FreeBSD 7.1 Content

Jim Pingle lists at
Thu Sep 4 15:49:23 UTC 2008

Dan Allen wrote:
> On 4 Sep 2008, at 8:22 AM, Jim Pingle wrote:
> Okay, so how about for packages on the base CD:
> * cvsup-without-gui (I also always use this)
> * rsync
> * perl

As others have mentioned, there are plenty of uses for packages, even if I
do not use them "out of the box" there are lots of people who do so, and
need them because their networks are completely isolated, or the computers
will not be networked and do not have an urgent need for security updates or
the latest & greatest versions.

> Then, since packages are always out-of-date, why not just skip the DVD
> and use the internet with a couple of check boxes at the end of the
> install, the way ports is treated now, that are just calls to pkg_add -r
> for:
> * KDE
> * Firefox
> * ... whatever else are the most popular add-ons
> Fewer bits to be delivered via CD/DVD, and things are always up-to-date.

My memory may be failing me, but there used to be a port called "instant
workstaion" that accomplished quite a bit, and the installer would drop in X
but asked for KDE or Gnome, but I don't recall when those choices went away.
It appears the workstation port went away because it was broken and had no
maintainer[1]. I have no idea what it might take to gather support for
someone to resurrect the port and keep it updated.

I would not mind having such an option again for desktops, but I would use
it very rarely (only two, maybe three of my FreeBSD systems see desktop-type

>> Also, is not Ubuntu a "downstream" release of Debian, much like
>> FreeSBIE and
>> PC-BSD are "downstream" of FreeBSD? If you want to compare apples to
>> apples,
>> you might investigate those choices a little closer.
> Touche.  I had forgotten this.  Perhaps this is why I was able to crash
> Ubuntu so quickly yesterday... ;-)

Perhaps. I use Ubuntu on a couple systems and it is pretty solid. I used it
mainly because it was easy to turn on the eye candy bits in X to show people
what other OS choices are out there. (Average Joes are really impressed with
the wobbly windows and the way the cube switches multiple desktops)

> I hope everyone realizes that I am not trying to "de-server" FreeBSD.  I
> just remember how daunting it was for me to get X setup when all I
> wanted to use was a web browser when I was new to it all.

Really? It's been easy for me lately, but I don't run on new hardware very
often. On older systems it's been a matter of installing the packages/ports
and running startx. The hard part was waiting for all the packages to install.

I have had a few systems where I needed to tweak Xorg's config, but not too
much. In my experience, it runs much better these days with default choices
than it did in years past. I know others have had just the opposite
experience, so apparently there is still work to be done.

> The early BSD releases had a simple check box to add X support and it
> all just worked.  That was COOL.  That is what I am hoping to get back
> into BSD.

See above, re: instant workstation port. I don't know if it was the same in
the installer or not, but I seem to recall it having a similar effect. I
also thought I remembered FreeBSD themes for KDE and Gnome that were used by
default. There is a beasie theme for Gnome (x11-themes/beastie) but I have
not used it so I don't know what it looks like.

> I do not want to spill onto DVDs, remove the sources, get rid of command
> prompts, or force systems to have on them...

I don't think spilling onto a DVD is a bad thing, as a choice. Then again,
even Ubuntu has separate install CDs for desktop and server.

You might want to talk to the developer of finstall[2], it might be in line
with what you are envisioning.



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