Why FreeBSD not popular on hardware vendors

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Thu Dec 11 11:28:45 PST 2008

On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 02:40:06PM +0100, Julien Cigar wrote:
> Just to share my point of view :
> I use FreeBSD only since 6.2, before that I was a long-time Debian user.
> For the little experience I have with it I must admit that it looks
> pretty solid and a perfect choice for a "server" (for proof: I replaced
> almost all my Debian boxes with FreeBSD, both at work and at home) :

That very closely mirrors my own experience; I too moved from long-time
Debian GNU/Linux use to FreeBSD circa 6.2.  I have no regrets.

> - on almost all my machines I have problems with CD/DVD drives, mostly
> things like READ_BIG timeout, etc. I tried almost everything (disabling
> ACPI, DMA, upgrading the drive BIOS, etc), disabling DMA resolved some
> problems, but it's still impossible to burn a DVD for example.

That boggles my mind -- but then, I remember having even worse problems
with the hardware interface to the optical disk drive in a ThinkPad T43
at one point when using Debian GNU/Linux, so I suppose it's not
unprecedented.  I suspect it's an issue with some nonstandard hardware
interface that hasn't been resolved yet.

> - my mouse (a Logitec MX 300, USB) is still undetected at boot. Every
> time I have to unplug/plug it after boot. Not a big deal I admit, but
> boring.

I'm surprised to hear you have that issue.  Are you, perhaps, using an
older version of FreeBSD -- and might this be something fixed in newer
releases?  I'm just curious, because my experience has been quite the
opposite; my mouse and keyboard experience with FreeBSD has actually been
better than with Debian GNU/Linux and MS Windows in the past.

> - USB mass storage plug/unplug sometimes causes system panic. I know
> that this is a well known bug that require some rearchitecting and that
> a proper umount has always been the way to umount a drive, but,
> honestly, you cannot seriously convince someone to use FreeBSD with
> things like this ...

This is actually supposed to be fixed by Tomasz Napierala, with an
estimated project completion date of February 2009, according to this


> - Altough ports are fantastic, building things like OpenOffice or ... is
> just inhuman, especially when you cannot use -j for building ports (but
> it's being resolved I think). Of course there are packages, but it's far
> less friendly to use (and manage) than apt-get/dpkg.

I'd like to see management of packages made simpler and easier, without
package management getting any further diverged from ports management of
course.  The unification of package and port management is kind of a
must-have feature in my opinion, but surely something can be done about
making installing and upgrading from packages simpler and easier without
further damaging that unification.

Chad Perrin [ content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
Quoth Edmund Burke: "Your representative owes you, not his industry
only, but his judgement; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he
sacrifices it to your opinion."
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