Assuming We Want FreeBSD to Grow: Who Is It For?

Anthony Atkielski atkielski.anthony at
Wed Feb 16 10:50:36 PST 2005

RacerX writes:

> Why is it you only want to consider FBSD as a server OS only?

Not _only_ as a server OS, but _primarily_ as a server OS.  I see way
too much discussion of FreeBSD desktops, and not enough of FreeBSD

How many Porsches would dealers sell if all they talked about was how
they can be used as SUVs?  And how many SUVs would dealers sell if all
they talked about was how they could be used as racing cars?

> Why are you so hell-bent on dismissing FBSD as a desktop OS?

Because I know better than to shoot myself in the foot.  It makes no
sense at all to promote an OS in a role that it fills poorly, while
ignoring a role that it fills superbly.  I'm not going to turn people
against FreeBSD by suggesting they use it for a purpose that it isn't
really suited for.  They will only be frustrated and disappointed.
Meanwhile, the people who could make the best use of it will dismiss it
because nobody ever discusses the roles it is best suited for.

A lot of people seem to want desperately to see FreeBSD as the ultimate
desktop OS.  But it's not that, and it won't ever be that unless it is
practically rewritten.  It's best as a server.  I don't understand why
people bang their heads against a wall trying to make square pegs fit
into round holes.

> Run that same argument to Bill and company about Windows as a server.

I have.  But they have the same irrational, emotional commitment to
Windows as some people have to FreeBSD.  When people become emotionally
involved with an OS, they refuse to recognize that it cannot do it all,
and they are especailly unwilling to recognize that it might not be
ideal for their own preferred use.

> Better yet, join a Windows list and start yacking about how Windows
> ought to drop out of the server base. See what that gets you.

I don't care what people do with Windows.  Its place on the desktop is
assured.  Unfortunately, FreeBSD doesn't have that kind of mindshare,
and so it is dangerous to promote it for the wrong uses.  One could
easily end up with people dismissing FreeBSD as a desktop (because it
disappointed them) AND dismissing it as a server (because nobody told
them it could be a server, and by the time they find out they've already
had bad experiences with it as a desktop).

> I know why you wont - you'd never last in that list as long as you are
> lasting here.

Why not?

> One last time - FBSD IS a viable desktop OS - Stop the blanket personal
> view as gospel that it's not.

I'm not the one with the religious viewpoint.  For better or worse, I
see things as they actually are.


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