sysinstall vs BSD Installer

Nicole blabgoo at
Sun Feb 18 19:53:48 UTC 2007

--- Jona Joachim <walkingshadow at> wrote:
> Hi!
> There has been a lot of discussion recently about whether sysinstall 
> should be replaced or not.
> The purpose of sysinstall is to initially install FreeBSD and it
> serves 
> this purpose quite well. However sysinstall is also the first thing a
> new user gets to see of FreeBSD. People which are used to shiny Linux
> Live CDs with Framebuffer boot sequences and all the jewelry are
> shoked 
> when they are confronted with the ncurses interface and walk away
> most 
> of the time. This is a pity because you really use the installer once
> every couple of years and it says nothing about the OS.
> Would it be worth considering to provide the BSD Installer [1] as an 
> alternate choice to sysinstall for a default FreeBSD installation?
> I'm sure several people already thought of it and it might be 
> interesting to hear their conclusions.
> Regards,
> Jona

 To me the whole issue boils down to flash vs substance.
 (stands on soapbox)

 If someone is building a server, they want something easy, simple,
fast, and will work on any of the myriad of weak built-in video cards
available...  or even via a serial port. The current installer is fine.

 Some, however, while building a workstation for X-windows etc. might
expect something pretty, to belay the experience to come while running
the the full X experience. They may want some flashiness and the
appearence of something gee wiz and cool. "Is this what I am giving up
windows for?"

 But, you cannot please everyone. However, I believe that if people get
past the "where's my gee wiz flashy installer" they will enjoy the
ncurses elegant simplicity. FreeBSD, to me, has always stood for
stability, not flashiness. 

 Of course elegant simplicity is not what the internet is about these
days is it? We now even have advertisements that flash and spin and now
even play video at us! So why can't they make an installer do the same
 Just like with the barrage of annoying adverts these days, just
because something can be done, doesn't mean its the right thing to do. 



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