Linked by karunko on Mon 23rd Jan 2012 22:08 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones VirtualBSD 9.0 is a desktop-ready FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE built around the XFCE Desktop Environment for good aesthetics and usability, and is distributed as a VMware appliance (that can also be made to work with VirtualBox) so even non techies can be up and running in minutes. The most common applications, plugins and multimedia codecs are ready since the first boot.
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RE: For display only
by karunko on Wed 25th Jan 2012 10:42 UTC in reply to "For display only"
karunko
Member since:
2008-10-28

Interesting project, but I was disappointed to learn that it's only available as a virtual machine

Find out? What do you mean find out? It's there in the summary and there's a big warning in the download page too! ;-)

But seriously: we'd love to be able to offer an actual installation, but we're just 5 guys doing this in their spare time and we don't have the resources to do that. Not to mention that it would mean going head to head with PC-BSD...

1) Pure FreeBSD is too difficult to install and make work.

I/we think the situation has improved considerably lately, especially hardware support has become fairly good and the FreeBSD Handbook is a great starting point rather than, say, having to hunt the web high and low for the info you need. Give it a try!

Arguably, it is a learning process, learning is part of the deal, but I think that learning from scratch is too painful.

Learning to walk can be painful too: you wobble a bit, you bump your head a few times, but hey! beats crawling an all fours for the rest of your life, doesn't it? And no, I'm not trying to draw any parallels here! ;-)

4) PC-BSD is not good. There are bugs, glitches, every release fails on me for some different reason. Their USB stick image usually doesn't work. They use KDE4, which I loathe.

I think I've read that with the latest version you can use whatever desktop environment suits you -- or you can always install it if it's not there.

And their package format takes up a lot of disk space

True but, let's face it, disk space is dirt cheap this days and, arguably the trade off between ease of use and disk usage is well worth it for some people.

And for the record: we investigated using PBIs too, but in the end decided against it -- for different reasons which I am not going into here.

I had never heard of VirtualBSD, and it looks like just what I needed: ready to use and with a pretty good window manager. But, alas, it only runs as a virtual machine. It's not something I can actually migrate into and use for so long that I might eventually decide I will never leave.

Well, in principle you could and it's been done before. Transferring over the installation is the easy part, getting your stuff to work is another matter and requires at least a bit of knowledge/patience. We could even decide to provide a guide if there's enough interest. Wink, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, nudge.

RT.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: For display only
by lucm on Wed 25th Jan 2012 19:12 in reply to "RE: For display only"
lucm Member since:
2012-01-24

"Interesting project, but I was disappointed to learn that it's only available as a virtual machine

Find out? What do you mean find out? It's there in the summary and there's a big warning in the download page too! ;-)
"

I said "learn." I learned it as soon as I had a look-see around the website.

we'd love to be able to offer an actual installation, but we're just 5 guys doing this in their spare time and we don't have the resources to do that. Not to mention that it would mean going head to head with PC-BSD...


I respect your decision, but can't understand it. Why is providing a bare metal installation considerably more difficult than providing a virtual machine? You wouldn't have to make your own installer, just a "customization" package for FreeBSD that would turn a raw, Spartan FreeBSD installation into something more friendly and usable. You know, install the window manager, configure X/xorg, help with mice and keyboard (including USB), wireless connection etc.

And what's wrong with "going head to head with PC-BSD"? By such standards, isn't PC-BSD "going head to head with FreeBSD"?

"1) Pure FreeBSD is too difficult to install and make work.

I/we think the situation has improved considerably lately, especially hardware support has become fairly good and the FreeBSD Handbook is a great starting point rather than, say, having to hunt the web high and low for the info you need. Give it a try!
"

Man, I've been trying for years.

Most of your remaining argumentation sums up like: yeah, it's tough, but suck it up and go ahead. And I've told you, I've done that and lost the enthusiasm I once had with something that apparently tries hard to be difficult.

"But, alas, it only runs as a virtual machine. It's not something I can actually migrate into and use for so long that I might eventually decide I will never leave.

Well, in principle you could and it's been done before.
"
In principle, I could. I could put up with two boot sequences every time the machine were turned on, and sacrifice some considerable hardware performance. In principle, I could. But can you blame me if I find that solution inadequate?

Thank you for taking the time to reply. It's always good to meet a developer or maintainer who is open to feedback.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: For display only
by karunko on Thu 26th Jan 2012 09:25 in reply to "RE[2]: For display only"
karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

I respect your decision, but can't understand it. Why is providing a bare metal installation considerably more difficult than providing a virtual machine?

Because you need to take into account lots of different hardware configurations, while with a VM the hardware is known quantity and things are a lot easier. As I said, the "Big Boys" have enough resources to do it, but we really don't.

You wouldn't have to make your own installer, just a "customization" package for FreeBSD that would turn a raw, Spartan FreeBSD installation into something more friendly and usable.

This, on the other hand is a lot more likely and is really what I was offering at the end of my reply that maybe, just maybe, came off the wrong way -- I'm not fanatic about anything but that's not enough to turn me into a great communicator.

So, just to be clear: if you can take care of a basic FreeBSD 9.0 install I'll do my best to guide you through the steps necessary to migrate software and settings (which is the "easy" part) and then, assuming it's supported, try to get your hardware to work, okay?



RT.

Reply Parent Score: 1