Re: choice question - newbie
- From: "Balwinder S \"bsd\" Dheeman" <bsd.SANSPAM@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 04 Feb 2007 16:23:51 +0530
On 02/04/2007 05:52 AM, Tore Lund wrote:
Use the correct OS for the job. If you need to run all Linux programs,
use Linux. If every other machine at your location is using Solaris,
install that. If you need a decent desktop, use Windows or Mac OS X.
If you need a tightly knit unix based OS that works real well, install
FreeBSD. It's as simple as that.
All right, that's your opinion. But the OP specifically said he (she?)
wanted a "non windows, desktop system". So I just want to say that I
have gradually started using FreeBSD as my main desktop OS. One of my
reasons for doing so is that Win2K has begun to BSOD on me - so much for
"decent desktop". And FreeBSD works quite well as a desktop, but one
should keep certain shortcomings in mind.
Speaking to the OP:
The major shortcoming is that the handbook and the forums are very much
geared toward sysadmins who know their systems in depth and only need to
ask about occasional technical details. Documentation and forums for
typical desktop users are simply missing at present, but that does NOT
mean that FreeBSD is not a good desktop OS. For my own part, I have
gradually discovered little details that make it much more easy and
pleasant to make a good desktop, and I wish they were documented in some
central location where newbies could find them.
The other shortcoming is that printer setup and some other hassles are
not as convenient as in Windows. For that reason, FreeBSD should only
be used by people who are prepared to expend some effort on handling
certain aspects of the setup.
Having said this, it does not take genius to install a basic FreeBSD
with X. And, once that hurdle is overcome, su to root and issue the
command "pkg_add -r gnome2-lite". I think Gnome is a good place to
begin for newbies, but I also think many of them will outgrow it
quickly. After all, it's just a bundle of programs - many of which
duplicate functionality that is already present in the OS - and you can
get by just as well with a simple window manager and the programs you
really need. (I currently use IceWM.)
In conclusion, I think FreeBSD is a good desktop OS, for those who are
prepared to tackle some problems along the way. The things that are
really missing are documentation and discusson geared toward typical
desktop users. But it does not cost very much to try it out. And no
one here can tell whether Linux or Solaris would be better for you.
I think, you might want to say *can't* in above said sentence; obviously
you don't have enough exposure and, or experience with Linux or Solaris
No doubt, FreeBSD is starting to excel on desktops too, but most of the
people I know still prefer Linux based distros for reasons of hardware
compatibility and, or drivers; Although I was well aware of FreeBSD and,
or other *BSD variants since long, but I only started with FreeBSD
5.1-RELEASE on my Dell Inspiron 4150, and am brave enough to switch over
to FreeBSD 7.0-CURRENT. It is notable that I even being an avid user
and, or advocate of Linux myself, still respect and love to use, study,
preach, advocate, eat and, or sleep FreeBSD too.
I love cleanness, compactness and, or originality of FreeBSD; a big
thanks to FreeBSD developers and, or community :)
To the OP, I know it is difficult to try each and, or every Linux
distro, but the Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo, FreeBSD, Darwin and, or Solairs
are only few which you must try the LiveCD's (If available) yourself and
decide which one fits your budget requirements and, or needs best.
Kindly note that Ubuntu and, or Knoppix are not Debian, particularly in
the view of Debian developers; similarly NetBSD, OpenBSD and, or even
DesktopBSD and PC-BSD are not FreeBSD.
No comments on Solaris, Darwin and, or Mac OS/X, I don't use these now a
Dr Balwinder S "bsd" Dheeman Registered Linux User: #229709
Anu's Linux@HOME Machines: #168573, 170593, 259192
Chandigarh, UT, 160062, India Distros: Ubuntu, Fedora, Knoppix
Home: http://cto.homelinux.net/~bsd/ Visit: http://counter.li.org/