Why FreeBSD not popular on hardware vendors

prad prad at towardsfreedom.com
Thu Dec 11 13:46:24 PST 2008

On Thu, 11 Dec 2008 12:20:23 -0800
Charlie Kester <corky1951 at comcast.net> wrote:

> Goals are one thing.  How much progress you've made toward meeting
> your goals is another.  This thread has been about some things
> FreeBSD still needs to do in order to meet what do seem to be, after
> all, some of its goals.
true, but goals are not carved in stone - and that might be exactly what
wojciech is worried about. i remember reading one of his posts long ago
where he pleaded that freebsd not stop being freebsd.

> Wojciech seems to be denying that FreeBSD has any such goals that
> require these changes.  But his argument implies that FreeBSD is some
> kind of special-purpose OS with a limited target audience.  I don't
> think that interpretation is supported by the way FreeBSD is presented
> on its own website.
well yes and no.

if you look on the features page:
you can perhaps get a clearer picture of 'goals' (though they aren't as
precisely stated perhaps as http://openbsd.org/goals.html).

for instance:
"No matter what the application, you want your system's resources
performing at their full potential. FreeBSD's focus on performance,
networking, and storage combine with easy system administration and
excellent documentation to allow you to do just that."

so performance, networking (and presumably serving), storage,
would seem to be major matters of concern.

looking further we see:
"... As a result, FreeBSD may be found across the Internet, in the
system of core router products, running root name servers, hosting
major web sites, and as the foundation for widely used desktop
operating systems."

so this would seem to clarify specific uses. the last bit about
desktops is certainly true - freebsd is an excellent foundation for any
desktop use, but that doesn't necessarily mean you get all the goodies
thrown in.

"FreeBSD provides advanced operating system features, making it ideal
across a range of systems, from embedded environments to high-end
multiprocessor servers."

possibly the word 'ideal' can suggest the 'all things to all people'
notion, but possibly it only means that it does really well in pretty
much all situation, but not denying that another os may do better for a
specific situation.

i have a vague recollection from the past that freebsd felt they had
erred with version 5 in that they tried to do too much too soon
resulting in 5 not being as good as 4 (particularly 4.7, i think). this
is really an area of major concern from a philosophical perspective.

in an interview with a german magazine many years ago, bill gates
plainly stated that microsoft wasn't too interested in fixing bugs.
they were far more interested in providing the stuff the customers
want. while that might seem to some like good business sense, it
assumes that the 'customer is always right' (which is really another
way of saying that the customer is always ripe for the picking).

i don't think that's where we'd want freebsd to go.

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