Is the Linux-variant FreeBSD better than Windows XP for video conferencing?

hermesalpha used Ask the Experts™
I have had online classes with my university since 2007, and I have spent so much time on troubles with the video conference program we have used. Even after we have changed video conference software (from Marratech to Adobe Connect) the problems remain.

So my question is: Is the Linux-variant FreeBSD better than Windows XP for video conferencing?
Would I get a more stable connection?

Also, can I install FreeBSD on one partition, and Windows XP Pro on another partition? When starting my laptop, is it possible to immediately choose if I want to start FreeBSD or Windows XP Pro?

My laptop is HP Compaq nx7300, Windows XP Pro SP3 English version x86,
and a netbook ASUS Eee PC1000He 10".
The Linux-variant I'm talking about can be found here:

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You sure can have Windows XP & FreeBSD dual boot. Here is a good article which will help you do it since you already have Windows XP installed -

Now, regarding your video conferencing problems, what program do you use? Have you tried using a variant, some thing like Skype, etc for video conferencing? Please give me details about your connection speeds also.


I'm not sure about the connection speeds. When I used video conferencing in P.R. China, I only had ADSL, and often was disconnected. Now, I use Wi-Fi at my university, and it works so-so, sound disappears sometimes, my mic doesn't work sometimes. I asked the technical support at my university whether it matters if I use Linux or Windows for videoconferencing. They replied it does not.


Thanks very much about this article, very interesting! May I also ask about the main advantages of using FreeBSD instead of Windows? I'm not a very technical person, but during the two years I've owned my laptop I have experienced so many problems with Windows (Vista in particular).

The way I use my laptop is to learn languages, and to have online classes using video conferencing, and for professional translations. So I also need to look up a lot of information on the internet, using search engines. There are a lot of software and electronic dictionaries that I also use under Windows.

So I wonder, to what extent can I use FreeBSD instead of Windows, keeping my areas of uses in mind?
For instance, all the softwares I run under Windows, is there any way to run them under FreeBSD instead?

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See, it all depends on the languages you learn. Most of the times, programming languages such as C, C++ are different for different platforms, ie. you will have to include different 'include' files, work with signals instead of I/O, etc. At the same time, scripting languages such as Perl, PHP can be developed on any OS.
If you want to learn WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation), then you should be on a Windows machine.
So, it all depends on the language you are learning.

Instead of wasting precious disk space by installing a complete OS, why don't you opt for a Virtual Machine instead? There are tonnes of VHD's that you can download and run on your existing Windows machine.

As for the problems you are facing, methinks all the problems will disappear when you upgrade to the latest service pack. Your hardware configuration also has a huge part to play when it comes to stability.


I think I was not so clear when I spoke of 'language': what I meant was human languages, such as Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Arabic, French, etc.

Linux variants are better at Unicode than Microsoft products. But, for ease, you can use Microsoft.
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Which part of "video conferencing" your system does?
-> encoding from webcam
-> transcoding en route
-> streaming/unicast and other virtues of networking

What software you use on end receivers?
BTW FreeBSD is not linux - it is something different, though similar appearance may mislead you.

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