Brilliant and very useful for FreeBSD, IMHO

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at
Sun Apr 6 17:45:27 PDT 2003

On 2003-04-06 13:55, John Martinez <rolnif at> wrote:
>On Sunday, April 6, 2003, at 12:47  PM, Peter wrote:
>> Never said anything about changing the GUI, but it does need some
>> work, its hard for normal users to get with it, but I never want to
>> see it become some kind of X11 GUI, I can pretty much go through
>> /stand/sysinstall in my sleep, and thats how I want it to stay.
> I tend to agree with this.
> The problem is that you are limited by the same GUI environments as
> Linux and every other UNIX operating system.
> Not that KDE is bad (I use it a lot still), but a FreeBSD desktop
> would need something to make it "unique" and more appealing to the
> normal user. Lots of eye candy. Or else, why would somebody choose
> DesktopBSD over one of the many desktop Linux distributions?

I'm not sure what you mean by DesktopBSD, but there are a few valid
reasons for switching from Linux to FreeBSD today.  The most important
of these can and do vary a lot from one user to the next, but a few that
seem to often spring up in talks that I have with Linux and BSD users are:

  * Ease of installation.  Some of the Linux distributions insist on
    firing up XFree86 right from the very start, which can be annoying
    when you just happen to have an unsupported video card or a mouse
    that fails to work automagically and needs tinkering of XF86Config.

    The console interface of sysinstall Just Works(TM).

  * Ease of upgrade.  The fact that a base system exists and can be
    upgraded by running buildworld (well and a couple of other, almost
    simple, even for newbies, commands) is a big plus.

    A lot of Linux users that I know are annoyed by the conflicts and
    inter-dependencies of several packages some times.  It's so much
    easier to grab the entire /usr/src tree with CVSup and build it all
    in one fell swoop, knowing that the developers have taken care of
    not breaking things by upgrading only parts of the source.

  * The ports.  I can't even begin to enumerate the virtues of the ports
    when compared to some of the package management tools that I've
    seen.  One of the most important ones is the fact that you can
    compile from source using *exactly* the options you want.  As an
    example, I don't want my Emacs editor to have X11 support.  I don't
    use its GUI anyway.  Being able to run:

	# cd /usr/ports/editors/emacs21
	# make WITHOUT_X11=yes install

    is something that I've grown to depend upon over the years.

I'm sure there are more reasons why people might consider switching to
FreeBSD.  I probably forgot a lot of them.  Other people will probably
have their own, different reasons :-)

If all these characteristics of FreeBSD are important to a user, then
there isn't really a need for cute little icons of beastie to convince
them that giving it all a try is a good idea.

- Giorgos

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