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TrueOS: anyone using it on a laptop?

lonestar

Member

Thanks: 21
Messages: 47

#1
I've been running FreeBSD on a Thinkpad laptop for over a year now. It works exactly as advertised. FreeBSD has never claimed to offer a desktop-focused experience, so I don't expect it to offer one and don't consider it a fault when it doesn't.

I just stumbled upon a release announcement for TrueOS, and it appears that team is actually trying to serve its nominal purpose now - by integrating more features for graphics and wireless driver improvements, rather than simply slapping a desktop environment over vanilla FreeBSD.

While it's tempting to try it again, I'm hoping to get some anecdotal feedback from others because my previous experiences (when it was still PC-BSD) have been terrible.

So, if anyone has installed this on a laptop in the last 6 months or so, please share your experiences.
 

Snurg

Aspiring Daemon

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#2
I have used PC-BSD for almost 1.5 years on my laptop until some time recently.
The most terrible problems I had with PC-BSD were caused by their "pc-updatemanager" that runs every night on PC-BSD.

I got:
-damaged grub blocks
-destroyed boot environments
-zfs filesystem filled up 100%, 0 byte left (a very bad situation on zfs because in this case you cannot use rm anymore, it fails due to insufficient space)

These kinds of damages are not trivial to fix, partially even need physical access to the computer to use an emergency boot medium.
Thus, if TrueOS still contains that "pc-updatemanager", I won't recommend anybody to use it for production.

Using PCBSD or TrueOS might save a few hours to install/configure because of its preconfiguration.
But in the end it has cost me much more time, due to the need to fix these things listed above.
 

lonestar

Member

Thanks: 21
Messages: 47

#3
I have used PC-BSD for almost 1.5 years on my laptop until some time recently.
The most terrible problems I had with PC-BSD were caused by their "pc-updatemanager" that runs every night on PC-BSD.
In fact I do recall the update process being a major problem when I tried to use it.

Using PCBSD or TrueOS might save a few hours to install/configure because of its preconfiguration.
I don't even care about the pre-configuration thing, it's barely even a benefit. The main benefit I see is their tracking of a branch with more frequent updates without having to build source each time.

But yeah, if they can't get the update process right, that defeats the whole purpose.
 

vermaden

Son of Beastie

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#4
I just stumbled upon a release announcement for TrueOS, and it appears that team is actually trying to serve its nominal purpose now - by integrating more features for graphics and wireless driver improvements, rather than simply slapping a desktop environment over vanilla FreeBSD.
TrueOS uses FreeBSD 12-CURRENT, does that makes You feel more 'stable'? :)

Besides that, it uses OpenRC instead of well tested FreeBSD rc, does that feel more 'stable'? :)

I have read MANY, MANY TIMES from the PC-BSD team, or from newer name - TrueOS team that now its the best desktop experience on BSD systems, and everytime I try their 'experience' I fell cheated.

Because everytime I boot/install that PC-BSD/TrueOS and compare it to Linux Mint or other desktop Linux distro, PC-BSD/TrueOS fells amateur/unfinished/bugged at least, because everytime you get back to Linux Mint, it really is a desktop distro, while PC-BSD/TrueOS aspires to be one, while it isnt.

Any big anouncement will not change that.

Its also big FreeBSD problem, because if bugs like these - https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=199872 - unsolved for YEARS, the desktop BSD system is not possible, this exact bug crashes EVERY FILE MANAGER upon directory deletion when You first entered that directory, nautilus/caja/thunar/pcmanfm/... You name it ...

There is also GhostBSD which at least looks nice (MATE), because Lumina is just plain fscking ugly as hell.

If You want to have 'desktop BSD', then DOING IT YOURSELF is the best way to go, unfortunately.
 

lonestar

Member

Thanks: 21
Messages: 47

#5
I have read MANY, MANY TIMES from the PC-BSD team, or from newer name - TrueOS team that now its the best desktop experience on BSD systems, and everytime I try their 'experience' I fell cheated.
That's been my experience, and that's what I suspected.

If You want to have 'desktop BSD', then DOING IT YOURSELF is the best way to go, unfortunately.
That's what I've done, it's not hard to install x and a desktop/window manager. And my hardware works. I thought maybe there could be some improvements from newer commits, understanding there would be some level of stability sacrifice. I don't run any mission critical stuff on this laptop. But at the same time, I don't want the stability to be at nightmare levels.
 

Snurg

Aspiring Daemon

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#6
vermaden
I agree. Nobody on the world needs"Me too" projects like buggy pc-updatemanager or ugly Lumina more urgently than athlete's foot.

"True" OS is just marketing.

This is sad because the Moore brothers are competent to do actual useful work and give back something to the FreeBSD community.
For example concentrating on developing an easy-to-use systemadministration GUI framework.
And fixing the desktop-related glibby things.

Instead of giving people bad impression about FreeBSD by presenting (potentially) instable versions as "the true OS". :eek:
 

Sensucht94

Active Member

Thanks: 144
Messages: 182

#7
For anyone interested, the new DesktopBSD release, announced in 2016, is available as Alpha on sourceforge, under the name of DesktopBSD Next. Tried the i3wm-version ISO a while ago on QEMU and it looked promising :)
 

Snurg

Aspiring Daemon

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Messages: 705

#8
I thought maybe there could be some improvements from newer commits, understanding there would be some level of stability sacrifice. I don't run any mission critical stuff on this laptop. But at the same time, I don't want the stability to be at nightmare levels.
This sounds as if you might like to change pkg from "quarterly" to "latest" repos:

...in /etc/pkg/FreeBSD.conf:
Code:
url: "pkg+http://pkg.FreeBSD.org/${ABI}/latest"
(This is not from me. Source is here, credit goes to aragats.)
 

Trihexagonal

Aspiring Daemon

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#9
Instead of giving people bad impression about FreeBSD by presenting (potentially) instable versions as "the true OS".
Brother, you don't know the half of it.

I helped beta test PC-BSD and was doing so when they implemented what I remember to be security/fwbuilder as a front-end to the pf firewall. (Edit: Firewall Manager GUI in PC-BSD 9.0) It was a failure easily shown by substituting my pf.conf file for theirs and running security/nmap on both. This was when they were touting it as a server, no less.

The apparent lack of concern or response to the issue, and what seemed to me as a move toward making PC-BSD the Windows of the BSD world, was what caused me to move to vanilla FreeBSD and I have never regretted it.

All that is old news, and Dru Lavigne and the Moore brothers are fine people IMO, but from what I continue to read the same problems with PC-BSD/TrueOS still exist to a degree. The introduction of automatic updates doesn't do much for me either.
 

Oko

Daemon

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#10
TrueOS uses FreeBSD 12-CURRENT, does that makes You feel more 'stable'? :)

Besides that, it uses OpenRC instead of well tested FreeBSD rc, does that feel more 'stable'? :)

I have read MANY, MANY TIMES from the PC-BSD team, or from newer name - TrueOS team that now its the best desktop experience on BSD systems, and everytime I try their 'experience' I fell cheated.

Because everytime I boot/install that PC-BSD/TrueOS and compare it to Linux Mint or other desktop Linux distro, PC-BSD/TrueOS fells amateur/unfinished/bugged at least, because everytime you get back to Linux Mint, it really is a desktop distro, while PC-BSD/TrueOS aspires to be one, while it isnt.

Any big anouncement will not change that.

Its also big FreeBSD problem, because if bugs like these - https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=199872 - unsolved for YEARS, the desktop BSD system is not possible, this exact bug crashes EVERY FILE MANAGER upon directory deletion when You first entered that directory, nautilus/caja/thunar/pcmanfm/... You name it ...

There is also GhostBSD which at least looks nice (MATE), because Lumina is just plain fscking ugly as hell.

If You want to have 'desktop BSD', then DOING IT YOURSELF is the best way to go, unfortunately.
Just to add to this wonderful write up by Vermaden. The first time I played with PC-BSD version 1.3 was in March of 2007. I have a very low registration number on their now locked forum. Although I have never used much as a desktop system I deployed half dozen TrueOS 10.0 (server version of PC-BSD) in the January of 2014 (replaced with vanilla FreeBSD 11.0 in Summer of 2017). At that time I just like Michael Lucas who wrote a blog post (PC-BSD better FreeBSD than FreeBSD) I came to believe that PC-BSD (TrueOS was a server version) is better production system than FreeBSD. Some of the things I pointed out as better were:

  1. Installer (Z mirror for the root)
  2. pc-sysinstall script and customizable configuration files are superior for automatic or customized installation to vanilla FreeBSD installer.
  3. boot environments/snapshots (beadm)
  4. update/upgrade manager
  5. out of box integration of boot loader with beadm
  6. Life Preserver (management tool for ZFS snapshots and replication)
  7. the Warden (Jail management) now replaced with iocage
  8. sane[r] defaults
  9. LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL
  10. Better tested quarterly released stable packages
Concurrently with TrueOS I also deployed two 9.2.1.9 FreeNAS file servers which are still in production almost 4 years latter.

From a believer I came to resent anything related to IXSystem and flat out hater of everything related to these guys. I even turn down 6 digit job offer in spring of 2017 when I learned that I was suppose to babysit bunch of FreeNAS servers.

Where to start. Maybe from the moment IXSystem decided to drop support for 10.xxx PC-BSD in the form of regular quarterly package update releases and instead of releasing PC-BSD 11.00 with a smooth upgrading path from 10.xxx to 11.xxx they decided to create TrueOS desktop based of unstable moving target 12.xxx branch of FreeBSD. There are some indication prior to it that IXSystems might do such thing to unpaid "customers".

Their Jail management system Warden was replaced without migration to path with the original iocage. Even prior to it Warden was very buggy but instead of fixing it the main developer put lot of time into developing Lumina Desktop (Fluxbox in disguise). Then just when iocage reach sweet spot in the term of the usability they hired off original developer made him kill the project and rewrite iocage in Python for IXSystems internal needs. Needles to say iocage-py is the worst possible choice of half dozen or so ZFS+Jail management tools available.

Similar story with Life Preserver (between both Warden and Life Preserver were available on vanilla FreeBSD via PC-BSD-utils port). I shortly replaced Life Preserver with zfsnap and then with zfsnap2.

LDAP authentication and authorization on PC-BSD was non-functional due to infamous customization and hidden PC-BSD configuration options.

FreeNAS 9.2.1.9 did not fare much better. FreeNAS Corral release fiasco is the greatest embarrassment in BSDs history second to none. They BS about dockers and "Linux Jails" is the testament to incompetence.

Ever since PC-BSD came to umbrella of IXSystems it was treated as a test bed technology preview for TrueNAS. I was OK with it as CentOS in now playing similar role to Red Hat (Fedora is flat out unstable test bed equivalent to current TrueOS).


Vermaden mentioned OpenRC. I am using OpenRC on the Alpine Linux (Xen Dom0) so that fact in its own right would not disqualify TrueOS and the system is production stable (probably not as stable as FreeBSD rc system).

Long story short people unless you have money to pay for TrueNAS storage appliance (they are 20-30% more expensive than vanilla SuperMicro servers which I use) don't bother with it. Speaking of desktop my attitude is that running FreeBSD desktop is the best way to learn this OS and must for a system admin who is running bunch of FreeBSD based servers. If you goal is just to have quick working system the best way to run UNIX is to purchase it from Apple pre-installed with OS X. Sorry plain and simple OS X is the UNIX for wide masses.


Just in the case people think I completely lost the sense of reality. I do realize that IXSystems is a profit seeking entity and are under no obligation to release anything back to FreeBSD community. I have a great personal admiration for Dru Lavigne who has turn a very difficult life situation 180 degrees around a made a great carrier out of her ability to learn things quickly on her own. She is second only to Michal Lucas and perhaps Dan Langille in the terms of useful FreeBSD documents created. I am not a big fan of Moore brothers although they were very cordial in all personal interactions.
 
Last edited:

lonestar

Member

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#12
Speaking of desktop my attitude is that running FreeBSD desktop is the best way to learn this OS and must for a system admin who is running bunch of FreeBSD based servers. If you goal is just to have quick working system the best way to run UNIX is to purchase it from Apple pre-installed with OS X. Sorry plain and simple OS X is the UNIX for wide masses.
I use both, and I agree.

We use OS X at work and I own a MacBook Pro. Knowing my way around a BSD system enough to solve problems and set up a desktop is a point of interest for me, and it has helped quite a bit at work too. In itself, developing node.js apps doesn't require a lot of UNIX knowledge, but in some ancillary areas it certainly helps.
 

vermaden

Son of Beastie

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#13
Oko said:
Even prior to it Warden was very buggy but instead of fixing it the main developer put lot of time into developing Lumina Desktop (Fluxbox in disguise).
Like TrueOS/PC-BSD is 'bad' marketing for FreeBSD, this Lumina 'look' is bad advertisement for Fluxbox. Fluxbox can be configured to look VERY NICE while Limina developers choose otherwise, just check some of these: https://www.box-look.org/browse/cat/139/ord/top/

Oko said:
Vermaden mentioned OpenRC. I am using OpenRC on the Alpine Linux (Xen Dom0) so that fact in its own right would not disqualify TrueOS and the system is production stable (probably not as stable as FreeBSD rc system).
I was 'thinking fast and writing fast' so this sencence about OpenRC was more a mental shortcut then clear thought. I have nothing against OpenRC (and I like concepts and idea behind Alpine Linux), I would choose OpenRC ANYTIME before systemd. What I was thinking was that integrating OpenRC with FreeBSD services and boot process would take time to be mature and bulletproof, all the Ports software come with rc scripts, these also need to be translated into OpenRC scripts and tested, this it would take time (several TrueOS releases) to make this stable solution.

Oko said:
Long story short people unless you have money to pay for TrueNAS storage appliance (they are 20-30% more expensive than vanilla SuperMicro servers which I use) don't bother with it.
What is more interesting, that iXsystems use SuperMicro servers for their appliances :)

Oko said:
If you goal is just to have quick working system the best way to run UNIX is to purchase it from Apple pre-installed with OS X. Sorry plain and simple OS X is the UNIX for wide masses.
I would add to that, that If You just want to get rid of Windows on Your laptop, then use Elementary OS < https://elementary.io > (Mac OS X clone) or Linux Mint < https://linuxmint.com > with MATE or XFCE ... or make Your hands dirty and create and MAINTAIN your FreeBSD desktop distribution.

In the process of creating 'my own FreeBSD desktop' that I use in my laptops/desktops I created scripts/automations for:
- automounting removable devices: https://freshports.org/sysutils/automount/
- base WM, taskbars and monitors: tint2/conky/openbox
- CPU scaling scripts (low / medium / high): <just #!/bin/sh scripts>
- network connectivity: https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/62013/
- monitor battery state: zenity with popup reminder
- universal laucher for X11 applications depending on extension: <just #!/bin/sh script names see.sh>
- keyboard/mouse bindings: xbindkeys + openbox shortcuts
- windows management: <various #!/bin/sh scripts like aero-snap.sh or tile.sh that manage windows with Openbox>
- wallpaper management: <random wallpaper with #!/bin/sh script with Openbox menu shortcuts for edit/reload/delete>
- set of apps that work and behave: firefox/iridium/midori/caja/thunar/galculator/gimp/transmission/deadbeef/thundermail/pidgin/leafpad/viewnior/skippy-xd/xflux/libreoffice/gnumeric/audacity/...

I lie myself that one day I will find time to release all of this as a USB drive FreeBSD/HardenedBSD/OpenBSD desktop distribution, or LiveCD, but lack of times keeps that lie away :>

EDIT:
By the way, here is how my current boot looks like, little silenced, not as silent as Illumos/Solaris, but a lot more silent then the default one:
FreeBSD.Clean.Boot.jpg


It can be achieved by these options/mods:

% grep mute /boot/loader.conf
boot_mute=YES

% grep -n -E '(1|2)> /dev/null' /etc/rc.d/* | grep -E 'routing|netif|ldconfig'
/etc/rc.d/ldconfig:40: check_startmsgs && echo 'ELF ldconfig path:' ${_LDC} 1> /dev/null
/etc/rc.d/ldconfig:60: echo '32-bit compatibility ldconfig path:' ${_LDC} 1> /dev/null
/etc/rc.d/netif:260: /sbin/ifconfig ${ifn} 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null
/etc/rc.d/routing:70: eval static_${_a} delete $_if 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null
/etc/rc.d/routing:97: static_$2 add $3 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null
/etc/rc.d/routing:104: static_$2 add $3 add $3 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null

% cat -n /etc/rc.d/random | grep -A 8 'random_start()'
45 random_start()
46 {
47
48 # if [ ${harvest_mask} -gt 0 ]; then
49 # echo -n 'Setting up harvesting: '
50 # ${SYSCTL} kern.random.harvest.mask=${harvest_mask} > /dev/null
51 # ${SYSCTL_N} kern.random.harvest.mask_symbolic
52 # fi
53
 

Sensucht94

Active Member

Thanks: 144
Messages: 182

#14
Like TrueOS/PC-BSD is 'bad' marketing for FreeBSD, this Lumina 'look' is bad advertisement for Fluxbox. Fluxbox can be configured to look VERY NICE while Limina developers choose otherwise, just check some of these: https://www.box-look.org/browse/cat/139/ord/top/
I would add to that, that If You just want to get rid of Windows on Your laptop, then use Elementary OS < https://elementary.io > (Mac OS X clone) or Linux Mint < https://linuxmint.com > with MATE or XFCE ... or make Your hands dirty and create and MAINTAIN your FreeBSD desktop distribution
Now Juno Computers even sells laptops with ElementaryOS pre-installed, I won't submit a link here as it would be against rules, but their price is more coherent to Hardware than Macbooks', and personally I would recommend one of those to a friend, as one's granted hardware is 100% Linux-supported

I deceived myself believing Chromebooks had the potential to become another great alternative to Macbooks, but after having seen one of them I couldn't have been more disappointed: repository is just to tiny, there's no offline office suite available, and you can't even open a terminal, or view files outside $HOME unless you switched to developer mode, hence loosing Chrome warranty. I can understand they want to prevent people from breaking system, and subsequently call on warranty policy to ask for maintenance, but permissions are way more restrictive in ChromeOS than even in Windows.

Anyway, yes, Mint and Elementary have almost all the features to replace a Macbook, and provided hardware were supported, it would be hard to tell difference. However, it's unimaginable to figure a Linux user never opening a terminal, despite all the GUI facilities Ubuntu and derivatives come with, and that's were Linux desktop falls down for most end-users. I lost the count of all the engineering, computer science, physics, math, communication science students I know, who were told to install Xubuntu in order to run some sort of software, and got rid of GNU/Linux no sooner had they had to open a terminal for the second time.

Obviously there are people who install free Unix-like systems just for fun and passion, but still I have to encounter any in real life.

I'm of the opinion that for those people Mint or Elementary might even feel too bloated after a while. Despite being a Slackware user (and recently a Void user) I'd say that, from an objective point of vie, RPM-based distros are a better choice in general, while Gentoo (and here comes OpenRC again) for me scores as best desktop free OS for the medium/experienced user. If Void were to become more of as serious thing in future it might be able to catch up with Gentoo

Anyway, to each their own, in the end it's always a matter of taste: my laptops and my rpi3 all run a *BSD as only OS, while my desktop runs Void too for Steam-gaming purposes, and I'm fine with that, otherwise I wouldn't be here
 

scottro

Daemon

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#15
If my memory is correct, it seems to me that the success of Ubuntu was one reason that Linux became quite popular. Many companys will have their one or two special applications that require Windows or Mac. Look at your doctor or lawyer's machine, for example. I also like Void, but as a smaller, niche distribution, programs are rather old (for example, fcitx) and unless somene has the time or you have the talent, it'snot that easy to get it upgraded.

I'd like to see somene do a FreeBSD with great hardware recognition. While we can complain about it getting too popular, at present, I can buy a laptop and be reasonably sure that Linux will support it in a couple of months, at most. FreeBSD and OpenBSD still don't properly support a 4 year old laptop I have, neither able to fully utilize its iwm card's 802.11ac. FreeBSD requires CURRENT to get its video (Haswell ULT 4000) working properly, and OpenBSD also has a few issues with its video. Both can be made to work, and I use them for challenge, fun, and to further familiarize myself with both systems. I strongly agree with Oko's earlier statement that it's good to run one of these on your desktop if you are a sysadmin for it.
However, on that same laptop, I also have a couple of Linux installs which required almost no work (and if I liked the full fledged desktop environments, I think it would have all worked out of the box).

TL;DR
I think that if someone did succeed in creating an easy to use FreeBSD desktop,it would probably be quite good for FreeBSD in general, and perhaps make it easier for all of us to have a BSD on our laptops.
 

lonestar

Member

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Messages: 47

#16
I've been lucky with the hardware I have, it's a Thinkpad T530 I bought around 2013. Intel HD4000 graphics, I did replace the wireless with an Intel Taylor Peak or something like that b/c the other one worked but sucked BAD on everything except the stock Windows install.

I'm hesitant to support an "out of the box" experience. In theory it's nice, because it would save me some time on a task that I was going to perform anyway; I'm already motivated enough to overcome the existing hurdles. But lowering the hurdles leads to a less motivated community, with less appreciation of UNIX philosophies. Then morons and snowflakes will get involved, which leads to the next point.

This could be my own attribution bias, but I would guess many BSD users in their 30's and 40's started exploring open source software with Linux, which became something so completely different that they ended up in the BSD realm. It could be seen as a purity spiral, but my response to that is, "so what?"

For those who want more focus on optimized UNIX desktops, PC-BSD's stated goal is good. However, their implementation is so poorly executed that it becomes harmful to the stated goal and target audience.
 

Snurg

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 252
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#17
I think that if someone did succeed in creating an easy to use FreeBSD desktop,it would probably be quite good for FreeBSD in general, and perhaps make it easier for all of us to have a BSD on our laptops.
Yes. But, what is an "easy to use FreeBSD desktop"?
This must be defined.

Let me illustrate the problem with a "desktop" analogy: the Android smartphones.
You probably know that there are two different philosophies: pure and proprietary.
Pure here means the original Android "desktop", without deviating modifications. Like Google Nexus smartphones, former Cyanogenmod, and the like.
And then the proprietary smartphone "desktops", like Samsung, LG and many other manufacturers. These all are heavily customized and often bear little resemblance with the original.

Then look at the Linux distros.
It's the same like with the Android smartphones. There are few distros that come with the "pure", uncustomized KDE,Gnome,and all those WMs and desktops.
Most distros come like the smartphones with the proprietary "desktops".
And then keep in mind that most DE users tend to customize their desktop anyway, no matter whether "pure" original or "proprietarily" precustomized.

Now imagine this:
If there is a postinstaller, usable via graphical, text and shell command line interfaces/frontends.
This postinstaller offers you about 100 of the most popular applications.
You can choose from these "basic" desktop applications, browsers, office stuff, etc. what to install and configure.

Scripts then take care in the background that these applications are correctly installed, inclusive the things that usually are left to the user to be done manually, listed in the pkg postinstall notes.

Then users could have a very usable basic desktop system from scratch, without ever having to see the console prompt.

And they can use the DMs they like, and get them in the "pure", original variant ready to use and customize.
The FreeBSD specific GUI system configuration frontends would be DM/WM independent, and so be generally available.

Could such an approach help improve FreeBSD desktop usability and popularity?
Could such be a way to achieve much with very limited resources (to implement and maintain)?

What do you think?
 

beanpole

Member

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Messages: 20

#18
First off, I want to thank you all for your input about PC-BSD. As a developer on that project we saw many of the same fundamental problems with it, which is exactly why PC-BSD was discontinued and replaced by TrueOS.
TrueOS is not the same as PC-BSD, even if a few of our utilities share the same names. If you have not used TrueOS any time in the last 6-months or so, I highly recommend that you actually use it for a while before trying to explain/complain to others about the project.

Let me just give you a few bullet points about TrueOS and why you might want to use it instead of FreeBSD for a laptop:
  1. TrueOS supports nearly all modern laptops, whereas FreeBSD 11.1 only supports up to the Intel "Haswell" Generation. This might not be a problem for computer-savvy people who diligently examine all their laptop specs/chipsets ahead of time (if they remember to put in the hours ahead-of-time), but for those of us who want things to "just work" (even if you bought a random/basic latop from your local big-box store) this is a big deal. This covers not just the motherboards/CPU's, but newer/better wifi drivers as well.
  2. System Updates. Doing updates on FreeBSD (particularly between major versions like 10.x->11.x) is still a massive undertaking involving lots of man-hours, manual file merges, and extreme hazards around every corner. TrueOS has made the update process so safe and reliable that it can be done automatically without any user interaction. In fact, if anything does go wrong with a TrueOS update, it only takes a few seconds to reboot the system into your pristine system from right before the update (due to the magic of boot environments, which come standard on TrueOS but you have to manually setup on FreeBSD).
  3. OpenRC for service management. Do you like being able to see what services are running on your system? Do you want to setup particular services in failover mode so that they never go down for more than a second or two (such as those pesky nginx/apache + wordpress servers)? If so, then you want TrueOS with OpenRC.
  4. Do you like spending all your time chasing OpenSSL security vulnerabilities? We don't! That is why TrueOS uses LibreSSL for the base system and all packages (essentially - there are still a few oddballs that require OpenSSL but those will use the latest version from ports)

Note that absolutely none of these points even touch anything desktop related - TrueOS is not just a "desktop" OS like PC-BSD was, it is all about taking FreeBSD itself to the next level!
On the desktop side TrueOS distributes/supports the Lumina desktop (since we can actually fix things that come up - good luck getting timely patches from other DE's), but you can still use any of the desktops/WM's that FreeBSD has available just like on FreeBSD.

And just to address the Smurg's definition for an "Easy to use FreeBSD desktop":
  • postinstaller (text/graphical) for installing applications and configuring the system. TrueOS has this: it is called SysAdm
  • Users can have a desktop system without ever seeing a console prompt. TrueOS has this: it is called a "desktop" installation as opposed to the "server" installation.
  • Users can use any DM they like (in "pure" form). TrueOS has this (FreeBSD does as well for that matter)
  • FreeBSD specific GUI system configuration frontends are DM/WM independent: TrueOS has this: it is called SysAdm (plus some other tools we supply)
 

Snurg

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 252
Messages: 705

#20
Dear beanpole

1. Isn't the better support for new hardware you describe just the consequence of TrueOS being 12-Current based?
2. You praise the TrueOS update facilities exactly like formerly PC-BSD's ones were praised.
So, does TrueOS have a new updater?
Or does it use pc-updatemanager?

And, by the way.
What would you say if there is a FreeBSD desktop project and these guys rip from PC-BSD/TrueOS these GUI admin components that are actually usable, like the zfs disk manager, and incorporate them into a FreeBSD "desktop admin tools metapackage" or the like?
 

beanpole

Member

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Messages: 20

#21
Smurg:
1. Partially. It is also partially from the fact that FreeBSD contributors can get their updates committed to TrueOS almost instantly whereas it might langush in the FreeBSD bug trackers for months/years due to senseless bickering before finally getting committed. We have had a number of things on TrueOS (such as some new Intel wifi chipset support that was brought over from DragonflyBSD) long before it was accepted into the FreeBSD source tree. In fact, committing driver updates to TrueOS first often helps the changes cut through the arguments that arise on the FreeBSD submission system because it has already been "proven" to work on live systems.
2. TrueOS's update utility is still called pc-updatemanager, but it has almost no resemblence to the old utility from the PC-BSD days.

As for FreeBSD people making ports of the TrueOS admin utilities - we have no problem with that at all. In fact, we have been trying to get our administration utilities committed/updated within the FreeBSD ports tree in a timely manner already, so that "pure" FreeBSD users can also benefit from our work. You just need to understand that the tools might not have the same level of functionality on FreeBSD as they do on TrueOS because TrueOS is much more strict about "standardizing" a lot more base-system functionality (such as ZFS + boot environments) that you might not get on a self-built FreeBSD system.
 

malco_2001

Member

Thanks: 17
Messages: 49

#22
For anyone interested, the new DesktopBSD release, announced in 2016, is available as Alpha on sourceforge, under the name of DesktopBSD Next. Tried the i3wm-version ISO a while ago on QEMU and it looked promising :)
I stopped working on DesktopBSD a few years ago. There was another who attempted to carry on the work but he left as well. As far as I know it is no longer being developed.
 

ILUXA

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 220
Messages: 397

#23
I really appreciate TrueOS, IMO it is very good for FreeBSD that it's exist.
But that's why, personally I don't use it:
1. TrueOS has this: it is called SysAdm (plus some other tools we supply)
I don't like *nix OS-es with such things, like OpenSUSE (YaST), Mandriva (drakconf)...
and may be some others, which try to emulate Windows®™ control panel.
In my honest opinion it is much better to configure something via simple configuration file.
And I don't like when a lot of software exist on my system, which I don't use,
because it can cause problems.

2. System Updates. I'm very happy with freebsd-update and I did not find any problems with it,
it is really very handy and easy to use.

3. I really don't like all those nasty Qt stuff that comes with TrueOS, all those tools and apps.

With all of these remarks noted above, IMO GhostBSD seems to be a better option for newcomers, but personally I don't use it too.

Anyway, it's only my opinion, it may work good for you and you may like it.
 

Trihexagonal

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 314
Messages: 738

#24
TrueOS is not the same as PC-BSD, even if a few of our utilities share the same names. If you have not used TrueOS any time in the last 6-months or so, I highly recommend that you actually use it for a while before trying to explain/complain to others about the project.
I've downloaded TrueOS-Desktop-17.12-x64-USB.img and will give it a fair try. I have a spare HDD that won't take a minute to install into another laptop. If I don't care for it as easy to go back to FreeBSD.

I've never used ZFS anyway so this will give me a chance, and PC-BSD is how I learned to use FreeBSD so I owe you that much.
 

ILUXA

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 220
Messages: 397

#25
PC-BSD is how I learned to use FreeBSD
For me PC-BSD gave exactly the opposite effect, when I first tried to use it, it was pretty glitchy and very slow,
I didn't like it at all. I didn't see any point to start using it. And only some time later, when I tried pure FreeBSD 10,
I liked it and started to use it...