TrueOS: anyone using it on a laptop?

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lonestar

lonestar

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I agree with ILUXA on the point that it would be nice if more people were passionate enough about FreeBSD to put effort into its feasibility on laptops (and desktop use-cases in general). I know there are a few who do this, or have in the past. If there's a way to do that without compromising UNIX principles the way Linux has, and I think that's definitely possible, it would only benefit the community by attracting more development activity.

If there's no interest, then we can expect all future development to target Linux exclusively.

At the same time, it's not my place to tell developers what to do with their time. It's very much a personal choice.
 

ILUXA

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At the same time, it's not my place to tell developers what to do with their time. It's very much a personal choice.
Of course FreeBSD devs do not need any advices about which OS to use on their desktops,
they already know what to use, they even can be a secret Windows Vista users :D,
while they're developing the great and Free UNIX-like operating system.
But, IMO, there is no need to advertise "Windows Vista", while developing FreeBSD.

While also, if OS devs won't use it on their desktops, a lot of specific "desktop" issues will never be resolved,
and will never be in priority. And that is why FreeBSD is an outsider by now (IMHO).
 

Sensucht94

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I don't want to step in between, as I have no right to contribute to this conversation, but there's a thought of mine that I wanted to share (especially with beanpole):

Although at the very first glance Lumina didn't look that great to me, I'm actually liking Lumina more and more with every new update it gets, 1.4 release looks very promising with the new Theme Configuration panel (saw the review). Prior one had to manually modify the few themes available, or use a different bar than Lumina-panel. Lumina mostly resemble my idea of Desktop Environment, which is totally different from anything GTK-related, especially bloated GNOME and KDE. I really enjoy those lighter WM/Qt-based DEs like LXQt or Lumina, to the point I always stick to those (and EDE as well) when I feel like using a pre-configured Desktop.
Lumina is fast, light, simple, very BSD-like (other DE on BSD feel alien).
The ZFS snapshots' bar for Insight, which resembles Solaris Time Slider, is another Lumina's strong point and completely eliminates the non-Unix-like idea of a Trash Can.
The Settings Center is very well organized, keyboard settings allow an in-depth shortcuts configuration, while the lumina-archiver really resembles my beloved Xarchiver, and was therefore, much appreciated.

On the other hand I'll join Trihexagonal concern about which IMHO are the 2 main faults of this DE:

- right-click menu, despite looking good, really deserves more powerful customization features, possibly making a step back towards more classical floating WMs' menus (or simply adopt a slightly modified version of Fluxbox')

- Insight FM should either:
a) be empowered in its drag & drop, image displaying, navigation options, file operations progress info,open in terminal and open as root features, thus to make a step forward common point&click FMs like, Nemo, Caja.... Still, since those are considerably heavier than Insight and would contrast with the very philosphy and purposes for Lumina, a good compromise would be something like SpaceFM, which I'm a great fan of

b) be improved in its double-pane, keyboard-driven, orthodox, professional info/permission displaying, powerful archive managing features, so as to resemble other great orthodox GUI file managers, like XFE, DoubleCMD, Krusader...
At the actual state, from my point of view, it looks like an incomplete hybrid between those two classes, and maybe that's the reason way so many critics have been risen against it.

Hoped with this to provide useful suggestions,
Best regards,
 

Sensucht94

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I would say You are 1/3 there, as FreeBSD has ASR (not ASLR), You can have 2/3 with HardenedBSD which has ASLR (not ASR), but currently there is not 3/3 with HAMMER2 also onboard ;) From what I recall HAMMER2 is not even finished.
Hi Vermaden, It's true HAMMER2 is still unfinished, but as I'm writing this on HAMMER2 now ;) I can tell it's very stable, extremely performing even on legacy hardware and partially resolves the problem of tiny file systems quickly filling up if unmantained. HAMMER2 brings many changes over original HAMMER: See the Design Chart for HEAD, as well as latest improvements in 5.0.2 release.

Oko asked about APFS: I can give an amateur opinion around this, as I recently upgraded a couple of friends macbooks', switching from Yosemite and Mavericks to HS. I read the Apple's APFS Guide as it called my attention, and its closest relative seems to be HAMMER2

What I can say is that, basing on my short experience, performance and speed boost couldn't be more evident: APFS (and some service/storage cleanup) transformed almost dying,bloated HFS machines into very responsive computers
 

herrbischoff

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While you, guys, from TrueOS, are trying to do something, [...lots of complaining...]
Despite this being a post written in "holy rage" pentameter, you quite accurately sum up the status quo. Don't expect it to change though. FOSS is just not a model that works for complex environments like desktop environments, time has proven this dozens of times over. When people donate their time, they tend to work on what they like the most and don't like to be told what to and what not to do. Also, please see what I wrote about the problems designers and other non-developer types face. This is not an environment conductive to progress as is. You need capable project leads making hard decisions and small teams willing to do it, whether they agree or not. You won't get that in FOSS. What you get is endless discussion and eventual implosion followed by a fork if things get too bad. Yes, a fork, the answer to every smeggin' disagreement in software development. Resulting of course in all forks being spread too thin and going nowhere in the long run. The hard truth is: you can only tell developers what to do when you pay them. Apple does this very well but even they have the problem with talent being spread too thin at times. Now compare the world's most valuable company (and arguably one of the most innovative with regard to actual shipping products) with a unique focus to a couple dozen of FOSS projects with differing views, no design experience, no regard for end user needs (your "housewives" comment makes it clear you are part of the problem), no motivation to shake things up, developers favoring "works for me" over a clean solution and forking away constantly. It's just ridiculous that even the niche area of tiling window managers has two handful of forks between each other. This is not a problem that will be rectified ever. It's just the way we humans work — as much as we want to think of us as evolved, intelligent beings, most are not able or willing to see beyond the immediate horizon. And that includes you too.

Creating a truly solid desktop environment is far more work than slapping a window manager on Xorg and creating some theme. To make things work smoothly, you will have to reinvent and change fundamental parts of the operating system itself. As this is at odds with the stated goal of most Unix systems, it is not going to happen. It would require an undertaking like the switch from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. To completely re-imagine the platform, a hard break with backwards-compatibility, a completely new display server and countless other elements. Even if it does (systemd/launchd), certain factions rebel. Face it: you cannot run a modern, mainstream operating system smoothly with OpenRC. The last company which was capable of creating an operating system to rival the dominance of Windows and macOS was HP — and they abandoned the consumer space altogether. We're stuck with Windows/macOS and to some extent Linux desktops for the next 10-20 years. It's sad but that's the way it is. Given that consumers are moving to iOS/Android devices in unprecedented numbers, there is really very little to be gained in desktop computing, so no company will throw serious resources behind developing a Windows/macOS alternative. It's just not feasible. Even Microsoft could not catch up to Android and iOS, only Samsung is attempting to create an Android alternative with Tizen.

To conclude: it's Game Over for the desktop. All notable and relevant innovation in this space has already been done and FOSS projects can only ever hope to catch up because they're conceptually incapable of creating something innovative and original in this area. Usually they either imitate (badly) or take 15+ years to arrive at a comparable user experience. A modern desktop experience would require fundamental changes to any OS, which is not going to happen, the most likely platform being Linux because the community runs with scissors and breaks things. This is wholly contrary to the BSD mindset. Also, for the majority of mainstream users, the desktop computer fades more and more into obscurity every year, the more capable mobile devices become. The mainstream user does not care about developing software themselves or even to know the fundamentals of the system they use. They expect it to work like a car: get in, turn the key and drive.

So there you have it: why should any pragmatic developer (FreeBSD or otherwise) spend any time on a doomed environment when alternatives that "just work" readily exist? This makes the entire complex a political one, like the GPL hardliners (Stallman, et. al.), with no immediate benefits — technical, usability-related, innovative or otherwise. If what you care about is working on interesting challenges, the graphical desktop is the most thankless one with the lowest return in acknowledgement and innovation.
 

MarcoB

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So there you have it: why should any pragmatic developer (FreeBSD or otherwise) spend any time on a doomed environment when alternatives that "just work" readily exist?
I don't think desktops are doomed. Sure the "market share" is declining but there will allways be users for it, especially developers. So maybe the "desktop" will be more and more developers only, but so what?
 

ILUXA

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Creating a truly solid desktop environment is far more work than slapping [ ..a lot of pointless bla-bla-bla...]
Again, you're talking about "desktop environment" while quoting my post,
but I wrote nothing about environments, I wrote about basic functionality.
Without basic functionality on system level (like suspend-resume) even the best desktop
environment will be useless. Desktop Environments is a completely different subject,
than what I was trying to tell.

your "housewives" comment makes it clear you are part of the problem
Your reaction on these kind of my statements clearly tells me that you are "part of the problem" :),
because you gets angry when someone calls you a "housewife" and start arguing. But "OS for housewives"
is nothing but just a name for operating systems, which target audience are regular home users A.K.A. housewives.
 

Snurg

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True words from herrbischoff.
But I am not that pessimistic.

As herrbischoff concludes correctly, the thing is a political one.
Nobody expects a Freedesktop-based DE become a market leader.
It is about providing alternatives for people that do not want to just use what the big companies offer (including all that what's hidden, personal profiling, backdoors, surveillance, etc).

And there are a few people who choose FreeBSD as base for this.
These do not expect a 'perfect' MacOS UX.

And there are a few people who want for non-commercial, so say political, reasons improve the situation.
It is not about providing a seamless system for everybody.
It is about to facilitate these few people who choose FreeBSD their aim to get an usable desktop.

The biggest deficit in that direction is that there is no good automated and integrated (to some degree) infrastructure to get such a system up as easily and effectively as it's the case with the FreeBSD base system.
The need of repetitive manual configuration and setup work is a time killer and the learning curve required only for setting up the desktop keeps people away from FreeBSD even though they would like to use it.

Thus this problem needs no people who expect to be paid, but people who share the desire that this improves and are ready to invest some time to achieve this.
And as it is with political matters, the thing to be achieved first is to work on obtaining a critical mass of people (here: developers) whose goal is not money or fame but the achievement, the enabling of things.

IMHO a FreeBSD desktop movement can only be a grassroots one.
And the start of any improvement is the belief that it is possible to achieve.

The important thing however is, to have realistic expectations.
This in turn means that it is important to set milestones in a way that prevents failure and demotivation, instead facilitates constant success by achieving part goal after goal, giving more motivation and drive.

I believe improvement is possible. And I know I am not alone with this belief.
 

ronaldlees

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With the Windows and Apple operating systems, you have given over configurability and control to a couple near monopolies that use huge monolithic blocks of code that are totally under the control of the monopoly, and thusly can be made idiot-proof, upgrade-crash resistant, and compatible in all directions. That's great for a car which you get in and drive, because it just works, but bad for people who want to tinker, change, explore, modify, and otherwise hot-rod their cars (or OS systems). That's why the shade-tree mechanic is now a paleolithic memory. So, Linuxers and Unixers (especially developers) are all about the tinkering and exploring, and that precludes the idiot-proof monolithic system, as was said by several posts in this thread.

Some Linuxers want to compete with the monopolists. So, we have efforts to create monolithic blocks of code to idiot-proof things. Read systemd (and other things in that realm) here. They may eventually cause a split in Linux: the idiot-proof, mostly unchangeable (so may as well be Windows) systems, and the old-time tinker special distros (Gentoo, Devuan, etc). That's fine for me, cuz I'll pick a system I can work on. The masses will always do what they do best: follow.
 

herrbischoff

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Again, you're talking about "desktop environment" while quoting my post,
but I wrote nothing about environments, I wrote about basic functionality.
FreeBSD will never become a good desktop OS
You should really get your act together coherently if you plan on criticizing others.

Your reaction on these kind of my statements clearly tells me that you are "part of the problem" :),
because you gets angry when someone calls you a "housewife" and start arguing. But "OS for housewives"
is nothing but just a name for operating systems, which target audience are regular home users A.K.A. housewives.
Please lower your testosterone output, think again about what you wrote and then feel free to stand in the corner. If you call anything "for housewives" and expect anyone not completely full of themselves to take your comment as "just a name", you are indeed full of yourself. To me, your behavior reflects that of a prototypical half-informed niche-technology user who has never actually contributed to any of the stuff he somehow feels entitled to have an opinion about. Then again, you know what they say about opinions being like anuses...

I really don't want to start anything here, it's just quite obvious to me that you're deliberately being obnoxious.
 

herrbischoff

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Nobody expects a Freedesktop-based DE become a market leader.
So what about all the people like ILUXA who clearly complain about the dominance of commercial desktop OSs?

And as it is with political matters, the thing to be achieved first is to work on obtaining a critical mass of people (here: developers) whose goal is not money or fame but the achievement, the enabling of things.
To my knowledge, political opinionating has never produced any result beyond "barely good enough". If that's what you're after, it's already there: open source desktop environments are available in abundance. I don't mean that in a dismissive way. The fact is that you can either have one serious undertaking or loosely bundled hobby projects that will always be hacked together. You can't have both.

The important thing however is, to have realistic expectations.
The realistic results are readily visible in any and all desktop environments that currently exist. I don't quite get what more you expect? A meta-package to set up a FreeBSD desktop environment? Then bickering will ensue about what desktop manager it should be because everyone has a different view and use-case. Again, either you put all your weight behind one full solution or you have the fragmented situation as it is today which caters to the hacker type user happy to tinker for weeks on end. Which is a completely valid use-case by the way. It is simply at odds with somehow achieving a truly integrated desktop experience.
 

herrbischoff

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So, Linuxers and Unixers (especially developers) are all about the tinkering and exploring, and that precludes the idiot-proof monolithic system, as was said by several posts in this thread.
Yes, absolutely. In this regard, there shouldn't be any discussion about having to seriously tinker to set up your desktop environment in the first place, correct? A quite fitting comparison would be a car mechanic I believe. It's usually an individual who would be very unhappy with a car that simply worked all the time. In fact, if forced to drive such a car, the mechanic would probably find deliberate ways to break it, just to fix it again, complaining about the lack of repairability along the way. The main appeal is not to smoothly get from A to B but to tinker with the car. The technology becomes an end in itself, which is not what most people expect. Just as not all people are fully invested in fishing, mini-golfing, extreme sports, baking, crocheting or collecting toy figurines.

The masses will always do what they do best: follow.
It's this elitist snobbery that's all too pervasive in the technology sector that keeps all the truly good innovators who aren't developers or self-proclaimed experts away from the open source environment. This also reminds me of something I recently read about a handy shortcut to a self-administered reality check: if one believes most other people to be idiots, it's probably oneself who is the idiot.

It's also the reason your car tracks your doings all day long today (or at least it can) ...
I would so very very much love to see a completely open source community designed, developed and built car. That would illustrate my points in such a perfect visual metaphor I could never ever come up with myself.
 

herrbischoff

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I don't think desktops are doomed. Sure the "market share" is declining but there will allways be users for it, especially developers. So maybe the "desktop" will be more and more developers only, but so what?
I really don't know what to write any more. Clearly my sentiments resonate with some and not with others. Which is my entire point: the desktop situation being so fragmented because of so many different opinions. The missing sensibility towards this being an issue at all is precisely why I argue that the current situation will never improve. Simply because when one cannot see a problem, it does not exist for oneself.
 

Snurg

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I don't quite get what more you expect? A meta-package to set up a FreeBSD desktop environment? Then bickering will ensue about what desktop manager it should be because everyone has a different view and use-case. Again, either you put all your weight behind one full solution or you have the fragmented situation as it is today which caters to the hacker type user happy to tinker for weeks on end.
Look at TrueOS (Lumina) or GhostBSD (Mate). This kind of exclusive coupling of a desktop with a forked OS, this contributes to the fragmented situation you mention.

FreeBSD is not fixated to one particular desktop. One can use all.

Its current main disadvantage imho is the gap between after finishing bsdinstall and having the DE environment properly set-up.
This is basically setting up X, choosing one (or multiple) DM meta packages, a few popular apps.
This gap has to be overcome manually by the user (think console, think tinker, think useless steep learning curve).

But, if there were a sweet install/configure like on some Linuxes, the user could just choose and get started quickly in his preferred DE.
With little or no tinkering at all.

And instead of bickering about which DE is the best, people could just work on their preferred DEs and contribute to their improved integration into FreeBSD.
 

herrbischoff

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This gap has to be overcome manually by the user (think console, think tinker, think useless steep learning curve).
Thanks for clearing this up. I understand what you mean. But: isn't FreeBSD very much more manual by design than any Linux distribution and the "everything is a package" paradigm? To my understanding, such an approach would run contrary to those fundamental design decisions. Which in turn explains the desktop-focused forks like TrueOS and GhostBSD. You have to change way more than just a couple of install routines to get a properly usable desktop installation.
 

herrbischoff

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Herrbischov, do not drink any alcohol today anymore, or cops will put you to the jail. And never do not forget to pray, God is a last chance, for those like you.
It would be so great if when people were out of arguments they'd just stop writing. Thanks for verifying my suspicions about you. You appear to be exactly the kind of troll I expected you to be based on your comments.
 

Snurg

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You have to change way more than just a couple of install routines to get a properly usable desktop installation.
I think this is more about adding another (optional) install and system preconfiguration phase (sound, codecs, video drivers,...) as a first step.

Maybe such in turn would facilitate (or even enable) the integration of DMs by interested people.
 

herrbischoff

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I think this is more about adding another (optional) install and system preconfiguration phase (sound, codecs, video drivers,...) as a first step.
I see where you're coming from. But given my observations on the manual nature of FreeBSD, I don't think it's likely for anything like that to ever become part of the install phase. Installation has always and probably will always be limited to the base system. Ports are seen as a completely separate part. Attempts at mixing those two will in all likelihood not go down well with the core team.
 

Snurg

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Installation has always and probably will always be limited to the base system. Ports are seen as a completely separate part. Attempts at mixing those two will in all likelihood not go down well with the core team.
I do not think that there will be any conflict zone, as this can from principle be only a postinstaller that starts where the base system install stops.
And it is exactly the manual nature of FreeBSD that makes me think that it will be no serious acceptance problem to users to do a pkg install postinstaller or such after base install, and then proceed setting up their desktop system using that.
 

Beastie7

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Even if there is a shipped version of FreeBSD coupled with a DE (that the committers don't control). There are issues that will remain beyond that. Who's going to distribute it? What about technical support? Who are people going to call if shit breaks? Will it be an attractive platform for third party developers? Will hardware OEMs pre-install the operating on their devices for people to purchase? Will people actually adopt and replace X system with FreeBSD?

These are things Apple/Microsoft already have vested in reach respective ecosystem. The questions mentioned above will have to be addressed eventually. And no, Forums, Mailing lists, and IRC are NOT support channels either.

So in context of the desktop market, what's the point? People thinking FreeBSD (or hell, Linux for that matter) can slap on X, a DE, and sing "Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!" are deluding themselves.
 

bforest

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I have been using PCBSD since 0.x and have not switched to TRUEOS yet but I think I am ready to. I wish there was an easier upgrade path. I am planning the: Backup / Reinstall path.

I once [2013ish] ran PCBSD on a Laptop [Compaq 6720s] I got for my daughter. I replaced the CD drive with a matching caddy to hold a second HD. This way I could use ZMirror boot. It worked great for the time. I had VirtualBox set up to run Windows7 so she could use Rosetta Stone language software and any other M$ centric software that she needed.

She has since moved on to a lighter laptop and I took this back, I attempted to install TrueOS. I was successful but have always had Graphics card issues. Laptop is not nVidia. Had to plug external monitor to get consistent video output without VESA mode. It was kind of unusable until I went back to it about a month ago and updated TrueOS installation. Then it was being a bit more consistent with the video. Something has happened now and the video will no longer come up. I am thinking some kind of corruption. I have not tried the external monitor yet. It is a heavy laptop. I think I would just like another more up-to-date laptop with nVidia built in.

I made the following post: http://daemonforums.org/showthread.php?t=10578 asking folks like you to provide some hardware recommendations.

I run TrueOS at work on a VM in my Win8.1 workstation(laptop) and it runs fine (Dual monitor). TrueOS Does everything I need. I boot Win8.1 then Boot TrueOS VM and work from in there. I was using Thunar to access windows shares on the office network but, After a recent TrueOS update Thunar no-longer runs properly.. when I request network drive it crashes the app.

I don't hear anyone in here mentioning the problem with some Linux based apps that they are "designed" to run on Linux so when you try to run them on BSD they have various issues. That was why I was excited about Lumina which seemed to be being developed around FreeBSD. KDE is nice and I guess Gnome but lots of the built in controls are designed to read/update Linux config files. Seems to cause issues or they cannot be used and the guys must develop our own "tools" when running on BSD.

I don't have an issue with "conforming" to the OS requirements ... if I want this OS, which I do. so...

I have had almost 0 issues running nVidia hardware on my desktop, I see no reason to try others. My biggest issue is going to be with Bluetooth. (I want it) used to use it early in PCBSD. Anyway... those are some of my thoughts. I hope someone can recommend.

-Ben
 
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