PC-BSD Day 5: BSD Certification
The fresh install of PC-BSD was a very simple task. There was no need to make backups of important files and under Vmware the creation of new virtual computer is simply a matter of following the step in the wizard. I decided not to use disk 2 to install for instance Firefox or OpenOffice.org, but just to install the basic system that disk 1 provides. That didn’t take long.
Pkg_adding my way to a fatter box
My list of desired software included Firefox. Thunderbird, Abiword, GNUmeric, GNUCash, Pidgin, OpenOffice.org, GIMP and BibleTime. For Firefox and Thunderbird I decided to be lazy and use the PBI packages. Strange enough the first attempt with Firefox failed, requiring me to remove the installation and repeat the process.
The rest of the packages were installed via pkg_add and it is interesting to see the list of dependencies that scroll by. When installing GNUCash I noticed Firefox 184.108.40.206 in the list (while the freshly installed PBI provided FF 220.127.116.11) and the installation of Pidgin resulted in a list of multimedia plugins. The good thing is that none of the installations failed, though I did get warnings that for some dependencies more recent versions were available than required. Not that it mattered because everything worked.
The pkg_add system does give quite a lot of feedback. For various programs it included instructions for additional steps. Those instructions might be a bit difficult for the casual desktop user, but they are clear enough for anyone above that level. Impressive.
There was one package I choose to reinstall via PBI: OpenOffice.org. The pkg_add -r instruction resulted in version 1.1.x to be installed. Maybe (I have to check) there is a way to install 2.x versions as well,but the PBI was a quick enough solution.
I can only see one drawback to use pkg_add to build up the system: time. My list of packages is around 400 Mb large, though the complete install is larger due to the dependencies. I would have to run a side by side comparison with -for instance- Kubuntu, but the impression is that it took quite a long time to get to the point where I wanted to be, Other than that it is an easy way to install software with a minimum of hassles.
Forking the experiment
Once the basic box was setup I created a complete copy of the virtual computer. On one box I will play nice and stick to the pkg_add system to build it up as the needs arise. The other box will be used to play with the ports system. A third copy is meant to play with the PACKAGEsite environment.
Apart from this I started to read the FreeBSD handbook. I can recommend it to anyone, even if you decide to stick to Linux. There is a lot to learn and gain from it. At this point I also would like to focus the attention on the BSD Certification Group. It is a non-profit organization that started a few years ago, at which time I had the pleasure and privilege to do a few minor things the new group. The BSD Certification Group aims at providing a global certification standard for system administration on BSD based operating systems. The people behind it are very experienced and dedicated when it comes to BSD.
It’s a work in progress, but the BSDCG released a first courseware DVD . What does it provide?
FreeBSD 6.2, including ports collection
NetBSD 3.1, including pkgsrc
OpenBSD 4.1, including packages
DragonFly BSD 1.8.1
BSDA Exam Objectives (pdf)
BSDA Command Reference (pdf)
Psychometrics Explained (pdf)
BSDA Task Analysis Survey Report (pdf)
BSD Usage Survey Report (pdf)
BSDA Test Delivery Survey Report (pdf)
FreeBSD Handbook (pdf)
FreeBSD FAQs (pdf)
The Complete FreeBSD (pdf)
NetBSD Guide (pdf)
DragonFly BSD Guide (pdf)
pkgsrc Guide (pdf)
First draft of the wiki version of the BSDA Study Guide
The price is reasonable ($ 40,– plus shipping) and I highly recommend it.