I recently acquired “new” netbook, it’s so old that most people would call it ancient. Its CPU is only 32 bit architecture, it’s not capable of playing 2k videos in 30fps, its computing power is lesser than my ARM tablet, but it still works, so why not use it for something.
I got it from a friend who was using Fedora. It was slow, even with openbox. dnf update was taking from a few to several minutes, I had to install something faster. At first, Debian with LXDE. First installation attempt failed with some problem with GRUB, it wasn’t a good sign, I didn’t investigate the problem to get it working asap. I restarted bootloader installation with LILO which succeeded. Debian was still slow. Package installation was taking long, deb processing was taking long and I was sitting there and waiting for it to finish. Launching Firefox was taking even 30 seconds, videos on youtube were lagging even on 30fps. I really expected more from this 10 years old hardware. I decided to use it for my experiments and try something new. I decided to look at BSDs. OpenBSD would work here, it’s fast, secure and it like ideology behind it, but I don’t think it would work on semi-destkop netbook for me. I read about DragonFlyBSD and was impressed what creators did with kernel and distribution, wanted to give it a try, but they don’t support i386. There are two BSD distributions dedicated for desktop computers, DesktopBSD and PC-BSD, I didn’t know with which one to go, so I took FreeBSD, they provide i386 memstick installer, so it was easy since beginning, or at least it was specific which image should be used.