[talk] Ask Slashdot: Workaday Software For BSD On the Desktop?

Brian Cully bcully at gmail.com
Fri Nov 21 14:45:23 EST 2014

On Nov 21, 2014, at 14:17, Scott Robbins <scottro at nyc.rr.com> wrote:
> Yet, while I don't want the BSDs welding on the training wheels, I also
> fear that if the next generation of admins/coders find little to interest
> them, it will simply fade away.  Even now, the BSDs are usually well behind
> Linux in hardware support.  There's 3 or 4 things that _I_ do that require
> Linux because FreeBSD won't work properly.  

	Lack of hardware support is a perennial issue in *BSDland. However, most of the hardware I’d want to use is supported, even if I can’t get my laptop to wake up from sleep properly; not that I do, because why would I run BSD on my laptop unless I was working on making it run on my laptop?

> So, the advantage of gaining a user base is that it does start vendors,
> both hardware and software (as well as media vendors like Netflix) to start
> thinking about supporting said userbase.  

	We live in a bifurcated environment. If you want to run Netflix on FreeBSD you’re doing it wrong. Go get a mac or windows pc and watch Netflix. The idea that FreeBSD/Linux/HURD/Plan9 has to run on end-user machines is, in my view, insane. Linux on the desktop hasn’t worked as a concept for almost twenty years now and it’s well past time to get over that. You want Unix on a laptop? Enjoy OS X. Works better than anything else. You want to hack a “proper” Unix on your laptop? Use ssh, or install VirtualBox or something and do it that way while you get to use web browsers that actually work, trackpads that support gestures, and consistently available copy-and-paste.

	Honestly, it’s almost RMS-worthy to me that someone would insist on installing Linux or a BSD on their laptop chasing some kind of righteous calling, except that RMS doesn’t get angry that Netflix doesn’t work on it.


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