SPAM: Score 3.3: Re: Instead of, why not...

Anthony Atkielski atkielski.anthony at
Fri Feb 11 18:20:41 PST 2005

Johnson David writes:

> Agree and disagree. While FreeBSD is well suited for the server, it's also
> well suited for the desktop.

That depends on the OS to which you compare it.  In isolation, FreeBSD
works on the desktop, just as most UNIX operating systems do, but in
comparison to Windows or the Mac, it's a rather sorry excuse for a
desktop.  But no OS can do it all, no matter how religiously its
proponents might believe otherwise.

> That doesn't mean that we should be stressing the desktop to those
> shopping for servers, instead it means that we shouldn't be telling
> those shopping for desktops to go use Linux instead.

Linux is a poor choice on the desktop, too.  The realistic choices are
Windows or the Mac; Windows has the edge between the two.

I can't think of any objective reason to favor UNIX on the desktop for
anything resembling a normal desktop environment (home or office).

> How many business will be running Linux on the desktop but FreeBSD on
> the server? None!

Smart businesses won't be running Linux or any flavor of UNIX on the
desktop.  They may well be running UNIX on their servers, though, as
UNIX has many advantages on servers.  And FreeBSD (or any BSD, I should
think) is preferable to Linux on a server.

> Currently Windows rules the desktop world, even for diehard Unix
> shops. But that will not last forever.

There is no sign of a decline as yet.  It's best not to attack markets
in which one is hopelessly outclassed.  It's irrational, a waste of
resources, and doomed to failure.  Let the Linux advocates knock
themselves out; they won't succeed, either, and the time they waste on
the desktop is time they cannot devote to servers, which gives FreeBSD
advocacy an advantage.

> We need to start thinking about the desktop today. We need to stop the
> official discouragement of desktop FreeBSD.

What official discouragement?  Most FreeBSD fans seem to think it's a
great desktop OS, despite evidence to the contrary.

> So how about a "" and a ""? You
> get the best of both worlds that way.

I suppose.  But it's generally a mistake to try to promote an operating
system as best for all purposes.  Even Microsoft can't do that, although
they certainly try (they are blinded by their love for Windows just as
some FreeBSD users are blinded by their love for FreeBSD).

It's a pity people can't be more objective and unemotional about their
choice of operating systems, picking only the best tool for the job in
each environment.


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