Selling FreeBSD

Philip Payne philip.payne at
Tue Jun 10 04:53:27 PDT 2003

> Paul Robinson (paul at [030606 19:09]:
> > If they aren't enthusiastic, it's because it's not solving 
> any problems for 
> > them. The fact it works great as a high-traffic MX or HTTP 
> server isn't 
> > something most businesses need. As for desktop use, well, 
> it does suck 
> > compared to something like Mandrake for an average 
> run-of-the-mill office 
> > worker. Even Mandrake sucks a little bit compared to 
> Windows XP these days.
> I would question that. I just set my highly non-technical wife up with
> FreeBSD 4.8, KDE 3.1, Mozilla Firebird 0.6 (Linux binary) and
> 1.0.3 (Linux binary, as mentioned on this list 
> ;-). It does
> require an administrator to at least run the ports or packages, but
> any office network will need an administrator.
> The only thing still missing is a drop-in replacement for 
> Outlook. Other
> than that, it's probably more usable than Windows, and a Windows user
> should have no trouble.
> "It works like Windows, but it doesn't crash!"

I have to back this up. My wife (a midwife) is totally non technical. She
wants a computer to do office type stuff, send email to her family and do
home-shopping (so POP3 email, docs for letters and opening word docs from
others, web browsing). A combination of FreeBSD, KDE, KMAIL as I couldn't
get evolution to install and OpenOffice + switch on the Redmond behaviour
and style in KDE and she came out with the quote:

"So... this was all free... but it's great... how come the software for our
other computer (windows) costs hundreds of pounds?... how can they get away
with that"

Kind of says it all.

OK, for an office you'd need an administrator to update the source/ports...
but every office needs an administrator.

NIS is a decent enough replacement for a windows domain. NFS/Samba for
network shares. IPFW as a replacement for your Firewall-1 even. 

I keep trying different Linux distros and they install great... then every
time I get to installing packages I just come running back to FreeBSD.
People keep bigging up Linux's better hardware support but I'm yet to find
an office computer I couldn't install FreeBSD on.... if you don't want 3d
gaming you're sorted.

I really can't think of a decent reason to go with Linux... the added
support services someone like Suse or RedHat provide you could be important
to some corporations. Am I missing some obvious advantage about Linux and
why it's so popular or is it all hype?


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