Easiest desktop BSD distro

Paul Schmehl pschmehl_lists at tx.rr.com
Tue Mar 29 22:12:55 UTC 2011

--On March 29, 2011 2:23:48 PM -0700 Chip Camden 
<sterling at camdensoftware.com> wrote:

> Quoth William Brown on Wednesday, 30 March 2011:
>> On 30/03/2011, at 07:15, Chip Camden wrote:
>> >> So what do you recommend as my first desktop BSD distro?  What
>> >> desktop BSD distro is so easy to use that even Paris Hilton or
>> >> Jessica "Chicken of the Sea" Simpson can handle it?
>> >
>> > To each their own, but I wouldn't want a system that Paris Hilton could
>> > handle any more than I'd want a vehicle that a four-year-old can drive.
>> There is something to be said for the keep it simple principle however.
> Yes, but "keep it simple" need not mean "do everything for you."  Often,
> a simpler design means more choices, and more choices means more
> responsibility and more steps to completion.

I totally agree.  However, there are different degrees of choices.  For 
example, an installer that says, "Now it's time to partition your disk.  Go 
do that, and when you finish, I'll return you to this screen for the next 
step." is demonstrably different from one that says, "Now it's time to 
partition your disk.  Would you like me to use these displayed defaults? 
Or would you like to make your own decisions?"  Then, once you've selected 
option 2 it says, "What would you like to name this partition? (note, you 
MUST have a root partition, represented by "/".

The former is not "user friendly".  The latter is more so.  Yes, you can go 
to the Handbook and read about partitions, and you can google about them 
and learn more, but the first time you install FreeBSD and you're staring 
at that screen, it's daunting for some folks.

It might even be useful to have an initial screen that offers options such 
as "Experienced User, Minimal Prompts", "Familiar User, Additional Prompts 
and "First Time User, Walk me through it step by step."

Paul Schmehl, Senior Infosec Analyst
As if it wasn't already obvious, my opinions
are my own and not those of my employer.
"It is as useless to argue with those who have
renounced the use of reason as to administer
medication to the dead." Thomas Jefferson
"There are some ideas so wrong that only a very
intelligent person could believe in them." George Orwell

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