What FreeBSD users really want

Greg Barniskis nalists at scls.lib.wi.us
Tue Jul 25 20:22:29 UTC 2006

Jim Stapleton wrote:

> No offense, but, it doesn't even integrate BASH. I had to install the
> bash package so I wasn't stuck to CSH, and BASH is much more popular
> than any PHP shell. (Wait, is there a PHP shell? I know there is a CLI
> interpereter, but that's different). Regardless, if it's in ports
> (which it probably is if there is such a thing), then just install it,
> not very difficult at all.

Indeed. Very easy.

To me, the bare-bones-ness of FreeBSD is one if its strongest 
points. I happened to read this thread after an employee birthday 
party, so please excuse the poor analogy to follow...

Linux distros are like cakes that arrive fully baked, frosted and 
decorated. Don't like that flavor? Wrong number of candles? Too bad, 
use a different distro, or fight the installer to stop it from doing 
things you don't want it to do. Very, um, Microsoft.

FreeBSD is like a build-your-own-cake kit. It arrives as a nearly 
flavorless slab of yellow cake. Then you decide if it should be 
double chocolate or lemon or [choose from 20,000 options here]...

All you have to do is tell it in your kernel config:

options batter angelfood

and then

cd /usr/src
make WITH_FROSTING="orange"

cd /usr/ports/deco/candles
make KIND=birthday COUNT=40
make light
make sing

In my opinion, FreeBSD should never change its model to arriving as 
a fully completed cake. The ability to choose (including the choice 
of "plain old cake, no frosting, no decoration") is just priceless. 
At most, the installer might be improved to make it easier to make 
good choices. It most definitely should not start choosing for me, 
at least not beyond the minimal "components required for a plain 
cake" level.

Greg Barniskis, Computer Systems Integrator
South Central Library System (SCLS)
Library Interchange Network (LINK)
<gregb at scls.lib.wi.us>, (608) 266-6348

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