Kevin Kinsey kdk at
Thu Apr 6 15:16:23 UTC 2006

usleepless at wrote:

>On 4/6/06, eoghan <freebsd at> wrote:
>>Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
>>>On 2006-04-06 09:49, Bill Moran <wmoran at> wrote:
>>>>"Tom" <tzons at> wrote:
>>>>>I am just looking at Free BSD as a Windows alternative.  I
>>>>>have a home workgroup that I am out growing and wanting to do
>>>>>more with, but don't want to give MS any more Hundreds of hard
>>>>>earned dollars.
>>>>>My first question is where can I find a site that will list
>>>>>all approved or thoroughly checked out hardware to build a
>>>>>"box" (motherboards, and the like).  I don't have the time, or
>>>>>patience to get into major software conflicts or bugs. I want
>>>>>to follow a A to B to C box build and software setup. Is there
>>>>>someone (or more) to guide me through the process? Is there a
>>>>>website with complete and accurate information on it? Is there
>>>>>a "BSD for idiots" instruction book that's current? Is there a
>>>>>BSD project team working with manufactures and touting their
>>>>>successes?  Help!
>>>>Don't use FreeBSD.  I know this will be an unpopular post on
>>>>this list, but you've said a number of things that tell me that
>>>>you will be unsuccessful with FreeBSD:
>>>>1) You don't seem to have any Unix experience
>>>>2) You're coming from a Windows world
>>>>3) You don't have time or patience
>>>>#3 is particularly important, given #1 and #2.  FreeBSD _will_
>>>>take you some time to understand.  It _will_ take some time and
>>>>effort to get it working the way you want.  Since you are
>>>>totally new to it, it _will_ require patience.
>>>>If you don't have time or patience to learn right now, you're
>>>>setting yourself up for failure.  When you do have some time
>>>>and patience, we'll be happy to help you through your learning
>>>>curve.  If you're looking for a fast, easy fix, you're not
>>>>going to find it by switching operating systems to something
>>>>you know nothing about.
>>>>I've seen a number of people bash Linux and the BSDs because
>>>>they wanted a simple, cheap solution to Windows and did not
>>>>have the time or patience to work through the learning curve.
>>>>Unless I've misinterpreted your email and you do have some Unix
>>>>experience, this is not a good time to make the switch.
>>>No, this post shouldn't be unpopular on this list.
>>>  * It was written in a clear, non-confrontational, civilized tone.
>>>  * It explains why making the switch to FreeBSD may turn out badly.
>>>  * It also makes it very clear that time and effort _is_ required.
>>>Tom, please read carefully what Bill Moran has written.  Even if
>>>I tried, I would probably fail to put it all in better words.
>>>Then, if you decide that you _have_ the patience and time to
>>>switch, feel free to ask any question about FreeBSD here :)
>>>- Giorgos
>>Yes, I agree. Although I had the luxury of having two machines, the
>>other being a mac, so I could play with unix on that. I also dumped
>>windows on my pc and decided on freeBSD. At first, I had trouble
>>installing and configuring it. But with some time and this list I am up
>>and running and get more and more comfortable with it each day.
>>So if you have a spare pc lying around, try it out on this first till
>>you get comfortable, and then go for it.

usleep said:

] how about one of the LiveCDs? or don't they work like knoppix/ubuntu
] auto configuring the most important hardware ( inputdevices, audio,
] video ) ?

That *could* be a good idea.  FreesBIE's live CD would, if it would
give him a GUI mode, give him an idea of whether or not it might work
with his hardware.  Last I checked, the ISO was based on FreeBSD 5.4,
but I think a new one is on the way based on FBSD 6.x.  If everything
worked on a box he currently has Windows on, he could attempt to buy
duplicate hardware for a BSD box.

And then there are the "desktop-oriented projects": PCBSD, DesktopBSD.
They would provide a more "Windows like" experience; however, it's still
not clear if the OP has the patience and correct goal-orientation to 
advise him to try much of the above.  If he had a means to burn ISO
images with his current equipment, and had spare equipment "lying around",
then I'd suggest booting up with a Freesbie CD to play around with it;
however, it's not clear that he even has spare hardware available, but
instead wants some kind of "logo testing" like guarantee that whatever
he buys would be appropriate.  AFAIK, this doesn't exist, per se.  It's
clear from a perusal of various web resources that by and large FreeBSD
runs quite well on a vast array of commodity x86 hardware, and a few other
platforms, but no one has an all-encompassing list of suitable parts.  The
cost for any person or entity to do thsi would be enormous.  AFAIK, not 
even MSFT has such a list.

At this point, we might point him to any of a number of vendors that
support FreeBSD.  My company (heh-shameless, apology, argument's sake) could 
provide a box. specializes in BSD servers.  There are lots of 
people on the "commercial consultant" pages at the site that 
could do this.

My BSD experience, coming straight from Windows, was 2+ years of
use on remote servers before trying it as a desktop.  When I got
ready to go desktop with FBSD, I knew that even if I couldn't get
a GUI to work, find programs to replace all my Windows apps, etc., I could
still, basically, do a lot of stuff with the FreeBSD console.  That's not 
in any way a "Windows replacement" for anyone who lacks patience.

So, Bill is basically (fully? !!) right.  Anyone who's looking for a "BSD
for Idiots" guide doesn't yet have the temperament established to
give BSD a fair shake.  "BSD for idiots" is an anachronism*, though
I do have a copy, somewhere, of "UNIX for Dummies", which apparently
never made the "Best Seller" lists....

My $0.02,

Kevin Kinsey

* "anachronism" may not even be the right word, as it implies that
"BSD for idiots" may someday be logical.  Perhaps 'oxymoron' is better?

People who think they know everything
greatly annoy those of us who do.

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