• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

FreeBSD to rethink target audience?

graudeejs

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 666
Messages: 4,616

sremick said:
Yes. The more "mainstream", the more exposure and interest. The more interest, the more vendor support, and the more people hacking away at it and making improvements.

As long as those "half-wits" don't have commit bits, I don't really care about them. Any OS is going to have them.
and also more interest for bad, bad hackers
 

sremick

Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 29

killasmurf86 said:
and also more interest for bad, bad hackers
interest != success.

And so what if the number of people testing the security of FreeBSD increases? The overall security will only improve if they expose otherwise unknown issues. FreeBSD's track record for fixing security issues promptly and effectively is excellent.

Or are you under the impression that popularity = more security flaws? Like Apache compared to IIS? ;)
 

Mel_Flynn

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 77
Messages: 379

sremick said:
Yes. The more "mainstream", the more exposure and interest. The more interest, the more vendor support, and the more people hacking away at it and making improvements.
This isn't a synonym. It's an assumption. Examples:
  • ZFS: a god-sent for some, bloat memory hog for others
  • LDAP backed nsswitch: manageability for large user bases, totally unneeded for a vast ammount of standard 1u webservers
  • Thread pre-emption: necessary in this millenium or DOS risk?
  • MAC security labels: needed for the enterprise, useless for most common workloads

For mainstream (especially desktop/mobile) the feature list will go on and on, requiring one to disable more and more from a default install.
And the features mentioned are in it's own right, good implementations and features. Assuming that "more people" equals "more improvements" is dangerous. You will get a generalist OS, that is "decent at everything and good at nothing".
 

Weinter

Member

Thanks: 3
Messages: 64

When i mean mainstream i only wanted the additional device drivers for new hardware
New hardware will emerge whether you like it or not
Example is the new Wireless N standards
I think ZFS isn't as bad as you put it out to be and it is suppose to be the last filesystem ever need due to the support for virtually unlimited filesystem size

And if you mean this drops support for older hardware you have to consider that progression is constant
 

Mel_Flynn

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 77
Messages: 379

Weinter said:
When i mean mainstream i only wanted the additional device drivers for new hardware
That's pretty naive. You will get the morons, groupies and abundance of feature requests for free when targeting mainstream.

Weinter said:
New hardware will emerge whether you like it or not
Example is the new Wireless N standards
Last I checked, these aren't standards yet. Yes, there's hardware out there claiming to be "wireless N". Probably forced into release by the same people who push the wireless office dream into many small business, conveniently leaving out that 54Mbps is shared accross all workstations.
Dealing with mainstream hardware means a lot of noise, cause it's bad hardware, that is made to look better through the driver.
If there are a handful of OEMs that cherry pick hardware in various price ranges and donate time and resources to make them work optimally with FreeBSD, then FreeBSD can focus on features, performance and new hardware standards, rather then fixing driver bugs in known bad hardware.
Weinter said:
I think ZFS isn't as bad as you put it out to be and it is suppose to be the last filesystem ever need due to the support for virtually unlimited filesystem size
I listed two ends of the spectrum, based on various threads in -questions and -hackers. My own opinion is somewhere in the middle. I will know more when my test machine is ready and I put a ZFS+PostgreSQL installation through my basement of torture.
 

Weinter

Member

Thanks: 3
Messages: 64

Developers have the final say so I think this is somewhat under control...
Useful features can be filtered out of all the requests

Yes but my opinion is wireless N is here to stay so why not a headstart?

A feature(ZFS) from Sun Micro can't be that bad afterall one of SUN Micro's cofounder is the original UNIX Programmer
Of course there will be bugs you can't expect porting to take place instanteously with superb stability
 

morbit

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 34
Messages: 257

sremick said:
I'm aware. But a lot of the value-add of PC-BSD are the GUI tools for PBI management. My point is, I would've preferred the same tools, interface, and infrastructure built up around a standard ports/packages type configuration, versus a wholly separate method that runs contrary against standard Unix-style software installation philosophy.
http://www.freshports.org/sysutils/desktopbsd-tools/

GUI for managing ports/packages, portaudit and portsnap in one package.
 

Erratus

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 19
Messages: 320

cracauer@ said:
FreeBSD people usually buy hardware selected with FreeBSD in mind.
Sounds elitist to me, suitable for people who can afford the expenses.

What I see is that people new to FreeBSD just want to install on the hardware they already own. Once these people new to FreeBSD become "FreeBSD people" they might consider buying new hardware with suffered headaches in mind.
 

kamikaze

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 70
Messages: 366

Weinter said:
Yes but my opinion is wireless N is here to stay so why not a headstart?
Well, simply because it doesn't exist, yet?

In my opinion an N-Standard would long have been agreed upon if there weren't all these draft-n things around. They really hinder the progress of wireless standards and thus should not be supported by anyone or anything.
 

oliverh

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 38
Messages: 557

Erratus said:
Sounds elitist to me, suitable for people who can afford the expenses.

What I see is that people new to FreeBSD just want to install on the hardware they already own. Once these people new to FreeBSD become "FreeBSD people" they might consider buying new hardware with suffered headaches in mind.
You have to do this as Linux user too, don't call it elitist just call it common sense.
 

epoxy

New Member

Thanks: 1
Messages: 16

Wow, reading this thread I feel lucky! I have used FreeBSD on my desktops (main os) for ~7-8 years and been on my laptops (only os) for about 4 (late to get a laptop ;] )

Granted, the releng_7 branch fixed A LOT of nagging issues with FreeBSD on a lappy, but overall I have not had many glitches as far as hardware support (minus when the Intel 3945ABG just came out...devil) and hope to get it on my MSI Wind next week.

It might even sound selfish, but I just don't think freebsd will have the same powerful/unique feel if someone starting out in Ubuntu just throws in a fbsd disk and boots into a desktop loaded with Oo_Org and all the bloat. bleh.

I also agree with others...Desktop FreeBSD would be an awesome niche distro, as PC-BSD has picked up on (although I have not used it). That way, the people concerned mostly with Desktop-ness can concentrate on their end and the server/power crowd can continue on the path that has made FreeBSD a world class operating system...that people like me shamlessly promote to anyone :p

Glad to see an "official forum" and can't wait to see it grow!
 

nuintari

New Member


Messages: 4

Trying to be the everything OS for everyone is what turned Linux into the great big pile of <insert bad word here> that it is today.
 

fronclynne

Daemon

Thanks: 175
Messages: 1,297

Well, server operating systems make better general purpose operating systems for us retro grouches. I mean, so long as the hardware is at least partially supported.
 

SR_Ind

Active Member

Thanks: 16
Messages: 126

I don't see any problem with current state of FreeBSD vis-a-vis the needs of average users.

All the bits and pieces for a good desktop environment lie there in the ports. One needs to spend a good time browsing the ports to pick out software of choice.

Is there a case for having a desktop configured official release? I think so.

I also think KDE based DesktopBSD and PC-BSD do not fit the bill.

What really needed are

1. Extentions to the sysinstall. It should configure X, take the user choice for a desktop environment or if drill down options exist then user choice for a login manager, and a window manager.

2. Desktop independent tools: DesktopBSD project has some cool tools, but they have the drawback...tied to KDE. I wish their dependency was limited to Qt libraries.

I've to disagree with lot of flash fans in the forum. My firefox2 and firefox3 seems to work perfectly with swfdec-plugin port.

As a matter of fact all bits and pieces of my laptop work under freebsd, except the webcam (had to build kernel with snapshot from madwifi site to get the Atheros wifi working).
That's a good deal for a free OS.

PS: I'm working on few Gtk+ based utilities: A package/ports frontend, a disk mount utility, a wifi configuration utility.
 

hitest

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 36
Messages: 312

SR_Ind said:
I've to disagree with lot of flash fans in the forum. My firefox2 and firefox3 seems to work perfectly with swfdec-plugin port.
Interesting. I haven't tried the swfdec-plugin.
Are you running that on the native BSD version of FF 2 and 3?
 

none

Active Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 121

hitest said:
Interesting. I haven't tried the swfdec-plugin.
Are you running that on the native BSD version of FF 2 and 3?
never ever heard about it :)

chances of it running on amd64 8-CURRENT ? ;)

none
 

none

Active Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 121

SR_Ind said:
^^
Sorry...not yet for 8 current
just distributed as binary ?

I'll look for in ports :)

thanks,

none
 

SR_Ind

Active Member

Thanks: 16
Messages: 126

People installing swfdec-plugin need to type these two commands as root to have the plugin picked up by firefox

WATCH OUT FOR THE WORD WRAP IN THE SECOND COMMAND

1.
ln -s /usr/local/lib/browser_plugins ~/.mozilla/plugins

2.
ln -s /usr/local/lib/browser_plugins/swfdec-plugin/libswfdecmozilla.so
/usr/local/lib/browser_plugins/swfdec
 

jb_fvwm2

Daemon

Thanks: 171
Messages: 1,672

flash works here in "portupgrade -P seamonkey", I think
because of gnash-devel. ((( Though the swfdec, a
few wrapper ports, (other stuff probably), is installed,
but I do not think configured yet as above. )))
...........
BTW in regards to "target audience".
I've run postgresql-8 for years, without the knowledge
to properly set it up. I was initially schooled by
onlamp, etc... I have no motivation
to configure the ports which rely on it (about 5- 8 so far)
without some guide. I think that would be
a plus, to have firm documentation somewhere, in a
newbie - friendly style...
.........
/end newbie wishlist/
 

Mel_Flynn

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 77
Messages: 379

jb_fvwm2 said:
I've run postgresql-8 for years, without the knowledge
to properly set it up. I was initially schooled by
onlamp, etc... I have no motivation
to configure the ports which rely on it (about 5- 8 so far)
without some guide. I think that would be
a plus, to have firm documentation somewhere, in a
newbie - friendly style...
That's beyond the scope of FreeBSD (and practically impossible). To illustrate:
- Linux takes responsiblity only for the kernel
- Linux distros take responsibility for the base tools and 3rd party applications
- FreeBSD takes responsiblity for the kernel and base tools

The 3rd party tools (ports) are only FreeBSD's responsibility in the sense that they are supposed to compile and run as intended.

As for the practical side, considering 19000 ports of which a multitude can be made to work together, it would require enormous amounts of documentation.

However, there's a nice section building up here:
http://forums.freebsd.org/forumdisplay.php?f=39

Maybe you can request a howto there.
 

donallen

Active Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 106

I won't pretend to have read this entire thread -- it's huge -- so forgive me if I'm repeating something that's already been said. In addition to support of desktop/laptop systems in the sense of applications and driver availability, there's the issue of correctness of the code. Desktop/laptop systems get used in different ways than servers do, not a deep insight. I tried to migrate my four systems (three IBM/Lenovo laptops varying from very old to very new, plus a Lenovo workstation) from Linux to FreeBSD and while the system looks very nice (there's a professional feel to it that's missing from the rather chaotic Linux world), I quickly ran into kernel bugs that killed my systems, multiple times. One was in the ext2 support (my USB backup disks were, and now are, ext2 filesystems), another other I *believe* was in the USB stack (I had a system crash copying one backup disk that had been converted to UFS2 to another that had a freshly newfs-ed UFS2 filesystem on it). Despite my generally very favorable impression of the system (and familiarity with BSD going back to the 4.x systems on Vaxen), the unreliability was unacceptable and I retreated to Linux (this was fairly recently and involved FreeBSD 7.1).

I attribute this to my using corners of the system that are little-used by the mainstream FreeBSD audience, and thus have simply not been adequately debugged.

I would *love* to see FreeBSD try to compete for the desktop/client-side market. I think it has some great things going for it, but it's just not in good enough shape right now to challenge Linux on that ground, in my opinion. And I do understand that this is a huge effort and a bit of a Catch-22 (it's hard to make it reliable without a user community of critical mass and it's hard to get that community unless the system is reliable).

/Don Allen