Why FreeBSD not popular on hardware vendors

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Thu Dec 11 14:03:28 PST 2008

Let me jump in again here.

On Thu, 11 Dec 2008 13:46:22 -0800, prad <prad at towardsfreedom.com> wrote:
> so performance, networking (and presumably serving), storage,
> administration
> and
> documentation
> would seem to be major matters of concern.

That's a valid point. I definitely don't want to see these
things changing. Because I have to administer and to program
on FreeBSD, I enjoy (!) the excellent documentation. Everything
is there, from system binaries, configuration files, maintenance
procedures, system calls and kernel interfaces. Just look into
the Linux world - you don't find this fine quality there very
often. It seems to develop into a common habit that documentation
is to be done by the users and to be published in Wikis and web
forums. Personally, I prefer the "old fashioned" man command.
Furthermore, FreeBSD's source code is written in a very good
manner: tidy and self-explaining.

The administration of the FreeBSD OS is, due to its good
documentation, very easy. You can use editors as you wish,
or add GUI frontends. But you don't have to if you feel that
you work faster without all the pomp and pipes, turn and
whistle. :-) There are no stupid programs that know better
than you and then break your configuration.

> 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.

I can't complain - FreeBSD-only desktop since 4.0 without

> 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.

As it has been adviced before, FreeBSD may not be a solution
to a specific problem. But those who use FreeBSD are usually
intelligent enough to look at other places where an OS might
exist that will do what they want, instead of being ignorant
and expecting someone to write the missing stuff for them for

In Germany, we have the term "eierlegende Wollmilchsau" (egg-
laying wool-milk-sow) for something that tries to please everyone's
expectations, a kind of "all imaginable purposes devices to
be used by everyone". Definitely, FreeBSD isn't such a device,
but it doesn't try to be. Where purposes increase, quality
usually decreases. I do see this, for example, in KDE's bad
internationalisation (here, the German one); I always would
prefer a system that is written in good english than one that
is written in bad German and with english error messages.

> 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.

MICROS~1's customers want bugs, they get bugs because they paid
for them. :-)

> 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).

Hm, interesting point of view. Another idea would be the following
slogan: Don't give them what they want, give them what they need.
This implies that the customer often doesn't know what he needs.
I see this concept in action every day. Sometimes, people are
plain stupid, but their expectations are high as a mountain.
You give them computing power not imaginable 10 years ago, and
they treat their system like a worse typewriter and start
complaining that it doesn't read their mind...

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

Personally, I would say so, or we'll end up here:


I do read along there when I feel sad or angry. Maybe this
page helps you, too. :-)

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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