BSD is dying

David Gerard fun at
Thu Jul 28 14:46:15 BST 2005

Robert Watson (rwatson at [050728 23:39]:

> Despite the implicit claims in this thread, FreeBSD has never had much in 
> the way of casual desktop use, and that remains the case.  Even with all 
> the investment of companies like IBM, etc, Linux still isn't a desirable 
> desktop environment, so it's not surprising to me that people who want a 
> desktop environment and UNIX bits underneath are buying Macs.  I wouldn't 
> suggest to my wife she use FreeBSD directly today on her desktop, nor 
> would I suggest Linux.  I would suggest Mac OS X, so you might argue this 
> is a FreeBSD success, as opposed to a Linux failure, since we provide the 
> UNIX bits of choice for the most widely used UNIX desktop system on the 
> planet.  I.e., this is the first time my wife and in-laws have been able 
> to run large quantities to FreeBSD code on their desktops.  Most of the 
> experiments I know of where Linux has been put on end user desktops as 
> opposed to techies have gone pretty badly -- worse than the plethora of 
> earlier commercial failed attempts at such things, such as BeOS, OS/2, and 
> .. er.. whatever that low-end competitor to Windows was in about 1994.

I dunno about that. I've been playing with Ubuntu Linux. It's basically
Debian with up-to-date software and a bit of work to make it easy to use.
Its weak point right now is Linux's hardware support - but any supported
hardware Just Works. Debian is eminently sane, so the only thing I don't
like about it is the Linux kernel at the bottom of it ;-) If only Debian
GNU/FreeBSD wasn't all but vaporware ...

But Ubuntu is an *amazingly* usable desktop system. I'd like the FreeBSD
ports/packages folk to have a play with it and see what it feels like to

- d.

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