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March 20, 2008

Loading The Laptop With DesktopBSD

Filed under: Operating Systems — Tags: , — Greg Larkin @ 6:21 pm

Hi everyone,

As you may have noticed, I’m a pretty big proponent of FreeBSD. Lately, I’ve been interested in building a laptop that is light, has long battery life, can do basic email checking/web site browsing/remote server admin over SSH/etc. A bonus would be if I could run FreeBSD in a VMware VM and work on my ports if I’m stuck on a long plane ride.

Wait a minute – forget the VM! I’ll just run DesktopBSD directly on the laptop and have everything I need:

  • Email – check (Thunderbird)
  • Web browsing – check (FF, natch)
  • SSH – check
  • Full /usr/ports tree – check!

I’ve got version 1.6 loaded up on my venerable IBM Thinkpad 600x that had been mothballed for a couple of years, and after replacing the CMOS battery (go away nasty POST 161/163 errors!), and replacing the first-gen wireless PCMCIA card with a Linksys WPC54G, things are humming along nicely.

I did have to wrestle with the drivers for the Linksys card, guided largely by a helpful post on TaoSecurity, but eventually I got it working.

I’m currently in building the OpenOffice 2.x port so I can really get things done remotely, but it has been compiling for 2+ days now (!), and there’s no indication when it will finish!

I’ll post more about DesktopBSD as I get further into it.

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Keep in touch,
Greg, LLC

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