FreeBSD's Visual Identity: Outdated?

Scott Long scottl at
Thu Dec 23 08:47:57 PST 2004

Sam wrote:
>> If we want to be taken seriously in the commercial world then we
>> need to have the right image.
> Look ma, a strawman!
> The concern you're addressing is the sort of thing distros
> solved in the Linux world.  Each typically has their own
> "image," installer, system config style, etc.  More importantly
> for the "commercial world," though, they offer support and
> certification.
> The image alone just isn't the problem.  Or a problem at all,
> I'd argue.  Let's be honest -- if a ten-year-old made Beastie,
> then a mentally challenged 3-year-old made Tux (and large
> portions of the kernel, but I digress).
> Point being Johann, if the community rejects your work
> for the core project you can still make your own distro
> and release it.  Give it a shot!
> Cheers,
> Sam

The distro - vs - core release relationship is one of BSD's greatest
strengths and weaknesses.  It's a strength because there is no 'distro
hell' like there is in linux.  When you download FreeBSD, you get the
same FreeBSD as everyone else; there is no confusion over how the
config files are layed out, no differences in the base utilities, 
everything compiles the same way, etc.  That is a huge benefit.  But at
the same time, it makes it really hard for people to branch out and
experiment in the same way that a linux distro can.  FreeSBIE is a good
example of this happening and working, but it definitely has hurdles.
Variety and competition makes the whole stronger, and at times FreeBSD
seems a bit in-bred.  To address this, I'm playing with ideas for
changing the nature of a FreeBSD 'release' a bit to make it easier for
outfits like FreeSBIE to build on top of it.  Hopefully I'll have
something to show for this in 6.0.


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