Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 12th May 2006 20:31 UTC, submitted by Joel Dahl
FreeBSD Linux may soon have a stronger open-source competitor on the desktop if FreeBSD's plans come to fruition. FreeBSD developer Scott Long told ZDNet UK on Thursday that the operating system, descended from the Unix derivative BSD, is "quickly approaching" feature parity with Linux. "Lots of work is going on to make FreeBSD more friendly on the desktop," Long said. "Within the year, we expect to have, or be near, parity with Linux."
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by Mitarai on Fri 12th May 2006 20:44 UTC
This is good news
by Priest on Fri 12th May 2006 20:50 UTC
Priest
Member since:
2006-05-12

I definitely think there are ways where FreeBSD has the potential to be a strong competitor on the desktop in part because they have more control over the project than a typical Linux distro would have over Linux.

I think it could benefit Linux at the same time because if some things show to be successful on FreeBSD they can later be adopted by Linux (like ports package management for instance).

At the same time I think there are areas where Linux has made huge improvements that FreeBSD could borrow from (the installer for instance).

This should be interesting.

Reply Score: 5

RE: This is good news
by tmack on Fri 12th May 2006 21:27 UTC in reply to "This is good news"
tmack Member since:
2006-04-11

WTF are you talking about.

Every distro has complete control over Linux, they can apply their own patches if they want.

No one is stopping them.

Reply Score: 5

RE: This is good news
by zambizzi on Fri 12th May 2006 22:12 UTC in reply to "This is good news"
zambizzi Member since:
2006-04-23

More control? How so? I could start my own distro tomorrow if I wanted to...and make it do whatever I have the ability or desire to do.

Yeah, it'd be great to have ports-like package-management...like uhm...Portage in Gentoo?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: This is good news
by paul.michael.bauer on Fri 12th May 2006 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE: This is good news"
paul.michael.bauer Member since:
2005-07-06

You are right that there are no technical limitations to what you can do with Linux.

However, FreeBSD has recognition as a centralized effort. If the FreeBSD peeps decide to over-haul a major sub-system and take the project in a new direction, they can (see SMPng) and the whole community goes along for the ride. You or I could not just spin off our own 'flavor' and call it FreeBSD (see DragonFlyBSD).

The Gentoo project has made this great Portage system, but they can't insist that Linux as a whole will follow their vision (apt, rpm, tar.gz, etc.).

The sort of dominance the FreeBSD developers have over their entire project (soup to nuts) can't be duplicated by either the Linux community or a specific distriution because Linux and FreeBSD are too different political animals entirely.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: This is good news
by hobgoblin on Sat 13th May 2006 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is good news"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

nor can you take the linux kernel, add some stuff and call it the pmb kernel...

allso, if you make a change to the linux kernel. and then post the change up on the net, like should be doing if you allso release the alterd kernel, others can see this, maybe add more to it. and if they realy like it, fold it into the linux main source.

not with the BSD's there is all this duplicate effort because they dont like what the others are doing because it breaks with the "spirit" of the BSD. and therefor they spin of a off-shot.

sure it helps to be one big gorilla if you want to get control over the "market". but in the end, the lowest common denominator is the source. as long as the source is out there, it can be worked on and made to work under just about any distro.

no need to demand a single packaging system or anything like that. grab the source, work the source, compile the source. and if you cant, maybe someone can help you?

thats one of the interesting things about gobolinux. i can install source via a recipie, i can install a premade binary, and they can live together. hell i can have the dependencys of a binary package satisfied by a source recipie that have the source it needs automaticaly downloaded from the developers website.

and it uses the filesystem as the basis for its package manager. if i want to clean out a package i only need to delete the directory its in under /programs ;)

ok, so the filesystem is a bit oddball compared to the more ortodox distros, but i kinda like it ;)

and still i can pull down the latest kernel and have it compiled. heh, there is even a recipie for the nvidia drivers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: This is good news
by zambizzi on Sat 13th May 2006 02:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is good news"
zambizzi Member since:
2006-04-23

I can't comment on the BSDs as it's not a subject I'm at all educated on, I can only speak for Linux which I've been using successfully for years.

You may be correct, however, the market (users & corporate sponsors) have ultimately made their choice, for now. Surely the majority of free *nix offshoots has made a choice and it's pretty clear that the BSDs just aren't getting the attention Linux and it's many thriving distros are getting by personal users and professionals.

Most techies who are interested in alternatives to Windows or Unix would, at this point, not see as much of an advantage using a BSD as they would using Linux just due to the simple fact that there are more people out there to support them in the Linux community.

I'm not saying I'd never be interested in a BSD flavor myself...I'm interested in everything...but Gentoo gives me all of the power and I see no advantage to using a BSD at this point. Gentoo's community has been amazing and is growing fairly rapidly, even today where we now have Ubuntu and a Novell-sponsored SuSE.

In closing...the fact that the BSD "leaders" can swiftly make an abrupt change w/o the permission of its many participants isn't necessarily an advantage. If there were a technical (or social) advantage there I think we would clearly see it rise above. Perhaps we will someday?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: This is good news
by Priest on Sat 13th May 2006 03:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: This is good news"
Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

"In closing...the fact that the BSD "leaders" can swiftly make an abrupt change w/o the permission of its many participants isn't necessarily an advantage. If there were a technical (or social) advantage there I think we would clearly see it rise above. Perhaps we will someday?"

You mean like OSX? Or Windows?

Linux arguably has more people behind it than OSX, not to mention a huge head start and even billions of dollars invested in it. Apple in the span of only 2 or 3 years created an operating system that is mainstream ready.

Say what you will of the OSS development model, but sometimes there is alot to be said for greater control.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: This is good news
by zambizzi on Sat 13th May 2006 04:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: This is good news"
zambizzi Member since:
2006-04-23

Some numbers show Linux adoption on the desktop even greater (albeit not by much) than OSX. Apple is now considering another kernel, why is that? I'm sincerely asking, I honestly don't know. However, there must be a significant flaw for them to consider this sweeping change. Technically (not legally? not sure here) they could port their desktop to a Linux kernel...and probably do just as well if not better, couldn't they? Again, I don't know squat about Darwin, so I'm just speculating.

Microsoft had to ditch their old development model in favor of one more "open source-like" during the development of Vista because the old way of doing things (and the old code-base) had become impossible to work with. This was said to be done to further help Windows development keep pace with open source development.

I wish I had the Wired article from a few months back that went into great detail on Microsoft and these changes I mentioned, if I find it I'll post the source. However, you should be able to find plenty of publications w/ references to this information.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: This is good news
by Ronald Vos on Sat 13th May 2006 10:50 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: This is good news"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple is now considering another kernel, why is that?

That's the first I've heard of this. Perhaps you're confused with the announcement some developpers wish to get rid of some parts of the Mach kernel?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: This is good news
by backdoc on Sat 13th May 2006 02:38 UTC in reply to "RE: This is good news"
backdoc Member since:
2006-01-14

What he meant is that since there is only one FreeBSD, if you Google for help on FreeBSD, the results are always relevant. If you search for help on Linux, you might get SUSE help, Ubuntu help or whatever. Sometimes it applies to your problem, and sometimes it doesn't.

Also, FreeBSD can focus on FreeBSD specific documentation. They are in complete control of everything from start to finish.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: This is good news
by zambizzi on Sat 13th May 2006 03:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is good news"
zambizzi Member since:
2006-04-23

This is exactly how each distro functions as well...each consisting of their own respective communities w/ relevant documentation, forums, mailing lists, etc.

However, the difference is, if you don't care for the community of one distro you have hundreds to choose from and experiment with. This level of competition forces a distro to stay relevant or drop out of the race.

I believe this "open market" environment w/ Linux distros today is what is pushing it forward so quickly and gaining it respect and corporate sponsorship. That, of course, combined with excellent engineering, dedicated programmers, and whordes of techies out there willing to experiment to help improve the quality.

In the BSD space there isn't nearly as much adoption or expansion. The momentum in BSD currently just cannot compare.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: This is good news
by backdoc on Sat 13th May 2006 11:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: This is good news"
backdoc Member since:
2006-01-14

There is some validity to what you're saying. But, try Googling for something like "starting postfix on archlinux" vs. "starting postfix on FreeBSD" or "installing mysql on slackware" vs. "installing mysql on FreeBSD".

I primarily use Ubuntu and Windows. And, searching for Ubuntu help is pretty productive (alot like FreeBSD's). But, the point is that it's not hit and miss in FreeBSD.

By any chance, have you only experienced the Linux side of your argument? Be honest . . .

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: This is good news
by zambizzi on Sat 13th May 2006 13:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: This is good news"
zambizzi Member since:
2006-04-23

By any chance, have you only experienced the Linux side of your argument? Be honest . . .

By that do you mean, "Have you ever used *BSD?". The honest answer is yes. However I've never installed it nor have I had to maintain it. I couldn't imagine it being easier to do so (and to maintain) than Gentoo Linux.

I think I had said earlier that I was speaking based on what I've learned by keeping my ear to the ground and watching technology trends, not based on personal experience at the same depth.

But, the point is that it's not hit and miss in FreeBSD

Alright, there's one side of the arguement. Now, what happens if there's a particular package that you absolutely must have...it's critical to a working environment (to you, personally) - and it's broken in FreeBSD? Or, what if it's not supported? What if the particular configuration hinders your progress w/ that package somehow? *My* point was simply; you have more choice and can be as fickle as you want as a Linux user.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: This is good news
by dark child on Sat 13th May 2006 15:27 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: This is good news"
dark child Member since:
2005-12-09

By that do you mean, "Have you ever used *BSD?". The honest answer is yes. However I've never installed it nor have I had to maintain it. I couldn't imagine it being easier to do so (and to maintain) than Gentoo Linux.

FreeBSD is lot easier to install than Gentoo. You can have a working FreeBSD base system in 5 or 10 minutes, whereas Gentoo will take you a lot longer. As for maintenance, I find it to be more or less the same but the ports system does not need a lot of tinkering with like portage e.g. there is no time wasted unmasking packages, you just install the version you wish and everything else is automatically sorted out.

Edited 2006-05-13 15:29

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: This is good news
by zambizzi on Sat 13th May 2006 15:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: This is good news"
zambizzi Member since:
2006-04-23

Choosing to install Gentoo w/ a graphical installer or doing it manually is entirely voluntary. I choose to use a manual installation to get exactly the system configuration I prefer vs. accepting a particular set of packages that are pre-arranged by default, like other distros do. This is what sets Gentoo apart from any other other distro or operating system...it's simply a collection of packages that you assemble...you get exactly what you want and nothing more, if you don't want it.

I don't think the Gentoo manual installation is hard...the documentation is so simple and clear...all you really have to do is follow steps. I completed my laptop last night in under 2 hrs., minus compile-time. Today I have a beautiful, fast Gnome desktop.

The masking feature in Portage is quite nice...it helps make system maintenance stupid-proof for those people who will attempt to install something that isn't quite ready for prime time unknowingly. For those that do want that bleeding edge package...it's as simple as adding a line to a list in a packages.keywords and/or packages.unmask file.

This system is intuitive and smart, IMO.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: This is good news
by Morgan on Sat 13th May 2006 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: This is good news"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I couldn't imagine it being easier to do so (and to maintain) than Gentoo Linux.

That depends on one's experience. To you, Gentoo obviously is easy and I salute you for that. To the average user, it is not. Take me, for example. I'm not a programmer; though I understand a bit about programming and have worked in a few languages I've never created anything of value and I don't really have a knack for it. I use Slackware as my Linux desktop, and I'm comfortable building from source but I'm not quite a "power user" by most definitions.

I've tried installing Gentoo; I even got it installed one time. It was far from easy and once I did get it installed it just seemed so obtuse and backwards to me. Why should I have to do all these things myself? I know, it allows me to have an OS that is perfectly meshed with my hardware and my way of using the OS. For someone like me, though, it's much less frustrating to find a distro (Slackware) that is already very close to my way of thinking and performs well with my hardware.

I've installed FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD. By far, the easiest was FreeBSD but it was only marginally easier than Gentoo. I did end up with a working system, and given time with it I'm sure I could get it to do everything I can get Slackware to. However, I'm keeping my eye on DesktopBSD (the distro) to see what they have in store for the future of Desktop BSD (the concept). I have a feeling it will be a very good thing for someone like me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: This is good news
by zambizzi on Sat 13th May 2006 16:21 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: This is good news"
zambizzi Member since:
2006-04-23

Agreed, Gentoo is not easy as it is not necessarily intended to *be* easy. It's a learning experience and that learning experience is not for everyone.

The advantage Gentoo would give you over FreeBSD (as I see it) is superb, up-to-date, documentation backed by a thriving (and growing) community who is polite and ready to help you fast, if you should need it.

My question is; is that same attitude & momentum available in FreeBSD. Will I get forum answers in minutes? Will I find the same numbers of people who've been through the same pain and can help me quickly solve it? Will all of my hardware work how I want it to?

Reply Score: 1

Not gonna happen
by eMagius on Fri 12th May 2006 20:51 UTC
eMagius
Member since:
2005-07-06

I live FreeBSD as much as the next person (it's the OS I've used longest on the desktop (apart from MS-DOS), in fact), but let's face facts -- a lot of "Desktop Linux" depends on propreitary software, binary blobs/drivers, and -- most unnerving of all -- non-portable, non-compliant, obfuscated applications that claim to be OSS. You aren't going to get those over to FreeBSD easily.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not gonna happen
by thebluesgnr on Fri 12th May 2006 21:02 UTC in reply to "Not gonna happen"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

Most of the popular GNU/Linux distributions don't include proprietary software by default, so I don't see your point.

My take: in order to be more friendly as a desktop OS, FreeBSD needs:

- HAL support. There's a patch done already, but I don't know how complete or stable it is.

- A simple installation program. Don't ask the user if they want to setup the machine as an NFS client and stuff like that, just keep simple questions like locale configuration, user account, etc.

- GUI tools integrated with the desktop environment to install packages and keep the system up to date.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Not gonna happen
by kaiwai on Sat 13th May 2006 04:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Not gonna happen"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Most of the popular GNU/Linux distributions don't include proprietary software by default, so I don't see your point. [/i]

No, he is talking about the availability of proprietary drivers.

Also, there are alot of OSS coders who seem to be living under a rock thinking that the world revolves around Linux, resulting in alot of pissed off users and programmers who end up spending hours upon hours trying to working around stupid Linux'isms they include with their applications.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not gonna happen
by Babi Asu on Sat 13th May 2006 15:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Not gonna happen"
Babi Asu Member since:
2006-02-11

Yes, it gonna happend, and this will be a default program later:

http://www.daemonology.net/depenguinator/

Reply Score: 0

RE: Not gonna happen
by TaterSalad on Fri 12th May 2006 21:07 UTC in reply to "Not gonna happen"
TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

I would think it would be just the opposite. The proprieatary software and binary drivers would be easier to port to freebsd due to the license.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Not gonna happen
by vikramsharma on Fri 12th May 2006 21:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Not gonna happen"
vikramsharma Member since:
2005-07-06

One can argue about GPL vs BSD licensing, but BSD licensing does have some plus points

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Not gonna happen
by hobgoblin on Sat 13th May 2006 00:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not gonna happen"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

but say someone buildt a device based on freebsd (like asy tivo is buildt on linux) you could be posting sour comments about no info about their changes to the source all day and they could not care because the requirements that the GPL have.

some like to give, others like to get something in return. and im not talking money. something way more valuable then that, information...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Not gonna happen
by antonis00 on Sat 13th May 2006 08:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not gonna happen"
antonis00 Member since:
2006-03-26

"... but BSD licensing does have some plus points"

Indeed it does... if you call a plus taking advantage of someones hard work to make money and not giving anything back.

Edited 2006-05-13 08:57

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Not gonna happen
by Manik on Sat 13th May 2006 13:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not gonna happen"
Manik Member since:
2005-07-06

OMG ! That tired argument again ! Dammit, BSDL developpers are GIVING, repeat GIVING their hard work voluntarily and DON'T CARE, repeat DON'T CARE if people take advantage. In fact, they HOPE, repeat HOPE, somebody will take advantage of their code. They hope also that people taking their code will give back, but they let people FREE to CHOSE. ABSOLUTELY FREE.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Not gonna happen
by Cloudy on Sat 13th May 2006 17:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not gonna happen"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

"... but BSD licensing does have some plus points"

Indeed it does... if you call a plus taking advantage of someones hard work to make money and not giving anything back.


As someone who has done corporate development under both the BSD and GNU licenses, and has given back equally (and held back equally) in both environments, I can say that in the real world this argument is a non-starter.

It's easy enough to get around the GPL and LGPL and not 'give back'.

Meanwhile, the BSD license makes it possible for me to use BSD in environments where GPL is unacceptable to management -- and I still get to 'give back' any changes made to BSD.

Companies protect what they believe to be their IP when they use the GPL just as readily as when they use the BSD license.

You don't think so? Ask google about their distributed Linux system some time.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not gonna happen
by larry on Fri 12th May 2006 23:16 UTC in reply to "Not gonna happen"
larry Member since:
2006-05-12

You're not serious, are you? According to this interview, FreeBSD includes blobs, too.

http://kerneltrap.org/node/6497

If that's true, you need to upgrade your FreeBSD ;)

Reply Score: 3

FreeBSD on the desktop
by TaterSalad on Fri 12th May 2006 21:01 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

I like that sound of that. My main concern is about the hardware support. I also have the same concerns about linux, and I could be wrong on this but linux supports more hardware? What kind of multimedia framework is in place on FreeBSD? Linux has ALSA for sound, gstreamer or xine for multimedia. What are the FreeBSD equivalents, and will they make a unified sound system?

It would be really great if they team up with pc-bsd and desktopbsd and share ideas.

Reply Score: 1

More?
by diegocg on Fri 12th May 2006 21:07 UTC
diegocg
Member since:
2005-07-08

Don't take me wrong, but I don't think freebsd can't do nothing to be more competitive than linux on desktops. It won't be less competitive either.

I mean, being competitive on desktops means basically things like gnome, kde, Xorg - things that freebsd is ALREADY sharing with linux. There're features were the kernel is involved: device management, software suspend, cpufreq, graphic 3d drivers, etc....but what makes a desktop competitive is mostly the software. Gnome is not more competitive in solaris than in linux, neither the reverse. A gnome/kde desktop running in a freebsd kernel will be gnome and kde. Not that it's not nice to see freebsd coming with desktop-ready solutions, but I don't think it will a breakthough, those will come with the next gnome and kde versions

Edited 2006-05-12 21:10

Reply Score: 5

Feature parity?
by Ronald Vos on Fri 12th May 2006 21:13 UTC
Ronald Vos
Member since:
2005-07-06

Just curious: what features is FreeBSD missing compared to Linux?

Is he speaking of easier installers? Because I know 2 distros that got most of that pinned down already.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Feature parity?
by thebluesgnr on Fri 12th May 2006 21:53 UTC in reply to "Feature parity?"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

Just curious: what features is FreeBSD missing compared to Linux?

HAL support.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Feature parity?
by da_Chicken on Fri 12th May 2006 22:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Feature parity?"
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

A hardware abstraction layer (HAL) is a software abstraction layer between the physical hardware of a computer and the software that runs on that computer. [--] The Windows NT-based operating systems have a HAL. [--] BSD, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, and some other portable operating systems also have a HAL, even if it's not explicitly designated as one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardware_abstraction_layer

FreeBSD has also automounting support for removable media via autofs. That's quite useful for desktop systems.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Feature parity?
by JoeBuck on Fri 12th May 2006 22:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Feature parity?"
JoeBuck Member since:
2006-01-11

Right, but what's needed is a layer that can manage notifying desktop components of events that take place at the hardware level, like the insertion of a removable device, the lid-close event on the laptop, etc. The simplest path would be to build in the needed support to make the existing KDE and Gnome desktops work smoothly, then BSD systems will have basically the same desktop.

However, I suspect that the BSD folks will then have a hell of a lot of tuning to do; Linux folks have been tweaking to improve desktop performance for some time, while the BSD world has been totally server-focused with few exceptions.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Feature parity? OSS sound!
by mrUnix on Fri 12th May 2006 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Feature parity?"
mrUnix Member since:
2006-05-12

Well as someone who has tried many major linux
distros..Slackware, Gentoo, Debian..
I was just blown away by how good DesktopBSD was.
What does it have that Linux does not have?
Well a sound system that works for one!
I'm sorry to say but ALSA is STILL BUGGY!
At least with kernel 2.6 and KDE 3.5
Don't believe me? try to get a Java application
that uses sound to play sounds at the same time as ,say , an mp3 playing in the background.
The mp3 player blocks the java apps sound and no sound is heard.
I know you can use fluxbox and/or install oss in linux but the point is that FreeBSD gets it right
by default.
FreeBSD uses the old oss system of sound but it works perfectly

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Feature parity? OSS sound!
by FishB8 on Sat 13th May 2006 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Feature parity? OSS sound!"
FishB8 Member since:
2006-01-16

Don't believe me? try to get a Java application
that uses sound to play sounds at the same time as ,say , an mp3 playing in the background.
The mp3 player blocks the java apps sound and no sound is heard.


Perhaps you've never heard of ALSA's dmix feature.

And BTW: The design of the OSS sound sink is awful.

Reply Score: 3

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

Just for the record, I can use all the dmix goodness when I issue single sound commands (with the appropriate command line options) but I've never managed to configure .asoundrc to apply this to ALL sound events even though I've read several HOWTO's.

ALSA still has a long way to go when it comes to ease of use. In time it'll get there but currently many people are still having way too much trouble configuring ALSA. OSS, despite its limitations, is a tried and tested technology that doesn't require any expert knowledge for configuration -- in most cases it just works right out of the box. People who struggle with ALSA tend to think of OSS with tender affection.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Feature parity? OSS sound!
by mrUnix on Sat 13th May 2006 02:14 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Feature parity? OSS sound!"
mrUnix Member since:
2006-05-12

I should mention that I am using on-board sound
the ac'97 default of i915 and most modern computers
these days. Alsa has some issues with this.
I use dmix. It works most of the time.
I use archlinux(the best!) and dmix + Kde3.5
is enabled by default(I think they use Jack too)

And it works MOST of the time. I can play a movie
and play an mp3 fine.

Here is how to reproduce the problem:
Login to KDE and start listening to music and while doing that try this java applet:
go to www.freechess.org and click "login now"
(you don't need to know how to play chess),
login as "guest". You should be
greeted with the spoken message "welcome to the free internet chess server". But that message won't be heard. Observe * will let you observe the strongest game in progress and you should hear clicks whenever
a piece moves. I bet you won't.
It is because they are using java. It is a
well-known issue.
As for sound sinks you may be right but for me
I just want to hear all sounds at once and oss does
works flawlessly.

Reply Score: 1

stephanem Member since:
2006-01-11

I've got an ECS 915PA on FreeBSD 6.1 running 4Front's OSS drivers and it works just fine. XMMS rocks, Mplayer rocks, It even has a better virtual mixer than ALSA's crap DMIX - with 4front's virtual mixer I can control each app's volume individually - ALSA is all or nothing.
Plus it just sounds terrible compared to OSS.

I've heard that NetBSD guys are working on an HDaudio driver - wonder how that will sound. As for ALSA, sorry but this was supposed to fix OSS's limitations but it's just horrible to use. Most of the apps are OSS so why bother?

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Feature parity? OSS sound!
by mrUnix on Sat 13th May 2006 02:16 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Feature parity? OSS sound!"
mrUnix Member since:
2006-05-12

I should mention that I am using on-board sound
the ac'97 default of i915 and most modern computers
these days. Alsa has some issues with this.
I use dmix. It works most of the time.
I use archlinux(the best!) and dmix + Kde3.5
is enabled by default(I think they use Jack too)

And it works MOST of the time. I can play a movie
and play an mp3 fine.

Here is how to reproduce the problem:
Login to KDE and start listening to music and while doing that try this java applet:
go to www.freechess.org and click "login now"
(you don't need to know how to play chess),
login as "guest". You should be
greeted with the spoken message "welcome to the free internet chess server". But that message won't be heard. Observe * will let you observe the strongest game in progress and you should hear clicks whenever
a piece moves. I bet you won't.
It is because they are using java. It is a
well-known issue.
As for sound sinks you may be right but for me
I just want to hear all sounds at once and oss does
works flawlessly.

Reply Score: 0

Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

I see no "dmix" options in the Gnome or KDE sound preferences.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Feature parity? OSS sound!
by kaiwai on Sat 13th May 2006 08:39 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Feature parity? OSS sound!"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope you do realise that OpenSound 4.0 is just around the corner, and from what I have heard, the latency and features far exceed that of ALSA.

As for the FreeBSD front, they're addressing the sound issue, but at the time they realise that it needs to be SMP capable as well, hence, taking their time to ensure that their future sound API addresses the needs of not only today, but tomorrow as well.

Reply Score: 1

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

sometimes i would call that sound blockage a feature.

i wonder how many times i have had some add load up in a background window and scare the hell out of me because of its loud sounds. then i need to track the source down while its polluting my music...

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Feature parity?
by Ronald Vos on Sat 13th May 2006 10:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Feature parity?"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

However, I suspect that the BSD folks will then have a hell of a lot of tuning to do; Linux folks have been tweaking to improve desktop performance for some time, while the BSD world has been totally server-focused with few exceptions.

It's funny though that people report PC-BSD feeling snappier than regular Linux+KDE.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Feature parity?
by Drune on Sat 13th May 2006 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Feature parity?"
Drune Member since:
2005-12-04

Please dont give me a HAL definition based on Wikipedia stuff. HAL is much more than an automonting support in kernel.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Feature parity?
by Marcellus on Sun 14th May 2006 08:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Feature parity?"
Marcellus Member since:
2005-08-26

Er...
BSD does have a Hardware Abstraction Layer.
Or has the GNU/Linux camp decided to adapt the abbreviation for something else?

Please clarify what you are talking about, because now you're not making much sense.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Feature parity?
by kaiwai on Sat 13th May 2006 04:58 UTC in reply to "Feature parity?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd like to also know what is defined as 'easier installer', because easier installer should not automatically mean graphical installer, as there are horific graphical installers out there, that certainly are not easy to use.

Sysinstall, although not 'sexy', does the basic job of allowing one to install FreeBSD without much fuss or bother.

Reply Score: 1

It WILL happen
by Chezz on Fri 12th May 2006 21:22 UTC
Chezz
Member since:
2005-07-11

Just get more funding and support from big corporations like IBM and others then all will be fine. Lack of hype and ads is another issue. The rest is all doable and already being implemented.

Feature wise, I think FreeBSD or BSD in general are capabale of delivering quality products that can be easily adopted on desktops.

Reply Score: 5

RE: It WILL happen
by rhavenn on Fri 12th May 2006 22:53 UTC in reply to "It WILL happen"
rhavenn Member since:
2006-05-12

Just get more funding and support from big corporations like IBM and others then all will be fine. Lack of hype and ads is another issue. The rest is all doable and already being implemented.

You hit the nail on the head. Funding, support and hoopla is what is missing.

Reply Score: 2

Can't Wait
by Lugee on Fri 12th May 2006 21:27 UTC
Lugee
Member since:
2005-07-06

Can't wait for this to happen, always preferred BSD over linux.

Reply Score: 5

Sounds good
by da_Chicken on Fri 12th May 2006 21:43 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

I've used FreeBSD and NetBSD as my desktops before. Both are very good operating systems, in some aspects better than Linux. Still, my desktop setup is currently a dual boot between two Linux distros because I've got the impression that BSD is happy where it is and not really interested in competing with the desktop Linux. I might be wrong.

I'd love to see equal competition on the desktop between BSD and Linux. I think it's quite possible and I'd love to dual boot between BSD and Linux on my desktop setup.

Both BSD and Linux have conquered a strong position on the server space. But desktop is a new territory for both, and Linux has so far seemed more eager to grasp a hold on that area. There are huge opportunities for growth on the desktop for Linux and BSD because they are both free (as in "free beer") while their competitors, MS Windows and Mac OS X, are expensive.

Although BSD and Linux compete with each other, the fact is that they're actually pretty similar. They both use the same applications and applications are what matters to users -- not the underlying system. And because the apps are the same, it is also a fact that what benefits Linux on the desktop, will also benefit BSD on the desktop (and vice versa).

A healthy competition on the desktop between two equal systems, BSD & Linux, would ensure that they will both try their best. IMO, the ideal situation would be where MS Windows has 25% market share, Mac OS another 25%, and both Linux and BSD have also their 25%. :*D

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not gonna happen
by lobster on Fri 12th May 2006 21:52 UTC
lobster
Member since:
2006-01-11

I disagree with your point about not asking the user if they want to set up a nfs client et al.

Freebsd is designed underneath to be a server os, but its higher level can be anything, including a kde/gnome desktop.

does not pc-bsd cover a user friendly installation that you mention?

What i have just said covers all *bsd.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Not gonna happen
by thebluesgnr on Fri 12th May 2006 21:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not gonna happen"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

I'm not saying it's a bad thing that FreeBSD asks that, but that makes it unfriendly as a desktop OS to a lot of people. That doesn't imply that I think the current installer should be replaced, rather a more simple installation method could be added.

For example, if you want FreeBSD to be useful as a desktop machine you'd probably install GNOME or KDE on it. But what about people who don't even know what GNOME or KDE are?

And PC-BSD is not part of the FreeBSD project.

Reply Score: 1

v BSD could do it
by Fuji257 on Fri 12th May 2006 21:55 UTC
RE: BSD could do it
by abraxas on Fri 12th May 2006 22:39 UTC in reply to "BSD could do it"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Between the source code from Darwin and 'step, an OS X like BSD distro shouldn't be too far off?

Except for the fact that a large portion of OSX, especially the GUI components are all proprietary.

Reusing a bunch of Linux crap that continually fails to capture large portions of the desktop market is a mistake. BSD should find alternatives, maybe it'll be better off than Linux - maybe not. But at least it won't be more of the same.

I think that GNOME and KDE are both very good desktops. The fact that they haven't taken over yet doesn't mean very much. There hasn't really been many companies pushing for desktop linux until recently.

Designing and implementing an entirely new and useful desktop from scratch is going to take quite sometime and quite a hell of a lot of manpower. I don't think this would be a good approarch for BSD if they want to be on the desktop in the next ten years.

Reply Score: 3

RE: BSD could do it
by aent on Sat 13th May 2006 14:29 UTC in reply to "BSD could do it"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

So by your logic, considering the number of Linux desktop users now exceeds OS X users, we should just go and try to copy the less successful route? Thankfully, you aren't in charge of the BSDs. Linux desktop passed OS X in number of users over a year ago. I guess OS X should try and copy Linux's model since its more successful then what they've tried thus far.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: BSD could do it
by netpython on Sat 13th May 2006 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE: BSD could do it"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Especially true for threading :-)

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: BSD could do it
by Babi Asu on Sat 13th May 2006 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE: BSD could do it"
the only way for them to be competitive ...
by JoeBuck on Fri 12th May 2006 22:09 UTC
JoeBuck
Member since:
2006-01-11

... is to run KDE or Gnome on top of a BSD kernel, with BSD extended to look like Linux (e.g. implement HAL). This means that they'll be running mostly GPL and LGPL software, it will not be BSD-licensed at all. Then it will just come down to how good the hardware support is, and at this stage Linux tends to support a lot more hardware, though BSD folks are narrowing the gap.

Reply Score: 2

Waste of Effort IMHO
by mike hess on Fri 12th May 2006 22:23 UTC
mike hess
Member since:
2005-08-22

Why?

If their goal is to get HAL, Gnome, etc working well with FreeBSD, what difference does it make?

The function will be nearly identical, the only major difference being the software license and different security vulnerabilities.

Even more ridiculous is that they are aspiring to using HAL, and GNOME projects. GPL projects, meaning they can't "BSD" them, which would allow propriatary derivatives.

I really don't think the community is clamoring for another kernel. And if there's one kernel i'd like to see reach parity with Linux, it would be HURD, not FreeBSD.

Nothing against the FreeBSD developers, i just think their effort could be put to more useful things.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Waste of Effort IMHO
by noescom on Fri 12th May 2006 22:35 UTC in reply to "Waste of Effort IMHO"
noescom Member since:
2006-05-09

Even more ridiculous is that they are aspiring to using HAL, and GNOME projects.

On the contrary. It would be ridiculous to develop a GUI from scratch, with Gnome and KDE on the market.

I really don't think the community is clamoring for another kernel. And if there's one kernel i'd like to see reach parity with Linux, it would be HURD, not FreeBSD.

Ofcourse FreeBSD is not just a kernel, it's a complete OS.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Waste of Effort IMHO
by sorpigal on Fri 12th May 2006 22:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Waste of Effort IMHO"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Just as it would be ridiculous for KDE to write a browser engine when Gecko will be ready any month now. Oh, wait...

Just as it would be ridiculous for Linus to write a new OS when HURD will be done any year now. Oh, wait...

You get the idea. I don't think they will, but don't dismiss it as stupid or too hard. It is neither.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Waste of Effort IMHO
by r_a_trip on Sat 13th May 2006 20:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Waste of Effort IMHO"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Ofcourse FreeBSD is not just a kernel, it's a complete OS.

Yup, a complete OS, borrowing a large part of their GUI technologies from third party, non-BSD sources.

Am I to understand that a complete OS means a CLI only environment developed by the same team?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Waste of Effort IMHO
by Cloudy on Sat 13th May 2006 21:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Waste of Effort IMHO"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Am I to understand that a complete OS means a CLI only environment developed by the same team?

A complete OS is one where a usable system is available as a single package. Fedora Core is a complete OS. FreeBSD is a complete OS. Neither GNU nor Linux are complete OSes. Even if I grab a kernel from kernel.org and the entire GNU tree from FSF, I don't have the makings of a complete OS, since I would be lacking bootstrapping and installing software.

Reply Score: 2

Performance
by youcha on Fri 12th May 2006 23:03 UTC
youcha
Member since:
2006-02-05

Since performance is a very important desktop productivity criteria, is FreeBSD doing better than Linux?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Performance
by Ronald Vos on Sat 13th May 2006 10:39 UTC in reply to "Performance"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

Since performance is a very important desktop productivity criteria, is FreeBSD doing better than Linux?

Depends completely on what you're measuring (as always). And in some cases: yes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Performance
by youcha on Sat 13th May 2006 15:02 UTC in reply to "Performance"
youcha Member since:
2006-02-05

Loading Apps, working on OpenOffice..

Reply Score: 1

I say no...
by sledgehammer89 on Fri 12th May 2006 23:23 UTC
sledgehammer89
Member since:
2006-02-02

I have no DVB-TV drivers for my VDR (Video Disk Recorder) like on Linux.
I have no ISDN Capi driver for my AVM ISDN card
I have no useful Bluetooth drivers
I'm always behind with PF Firewall if I look to OpenBSD
I have no VMware (for some Win Admin Tools that doesn't run in Wine)
I have no NCPFS mount (for Netware shares)

... sorry, no.

Reply Score: 1

And...
by sledgehammer89 on Fri 12th May 2006 23:26 UTC
sledgehammer89
Member since:
2006-02-02

... there is no apt-get like in Ubuntu ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: And...
by dark child on Sat 13th May 2006 15:10 UTC in reply to "And..."
dark child Member since:
2005-12-09

... there is no apt-get like in Ubuntu ;)
Ports and other pkg_* tools work just as good as apt-get. If you can do apt-get install something its not difficult to do pkg_add -r something or portintstall something.

Reply Score: 4

configuration scripts & gui utilities
by ozonehole on Fri 12th May 2006 23:52 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

It's been awhile since I've used FreeBSD, but what I recall being most frustrating was a lack of configuration scripts and/or gui utilities.

For example, to get a dial-up modem or pppoe working, you had to open up a text file and write the configuration by hand. I had to spend days reading man pages and searching online before I could do it. By contrast, on Debian you could run kppp for a dial-up modem, or pppoeconf to configure pppoe - so intuitive that there was no need to read documentation.

The same situation when it comes to configuring a firewall. Linux has several gui utilities for this (Firestarter, Guarddog, etc) while on FreeBSD you had to read a book so you could figure out how to write the pf.conf file (and even after I did it, I'm still not sure it was correct).

The FreeBSD developers need to address this issue. Perhaps they will. I wouldn't mind seeing FreeBSD achieve parity with desktop Linux.

And one more little thing. They need to do something about the geometry bug.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't know how long ago you have run FreeBSD, but I can assure you that for many years, KDE allowed one to setup a basic PPP setup with a modem, by using the supplied kppp application and setup wizard.

As for the PPPoE, thats a different beast, with can be setup via the use of the GNOME networking tool.

The issue is more to do with portage than a FreeBSD issue; its about making sure that those features that are available on GNOME and and KDE are also available on FreeBSD as well, which will require alot of work and patching as well.

Reply Score: 1

FreeBSD should focus on the server
by Nycran on Fri 12th May 2006 23:56 UTC
Nycran
Member since:
2006-02-06

Personally I think the two already existing desktop distros of FreeBSD, PCBSD and DesktopBSD are doing a fine job as it is.

Moreover, is there *really* the need for this? What is the point of trying to compete with Linux on the desktop? It will be very hard to top Suse, Ubuntu and Fedora.

FreeBSD IMHO should concentrate on being a friggin good server os. There is a massive market for this. Spend time making it super easy to setup a secure chrooted server. Make menu driven programs that make it a snap to setup postfix, dovecot / cyrus / postfix, dns, apache, mysql, postgres, jdk, jboss, etc and make the configuration dead easy. Let's have none of this obscure configuration file stuff - that's so 1970.

FreeBSD is immensely powerful already but what it lacks is ease of use for newbies. The hours I've spent trying to get programs to talk to each other simply wouldn't have occured on Windows, and this I believe is how they can really improve.

Reply Score: 2

happycamper Member since:
2006-01-01

FreeBSD is immensely powerful already but what it lacks is ease of use for newbies.

FreeBSD is not lacking the ease to use. it's not FreeBSD fault that the users/newsbies are dead brain or lazy to learn how to use it. FreBSD is fine the way it is.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Agreed. I'm using FreeBSD, and the issues the average newbie will encounter can easily be googled or simply read the f*cking manual.

Its not about splittng the atom or coming up with a viable equation for the string theory, just following basic instructions as written.

Reply Score: 3

windows still owns desktop market
by happycamper on Sat 13th May 2006 00:00 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

what Desktop linux? people knows about linux that is virus free and spyware free,etc but they still choose to run Microsoft Windows, infact 90% of the desktops run a version of Microsoft windows. Right now if FreeBSD plays their cards right and not do the mistake that linux has done in the past they will become a good and better desktop OS then linux.

Reply Score: 3

zambizzi Member since:
2006-04-23

Who "chooses" to run Windows? When was the last time you heard about Joe Sixpack, off the street, walking into a retailer and purchasing Windows XP because of how great he heard it was? This was the case in 1995 but Microsoft has only survived off of the momentum of their initial success by remaining deeply rooted in the market.

Now, how often have you heard of the average Joe buying a new PC whether retail or mail-order and getting Windows pre-installed and using it simply because it's there? People use Windows because it dominates the desktop and everyone else uses it...and they know they're "compatible". It dominates the desktop (today) because nearly every manufacturer pre-installs it.

If manufacturers pre-installed a single Linux distro of choice, say a de-facto standard of Ubuntu, Fedora, etc. - we'd easily see the same dominance of "Desktop Linux".

In the market today we just don't see that position. This could be changed by vendors more aggressively seeking partnerships w/ PC manufacturers and resellers.

Reply Score: 1

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

If manufacturers pre-installed a single Linux distro of choice, say a de-facto standard of Ubuntu, Fedora, etc. - we'd easily see the same dominance of "Desktop Linux".

There have been (at least) four attempts to sell PCs with Linux preinstalled. In three cases, the vendor got out of the business because they weren't making money. The fourth, by Dell, recently started and the jury's out.

Reply Score: 1

zambizzi Member since:
2006-04-23

Yes, there have been very, very small-scale attempts where mfg's have "dipped their toes" but not really made a full-scale effort to sell a real, usable Linux-based PC.

Sure, there's Lindows or Linspire (or whatever they're calling themselves today) which by most standards is a pretty lame distribution. I've seen screenshots of it and it appears to be quite hideous. However, it might be wonderful...I'm being superficial here.

Then there's Wal Mart who at one point was selling them online (who buys PCs online from Wal Mart?) It was a non-event that made geek news...I never saw advertising for this anywhere else...especially at Wal Mart or in Wal Mart flyers or commercials.

Dell is selling them now (very quietly) and I'm sure it's not nearly as easy for the Average Joe to go to Dell's site and purchase a Linux desktop machine (in fact, I just tried...I can't find it at all.) In fact, all I see for home users are WinXP-based models..."Dell Recommends!" Well, if Dell recommends then it must be good, eh?

Even a search for "linux" for "home users" pulled up nearly NO results at dell.com - save for one...a boxed copy of SuSE Enterprise Server 9 for 325 bucks! On page six of the results! A search from the home page pulls up a bunch of workstations for which you can't switch the OS from XP Pro to a Linux-based system!

I thought I remember HP making a similarly feeble attempt at selling Linux-based workstations for "high-end" work a few years ago, I'm sure that's toast as well.

Be Real.

Where's the real mainstream effort here? Why does it not exist? Linux isn't good enough? I don't buy that for a minute, I've installed it for several people who have loved it, used it, and while having pains interoperating w/ friends & family who use Windows...survived and thrived w/ Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I say no...
by JamesTRexx on Sat 13th May 2006 00:04 UTC
JamesTRexx
Member since:
2005-11-06

Two points;
-Everything is always behind with PF firewall because it comes from OpenBSD...
-Try running Qemu instead of VMWare, especially with -kernel-kqemu Windows XP is running at almost native speeds. (unfortunately, in my case I have mouse issues, not sure if it's related to compile options, mouse settings in XP, XP itself, running the latest stable FreeBSD from cvs...)
-Can't comment on the rest as I don't use any of that.

Reply Score: 1

Don't agree
by Nycran on Sat 13th May 2006 00:15 UTC
Nycran
Member since:
2006-02-06

"FreeBSD is not lacking the ease to use. it's not FreeBSD fault that the users/newsbies are dead brain or lazy to learn how to use it. FreBSD is fine the way it is."

Sorry, I think you're wrong. FreeBSD is easy to use ONCE you've spent many many hours learning about the OS and the specifics of each server program you want to install. I'm not arguing that FreeBSD isn't kick ass. But if you think this overhead isn't putting off new users or making them use Windows Server instead (which makes these things VERY easy) then you're just being a BSD fanboy.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Don't agree
by happycamper on Sat 13th May 2006 02:08 UTC in reply to "Don't agree"
happycamper Member since:
2006-01-01

I think you're wrong. FreeBSD is easy to use


that is what i'm saying that freebsd is NOT lacking the ease of use. in onther ways i'm saying it easy to use.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Don't agree
by NxStY on Sat 13th May 2006 07:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Don't agree"
NxStY Member since:
2005-11-12

that is what i'm saying that freebsd is NOT lacking the ease of use. in onther ways i'm saying it easy to use.

FreeBSD is only easy to use after you spent some hours trying to figure it out. It migt be easy for someone with previous linux/BSD experiences but I really wouldn't recomend any windows user to try FreeBSD as their first unix-like system.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Don't agree
by Chreo on Mon 15th May 2006 20:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Don't agree"
Chreo Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, I'd say FreeBSD is the best way IF you want to learn how to use UNIX. Yes, FreeBSD IS UNIX in every way but the certified (costly) way. The excellent documentation will get you very fast where you needto go and the size of the community is more than large enough.

Reply Score: 1

Interesting
by Leoandru on Sat 13th May 2006 00:26 UTC
Leoandru
Member since:
2006-01-15

This is very interesting, I'd really like to see how this turns out.. BTW FreeBSD isn't hard to use and if your telling me you don't want to read documentation your just being lazy.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Interesting
by smitty on Sat 13th May 2006 02:11 UTC in reply to "Interesting"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

If you require users to read documentation you'll never be a competitve desktop system. It is lazy, but that is the way most people are. For a server, though, that's probably a plus since it means you have to have some kind of clue about what is going on.

Reply Score: 2

Compete with Linux?
by godsolete on Sat 13th May 2006 02:13 UTC
godsolete
Member since:
2006-05-10

I got a better idea, lets compete forget about dealing with the mess of code that is Linux and work to achieve a greater goal. It's like when Linux wants to compete with MS Windows when there's clearly a better OS out there as far as security and user-friendliness is concerned - Mac OS X. Why would I wanna compete with a mediocre OS that's chock full of security holes? Why doesn't anybody want to create a Mac OS X competitor? We got all the damn code we need already! Anybody heard of GNUstep? Howabout Darwin?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Compete with Linux?
by John Nilsson on Sun 14th May 2006 00:15 UTC in reply to "Compete with Linux?"
John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

I completley agree with this. If FreeBSD wants a desktop they should get one that can leverage the underlying system. They should not spend energy trying to work around portabillity issues with GNOME.

Majbe the could try to hijack the KDE project and make it theris. I fear GNOME is getting mindshare as THE linux desktop. If FreeBSD started to use KDE it would be an interesting battle...

But as the OP said, GNUStep is our there. It would be really natural to build on that. This way they'll get the benefit of beeing different from Linux at the same time as riding the Mac OSX wave...

Third options would be to differentiat even further and produce a BSD licensed system, focusing on integation with the rest of the system.

Reply Score: 2

LINUX vs. BSD
by lz1kwk on Sat 13th May 2006 02:19 UTC
lz1kwk
Member since:
2005-11-12

Linux is not the problem for BSD. BSD's biggest competition is the BSD license that allows big corporations to leech off the blood of these talented programmers without contributing anything back. To date there are thousands of major companies like Apple, Microsoft and Nokia that use BSD code and we never see any contributions that come back to the community.

The reason Linux is more widely used is simple: The GPL. The GPL forces any one that modifies Linux code to contribute it back to the community. My opinion is that the FreeBSD people are crying at the wrong funeral by thinking that their "competition" is Linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE: LINUX vs. BSD
by happycamper on Sat 13th May 2006 02:36 UTC in reply to "LINUX vs. BSD"
happycamper Member since:
2006-01-01

your are right Linux is not FreeBSD competition it's Microsoft Windoes because Windows is installed on 90% of the desktops. so, as for, Linux being on the desktop is about 2% the other 8% might be divided between Mac and other OS.

The GPL forces any one that modifies Linux code to contribute it back to the community.

is not doing any good the linux kernel is really buggy and windows is still installed 90% of the desktops. so all that code that is contributed it back to the community.
is not helping but making this harder like now they have to repair a buggy kernel and Ms windows is still kicking the heck out of linux in the desktop.

Reply Score: 1

RE: LINUX vs. BSD
by joekiser on Sat 13th May 2006 04:38 UTC in reply to "LINUX vs. BSD"
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

"BSD's biggest competition is the BSD license that allows big corporations to leech off the blood of these talented programmers without contributing anything back."

These programmers know the pros and cons of using a BSD style license. They were free to choose whatever license they wanted, and have chosen the BSD license. That is their freedom.

"To date there are thousands of major companies like Apple, Microsoft and Nokia that use BSD code and we never see any contributions that come back to the community."

But now the BSD code is being used by millions of people where otherwise it would have never seen the light of day.

If you want personal recognition and merit, by all means use a license that favors that style of fanfare. There's no need to slam the efforts of others who have decided to take a different approach for the common good.

Reply Score: 5

RE: LINUX vs. BSD
by beyert on Sat 13th May 2006 07:58 UTC in reply to "LINUX vs. BSD"
beyert Member since:
2006-05-10

But you don't bring up any specific examples. Apple does give back code to *BSD. You do know that Microsoft's network stack has been since rewritten (and if the GPL were required at the time they used it, I'm absolutely sure they would have simply written it from scratch) long ago. If you want to say that Sun "owes," BSD, well do you honestly think they would have derived their flagship OS from 4.4 BSD were the licensing GPL? (unless _they_ owned the copyright) I doubt it, they would have just written it from scratch. And is there a significant amount of 4.4-BSD code left in the codebase? Unlikely.

As for Nokia, I've never heard they used BSD code, or why lacking this threatens BSD's existence.

FreeBSD's competition is Linux, and that is because they occupy the same niche, (and thus more users in an oversaturated market) except that they are different implementations. I would argue that FreeBSD's license is an advantage, by the way, I for one strongly prefer it's license. You should also understand most people don't care much about licenses, and if they did perhaps the GPL would not be so wonderful for Linux.

The problem is that, as I said in another thread, 386 BSD developed too slowly, while Linux was capturing most of the niche, and by the time FreeBSD and NetBSD were getting somewhere, the USL lawsuit almost destroyed the user communities. So the problem really is a Chicken and Egg problem: for FreeBSD to get more users, it needs more users. Those of whom already are happy with Linux. Of course, I'm quite happy with FreeBSD, so I can't say much else.

Edited 2006-05-13 08:13

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: LINUX vs. BSD
by kaiwai on Sat 13th May 2006 08:54 UTC in reply to "RE: LINUX vs. BSD"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I wouldn't agree. FreeBSD and BSD's in general had a large base, what occurs what that USL lawsuite which cut it; it seems that the USL lawsuite has taugh people about the merits, or there lack of, in respects to the sco lawsuite currently in motion. Basically, Linux has lost no people because they've learned from the USL law suite - law suites are the last act of a dying company, in a vein hope of grabbing the last bit of breath before it dies.

As for FreeBSD, FreeBSD is gaining more users, thats not the problem, FreeBSD doesn' need more users, it needs more programmers, more ports maintainers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: LINUX vs. BSD
by beyert on Sat 13th May 2006 09:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: LINUX vs. BSD"
beyert Member since:
2006-05-10

If you want people to design software _for_ FreeBSD, rather than expect developers to work around incompatabilities, then you want more users.

I do agree that developers are the bottom line, but with more users, companies such as Sun and IBM, ATI, NVidia, Transgaming, Codeweavers are much more likely to take the BSDs seriously.

Edited 2006-05-13 10:17

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: LINUX vs. BSD
by elsewhere on Sat 13th May 2006 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE: LINUX vs. BSD"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

As for Nokia, I've never heard they used BSD code, or why lacking this threatens BSD's existence.

As an FYI, Nokia's IPSO OS is derived from BSD. It's a hardened OS purpose-built for security and routing functionality. It powers their enterprise-class security platforms. While maybe not as visible to the average consumer, Nokia IPSO-based platforms are a dominant player in the enterprise security space.

Interestingly, though, they are in the process of migrating from BSD to linux as the basis for IPSO.

Reply Score: 1

RE: LINUX vs. BSD
by openwookie on Sat 13th May 2006 19:09 UTC in reply to "LINUX vs. BSD"
openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25


The reason Linux is more widely used is simple: The GPL. The GPL forces any one that modifies Linux code to contribute it back to the community.


Thats total bull

Licences are a developer issue. (Most) users don't care about bsd vs. gpl.

FreeBSD has enough developers. The project is not suffering due to licence choice.

Also, the GPL does not by any means require you to contribute anything back. I have modified gpl software for internal use at my office, and have not contributed back (the changes are pretty much client specific). The only thing that the gpl says is that I would have to distribute the source code with the software if I were ever to distribute to anyone else.

Reply Score: 1

Beating the drum
by Yoke on Sat 13th May 2006 02:55 UTC
Yoke
Member since:
2005-08-28

Scott Long always beats the big drum when interviewed about FreeBSD, so anything he claims should be taken with a bit of salt.

It's also interesting to note that while the much needed improvements to the file system is touted at the end of the article, no mention is made of a journaled UFS, a project Long is supposedly personally working on.

Reply Score: 0

Isn't the title
by deathshadow on Sat 13th May 2006 04:04 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

A bit like saying "Looks to compete with the dollar store" or "when I grow up I want to be like that cool school janitor?"

Linux as a desktop OS is hardly what ANYONE should be aiming to be like. While certainly distro's like Ubuntu have made huge strides, it's still nothing I'd sit grandma down at.

I suppose you could call it baby steps, but sheesh, Aim a little higher guys.

What I'd love to see is a OSS *nix that aims to be comparable to OSX. (In other words, hide as much of the *nix bullshit as humanly possible from the user)

Reply Score: 2

Isn't the title
by deathshadow on Sat 13th May 2006 04:09 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

A bit like saying "Looks to compete with the dollar store" or "when I grow up I want to be like that cool school janitor?"

Linux as a desktop OS is hardly what ANYONE should be aiming to be like. While certainly distro's like Ubuntu have made huge strides, it's still nothing I'd sit grandma down at.

I suppose you could call it baby steps, but sheesh, Aim a little higher guys.

What I'd love to see is a OSS *nix that aims to be comparable to OSX. (In other words, hide as much of the *nix bullshit as humanly possible from the user)

Reply Score: 2

Great to hear
by mendicant on Sat 13th May 2006 05:21 UTC
mendicant
Member since:
2005-07-12

I'm glad. There's a lot of things that 'just work' better in linux than BSD. I wish I had more time/development experience to volunteer and try and help out with this.

I started using FreeBSD at about 4.6 and have been in love with it since and would love to see a little bit of a jump towards better desktop support. It's one of the main shortcomings I see, especially considering how good it is for me as a server OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Beating the drum
by happycamper on Sat 13th May 2006 05:21 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

Scott Long always beats the big drum when interviewed about FreeBSD, so anything he claims should be taken with a bit of salt.


At least he makes sense on what he is saying in a professional manner unlike linus he acts like he is mr know-it-all at the same time his kernel is on life
support because of bugs and the sco lawsuit.

Reply Score: 5

Maybe
by Fred on Sat 13th May 2006 08:06 UTC
Fred
Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe FreeBSD will manage to equal Linux (on the parts that it isn't already) in a year from now because maybe development will stop in the Linux camt to allow FreeBSD to catch up in those areas. That's two maybe already. Especially for the projects they have in mind, developer resources are scarce so maybe neither with progress much. That's the third maybe. But then you have the issue of market. 90-95% of the desktop market is in microsoft hands. Does everyone really think it's a good idea to splinter the remaining 5% even more than it is already?

Reply Score: 1

Journaling
by beyert on Sat 13th May 2006 08:17 UTC
beyert
Member since:
2006-05-10

I still think the main feature needed to be competitive on the desktop for "mainstream" users would be a journaled filesystem. I would be happy either way, but I'm sure joe user would want to get rid of fsck.

That aside, if journaled filesystems offer better performance, which I believe is the case, then it would be nice to have XFS or similar, or better yet, a BSD licensed implementation if the documentation is clear enough.

Edited 2006-05-13 08:18

Reply Score: 1

RE: Journaling
by happycamper on Sat 13th May 2006 08:57 UTC in reply to "Journaling"
happycamper Member since:
2006-01-01

I still think the main feature needed to be competitive on the desktop for "mainstream" users would be a journaled filesystem. I would be happy either way, but I'm sure joe user would want to get rid of fsck.

sorry, i don't, agree. i don't think that is the main feature to stay competitive. windows does not have a journaled filesystem and many people still prefer to use it instead of a OS with a journaled filesystem like linux.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Journaling
by beyert on Sat 13th May 2006 09:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Journaling"
beyert Member since:
2006-05-10

Wether or not NTFS is considered "journaling" isn't relevant. It can start up very quickly after a crash, which is the same advantage, even on a large filesystem.

Trust me, you don't want UFS if you have 3 250 GB drives, I know from experience.

Edited 2006-05-13 09:44

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Journaling
by beyert on Sat 13th May 2006 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Journaling"
beyert Member since:
2006-05-10

According to all of the sources I've checked, all indicate that NTFS is a journaling filesystem. Microsoft just doesn't use it as a PR marketing term, that's all.

Either way, rather than stating that I want a journaling FS, I should have stated that I want a filesystem that doesn't take a long time to fsck after a crash, and that has good performance. This includes ZFS, NTFS, ReiserFS, XFS, JFS in particular.

Granted, fsck times have been getting faster, but I don't like waiting ~15 minutes (I know 1 TB is a lot of data, but that's the future, especially for servers which probably have >= 10x that storage) and manually intervening after my server crashes, it's annoying even though it almost never happens. I do think that would be a hazard to a desktop user.

I think benchmarks have indicated that the current implementations of UFS and FFS are not as fast as filesystems on most other operating systems.

If the FreeBSD developers come up with a way to make fsck instantaneous (background fsck doesn't work the way I want) and transparent, and improve the performance of inode based structured filesystems, then I'm all for UFS. Just so we have that clear.

That aside, anyone know what happened to LFS? I would like to see how that compares to UFS.

Reply Score: 1

Angel--Fr@gzill@
Member since:
2005-12-23

Yes, It is clear that the BSD Operating Systems/Distros are getting near the Linux ones. That is good for all, in general terms (Don't want a Licence diatribe here).

The recent FreBSD 6.1 is a clear example. Even FreBSD 6.1 is getting easier for a non technical user, and the recent DesktopBSD and PC-BSD releases are the prove of it!

As I said it in another threat: "Both PC-BSD and DesktopBSD are excellent, and a very good idea that will help to expand the BSD Operating systems. The competition between both is a good thing aswell, although I hope they are collaborating with each other too and the other BSDs..."

In this way the other BSD ( FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, MirOS...) can get more and more "User-Friendly".

For those who want to try the different BSD Distros in a virtual Machine before installing it in a Hard Disk, you can download a very recent "PC-BSD 1.0 VMware image"!

This is the link: http://linuxtracker.org/

and other BSD flavours in WMware Virtual machine:

http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/directory/

http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/directory/all?from=30


If you are not yet a BSD user, I recommend a try of a virtual machine or even an install in a Hard Disk in almost any machine. An old 2 GB Hard Disk even, would be OK (BSDs run smooth and quick in general, even on old hardware). I have 3 BSDs installed in my PCs, and I am delighted with their smoothnes and their evolution towards usability...

The only "but" that I can express here, right now is the convergence with Linux-Gnome-KDE of the BSDs. I understand that is a lot of time and programming saving, but I would like BSDs to evolve in a different direction.
Try for instance to built a differnt "GUI" or try to use the code (if is there any ???) of the Darwin project to built a GUI in the direction of MacOS X. Or try Afterstep and evolve it...

Anyway, Enjoy it, because the era of the "BSD Desktop Ready" OS is also very near! BSD is catching up the Linux easy Distros; and soon both will be easier to install and use for an average PC user than Windows ( some already are)...

Remember that a fresh install of Windows XP is not "Desktop Ready" neither (not to mention a fresh install of Windows 98, Me, 2000...) A fresh install of BSD and Linux is/will be "Desktop Ready" very soon!

Reply Score: 1

BSD must remain a server OS
by kill on Sat 13th May 2006 09:04 UTC
kill
Member since:
2005-11-03

...or else, people who trusted it for their servers might look somewhere else. It is because of that apprehension to install a BSD (coz it is, as they say, unfriendly) that makes it, uncommon to the common. And for that, it is mostly familiar only to admins. That exclusivity feel counts for security for servers. If it's not as common, it won't be as vulnerable and easily exploited. Leave that idea to Linux. Save the BSDs for servers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Don't agree
by JamesTRexx on Sat 13th May 2006 11:35 UTC
JamesTRexx
Member since:
2005-11-06

That's really dependant on the user.
I didn't have any experience with *nix, but I started with FreeBSD and had a bare server running in minutes from the install cd. Adding the extras like nfs, ftp and samba was done in a few hours.
Linux isn't any easier for a Windows user when she/he is a total n00b.

Reply Score: 1

Bring It On
by Buffalo Soldier on Sat 13th May 2006 11:39 UTC
Buffalo Soldier
Member since:
2005-07-06

BSD is already an ass-kickin' OS. I hope it will continue to get better. GNU/Linux devs... don't fall asleep ya ;)

Reply Score: 1

linux bashing day
by DirtyHarry on Sat 13th May 2006 11:53 UTC
DirtyHarry
Member since:
2006-01-31

What is it? National Linux Bashing Day over there? Tjeesh wat a lot of complete nonsense I've read.

What is it that since Linux is hitting mainstream big time (server market, HPC market) I'm reading a lot of threads from a lot of frustrated geeks: "why isn't my *BSD as big as Linux?"

let's be clear: FreeBSD will *never* catch up with linux on the desktop market. Why? Look at all the stuff going on at FreeDesktop.org (it is Linux centered), all the commercial effort put in by BIG companies, the license, the technology (yes, Linus *IS* technically *VERY* good), and so on, and so on.

Admit it, deal with it, get on with it, get a life.

Reply Score: 3

RE: linux bashing day
by bw2000 on Sat 13th May 2006 13:21 UTC in reply to "linux bashing day"
bw2000 Member since:
2006-05-13

No one was bashing Linux, the people who were talking about the reasons for Linux's success were simply trying to combat the constant misconception that BSD's "failed" because of their liberal licensing, which for some reason appears about 3 times in any BSD article, or someone makes some ridiculous statement against the man, saying that code was "stolen," or that BSDL and Public Domain are "unfree," which is also ludicrious.

Why do you tell other people to "get a life," and that "a lot of complete nonsense I've read," I think it is clear who is getting carried away here. Funny it was you who made the claim that FreeBSD will never succeed in the desktop market. I'm sorry, but that matter is up to the developers. You may in fact be right, but your statement sounds like agression taken in defense, as if you were hiding your real opinions but only revealed them when you percieved a threat. Calm down, ok?

Edited 2006-05-13 13:31

Reply Score: 1

Hard row to hoe
by garymax on Sat 13th May 2006 15:04 UTC
garymax
Member since:
2006-01-23

Even if FreeBSD were to clean up their act to compete on the desktop they would still fall far behind Linux.

First, hardware support is nowhere near that of Linux. I mean, if I closed my eyes and chose a computer at the local computer store, I'd have better chances with Linux than FreeBSD in terms of hardware support. All of my machines run Linux nicely. FreeBSD fails in some aspect on all of them. Not a very good showing in my experience.

You only have a small group of committers who can add to the project but with Linux, there are thousands of people working to debug, test and improve the system on a DAILY basis. (Yes, I know that FreeBSD has nightly builds via CVS.)

In short, FreeBSD was late out of the gate and will never catch Linux because the the underlying support structure of Linux is stronger, better, and faster than any of the BSDs.

Okay...flame away! :-)

Edited 2006-05-13 15:06

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hard row to hoe
by auwts on Sat 13th May 2006 15:17 UTC in reply to "Hard row to hoe"
auwts Member since:
2005-07-31

Okay...flame away! :-)
ok :-)

First, hardware support is nowhere near that of Linux. I mean, if I closed my eyes and chose a computer at the local computer store, I'd have better chances with Linux than FreeBSD in terms of hardware support. All of my machines run Linux nicely. FreeBSD fails in some aspect on all of them. Not a very good showing in my experience.

'Failing' is a bit harsh word imo, some specific options of hardware might not be supported. But afaik all the popular/general hardware is supported.


You only have a small group of committers who can add to the project but with Linux, there are thousands of people working to debug, test and improve the system on a DAILY basis. (Yes, I know that FreeBSD has nightly builds via CVS.)

FreeBSD has more committers then linux (uhm, linus + two or more others?)

But yes, there are more people developing for the linux kernel then there are for the freebsd kernel. But linux development model still doesn't do it for me.



In short, FreeBSD was late out of the gate and will never catch Linux because the the underlying support structure of Linux is stronger, better, and faster than any of the BSDs.


Yes FreeBSD might never cache linux desktop hardware support, but sometimes I wonder if I want it to. Sometimes I find it hard, to see all the stories how good linux is as a server, while imho freebsd is better at it. On the other hand, it's probably better for the development of freebsd.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hard row to hoe
by garymax on Sat 13th May 2006 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Hard row to hoe"
garymax Member since:
2006-01-23

Okay, maybe "failed" is a bad choice of words. But the hardware support was terrible. How's that? :-)

In a way, I want FreeBSD to do well, though.

"Committers" was the wrong word. I meant that more people are busy looking at the source and can contribute patches and such like than there are in FreeBSD land.

Good discussion!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Hard row to hoe
by Cloudy on Sat 13th May 2006 21:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hard row to hoe"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

meant that more people are busy looking at the source and can contribute patches

Do not confuse quantity with quality.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Not gonna happen
by lobster on Sat 13th May 2006 15:08 UTC
lobster
Member since:
2006-01-11

Compared to netBSD or openBSD, FreeBSD installer is quite user friendly.

I see your point, about dividing the installer into user friendly and advance user, thats something that could be considered.

Reply Score: 1

I believe...
by Tuishimi on Sat 13th May 2006 16:09 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...the BSDs are almost as complete as Linux, now. I used PC-BSD for months as my primary computer and it was wonderful. Let's not forget NetBSD which is another great BSD. I don't know how many of you have tried these operating systems LATELY, but they are right up there with Linux as far as what they support (hardware and recent software). In some things they might be a version behind, but they work well.

Seriously, if I left my Macs for a PC, or even if I just HAD a spare PC, I would be running NetBSD on it. (At least until Haiku is released ;)

Actually, who knows, maybe NetBSD will run on my mini and, if so, I just might partition my drive and install it!

Reply Score: 1

That's disappointing
by Cloudy on Sat 13th May 2006 17:52 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

I've used BSD on my desktop in one form or another since 1983. As a developer I've always found it superior to Gnome based Linux distros because it's not spending all of its cycles running Gears...

I'm sure there are people for whom turning Un*x into a second rate imitation of Windows is a good thing. But there are plenty of Linux based distros for that already.

It's sad to watch BSD descend into that morass, because people confuse popularity with quality.

Reply Score: 3

Fantastic News
by aGNUstic on Sat 13th May 2006 18:02 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

Competition is extemely healthy! I think it's fantastic news.

BSD is alread a fantastic desktop and server operating system. If BSD wasn't bogged down in litigation all those years ago then there would probably be no Linux.

It can only prove to improve these sister platforms in the long run.

I wonder how much MS will take (ar..eh) `appropriate` as it continues to bleed massively from its own `success` as both BSDs and Linux capture more of the `free` market.

Reply Score: 1

Good hand
by netpython on Sat 13th May 2006 18:49 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Who knows,FreeBSD has a good hand of cards that's for sure.

1)Friendly licence
2)Consistent package system (There's only one FreeBSD) thus easy to develop for.

Reply Score: 2

About time
by Sphinx on Sat 13th May 2006 20:53 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

So they've just been waiting for hal and gnome?

Reply Score: 1

oblivion
by shakeyshakey on Sun 14th May 2006 01:18 UTC
shakeyshakey
Member since:
2006-05-14

You mean it will compete for Oblivion?
Cause that's were Linux is you know.. nowere near the desktop...

Reply Score: 1

RE: oblivion
by happycamper on Sun 14th May 2006 01:55 UTC in reply to "oblivion"
happycamper Member since:
2006-01-01

exactly what competition? linux holds a small desktop margin comparing to windows 90% desktop market. since we all
know the scale goes up to a 100% and windows owns 90% that would leave about 2% to linux and the 8% to the other OS like mac. i think it would be more correct to say "linux came up short dethroning windows as the desktop king. now it's beasties turn to take out the microsoft empire".

Reply Score: 2

stephanem
Member since:
2006-01-11

Linux may be infringing on SCO's code + a dozen other IP patents. FreeBSD is in the clear since the AT&T lawsuite.


That's one difference that nobody has talked about.

Reply Score: 1