Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 3rd Apr 2009 22:45 UTC
FreeBSD The FreeBSD team has pushed out the first test build of FreeBSD 7.2, a beta release. "The first of the test builds for the FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE cycle is now available. Testing of two recent changes to the system would be particularly valuable. The bce(4) network driver was updated a few days ago. And some significant work was done on the threading libraries a short time ago that is known to fix several major issues but testing to see if it introduced any regressions would be appreciated."
Thread beginning with comment 356920
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
No graphical installer?
by marcelkoopman on Sat 4th Apr 2009 17:24 UTC
Member since:

I believe things like graphical installers should really be in a modern os. I really hate doing text based installs, like in FreeBSD. Why is this not a priority?

Reply Score: 1

RE: No graphical installer?
by J-freebsd_98 on Sat 4th Apr 2009 17:37 in reply to "No graphical installer?"
J-freebsd_98 Member since:

Freebsd is coded by volunteers almost if not
entirely. If you review the freebsd-questions
list (or either of the two principal forums,
I forget precisely which of the 3 has the
most discussion), you will find threads about
the topic, and can find links to the beta
of the graphical installer. (Hundreds of
Freebsd users probably recall more than I
about the topic).
I favor an installer with choices on the left,
consequences on the right (like most BIOS setups)
as well as kernel config's and xorg.conf's
config tools similar. But that is a whole
other project that can be made but broken if
not enough resources are allocated.
Might change my mind if I ever use a
graphical installer. AFAIK, since the
system can be upgrade perpetually, I should
never have to install "per se" again so
am not qualified nor motivated to persue
the issue further.
The above is a rough draft of a reply. Hopefully
it is better than no answer.

Reply Parent Score: 2

marcelkoopman Member since:

I used to believe that text based installers is all you need. But i've tried Ubuntu, and that is really a step forward. You can browse the internet while installation is underway. Thats what I call handy if you dont understand some installation options or dont want to stare at a progressbar.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: No graphical installer?
by KAMiKAZOW on Sun 5th Apr 2009 11:11 in reply to "No graphical installer?"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
RE: No graphical installer?
by Doc Pain on Sun 5th Apr 2009 12:12 in reply to "No graphical installer?"
Doc Pain Member since:

I believe things like graphical installers should really be in a modern os.

The fact that FreeBSD allows the user to install it with an excellent text mode installer is a point PRO a modern OS.

Note that the installer, i. e. sysinstall, does more than just installing the OS. It's a handy configuration tool for those who don't want to use the system's CLI tools.

I really hate doing text based installs, like in FreeBSD.

Why? I personally like them. It's fast, you make your choices FIRST, each after another, and then the installation starts. You don't need to sit at the machine and click "Next, Next, Next, Next, Next, OK, Yes, Next, Next, Next, Reboot" which occupies you several hours. The sysinstall tool does what it's intended to do, nothing more, nothing less. And just because it does it in text mode doesn't mean that it's uncomfortable in any way.

Why is this not a priority?

because it't not a priority. :-)

Let me explain: FreeBSD is a multi-purpose OS. You can use it for desktops, for servers, and for mixed forms. For a server, you don't need a graphical installer, it's useless. On the desktop, a text mode installer is sufficient. You install the base OS and can then stick to GUI tools for everything that comes after this point, e. g. GUI system administration tool, GUI package installation tool, GUI ports management tools... they're there. But if you don't want them, they won't be installed.

FreeBSD's "mentalitly" is: If you want it, you'll install it. You're not bothered by stuff installed that you won't touch, just "in case someone could need it some day".

You see, things that are not needed at the first place are available, but optional. As far as I remember, there's even a graphical boot selector. But it isn't default - and useless if your machine runs FreeBSD only, like mine does for years. :-)

FreeBSD's developers are very careful what they declare as "default", and what they include in the base of the OS. Keep in mind that we're talking BSD here, not Linux, where there's no difference between "the OS" and "everything else": Linux distributions consist of an arbitrary set of software, even the kernel is considered as a kind of package and handled this way. On FreeBSD, you could easily rm -rf /usr/local and get rid of "anything else", while "the OS" would still be completely functional.

There are projects that already include a graphical installer. PC-BSD has been mentioned, and I think DesktopBSD has one, too.

Those who install FreeBSD are usually smart enough to have no problems with a powerful text mode installer. Those who are interested in graphical installers with all the "bells and whistles" won't touch pure FreeBSD at all, they're happy with PC-BSD or DesktopBSD.

It has even been mentioned that several Linusi run their installer through the means of a live system CD or DVD. FreeBSD doesn't do this. The installer CD starts a minimal setting that allows you to do the installtion and some maintenance work. Why? Because that's sufficient for installation and maintenance work.

According to this approach, it's worth mentioning FreeSBIE, a LFS CD that has X and several tools preinstalled. I like to use it when I've got do so some diagnostics and data recovery preparations. You can even install FreeSBIE from this LFS CD onto your disk. ANd while doing this, you can browse the Web. :-)

Don't expect FreeBSD to be an "all in one for everything and anybody". It is the base for many different fields of use, but there aren't hundreds of different distributions that, each on its own, try to serve everyone's needs. FreeBSD gives you a solid base to achieve your goals, and if you don't like the way the pure OS does things, use tools that others made to exactly help in such a situation. The request "I want a GUI installer" and the following dependencies can't mess up the OS, so it keeps clean, fast, stable, and of high quality.

And I think that's a perfectly fine situation.

Reply Parent Score: 3