Freebsd vs. linux

Anthony Atkielski atkielski.anthony at
Tue Feb 15 17:48:29 GMT 2005

Bart Silverstrim writes:

> "They" were an outside team that worked on VMS.  "They" started NT
> before Windows became a marketing drone's dream.  The Windows subsystem
> became the default subsystem after Windows 3.x took off.  Originally it
> wasn't going to have a GUI.

Oh well ... it's a bit late to dream about what could have been.

As I recall, this is what caused Microsoft and IBM to part ways.  IBM
was to collaborate on the NT project.  But IBM wanted a CLI, like DOS or
OS/2, whereas Microsoft insisted that a GUI was the wave of the future
on the desktop.  As it turned out, Microsoft was right.

> Three of ours are sitting right behind me.

Unless you have eyes in the back of your head, then, you aren't looking
at their screens.

I have my FreeBSD server running right next to me.  The console always
has top running, just to give me an idea of what the server is doing.
Sometimes I just turn the monitor off.  If I need to talk to the
machine, I start a ssh session from my Windows desktop.  I often have
one or more ssh and sftp sessions open.

> They have GUIs because they thought it was easier to market.  They have
> GUIs because they're easier for novices to use as servers.  They have 
> GUIs because MS started trying to market "servers" to the workgroup and
> not corporate markets.  They have GUIs because NT was a new kid on the
> block, people were familiar with Windows, and they were able to help 
> marketing-wise slip some sales in because it was a lower learning 
> curve.  They have GUIs because believe it or not, sometimes you don't 
> need the strict definition of a "Server" in order to serve files to a 
> couple other computers in your home network and that "Server" can, in 
> fact, do double duty.


> That's two criticisms, and at this point, I really think most people
> don't give a rat's behind about the GUI in a server, since the OS 
> should be paging out unused pages to swap if the server settles down.

The GUI still requires destabilizing code in the kernel.  It still takes
up space and resources.  And, worst of all, on a GUI-oriented server
like Windows, you cannot administer the machine without using the GUI.

> Remote administration sucks, yes I'd agree.  You have to jump through
> hoops to find decent tools for reigning in Windows in many situations.

As far as I know, only a tiny fraction of all necessary administration
functions for Windows have ever been provided for in CLI interfaces.
Most of the time, you _must_ point and click.

> That surely explains their sales of XServes and RAID servers.

They're off the radar for servers.  The only people who install Apple
servers are people who are already in love with Apple desktops.  They're
kind of the inverse of people who fall in love with server operating
systems and then insist on forcing them onto the desktop as well.

> Don't want the GUI, then install Darwin.  Want GUI and remote
> admin/monitoring tools, use OS X Server.  Don't log into it, and it'll
> swap out most of the "GUI" stuff to disk.

Why not just install FreeBSD?

> They most certainly profit from MCSEs.

Yes, by training and certifying them.  But after that, they're on their
own, and out of Microsoft's revenue stream.


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