Trying NetBSD

date: 2021-09-08

Stayed up late installing NetBSD in a gnome-boxes virtual machine. Kind of cool because I used a workstation in the house, even though gnome-boxes wasn't installed on that machine but was on my office workstation in a different building. Used x11 forwarding over ssh, which is always an impressive trick.


Got NetBSD installed but had networking problems. NetBSD was trying ipv6 but failing and taking over two minutes to time out and then try ipv4. I thought the update process and pkgsrc package manager (pkgin) was broken until I just let it run for quite a while. The delay makes installing anything with multiple dependencies unusably slow.

I am not sure yet if the ipv6 problem was due to using a virtual machine or not as I have not yet tried NetBSD on a physical machine.

From what I did experience, I feel that I am able to move around and do things with NetBSD and I like it. It felt snappy with minimal resources, over x and on a VM. My experience with Linux largely translates to BSD (I have installed OpenBSD on a ThinkPad T420s laptop, too).


I started to get around to looking at how to install and configure bspwm on NetBSD, but it was late and I didn't get the configuration correct, so just got a black screen with no usable keyboard shortcuts. I do need to get better about writing scripts to quickly install the things I like with my own configuration applied.

Overall, I want to try NetBSD on physical hardware and continue learning more about it. I think that NetBSD may be a good fit for me (though I am happy with many Linux distro options and OpenBSD, too).

tags: #netbsd