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

Kevin Kinsey kdk at
Sat Feb 12 08:27:27 PST 2005

Anthony Atkielski wrote:

>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'm guessing *you* are atypical in this.

Most of our Windows boxes are rather stable.  But our FreeBSD ones
are simply rocks.  It's true I can't just "pointy clicky" them into a usable
configuration, but the software runs for as long as we wish.

That is in a rather direct opposition to the majority of our on-site
service calls for clients, which generally have to do with troubleshooting
software issues on Windows boxes related to "annoying software failures",
and "pop-ups, viruses, and malware".

And reboots with Win XP are probably about 1/3 lower (guesstimate) than
they were with the 9x products.  But, there were *many* back then.  The
other day we gained a client who had been sold a rather new M$ Server
product.  It was set up to be their PDC, but there were some issues.  One
of these issues was that the NIC it was connected to the network with was
set to use DHCP <!>  We reconfigured the interface, and, true to form,
"You must reboot your computer for the changes to take effect."

I would argue that you are not Joe User, because this is not necessarily
his experience, even with "XP".  Nor "Jane User" either.  Newer Microsoft
products are more stable than their predecessors, but there is no comparison
between them and the stability and security of FreeBSD in our experience.
The fact that Windows XP is more stable than their previous products is
known, but another chunk of evidence indicates that issues with that
OS, as Jeremy described, are still well in evidence.  There are thousands
upon thousands times thousands of relatively clueless users out there
who do have problems with Windows whether they know it or not.

For my office, a FreeBSD desktop makes a good bit of sense.  I don't
have major software issues with FreeBSD, and my unit cost is a hundred
bucks or more less than a Windows desktop.

But, in that, *we* are atypical, I suppose.

Kevin Kinsey
DaleCo, S.P.

More information about the freebsd-advocacy mailing list