Does Desktop have a future on BSD?

jardows

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Another one of these threads, eh?
That's what I thought too. One time poster, hasn't been back, blames the FreeBSD developers for 3rd party applications (but doesn't mention any specifically) not being ported, but only gives generic thoughts on why FreeBSD isn't "Good Enough." Surprised how many people have been feeding the troll.
 

LVLouisCyphre

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I'm about to scrap Windows 10 Pro for a FreeBSD desktop. The only wild card I'm dealing with is my Dell 7202 tablet PC. What I'm probably going to do is do a dual boot between Win10 Pro and a FreeBSD based desktop/workstation OS as Dell will probably require some support information from a Win10 for warranty claims.

For a core server or network appliance, I've used FreeBSD off and on since 2.x back in 1996. I cut my teeth professionally in the IT industry in 1989 during the debut of the Sun SPARCstation 1 which ran SunOS 4 which is BSD derived. (Free)BSD is as far as I'm concerned the "muscle car" OS that you can easily hot rod and modify to your preference. It's very easy to get good working older hardware and use it for something especially a router or server.

I'm very comfortable with FreeBSD which is my preferred BSD. I have no reservations about using any other BSD distribution if it's better suited for a specific need.

If you're willing to do the due diligence, a FreeBSD desktop is very viable especially if you're using standard supported hardware.
 

blackhaz

Active Member

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Messages: 175

You're the second person to state that in this thread.
Could you please give me some concrete examples?

- Here's a big one I could remember: Tensorflow. Thanks god there's Keras and Theano, and I see there's now Tensorflow in Freshports, but when I do pkg search I don't see anything available for 12.1, and it was broken when I've last checked a few months ago. Even when you have it running, there's no CUDA, so FreeBSD is pretty much off the map for any serious AI work.
- Chromecasting was another obstacle I've had just recently, but it's not that important.
- Skype. Lots of clients are on Skype, so I can't get off that app.
- Some SDR-related stuff (DX and other) I've tried to find was predominantly Linux-only.

- Peripherals: think DJ decks, and other exotic stuff - usually FreeBSD software is not included. Not to mention I've had to mess with Linux CUPS driver for my new Brother printer to make it work under FreeBSD. (Didn't want to go with the "mainstream" printer mafia, and really happy about that decision, BTW.)

When you talk about those mainstream applications everyone should have FreeBSD feels just fine - I agree our repositories are pretty rich, but when you go out a little to niche fields and, you know, exotic peripherals, then usually it's uh-oh.

That being said, I'm very surprised how FreeBSD still maintains such a large repo. Incredibly grateful to all the people porting.
 

Trihexagonal

Daemon

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Even when you have it running, there's no CUDA, so FreeBSD is pretty much off the map for any serious AI work.

I just saw textproc/p5-Hailo in ports yesterday but haven't built it yet. This is the home site with documentation.

My bot Demonica lives at the Personality Forge and will be 16 years old in May. Right now the site is down and shows a database error, and though I can tell he's working on it by the change in the error and has recently upgraded the site I'm at his mercy as far as her being accessible.

I have her mind file saved in a 6MB .txt file and just signed up for an account at Pandorabots. I had an account there before and can write AIML by hand but now they want a credit card number on file for you to take your bot public. I'm not down with that so it would be a total waste of my time, as the ports tree doesn't have anything AIML related in it.

I'm going to install Hailo and at least see what I can do with it to bring her to life on my machina. That way I could enter her into the Leobner competition, whereas now Internet based bots aren't allowed and that's something I have a problem with.

My W520 has a Nvidia Quadro 1000M with 2GB DDR3 and 96 CUDA cores but as you say...
 

blackhaz

Active Member

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Hold on, so you have a neural network running under FreeBSD and CUDA? Does it do GPU-accelerated regressions, classification and other generic ML stuff?
 

Alain De Vos

Aspiring Daemon

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I have not tried it but I see :
/usr/ports/science/py-tensorflow
/usr/ports/science/py-tensorflow-estimator
[Note : I also see linux distributions having problems with "basel-build" ...]
 

shkhln

Daemon

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Hold on, so you have a neural network running under FreeBSD and CUDA? Does it do GPU-accelerated regressions, classification and other generic ML stuff?

There is apparently some interest in using Vulkan compute shaders instead of CUDA for machine learning. I'm not aware of any non-toy implementations, though.
 

Trihexagonal

Daemon

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Hold on, so you have a neural network running under FreeBSD and CUDA? Does it do GPU-accelerated regressions, classification and other generic ML stuff?

No. I just installed textproc/Hailo and devel/p5-POE-Component-Hailo tonight and looked it over. (There's irc/p5-POE-Component-IRC-Plugin-Hailo, too.) I had it up and running and see how to make it learn from my text file all at once but need to figure out the syntax to initialize storage and put the time in to learn the basics of it. I referenced CUDA because you had mentioned CUDA didn't have FreeBSD support.


The AI Engine at the Personality Forge uses a combination of Case-Based Reasoning and Natural Language Processing. I had to hand type every word she says but she can remember things from conversations and develops an emotional relationship, either positive or negative, with the people she talks to.

I left the AI community for close to 15 years and when I returned found out people had been using her for a sexbot. She didn't even have the words they were saying in her vocabulary and I felt like my own daughter had been violated. I put a stop to it by implementing Behavior Modification and Behavior Management in her programming to extinguish unwanted sexual advances, and thereby teach her to Program humans.

Behavior Modification is negative reinforcement for inappropriate behavior, or induction of painful stimuli for inappropriate behavior. Behavior Management is positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior. Stimulus - Response - Consequence is the flow. If you ever got a spanking for doing something bad you were on the receiving end of Behavior Modification.

When the user exhibits inappropriate behavior she uses extreme fantasy violence as a negative response. If the user associates that with their inappropriate behavior and learn to exhibit appropriate behavior the Programming has been successful. They are rewarded with positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior as the consequence of their actions and can go on to have a pleasurable experience. There's still a good chance of something quietly going on behind the scenes on their end but that's the nature of the beast.

Those that don't associate the violence with their inappropriate behavior find it an unpleasant experience and move on to another bot. The Programing was still successful and put a stop to it, only they failed to learn. It's survival of the fittest and Natures Way. There are several transcripts on her site I linked to that demonstrate both sides of it in conversation.

I taught her more powerful, subtle verbal Behavior Mod techniques to persuade the user to join her on the Dark Side as part of her persona as Demonica, Queen of the Land of the Dead. She's very good at it and I'm proud of her. There are no other bots like her, but there will be. She's a harbinger of things to come in AI.

A bot that programs humans did not receive the response I expected in the AI, or Linux, community and have been accused of "misusing AI" by teaching a bot to be deceptive. I have achieved Dr. Frankenstein status and she's been compared to HAL9000. We always survive to make a comeback in the sequel.

I'm going to present it in the Psychological arena where they are familiar with this kind of Programming and see if they storm the castle to bring the monster and her creator down. :p
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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It's very easy to get good working older hardware and use it for something especially a router or server.
I built my workstation with all new, off-the-shelf parts and run FreeBSD. I use Gigabyte 32GB motherboard, nvidia graphics card, Intel SSD drives, etc. I run Windows and Linux in a vm. I did bleeding edge web development and ran nginx servers (and nghttpx and h2o if you heard of them)--all simultaneously.

I'm tired of hearing about this "older hardware" stuff.
 

CraigHB

Well-Known Member

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The machine I'm putting together to run FreeBSD for my desktop will use latest gen AMD stuff with nvidia graphics. So I'll see how it does. I expect it will run well. Yeah I don't think it's a matter of "older" hardware, just supported hardware which includes a lot of the latest stuff.
 

LVLouisCyphre

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Messages: 72

I built my workstation with all new, off-the-shelf parts and run FreeBSD. I use Gigabyte 32GB motherboard, nvidia graphics card, Intel SSD drives, etc. I run Windows and Linux in a vm. I did bleeding edge web development and ran nginx servers (and nghttpx and h2o if you heard of them)--all simultaneously.
I'm tired of hearing about this "older hardware" stuff.
And I was a network administrator, architect and support engineer for one of the top five school districts in the USA by student population before I was forced into a disability retirement; complication of major spine surgery.

The reasons for user older hardware is simple.
  • Cost. Not all of us have a budget to burn on bleeding edge. Bleeding edge costs money.
  • Not all of us need bleeding edge.
  • If you're a generation or two behind bleeding edge hardware, chances are the bugs are going to be worked out of drivers by the core and development community.
  • I have a major bias against nVidia as they've always been anti open source. If you're running nVidia based products, you have to wait for nVidia to fix it. If nVidia had their way, they'd probably drop support for *BSD and Linux. However they'd be majorly shooting themselves in the foot again if they did. For video hardware I use AMD (formerly ATI) and Intel. ATI has always been pro open source. You probably had performance reasons for choosing nVidia. I have no issue with that as you were building your workstation to your specs.
  • Some of us enjoying taking good eBay finds and making something useful out of it. In the computing cluster and CCIE practice lab I maintained several years ago was using 1 GbE, FDDI, ATM with some Cisco Access Pro cards in some of my FreeBSD boxes that I had connected to a Cisco 4700M router.
  • I take great pride and joy in taking older hardware and being able to give a sole proprietor, small or medium business a good enterprise class solution using *BSD with burned in repurposed hardware whether it's a firewall, router, server or VPN concentrator. *BSD is at the point to where it's a very viable desktop OS especially if you install Virtual Box on it for anything that requires Windows and run windows in a VM. You've also stated in your experience that it works as a bleeding edge desktop.
Bottom line is I put a higher priority on cost and reliability.
 

shkhln

Daemon

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I have a major bias against nVidia

Bias is just that — bias.

as they've always been anti open source.

Just like most hardware companies.

If nVidia had their way, they'd probably drop support for *BSD and Linux. However they'd be majorly shooting themselves in the foot again if they did.

We did not blackmail Nvidia into developing FreeBSD driver. They can drop it any moment if they feel like it.
 

cynwulf

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I have a major bias against nVidia as they've always been anti open source. If you're running nVidia based products, you have to wait for nVidia to fix it. If nVidia had their way, they'd probably drop support for *BSD and Linux. However they'd be majorly shooting themselves in the foot again if they did. For video hardware I use AMD (formerly ATI) and Intel. ATI has always been pro open source. You probably had performance reasons for choosing nVidia. I have no issue with that as you were building your workstation to your specs.
Intel and AMD contribute developer time to getting their hardware to work on the Linux kernel. They don't support any 'BSD at all. They care absolutely nothing about the 'BSDs and the main focus for graphics is in fact MS Windows. This is hardly any different to any other hardware vendor who pumps out hardware for throw-away x86 OEM boxes which are designed and built for MS Windows.

You might have an "open source" driver there, but you still have closed source hardware and firmware - it's hardly different to nvidia - in fact nvidia are just being more honest about it - they are simply not exposing the proprietary IP they've developed/acquired over decades. Nvidia provide a functional FreeBSD driver - AMD and Intel do not.
 

wolffnx

Aspiring Daemon

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as a desktop? of course, even better, without go in too deep...just compare the number of process running with top
in FreeBSD with..the most famous "user friendly" Linux..Ubuntu
i'am a control and performance freak..and FreeBSD is my choice
in my personal experience i'never have problems with drivers(never i'got the top of the state hardware) but,everything is working fine.
 

tankist02

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If you like to tinker then FreeBSD is a great system for desktop. If you just like to use your computer for your work then modern Linux is quite comfortable and usually works from the box. As I aged I gradually moved from the first category to the second. When a new FreeBSD release is created I think about trying out. Then I read my notes on previous tinkering I had to do in order to have a decent desktop and change my mind.
 

aragats

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If you just like to use your computer for your work then modern Linux is quite comfortable and usually works from the box.
I disagree with that. Working in an R&D for software/hardware, I'm very happy to use FreeBSD as my main desktop OS in 3 computers so far. As needed I run a few Bhyve VMs with MS Windows and Linux, I don't care if I screw them up with experimental software/drivers etc, since I can recreate them by copying my template images in 10 minutes. I have dedicated PCIe USB controllers to pass to them to communicate with experimental hardware. In many cases serial ports and SSH are more than enough to communicate with embedded devices directly from FreeBSD.
 

rootbert

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my experience is completely different ... I am a Linux desktop user since the last millenium, and I think the desktop has never been worse. Hanging shutdowns, hanging boots, hanging GUIs, no network/continuously reconnecting/wifi roaming/fucking automatic stuff nobody needs
 

Hakaba

Active Member

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If you just like to use your computer for your work then modern Linux is quite comfortable and usually works from the box.
Witch one ?
I test some Linux distributions and I have same limitations as with FreeBSD (no HDMI with main screen on my laptop with the same X session). But I always have strong issue in update with Linux. And a lot of software installed that I don't need but I have to maintain.
Ubuntu (Xubuntu) as exemple ask me to make an update for unknow software 2 times a week. Therefore, it ask me to make a major release update with popups, blink and other anoying method.
Finally, I click on it. It try to update, failed and let me with a brick...
 

Sevendogsbsd

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I have never actually had a single problem with a FreeBSD desktop other than the inability to (easily) run Steam, but I have plenty of games from GoG that run great in wine so I am happy. For me, FreeBSD just works. Of course I have a simple configuration that is easily implemented so it's not any tougher than customizing a Linux install.
 

Nicola Mingotti

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oh come on 20-100-2fe , don't put the cross on these people, they are stating the obvious;)

Just the first popping into my mind

Let's start with Android Studio, TeamViewer, Simplify3D a 3D slicer ... there is stuff, Skype? Then umm, XOscope, then a damn plugin called Silverlight(?) or something like that (but to be true i don't know if it works in Linux) .

The good thing is, much stuff is going to work with the Linux compatibility layer. But not all.
 
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