Brilliant and very useful for FreeBSD, IMHO

Gregory A. Gilliss ggilliss at
Wed Apr 9 09:14:22 PDT 2003

As the unfortunate initiator of this thread, I submit that the discussion
has wandered *way* off topic.  I repeat, this thread is *not* about:

OS wars

I started this thread by posting the link to the following article:

...and thereafter suggested that the author's user experience would make 
a good template for the FreeBSD development community to address ways to 
improve the entire FreeBSD user community's experience regarding the
installation and configuration of FreeBSD (and even *NIX in general).


The responses to the original post have, for the most part, exhibited
diverse opinions on related topics that are subsets of the original
post - in other words, nit picking.  BTW, please don't suggest that I 
am arguing that the other topics are not valid - they are completely
valid - and their discussion detracts from the intent of my original
post.  The point was not how you use FreeBSD, the point was that making
it more "user-friendly" to use FreeBSD would make it more readily
adaptable by the user community as a whole.

Perhaps this discussion is an example of why FreeBSD, a demonstrably better
technology solution for servers/desktops/whatever is being summarily trounced
in the marketplace by various disparate Linux distros. Since there appears
to be so much variance of opinions among the respondents to this topic, I
can only conclude that the entire project is doomed to fragment and weaken
over time (even more than it already has - NetBSD and OpenBSD come to mind).

In the grand scheme of things, this example appears to illustrate the
character of human nature, evolution, and entropy of Western Civilizations,
religions, political parties, and twelve-step groups.  In summary, "I don't
agree with you, so rather than concede, I will go start my own __________
(fill in the blank).  I guess the answer to the question "Can't we all just
get along" is, "No, we cannot all just get along; we'll just argue and divide
until we're all too weak to be effective."


I'm not subscribed BTW, so flame me off list if you're inclined.


On or about 2003.04.09 12:40:32 +0000, Roger 'Rocky' Vetterberg (listsub at said:

> 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.
> *snip*
> >> 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.
> --
> R

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