Desktop FreeBSD

dashevil at dashevil at
Mon Mar 8 13:18:57 PST 2004

> From: Michal Pasternak <michal at>
> Date: 2004/03/08 Mon AM 04:36:04 EST
> To: dashevil at
> CC: freebsd-advocacy at
> Subject: Re: Desktop FreeBSD
> 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).
> Hmm.
> /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
> variant?

Nothing, actually. I've been thinking about doing it for a while. 

> > 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.

Yea, that's true too. I think that a "Read the FreeBSD Handbook over here -> (url). It answers your question in more detail than I could." would be much better.
> Take care,
> -- 
> mp

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