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

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Messages: 1,014

When I installed FreeBSD the other day, I was pleasantly surprised that it did not boot into a GUI.
Original post: Reading the front page, 'about' pages and 'feature' pages leave me none the wiser.
The OP is right. It doesn't say anywhere near the front. I just scanned the first 8 pages and I couldn't find it. Finally on the 9th page:
2.7.1 Select the Distribution Set
Third paragraph.
If a graphical user interface is desired then a distribution set that is preceded by an X should be chosen. The configuration of the X server and selection of a default desktop must be done after the installation of FreeBSD.
OK. So it does say. :)

However, quite a few people these days try an OS casually just to have a look and see if it will be interesting to them. They won't necessarily read to page 9. Also, even if they did, when they got to the download at "Index of ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/relea ... MAGES/8.0/" it is important to note that none of the choices are preceded by an X. Those that got to page 9 first would be confused and those that didn't would not know that there was no GUI. All that could be cleared up in a sentence or two on the front page and could help make friends as well as save people's time. I know those things are not necessarily priorities, but it would be a nice touch.

dennylin93 said:
How about PC-BSD for those who want a GUI by default?
Those are the very people who are likely not going to read the installation instructions through to page 9 in order to find out. :)

PS: I'm happy with the way things are. Perhaps I too am blind/clueless but still thought I'd offer a newcomer's perspective.



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OJ said:
However, quite a few people these days try an OS casually just to have a look and see if it will be interesting to them. They won't necessarily read to page 9.
Very well then! FreeBSD is not for them. If they want sexy screenshots or something and don't find any here, they'll probably assume it's a "shell" operating system by default, and they'll be gone.

Even though it can be used in many way, FreeBSD is *primarily* NOT a desktop operating system, so it will *necessarily* require a lot of manual installation and configuration compared to, say, Windows or Ubuntu GNU/Linux. People who just want a better Windows 7 will not be able to install FreeBSD to begin with, will have too much trouble installing and configuring everything and they will quit. I've *seen* it on this forum and many others.

Those who are really interested in FreeBSD, for what it is and what it has to offer (not how good it looks on the screenshots page), will take the time to read the handbook, will learn how to install it, will learn the basics of UNIX systems, will learn how to work with it, how to config-tune it, how to install third-party applications and how to customize it to satisfy their needs - whether they use it as a desktop system or production server.


New Member

Messages: 2

Thanks for quick and comprehensive answers

As the OP: Thanks to everyone who made useful input, and helped me to find the answer that FreeBSD is a CLI based distro 'out-of-the-box', with support and minimal setup required for addition of a UI.

I asked the question because I think whether or not an OS Distribution is UI or CLI upon install is a fundamental usability question for anyone approaching an OS, techie or non-techie. For a start it dictates how much time I know I am going to need to put aside to explore the fundamentals.

I think its a fundamental enough question that a site about FreeBSD should give the answer on its first or second page... not buried somewhere as an effective footnote in the ninth. But hey, it's just my opinion, I'm a newcomer, you guys do what you want.

I'm running a Linux webserver from home running many services including web-cache and email. Having a spare machine to play with, I'm interested in seeing how I'd implement a similar setup in BSD and I look forward to having a go at it soon. I actually *don't* want a UI, I just thought the site really should say one way or the other.

Finally, a few specific replies:

Voltar: Thanks, the first and perfect answer.
killasmurf86: You said "FreeBSD = FreeBSD kernel + FreeBSD base system". Sorry but this does nothing to answer my question.
Oliverh: "Open source has its price: learning.". Congratulations for the most spiky and unwelcoming answer to a community ever. Please, tell me I've read you wrong, but it just looks like a sarcastic rebuff to 'go and pay the price of learning, BSD-unworthy fool'. I'm a self taught application developer so well aware of the benefits of learning, thanks.

Ok, got that out :) Will report back when I have BSD box on the go.
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