Is there demand for a "FreeBSD Kommunity Edition"?

  • Yes, sure

    Votes: 13 16.5%
  • Likely

    Votes: 6 7.6%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 8 10.1%
  • Doubtfully

    Votes: 9 11.4%
  • No

    Votes: 35 44.3%
  • Don't know

    Votes: 8 10.1%

  • Total voters
    79

jdrch

Member

Reaction score: 6
Messages: 54

Let's just brainstorm...
  • What would you expect a "FreeBSD Kommunity Edition" to be/offer?
  • What would you like it to be/offer?
  • Is there demand for such a thing?
  • Would you like to see a *BSD Kommunity Edition?
  • What is missing or should be better in base FreeBSD / in the KDE ports?
  • Add your topic...
Any reasonable feedback is welcome!
1st of all, I'm really disappointed in how negative the polling results are. Especially given how awful FreeBSD's current DE support is. But I digress.

- I would expect it to offer KDE in the installation image, so that you wind up with a desktop workstation at the end of the OS installation process
- Daily driver use, which is what every desktop OS should aspire towards
- I've been either trying to get or maintaining a FreeBSD config since 2018
- YES
- A DE included with the FreeBSD installer, even as an option

My added topic is this: In-place updating via the official instructions from 12.x-RELEASE to 13.0-RELEASE broke my KDE setup. Now all I have bootup is the terminal. As far as mainstream OSes go, this is extremely subpar in 2021. The last time a major update KOed a DE on a machine of mine was pre-Windows Me.
 

Argentum

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 298
Messages: 623

My added topic is this: In-place updating via the official instructions from 12.x-RELEASE to 13.0-RELEASE broke my KDE setup. Now all I have bootup is the terminal. As far as mainstream OSes go, this is extremely subpar in 2021. The last time a major update KOed a DE on a machine of mine was pre-Windows Me.
There are different WM-s available. My personal preference is MATE for example x11/mate. There are several other good WM-s available. I think this is the strength of FreeBSD that it does not push one WM to the users.
 

jdrch

Member

Reaction score: 6
Messages: 54

There are different WM-s available. My personal preference is MATE for example x11/mate. There are several other good WM-s available. I think this is the strength of FreeBSD that it does not push one WM to the users.
I prefer KDE and find MATE woefully underfeatured. Based on the poll here, neither devs nor users have any interest in true FreeBSD DE support, so I'm fighting a losing battle here. Plan is to deploy TrueNAS to a different machine to expand my backup options and blow my FreeBSD installation away with OpenSUSE, which doesn't have this fundamental problem.
 

Zirias

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 1,701
Messages: 2,870

neither devs nor users have any interest in true FreeBSD DE support
Nonsense. I have several FreeBSD desktops running, for me the best system for that purpose. I just want it to stay that way. I see where any attempt to "automate" everything leads (there are many examples in the Linux world): Something intransparent and virtually impossible to fix in case of problems. Don't attempt to spoil FreeBSD.
 

grahamperrin

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 829
Messages: 2,672

… I prefer KDE …

👍 and this is explicitly a KDE topic <https://forums.freebsd.org/forums/kde.30/>, so (with respect) I'll not respond re: other desktop environments.

… something like an installer option "Install with KDE desktop", …

Exactly like that. Installation.

… If such thing existed, would you expect you can download a FreeBSD Kommunity Edition to an USB thumb drive to stick it into your laptop or tablet, and that boots and/or installs? Would you like that? …

Initially: treat the installer as entirely separate from the wish for everyday runs of KDE from a USB thumb drive.

Focus on installation.

… Not with just KDE. Needs at least 3 …

Whilst I understand the wish, I can not recommend a multi-DE effort at this time.

… I don't know why topics like this seem to be frowned upon. …

For one thing: brainstorming can be stormy, and uncontrollably sprawling.

Good brainstorming benefits from good facilitation. Forums are less than ideal. Even with superb facilitators, real-world brainstorming sessions often over-run.

… a few hours of wasted setup time …

… It took over a full 24 hour day to build everything I wanted … I don't see it as a tedious task. …

Spending/wasting hours or days can be intolerable.

I tolerate it only because I like FreeBSD.

… that's the way I work with and run mine and doesn't have to be yours. …

👍

… very easy to install from ports (with a little research on the xorg setup end). …

The research aspect makes things less than easy.

Wish for an installer that requires zero thought of X.Org …

… A noob can not easily install & use FreeBSD, because s/he is confronted with terms s/he doesn't understand. …

… exactly!

<https://docs.freebsd.org/en/books/handbook/x11/> requiring a newcomer to learn about X.Org before proceeding to install KDE is not a welcome to KDE on FreeBSD.

… things that fail too often, e.g. the desktop search sysutils/kf5-sysutils/kf5-baloo

Yeah, I've been ignoring those crashes for years. One day I'll seek or open a bug.

… You're an experienced wizzard, but for sure you know other (non-nerd) people. …

👍

… this thread was not only to gather a pattern of opinions & brainstorming ideas about this topic, but also to encourage participation & maybe find a few allies. There are already some interesting projects, not only the desktop-oriented distributions, but also e.g. sysutils/desktop-installer. But whenever I'm looking at these projects, I come to the conclusion that one-man-shows are not the right way to do it, …

True.

… get more users interested in FreeBSD for an entry level user …

… lots of ideas and good intentions that aren't matched with skills or resources (mostly money). And I don't mean that rudely …

There's an abundance of skilled people who are willing, capable and motivated.

This abundance is not evident in FreeBSD Forums.

Updating and upgrading FreeBSD

… how to safely update the system (regardless of how far out of date) reliably. …


▶ please join the discussion there. Thanks.

Wikis and the like

… The Wiki …

I updated the Quick start at <https://community.kde.org/FreeBSD/Setup#Quick_start>. Some other parts of the page are outdated.

Discussions of other wikis (I'm a FreeBSD wiki editor) might be better spun off to a separate topic.

OpenZFS

… Encryption is always good! …

… Let's wait for ZFS encryption to settle, help with testing on a separate dataset, and then use that when it became rock-solid. …

I should treat OpenZFS native encryption as rock-solid.

Plus, from recent <https://cgit.freebsd.org/src/commit/?id=603f1c3da48c938c4e556760b771fc1a29635b7d>:

openzfs: attach pam_zfs_key to build

This PAM module allows unlocking encrypted user home datasets when logging in (and changing passphrase when changing the account password), …

Hardware

… suspend/hibernate, but the former is broken due other things (but often can be worked around), and the latter is not implemented at all (but can be made work on UEFI systems according to an excellent HOWTO). …

Please, where's the HOWTO?

… What I would expect is that after booting, it actually worked - on a reasonable range of semi-recent laptops at least. Which is a matter of hardware support before details like KDE. …

As a user of a notebook with graphics hardware that was previously not well driven, I must say that things have improved dramatically. For me now, DRM is close to perfect. To everyone whose experience with DRM falls short of perfection: emphatically, YMMV and:



… Since the X11 DRM drivers have moved closer to Linux, they have been a nightmare in terms of documentation and mismatched versioning. …

I don't know about documentation, but I'm delighted by the greater reliability. Above, YMMV and the related sub-forums.

… The Foundation has done a great job supporting and spearheading the DRM porting work …

👍 see above, and (unless I'm missing something) none of the promotions of 13.0-RELEASE put the superior DRM in context.

… The biggest part that I've been seeing (and has been mentioned before in the forums, and in this thread) is going to be the hardware support. The biggest problem on this is that the common person isn't going to accept something isn't working right off the bat. …

👍 and I expect the common person to express frustration.

… In-place updating via the official instructions from 12.x-RELEASE to 13.0-RELEASE broke my KDE setup. …

<https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=255040> appears to be hardware driver specific, not an issue with KDE.

… Based on the poll here, neither devs nor users have any interest in true FreeBSD DE support …

I empathise with your frustration but please, don't base your opinions on this poll. There's interest.

Miscellaneous

… script …

👍

… I am making my postinstaller …

When the time comes, will you make a topic? Thanks.

… Possibly Kommunity would be a slightly problematic name. …

KDE is fine.

K or k makes me cringe when it's used to mis-spell words. I don't like to be so blunt, but it's awful.

… FreeBSD Virtual Town Hall meeting/Office Hours @17th of March 2021 …

I was very interested (I participated in a previous survey, in which I requested priority to compatibility with notebooks) however, unfortunately, I missed this event. I'll try to catch up.
 

JonaEngel

New Member

Reaction score: 2
Messages: 17

In my opinion the DE is not really a hurdle with freeBSD. FreeBSD is for the nerds. If the manual and handbook are great, the nerds will manage. And freeBSD should embrace that.

Today, I think the main issues are power mgmt on laptops and access to smb drives at universities. Get over smbv1 and get smb v2+ robust and supported.
This is not related to your DE or WM or even your taste. But it is in the way of me recommending freeBSD to "normal people" at my workplace.
 

Hakaba

Active Member

Reaction score: 126
Messages: 242

After five pages I still feel like a "Kommunity" is not the answer to the real pain point.

I am more comfortable with my first guest. A freebsd-desktop-install tool that list all steps (either a Linux desktop user do not know all steps needed to install a desktop env) and point hardware support is a good and more "FreeBSD" way.
There is too many little pain point that can discourage a new install.

The wm/dm is the easiest step and the more personal. And if the goal is a Kommunity Edition, I stay here to see the debate about the default screen saver or background to chose. In the same time, users still are blocked with qwerty keyboard after the first 'startx'.

For my personal laptop, I read a lot about two point and never find a way to handle this.
FreeBSD does not boot on UEFI in the nvme disk (but ok in USB stick). I use rEFInd to handle this part.
X11 can not work with my Intel and NVidia card at the same time and I did not find a way to have HDMI and internal screen working in the same time. For this, I still have no solution.
An installer can explain what is wrong with my hardware and maybe is a place to share pain and solution (If you have a MSI P65, use rEFInd...). Less frustration, list of step, a place to share alternative solution... That is for me the good start to help a desktop FreeBSD install.
 
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sig

New Member

Reaction score: 6
Messages: 13

So many Laptops/Desktops hardware support is hit or miss as far as being supported. Hardware compatibility should be the focus before this could ever become an actual working reality.
 

sig

New Member

Reaction score: 6
Messages: 13

After doing a fresh install of FreeBSD/KDE on my T480; there's a lot hardware probe/setup improvements to be had in FreeBSD, whilst integration improvements to be had on the KDE side. Regarding "Kommunity" edition of FreeBSD, I recommend contributing and promoting the FreeBSD/KDE Initiative. That's really what the project is for; community collaboration. In terms of spitting out an ISO for others to use, someone in that initiative should do it.

Why there's no WiFi/Bluetooth/ACPI hardware probe and setup in bsdinstall is beyond me. That'll definitely help with the experience of transition to FreeBSD.
Also not having support for those 3 "wifi/bluetooth/acpi" isn't much of a desktop attracftion.
 

Trihexagonal

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 2,356
Messages: 2,977

I don't find wi-fi or bluetooth a desktop attraction. Both are disabled on all my devices and I run an Ethernet LAN.

I live in apartment building with over 50 other apartments and see that as a security risk, even if they don't.
 

grahamperrin

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 829
Messages: 2,672

… Hardware compatibility should be the focus before this could ever become an actual working reality.

A distribution with KDE need not detract from work on compatibility.

GhostBSD is a reality – primarily with MATE, plus a community image for XFCE. (With OpenRC.)

A community-maintained FreeBSD with KDE is no less realistic. (Without OpenRC.)
 

sig

New Member

Reaction score: 6
Messages: 13

yes, I would love if this happened for FreeBSD to be using KDE/Plasma
 

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grahamperrin

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 829
Messages: 2,672

That's beautiful, however:
  • for a distribution, I shouldn't stray too far from what's normally expected with KDE.
This, for example, suits me, however one of the features that you and I use is significantly bugged (things staged for screenshot purposes):

2021-05-02 10:11:42.png
 

cthunter01

New Member

Reaction score: 3
Messages: 2

I prefer KDE and find MATE woefully underfeatured. Based on the poll here, neither devs nor users have any interest in true FreeBSD DE support, so I'm fighting a losing battle here. Plan is to deploy TrueNAS to a different machine to expand my backup options and blow my FreeBSD installation away with OpenSUSE, which doesn't have this fundamental problem.
That's unfortunate. I don't think improving the desktop experience on FreeBSD, a la KDE Plasma, is a losing battle. It's hard, but it's not lost.

I'm a little late to this discussion, but I'm a long time KDE on FreeBSD user, and would definitely be interested in a "Kommunity" edition of FreeBSD. How would I help with that?

I don't expect it to take off and change the world, or even change the FreeBSD community much, but I would benefit from it, and I do think there are others that would benefit from having it. As well, I think the KDE community would benefit from a stronger FreeBSD presence. It's good for them, too. They are one of the Linux world's projects that still at least recognizes FreeBSD and treats it more-or-less like a first class citizen. I want to help keep it that way.
 

astyle

Daemon

Reaction score: 650
Messages: 1,460

Hardware support does seem to be a hit or miss with FreeBSD.... I tried TrueOS (FreeBSD-based) awhile ago, and it was a no go. The installer was good, on par with Calamares, hardware setup was surprisingly well done (Vesa driver was selected, and it worked, this was back before amdgpu.ko was ironed out), but package management was a mess. If one thing needed an upgrade, the whole enchilada had to get upgraded as well. I was not prepared to deal with that. Then the whole project got discontinued, devs went to work on other stuff. I do agree with BostonBSD 's description of FreeBSD as a 'kit' operating system that you can set up to your liking. Same thing can be said for Linux. As for making an installer that gets you to a working desktop - I don't think there's that much of a market for that. Most people would want to just walk up to a working computer and type in login credentials. I've done a fair amount of Windows installs, and it works pretty much the same as Calamares/bsdinstall, same basic ideas apply (even if installer looks very different).
 

BostonBSD

Active Member

Reaction score: 85
Messages: 142

When I first read "Kommunity" edition, I thought it sounded kind like they were appealing to bias (for what it's worth this comment is irrelevant). However, I'd probably change the name to:

Workstation Edition

If only to emphasize the business use in lieu of personal use.
 

BostonBSD

Active Member

Reaction score: 85
Messages: 142

They are one of the Linux world's projects that still at least recognizes FreeBSD and treats it more-or-less like a first class citizen. I want to help keep it that way.
This is a good point. Making KDE the default FreeBSD desktop would do nothing more than draw the two projects closer (desktop development is something FreeBSD appears to lack leaving porters to hack away the Linux specific elements).
 

Beastie7

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 616
Messages: 727

This is a good point. Making KDE the default FreeBSD desktop would do nothing more than draw the two projects closer (desktop development is something FreeBSD appears to lack leaving porters to hack away the Linux specific elements).

The foundation could initiate an endeavor like this. But it seems anything above the kernel or graphical is kryptonite to the committers, and community.

OpenBSD is able to maintain their own damn Xorg stack ffs, there is no excuse given funds and community presence.
 

BostonBSD

Active Member

Reaction score: 85
Messages: 142

The foundation could initiate an endeavor like this. But it seems anything above the kernel or graphical is kryptonite to the committers, and community.

OpenBSD is able to maintain their own damn Xorg stack ffs, there is no excuse given funds and community presence.
I think TrueOS tried to initiate something like this with the Lumina desktop.
The KDE project appears extremely robust, almost like an entire OS in of itself, they even have their own semi-distro based upon Ubuntu. The Lumina project seems rather spartan by comparison. I don't know...

Microsoft has been a fairly consistent donor for the last several years, that may have something to do with it.
 

Beastie7

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 616
Messages: 727

Unfortunately they dropped the ball with PC-BSD. It was practically the right idea. Had they kept up with KDE 5; they'd have a solid experience.
 

Trihexagonal

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 2,356
Messages: 2,977

Unfortunately they dropped the ball with PC-BSD. It was practically the right idea. Had they kept up with KDE 5; they'd have a solid experience.

They dropped the ball and lost their way looking for it when they saw money in the form of Xsystems. They even offered WindowLabs WM as an option to KDE on installation after they saw me trying it out in the forums, but their eyes were glazed over by Love of the Root of all Evil by that time.

When the blind shepards led their flock too close to the edge of the cliff and put them in danger, I snuck up from behind and kicked them over the side. When they tried to make Weixiong a ghost it was PC-BSD that disappeared without a trace down to the wiki and the forums.

I'm still here beating that dead horse mercilessly and the riders can only watch.
 

grahamperrin

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 829
Messages: 2,672

… If I am informed correctly, the KDE5 port has been done almost solely by one person. …

You may be misinformed …

TIL:
  • historically, there was a massive amount of work by Tobias C. Berner
  • nowadays, things are much improved with respect to active people.

… I really would appreciate some sort of Kommunity effort …

That k, again. I kan't bear it ;-/
 

kpedersen

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 2,166
Messages: 3,006

OpenBSD is able to maintain their own damn Xorg stack ffs, there is no excuse given funds and community presence.
FreeBSD actively removed Xorg as one of the base sets. This means we are even further from a default desktop now than we were in FreeBSD 6.x(?).
Not only would we need to reinstate Xorg back in base but then we would need to greatly strip down KDE to make it suitable for base (and remove unsuitable licenses).

It is a lot of work for little reward compared to pkg install xorg kde5
 
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