Unlocking FreeBSD's Potential: Learn, Use and Elevate Your Experience with Generative AI

The benefits of FreeBSD are numerous. (Just ask chatgpt!). For me, its a very stable system, one that runs on any hardware, old and new, installs very quickly, configurations are in text and the pkg system that installs extra software is simple and powerful. But for a long time, anyone wanting to setup a home server or a VM to try with had to read lots and practice lots and even after practice, if you forget the commands, which happens when you use it infrequently, you have to google feverishly and many a times, the results the search engine finds might not be correct or actually be wrong. Enter ChatGPT and generative AI and things have changed drastically, for the good!

You can now setup a system, configure it, install GUI of your choice, set it up as a Samba Server or connect with your NAS box, setup cron jobs for backups, install the ZFS filesystem adding multiple hard disks and a whole lot more. All you need to do is ask chatGPT when stuck and it’ll generally punch out correct answers or answers that need just a bit of tweaking. This is a boon to the home tinker and those who like to try something different than a Windows machine or an Ubuntu box.

Next time, you get hold of an old piece of hardware, convert it to your server, install FreeBSD and enjoy the beauty of setting it up to the way you like by getting help from ChatGPT.

Some ideas for the FreeBSD home server:

  1. Run cron, backup your websites on a regular basis using wget, cron.
  2. rysnc with your NAS server so you have two copies of your most valauble data.
  3. Use rclone and cron to upload your most important data to backblaze B2 using their free tier.
  4. Install tailscale and access your FreeBSD server from anywhere in the world.
  5. Connect all sorts of old hard drives that you’ve collected over the years, parition with ZFS (just a single command is all that is needed!) and use them as backup drives to copy your data in multiple places.
  6. Configure X Forwarding with SSH so you can if required run programs that need GUI (for example firebox)
  7. Enjoy the simplicity and super fast response times of lynx and elinks when browsing the internet.
  8. SSH from any other machine in the house and find your projects, work on them from the same machine.
  9. Use hugo to setup your website and create posts on your freeBSD machine.

What are some of the tasks you do on your FreeBSD server?! What are you own experiences using ChatGPT for answers to FreeBSD commands and questions? Please share.

PS: And if you’re wondering how you can start with FreeBSD, here’s the first step.


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