my thoughts on FreeBSD

Peter Kieser pfak at
Mon Mar 1 13:59:58 PST 2004

My thoughts.. (on this topic that's been brought up so many times)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Matt Jarjoura" <matt at>
To: <freebsd-advocacy at>
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 12:40 PM
Subject: my thoughts on FreeBSD
> A) RedHat and SUSE both have GUI installers.  -- Honestly, how important 
> is it that FreeBSD remain a TUI-only menu based installation-??  Sure it's 
> simple, but screen-shots of it sure don't appear appetizing to ISPs in a 2 
> week window.

Having a GUI installer for FreeBSD would get rid of the simplicity of the 
FreeBSD /stand/sysinstall that we have gotten used to. I for one, *love* 
FreeBSD's installation program. I can pratically do it in my sleep, and I 
wish all Operating Systems had a installer that is easy to use as FreeBSDs. 
Also, GUI installers do _not_ work with all hardware, and generally make an 
installation take longer then neccessary. I can install a FreeBSD system in 
<5 minutes on high-end hardware, why would I want this to take longer? Also, 
I can do the installation pratically in my sleep. While it may be 
"difficult" the first time around, after that you're pratically hooked. 
/stand/sysinstall reminds me of NetWare 3.12/4.11 installation, which I 
loved and still remember. ;-)

The ISP is not going to be looking for eye candy, they are looking for 
SUPPORT. How well the product is supported in the mark, and how well it 
works. Not because of some eye candy, high performance is necessary when you 
are an ISP. So why do you think large ISPs use it? Look at Yahoo.

> My last thought here...
> I am not saying FreeBSD should be focused on Desktop users, but server 
> admins are starting to get a lot more "desktop-like" features from Mac OS 
> X Server, Win 2k3, even RH and SUSE.  Bandwidth for running X11 over SSH 
> isn't a problem like it used to be.
> Just some stuff to keep open for discussion.

FreeBSD has *always* been a more server-oriented distribution, and it will 
continue to be so. I want to be able to run commands on the console, and not 
go through some GUI based utility that takes me twice as long to figure out 
what I'm doing. These types of tools should be optional, and not included in 
the base distribution. FreeBSD's goal has always been to keep it simplistic, 
and have the end-user add what they want, and that is what makes FreeBSD 
appealing to the majority of it's user base.

I for one do not want to have to deal with X11 for a server. Waste of 
memory, waste of disk space, and waste of time.

FreeBSD is lean, and mean. It may not be the most "leanest" of the *BSD's, 
but add a XFree86 interface and this is just going to make the whole thing 
more bloated. Let the person install this bloat if they want, do NOT include 
it by default. I like FreeBSD because it's simplistic, doesn't include 
"everything and the kitchen sink", works for my needs, and does not include 
a GUI by default in the installation, and does not require me to hand pick 
through the configuration to install the base system, and ONLY the base 
system. It lets me customize the system after it's been installed, not 
during the configuration. I can still realistically install FreeBSD over the 

I started using FreeBSD when I was 12 (so i've been using it for about 5 
years), and have enjoyed it immensely. Do not change what's proven to 
attract it's user base. This discussion has been brought up time and time 
again, and we've always decided to stick with the current way of doing 

Peter Kieser
pfak at 

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