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Another Step Towards BSD on the Desktop

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the happy-leenux-world dept.

Operating Systems 536

linuxbeta writes "DesktopBSD is the latest easy to install BSD aimed squarely at the desktop. Installation screen shots. From their site: 'DesktopBSD aims at being a stable and powerful operating system for desktop users. DesktopBSD combines the stability of FreeBSD, the usability and functionality of KDE and the simplicity of specially developed software to provide a system that's easy to use and install.' DesktopBSD joins the ranks of PC-BSD and FreeSBIE."

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536 comments

Easy to install? (-1, Flamebait)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283661)

Screenshots don't look as good as the perfect openSuSE...

Re:Easy to install? (1, Flamebait)

TheOtherAgentM (700696) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283667)

Yeah, anytime an install is black and white, then it's not easy enough for most people. My friends can't even install XP by themselves when it's NEXT the whole way.

Can only be a good thing (1)

appleLaserWriter (91994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283663)

More BSD on the desktop can only be a good thing. Now that OS X is my primary desktop platform, I'm running into more and more BSD-Linux issues.

Too bad, fragmentation of FOSS Desktop efforts (-1, Flamebait)

billybob2 (755512) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283743)

Too bad, all that developer talent could have gone into making Linux better suited for the desktop.

Face it, Linux has a head start and is enjoying far more corporate support (due partly to the fact that Linux is licensed GPLv2, which compells big companies to share back their improvements).

We're all on the same team -- only if we FOCUS our efforts into the OS with the best chance (Linux) can we defeat the DRM-infested, money-grabbing proprietary OSs like M$ Vista and Apple OS X.

Re:Too bad, fragmentation of FOSS Desktop efforts (3, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283767)

It would also help if we worked harder on well-defined and standardized APIs, so that it would be easier to get things working with each other. For example, a standardized hardware configuration API would help make "control center" type apps a lot easier to make, etc.

Re:Too bad, fragmentation of FOSS Desktop efforts (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283770)

If that's your goal then you should pick up the latest KDE tree, apply styles and change code so that your desktop environment looks 100% like Windows XP short of the logos. Users simply will not learn a new system.

Re:Too bad, fragmentation of FOSS Desktop efforts (5, Funny)

compass46 (259596) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283783)

We're all on the same team -- only if we FOCUS our efforts into the OS with the best chance (Linux) can we defeat the DRM-infested, money-grabbing proprietary OSs like M$ Vista and Apple OS X.

Must start using the one true F/OSS operating system... Oh wait, screw that. I like my BSDs here. Reason #1 why I use FreeBSD over Linux, I just want a Unix-like OS without a revolution packaged with it. Talk about bloat. :)

Black-widow license. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283903)

"Reason #1 why I use FreeBSD over Linux, I just want a Unix-like OS without a revolution packaged with it."

You joke but I firmly believe that that's one important difference between the two licenses. One was designed from the start to be some kind of counter-culture, subversive license. The other is elegent in it's simplicity. No hidden traps that you need a lawyer to ferret out. No worry that sometime latter it will be changed to be even tighter (2.0), when it's realized there might be a way out of it's grasp (web apps).

Re:Black-widow license. (0, Flamebait)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283966)

If they try to tighten up the license to disallow web-apps without distributing their source, I'll stop using that version and use the older version. But I'll never, ever license anything under a BSD license. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot...

I don't think they will. I don't see how it increases freedom to force open the source to web applications. Now, forcing the people who have your data (like all your LJ posts or whatever) to give you a copy of it in a standard format would be great, but I don't think you can manage that one with an Open Source license.

Can you say "single point of failure"? (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283811)

Frankly, I'm having one bad experience with Linux after another since 2.6 came out. I think that, just like everything else, a software project hits it's zenith and then "jumps the shark" as it were. I'll keep trying but it's my opinion that Linux made that leap.

Mind you, as the recent problems with the 5.x FreeBSD series shows, this isn't just a linux problem. So, in my mind, the more choices we have available to us, the better off we are when the OS we use is reduced to chum in the water.

Re:Can you say "single point of failure"? (1)

billybob2 (755512) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283916)

Mind you, as the recent problems with the 5.x FreeBSD series shows, this isn't just a linux problem. So, in my mind, the more choices we have available to us, the better off we are when the OS we use is reduced to chum in the water.

However, the more OS choices/forks there are, the less likely that all the fixes will get merged into any *single* OS. So users will encounter some errors no matter which OS they use, which is not optimal for the user.

The best solution is to stick with the FREE OS that has the best chance of survival (Linux), and if you hit a showstopper, help out and fix it :) Even if you're not a programmer, you can still email maintainers, fill bug reports, and offer to test out patches on your machine.

Re:Can you say "single point of failure"? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283928)

[i]The best solution is to stick with the FREE OS that has the best chance of survival (Linux), and if you hit a showstopper, help out and fix it :) Even if you're not a programmer, you can still email maintainers, fill bug reports, and offer to test out patches on your machine.[/i]

Thanks, but if I wanted to stick with a crappy operating system that has 'the best chance of survival' a company in Redmond puts something out that might be construed as an Operating System if you were drunk enough. So I'll just take the risky option of Mac OS X on the 'desktop' and FreeBSD for my servers.

Too bad, another OSS jihad. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283843)

"Face it, Linux has a head start and is enjoying far more corporate support (due partly to the fact that Linux is licensed GPLv2, which compells big companies to share back their improvements).

We're all on the same team -- only if we FOCUS our efforts into the OS with the best chance (Linux) can we defeat the DRM-infested, money-grabbing proprietary OSs like M$ Vista and Apple OS X."

Why must every good thing be turned into some kind of zealot-fest, rally to my agenda? How about we all simply enjoy the damn distro without trying to conquor this, push agenda that, holy-war upon everything that doesn't agree with me?

Re:Too bad, fragmentation of FOSS Desktop efforts (5, Insightful)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283936)

> Too bad, all that developer talent could have gone into making Linux better suited for the desktop.

Every annum for the past 6 years, headlines claimed that it was the year of "desktop Linux." Yet nothing came of it save for a bunch of Windows-esque clones with no innovation. Then Apple came along and revolutionized the desktop experience. So maybe it is time for someone else to give it a go.

Mirror (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283670)

Re:Mirror (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283692)

lol. mod parent up.

Re:Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283726)

stfu. mod parent and grandparent down. that's just sick.

Re:Mirror (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283760)

*********************
NSFW or anywhere, Kiddie porn.
********************

Re:Mirror (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283942)

Ban this asshole's IP and turn it over to the FBI.

BSD v Linux (5, Interesting)

Mantus (65568) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283672)

Could someone point me to (or post) a lowdown on the potential benefits of BSD has over linux (or vice versa) that doesn't include wild speculation and unfounded cynicism?

Isn't a BSD distro going to be about the same as a Linux distro? Does the kernel make that big of a difference?

Note the question marks. I am asking.

Re:BSD v Linux (2, Informative)

debilo (612116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283686)

Please note that this is not a "distro", it's a plain FreeBSD with the addition of a graphical installer and some other nice tools.

Re:BSD v Linux (2, Interesting)

wigle (676212) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283695)

- easier to use - ports system - init scripts - easy updating with cvsup and make *world - filesystem layout - stable, secure - kernel config - separation between base system and add-on software - license

Re:BSD v Linux (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283773)

And that's different from Gentoo how? ; )

Re:BSD v Linux (0, Redundant)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283795)

Well... the kernel is a good place to start.

Although you do bring up a good point (and I'm sure I'll get modded down for pointing it out) gentoo did a great job of copying freeBSD. I personally think it was a great idea, but I'd still rather be running FBSD. I'm sure gentoo has changed since I last used it, but it was a "bad" copy of FBSD about 2 years ago when I gave it a shot.

Re:BSD v Linux (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283700)

Well....the license is different. (obviously)

The hardware support generally isn't as good. The software tends to be ported from Linux or just generally cross-platform. Mostly what BSD distros offer are a different methodology, to be finely tuned to one thing(ex. security) rather than, like a Linux distro, just Linux with a roughly adapted kernel.

Re:BSD v Linux (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283721)

Unless there's something linux specific (eg the kqemu modules for qemu) I tend to stay away from Linux in favor of NetBSD. The reason for that is because on my el-cheapo HP Pavilion I can never get the linux 2.6 kernel to boot properly. I either have weird crashes that I can't tell what they relate to, or I have to boot with the usb=off (!) parameter or it will just not boot; period.

If I use Linux, I use Debian only because it still ships with the 2.4 kernel which I can get to work (but still requires that I turn acpi off).

Up until 5.4 I had problems with FreeBSD as well, mostly weird mysterious crashes. NetBSD, though, works great (finds my sound, etc, works well with nvidia though there's no accelleration, of course).

If I'm not using XP then NetBSD and xfce tends to be what I use for my desktop.

Re:BSD v Linux (5, Funny)

xlr8ed (726203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283724)

that doesn't include wild speculation and unfounded cynicism?

You must be new here...

While we're on the topic... (1)

rdwald (831442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283788)

Vi or emacs?

Its not the kernel. (4, Interesting)

Some Random Username (873177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283813)

No, the kernel doesn't make that big of a difference, and the kernel is all that linux is. BSDs are complete operating systems. The reason I don't use linux is because every distro comes with a messy userland full of random assorted crap from various sources, and most of the core utilities are bloated, poorly documented GNU junk.

The BSDs have sane, useful, documented and functional userlands, which makes them a joy to use. There is no reason that linux distros couldn't be made with a nice userland too, but nobody seems to have done it. It seems like most linux users have never used a nice unix system, so they don't realize what they are missing.

Re:Its not the kernel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283890)

Stop posting this crap to Slashdot.

Re:Its not the kernel. (3, Insightful)

Digital Pizza (855175) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283934)

...most of the core utilities are bloated, poorly documented GNU junk.

Thanks for reminding me of something: whoever it is within Gnu that thought it'd be a great idea to deprecate man pages in favor of info documents, even if it's Stallman himself, I seriously want to kick his ass!

There. That felt better.

BTW, I agree with the rest of your post as well.

Very simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283828)

Linux is "popular" now. This means you no longer get to feel unique and superior if you're using it. BSD, which most people still haven't heard of, restores that.

Also the BSD kernel has some highly desirable reliability and scalability characteristics that a home/end/medium size business user such as those that typically read slashdot would never, ever, ever get any real use out of.

Re:BSD v Linux (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283850)

BSD has some nice features, but I think the plethora of Linux distributions have caught up in many cases. Documentation is still far and away better organized on BSD, at least IMNSHO.

The main difference from my POV, though, is that a lot of open source software is written for Linux first and maybe almost exclusively, using Linux-only features which promptly break on BSD without going to heroic efforts to add portability layers. It's my main pet peeve, *nix software which isn't portable. Who would have thought the OSS crowd would have forgotten that lesson so easily, now that Linux has conquered all. It's not a problem for the major packages, but the little programs that people write almost invariably port poorly.

Just as an example, take MythTV. OK, the TV driver stuff, sure, that's clearly Linux-specific. Fine. But there's this kitchen sink approach which makes it a major undertaking to recompile the frontend on any other platform, even when the codecs themselves are portable. I think the MythTV project could use some more thought into how the different parts can be isolated into reusable components, rather than striving to integrate everything seamlessly first. But the MythTV guys are focusing on making a neat living room appliance, so I suppose it's understandable. And the underlying software architecture seems OK. I'd just like to see, you know, like a separate video server, capture server, and a scheduler server, rather than a single massive backend server.

Re:BSD v Linux (2, Informative)

fwitness (195565) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283891)

I'm not quite sure why you picked Myth as your example. Myth uses Qt, SQL, XML, and is written mostly in C++. I always thought of Myth as a wonderful example of what using standards can do. I can rarely find a good Linux program that doesn't require KDE or gnome, and requires some obscure library I've never heard of. Myth, on the other hand, runs on X alone, and a few sane dependencies.

As to seperating the server, Myth already has seperate backend/frontend modules. It even supports multiple backends at the same time, distributing recording and plackback in a whole m->n relationship.

I agree with all your other points, just not using Myth as an example. It ain't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it's an excellent example of using Linux and standards to produce something completely useful and unique.

Please Take The Time to READ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283673)

Note that in the screenshot where they ask you to take the time to read all the instructions, they didn't even take the time to read all the instructions.

PROOF READ! TYPOS ON THE FIRST SCREEN ARE BAD!

Re:Please Take The Time to READ (1)

krunoce (906444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283707)

I totally agree. At least proof read the instruction that says to "carefully" read "through all texts and explanations because improper settings can cause data loss." Horrible. At first I thought it was a joke.

Re:Please Take The Time to READ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283930)

I completely agree. How unprofessional is it that the very first screen I see is missing the VERB of the most important instruction. "READ". Totally turned me off right from the start.

Not to go on a tangent, but is it just me, or does proper language communication take a backseat to pumping out crapcode? I really honestly truly though that was Microsoft's territory. Now even the OSS guys don't give a fat crap.

"When I hit I need an object
(Verb, hit! Hit the ball!)
When I see, I see the object
(Do you see that furthest wall?)

If you can see it there, put the ball over the fence, man!
Go ahead. Yeah, alright.
What?! He hit it. It's going, it's going, it's gone!
(What!)

I get my thing in action.
(Verb, that's what's happenin')
To work, (Verb!)
To play, (Verb!)
To live, (Verb!)
To love... (Verb!...)"

Re:Please Take The Time to READ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283964)

Now I may eat my own a$$. I misspelled the verb "thought" on the previous post.

At least I caught it right away.

Schoolhouse still rocks though.

(this post brought to you after 20 minutes of intense speel-and-grandma checking)

Why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283677)

Why would you want to run this stuff when you can run Linix Open Source? Linix lets you change the programs to do whatever you want: web browser doesn't support cookies? easy fix.

Every morning when I'm rebooting my Linix system I thank Linix Torvaldis for writing these good programs.

Re:Why Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283750)

Why would you want to run this stuff when you can run OpanBDS Open Source? OpanBDS lets you change the programs to do whatever you want: web browser doesn't support cookies? easy fix.

Every morning when I'm rebooting my OpanBDS system I thank Theo for writing these good programs.

Wifi (1)

debilo (612116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283679)

What I'm really looking forward to is the graphical WLAN configuration tool, which apparently will allow for different profiles to be saved (not quite sure on that one, though). Also, the author told me that he'll additionally release most of his stuff as ports, so it can be used on stock FreeBSD installations too. I am very happy with that.

Would you like a LiveCD with that? (2, Interesting)

airjrdn (681898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283682)

Here's to hoping there's a LiveCD version. So far, the only LiveCD that recognizes my wireless card (Broadcom in an HP laptop) is Simply Mepis.

Necessary? (3, Insightful)

wigle (676212) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283683)

First of all, if you're using FreeBSD chances are you know how to configure an X11 environment. It's easy. Also, you have your choice of window managers; not everyone will choose KDE. Package management is already extremely easy with ports, especially with portupgrade. I definitely agree that FreeBSD with an official GUI would be awesome (the opposite approach of Windows, where the interface would simply be a frontend for scripts), but for a half-hearted attempt there's not much of a demographic.

Re:Necessary? (5, Insightful)

debilo (612116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283729)

What exactly makes you call this a "half-hearted attempt"? As far as I know, the author of DesktopBSD has been working on this project for months now with only little help from a few others, and he's been a victim of flames like yours above trying to ridicule his efforts several times now.

. Until you've installed and tested it yourself, your post above is nothing more than a half-hearted attempt at a comment.

Re:Necessary? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283873)

FreeBSD has been having big problems for several years now. All of the first tier developers have quit, leaving current development to more or less unqualified hobbyists. Do you remember Mike Smith? He was completely fed up with the monumental problems troubling FreeBSD.

Mike walked away and never looked back. He wrote about the many problems responsible for the terminal postion which FreeBSD now finds itself. Read below, where Mike Smith gives his reasons for abandoning FreeBSD. It is a real eye-opener, and cuts to the truth (unlike a lot of the fanboy fluff which Slashdot normally publishes):

When I stood for election to the FreeBSD core team nearly two years ago, many of you will recall that it was after a long series of debates during which I maintained that too much organisation, too many rules and too much formality would be a bad thing for the project.

Today, as I read the latest discussions on the future of the FreeBSD project, I see the same problem; a few new faces and many of the old going over the same tired arguments and suggesting variations on the same worthless schemes. Frankly I'm sick of it.

FreeBSD used to be fun. It used to be about doing things the right way. It used to be something that you could sink your teeth into when the mundane chores of programming for a living got you down. It was something cool and exciting; a way to spend your spare time on an endeavour you loved that was at the same time wholesome and worthwhile.

It's not anymore. It's about bylaws and committees and reports and milestones, telling others what to do and doing what you're told. It's about who can rant the longest or shout the loudest or mislead the most people into a bloc in order to legitimise doing what they think is best. Individuals notwithstanding, the project as a whole has lost track of where it's going, and has instead become obsessed with process and mechanics.

So I'm leaving core. I don't want to feel like I should be "doing something" about a project that has lost interest in having something done for it. I don't have the energy to fight what has clearly become a losing battle; I have a life to live and a job to keep, and I won't achieve any of the goals I personally consider worthwhile if I remain obligated to care for the project.

Discussion

I'm sure that I've offended some people already; I'm sure that by the time I'm done here, I'll have offended more. If you feel a need to play to the crowd in your replies rather than make a sincere effort to address the problems I'm discussing here, please do us the courtesy of playing your politics openly.

From a technical perspective, the project faces a set of challenges that significantly outstrips our ability to deliver. Some of the resources that we need to address these challenges are tied up in the fruitless metadiscussions that have raged since we made the mistake of electing officers. Others have left in disgust, or been driven out by the culture of abuse and distraction that has grown up since then. More may well remain available to recruitment, but while the project is busy infighting our chances for successful outreach are sorely diminished.

There's no simple solution to this. For the project to move forward, one or the other of the warring philosophies must win out; either the project returns to its laid-back roots and gets on with the work, or it transforms into a super-organised engineering project and executes a brilliant plan to deliver what, ultimately, we all know we want.

Whatever path is chosen, whatever balance is struck, the choosing and the striking are the important parts. The current indecision and endless conflict are incompatible with any sort of progress.

Trying to dissect the above is far beyond the scope of any parting shot, no matter how distended. All I can really ask of you all is to let go of the minutiae for a moment and take a look at the big picture. What is the ultimate goal here? How can we get there with as little overhead as possible? How would you like to be treated by your fellow travellers?

Shouts

To the Slashdot "BSD is dying" crowd - big deal. Death is part of the cycle; take a look at your soft, pallid bodies and consider that right this very moment, parts of you are dying. See? It's not so bad.

To the bulk of the FreeBSD committerbase and the developer community at large - keep your eyes on the real goals. It's when you get distracted by the politickers that they sideline you. The tireless work that you perform keeping the system clean and building is what provides the platform for the obsessives and the prima donnas to have their moments in the sun. In the end, we need you all; in order to go forwards we must first avoid going backwards.

To the paranoid conspiracy theorists - yes, I work for Apple too. No, my resignation wasn't on Steve's direct orders, or in any way related to work I'm doing, may do, may not do, or indeed what was in the tea I had at lunchtime today. It's about real problems that the project faces, real problems that the project has brought upon itself. You can't escape them by inventing excuses about outside influence, the problem stems from within.

To the politically obsessed - give it a break, if you can. No, the project isn't a lemonade stand anymore, but it's not a world-spanning corporate juggernaut either and some of the more grandiose visions going around are in need of a solid dose of reality. Keep it simple, stupid.

To the grandstanders, the prima donnas, and anyone that thinks that they can hold the project to ransom for their own agenda - give it a break, if you can. When the current core were elected, we took a conscious stand against vigorous sanctions, and some of you have exploited that. A new core is going to have to decide whether to repeat this mistake or get tough. I hope they learn from our errors.

Future

I started work on FreeBSD because it was fun. If I'm going to continue, it has to be fun again. There are things I still feel obligated to do, and with any luck I'll find the time to meet those obligations.

However I don't feel an obligation to get involved in the political mess the project is in right now. I tried, I burnt out. I don't feel that my efforts were worthwhile. So I won't be standing for election, I won't be shouting from the sidelines, and I probably won't vote in the next round of ballots.

You could say I'm packing up my toys. I'm not going home just yet, but I'm not going to play unless you can work out how to make the project somewhere fun to be again.

= Mike

--

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -- Theodore Roosevelt

FreeBSD spin-off (1)

thanjee (263266) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283684)

Of recent there seem to be a growing number of projects that endeavour to make FreeBSD prettier/easier to install. I personally would like to see this kind of development become part of FreeBSD, and keep everything together and fully integrated. That I believe is one of FreeBSD's greatest strengths.

Re:FreeBSD spin-off (1)

debilo (612116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283701)

I am sure that if those tools/additions prove to be useful and stable, they'll eventually find their way into the official FreeBSD tree.

Re:FreeBSD spin-off (1)

drmerope (771119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283844)

Only if you have a plan for incrementally changing FreeBSD. I don't think it likely that they'll accept sweeping changes from someone without a reputation yet.

One of the consequence of having a reputation for stability is a reluctance to betray the user community with inadequately reviewed ideas.

Boycott Dell, HP, Gateway (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283688)


The major computer OEMs such as Dell, HP, and
Gateway are refusing to offer CONSUMERS a
non-Microsoft choice.
These OEMs are anti-competitve and
anti-consumer-choice. They continue to maintain Microsoft's desktop
monopoly.

I suggest not doing business with these companies until they offer a serious non-Microsoft choice to CONSUMERS.

Here are some companies that DO offer consumers a choice.

http://www.systemax.com/divisions.htm [systemax.com]
http://www.microtelpc.com/ [microtelpc.com]
http://www.linuxcertified.com/ [linuxcertified.com]

http://www.outpost.com/ [outpost.com] (search for linspire)
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/catalog.gsp?cat=395 [walmart.com] 1&path=0%3A3944%3A3951
http://www.sub300.com/Skins/greyTech/greyTech_inde [sub300.com] x.aspx
http://www.linare.com/ [linare.com]
http://www.linspire.com/featured_partner/featured_ [linspire.com] partner.php
http://www.us.debian.org/distrib/pre-installed [debian.org]
http://www.linux.org/vendor/system/index.html [linux.org]

Re:Boycott Dell, HP, Gateway (1)

in4apenny (902923) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283833)

These OEMs are anti-competitve and anti-consumer-choice. They continue to maintain Microsoft's desktop monopoly.

Do your homework...

HP offers nearly every model of their business desktops and a few models of business notebooks with either FreeDOS or Linux:

Examples:
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF04a/1245 4-64287-89301-321860-f49.html [hp.com]
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF04a/3219 57-64295-89315-321838-f33.html [hp.com]

And no complaining that these are not "consumer" products - You try and convince Best Buy to carry a product that they won't sell any of.

Easy to find - Google: "desktop linux site:hp.com"

Easy to buy - point, click, ship

I'm pretty sure Dell also has linux models, but their site sucks, so I can't find them.

Funny installation steps (2, Insightful)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283690)

It's great how the fancy graphical installation screen crashes back to an ugly terminal font in Screen10. It kind of throws off the whole good vibe that I'd been getting during the previous steps. Also, why is there a Next button active when the installation script obviously wants me to press Reboot? Strange, to say the least.

But when it comes down to it, installation is only the gateway to the system. It isn't the system itself. MacOS could have the world's worst installation system, but the OS itself runs so nicely that people just love to be running it.

There should be no "Configure my Installation" step. It should choose a default "best-fit" confiuration based on the detected hardware (mostly screen resolution) and leave any further customization to the user to do later. It is more important to have the system up and running than to have it customized just so.

And in the end, you're still dealing with BSD, which is great if you're running a server, but sluggish (response times to system interrupts is slow, compared to Windows and MacOS) when running in a user-centric scenario.

I installed FreeBSD previously and didn't have any trouble there. The questions were just as straightforward as this installer and within an hour I had a full BSD installation with graphical interface to boot. It wasn't "ready for the desktop" in any sense of the term, though, unfortunately.

Re:Funny installation steps (4, Informative)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283796)

It's great how the fancy graphical installation screen crashes back to an ugly terminal font in Screen10.

That's the bootloader, you nut. Even Fedora Core's bootloader uses that "ugly terminal font," just with different colors. Windows NT/2000/XP's bootloader looks like that too (and if you push the right buttons while booting your Mac, you'll get (you guessed it) a text-mode command prompt/boot loader (ie openfirmware). As with OpenFirmware, the FreeBSD bootloader can be configured silent so as not to display that menu). Sheesh. We give you KDE and you give us this hogwash about our installer. >:(

Re:Funny installation steps (1)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283836)

quote
We give you KDE and you give us this hogwash about our installer. /quote

I thought I also gave some other opinions besides that.

But if this is "Desktop BSD", why would you want your users to see the bootloader? Jump as quickly as possible to the GUI and let your users have at it. When I boot my WinXP box I don't see a long string of boot messages, I see a splash screen. Yes, I can get Windows to boot to the Safe Mode selection screen, and if I was so inclined I could even have the bootloader come up with multiple OS boot options. But I don't need that because I am running as a single user on this Desktop Machine.

Let me figure out what I want to do. Just dump me to the OS in a usable state and I can figure out what to do from there.

Re:Funny installation steps (2, Interesting)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283919)

Funny, when I'm booting Windows, I often find myself wishing it was more like *nix in booting, so I could actually, you know, *see* whatever the hell it does while booting up. Make slow bootups and breakages that bit easier to debug. Given that it's about the most fragile time in any OS, I like a bit of commentary.

Re:Funny installation steps (4, Interesting)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283901)

"And in the end, you're still dealing with BSD, which is great if you're running a server, but sluggish (response times to system interrupts is slow, compared to Windows and MacOS) when running in a user-centric scenario."
I'm sorry? I run both Linux, FreeBSD and WinXP desktops on a variety of hardware; "sluggish" isn't what I'd call FreeBSD. It plays a mean game of UT2004 too.

Convince me (1, Interesting)

sabio (906020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283694)

I am open to trying new technologies and I wouldn't mind playing with the new mac os. However I need some more convinceing to go after an opensource BSD distro. I think I'd rather try other flavors of linux before taking BSD for a spin, we all know there's plenty to choose from.

Re:Convince me (2, Insightful)

Elshar (232380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283805)

No, noone is going to convince you. This isn't a sales pitch. (Why was that moded interesting? Its not).

Also, BSD is NOT linux. Read for yourself what they do. Here they are.

http://www.freebsd.org/ [freebsd.org]
http://www.openbsd.org/ [openbsd.org]
http://www.netbsd.org/ [netbsd.org]

Re:Convince me (1)

sabio (906020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283880)

I didn't say BSD was linux, I said I'd rather play with other flavors of linux than look at BSD. You should try to tone it down a bit, I was just trying to get some insight from the BSD users of the group as to why they felt BSD was better than linux.

This is what they got right... (1, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283708)

...Just one thing and that is KDE! You may take this as a troll but as things stand now KDE offers a better Desktop Experience and with KDE 4.0 along the way with its superkaramba and improved performance, that experience can only get better. You have my compliments DesktopBSD.

The DesktopBSD pot would be better if they adopted autopackage so that all those packages can be fully portable.

Re:This is what they got right... (1)

fracex (591622) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283744)

Saying that KDE is a better desktop experience than Gnome (okay you didn't mention it, but it's implied) is a bunch of crock. It's all relative to who's using it. I'll take Gnome as the better desktop experience anyday, but that's just me, opinions differ. But I don't make statements implying that gnome is the end all and be all.

Re:This is what they got right... (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283787)

On a low memory system I wouldn't touch either one. I only have 256 megs of ram so I stick to lighter enviroments (right now I'm using xfce4).

Mind you, that's just me, and all of the desktops have varying merits and someone should try all of them before settling on one.

Re:This is what they got right... (1)

fracex (591622) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283827)

Maybe, I'm a masochist (however I *really* don't think I am) but I use gnome on 256 megabytes of ram quite happily. Not to mention a 600 MHz processeur . On top of that, I've had friends who are your usual Windows XP user, with a machine that easily trumps mine in specs, comment on how fast it is.

Re:This is what they got right... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283877)

Yes, everything is relative. Even on top-of-the-line systems, I use Blackbox (or one of the improved clones) and still try to stick with GTK1 apps, because GTK2 is just so heavy.

Unlike most, I get a lot done, and don't wait for applications (Firefox being the sole exception).

Re:This is what they got right... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283840)

I wrote that comment but I agree that it depends on the user. Everything is relative,. I will just mention some problems I find with KDE.

=>> I cannot have my devices mounted and unmounted on the fly in KDE without some form of hack!

=>> Getting my fonts correct without manually editing the configuration file of X11 is not possible. Before you draw conclusions on this one, keep in mind that to get my fonts the way I need them, I must tell the system my monitor size manually. KDE is always picking the wrong one.

=>> Konqueror has all these tool-bars by default! Why? They eat up my real estate.

Wallpaper (1)

tooth (111958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283926)

I know it's the first thing everyone changes, but I think they chose a bad default wallpaper. It's very noisy behind the icons.

They could have used one that pimps thier distro. That way when they do screenshots it has the distro type right there easy to see.

BSD or KDE? (4, Interesting)

vandan (151516) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283712)

Screenshots are great, but only when they're relevant.

People who are keen enough to be interested in BSD will already know what KDE looks like. It would be far more instructive to show screenshots of things that are unique to this particular distribution of BSD. How about showing the GUI tool for software installation, or samba configuration, or something.

All I know now is that BSD runs KDE ... and I knew that before I looked at the screenshots.

I like the KDE background, though ;)

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt (1, Insightful)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283761)

I tried FreeBSD as a desktop OS for a while until I realized:-

* My GPU isn't going to get supported on BSD in this lifetime.
* Recompiling KDE from ports when a new version comes out is not fun.

It's OK I suppose if you use packages for everything and don't really need any graphics capabilities.

Re:Been there, done that, got the T-shirt (1)

Elshar (232380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283784)

1) depends on your video card. I do believe that nvidia does release drivers every 6 months, and I could've swore I heard that the newer radeons just got supported as well.

2) pkg_add -r

Stop it! (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283765)

We don't need anymore forks of our favorite BSD projects. They're complete and perfect on their own, thank you! One of the classic benefits of BSD was that there were very few systems to choose from. The uniformity of the systems and cooperation within the projects was legendery (with some exception [openbsd.org]). All of these spinoffs of FreeBSD are making me nervous. I don't want it to go all linux on me. :-/ I have a hard enough time as it is distro hopping. When will the madness end?

Re:Stop it! (1)

mrscorpio (265337) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283794)

It doesn't seem to be a "fork", just a bundle of good stuff for an existing base (FreeBSD). Kinda like Texstar packages for Mandrake, before Texstar started his own distro and before Mandrake was Mandriva, of course :)

Re:Stop it! (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283815)

It doesn't seem to be a "fork", just a bundle of good stuff for an existing base (FreeBSD).

Oh, okay. But you recognize my concern, right? ;-) These alternative distribution still give me the heebie-jeebies.

Re:Stop it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283804)

hey I know what you mean. I usually use FreeBSD for multiserver purposes, and it does an excellent job over the linux kernel in performance. All the morphing of FreeBSD into other types makes me uncomfortable. It's like it's not the same, especially for the developers and hackers like us who like handling and tweaking the source, and not having a gui covering up the warnings. I guess I am okay with dragonflyBSD (havent tried it), and I like Mac OS X. There is a big difference between the stuff that does the dirty work behind Mac OS X, known as Darwin, and a FreeBSD release, which is why I think OS X has greater preference over using FreeBSD as a desktop.

MHO.

Re:Stop it! (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283830)

They're complete and perfect on their own, thank you!

This must be a definition of "complete and perfect" of which I am unaware.

Re:Stop it! (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283846)

This must be a definition of "complete and perfect" of which I am unaware.

Maybe when you have children, a spouse (maybe both), or a special pet, you will be more aware of this definition. :-)

I propose no absolute criteria for perfection and offer the title on purely subjective terms. In an absolutist sense, you're right.

Re:Stop it! (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283857)

"All of these spinoffs of FreeBSD are making me nervous. I don't want it to go all linux on me. :-/ I have a hard enough time as it is distro hopping. "

That's what makes me nervous too, and I think stops more widespread adoption of Linux, is that there are too many distributions. People are trained to know that Mac software doesn't run on Windows, and Windows doesn't run on Linux, but when they hear that there are 100 versions of Linux, then they are concerned that a program they get for "Red Hat" might not work for "Mandriva".

Re:Stop it! (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283872)

they are concerned that a program they get for "Red Hat" might not work for "Mandriva".

What makes matters worse is that it's not a clear yes or no. It comes down to terms such as it might work, should work, or probably won't work. Incompatibilities can either be blatant, nonexistent, or sinisterly lurking someplace from which they can leap out and bite us in the bum later.

We know that basically the same software is available for all of linux, but the packaging and distribution puts some compatibility issues not on the source (which I think stays very true), but on the end product. It is a difficulty of running linux, but, in a sense, FreeBSD also falls into this group. Most of the selfsame software is also available for FreeBSD with similar strings attached.

With open source, it's both a blessing and a curse, though I personally have always found FreeBSD's ports to be more or less a safe haven from that jungle. Mmmm...ports.

SMP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283775)

Does it support the SMP version of xterm?

Dammit, and I just bought a Mac! (1)

FFFish (7567) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283791)

Does this mean I should have bought a nice little Toshiba Satellite (they're damn near giving them away these days!) and installed DesktopBSD?

Grr.

Re:Dammit, and I just bought a Mac! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283869)

You're making the rest of us Mac users look bad.

Easy to use BSD desktop (0, Redundant)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283816)

Um....I think that already exists: called Macintosh OS X. Nothing against BSD, runs on most of our white box servers, but to me what is the point? OSX has gained a lot of support from OSS land as well as commerical software packages.

And in the past, I haven't had any problems setting up FreeBSD 5.x with x11 and KDE for GUI desktop features. Hell I even got my old Aureal Vortex 2 card to actually work in BSD.

Can we label DesktopBSD -1 for Redundant: see OSX?

When will open source OS coders realize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283819)

It's not the installation that's preventing adoption of linux or BSD on the desktop -- installation is a one time affair. It's what comes after installation that's preventing widespead use of open source OSs on the desktop, the miserable and inconsistent interface, coupled with a lack of software.

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283821)

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 a 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 [198.62.75.1] could reanimate the corpse at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

You know BSD is dead (2, Insightful)

bahwi (43111) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283871)

When is starts to fracture.

For awhile there, we only had 3, and life was good. Now we have DragonFly, Darwin, and now DesktopBSD. Any system that splits up so much must be dead or dying!!

Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283879)

Is this a joke?

Operations pending....
HID configuration?

LOOK AT OSX. COPY THAT. THAT IS WHAT WORKS. THE END.

I really hope (1, Troll)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283881)

That someone makes a commerical distribution of this and hypes the bejeezus out of it and refuses to give any of the source back to the community.

As a bonus, if it manages to gain popularity, they can introduce I'll kinds of fun little incompatibilities, and eventually DRM. It'll be great, just what the BSD people always wanted. Maybe one of them will even get audited by the BSA for running this commericial distribution they basically created in their workplace. That would be the best. Getting your behind sued off for running your own code.

Of course, Apple is well along that path already. Hooray for evil.

Re:I really hope (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283912)

So, how's that fanatic thing working out for you?

If someone did try that, it wouldn't stop the original from being distributed. The BSA angle probably wouldn't get very far either, because Apple (among others) has a vested interest in preventing something like that. (not to mention that the ATT vs BSDI suit would act as precedent).

As far as "evil" goes, Apple feeds changes back to FreeBSD, so they're a long ways from being "evil" (at least on this front; mea culpa wrt DRM).

So, long story short; take your GNU-biased fear-mongering and stick it where the sun doesn't shine.

Re:I really hope (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283945)

Nah, it wouldn't stop the original from being distributed, just stop the one everybody wanted to use from being distributed.

And if I had an office full of boxes running copies of OS X that I hadn't paid for, you can be sure the BSA would take quite an interest.

DragonFlyBSD, not FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13283900)

Doh! They picked the wrong version of FreeBSD. They should have used the new and exciting DragonFlyBSD fork of FreeBSD.
Why base a new distribution on an old and creaky base?

License Revoked!! (1)

sabat (23293) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283933)

The *BSD license has been revoked by the UC board of regents.

You are all fucked.

USB Keyboard (2, Informative)

teslatug (543527) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283944)

Have they fixed the bug where you can't select boot with USB keyboard because you're using a USB keyboard?

Sorry... Next. (1)

minus23 (250338) | more than 8 years ago | (#13283955)

Sigh, Looked through their site... looks like they think "Easy to install Software" means the same thing that every other Open Source Operating system does.

I don't care if it's apt-get, RPM, Roll your own, or what not.... the difficulty with installing applications on a .nix like OS is what is keeping me from using it as my "Desktop".

For YEARS (5 years plus now).... I've been saying this. No one WANTS to do anything about it though because of the benefits of the current methods.... yet it is this stuff that will keep it out of the Desktop of you ask me.
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