Desktop FreeBSD

Michal Pasternak michal at
Mon Mar 8 01:36:15 PST 2004

dashevil at [Mon, Mar 08, 2004 at 01:39:52AM -0500]:
> Joe Sixpack becomes fusterated, even angry, when he learns that HIS OS is
> the reason he can't use some program that he wants.

That's not average Joe Sixpack. That's technically advanced Joe.

Average J. Sixpack doesn't know what a *program* is. He just clicks icon and
request a specific action to be performed. As long as he is able to do some
basic work with documents - and, in some case, to receive some help from his
neighbour - he will be happy.

J. S. using some desktop Linux + Gnome + Abiword will not care what it
really is, as long, as the computer acts like J. S. belives it should act.
J. S. will propably notice the difference on other computers (using, for
example, MS Windows + MS Office) - but he may still be unable to call this
"different program".

> So, he sees, say, LINUX, as being the
> thing that is coming between HIM and being productive.

Well... productivity. Calculate yearly downtime in a middle-sized office,
caused by virii, trojans and blue screens.

OTOH, calculate number of curses + time needed to fix some application, that
you desperatley need, right now, but it prefers to do coredumping. I prefer
the 2nd way, because computers always been my hobby... but I don't really
suggest it for other people.

> Second of all, I'm not sure many people who
> buy these computers fully understand what Linux is, and without that
> understanding they are getting themselves in somewhat of a jam.

Exactly. If Joe Sickpack buys a freenix-supported printer (just set it up
with cups/apsfilter and go), he will first notice, that the supplied CD with
drivers won't work.

> If FreeBSD is to be more appealing to Desktop users (and I mean
> Linux/techy Windows users, not Joe Sixpack. Know your market) 
> The Desktop version would assume more on install, have a graphical
> installer, and let you choose GUI that you want on start (along with
> xdm/kdm/gdm).


/stand/sysinstall allows desktop environment selection, AFAIR.

Also, I feel a bit like being a "techy" user and I'd really object any
installer setting up things for me automatically. I just prefer to do things
on my own. I think many of us do. If I'd like to have an OS, that does
everything for me, I'd choose Debian.

Anyway, the "split" idea you proposed is quite okay, but I'd do it other
way: first, let's leave current FreeBSD "iso" or "distribution" untouched
(if it is not broke, don't fix it). 

Second: desktop-enhanced FreeBSD installation disk sounds really nice. What
exactly does forbid you or some other users from making such FreeBSD

> There are a lot of Linux users who are put off by
> the FreeBSD installer/etc.

Don't forget, that similar type of people can be put off by telling them to
read manuals.

Take care,

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