmost efficiency from all sides. I am typing this from Apple MacBook running antiX now. Apple MacOS is great but I was able to make antiX work well on MacBook as well. Key in making this work properly was the right kernel and right WM with correct scaling of desktop components because the screen is retina 2880×1800. The WM that scaled correctly was Enlightenment.

            • This reply was modified 3 months ago by olsztyn.

            Live antiX Boot Options (Previously posted by Xecure):
            http://antixlinuxfan.miraheze.org/wiki/Table_of_antiX_Boot_Parameters

            #138267
            Member
            PDP-8

              As a flashdrive fan, I run NomadBSD too. The latest is 140R-20240126. Be sure to apply the errata (a simple fix for hardlinks) before doing any updating. I use the UFS filesystem, not the ZFS version, but if you know you need zfs, it’s there.

              Sure enough, some hardware doesn’t work, like 802.11ac wireless, although FreeBSD say they’ve been working on it, some video cards etc. And it doesn’t have the hardware support the Linux does. Part of that may be due to politics / restrictions between BSD and GPL licensing issues, and simply because there aren’t enough people writing the code, especially for the desktop use-case, which isn’t their forte really, but it can be done. Just need to jump in and help out! The *BSD user has a slightly different mindset, which means hitting the books, erm online manual and fixing / learning how to sysadmin their own box. It’s fun for some.

              But hats off to the devs who work on NomadBSD bringing a freebsd desktop to the usb-stick crowd! Between AntiX and NomadBSD, it’s a bit apples-and-oranges comparison though.

              #138269
              Forum Admin
              rokytnji

                Me. GhostBSD on a conventional Dell server like a Dell 755 would throw me into aw snap screen after dist-upgrade.

                Figured I was all thumbs with the BSD’s after that. Had wifi and all hardware working before upgrading though.

                Think I was running gnome desktop then also.

                Sometimes I drive a crooked road to get my mind straight.
                I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute off it.
                Motorcycle racing is rocket science.

                Linux Registered User # 475019
                How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems

                #138272
                Member
                PDP-8

                  Hi roky! Yeah, it’s always fun to keep skills sharp by looking / running other things once in awhile. Been away for a few, so nice to catch up on the forum messages. And I’m blown away at how nice AntiX is these days!

                  A few tips for those who try NomadBSD:

                  1) Apply the errata listed on the site first. Just a few quick lines of text fixes the hardlinks.
                  2) The “OctoPkg” package manager only looks at what you already have in the system, AND is a handy way to get the updated pkg list and update. BUT, one doesn’t actually install anything new from that.

                  3) So to do that, we find that Firefox (regular and esr version) and Chromium can be added easily. That Octopkg can confuse some. We use pkg techniques.

                  nomad@NomadBSD ~> pkg search firefox
                  firefox-124.0.1,2              Web browser based on the browser portion of Mozilla
                  firefox-esr-115.9.1,1          Web browser based on the browser portion of Mozilla
                  p5-Firefox-Marionette-1.40     Automate the Firefox browser with the Marionette protocol
                  nomad@NomadBSD ~> pkg search chromium
                  chromium-122.0.6261.111        Google web browser based on WebKit
                  chromium-bsu-0.9.16.1_2        Arcade-style, top-scrolling space shooter
                  ungoogled-chromium-122.0.6261.111 Google web browser based on WebKit sans integration with Google

                  So to install say regular firefox

                  
                  sudo pkg install firefox

                  This is only to get off the ground, and not a full treatise on pkg management. Other hints are if your system barfs on the boot with the automated initgfx routine, reboot and hit the spacebar at the nomad-beastie, (option 7) to disable automated graphics detection. Things like that. Oh, and maybe be patient. Some routines may appear slow. Just a far different world than AntiX.

                  • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by PDP-8. Reason: Replace a few typo's for clarity
                  #138373
                  Member
                  fatmac

                    I’ve had it installed in one of my HP T520 thin clients since it came out, it is quite a useful version of FreeBSD, but has all the problems of FreeBSD too…. 😀

                    I find FreeBSD to be the worst for desktop users, OpenBSD & NetBSD are far better alternatives, (both of which I occasionally use). 😉

                    Linux (& BSD) since 1999
                    Ultra Small Form Factor & thin client computers

                    #138429
                    Moderator
                    Brian Masinick

                      I’ve had it installed in one of my HP T520 thin clients since it came out, it is quite a useful version of FreeBSD, but has all the problems of FreeBSD too…. 😀

                      I find FreeBSD to be the worst for desktop users, OpenBSD & NetBSD are far better alternatives, (both of which I occasionally use). 😉

                      I haven’t used ANY of them recently, and the primary reason is that while these BSD variations are very solid, they do not cater to desktop and laptop use even if they do work with them; the BSD distributions are very suitable for server configurations. They are AT LEAST as good, if not superior to Linux for custom server configurations but to me they are lacking when it comes to effective desktop use. I won’t go as far as to suggest that they cannot be used on a desktop because they can; they just don’t have as many desktop apps to choose from as the most common Linux distributions, and are definitely not optimized for lean window manager and efficient GUI tools as antiX is; conversely, though you can build antiX any way you want, it’s not preconfigured for optimal server configurations; that’s where you may be better off taking a look at a BSD system or a Linux server distribution.

                      --
                      Brian Masinick

                      #138430
                      Moderator
                      Brian Masinick

                        It’s POSSIBLE that NomadBSD is the exception to this, but the last time I used it I think I was missing some of the patches and recommended configurations that were noted earlier in the topic so it may have resulted in a sub-optimal configuration; I did get a Flash Drive going with an earlier version but that is as far as I took it at the time.

                        --
                        Brian Masinick

                        #138450
                        Member
                        PDP-8

                          Yeah, hats off to the NomadBSD devs for trying! Some things are simply out of their control, like no/limited 80211ac support although they say they’ve been at it for years. Even the 2.4g wireless cards are not always supported well. Some of the 80211ac cards which work perfectly with Linux, only show up as the 80211n capabilities.

                          I may be wrong, but they may be stuck in a corner between GPL licensing issues, and vendors that don’t want to play nice.

                          Sometimes with audio cards, the gpio pins are backwards and one has to do some sysctl sleuthing and try to fix it that way by swapping inputs/outputs, mic/headphone things around. Probably same issue as above. But that’s not the fault of the NomadBSD devs. So sad.

                          However, in one case where I got my cards to work in only 80211n, to get to my router which is locked to 802.11ac, I nabbed a small mini-pc doing nothing with windows, and turned on the mobile-hotspot to connect in the home. But don’t tell them that. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! 🙂

                          #138454
                          Moderator
                          Brian Masinick

                            “But that’s not the fault of the NomadBSD devs. So sad.”

                            Yeah, if you think we have a limited team, from what I can tell, NomadBSD has been exclusively (or close to it) during much of the work. OK,their site does mention FIVE people; not sure if that is current or not.

                            --
                            Brian Masinick

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