[nycbug-talk] current FreeBSD Advocacy thread

Jesse Callaway jesse
Sat Mar 6 00:00:52 EST 2004

G. Rosamond wrote:

> There's been an interesting (but often very tangental) discussion on
> FreeBSD's Advocacy list about a 'want list' that aims to expand the
> usability and audience of FreeBSD.  It's obviously not just a FreeBSD
> discussion, but more generally applicable.
> It's understood that the BSD family is not aiming to replace Win32 on
> the desktop; that's never been any of the projects' goals.  You want BSD
> on the desktop?  Try OS X.
> One of the early comments was regarding installers.  Certainly, it's an
> often referred to issue for many outside of the BSD world, but it seems
> rather silly to have a problem with NetBSD or FreeBSD's installers.  And
> I think it's clear that the OpenBSD project isn't interested in catering
> to those even unfamiliar with disk partitions.  ;-)
> However, this seems a bit strange to me.  I've watched the changes in
> the FreeBSD installer for years now, and while it's not a graphical user
> interface, it's as clear as day and very straight-forward.  Not to
> mention the improved clarity if one actually makes an attempt to browse
> the FreeBSD Handbook.  Although I'm clearly biased about it, it's *got*
> to be easier than RedHat Linux's installer, at least if you *know* what
> you want to build with the install.
> Until a few months ago, I literally hadn't installed RedHat since 1998.
> When I tried it out again, I found it a bit overwhelming.  I wanted to
> setup a box, not grind coffee, churn butter and take out the laundry.
> There was too much in the install to the point that I wasn't sure if I
> was going to have a box on the reboot or a housekeeper.
> It seems clear to me that an installer doesn't have to be a gui to be
> easy to use.
> Other issues included the availability of desktop applications.  Maybe
> the querying party doesn't know that the BSD's often run Linux apps
> quite well, but it seems to me the real point they are trying to make
> with both comments is that none of the BSD's provide a simple, fully
> constructed workstation or desktop without the tinkering and knowledge
> of the various packages.
> Thoughts?
> g
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> talk at lists.nycbug.org
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1- RedHat says nothing about a BIOS vs. direct probe of the disk conflict.

2- You can set up soft raid wicked easy on RH. Am I missing the vinum 
config in the installer or is it not there? This leads to ...

3- Navigation is ok if you read the handbook, otherwise it sucks. I'd 
like a status bar at the top telling me where in the decision tree I am.

The RedHat installer does freeze up sometimes, in this version and 
others. These are supposedly stable releases.

The FreeBSD installer is nice and flexible with the Options. In a pinch 
you can futz with the release tag etc to get packages installed. I don't 
know if this is recommended or incredibly stupid or what, but I've done 
it. No CD burner and my floppies got wet... oh wow! Here's another 
floppy! Great!!! I only have some old CD-1.


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