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

Anthony Atkielski atkielski.anthony at
Sat Feb 12 01:47:52 PST 2005

Jeremy C. Reed writes:

> Being able to run a desktop for over a hundred days without reboots,
> without annoying continuous software failures, without worry of malicious
> (or anoying) pop-ups, virus, and malware, and being able to quickly do my
> desktop work is a good reason to use an open source Unix desktop.

Except that Windows does all of this.  My XP and NT desktops will run
until I reboot them, which often means months at a time.  If I chose not
to reboot them, they'd run for years (the NT code base is extremely

I haven't experienced any annoying software failures under Windows.

I have no problems with pop-ups, viruses, or malware.  The only virus
I've ever experienced was an Apache virus on my FreeBSD machine,
ironically, and that was because the Apache server had a bug and the
server _must_ service ports that are open to the world (there's nothing
I can do to protect the system in such a case).  Windows viruses and
other problems can be avoided by firewalls and safe computing; it isn't
even necessary to run an antivirus product.

Time between boots is similar for both the Windows and FreeBSD systems,
but neither system actually requires a boot at such frequent intervals.
I usually boot FreeBSD when I have to power-cycle the hardware, or when
I make a change that is exposed at boot time and I wish to make sure
that the system actually will boot (such as a change in rc.conf).  A
common reason for booting is installation of software on both platforms;
FreeBSD doesn't require it, but I boot anyway to make sure nothing in
the boot process has been misconfigured, and many Windows applications
insist on it, even though the OS itself does not.

> I guess Mac OS X can meet these goals.

Absolutely.  If you really want a desktop UNIX, go with Mac OS X.

> But can't meet the need to be able to use a good functional desktop on
> old, out-dated, slow hardware.

True.  In that case, run Linux.  Linux is more desktop-oriented--to its
own detriment, because it will almost certainly never make a dent in
Windows and Mac user bases, and desktop orientation can only be carried
out at the expense of server orientation.  (If there were no people who
hated Microsoft, Linux would never be more than a laboratory curiosity,
because those are the only people who can force themselves to run it on
the desktop).

> Nevertheless, it is not time to advertise FreeBSD as a "desktop"
> alternative.

I agree.  Build on strengths, not weaknesses.  The Linux community is
making the mistake of promoting Linux in exactly the domain where it is
most likely to be a permanent failure.  FreeBSD should not make that
same mistake.


More information about the freebsd-advocacy mailing list