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

On the desktop: FreeBSD vs PC-BSD vs Debian

Status
Not open for further replies.

protocelt

Daemon

Thanks: 405
Messages: 1,253

#52
I was using Ubuntu as an example of having DE variants that coincide with its' core platform (Ubuntu). Customization is irrelevant, unless PC-BSD or Ubuntu is using its' own infrastructure (meaning different base, ports, src, etc), is it the same thing. PC-BSD should be called FreeBSD/Lumina because practically, there's no difference. Hence why it's pointless, and it creates communal fragmentation.
How does it create fragmentation if it is actually just FreeBSD pre-configured? Fragmentation assumes forking of the original which isn't the case here. Neither GhostBSD nor PC-BSD are forked from FreeBSD. All of PC-BSD's utilities are available in the ports tree as well. If anything these projects are encouraging growth for FreeBSD IMO.
 

Beastie7

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 103
Messages: 311

#53
How does it create fragmentation if it is actually just FreeBSD pre-configured? Fragmentation assumes forking of the original which isn't the case here. Neither GhostBSD nor PC-BSD are forked from FreeBSD. All of PC-BSD's utilities are available in the ports tree as well. If anything these projects are encouraging growth for FreeBSD IMO.
In terms of code, no. But it makes more sense to just update the FreeBSD GNOME project page (which needs to be updated, btw) with a brief overview and pre-configured images, then direct help to the FreeBSD subforums/handbook instead of creating an entirely new site/forums/docs/whatever splitting the community, for example. It puts FreeBSD at the forefront. The Ubuntu GNOME team does something like this.

I'd be more practical combing all the qt5/sh utilities with Lumina and just call it the Lumina Project. IMO With all these external wrappers (which break often) around existing FreeBSD utilities and different repos, it certainly creates a sense of fragmentation.

That's all I'm saying.
 

protocelt

Daemon

Thanks: 405
Messages: 1,253

#54
I agree the FreeBSD Gnome project page definitely needs updating. I don't use GNOME but am still quite tempted to ask how I can help with that directly as there are lots of users who do use it. IIRC, while PC-BSD is free for anyone to use as they wish, iXsystems supports the development of the project and offers paid support as well for those who want/need it so having a separate name for that project makes perfect sense really. FreeBSD as a platform doesn't work quite the same as the way Linux does.
 

Beastie7

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 103
Messages: 311

#55
You're right. I'm just trying to make sense of all this. I'd be nice for FreeBSD to have it's own GNOME-like project though.
 

Patrick Bär

Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 52

#56
Speaking about different projects, a philosophical question:

How come, yesterday an amor-image popped up on my screen, although I never used anything like xterm and firefox?
 

Patrick Bär

Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 52

#57
By the way, my two cents about the discussion (I started):

I set up my test box using FreeBSD 10, nvidia-drivers from ports, KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXDE and i3 desktops with binary sources.

I like:
- Automatic Wifi-installation at install-time. I remember horrible times either manually setting it up or using a wifi-cable until I found the right solution.
- Not a single crash of buggy beta-software

I dislike:
- Missing bsdfan documentation
- Took me two hours until I realised why i3 wasn't working. I created a config file without knowing that thereby it does not read /usr/local/etc-files anymore and hence nothing was working properly.

My new computer arrived yesterday and I hope it will run bsdfan as well, because this is one of the musts...
 

Crivens

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator

Thanks: 539
Messages: 1,467

#58
I like:
- Automatic Wifi-installation at install-time. I remember horrible times either manually setting it up or using a wifi-cable until I found the right solution.
Yes, they tend to fetch rather good money on eBay, so if you do not need it any more... :beer::D
 

teo

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 8
Messages: 388

#60
But, gnome who cares? It seems to me a desk too heavy, to been a failure the implementation of gnome 3.14.

Since a few weeks ago, I am proving GhostBSD for desktop in virtualbox, a cute and lightweight system that flies, and remains stable the system GhostBSD 10.1 beta2 MATE, actually left me surprised, nothing comparable with the PCBSD is very heavy.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 821
Messages: 2,626

#61
I dislike:
- Missing bsdfan documentation
- Took me two hours until I realised why i3 wasn't working. I created a config file without knowing that thereby it does not read /usr/local/etc-files anymore and hence nothing was working properly.
Well, that's an i3 or their documentation issue, not a FreeBSD issue.
 

Beastie7

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 103
Messages: 311

#62
But, gnome who cares? It seems to me a desk too heavy, to been a failure the implementation of gnome 3.14.

Since a few weeks ago, I am proving GhostBSD for desktop in virtualbox, a cute and lightweight system that flies, and remains stable the system GhostBSD 10.1 beta2 MATE, actually left me surprised, nothing comparable with the PCBSD is very heavy.
I'm a fan of MATE. It's the only sane desktop from the Linux crowd IMO; simple and lightweight at that too. I like Solaris' implementation of GNOME 2 also. I'd rather FreeBSD follow MATE or Cinnamon. It's only a matter of time before systemd swallows GNOME 3.
 

ANOKNUSA

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 367
Messages: 675

#63
Well, that's an i3 or their documentation issue, not a FreeBSD issue.
i3 man page said:
FILES
~/.i3/config (or ~/.config/i3/config)
When starting, i3 looks for configuration files in the following order:

1. ~/.config/i3/config (or $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/i3/config if set)
2. /etc/xdg/i3/config (or $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/i3/config if set)
3. ~/.i3/config
4. /etc/i3/config

You can specify a custom path using the -c option.
i3 is quite possibly the best-documented window manager out there.
 

Patrick Bär

Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 52

#64
Maybe yes, but the FreeBSD binary package i3 starts up with an empty i3 file, asking "I could not find a config-file, shall I create one?" and in there are two lines: $mod+Enter and $mod+d. Nothing else. All the default keybindings are kept in /usr/local/etc/i3/config. So how does a first time user find out, the newly created file is actually useless and he has to copy the files from /usr/local/etc/i3/config?
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 821
Messages: 2,626

#65
Many programs come with a default config that must be copied over. It's a core of FreeBSD in etc/defaults and I'm betting there is the same in other Unixes and Linux. Without looking, I'm betting i3 talks about this in their docs. mail/sendmail does it. x11/xorg does it.
 

Monti

Member

Thanks: 7
Messages: 50

#66
... What people mean by "good desktop OS," in the end, is "Can any moron used to Windows learn how to use it in two minutes?" The answer will always be "No," and so the answer to whether Linux and *BSD are good desktop OSes will always be "No."

.... --*nix will always and forever be a "bad desktop OS." For everyone else--the people willing to learn and try new things, who are aware of their own ignorance and willing to do something about it--*nix is whatever the hell you want to make it. The debate over what is or is not a "good desktop OS" is insoluble and idiotic. Let it die, already......
:D Love it! It's always refreshing when someone goes to the heart of the matter and calls it for what it is. No offense anyone, goes for me too. Thanks for setting things straight ANOKNUSA, goes for everything you wrote. Keeps the mind healthy. :D Kind of reminds me of the feeling one gets after being deluded by reading Political Law and then being healed again after being reminded of Natural Law.
 

ANOKNUSA

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 367
Messages: 675

#67
So how does a first time user find out, the newly created file is actually useless and he has to copy the files from /usr/local/etc/i3/config?
If the newly created file was actually empty, that might be a bug worth reporting upstream.

As for how a new user is supposed to know something, the answer is that they're not. Not without first learning, and the only way to do that is to read the documentation and play around.

EDIT: I just moved my own i3 config file to ~/.config/i3/config_bak, restarted, and went through the configuration wizard. It generated a perfectly good default config file at ~/.i3/config.
 

Patrick Bär

Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 52

#68
I had to discard the idea of using FreeBSD and installed Debian on that machine, it created a perfect config file, just like you said. But on FreeBSD, it creates a config with nothing but mod+d and mod+enter
 

RichardET

Member


Messages: 31

#70
I think which system is best for your desktop largely depends on how you use your desktop. If somebody has to run loads of Windows applications, it may be pointless to install anything but Windows. If it's just a few apps, VirtualBox exists and runs any Windows stuff beautifully.
Same for Linux. Not sure which applications might be running exclusively on Linux, but if you have them, use Linux (or again, VirtualBox if only occasional).
If heavy dependencies on particular OS's don't exist, FreeBSD is a rather very good choice for a desktop. Sure, some hardware limitations may exist, but for the majority of relatively recent hardware, you should be fine.

What you can hold against FreeBSD (in comparison to Debian/Ubuntu) is that making your desktop work initially takes a lot more effort and tuning. But once that's done, you don't need to worry about it any more. It just runs -- rather beautifully and extremely stable. Also, you've learned a lot along the way about what's actually going on, which Linux increasingly successfully hides from you. (It's becoming more and more of a Windows-y experience, IHHO)

There's a lot of features like ZFS, jails, OSS (as opposed to the rubbish broken PulseAudio), ports, relatively sane upgrade paths (and if you break something, use zfs rollback and try again), and many more, which I personally think are stronger than what Linux can offer, and they justify that additional effort.

Also, you can customise FreeBSD a lot easier than any Linux (Gentoo possibly being an exception). Of course you can compile stuff manually with Debian (or any other Linux), but chances are you won't, because it requires a lot more work to keep up to date without breaking things afterwards, as all of them assume that you are using the provided binary packages. FreeBSD ports handle that a lot better.

Typing this on FreeBSD 10-STABLE (XFCE desktop). I have had exactly zero system or window manager crashes on this desktop, no f***-ups with audio or anything awkward going on. It was worth the effort for me personally.
I use Ubuntu on a four year old Lenovo laptop, mainly because I use VMware with it. It's all set up, not really interested in trying to convert the VMs to VirtualBox right now. But on my nine year old desktop, I am running FreeBSD 10.1. It is a great system and more stable than Ubuntu is on the laptop.
I am also very disappointed that Debian went with systemd. Is it now just a tool of Red hat?
 

sysconfig

Member

Thanks: 11
Messages: 21

#71
I am also very disappointed that Debian went with systemd. Is it now just a tool of Red hat?
I think it was conceived by Lennart Poettering, who is also behind Avahi and PulseAudio (the latter another heap of [self-censored]). He happens to be employed by Red Hat, so no surprise that they are pushing it with RHEL 7 (and for a long time already with Fedora).

I'm not sure why the majority of Linux distros (or at least all major ones) adopt systemd, oddly including the distros that focus on servers. But that goes off topic, and I'm not sure I even want to know ;)
 
Thanks: OJ

TiberiusDuval

Member

Thanks: 6
Messages: 71

#72
One excellent answer was "Updates are horrible with PC-BSD and package-manager do not work together properly" That's a very good reason to stay away from PC-BSD. If I have the choice among spending three days to install a FreeBSD with a lot of compiling and searching and stuff, and spending two hours installing PC-BSD every two months, because an update breaks my whole configuration, I know what to pick ;)
Since PC-BSD changed its update model to use ZFS snapshot features and boot-environments I haven't ever got to situation where I need to reinstall system. Before that, yes update system was horrific and had good chance of messing up your system. Nowadays it is mostly small annoying problems, like making it to keep older Nvidia drivers instead of newer blob, as it does not support my old GTX260. Even if new update messes up system, I only need to choose previous version from grub menu, to get to pre-update working system.

I have been mostly satisfied with PC-BSD. It mostly does what it promises, gives pre-configured FreeBSD desktop to users, with various usefull tools.
 

Patrick Bär

Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 52

#73
Hm, sad to bring this one up again.

I just plugged a two year old external hard disk in a FreeBSD 10 box, and another error, couldn't identify it. Google brought up a lot of those incidents, but no solution.

Sorry Berkeley, but 10 years ago the USB stack of FreeBSD was a mess, 10 years! USB is de facto Standard in connecting peripherical devices and it's still bringing up errors? Technical knock-out for FreeBSD...
 

kpa

Beastie's Twin

Thanks: 1,682
Messages: 6,084

#74
The solution is in usb_quirk(4) but the problem cases won't be identified and added to the kernel permanently until someone comes across them and REPORTS them in PR:

https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/enter_bug.cgi

This just underlines the effect of having a very small userbase compared to Linux. Linux has gone trough the same iterative process of encountering new hardware that doesn't work for whatever arcane reason and finally someone with enough knowledge has figured out how to fix the problem and the fix is included in the Linux kernel. With a much much larger userbase the problem cases get reported much more often and there's a higher chance that the problems get fixed quicker.

I have used Linux long enough to really know what it was like some ten to fifteen years ago, the support for many common pieces of hardware (not to mention the more exotic ones) was underwhelming to put it mildly. It's really only recently that Linux has picked up the pace with its hardware support.
 

Beastie7

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 103
Messages: 311

#75
Hm, sad to bring this one up again.

I just plugged a two year old external hard disk in a FreeBSD 10 box, and another error, couldn't identify it. Google brought up a lot of those incidents, but no solution.

Sorry Berkeley, but 10 years ago the USB stack of FreeBSD was a mess, 10 years! USB is de facto Standard in connecting peripherical devices and it's still bringing up errors? Technical knock-out for FreeBSD...
Submit a PR please...
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top