So here we are: a new personal UNIX workstation at work. OK, so it's just a simple Pentium IV PC, but I was going to install a free UNIX on it.
At first, I decided on NetBSD 5.0.1. The installation went on without any problem. Booting time was astounding: less than a minute from switch on to login prompt.
But once I started the machine, the disaster became quickly apparent: the VLAN the workstation was attached to was DHCP-only (hey, don't ask me why, I don't do the security policies around here!) - and did not allow outbound FTP. NetBSD is notoriously stingy when it comes to bundling applications with the base system, and so I went on and decided to install stuff quickly using pkgsrc...
Everything failed! No FTP connection to the outside = no installation possible through pkgsrc. It got bad pretty quickly, because you really don't have anything with NetBSD, not even a simple www client such as lynx. And FreeBSD and OpenBSD are pretty much the same: as far as I know, OpenBSD also uses FTP to download packages and I don't think FreeBSD is different in that respect.
Despite my love for everything BSD, I therefore returned (happily, I might add) to one of my first love: Slackware. Three CD downloads later, I am installing one of the most perfect UNIX-like system, one that is complete, powerful, and contains pretty much everything you need to be productive. Gimp included!
Once again: Slackware rocks. And, yes, despite the fact that NetBSD rocks as well, there is a time for "too simple" and a time for "just right".
And, SuSE Linux? You suck. Two DVDs just for a sinking OS? Sheesh.