Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 5th Oct 2007 20:49 UTC, submitted by Flatland_Spider
PC-BSD Jan Stedehouder has used PC-BSD for thirty days to see what living with it is like. On day thirty, he concludes: "Does PC-BSD have the potential to be a serious contender for the open source desktop? I answered that question with a yes, because the potential is there. The solid FreeBSD roots, the very strong and very accessible information, the friendly and mature community and the PBI system provide the foundations for that potential. I don't think it is ready now and I couldn't recommend it yet to someone in the early stages of moving away from Windows to an open source desktop. But I do think that the PC-BSD team has the right target audience in mind and is building an system and a support system that addresses it's needs."
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RE: Lets get serious
by Doc Pain on Sat 6th Oct 2007 05:12 UTC in reply to "Lets get serious"
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

"There's a real shortage of drivers, technical support, usable desktop applications and general industry support."

let me add shortly:

Drivers: Yes, Linux is much better here. But driver support (offering drivers or at least release specifications) is a matter of hardware manufacturers. You cannot expect OS and driver developers to invent everything for free, especially if the hardware manufacturer creates something non-standard.

Technical support: The camps who develop the BSDs are no commercial corporations such as MICROS~1, they can just deliver documentation, along with platforms where users can discuss. By the way, the BSDs always impressed me by the high quality of the documentation. Here, Linux can learn a bit. Or an octett. :-)

Usable desktop applications: Now you can blame nearly all Linusi, too. What do you think the big KDE is for? It offers nearly everything a desktop user might need. The rest is available from the PBIs, and the rest of the rest is available via ports or packages. Not to insult you, but what do you mean with "usable desktop applications", then?

General industry support: Another problem, I agree. Indistry is extremely poisoned by MICROS~1 marketing strategy and decisions made where no usable education is present - many hardware and software managers don't have a clue what they're talking about. But finally, the BSDs are all standard-compliant. Nearly every existing standard is implemented in one or more ways, so if it's about standards, the BSDs are inside the boat.

"Servers, for sure. Desktop, not a chance."

When you're talking about a significant usage share (and maybe oh joy oh market share), you are right. PC-BSD is not wide spread. This is because the BSDs are simply not designed to be used by average desktop users. They require a bit time to get into it, the ability to read some documentation and, of course, the opinion that you sometimes have to get your hands dirty in order to get something working. It's simply for people who don't have strange expectations (such as "If I plug in my camera, I want the OS to download all the pictures." - you can implement this easily.).

Finally, please note: FreeBSD (and the other BSDs, too) are not a Linux distribution. They are "just" an OS - nothing more, nothing less. PC-BSD now extended the OS with a GUI (KDE) and some preconfiguration and autodetect / automount / autofoobar functionalities in order to make it more appealing to users who know the same functionalities being brought by a Linux distribution out of the box.

But I have to say it clearly: In general, I agree to your statement.

There are exceptions: I'm using FreeBSD (not PC-BSD) as my main desktop OS since approx. 2000 now and I can't imagine to use something else. It perfectly fits my needs (my "desktop needs", to say so). Of course, I would not claim this could be true for average users, this can be assumed simply because I built the system myself, I am not using KDE or Gnome, and I have some nonstandard and "obsolete" hardware I need to use. FreeBSD is the only OS where everything works perfectly.

That's nothing bad - maybe the BSDs are not for Gewerken by das Dummkopfen... computers aren't easy... or, in other words: The BSDs are user friendly, they're just picky about their users. :-)

Edited 2007-10-06 05:15

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