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Tell me I'm blind / clueless but...

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Darkmoon_UK

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Messages: 2

#1
As an interested newcomer to FreeBSD, I came to the site wanting to know if it gives me a desktop environment out the box.

Reading the front page, 'about' pages and 'feature' pages leave me none the wiser.

If FreeBSD does provide a desktop replacement, then the current page sure does a terrible job of advertisting it. So what's the deal, UI out the box, or you need to set up your own?

Thanks,
Chris
 

Oxyd

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#4
Voltar said:
The default user interface is the console, however you can opt for installing Gnome or KDE during the install.
I suppose it's worth mentioning that even if you choose to install a DE during sysinstall, it still won't be launched automatically when you boot into your new system. You'll have to set it up manually -- which is covered in the Handbook and the links you mentioned.
 

GPF

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#5
I do believe that you'll be more interested in PC-BSD, it's a fork from the FreeBSD project with casual users in mind and yes it provides a UI out of the box. Check it out

http://www.pcbsd.org/
 

oliverh

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#6
Darkmoon_UK said:
As an interested newcomer to FreeBSD, I came to the site wanting to know if it gives me a desktop environment out the box.

Reading the front page, 'about' pages and 'feature' pages leave me none the wiser.

If FreeBSD does provide a desktop replacement, then the current page sure does a terrible job of advertisting it. So what's the deal, UI out the box, or you need to set up your own?

Thanks,
Chris

FreeBSD is no desktop replacement, it _can_ be your server, desktop etc. pp., if it fits your daily routine. So it's up to you.
 

SirDice

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#7
Darkmoon_UK said:
Reading the front page, 'about' pages and 'feature' pages leave me none the wiser.
I know it's not the way "techies" work but perhaps the handbook is a more obvious choice ;)
 

FRANCOIS

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#8
Darkmoon_UK said:
As an interested newcomer to FreeBSD, I came to the site wanting to know if it gives me a desktop environment out the box.

Reading the front page, 'about' pages and 'feature' pages leave me none the wiser.

If FreeBSD does provide a desktop replacement, then the current page sure does a terrible job of advertisting it. So what's the deal, UI out the box, or you need to set up your own?

Thanks,
Chris
After installing FreeBSD you can type in a console :
Code:
#startx
you will end up with a "minimal" GUI.
I do that sometimes when I get bored:e
 

SirDice

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#9
FRANCOIS said:
After installing FreeBSD you can type in a console :
Code:
#startx
you will end up with a "minimal" GUI.
This only works if you actually have X installed. It isn't by default.
 

FRANCOIS

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#10
SirDice said:
This only works if you actually have X installed. It isn't by default.
You're absolutely right, since I install X every time I install FreeBSD that's why I made that wrong assertion that everybody does, my bad!:e
 

dennylin93

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#11
Try out PC-BSD if you want everything set up automatically (KDE, apps, etc). FreeBSD gives users a lot of room for tinkering and playing around which isn't what all users want.
 

OJ

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#13
I am also new to FreeBSD and had some of the same questions, though maybe for a different reason. I come from Linux and DOS both of which I use daily, but still, what I found in FreeBSD surprised me. The reason is that it is not like what is generally being promoted these days - including in the Linux world. People have said it all in the above posts - about the configurability and freedom etc. Perhaps the FreeBSD home page could be clearer about the distinction between the actual OS and the ports.

When I booted FreeBSD for the first time the other day, I was most pleased. Yes, I am already comfortable with a CLI, but the thing that struck me was that it was so functional right out of the box. Some things that didn't work, simply needed to be "turned on" in a configuration file. The information for doing that has (so far) been readily available and not difficult for and amateur like me. If I want to use that machine as a workstation, then I have the option of installing a wide range of interfaces for doing the mousie thing. The idea of starting off with a solid base and adding your UI of choice is very cool to me. This can be done in Linux as well, but the approach here is much more flexible.

I did find out rather quickly that I wouldn't get far without looking stuff up in the FreeBSD Handbook which is available on line. The clarity of that manual reminds me of the old days of DOS when they actually provided documentation for the user. I have also noticed that this forum is very responsive. Boy, that's a lot for a freebie isn't it?
 

Beastie

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#15
Two comments.

OJ said:
Perhaps the FreeBSD home page could be clearer about the distinction between the actual OS and the ports.
Most operating systems are like that. GNU/Linux is the exception here, so why should the FreeBSD developers explain themselves?

OJ said:
Some things that didn't work, simply needed to be "turned on" in a configuration file.
And I think that's another plus... for all users. Even noobs benefit from it since it teaches them the basic mechanisms of Unix and FreeBSD systems, and above all teaches them to RTFM. Besides it means the system won't be running useless things out of the box, and using resources and exposing the system purposelessly.
 

paean

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#16
Beastie said:
Most operating systems are like that. GNU/Linux is the exception here, so why should the FreeBSD developers explain themselves?
How about for clarity? Everything you learn is based on something else. Providing concise foundational information minimizes wrong assumptions at later stages of learning.
 

DutchDaemon

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#17
On the other hand: is FreeBSD responsible for people arriving with wrong assumptions due to exclusive exposure to the exception (the 'everything is an add-on' monoculture that does not get that on FreeBSD desktops are an add-on --- paradox)?
 

OJ

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#18
FreeBSD is certainly not responsible for people's misconceptions in this regard. However this is one of the most widespread and common misconceptions regarding a lot of operating systems. I find it an uphill climb to educate people about DOS also. DOS consists of only 3 small files and that's it. No more. The rest is an add on, but very many people are confused by the fact that the distributor added a whole pile of stuff which the user may, or may not, find useful. Built up and preconfigured is the norm in the world of OS distribution. Because of that, it would be helpful and appropriate to be clear that this is not the case here. It is, after all, a feature. In short, it would help some people figure out how it works and save them some time and effort. :)
 

Beastie

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#19
Let's see, hmm... Documentation... Handbook... Introduction? Nah, who reads that... Installing FreeBSD? NEXT!!!... UNIX Basics? I know Lunix, duh!... Installing Applications: Packages and Ports? Bingo!
&quot said:
FreeBSD is bundled with a rich collection of system tools as part of the base system. However, there is only so much one can do before needing to install an additional third-party application to get real work done. FreeBSD provides two complementary technologies for installing ...
*YAWN,... goes back to play Facebook Life Sim*


If people can't read, I guess the FreeBSD Project can't do what parents/schools failed to do.


I may be blind, but I haven't seen Microsoft or Apple justifying their design principles on their websites. Microsoft and Apple are what? 95% of the desktop market?

As for the server market, people usually learn from experienced sysadmins or, just like these sysadmins did, from R-ing-TFM.
 

paean

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#20
DutchDaemon said:
On the other hand: is FreeBSD responsible for people arriving with wrong assumptions due to exclusive exposure to the exception (the 'everything is an add-on' monoculture that does not get that on FreeBSD desktops are an add-on --- paradox)?
Good point, but to say what FreeBSD is and isn't responsible for deserves a thread of its own and deviates from the concerns of the OP, so let's not go there.

I'm unconvinced this has anything to do with monoculture. If someone's entrance to the computing world is FreeBSD then they still have to start somewhere. If the FreeBSD community has no interest in providing a preface to the handbook (which the "About" page sounds like) which explains the building blocks of what FreeBSD is, so be it. IMO we can do better than that.


Beastie said:
I may be blind, but I haven't seen Microsoft or Apple justifying their design principles on their websites. Microsoft and Apple are what? 95% of the desktop market?
You're suggesting that what MS and Apple does should dictate what FreeBSD does. I hope the FreeBSD community at large does not share this opinion.

You recommend reading the manual, which misses the point of the original post. The OP is suggesting that the About and Features webpages do not adequately convey what FreeBSD is to a new user.

For example it would be more useful to state

killasmurf86 said:
FreeBSD = FreeBSD kernel + FreeBSD base systerm


everything else is in ports
http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/x11.html
than it is to say

Run a huge number of applications

With over 20,000 ported libraries and applications, FreeBSD supports applications for desktop, server, appliance, and embedded environments
without explaining what FreeBSD is. To say

It is derived from BSD, the version of UNIX® developed at the University of California, Berkeley.
is only useful if you're already familiar with BSD.
 

oliverh

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#21
>If the FreeBSD community has no interest in providing a preface to the handbook (which the "About" page sounds like) which explains the building blocks of what FreeBSD is, so be it. IMO we can do better than that.

This is rather easy, write something and file a pr for the handbook. There is enough background information:

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/articles/explaining-bsd/
http://people.freebsd.org/~nik/lists/advocacy/myths.html
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/opensource/library/os-freebsd/
http://oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/kirkmck.html
http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/bsd-guru/comparing-linux-to-bsd-7650
http://sites.inka.de/mips/unix/bsdlinux.html
http://www.cons.org/cracauer/freebsd.html
http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/bsd4linux1.php
 

Beastie

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#23
paean said:
You're suggesting that what MS and Apple does should dictate what FreeBSD does.
Don't manipulate or (mis)interpret what I said.
What I said is that, just like Microsoft and Apple, there is no reason for the FreeBSD Project to justify its design principles on the first page of its website. That.Is.All.


paean said:
You recommend reading the manual, which misses the point of the original post.
The OP's point: "wanting to know if it gives me a desktop environment out the box".

The handbook - The X Window System (it's not too difficult to spot it if you just browse the TOC):
5.7.1.2 Installing GNOME
The software can be easily installed from a package or the Ports Collection
[...]
5.7.2.2 Installing KDE
Just as with GNOME or any other desktop environment, the software can be easily installed from a package or the Ports Collection
[...]
5.7.4.2 Installing Xfce
A binary package for Xfce exists [...] To install, simply type [...] Alternatively, to build from source, use the ports collection
Oh, actually you don't even need to read the manual. Just follow About > Features > Applications:
FreeBSD also includes an extensive packages collection and ports collection that bring precompiled and easy-to-build software right to your desktop or enterprise server.
[...]
X Window workstation. [...] Both the KDE and GNOME desktop environments enjoy full support
But you know what, I do agree it may still not be clear enough for some people. The website maintainer should add a huge warning on the first page, right on top:
/!\ ATTENTION /!\

FreeBSD does NOT offer a bling bling interface by default.

All of you who want the bling bling interface out of the box go away.

Those of you who stayed and have the guts for what's coming can add the bling bling interface manually.
You may find the instructions by reading our fabulous manual. Go.
 

Beastie

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#25
No they want *FreeBSD* to be like that and they want it to have a point-and-click setup too (cf. the numerous threads we've already seen here), just for the heck of it. :OOO
 
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