How to deploy FreeBSD desktops ?

Jon Drews jon.drews at
Tue Dec 28 06:50:31 PST 2004

Thanks so much Guys:

 I would also like to ask what was the reaction from the end users
when they began using the FreeBSD desktops?  I ask because I installed
some NetBSD 1.6.2 desktops for students, at a small University center
here. The NetBSD worked very well in my opinion. I had Gnuplot, Scilab
and Gnumeric installed for the students, along with Firefox 1.0. I
also got sound working on them and the NetBSD boxes can play mp3's,
CD's or stream Ogg Vorbis (from Virgin Radio).
 However the students complained about having to log in, which I
thought was odd. They don't use them much and are reluctant to learn
the basic commands (startx, shutdown -h now etc. ).  Also I did not
install Xdm/Gdm and had them use "startx". I guess that was a big
mistake. I did that because these computers are old (255 MHz PII - 400
MHz PIII) with about 150 Mb of ram on each. I wanted as much memory
free as possible. I was using Xfce 4 and Gnome 2.8 as the desktops. A
guy who is a sysadmin advised me to install Kde, so I did. However it
took quite a while to compile so I only did it on one machine. Still
the students were reluctant to use them. Truth be told I have not been
able to meet with them that often. I did the installs as a volunteer
project. I would think the NetBSD boxes would have appealed to them as
I have some nice software installed on them. I also included,
Gperiodic (periodic table of elements), Rasmol (molecular viewer) and
GTK Chemtool (molecular drawing), for the chemistry and biology
students. Where have I gone wrong and what should I do to entice the
students to give them a try ?

On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 08:19:16 -0500, Jan Schaumann
<jschauma at> wrote:
> Shamelessly plugging myself :-), I'd like to point out that I presented
> a framework for just this at EuroBSDCon this year.  Well, not FreeBSD
> desktops, but NetBSD, but the underlying principle is obviously the
> same.  So you may find this paper helpful:

Thanks so much Jan, I will be looking into these.

                                            Kind regards

More information about the freebsd-advocacy mailing list