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

Matthias Buelow mkb at
Sat Feb 12 06:36:52 PST 2005

Jeremy C. Reed wrote:

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

This is not so much about FreeBSD, as the Unix+X11 combination in 
general.  It does not provide the fully integrated system the typical 
end-user, coming from a Windows or Mac perspective, expects.  That it 
nevertheless works well enough for persons with a technical or 
academical background, and those who invest some time, is not 
questioned.  What the Unix+X11 combination in its current blend doesn't 
provide is the one-size-fits-all solution that Windows and the Mac try 
to achieve.  That's both a good and a bad thing, imho.

There are, of course, situations where Unix is being used as a "desktop" 
successfully.  Think about Unix workstations at universities and larger 
companies, which have been prevalent for the last 15 years.  Or the city 
administration of Munich, which intends to move its Windows desktops to 
a Linux/KDE-based installation.  What these applications have in common 
is, that the desktop user is normally different from the person 
maintaining the installation.  This is different from a SOHO setup, 
where both are normally identical.


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