Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 15:20 UTC, submitted by Archite
BSD and Darwin derivatives MidnightBSD has integrated ProPolice into its system. "MidnightBSD is a desktop operating system for x86 compatible, and soon amd64 compatible architectures. It was originally based on FreeBSD 6.1 Beta. The goal of the project is to create a BSD with ease of use and simplicity in mind."
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Another desktop BSD? Cool!
by SReilly on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 15:38 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

Was checking out they're site and while looking over the "About" section, I found this

We hope to create something unique. Project goals include:

1. A new window and login manager.
2. Centralized system preferences while maintaining the BSD style on the command line.
3. A graphical ports and package management system. Currently we use a derivative of FreeBSD ports.
4. Work on various portions of the kernel including syscons, process and disk scheduling, imports of FreeBSD and OpenBSD drivers, etc.
5. Importing useful features from OpenBSD and NetBSD.
6. Improving security with little distraction to the end user.


I like the idea of adopting parts of all the BSDs. Sounds like it could make for a very interesting system.

Edited 2007-04-02 15:38 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Another desktop BSD? Cool!
by Archite on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:07 UTC in reply to "Another desktop BSD? Cool!"
Archite Member since:
2006-01-14

Well, we're still very young yet. Many parts of our system are very much still FreeBSD. We're making small progress and getting more people coming on board every day.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Another desktop BSD? Cool!
by SReilly on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Another desktop BSD? Cool!"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I'm downloading it right now and would love to help test the 64bit system when it comes out. I can't program to save my life so I can't really be much help of that front.

By the way, how long have you guy's been going?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Another desktop BSD? Cool!
by Laurence on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Another desktop BSD? Cool!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Looks good. Will wack it on tonight and give it a wirl

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Another desktop BSD? Cool!
by fithisux on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Another desktop BSD? Cool!"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

The GNUStep/WMAKER/Etoile seems yummy. Please make a distro GNOME/KDE free. You can even use LessTif along GNUStep and put more TCL.

Pure UNIX. All the best guys.

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Meh; I'd prefer this; GNUStep, and write a gui onto which has the same sort of layout as the early MacOS X Server used - bring webkit accross and a few others, and provide a *BSD distribution which provides something different and unique rather than something simply pulled from the usual sources.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Another desktop BSD? Cool!
by openwookie on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 17:52 UTC in reply to "Another desktop BSD? Cool!"
openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25

I like the idea of adopting parts of all the BSDs

The three main BSDs already do this.

I don't really see why this project needs to fork freebsd ... the project goal seems to be mainly about creating a unique desktop environment on top of a freebsd base. But then there are a few points about changing the underlying system and creating a new ports system. Thats overly ambitious, and likely to fail without a good support team.

Why not just focus on the desktop, and provide it as a package on top of freebsd? Then create a distro that will install the desktop package by default ... it seems like a cleaner and simpler way of doing things, with a greater chance of success.

Reply Score: 4

Is it just me...
by BSDrama on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:13 UTC
BSDrama
Member since:
2006-11-27

Or are we witnessing an explosion in the Desktop BSD's?

This is so great.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Is it just me...
by vitae on Thu 5th Apr 2007 04:15 UTC in reply to "Is it just me..."
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Agreed and it's about time. Linux has hogged the spotlight enough (not that I really have anything against Linux).

Reply Score: 1

Good way
by vermaden on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:54 UTC
vermaden
Member since:
2006-11-18

Nice to see some Desktop focused BSD that is NOT using KDE.

Reply Score: 3

v Bleh...
by Janizary on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 17:02 UTC
RE: Bleh...
by Archite on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 17:37 UTC in reply to "Bleh..."
Archite Member since:
2006-01-14

Well, I can definitely understand your sentiment. We are by no means a distro. While at this point we do still resemble FreeBSD, it is our goal to go into a more user friendly and secure system. I don't know if we want to be as draconian as OpenBSD at this point but we would like it to have a strong influence on how the system is put together. While Free/Open/Net/BSD all offer numerous advantages, none of them quite met the needs in which we were wanting.

I understand the resentment but most new projects face this, especially when creating a fork. Our goal is not to take away from users of other BSD's; our goal is to create a BSD for people who too are looking for something different.

Thank for the input though! It's always great to get feedback from the community, whether good or bad.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Bleh...
by Janizary on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Bleh..."
Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

You say they've not met your needs, did you submit patches to any of them to correct this?

Did you begin a discussion on any of their mailing lists, their misc, disc or general lists, about starting a group effort to develop code to fill in what you view as deficiencies in the projects? FreeBSD has a group of people who just work on getting GNOME to work on it, I am sure you could have collected a similar group to make your own window manager and configuration tools for the system, and with OpenBSD's very anti-GNU policy, I don't doubt you could have gotten people interested in their own BSD toolkit and desktop environment there.

Unless you have sixty-odd people in your project working on it's improvement, you will never be able to keep your forked codebase up-to-date, just look at how poorly Mir has done with it's idea of doing the exact same thing as you, only adding in the ability to use the Linux kernel besides all the other nonsense.

You've bitten far more than should be chewed, your environment should have come first, then tools for configuration, then a installer that gets your FreeBSD/NetBSD/OpenBSD system installed with the Midnight-related packages pre-installed and configured, then maybe your own base system. As it is, it's outrageous to think your project will do better than ekkoBSD did.

But this isn't from the community, this is from the bleachers, or maybe the balcony.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Bleh...
by Archite on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bleh..."
Archite Member since:
2006-01-14

I seam to remember similar discontent when dragonflybsd forked as well. While you have your views, we have ours. I appreciate your enthusiastic skepticism but we do plan on proceeding with our goals.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Bleh...
by Janizary on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bleh..."
Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

DragonFly BSD has one of the best programmers in the world doing it, with additional people involved, even on his own Matt is better than many of the top FreeBSD developers working together. And even with that, DragonFly BSD is still unproven, nothing he's done yet proves his design choices were the right ones - the system isn't done, so it's still unproven, unfinished code that doesn't do what it's supposed to do in the long run.

If you had a Jordan Hubbard or the like, it wouldn't seem so far fetched that your rag-tag band could accomplish something, but as it is you stand at like three people not doing much to the base at all.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Bleh...
by nightlily on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 20:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bleh..."
nightlily Member since:
2007-04-02

It is very difficult to get a patch into FreeBSD.

Honestly (this is just my opinion), the GNOME team is doomed. FreeBSD at the core is not a desktop system, and that's fine.

Maybe I am reading the information on EkkoBSD incorrectly, but the focus was easy administration (it seems like it still had a focus on servers). MidnightBSD is focusing on end users mostly.

Also MirBSD forked off OpenBSD and seems to mostly focus on ports and a shell.

I think the success of any open source project depends on if people are willing to try it. I doubt very many open source projects started with enough developers.

If MidnightBSD isn't your cup of tea, that's fine. No OS works for everyone.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Bleh...
by Steven on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bleh..."
Steven Member since:
2005-07-20

It is very difficult to get a patch into FreeBSD.


Indeed, even simple patches like 3 lines that change the behavior of -mcpu= behavior don't tend to actually make it in (changed behavior being actually working on Sparc64 and not dropping out an error every time someone uses the flag). The problem seems to be that some things change because it's the "freebsd way of doing it" and when that way doesn't actually work (-D__sparc64__ vs. define __sparc64__ in gcc config) they still don't fix it when you point it out. Nobody stops to say "maybe there is a reason the other two BSDs do it that way" they say "we changed it for a reason, damnit!."

That said, even with the frustration of people ignoring the patches you submit, I still say this is a broken wasted effort.

*BSD as "BSD" seems to be more for developers than users, the whole "lets try to make unix friendly!" idea is brain-dead to start with. Nobody ever really seems to grasp that users won't do well in that environment, hell, most geeks don't do well in that environment. Don't believe me? Check the Gentoo message boards some time, 99% of all comments are people who don't have the slightest idea how to even go about recompiling a kernel (read: it's really incredibly simple if you are *nix minded, but seems to be brain surgery if you are not).

Frankly, *BSD is the same way, the vast majority of users now are geeks and they can't figure it out. Even that stupid desktop freebsd thing is 100% people who can't find their ass with both hands.

The problem is this: When you try to make uber-geek software usable for mildly geeky people, you run into problems. First, the people you attract are going to be the physicists, the mathematicians, etc. All the people who have a real working understanding of computers, very likely people who used to work with DOS and are disgusted with Windows because it's resource hungry or because their favorite DOS apps no longer work. Yes, fine, dosbox and all that, great.

The problem is that these mildly geeky people are still only mildly geeky, they grasp the idea "Hey, it's not windows! GREAT!" but then they say things like "is my printer supported? No? Alright then, that's ok, I'll just go online and download the drivers when I get home." and there's not a lot you can say to them other than "I'm sorry, nothing you knew before applies here, nothing you know how to do applies here, you have to start over." because anything short of that and they'll still leave you with the thought "I'll download it when I get home!"

Everyone always babbles about how Linux on Desktops would be cool, how FreeBSD et. al. need to be more user friendly... nobody ever stops to think that it's intellectually bankrupt to be doing these things.

ReactOS has a good chance, when it's done, of getting a user base. Haiku, as laughable as people seem to think the idea of home users using it is, has a 10x greater chance of being used by "mildly-geeky" people than any *nix does.

See, the problem you run into is this: mildly geeky people are either old enough to remember DOS, or so young that they started with Windows 98. Now, the DOS folks remember Unix, they remember Unix between, say, 85 and 95, and they remember that it was a buggy, unstable, hard to maintain, slow, chuggy, wasteful chunk of crap. Yes, the available offerings today are far more stable than most other things (other than VMS), but it wasn't that way 10-15 years ago, Unix was an abomination, it really was, and if you can look at it from an outside view (no unix-weenyisms) you'll see that. Why else would you need to hire 5 people to maintain 40 machines? I could easily keep up with 20-30 FreeBSD machines today without breaking a sweat, but those 5 people on 40 machines... those people would be worked to death.

So, that leaves young mildly-geeky people, right? Well, too bad they don't really see anything wrong with windows (except those angsty teens who just try to use linux to be different or because they think it makes them "uber leet").

Those people are the retards that load up Fedora then claim they are *nix masters. They then proceed to clog the internet with message board posts of "how do I configure X???? when I type the X -configure it just goes blank then returns me to the console!???" or requests for finding a bit of software... because these "mildly-geeky" people are too damn stupid* to figure out how google works.

So, I would like to be the first to thank you, mister developer, for trying to bring more of these brain-dead monkeys into a system they don't want and will never really learn.

"End Users"... Hah!


*Yes, I mean stupid, you can blame it on being non-techie people, but seriously, how hard is it to figure out that "How do I install Xorg in Fedora?" is not a good thing to type into a search engine?
And before anyone tries that "what is wrong with you? We all have different levels of experience, admins start as users too you know!" crap, let me first say you are stupid and in denial. The idea that the head Systems Administrator at your company started as joe-shmoe who couldn't use MS-Word is wrong. People who know what they are doing know it because they are the kind of people who find their own information, not the people who leave "I need to know too! E-mail me!" crap all over the place. The people are different from the start, they don't morph from one into another.

Edited 2007-04-02 22:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Bleh...
by vitae on Thu 5th Apr 2007 04:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Bleh..."
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Not sure what your beef is here. The boards are too cluttered for you? Don't read them. Don't like desktopbsd? Don't use it. Noobs shouldn't be allowed on the internet? Write your congressperson.

But what's really the point in trying to discourage somebody else from doing something that you think either can't be done or ought not be done? You don't have to be involved with it so why is this such problem for you?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bleh...
by Chezz on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 17:43 UTC in reply to "Bleh..."
Chezz Member since:
2005-07-11

Very true.

Instead of creating all these distros. Developers colaborate and join each other to strengthen their efforts toward a better desktop BSD.
Other than that I think the port tree is more than happy to welcome your fork.

Edited typo.

Edited 2007-04-02 17:43

Reply Score: 1

FreeBSD ports?
by daemonologist on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 17:50 UTC
daemonologist
Member since:
2007-01-30

Why FreeBSD ports collection? Why not the OpenBSD one? As far as I know OpenBSD's ports/packages system is quite a bit more sophisticated (e.g. clean binary package updating, package flavors, written in Perl (easier to develop and debug), accessible via Perl modules (should make writing graphical frontend easier). OpenBSD developers rewrote their entire pkg_* -tools a few releases ago.

FreeBSD's ports is a nice enough system (especially considering there are lots of ports in the collection) but OpenBSD's is architechturally better and more modern. It seems to be more robust base for "point and click" -package management app.

Reply Score: 1

RE: FreeBSD ports?
by Archite on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 17:55 UTC in reply to "FreeBSD ports?"
Archite Member since:
2006-01-14

Actually, we're taking a lot of ideas from OpenBSD's port system. A few of us have come from an OpenBSD background and know the value of it!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: FreeBSD ports?
by daemonologist on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 22:14 UTC in reply to "RE: FreeBSD ports?"
daemonologist Member since:
2007-01-30

Great to hear (or read)! Good luck with MidnightBSD project!

Reply Score: 1

RE: FreeBSD ports?
by Oliver on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 18:12 UTC in reply to "FreeBSD ports?"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

OpenBSD ports? This a joke, isn't it? If you have a look at the three ports systems, you see first NetBSD with pkgsrc, then FreeBSD and then somewhere OpenBSD ports.
Have a look at OpenBSD mailingslists, they are far behind every other port system. And why Perl? Because it's your favorite language? But not everyone thinks so.

>OpenBSD's is architechturally better and more modern.

In theory.

You can play easily around with about 4000 ports and some of them broken or some version behind. ;-)

Of course I would be very found of using pkgsrc. Not because of the fact it's a new technology, but because it's a good technology.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: FreeBSD ports?
by openwookie on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 21:14 UTC in reply to "RE: FreeBSD ports?"
openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25

they are far behind every other port system
....
You can play easily around with about 4000 ports and some of them broken or some version behind. ;-)

That's what will happen to "mports" when it's forked from FreeBSD. Basically keeping ports fresh is an issue with man power. More users == more maintainers == more updated ports. Also 'more users' == 'more ports needed' since there is a greater of a chance that some small handful of people will really need an obscure port.

I'd say that using the oBSD ports would be easier since there initial less ports to maintain, and the infrastructure tools have been totally re-written and enhanced recently. It's my understanding that the old port tools (which the freebsd one is based from) were difficult to extend, hence the re-write.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: FreeBSD ports?
by daemonologist on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE: FreeBSD ports?"
daemonologist Member since:
2007-01-30

Nope. It is not a joke. And for starters: Perl is not my favourite language. I dont't use it often. If anything, I'm a Python and C/C++ guy... Using Perl just made sense to the OpenBSD developers for the folowing reasons (among others):

1. Perl is good for stuff with lots of string handling, definitely better than C for this type of applications. And dependency information etc. is all based on strings, after all...

2. Perl is already in the OpenBSD base system! No need to add extra bloat or external dependencies. After all the OpenBSD way is to always simplify, slim down and streamline all things... (and surprisingly often they actually achieve this goal)

Pkgsrc and FreeBSD ports collections (I like them both too btw...) contain more software and this is of course one good reason to use them. OpenBSD does suffer the lack of software package maintainers. This, however, does not mean that the OpenBSD ports infrastructure is bad! Besides, most of the packages I use on my OpenBSD desktop machine work just fine. One also needs to remember that OpenBSD's rather draconian security measures (e.g. randomized malloc(3)) sometimes break poorly written applications...

For more information please have a look at:
http://www.openbsd.org/papers/ven05-espie/index.html

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: FreeBSD ports?
by Soulbender on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 03:36 UTC in reply to "RE: FreeBSD ports?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Have a look at OpenBSD mailingslists, they are far behind every other port system"

Uninformed hogwash. Yes, it's so behind it has the latest KDE. Sure, some ports are behind but that's the same with every packaging system.

"And why Perl?"

Because Perl is in the base system.

"You can play easily around with about 4000 ports and some of them broken or some version behind. ;-)"

Because we all know that more is better, right? Right?
Good thing every pkgsrc ports is bleeding edge right? And that there are NO broken ports in the FreeBSD tree ever, right?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: FreeBSD ports?
by Spellcheck on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 07:19 UTC in reply to "RE: FreeBSD ports?"
Spellcheck Member since:
2007-01-20

> Because it's your favorite language? But not everyone thinks so

No, because it's the best.

But you're right, I don't think it's his favorite language.

Reply Score: 2

graphics acceleration vs propolice
by netpython on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 19:48 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

How does the propolice integration affect 3d acceleration, i mean is it still possible to install a nvidia driver?

Reply Score: 2

Archite Member since:
2006-01-14

That is a good question. We're going to be testing that now. If it works, then great.

Reply Score: 2

Sounds good!
by restoh on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 01:38 UTC
restoh
Member since:
2007-04-02

Now all they need is proper user and developer support and it should be good to go. MidnightBSD could become the Ubuntu of the BSDs. I'm going to keep an eye out for the first full release with X and all. Good luck, guys.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sounds good!
by Doc Pain on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 23:03 UTC in reply to "Sounds good!"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"MidnightBSD could become the Ubuntu of the BSDs. I'm going to keep an eye out for the first full release with X and all. Good luck, guys."

As soon as the first screen a user sees offers a choice for the system language (affects everything!) where he can select "Deutsch" (german), I think this BSD derivate (may I call it this way?) may become popular in Germany. Still, PC-BSD is first choice (PBI packaging system), but it still has problems because of KDE, and the base system is preconfigured improperly in regards of language settings and usability. If there's a good german language support, it would surely be interesting here to run on hardware that is not the newest one.

As it has mentioned before, KDE and Gnome are nice, but not everyone's first choice. Etoile, WindowMaker, and even toolkits as Tcl/Tk or Lesstif can be very handy to form a usable, responsible and appealing GUI extension to a modern OS.

I'm looking forward and I furthermore hope I'll be impressed. And be sure to include the Midnight Commander by default. :-)

Reply Score: 2