Why FreeBSD not popular on hardware vendors

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Thu Dec 11 16:28:34 PST 2008

On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 01:46:22PM -0800, prad wrote:
> looking further we see:
> "... As a result, FreeBSD may be found across the Internet, in the
> operating
> 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.

Indeed.  FreeBSD is, in terms of its architecture and design philosophy,
the best desktop system I've ever used.  I would like it to continue to
improve as a desktop system -- and, as such, I am vehemently opposed to
anyone that suggests that for "desktop bells and whistles" everybody
should just fuck off to Microsoft-land.

I certainly don't want to sacrifice the things that make FreeBSD great,
not only for servers but for my laptop as well.  We don't have to
sacrifice those things to improve support for common desktop task
functionality such as better 3D accelerated graphics support.  My mind
boggles at the protestations I see against improving such support.

Refusing to support such things will not make FreeBSD better: it will
only make FreeBSD more limited.  Can we stop trying to dissuade people
from improving FreeBSD, and from advocating for improvements?

I don't see any reason we can't try to talk hardware vendors into
providing better specs so better drivers can be produced, nor any reason
we can't welcome people who want to use Compiz Fusion and run currently
popular games on their FreeBSD desktops into the community.  We don't
have to adopt Ubuntu's sudo-only administrative model, decide bugs aren't
important to fix, or adopt a more monolithic approach to system design
that would reduce the performance and stability of FreeBSD, in order to
work on better driver support and desktop usability.

> 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.

I certainly don't want FreeBSD to go there -- but that's not the same as
wanting FreeBSD to offer better support for common desktop functionality
like 3D accelerated graphics.  Why does everybody seem so eager to assume
that FreeBSD isn't, and shouldn't be, a good desktop system?

Chad Perrin [ content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
Quoth Paul Graham: "SUVs are gross because they're the solution to a
gross problem. (How to make minivans look more masculine.)"
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