FreeBSD and the future

Kevin D. Kinsey, DaleCo, S.P. kdk at
Sat Oct 16 09:21:26 PDT 2004

Sigmascape1 at wrote:

>I need to know if I can turn someone loose on FreeBSD that is not overly 
>computer literate... strictly word procesing, email and web surfing. 

It is rather trivial for someone who has a good working knowledge
of FreeBSD to create a working environment that would be easy
for the "average Joe" to do just these three tasks.  That is, setting
it up is somewhat advanced; *using* it is not. 

My case in point is a "little old lady" story:  A former client who now
comes in to do my billing and assorted chores for 4 hours each week.
I've given her a FreeBSD machine to use for email, www, and word

Using GNOME (and gdm for  a graphical login), she browses and reads
mail with Mozilla and uses TextMaker ( for word
processing.  Given that she wasn't a power user when she used Windows,
I'd say there's very little difference between the two systems as far as
she is concerned, other than the fact that running GNOME 2.8, I really
should get a faster CPU and more RAM in that boxen.  I purchased TextMaker
at a good discount last November; it's a nice package, but I imagine she
could be using AbiWord or some similar, free alternative without much
difficulty in making the switch.

A graphical login.  A graphical "desktop" environment with a "cascading"
start menu and desktop icons for launching applications.  It's a standard
that most people are relatively familiar with, even if they have no idea
what's going on behind the scenes.  To make up a statistic for the sake
of added weight, probably more than 3/4's of the Microsoft users I
know are in the same boat ...

>Also, in terms of server use, how much different would it be to set up 
>a FreeBSD server than setting up a SuSE Linux-based server.

IMHO, FBSD is easier, but I've touched Linux once; and it was about
five minutes.   And then, I don't know the SUSE installer, but you'd
be getting back to that "installer shortcoming" argument again.

Have you read Matthew Fuller's "linux and BSD" rant?  It's at IIRC;
a quick Google search should turn it up.  Far from being the ravings of 
an angry
maniac, there's some stuff to be learned there in regard to the 
similarities and
differences between the "typical" LInux distro and FBSD.

Kevin Kinsey

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