SPAM: Score 3.7: Re: Instead of freebsd. com, why not...

Anthony Atkielski atkielski.anthony at
Tue Feb 15 19:05:31 PST 2005

Johnson David writes:

> That's part of my point. The differences between servers and clients (which
> includes desktops) are not so much in the hardware anymore, as in their
> *use*.

I never claimed a big difference in hardware (although sometimes there
is a big difference).  I pointed out that the _operating systems_ are
very different ... and obviously that is because the purposes to which
these systems are put are also very different.

> What I am arguing is that those differences are going away. We no longer
> live in the 1980s (when I started using BSD UNIX). While today's server may
> have failsafe hotswap hardware, they are not inherently more powerful or
> speedier than the clients they serve.

This is unimportant from a software standpoint.

> This is what I meant by "convergence". These differences are not as
> black and white to younger generations by virtue of the fact that they
> are no longer black and white. While MVS may be unsuitable for the
> desktop and OSX unsuitable for the mainframe, there's a huge middle
> ground that includes FreeBSD.

All UNIX systems are pretty clearly servers, although some are pressed
into desktop roles, just as all Windows systems are pretty clearly
desktops, although some are pressed into server roles.

> Why is there a conflict?

Because the requirements of a desktop directly contradict those of a
server.  And this isn't going to go away.

> Why can't desktops be secure?

Security conflicts directly with the needs of most desktop users
(user-friendliness, broad compatibility, broad support of network-based
features, etc.).

> Why can't servers have usability?

Don't they?

> Speaking of GUIs, the mere existance of /usr/ports/x11/xorg-6.8.1 does
> not affect the performance or reliability of a FreeBSD server. Neither
> does actually installing it.

You're half right.  Installing it destabilizes the server, and requires
making compromises on security.

> The fact that I run KDE on my FreeBSD desktop in no way affects the
> performance or reliability of your server.

True, but it affects the performance and reliability of your FreeBSD

> You can have both. Heck, you already DO have both!

It depends on how well you want to do something.

> The current desktops for X11 might not be perfect, and they might lack
> somewhat in the usability departments, but that is no argument to
> eliminate them.

Nobody has suggested that they be eliminated.

> The problems that FreeBSD on the desktop faces are not about the scheduler,
> or memory management, or resources, or anything like that. Instead it's
> mostly about getting new drivers for consumer hardware, and a little bit
> about smoothing out the installation and configuration workflow (which would
> benefit both sides).

Servers don't need drivers for consumer hardware, and adding lots of
drivers destabilizes the OS unless they are uninstalled by default.
Server sysadmins don't need to smooth out installation and
configuration, since they already know what they are doing.  Smoothing
things out means taking a lot for granted and doing it behind the user's
back, which may be acceptable for desktops, but is often dangerous for


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