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

Anthony Atkielski atkielski.anthony at
Sun Feb 13 21:16:35 PST 2005

Johnson David writes:

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

Mac OS X is the only type of UNIX well suited to the desktop, and even
OS X lags far behind Windows.

> 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.

They should be told to run Windows on the desktop and FreeBSD on the

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

Maybe, but how many businesses will be running Linux on the desktop?
Only slightly more than none.  The very vast majority will be running
Windows.  So the Linux desktop scenario is a pretty rare one.

> Currently Windows rules the desktop world, even for diehard Unix
> shops.

Exactly.  So don't worry about what they are running on the desktop.  It
will always be Windows, and no version of UNIX can compete against
Windows in that role.  The only time anyone ever runs anything else on
the desktop (other than Mac OS or OS X) is to make a political
statement, and few large organizations can afford to make a political
statement at the expense of their internal business efficiency.

> But that will not last forever.

True, but it will last for the foreseeable future, and while it lasts,
there's no point in wasting time on the desktop.  Neither FreeBSD nor
Linux can dethrone Windows in this capacity without something very close
to a rewrite (which would make them unsuitable for servers at the same

The desktop is not that important.  People who think it is usually come
from a PC background; they've never seen any other kind of computer so
they think that the desktop is everything.  And they think that whatever
OS runs on the desktop is somehow master of the world.  But that's not
true.  The desktop is just the desktop.  There are many other types of
computers.  Servers are the second largest market in terms of installed
machines, but they are comparable in dollar value, since servers are
much more expensive and often orders of magnitude more important on a
unit basis.

> We need to start thinking about the desktop today.

No, we need to fight the battles that can be won today.  And one of
those battles is the battle for server share.  The desktop is a lost
cause right now.  Linux is knocking itself out in that battle and is
throwing resources out the door in consequence.

>  We need to stop the official discouragement of desktop FreeBSD.

You don't need to officially discourage it.  It is sufficient to not
waste resources trying to promote it.  Put the square peg in the square
hole, instead of trying to force it into a round hole just because
you're emotionally attached to round pegs.

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

No need.  It's the same OS in both cases, and it does some things well
(servers) and others not so well (desktops).


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