Brilliant and very useful for FreeBSD, IMHO

Roger 'Rocky' Vetterberg listsub at
Wed Apr 9 03:40:46 PDT 2003

kitsune wrote:
 > On Mon, 07 Apr 2003 07:23:31 -0500 Eric Anderson
 > <anderson at> wrote:
 >> Roger 'Rocky' Vetterberg wrote: [..snip..]
 >>> I love FreeBSD, but not even I would get the idea to run it as
 >>> a desktop. It's not good at it, and if someone asks for my
 >>> opinion, I hope it never will be. Even Microsoft have realised
 >>> that it takes a different os to run a server then a desktop.
 >>> They have a plethora of different editions, like XP Home
 >>> Edition and W2K Advanced Server. As long as FreeBSD excels on
 >>> servers, chances are it will not make a perfect desktop. I say
 >>> we have enough desktop os's, lets keep FreeBSD kicking ass on
 >>> the servers.


 >> Just for informations sake, I taught my wife to use FreeBSD as
 >> her desktop OS in about 15 minutes.  She got used to fluxbox and
 >> used it like she has known it for years.  Also, recently I showed
 >> a unix "newbie" FreeBSD, and let him play with is and several
 >> Linux os's, and he finally decided on FreeBSD because (in his
 >> words) "it's just so simple and easy to get things done".
 >> Just my $0.02.
 >> Eric
 > I Agree. FreeBSD works great for desktops/workstations. I have it
 > installed on all my boxes using fluxbox.
 > I managed to teach my sister to use freebsd in 30 minutes. When I
 > built a comp for her a few months ago with FreeBSD 4.7 on it.

I think this entire thread boils down to how you define 'desktop'.
To me, a desktop is a computer used for surf, email, chatt, games and 
similar non-serious tasks.
A computer used for programming, CAD, DTP, analyzis, monitoring or 
similar is what I call a workstation, not a desktop.

A desktop user is often clueless about the inner workings of his os, 
and so it should be. As long as he can get to the web, install a new 
game or get his icons to display in 4 billion colors, he is satisfied. 
Those are the users that need windows, not freebsd.

A workstation user has, or atleast should have, a basic understanding 
of computers. He is usually able to install several os's using a 
bootloader, he partitions his drives, configures and tweaks his system 
and overall keep track of his software.
FreeBSD can make an excellent workstation.

I still claim that freebsd is not, and should not try to be, a good 
desktop os. All replies Ive seen so far stating things like "but Ive 
used freebsd as a desktop for years and I love it" are probably from 
workstation users. Those that show of friends or family as examples 
has always helped their loved ones to set things up or just given them 
a machine where everything is preconfigured. The fact that a clueless 
user can use a os that someone has spent hours setting up does not 
mean the os is a good desktop. A good desktop os to me is a os where 
the user himself can set things up the way he wants it, without help 
from experienced users.

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