[nycbug-talk] BSD on a desktop

Louis Bertrand louis
Sat Jul 31 13:04:49 EDT 2004

On Fri, 30 Jul 2004, G.Rosamond wrote:

> I'd love to hear some input, particularly for those running a BSD
> desktop. . .this includes Dan's love for xplanet, etc. . .useful for
> end-user tasks and/or just fun.

I bought in to the "Linux is better on the desktop" hype a few
years ago. I'd been running OpenBSD on servers, and on a laptop
for PHP and Java development. But the challenge was to set up a
non-tecnical user on something other than Windows.

The most annoying part was having to go on a scavenger hunt for
drivers: network card, AC97 sound on MB. The dmesg in Linux doesn't
give you a clue, so you have to look at the chips, the specs or just
guess. I kept rebooting the machine with an OpenBSD boot floppy,
writing down the hardware specs from dmesg and then continuing the
hunt. The distro you run does matter: some do a better job of
integration than others.

Finally, I just said "f--- it" and installed OpenBSD with KDE. It
almost all worked. Printing from Linux emul apps was wonky: the
Linux app (e.g. Acrobat) would place the spool file in /emul, but
lpr was looking under the real / .

 --Louis  <louis at bertrandtech dot ca>

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