My boy loves Ubuntu because we can't get graphics going after two days!

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drhowarddrfine

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a lot of people who are attracted to working with the nuts and bolts of an OS are attracted to Ubuntu and other Linuxes because they can at least get it up and working pretty darn good with a GUI.
I only see that on Reddit and Linux forums but, by a GUI, I presume you mean pointy/clicky buttons to select options.
Then they can into the guts to make it do what they want it to do.
I don't understand why a GUI makes that possible but the command line or a text file does not.
If you lose critical mass then you lose development resources, and if not fixed, FreeBSD can die off just like other great things in this world have.
I don't see where FreeBSD needs fixing. Anything Linux can do, FreeBSD can do better. It's why Netflix runs on FreeBSD and that's a recent choice on their part.

We need to get past this GUI issue so that millions of kids (especially teenagers more so than 9 year olds) can start FreeBSD with GUI and lots of other stuff with no effort, let them love it to build up critical mass.
If you said, millions of serious hobbyists and young developers, I would be with you but just to garner millions of kids who want a GUI so they can play their games, you lost me.

FreeBSD is a professional operating system for professionals. It's great that we can run a desktop, and the idea behind PC-BSD is wonderful, but this is not a popularity contest and to wind up like Linux has, trying to be a Windows clone and Xbox all in one, is not my idea of where I'd want FreeBSD to be.
 

phoenix

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As with everything FreeBSD-related, it all comes down to the hardware.

The Linux kernel and distributions support just about every piece of random hardware you can find. The quality of that support is all over the map. FreeBSD supports a much more limited selection of hardware, but it tends to have better support for the hardware.

Nowhere do you mention what hardware you are using, nor which versions of FreeBSD you are using.

I got a working 9.x desktop running at home using an AMD Phenom-II x4 and a Radeon GPU (forget the model, it's a half-height silent card) within a couple of hours, including putting all the hardware together into a case. And I managed to convert that system to PC-BSD 9 within a couple of hours. Why was it so easy? Because that hardware is very well supported by FreeBSD, right down to all the sensors on the motherboard, the (e)SATA controller, the USB controllers, the GPU, etc.

However, I didn't like the performance of the GPU using the OSS graphics driver, so I switched it for an nVidia 210 (also half-height and silent). As there are official binary drivers from nVidia, performance increased by a large margin, and the system has been running like that for a year or so now.

Moral of the story: for the best experience using FreeBSD, be sure to do your research and use hardware that's specifically supported by FreeBSD. Don't just throw random hardware at it and hope for the best.
 

sulman

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Ubuntu is specifically designed to be that Linux distribution. That's why Valve made it the supported client for Steam; that's why it has the reputation for being the most user friendly distribution.

Reality? Ubuntu is a great place to start but a bad place to end up.

It's overly heavy; the GUI tools can lead users down some blind alleys - Nvidia users still have this uninituitive procedure to follow in order to use a proprietary driver, and if they want up to date builds they end up having to play with PPA configurations.

Now, herein lies a problem: the second you have have to take apart a GUI tool and start rooting around configuration files, you're screwed. You have no context what is going on, what the files are for, how to read about them, what the changes you make mean. Look at the Steam support forums. What happens is users of other distributions end up giving support to Ubuntu users.

I look at the problem the other way around. The terminal is nothing to be afraid of; in fact, it is your friend. It's just another tool, a very powerful one. GUIs are fun and beautiful but you need to have at least a high level idea of what is happening with your system.
 

nemo

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Hello, guys.

My story is that a friend of mine once told me about FreeBSD. It was nine or so years ago - I started with the 7.0 RC. Yes, I had some issues getting X.Org to work. But they were quite the same issues I had with Linux distributions that I had used before (Mandrake, OpenSUSe, etc.). I am no IT pro, just a hobbyist.

Some months ago, I rebuilt two of my boxes. One is dedicated to play games, running Windows 7, just because my son is not much into hacking. He is allowed to play two hours a day.

The other box runs FreeBSD with KDE. Radeon GPU, Core2Duo, 4 GB RAM. It is the main home computer. My son works on it if he needs. My wife says that there's no difference using Windows or KDE. Click and run Firefox (with the latest - and last - Linux Flash plugin), VLC, LibreOffice. slideshows, movies, music, older games trhu through Wine (Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Civilization 3, FlatOut 2). Some DTP, OpenSCAD, VirtualBox, Repsnapper. Some Linux applications. Everything in the Czech language, except man pages, but I don't care. What else does a man need?

Now a little bit about drivers. Has any of you tried to run OS X on any random hardware? It would be a walk through hell. What makes Apple and their OS so cool? Isn't it the tuned-up hardware with tuned-up drivers talking to a great kernel, bringing the user an easy-to-use shiny desktop environment, all packed in a precisely made box? That's all that FreeBSD needs: buy/use compatible hardware, install the system, log in and have fun. It's really that easy.
 

BSDBernd

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Now a little bit about drivers. Has any of you tried to run OS X on any random hardware? It would be a walk through the hell. What makes Apple and their OS soo cool? Isn't it the tuned-up hardware with tuned-up drivers talking to a great kernel, bringing the user an easy-to-use shiny desktop environment, all packed in a preciselly made box. That's all that FreeBSD needs: buy/use a compatible hardware, install the system, log in and have fun. It's really that easy.
Indeed! Thanks for pointing this out. The sad thing seems to be that often people first buy their hardware and later discover FreeBSD and try to install it on their random hardware. I have a Macbook from mid 2011, but it contains a cursed Broadcom device :( which is not supported yet by FreeBSD. People should somehow get to know FreeBSD before they buy their hardware :).
 

Oko

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Yes. Now, realize that an Apple logo does not mean OSX is being used. But that was not what I said.
Right :rolleyes: FreeBSD developers are running FreeBSD without network since there are no drivers for Broadcom devices and in VESA mode because the Nouveau driver doesn't support NVidia video cards commonly found in MAC laptops. That kind of attitude is the exact reason why I have not used FreeBSD outside work for the past seven years :cool:
 

wblock@

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https://www.glenbarber.us/2011/11/29/MacBook-Pro-5,1-FreeBSD-Hardware-Support.html. Broadcom support, Nvidia support... Surely some of them were running Mac OS X, although that too is a variant of FreeBSD. But I'm not suggesting those Thinkpads with hidden screens are running Windows just because they have Windows stickers.

This is all a digression from the way this thread started, which was a perception of FreeBSD or PC-BSD not meeting a need for install-and-go desktop GUI users. That has not been FreeBSD's traditional target. It was PC-BSD's target, although I admit I have not tried it lately. Neither operating system has near the number of paid people working on GUI stuff as Linux. What that means is that support for the latest graphics hardware tends to be slower in getting to FreeBSD.
 

protocelt

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To be honest, the mailing lists would probably be a better place to discuss this further IMO. What operating system the FreeBSD developers use to develop on doesn't really have anything to do with the original post of this thread. Just my 2 cents.
 

CoTones

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When I was noob with FreeBSD, reading that corporation-sockpuppets-supported fanboyism "FreeBSD is better... BSD licensed! Speed! Stability! Not a kernel with GNU crap! Einstein uses FreeBSD for everything..." made me curious.

Now, when I know a bit of it, I left it for hobby only. Using it FreeBSD developers "style" - virtually. So far I'm not considering it even for a server.

But seriously, everyone should test operating system the human way: take two hours for the OS and all common desktop applications installation. If time is out and kid or granny can't enjoy its use, then that OS is for cyborgs, not humans :D

PS Cyborgs have no emotions and have a long and boring live. Fits perfectly for bean counting too.
 

getopt

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But seriously, everyone should test operating system the Human Way: take two hours for OS and all common desktop applications installation. If time is out and kid or granny can't enjoy its usage, then that OS is for cyborgs, not humans
LOL! Dead wrong, but: if parents have a need for an OS that their kids cannot mess with, just take one with a steep learning curve. If the kids once hack that too, you can be proud of them, because they were not wasting their time playing stupid games.
 

manilaboy1vic

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My nine-year-old boy took my Ubuntu 14.04 ISO disk, stuck it in a box, clicked next a few times, and was up and running about 30 minutes later, surfing the net using Firefox, and with music playing via a pre-packaged DLNA player (pulling music from one of my non-GUI enabled FreeBSD machines).

He said: "Daddy let's try PC-BSD and FreeBSD with GUI." Two days and lots of reading later, I am nowhere closer to getting a basic GUI going, let alone getting a good rich full-featured GUI going. When xorg tries to run my monitor goes into powersave mode, and all I can do is power cycle and try again.

This is the year 2014, not 1994. We should not be fooling around with building GUIs, and reading endless (sometime contradictory) threads about how to work around the various issues.

I'm probably going to get flamed but if you want to grow the fans/users base of FreeBSD, then a GUI has got to be brain-dead simple. Yes, give the people the power to hack it, smack it, and whack it, that will spawn innovation. But to lose days of trying to get a video card working is not the right direction. Especially in this day and age with 'retail hand-held appliances' like iPods, iPads, and endless cellphone models, FreeBSD has an amazing opportunity in front of it. In the "Internet of Everything" (Cisco talk) FreeBSD has an incredibly large future never possible before.

A nine-year-old boy, who enjoys computers and enjoys 'making changes' is already asking me: "Daddy when can we put Ubuntu back?" Us FreeBSD fans/users need to get our nine-year-olds on board so that when they grow up with the next amazing idea, FreeBSD will be their first choice of OS to whack and smack. :)

Thanks for listening.
This is interesting to hear. When I first started using FreeBSD I was able to get X running pretty easily.

Just used sysinstall and added X and Gnome and then edited .xinitrc and ran startx. My last build I believe all I did was pkg install xorg and pkg install gnome and edited my .xinitrc and ran startx.

Sorry your having troubles. This forum would most likely be happy to assist, but may refer you to PC-BSD forums.

Is the PC-BSD install all command line or interactive like a BIOS? If I could get FreeBSD going back in the day then I'm sure you can. You can figure it out. Good luck.
 
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PacketMan

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I've got non-GUI FreeBSD running on a few machines, and got X/KDE on one machine as well. The forum folks are awesome. PC-BSD did not work either. The point I was trying to make was about GUIs should be installed by default so that we can attract more kids to the OS. I consider this discussion well answered. :)
 

ANOKNUSA

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@OP---I'm saying this with no intent to offend: Your nine-year-old is nine years old. ;) If he really wanted to know about these things, he'd learn. When I was his age I spent an entire weekend in front of a keyboard with the DOS 6 manual open next to me, trying to get TIE Fighter to run. There were other things I could have done with my time---I had a bike, and a game console, and baseball gear and a playground down the street and friends to hang out with and all that. But I wanted to play TIE Fighter,, confound it, and tinkering with the obscure bits of that operating system was the only way to make that happen. It's that same tinkering spirit that helped me exactly duplicate my Linux graphical setup on my FreeBSD box the same day I installed the latter.

Your son wants Ubuntu, though, because rather than being the tinkering type he really seems to be just a typical nine-year-old kid, impatient and partial to convenience. He wants flash and bling, and has made it clear that the quickest and most convenient path to that is the one he wants to take. Those are his immediate desires, and once those desires are satisfied there's no reason to assume he'll somehow take it upon himself to look beyond that flashy surface. He very well may be curious, of course, but then if that's the case then you'll see the same curiosity regardless of the operating system he starts out on. The same goes for anyone else---there's no logical reason to believe that someone who thinks graphics are the cornerstone of the computing experience will ever take it upon themselves to muck around with the internals of the operating system.

Question: If FreeBSD offered the exact same hassle-free graphical experience as any other operating system, what reason would there be for most people to switch to it? Any time this general topic comes up for discussion anywhere it always falls into the same trap---this bizarre assumption that making one thing exactly like another thing will somehow make it more "popular," and that popularity will somehow make it "better," completely ignoring the obvious fact that if one thing is like most everything else then there's no point to its existence. It's superfluous. I'm pretty new to FreeBSD, and can't say exactly what the goals of the developers and community really are, but I can't see why those goals should be "make FreeBSD exactly like everything else." I replaced Linux with FreeBSD on my production box because it was fundamentally different. Were it fundamentally the same, then what reason would there be for me to come here?
 

wblock@

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It's not about age. Some people are interested in operating systems, most are not. For people in the second category, an operating system is just a way to get to what they want to do.

That said, distributions of FreeBSD like PC-BSD are a good thing. They give people who just want to use applications an easy setup without distracting the main operating system. It would be nice to have a few more distributions like that, some made for lower-resource machines.
 

pkubaj

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Isn't NanoBSD for low-resource machines? I remember that there was at some point also PicoBSD.
 

scottro

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wblock@'s statement reminds me of some old GUI FreeBSD live CDs, Frenzy and FreeSBIE. Both were good for low resource machines and had a GUI. I don't know about GhostBSD, I haven't tried it, PCBSD does seem to require a lot of resource.

(SIDEBAR) I thought that putting an @ in front of a name gave it the user tag. Not sure what I missed but even the old user tag doesn't seem to work. Sorry wblock@, I tried.

The main advantage to greater popularity is that it gets hardware and software vendors to start thinking about you. I think that Ubuntu did that, in many ways, for Linux's desktop market. Its ease of use got more people into it, meaning more people wanting it to work, meaning more hardware and software vendors began thinking about support. Shucks, Ubuntu even got mentioned on The Big Bang Theory.

The disadvantage is that once the desktop users start taking over, they do things like what has happened to RedHat, where it seems that the majority of developers think like desktop users--for example, crippling the text based installer to concentrate on the GUI version. Fine for a distribution aimed at the desktop, not so good when it gets into something aimed at a server market.

So, I'd like to see it more popular but not too popular. I'd also like to be a billionaire. Just because I want it, doesn't mean it will happen, and just because I don't like something, doesn't mean that it's bad. As Tina Fey once wrote
It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don't like something, it is empirically not good.
 

Remington

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Thanks Oko
Anyway I think I have said the same thing over and over. I've made my point. Great products die all the time, due to a certain line of thinking.
I seriously doubt FreeBSD is going to die since it's being used on servers at financial institutions and web hosting. FreeBSD is not for faint-of-heart and its rock solid OS for servers. I would rather keep FreeBSD as it is and let PC-BSD folks build their GUI based system from FreeBSD. They know exactly what they're doing and they're far more likely will get GUI working without glitches which most of us will encounter if we do it on our own. I've used PC-BSD before but I'm Mac OS X user which is also based on early release of FreeBSD as well. I gave up Windows 2 years ago and I don't regret it.

FreeBSD developers should solely focus on improving network stacks, security and stability while PC-BSD focuses on deploying FreeBSD with GUI for desktop users. I could build a GUI from scratch with FreeBSD but it's going to take a lot of my time and tweaking to get it working. I've done it before but I clearly do not have time since I'm system administrator and developer as well.
 

wblock@

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(SIDEBAR) I thought that putting an @ in front of a name gave it the user tag.
It does, it is just confusing that some of us have an @ at the end of their user name also. There is even autocomplete on it, so type @ and the first few letters to see a list.
 

Remington

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Indeed! Thanks for pointing this out. The sad thing seems to be that often people first buy their hardware and later discover FreeBSD and try to install it on their random hardware. I have a Macbook from mid 2011, but it contains a cursed Broadcom device :( which is not supported yet by FreeBSD. People should somehow get to know FreeBSD before they buy their hardware :).
I know FreeBSD have their own hardware compatibility list but its often outdated and doesn't list specific hardware. Maybe what it needs is a current hardware compatibility list on current motherboards, video cards, processors that are tested to work with FreeBSD or PC-BSD.

There should be two separate listings... one for servers and another for desktop computers. FreeBSD will pretty much work with outdated hardware but many shops don't sell outdated hardware except ebay. It has to be a list of current hardware that's being sold on Newegg or Amazon.
 

getopt

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Looking at the FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE Hardware Notes for compatible printers:
Code:
[i386,pc98,amd64,powerpc] The ulpt(4) driver provides support for USB printers and parallel printer conversion cables, including the following:

    ATen parallel printer adapter
    Belkin F5U002 parallel printer adapter
    Canon BJ F850, S600
    Canon LBP-1310, 350
    Entrega USB-to-parallel printer adapter
    Hewlett-Packard HP Deskjet 3420 (P/N: C8947A #ABJ)
    Oki Data MICROLINE ML660PS
    Seiko Epson PM-900C, 880C, 820C, 730C
As I can hardly distinct adapters from printers: Which one should I hide under the christmas-tree?
 

Remington

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Looking at the FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE Hardware Notes for compatible printers:
Code:
[i386,pc98,amd64,powerpc] The ulpt(4) driver provides support for USB printers and parallel printer conversion cables, including the following:

    ATen parallel printer adapter
    Belkin F5U002 parallel printer adapter
    Canon BJ F850, S600
    Canon LBP-1310, 350
    Entrega USB-to-parallel printer adapter
    Hewlett-Packard HP Deskjet 3420 (P/N: C8947A #ABJ)
    Oki Data MICROLINE ML660PS
    Seiko Epson PM-900C, 880C, 820C, 730C
As I can hardly distinct adapters from printers: Which one should I hide under the christmas-tree?
None. HP Deskjet 3420 isn't even listed on Newegg so that list is outdated which proved my point. There should be a wiki page or something similar where FreeBSD users can list known current hardware that is proven to work with FreeBSD or PC-BSD. Any hardware that becomes outdated will be moved to outdated list to keep things tidy. There should be a list of motherboards, video cards, network adapters, printers, web cams and other rare hardware.
 

getopt

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Oooh! No business for Santa Clause this year ...
still awaiting a printer manufacturer comes up with an 100% compatible BSD-printer.

Well there is a wiki on laptops, but have you looked at this how useful it is?
 

Remington

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Oooh! No business for Santa Clause this year ...
still awaiting a printer manufacturer comes up with an 100% compatible BSD-printer.

Well there is a wiki on laptops, but have you looked at this how useful it is?
Saw it, totally useless, outdated and buried deep in FreeBSD's eco-system where nobody will see it. 'Recommended Hardware List' should be on the front page for everyone to see. IMHO.

I also checked PC-BSD website and its not even there. I think that's something FreeBSD and PC-BSD teams can collaborate to make a recommended list.
 

scottro

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That would be nice. Today, I found that a printer I've used in the past seems to have stopped working. (Although I don't know if it was ever on the list, in some of the 9.x installs I've done, it worked out of the box with some foomatic stuff. I've seen posts by Oko (wow, wblock@ was right, put an @ in front of a name and it does autocomplete), mentioning that the foomatic stuff was broken, but printing is one of those things that I do so infrequently, that it's just easier to use some Linux or another to print.

However, it's difficult in some ways--for example, in the mid 2000's, I think, it was pretty easy to google a bit and find out what wireless card a laptop had. These days, it's somewhat difficult. That's just one example. Often, it seems to me, that when purchasing things for the home, as opposed to servers, they'll often say things such as N wireless, high quality video, and the like, rather than giving the model number of the wireless and video cards.
 

Oko

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Oooh! No business for Santa Clause this year ...
still awaiting a printer manufacturer comes up with an 100% compatible BSD-printer.
I would imagine that at least during the holidays people have better things to do than hanging on forums and writing random garbage about the things they are clueless. For the record I am at work today and the whole day tomorrow.
 
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