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PC-BSD 0.5a Beta: BSD For Dummies

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the deleetifying dept.

Operating Systems 98

linuxbeta writes "PC-BSD 0.5a beta has now been released! You can download the 670Mb ISO file from our download page. This version fixes some minor bugs, and now has fully automatic network support. Screenshots available." So what's it all about? From the PC-BSD FAQ: "This OS has as its goals to be user-friendly, especially in the area of software installation and management, something that many of the *nix based distros have not yet mastered."

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98 comments

I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (4, Insightful)

SirCyn (694031) | more than 9 years ago | (#12344887)

I have been using BSDs for a while now. They really aren't all that bad to use in the first place. They simply have a steep learning curve if you've never used them before.

Personally I don't think a "User Friendly" flavor of BSD is needed. What is needed is trained admins.

BSD is not meant at all for average joe; and selling it as such is misrepresenting the collective BSD OS. BSDs are powerful, stable, secure server and workstation OSes. NetBSD also runs good on your toaster.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12344938)

Darwin?

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (4, Informative)

SirCyn (694031) | more than 9 years ago | (#12344990)

Yes. I admit that Darwin is a good example of a BSD based OS as a Desktop OS. But there have been many, and fairly extensive, changes to the base. Darwin may owe it's roots and much code to the BSDs, but it is not a direct derivative like this PC-BSD is. The PC-BSD is the same as FreeBSD plus a graphical installer and KDE packaged in. I have not used it yet, so there may be other diferences. From the website it seems there isn't much else.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (4, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345002)

BSD is simpler in configuration than most Linux distros really, just the install is harder. What's wrong with making it easier for more people to try it out?

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12348085)

Linux is simpler in configuration than most BSD based distros really; just the install is easier.

And, well... that's my point.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (2, Insightful)

Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12350819)

bullshit. the hardest part of installing BSD is learning to read. requiring a mouse to install a server is flawed.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12361641)

requiring a display to install a server is flawed.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12361853)

a display attached to the server, I agree. All installers should allow you to install via serial console.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

RevDobbs (313888) | more than 9 years ago | (#12362157)

... and the x86 platform is so eager to pipe I/O out to a serial console. narf.

Isn't that more of a HW issue than a software/installation issue?

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12362328)

not exactly. yes, the server has to have a physical serial connector, but the installer has to support it. many of the linux distros that I have attempted, do not support serial console for install. so I went back to OpenBSD :)

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12372106)

there are definitely PCs with BIOS that has serial redirection. most of your clone-made server boards have this capability, and most of your high-dollar major OEM-made servers do too. I'm not sure how they work, but presumably they scrape video memory and send changes to the terminal using ANSI graphics. The last one I had was really slow but it worked and everything up to your linux kernel messages would come up on the serial port (the time at which you're not using the BIOS any more, so that makes sense) at which point it's Linux's problem.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

RevDobbs (313888) | more than 9 years ago | (#12373800)

most of your clone-made server boards have this capability, and most of your high-dollar major OEM-made servers do too.

You're kinda proving my point: the discussion is on a neophyte-friendly BSD, and I don't think the typical consumer x86 system will redirect I/O to a serial console. At least, none of the desktops that I've seen will do that.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12374551)

Unless you're building a cluster, you shouldn't be using crappy random hardware for servers, either. If you are building a cluster, you can probably handle putting a display on the nodes while you set them up (or you can run them all from the same system image, assigning them hostnames and addresses via DHCP, possibly by MAC.)

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (3, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345814)

Yes fair enough the other BSDs may not be ment for the average person , but yyour missing one vital point here , this is not the other BSDs (actualy OS X is fairly well aimed at the commen man)This BSDs sole aim is to make BSD easy to use which i think is a grand ambition as it gives the people more to choose from.

Yes indeed more trained admins are needed , but ontop of that a wider user base is also needed as such a think spectrum of users will keep the *free* *bsds unaprochable which may make adopotion of the system harder .

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

Franklin Pierce (627062) | more than 9 years ago | (#12356072)

Actually, being what thems be, I don't think the BSDs are meant to be anything but operating systems. People for whom BSD (*BSD? DILLIGAF?) is intended: Computer owners, computer users, homosexuals, fat guys with beards. People for whom it (they) is (are) not intended: Luddites, Amish, gays, fat guys without beards.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (2, Interesting)

LadyLucky (546115) | more than 9 years ago | (#12357034)

actualy OS X is fairly well aimed at the commen man

I think that's true, but I don't think you should look at it exclusively. I've been using computers since a Commodre 64, have used Linux and Windows extensively and recently bought a Mac. I love OS X... not because I don't know how to use a computer, but because I enjoy using a computer that is not constantly getting in my way and making my life difficult.

OS X I think is appealing to computer veterans, and geeks like myself. Email, photos, music all have extraordinarily good applications, but you can still drop to the command line, do some development if you please on a decent Unix shell. What could be better?

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12358356)

Well thats why im using it mainly . having the ability to easily swap between carbon/cocoa apps and a ksh shell is wonderfull .
Currently i have an eMac sitting as my main work terminal for the fact i can quite eassily run apps intended for a wide variety of systems with VPC6 or bochs . plenty of native ports to darwin thanks to fink etc fills out my requierments for remote administration of the server so i barely ever need to move off my chair(probably a bad thing come to think of it).

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12392926)

I think that the Apple PPC platform is a fantastic piece of hardware. But I've used OSX a lot and, in spite of its alledged benefits (MS Office is a benefit?) the GUI really does get in my way.

So I lose the eye-candy and MS Office and "end up" with fvwm2 and Gnumeric & Co. Big deal. I get my work done, for less than $3k and $130/yr, and in an environment I enjoy using.

Why do Mac people always drag up OSX as if it was some kind of drop-in replacement for my OS of choice (which _is_ FreeBSD)? The list for a spare $1500.00 is long; and a new Mac is nowhere near the top.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

LadyLucky (546115) | more than 9 years ago | (#12394551)

They don't assume that. Of course it's not the best operating system for everybody. If you're happy with your Linux or BSD setup, then good on you.

I simply get very frustrated with Windows and Linux and find the interfaces get in my way, even though I have learned the workarounds (how many times do you have to press shift before hitting delete in windows?)

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (4, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345940)

Personally I don't think a "User Friendly" flavor of BSD is needed. What is needed is trained admins.

Ain't gonna happen. There are already 3 major BSD's aimed at the trained admin.

On the other hand, there's only 1 BSD aimed at the end user, and it's not free (OS X). This BSD fills an empty niche.

BSD is not meant at all for average joe; and selling it as such is misrepresenting the collective BSD OS.

BSD isn't "meant" for anyone. It's just aimed at the trained UNIX user because it's not a reasonable OS to aim at the average joe. OS X proves that you can aim a BSD at the computer neophyte, while still satisfying the upper echelon of UNIX gurus. I don't expect this new BSD to be as user-friendly as OS X, but it will be free. Let's hope great things come of it.

You aren't the target market (plus suggestions) (4, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | more than 9 years ago | (#12354637)

You aren't the target market.

People complaining about server installs and power user installs shouldn't use this: they are not the target market, and they should quit complaining and simply not use it: no loss.

Complaining about the desktop choice is another self-defeating proposition: he had to pick *something*, and it had to be one thing to start with, not "pick one of 1000". It also has the benefit of giving a platform target ABI to developers who want to do desktop applications: one of the biggest reasons UNIX systems don't end up with a lot of applications is lack of a uniform target ABI. Even if the API was the same across multiple look-and-feel values, it's not enough to attract developers: requiring a recompilation means doubling their support and testing burdens, as well as their SKU count (if they don't ship all versions on the same CD/DVD).

One of the best things MacOS X did, from this perspective, is *not* open up the GUI code, so that people have a hard time making a zillion incompatible versions and shipping them around, fragmenting the market. I hope he does not cave in to pressure to "pull a RedHat" with a "KDE or Gnome" option.

For the average user, it's a step in the right direction, and one that all of the BSD's, save MacOS X, have been too snobby to take on their own (or too caught up in the myth of the server being the only market space that's a valid target for a BSD based OS).

There are a couple of things that could be changed to make it better, but it's miles above the fear-inspiring raw text prompt and ASCII graphics of the normal FreeBSD installer.

Instead of a hierarchical relationship between things you have to fill out, as in sysinstall, where it's an exercise for the student to traverse the installation/configuration tree, it's a simple linear progression.

Instead of dropping you to a raw login prompt, it drops you to a KDE login.

All in all, it removes much of the "fear barrier" that keeps people from even considering installing a BSD operating system on their machine in the first place.

I dislike the use of the GPL, but given that it's written against a GPL'ed toolkit, it's excusable in the face of what it provides.

Here's what else I think it needs to really polish it off:

o Graphical partition editor

It currently assumes you have a free partition lying around, and it doesn't really permit editing it. I know this is a very hard nut to crack, and that Partition Magic has an entire product dedicated to the task (AFAIK, it's the only product that can safely resize NTFS partitions); I'm not sure how doable this is, but it's near the top of the list.

NB: The only reasonably way I have ever come up with to deal with this, short of contracting the work out the the P.M. people, is a Window NT install program that allocated a chunk of disk space *inside* the NTFS, and then a booter program that is an icon on the NT desktop, and let FreeBSD use the existing allocated NTFS file as a fielsystem, after hacking the block driver to make it appear virtually contiguous. I expect that this will be the last thing on my list implemented, if ever.

o Creation of an "admin" account, rather than root

This would just be the initial user's account, with rights to "sudo"; they could name it anything they wanted to name it. The root account would be disabled by default; you could always enable it via "sudo passwd" later, if you wanted to be able to login as root instead of the user.

o Automatic walk-through for the configuration

If you have an initial account other than the root account, you can walk the user immediately through the account-specific configuration. This would be a smoother transition, rather than stopping, requiring a login, and then continuing.

o Automatic login as the admin user

I realize that this may seem much less anal than a typical UNIX appraoch to things, but it's possible to do this relatively safely, simpy by enabling a screen saver by default, with a requirement for the user's password enabled by default. If they user wants to disable autologin after the fact, and be prompted for a login, then they can enable this later; multiple logins is a "power user" feature, and this distribution obviously isn't intended for power users.

All in all, however, this is a great start at replacing sysinstall, which should have died years ago.

-- Terry

Re:You aren't the target market (plus suggestions) (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12375933)

> There are a couple of things that could be changed to make it better,
> but it's miles above the fear-inspiring raw text prompt and ASCII
> graphics of the normal FreeBSD installer.

Heh. How would you describe the OpenBSD installer?

Re:You aren't the target market (plus suggestions) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12434108)

Heh. How would you describe the OpenBSD installer?

Like digital vomit?

Re:You aren't the target market (plus suggestions) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12381131)

o Graphical partition editor

I have had a 100% success with the PM clone, qtparted, includeded in Linux iso found here: http://www.sysresccd.org/ [sysresccd.org] .

It uses the the the ntfsresize functions from ntfsprogs.

The fact that this is GPL shouldn't pose a problem. The ntfsprogs port in FreeBSD ports has soem issues, but most seemed to releate to locking devices and may have been overcome by recent MFC.

I question the motive behind "trained admins". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12363929)

I had never used a BSD before OSX came around. It really isn't that bad to use in the first place, and has a fairly shallow learning curve if you've ever used a computer before.

Personally, I don't think that a "User Friendly" flavor of BSD is needed by trained admins. What is needed is one that can be used without them.

The current BSDs are not meant at all for the average joe. BSDs are powerful, stable and secure server and workstation OSes. Why not make it as easy to install and use as bread into the toaster?

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

normanca (757939) | more than 9 years ago | (#12386947)

I have tried installing FreeBSD and have gotten the basic non-gui working but have never been able to load and run the gui. I tried the PC-BSD. I liked it. There is still a learning curve. It is not a simple point and click O/S. I think BSD needs to expand its base and PC-BSD is a vehical that may help get more newbe's like me started. Started is the word. I still have a lot to learn, more how to use it and get all the apps and hardware working. and the command line. thats my two cents worth anyway.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12390354)

I for one have been a fan of FreeBSD for many years, but have never yet been able to get any form of X to work decently. Yes, I did input every last detail about my video card correctly--but still something or other was always wrong, and I could never find instructions to troubleshoot it.

So I welcome the prospect of something like what Linux has had for ages, where automatic setup scripts can get the video [and one day I hope audio] working right out of the box. Spending half a day dismantling the machine and taking notes on all the chip names will not always be possible in my life. This will make it much more feasible for me to get the machine to a useful state, where I can keep it and train myself to use it for admin jobs.

Cheers.

Re:I question the motive behind "User Friendly" (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12437475)

I've been a linux user for a few years now, and have recently "discovered" FreeBSD through FreeSBIE LiveCD project http://www.freesbie.org/ [freesbie.org] . Up to that time, I had made a couple of install attempts of FreeBSD 5.3 Release with limited success, and had put further exploration on the back burner.

Having finally had a chance to experience (and have a successful harddrive install through the FreeSBIE install scripts) a FreeBSD desktop environment (XFCE4 in the case of FreeSBIE, with Fluxbox being the other choice in FreeSBIE) I've now caught the *BSD bug, and have learned much through having a working FreeBSD desktop environment from which to learn, since for me, it's easier to fix something that you know once worked, and by troubleshooting what went wrong, learn much more about the system than the problem would strictly encompass.

Without that "leg-up" to a functioning FreeBSD install, I might still be using linux only, and not have yet discovered the strengths of the various *BSDs and the opportunity to learn the basics of a new (to me) powerful operating system, with somewhat limited time in my schedule.

I am delighted to find another *BSD-based desktop-oriented distro. I have to disagree with the attitude that "BSD is not meant for the average Joe". BSD is capable of being whatever one needs, that is one of the beauties of it.

Nearly any "server environment" requires trained admins, regardless of the operating system used, since the level of knowledge required is more a function of the application to which it is being applied, as opposed to the "user-friendliness" in this case, IMHO.

As mentioned, it can't but help all of the *BSDs to increase their user base, possibly even kill the /. meme: "netcraft confirms: BSD is dead".
Well, one can dream. :)

Strat

Ooooo... Graphical installer! (5, Interesting)

kernelistic (160323) | more than 9 years ago | (#12344895)

It would appear that this is the first BSD with a fully-graphical installer. Kudos! When will we see this installer backported and available as an option during the CD-build process? :)

Re:Ooooo... Graphical installer! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12345594)

As soon as you start working on it.

Re:Ooooo... Graphical installer! (2, Informative)

maxjenius22 (560382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345765)

Didn't they just release Tiger?

Re:Ooooo... Graphical installer! (2, Interesting)

Bunyip Redgum (641801) | more than 9 years ago | (#12346121)

It probably won't be backported to any BSD since all the software they are developing is GPL!

Pity, since a gui install and gui version of pkg_* utilities would increase the appeal of FreeBSD.

Re:Ooooo... Graphical installer! (1)

sremick (91371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12428716)

"since a gui install and gui version of pkg_* utilities would increase the appeal of FreeBSD."

You mean like bpm [freshports.org] , portbrowser [freshports.org] , or barry [freshports.org] ?

Re:Ooooo... Graphical installer! (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12351299)

It probably won't be backported. The PC-BSD folks were rude and used the GPL. Getting GPL code into the core of Free/Net/OpenBSD is a political impossibility.

Using the GPL isn't the problem. It's using the GPL for stuff that's traditionally under a BSD licnese that's rude. It's like licensing a Linux device driver under the CPL. Nothing's stopping you from doing it, but just don't expect its acceptance by Torvalds, Morton or Cox.

Re:Ooooo... Graphical installer! (1)

Shachaf (781326) | more than 9 years ago | (#12462138)

They had a reason for the GPL. From their FAQ [pcbsd.org] :

Why the GPL License for PC-BSD Installer?

All custom software developed for PC-BSD, The GUI Installer, Package Manager, Package Creator, were developed using the QT libraries. (www.trolltech.com [trolltech.com] ) QT is one of the most powerful, solid C++ library sets available today, but it does not allow releasing under the BSD license, only under the GPL, or their own custom license QPL. [trolltech.com] For this reason, we have chosen to go the GPL approach. This was not intended to *pollute* the BSD license, just as a user running KDE on BSD doesn't intend to pollute the license either.


So they had to either write a GTK installer (and using KDE as the desktop, this wouldn't make sense), pay Trolltech for a QT license, or release under QT with the GPL.

KDE on FreeBSD (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12344935)

What's the point? To me and many others *BSD is about 1) a different license and 2) a different philosophy of development - that is, centralised development of an entire operating system, not just a kernel. Of course, this has never really been true as X11 has always been a seperate project to all *BSD machines, so the "whole OS" concept really doesn't fly - but at least the licenses were similar. Then you go plop KDE into the mix.

Re:KDE on FreeBSD (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345136)

I've gotta disagree with you there. To me, *BSD (FreeBSD is my flavor of choice) is about a stabler, stronger platform to keep my systems chugging along. This is definitely assisted by the fact that the same folks do the development of the entire OS, not just the kernel, like you said.

Philosophically speaking, the fact that *BSD uses a truly free license is just a bit of icing on the cake. :)

Re:KDE on FreeBSD (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345598)

avoiding your flamebait, what you've just said merely reiterates my confusion. The benefit of using FreeBSD is that these "same folks" do the development of the entire OS, not just the kernel, but if you are going to sit down and use KDE day in and day out, you're really not using anything but the kernel out of that collection of software which you call the "entire OS".

Re:KDE on FreeBSD (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345635)

It wasn't flamebait, I was actually AGREEING with you, with the difference being that the PRINCIPLES that *BSD is about to you:

To me and many others *BSD is about 1) a different license and 2) a different philosophy of development - that is, centralised development of an entire operating system, not just a kernel.


Is not the reason that I swear by BSD, but rather the CAUSE of the reason: In other words, the different philosophy of development made one hell of a rock solid system.


Of course, this has never really been true as X11 has always been a seperate project to all *BSD machines, so the "whole OS" concept really doesn't fly


I don't even run X on my *BSD boxen, much less the KDE bloatfest, but it's still fully functional. A GUI isn't a necessary part of an OS.

Re:KDE on FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12345945)

Even worse; all PC-BSD additions are GPL.

Re:KDE on FreeBSD (2, Informative)

ulib (816651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345853)

What's the point? To me and many others *BSD is about 1) a different license and 2) a different philosophy of development - that is, centralised development of an entire operating system, not just a kernel.

I definitely agree, but let's remember that KDE on FreeBSD is hardly news.
http://freebsd.kde.org/ [kde.org]

--
Being able to read *other people's* source code is a nice thing, not a 'fundamental freedom'.

Re:KDE on FreeBSD (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12347178)

You've fallen into the Microsoft trap. The brainwashing is complete. You now assume an OS has to have a GUI. You're probably starting to wonder why X11 doesn't have a built in web browser.

Believe it or not, you don't need the eye candy to get work done. Many computer tasks don't even need a human in the loop.

Re:KDE on FreeBSD (1)

sigmund lahn (877800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12474738)

Please.
This is not a server os. PC-BSD is targeted at the normal desktop user, not at the users who need to automate nightly builds of their newest cutting-edge AIs :)

And I think most of us are quite happy with Firefox.

Re:KDE on FreeBSD (1)

Nirbo (781868) | more than 9 years ago | (#12348321)

I'll have to also disagree,

part of *BSD's great strength is the ability to be very usable without a GUI :p. Personally, I don't want X11 creating all kinds of overhead for my already ailing craptastic P2 server ;)

Whereas, I'd be a madman for running FreeBSD as an everyday desktop without it :p. ... Assuming running FreeBSD as a desktop doesn't already make me quite the madman.

Re:KDE on FreeBSD (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12351333)

Assuming running FreeBSD as a desktop doesn't already make me quite the madman.

I must be a madman, because I'm using KDE/FreeBSD as my desktop. Complete with all the trimmings.

Re:KDE on FreeBSD (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 9 years ago | (#12351510)

"... Assuming running FreeBSD as a desktop doesn't already make me quite the madman."

lol. As someone who Runs FreeBSD 5-stable (with KDE 3.4) as a desktop , I can relate. Waiting for the entire KDE 3.4 suite from the ports collection to compile was quite the task.

The only thing that kept me sane was finding out that most of my favorite sites worked just fine with Links.

Re:KDE on FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12355537)

The only thing that kept me sane was finding out that most of my favorite sites worked just fine with Links.

God forbit you do anything social while it's building.

Torrent? (2, Interesting)

idiotfromia (657688) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345014)

Well, where's the torrent? It seems like that should be part of any article involving new *nix releases.

I haven't tried BSD before, and this sounds like a good first timer's distro.

Re:Torrent? (1)

tigga (559880) | more than 9 years ago | (#12356384)

Well, where's the torrent? It seems like that should be part of any article involving new *nix releases.

What's the point of torrent if you can download files faster without torrent?

Re:Torrent? (3, Insightful)

TCM (130219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12357532)

With a torrent I can become a mirror myself if I want to donate some bandwidth.

Re:Torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12392996)

"sounds like a good first timer's distro."

That was my experience too. For both FreeBSD and Slackware, two OSes/distros with fearful reputations, they were both a joy to install and run. I've stayed with FreeBSD but keep my Slack subscription in case I ever want a Linux without FUD, bloat or mystery scripting. (That last one was for you, SuSE.)

From the sound of it.... (1)

p.rican (643452) | more than 9 years ago | (#12407569)

I would suggest FreesBIE [fressbie.org] instead because it's a livecd with excellent hardware detection and seems to include more packages than PCBSD. The OS can be installed to your hard drive if you wish and then it can be CVSup'ed to FreeBSD 5.3.

Here's [osnews.com] my review of it from way back when if you need more info on it.

Enjoy!

it even has a user friendly name! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12345049)

"PC-BSD 0.5a Beta"

It just rolls off the tongue. Even my grandma could remember that!

Re:it even has a user friendly name! (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12350172)

It makes a nice chant, doesn't it?


P - C,
BSD,
0h five A...
Bet-uh!

*BSD for dummies? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12345077)

This sounds interesting, a dummy that runs *BSD. I guess it is rather appropriate, given that a dummy is still and lifeless. I'm surprised it took someone this long to think of it.

Next up: Windows for Japanese commuter trains, MacOS for Spongebob Squarepants, and PalmOS for the San Fernando Valley.

You forgot: (1)

ulib (816651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12348057)

GNU/Linux for Cubans and pot smokers.
--
Requiem for the FUD [slashdot.org]

Hmmm.... (4, Informative)

coyote4til7 (189857) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345078)

The philosophy is interesting. It's also the first instance of something that sounds cheesey but I'd love to tack on to XP when I tortured with that: The Eye Candy Meter [osdir.com]

But, the question is what's it for? The key thing seems to be a great sense of integration, etc. But, as far as I can tell, most of the things that someone who wants a *nix with a gui are not there. I may have missed some included alternatives, but you'll do without:

  • abiword/openoffice/gnumeric/koffice
  • firefox/mozilla (it does seem to have Konqueror)
  • mplayer
  • apache/php/postgresql/mysql
  • quanta
  • gimp
  • emacs

Ouch! I suspect you won't be using this to do office, web or database work for now. Complete package list/release notes here [pcbsd.org]

screenshots. (1)

hatrisc (555862) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345261)

What's the point of showing off PC-BSD by using screenshots of KDE? They could have been taken right off of KDE's page. I can understand screenshots of the graphical installer, as this is PC-BSD specific, but if I'm not mistaking, KDE looks like KDE on virtually any platform.

Re:screenshots. (4, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12345835)

I belive these screenshots are not intended for "Us" (as in the experienced users.
They are to show the new guys what is in store for them when they get the system up and running and how the desktop will look.
As remember this is targeted at the "Newbies" and most of them probably have never seen KDE let alone know what it is

Under GPL (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12345512)

While it could be useful if successful and reintegrated into FreeBSD, but all of their code is under the GPL. I doubt any of the BSD projects would touch any of their work.

Re:Under GPL (3, Informative)

archen (447353) | more than 9 years ago | (#12347084)

The BSDs do use GPL code, gcc being one of many examples. For the most part, it's the installer we're probably talking about here, thus not part of the base system, so it's probably not so much of an issue if one of the BSDs decided to adopt it.

Not sure if I would want this sort of installation or not, but I think that the BSD projects could benefit from easier installations. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do it now, but it could be made a bit easier. Right now I'd say the future of BSD installation is the DragonFly installer.

Re:Under GPL (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12351490)

If the component is necessary and under the GPL, then it will be included in the base. This is why you'll find gcc in the base distributions. Getting non essential GPL code into the base is much more difficult.

The BSDs will use GPL code, but they won't write it. In some cases they'll even reinvent the wheel to get around it. This is because part of the BSD philosophy is "when the software leaves your hands, it leaves your control." This may be a foreign concept to some GPL advocates, but to a BSD author, the idea that you should attach regulations to the software you give away is silly.

Re:Under GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12375902)

Wrong. Its called "Not Invented Here" aka NIH. The BSD philosophy is about wasting time while everyone else goes light-years ahead in things like SMP, journaling fiflesystems and just about every other cutting edge OS feature.

Hmm, so far this is merely sysinstall (1)

Ricin (236107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12346348)

under a somewhat ugly (GPL'ed) QT wizard. The text is the same, the steps are the same... not much to see here.

Let's see that package manager they're going to come up with and maybe then we can get impressed.

Re:Hmm, so far this is merely sysinstall (1)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12346803)

Agreed. The ONLY reason I'm still using Linux as opposed to FreeBSD (only ditched Windows last August) is that I've had a hullava time upgrading FreeBSD WITHOUT destroying something that I don't know how to fix. Even the Debian apt-get (under Ubuntu) and synaptic are about the only reason holding be to Linux. However, I have every intention to continue to tinker with FreeBSD (like I've done with Linux for longer) and learn where I went wrong.

A simplified upgrade wizard, optionally, would be a great benefit to the new users that can't devote as much time anymore as were once were to mastering a new OS.

Re:Hmm, so far this is merely sysinstall (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12347476)

Upgrading the FreeBSD base system is relatively easy (which is to say that if you follow the instructions in the handbook it works, rather than that the procedure itself is trivial). Upgrading ports is slightly harder, but the portupgrade port makes it very easy. Take a look at Dru's articles about portupgrade on onlamp for more information.

Re:Hmm, so far this is merely sysinstall (2, Informative)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12347667)

Thanks. I've already been there and done that - a few times. I'm always having to make a custom kernel to support SMP and this wierd Alteon (IBM Netfinity) gigabit NIC. Portupgrading was always easy, I was always seeming to get tripped up with mergemaster and build world (after tripping up the kernel confing a time or two).

More time tinkering later and I'm sure I'll figure out where I went wrong.

BTW, has the Pango problems with 5.3 been fixed in 5.4RC?

Best install guide for newbies I've yet come across:
http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~reinholz/freebsd/53 _install2.htm [colostate.edu]

Re:Hmm, so far this is merely sysinstall (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12347770)

The kernel configs can usually be kept between different minor version numbers - just make sure you keep the it in /root (or somewhere else safe) and sym-link it to the /sys tree, and remember to specify your kernel config in the buildkernel option. If the only change you need is the NIC (I can't remember if SMP is on in the GENERIC kernel in 5.x), and you don't need it to boot then you might consider building it as a module.

I'm afraid I can't help you with 5.4RC - my server still uses 4.11, and my ThinkPad is on a slightly old version of 5-STABLE (support for my WiFi card was added to Project Evil just after 5.3-RELEASE).

Re:Hmm, so far this is merely sysinstall (1)

sremick (91371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12428948)

I haven't really had much problem upgrading FreeBSD. This machine runs 5.3... soon to be 5.4... and it began life at 5.0.

My 2 gripes with upgrading are:

1) mergemaster. This program and the procedure is a a pain as the amount of human-interaction is huge. If you want ALL of the old file or ALL of the new file, you're fine... but if you want SOME, the interface is really clumsy and it's not easy to use. And it takes a fair amount of knowledge to know which files you want what of. There's got to be an easier way... perhaps something that noted what files had been changed from their stock/default version, and could take those diffs and allow you to easily apply them to the new files (instead of an all-or-nothing-or-you're-on-your-own thing).

2) Sometimes enough changes between FreeBSD versions that you need to recompile all your ports. Not difficult, but it takes a few days on my system.

Looks Good.. (1)

Digital Warfare (746982) | more than 9 years ago | (#12346498)

I seem to be having trouble installing the BSD bootloader to load BSD on the second drive (IDE 1 is Windows, SATA (IDE2) is BSD), I just can't seem to get it to install on the first Drive, I select it and it goes to Disklabeler on the wrong disc.
Anyway, I hope they release a AMD64 version, that'd be great :D

Why is this a separate project? (5, Insightful)

Bleeblah (602029) | more than 9 years ago | (#12348043)

Why is this being launched as "PC-BSD"? This is just the standard FreeBSD installer redone (word for word) with a GUI interface. And by standard this I mean straight out of the box, without any tweaks. KDE doesn't even have font smoothing turned on!

Let's not pretend that "PC-BSD" is something new or exciting. It doesn't fill a new niche (Free / Open / Net) or take the OS in a new direction (Dragonfly). As it stands, other than the GUI installer this is strictly "Look mom, I made me a distro!" However, if done as part of the FreeBSD effort this could be valuable.

I'm sure the FreeBSD team would welcome these folks' effort at building a GUI installer (not that the text one is difficult to use...it is very straightforward), and instructions on contributing to FreeBSD are available at www.freebsd.org.

Re:Why is this a separate project? (1)

Bleeblah (602029) | more than 9 years ago | (#12348151)

Correction - They don't have KDM configured to use smooth fonts. KDE is purty as expected.

Re:Why is this a separate project? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12362608)

NO they won't. Many people including me have asked the freebsd project to focus more on desktop development. Linux is not the end all for desktops.. and since OSX can do it why can't something free?

The FreeBSD people decline time and time again to even support GUI installations because "why would you need it on a server". Their "power to serve" slogan is dead serious. I've thought about forking a GUI bsd for some time, as many have asked on freebsd-questions mailing list. About time! Too bad its GPL licensed :(

Of course there's not a good X11 window manager or desktop environment thats BSD licensed. What could they use besides KDE, Gnone, elightenment, afterstep, windowmaker or xfce? Its about time someone made a OSX like window manager thats bsd licensed. Thats the next step. (it doesn't have to be a clone, just easy to use)

Re:Why is this a separate project? (2, Insightful)

linguae (763922) | more than 9 years ago | (#12368165)

PC-BSD does fill a niche; a BSD equivalent to something like Mandrake or Ubuntu. I love FreeBSD, but I can't imagine Joe Average being able to do all of the things necessary in order to actually use his shiny new FreeBSD desktop; he'll have to recompile his kernel to support his sound card and other devices, upgrade his ports, learn how to install X, and some other non-newbie friendly stuff.

Enter PC-BSD. PC-BSD is pretty much a hybrid of FreeBSD and KDE. It has a graphical installer, a graphical interface for FreeBSD ports, graphical tools for setup, and uses KDE as a graphical desktop. It would be very nice for those who want to get away from Windows and want to have the security and stability of a BSD, yet still have the usability.

There are just one minor qualm that I have with PC-BSD: the use of the GPL rather than the BSD license for PC-BSD-specific tools. It's nothing to be mad about (I have nothing against the GPL; I use GPL'd software all the time), nor is it anything that would impact PC-BSD's expected user base, but I think that the BSD license is one of the most important parts of the BSD philosophy. Plus, this would also mean that (Free|Open|Net)BSD would probably never import PC-BSD's features, solely because of licensing Then again, KDE is under the GPL, and the BSDs themselves have some GPL'd components (such as gcc) included with it, so it's not a problem for me.

Re:Why is this a separate project? (1)

Elshar (232380) | more than 9 years ago | (#12414862)


After all that, I still don't see why it shouldn't be part of FreeBSD. It wouldn't be hard to make an additional menu item, which could be the default one that says 'Pretty, Shiny GUI Install'.

One thing I LOVE about the BSD's is their ability to WORK TOGETHER instead of fragmenting like so many clusterbombs because one person doing one script happens to disagree with one other person.

We don't need PC-BSD. What we need is for them to get their stuff together, and work with Free/Net/Open/Dragonfly BSD. C'mon people, do you WANT the BSD's to be like linux distros? No? Then time to compromise. :)

Re:Why is this a separate project? (1)

sremick (91371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12429030)

"he'll have to recompile his kernel to support his sound card"

Actually, that hasn't been the case for quite some time. The sound driver (along with others) is a kernel-loadable module.

Re:Why is this a separate project? (1)

k-zed (92087) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430012)

Why do we want Joe Average to be able to install FreeBSD? This argument started and ended with Linux some time ago - when Joe started to use Linux, some of the oldschool people raised their voices, but they were silenced real quick. OK, so let there be "user friendly" Linux distros (whatever that expression means, other than "not as good"). But FreeBSD? What's the world coming to?

personally... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12349976)

I use Mandriva LInux 2005 (it got faster than past Mandrakes). I know BSD is a better system than Linux. It's development is more centralized, better tested, more secure. However, I installed FreeBSD and I got the X server running. I had to do EVERYTHING that Mandrake does for me. I had to load my sound card by editing loader.conf. I had to load my windows partitions by editing the fstab file. I had to tinker around with the Xorg.conf file to get my NVIDIA driver to run. And then, to top it off, my XMMS was crackling and popping with every MP3 (running on OSS driver), and I couldn't figure out the damned Ports system. Too much editing, supfiles, etc. etc. etc.

Compare all that hassle, with one time installation of mandrake, going into their GUI application, EASY URPMI my sources, updating my distro to latest packages, and installing selected packages. BIG DIFFERENCE.

I believe in the BSD coherent philosophy as opposed to Linux' anarchism. But...customizing the PC shouldn't be a hell. Somethings SHOULD be automated...customize your window manager and its themes. customize the speed or kernel...but don't make people have to work for simply recognizing a windows partitition! OR having to add people's names to the "group file" so that you can SU from their account! These are the things that the BSDs have ignored, which turn off many potential BSDers, and which make it hard for us open-source advocates to spread the Gospel to other savvy Windows users who can turn to open-source.

I customized my BSD and got EVERYTHING running. I had problems with the Ports System and keeping my entire system up to date. Those are the things that the BSD groups need to prioritize to make the system more accessible. And doing so doesn't mean we have to lose out on the stability, highly secure basis of the OS.

If PC-BSD can focus on that, and keep the FreeBSD qualities, I'll switch from Mandriva to it any day. If PC-BSD can do what VidaLinux' GUI emerge functions did for Gentoo Linux (meaning, make the whole updating from source easy), then you got yourself the perfect OS. Easy to use, secure, easy to update, and stable.

BSDs are the most advanced OSes in the world...but they are lacking in installation, management, and upgrading. It's not easy...and I've used 8 different Linux Distros (Mandrake, Suse, Ubuntu, Debian, Gentoo, VidaLinux, Yoper Linux, Vector Linux), and attempted FreeBSD 3 times (the third was the charm).

Re:personally... (1)

sp0rk173 (609022) | more than 9 years ago | (#12355597)

All of those things you mention are intentional. BSD's don't actively try to go out and get users...they just create it and the users come. A certain kind of person in attracted to BSD.

Re:personally... (2, Informative)

WushuJim (595318) | more than 9 years ago | (#12373550)

"and I couldn't figure out the damned Ports system"

The ports system is what makes FreeBSD so easy to use. Install whatever you want with "pkg_add -r portname". How hard is that to figure out? The port is installed along with all its dependiencies.

Re:personally... (1)

alc6379 (832389) | more than 9 years ago | (#12434512)

The ports system is what makes FreeBSD so easy to use. Install whatever you want with "pkg_add -r portname". How hard is that to figure out? The port is installed along with all its dependiencies.

...Not quite. That is a really convenient way to download pre-compiled binaries that are available from the FTP package repository. Ports is still fairly easy-- locate the package you want in /usr/ports and then cd into that directory. Typing make install distclean will compile and install all the packages, as well as any needed dependancies.

I'll reserve judgement till I get around to it... (1)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#12350049)

Firstly, not one BSD distro I've ever put to a machine has worked with the ethernet and dhcp right off the bat. Much fiddling and farking was required and accompanied by much cursing of my fellow geeks for still resisting ease of use as if making too much sense, such as it should work the first time as advertised, was an affront against nature.

Secondly, whereas BSD makes itself as hard to use as possible seemingly on purpose (BSDM lifestyle and all), Linux does it through inane obfuscation and willful ignorance of Occam's Razor.

Need the entirety of the Unix would be so oblivious as to why Windows is where it is and Unix isn't?

There's probably new ground in the area of irony being charted by the fact that it took Steve Jobs and Apple to do something easy to use and pleasing to use with BSD in the form of OSX, not the Open Source community, not closed source Unix community, but Steve "I am you Macintosh Overlord" Jobs.

Re:I'll reserve judgement till I get around to it. (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12351547)

Firstly, not one BSD distro I've ever put to a machine has worked with the ethernet and dhcp right off the bat.

Unless you're using a proprietary wifi card, getting your network setup under FreeBSD is nearly effortless. I don't know what you're doing wrong, but doing it wrong you certainly are.

There are certainly areas where FreeBSD is unsuited to the casual newbie exploring his alternatives, but setting up a network is not one of them. Unless of course you have a proprietary Windows-only uncontaminated-by-specifications wifi card...

Re:I'll reserve judgement till I get around to it. (2, Informative)

halber_mensch (851834) | more than 9 years ago | (#12351904)

Firstly, not one BSD distro I've ever put to a machine has worked with the ethernet and dhcp right off the bat. Much fiddling and farking was required and accompanied by much cursing of my fellow geeks for still resisting ease of use as if making too much sense, such as it should work the first time as advertised, was an affront against nature.
Hmmm...
FreeBSD:
rc.conf - ifconfig_if0="DHCP"
NetBSD:
ifconfig.if0 - !dhclient $int

Not much fiddling and farking required, and it shouldn't be accompanied by much cursing of you and your companions for still resisting the reading of the manual as if learning how to operate your system was an affront to nature.
Need the entirety of the Unix would be so oblivious as to why Windows is where it is and Unix isn't?
Market cornering is hardly a related to this argument. That's how Windows got where it is. IF ease of use == market share, then Windows certainly wouldn't be the king right now, MacOS would. Microsoft scored lucrative deals with vendors to include exclusively their products on cheap hardware in the days of DOS (which was hardly user-friendly - want to run an app? change your emm config first amigo! Memory doesn't allocate itself you know!)

In seriousness, I'd like to counter your argument by saying that quickly hacking on a config file is much easier to do (and more independent of interactivity) than munging through a GUI tool hoping to find the right menu with the right option for what you want (if it's even available). Configuration is a one-step process of opening a text file and explicitly stating what configuration options the user wants. This is easy.

I have a hunch that by ease of use, you are actually referring to obviousness of use. While editing a text file really is not hard to do, it isn't necessarily obvious to the novice user. Personally, I think that users who want obvious should stick to something simple like Windows. It fits their purpose, which is probably surfing the web and writing emails to grandma. But for more serious users that want a serious system, there is BSD.

I am not opposed, however, to providing simple tools for simple users. I just do not want to sacrifice the power of the system to them.

Re:I'll reserve judgement till I get around to it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12367282)

or, on netbsd:

dhclient=YES
dhclient_flags="fxp0"
(or leave this one out to config all available interfaces". /etc/rc.d/dhclient start

Re:I'll reserve judgement till I get around to it. (1)

Elshar (232380) | more than 9 years ago | (#12415009)


I think you're comparing oranges to apples.

Kinda like saying "You know those semi trucks? Why the hell do they have 18 gears?! You DO realize that that is why the consumer will never want to drive one, right? I mean, who can operate a triple shifter system?!"

Windows is where it is because it works well for the desktop. UNIX is where it is because its an incredibly stable, reliable server. The only people who use windows for their servers are Microsoft, or Windows-users-turned-admin.

That said, I agree. Everyone should in the unix-like crowd need to stop bickering, and set down some standardized interfaces/options/etc. It really really sucks to move from GNU to BSD tools or vice versa because NOTHING IS THE SAME. Its all totally different arguments/options/output.

Re:I'll reserve judgement till I get around to it. (1)

adiposity (684943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12362187)

I'm surprised that this has been your experience, troll. I've found that dhcp and ethernet typically work without any manual configuration. The only time I've had to do any manual changes was when I added a second network card. It didn't automatically add it for me, and I had to load the module myself.

There are a lot of benefits to FreeBSD and other BSDs, but ease of setting up isn't one of them. But the only hardware I really have had trouble with was sound cards and ACPI. Video cards were about the same to set up as Linux (it's all about X, not BSD or Linux). This new BSD may eventually turn into something that's easy to configure, which would bring the benefits of BSD to some who find it too difficult to setup.

-Dan

YABSD (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 9 years ago | (#12350226)

I have a little network card that isnt supported in other BSDs. So I'll fork the entire BSD OS, and put my card's driver into it.

Maybe Linus should fork the kernel, to have a special kernel just to run his new bitkeeper replacement.

A brand new OS sounds great, both for a kid developer, and for a major country like China. But really what they do is copy over most of the (free) code and rebrand it, adding their few improvements. Ideally people would release their packages as projects under sourceforge or something, but everyone likes to sound big. China would love to say they have an OS rather than creating locales for their language; and a kid in a garage would love to say he's programmed up an OS. Puts him in the same league as Linus, Tannenbaum and K&R, even though those guys didnt program up their whole OSes.

A screenshot of an *BSD installer (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12354192)

Where would you like to install BSD?
1) On my dead hard drive
2) In my personal cemetery
3) Deep inside a dark tomb

What type of mouse do you use?
1) A slightly dead Dell mouse
2) A rodent corpse I picked up
3) I don't

Answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12355856)

Where would you like to install BSD?
Uh.. a bit everywhere. A good guess is, wherever there happens to be Linux. [w3reports.com]

What type of mouse do you use?
I kinda like this one. [hafdis.dk] (this is not BSD-specific).
--
Being able to read *other people's* source code is a nice thing, not a 'fundamental freedom'.

I disagree with making things "easy" (2, Insightful)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 9 years ago | (#12362124)

First off, a disclaimer:

All the Linux/OSX/Windows users will pull the "stodgy bsd user/you just want to seem l337" card. FWIW i've used fbsd for 1 year, linux for 7, windows for 3 and OSX for 2, and my opinion has been the same forever.

Just as someone noted early on, we need to make smarter users, not dumber computers. "Dumbing down" an OS, program or anything doesn't really make it more simple. It's just a facade over the real complexity underneath.

What's more, the user outgrows this crutch quickly, and then all the "simplification" stuff gets in their way from there on out.

Secondly, we don't need to introduce non-geeky people to geek-oriented OSes. They won't really get anything out of it, no differently than geeky people won't get anything out of a "user-friendly" os such as MacOS9 or Windows95.
Yeah, i know that there is OSX, which is claiming to "bridge the gap", but 99% of Mac users are actually using Aqua and all it's iStuff, not puttering around the underlying *BSD bits. Some folks here will pipe up and say they spend loads of time in the guts, sure, but this is the BSD section on /. The rest of the Mac world is different.

Thirdly, if something great comes of this, well... great. More power to them. But watch for the OSX zealots* to cry foul and say "It's just another PC-Folks ripping of the Mac-Folks thing" and "Copycat OSX/BSD for the PC!" and stuff.

Fourthly, though i will say that BSD is a much better foundation that Linux (for a lot of reasons) to base an OS on, I don't expect it to reach wide popularity, no differently than some of the more "user friendly" Linux distros (Lycoris, Lindows, et al).

* by "zealots", i mean the loud, vocal segment of Mac users that Just Don't Get It(tm), not ALL Mac users.

Extra features? (1)

cmad_x (723313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12369929)

So, if I get this straight, this is just FreeBSD with a graphical installer that also installs some GUI apps when it's done to save you time? Good, good. Let's turn *BSD into Linux; let's create a million pretty much identical BSDs.

I'm not trying to insult its developers or goals or anything. It's just that, as pointed out in earlier comments, each BSD should have its own, distinct, goals (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonflyBSD). PC-BSD doesn't fit in.

Re:Extra features? (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 9 years ago | (#12379841)

Well, technically it does. Its goal is to be more like many Linux distros in terms of ease of install for newbies. That's its goal, and no other BSD bothers with that (and if you talk to the devs, they will all agree that it's useless effort diverted away from the real tasks for the real users that actually /need/ a BSD).

If they are just re-packaing FreeBSD's latest (-STABLE) -RELEASE with their own toolkit/installer and the latest packages, then they're doing a lot with a little effort and duplication, which is a Good Thing. I don't think anyone will see a reason to duplicate this effort like many Linux distros do of each other, since one such distro should be enough. Maybe, at worst, somebody will make a similar NetBSD re-distribution for multiple architectures (but why exactly a newbie would want to install on a toaster is questionable).

It would be much much worse if they forked the project and tried to revamp kernel code, or made graphical frontends for kernel configuration or something (YUK). They shouldn't seek to reduce the advantages *BSD has over Linux, usually saner configuration of kernel and (often) userland, but since I don't see that happening here it shouldn't be a problem.

But if I'm missing something about this project that IS a very bad thing, please somebody tell me and then I'll know. But right now it seems like a noob-friendly interface to a proven operating system base, without any unecessary duplication of effort or draining of developer resources. As in, the division of which project is responsible for the base and which is responsible for the interface is still there.

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12378087)

It is now official. Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Requiem for the FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12378661)

// Please *don't* mod this up. It has [slashdot.org] already [slashdot.org] been [slashdot.org] done! [slashdot.org] Thx

... facts are facts. ;)

FreeBSD:
FreeBSD, Stealth-Growth Open Source Project (Jun 2004) [internetnews.com]
"FreeBSD has dramatically increased its market penetration over the last year."
Nearly 2.5 Million Active Sites running FreeBSD (Jun 2004) [netcraft.com]
"[FreeBSD] has secured a strong foothold with the hosting community and continues to grow, gaining over a million hostnames and half a million active sites since July 2003."
What's New in the FreeBSD Network Stack (Sep 2004) [slashdot.org]
"FreeBSD can now route 1Mpps on a 2.8GHz Xeon whilst Linux can't do much more than 100kpps."

NetBSD:
NetBSD, for When Portability and Stability Matter (Oct 2004) [serverwatch.com]
NetBSD sets Internet2 Land Speed World Record (May 2004) [slashdot.org]
NetBSD again sets Internet2 Land Speed World Record (Sep 2004) [netbsd.org]

OpenBSD:
OpenBSD Widens Its Scope (Nov 2004) [eweek.com]
Review: OpenBSD 3.6 shows steady improvement (Nov 2004) [newsforge.com]
OpenSSH (OpenBSD subproject) has become a de facto Internet standard. [openssh.org]

*BSD in general:
Deep study: The world's safest computing environment (Nov 2004) [mi2g.com]
"The world's safest and most secure 24/7 online computing environment - operating system plus applications - is proving to be the Open Source platform of BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) and the Mac OS X based on Darwin."
BSD Success Stories (O'Reilly, 2004) (pdf) [oreilly.com] ~ from Onlamp BSD DevCenter [onlamp.com]
"The BSDs - FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Darwin, and others - have earned a reputation for stability, security, performance, and ease of administration."
..and last but not least, we have the cutest mascot as well - undisputedly. ;) [keltia.net]

--
Being able to read *other people's* source code is a nice thing, not a 'fundamental freedom'.

*BSD for Dummies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12385144)

Well, they got *something* right: *BSD *IS* for dummies!
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