Using FreeBSD as Desktop OS

Snurg

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 327
Messages: 794

No "serious focusing", just fixing, to make it work, thats all,
and then FreeBSD will be really a fully working desktop solution.
To fix these issues with vesa.ko is just a few SLOC. Easily done by anyone who has a bit of kernel knowledge.
That this isn't been done (unless the foundation or somebody else pays sponsors) is telltale.

In addition, they are mostly American, and you know the American have some blind spots in their perception.
Notice their non-understanding of energy saving. Look at how their fuel-guzzling cars lost international market share, look how GM went down, for example.
Their energy prices are subventioned, so they pay little for wasting energy.

For my part, I'd prefer to swallow the systemd toad than to stay with FreeBSD, as I do not want to waste more than €1000/year for not turning off my electric heaters computers when not using them.

ILUXA, face it... you'll have to swallow the toad too, if you want a good desktop/laptop system.

Of course, there might be another solution:
If all FreeBSD loving systemd haters would gather together and put up a bounty to have some kernel-skilled people make S3+S4 suspend (sleep+hibernate) work on FreeBSD (which necessarily includes porting Nouveau to have KMS with Nvidia cards), maybe it would become possible?

I'd start with putting €250 into the bounty pot.
 

Snurg

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 327
Messages: 794

That all is very good, but suspend on Nvidia GPU-s still is not working for quite a lot of time
(for 2 years, as far as I remember, since 10.3-RELEASE).
Again, the reason for this is that vesa.ko (pulled in by the newcons module) uses a BIOS call which is not supported by Nvidia cards.

The developer who did the suspend/resume code (jkim) himself confirmed that the restore-after-suspend problem could be easily fixed by not calling this BIOS function.
It would just need simple checks like this: Is nvidia card installed? Then skip this BIOS state save/restore call!

So, in other words, my impression is FreeBSD core devs have, by not doing so, knowingly p!ssed into Nvidia's boots, while promoting usage of Intel and AMD/ATI video instead.

Isn't it a big wonder that Nvidia now with driver 390 has apparently stopped to care about keeping the resume-after-suspend functional?
As the decline of FreeBSD suitability as desktop OS gains momentum, accelerated by the cocdown fallout, I won't be amazed if Nvidia just drops FreeBSD support some day soon.
 

gnath

Active Member

Thanks: 24
Messages: 102

Back in 2012, I offered to start a project to get a working suspend, resume, and full power management capabilities working on FreeBSD
Thumbs up. We will be with you, if core team & foundation have no issues in principal.
IMHO Freebsd as OS & third party maintainers are need to be co-ordinated.

Of course, there might be another solution:
If all FreeBSD loving systemd haters would gather together and put up a bounty to have some kernel-skilled people make S3+S4 suspend (sleep+hibernate) work on FreeBSD (which necessarily includes porting Nouveau to have KMS with Nvidia cards), maybe it would become possible?

I'd start with putting €250 into the bounty pot.
+1 . Actually thinking for same proposal. But was not sure about takers. Would try to contribute my two cent if foundation create a head/project in this type of third party project.
 

ralphbsz

Daemon

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Messages: 1,289

...
In addition, they are mostly American, and you know the American have some blind spots in their perception.
Notice their non-understanding of energy saving. Look at how their fuel-guzzling cars lost international market share, look how GM went down, for example.
Their energy prices are subventioned, so they pay little for wasting energy.

For my part, I'd prefer to swallow the systemd toad than to stay with FreeBSD, as I do not want to waste more than €1000/year for not turning off my electric heaters computers when not using them.
I'm sorry, but that argument is complete nonsense, and your numbers are off by nearly an order of magnitude.

The marginal electricity price we pay here in California (which last I checked was in America, although with Trump in the White House there have been some moves towards seceding and joining Canada or Mexico, which are also in America but at least not in the United States of Trumpolandia) is $0.40 per kWh for our household; it will go up to $0.43 per kWh next month. The reason it is so high is that our very green system here in California allocates a certain amount of electricity at discounted prices to households (I think about $0.20 per kWh), but that allocation is very low, and is calculated to allow for basic survival: lighting, cooking, heating (with gas, not with electricity). Most households then end up paying the penalty rate for using electricity for "comfort", such as running computers. Given that our household uses more electricity than average (we are too far from a public water source, and have to use our own well, pumps and filtration system, which uses quite a bit of power), we are always in that "comfort use" penalty zone.

In comparison, the electrical rates in the EU are on average 0.121 Euro per kWh; Germany is considerably more expensive, at 0.152 Euro (source: Eurostat). Now, the Euro is a bit higher than the Dollar, so one has to multiply those by about 1.2, but that is still nowhere near the prices we pay.

The claim that energy prices are subventioned in America is laughably wrong. On the contrary, our energy is highly taxed, with the exception of gasoline and diesel, which is indeed somewhat cheaper than in European countries: we are now typically paying US-$ 3.10 per gallon, which is equivalent to Euro 0.67 per liter.

At German electrical rates, the cost for running a 100W computer for a whole year is Euro 133; at California prices, it is $377, nowhere near the Euro 1000 you claim. But even that estimate is a bit high, since typical laptops don't use anywhere near 100W sustained; most of them have only ~80W power supplies. My home server (with 4 disk drives, but a power-efficient processor) uses only 35W (yes, I have measured it, given our cost of electricity we try to manage it carefully).

Now, I'm not saying that suspend/resume is useless because electricity is cheap. Compared to the purchase price of a computer, either $377 or even $50 or $100 per year is still significant money. And the real purpose of suspend/resume is for when your laptop is not near an electrical outlet, and you need it to not drain the battery.
 

p3rj

Member

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Messages: 44

Germany is considerably more expensive, at 0.152 Euro (source: Eurostat)
I'm not trying to judge your arguments, just saying these numbers are somewhat off, at least for Germany. If you look at this image from the German Wikipedia which shows how various factors influence the cost, you'll see that the price per kWh in Germany last year was almost 0.30 EUR for private clients. This of course includes various taxes, but is more like what we actually pay.
 

p3rj

Member

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Messages: 44

No worries. While I don't think our prices are particularly low, they certainly don't stop me from running a Xeon-based home server and currently an i7 workstation 24/7, so it can't be too bad, right? Though with the option of using newer Intel graphics with drm-next-kmod on 11-stable, I might give that a try sometimes in the future to see if it would allow suspend/resume to function on the workstation.
 

shkhln

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 93
Messages: 294

I won't be amazed if Nvidia just drops FreeBSD support some day soon.
They did not bother to compile Vulkan support in the FreeBSD driver (specifically, no vk_icdGetInstanceProcAddr in libGL.so.1), so it's already treated as a legacy in a way.
 

k.jacker

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 271
Messages: 499

I think we're a nice community here, but honestly some of you focus to much on what FreeBSD's can't do.
Keep in mind that FreeBSD does not cost you a single penny and that hundrets or thousands of people you don't know have contributed their code for free over the last 20 years. We have a full blown OS that, let's be honest, can do almost anything you want it to do. In addition, FreeBSD doesn't want your money or your personal data, it's secure, tidy, unbloated, customizable, hackable and fun. What other OS can offer that besides other BSDs and none of those is perfect either....

There are always more that one way to look at things related to FreeBSD, so your view is most likeley not the only possible point of view. One could think, that using standards is easy and efficient and reinventing the wheel and ignoring standards on purpose is bad practice. Another person prefers progress and thinks new features are so important that it's ok to support less polite business practices.
Personally I don't like supporting the "bad" guys and avoid doing so if it's doable somehow.
That's the reason why I only use FreeBSD and would never spend a single coin on a Nvidia, Microsoft, Apple, Google or Volkswagen products. I don't like their politics, attitude or whatever you want to call it. I can accept shortcomings and discomfort that come with that decision.

My somewhat "rare ability" to accept that not everything is going the way I want and knowing I'm not entitled to demand from others to create a world around me how I want it to be, helps to accept the flaws of FreeBSD.
What FreeBSD represents for me is the best I can imagine and comes closest to what my ideas of a worthy project is.

Having grown up very poor as a kid, I know how it feels to be hungry and cold in winter times when there was no money for food or clothes. I lived in an abondend car for years as a teenager and didn't get on my feet before I was allmost 30 years old.
I have been taught that life can, and will be hard sometimes and things just go some way anyway. Not neccessarily the way one would feel comfortable with. It helps to accept that fact.
I don't claim everybody should experience the same as me and many people in the world had or have it much much worth then I did. This, though, is beeing more and more overlooked in our western world where life has become so easy to be honest. Most of us haven't any real problem so we create them out of nothing. We simply don't struggle enough to see that life, in reality has it's ups and downs. It's normal and nobody is entitled to demand from others to be wrapped in satin and protected from all discomfort that could possibly arise. This includes lack of functionality in a free OS.

I'm sorry for taking a big swing here, but ask your grand grandparents or even young people that have been through a war or two. Those people have suffered way beyond the imagination of most of us, but suffering is part of reality, even today. Lack of comfort and functionality is, too. Just take a short brake sometimes and think about what you actually have - and not what you want. I think it's not fair to demand from others, they should finally give FreeBSD the functionality YOU want. Not you, not me or anybody of us is so special that it/she/he can claim such things.

This is not meant to match anyone in person here, just a little wakeup call to everyone who feels ok with a wakeup call. Feel free to ignore my post if you think I'm an idiot
 

Nolli9

New Member


Messages: 18

I am just getting to learn FreeBSD coming from Apple and a fan of Apple since 1989. I have the desktop version KDE on VirtualBox and the command line version on an Hp tower. My interesting in FreeBSD is really because it's the foundation of MacOS; however, the command line has a steep learning curve and often hurts my head. Here is my desktop:
 

Attachments

Rigoletto

Daemon
Developer

Thanks: 773
Messages: 1,681

The problem of "desktop" subject is what is a Desktop? There is no understanding of what is a desktop OS is, or what it should have. There is no formula.

When people say desktop, I think about the average Joe computer user, who want to do just what everyone does. So Apple-Windows and at some extend (usually with support from someone) some Linux distros are the way to go.

FreeBSD users (and also most of the Linux ones) are not the average Joe computer user, and I think when most people here talk about desktop the concepts are more towards to workstation than desktop - ever if it is not actually used to ---> work.

I run my "desktop" (or should I call it workstation?) 24/7, I do not need or care about resume/suspend/hibernation. However, I can understand the value of those features for some people.

Currently I do not have a laptop anymore but ever when I used to have I never used resume/suspend/hibernation features (Linux on that time). I just used to turn it ON, do what was/were needed to be done and when finished switch OFF and move on. While in house I just kept it ON 24/7 as I do with my desktop.

In this meaning there are some very few features I hard miss on FreeBSD, what are not really related only with non-server usage: the lack of inotiy/fsevents equivalent; and an advanced ports searcher (ports-mgmt/psearch work well but it is not ever close of what the Gentoo EIX can do).

IMHO, the best move FreeBSD could actually do in the Desktop domain would be to create two WMs (one tilling and other not) and the basic utilities (like bar, file manager, compositor) totally integrated with the system (see the Lumina-fm with integrated ZFS snapshot history support - I think the idea came from Solaris), and simply drop everything else: Gnome, KDE, XFCE, Openbox etc.

Wants KDE (or anything)? Port it and maintain, and if become poor maintained --> drop.

See the Gnome situation, it is poorly maintained and the situation cannot be really improved (due to Gnome) but get worse, and will be even worse when Gtk4 come out.

Why not drop it already instead of wait for the last second when it will really not be possible to be kept? The amount of work to maintain something (including handling bug reports) everyone knows will not work anymore sooner or later?

Cheers! :beer:

EDIT: SirDice I posted it in the wrong topic. Would you mind to move it to Thread 57329?

Thanks!
 

Snurg

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 327
Messages: 794

Personally I don't like supporting the "bad" guys and avoid doing so if it's doable somehow.
(...) I don't like their politics, attitude or whatever you want to call it. I can accept shortcomings and discomfort that come with that decision.
The reason why I am whining so much about suspend/resume things is that I was used to have these.

When I found out FreeBSD got suspend/resume, I went back to it from Linux.
I was even accepting that I would have only sleep, but no hibernate.
But even sleep is now broken... *whine*

(Linux 4.9 accidentally broke hibernate, look how quickly this was fixed... And when I see in contrast the attitude of the responsible FreeBSD devs about not fixing their things that broke sleep... this does not make one happy...)
 

knightjp

Active Member

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Messages: 106

I am gonna try installing FreeBSD again. Will report my progress soon.
I would say that in comparison with Linux, I prefer FreeBSD, this is for technical reason. However it seems the Linux guys are laughing at you guys for the 'banning of virtual hugs'.
 

kpedersen

Daemon

Thanks: 395
Messages: 1,242

My somewhat "rare ability" to accept that not everything is going the way I want and knowing I'm not entitled to demand from others to create a world around me how I want it to be, helps to accept the flaws of FreeBSD.
I agree with your post. Especially regarding your views on free operating systems such as FreeBSD. However, I believe as "customers" for companies such as Intel and Microsoft we should actually learn to demand more. It isn't our fault that they have placed themselves as the "standard in computing". If they cannot take our demands, then they need to move over and let a more useful company take their place.

For example, I believe we should all demand a spyware free processor from Intel. We should also demand a spyware free desktop OS from Microsoft (which has made sure Windows is the standard).

But yes, because we are not "customers" of FreeBSD, I can't see how anyone justifies demanding stuff. Especially something as low priority as "desktop experience".
 

k.jacker

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 271
Messages: 499

However, I believe as "customers" for companies such as Intel and Microsoft we should actually learn to demand more.
Absolutely true, I agree with everthing you say. Most big companies get paid well for their products, but the quality does not allways match the price paid.
 

Trihexagonal

Daemon

Thanks: 634
Messages: 1,200

I just bought a Thinkpad T400 for $55, and a battery for it since it didn't come with one, for a total of $67.70 delivered. And not a shiny key or spot on the spacebar.

Intel Core2 Duo T8600 @ 2.40GHz, 4GB RAM (upgradable to 8GB), 160GB HDD (that will be replaced), and 14.1" screen. I'm not sure if it has Intel or Intel/ATI integrated graphics but it will work.

This makes my 6th Thinkpad (first T400), 8th laptop and I know with 100% certainty it will run FreeBSD or OpenBSD, though it might run Solaris. I use my laptops as desktops and leave them plugged in when in use, so suspend/resume/ hibernate are a non-issue for me. I always used to disable hibernate on Windows anyway.

I don't have a problem at all using FreeBSD as a desktop OS and prefer it over all others.
 

kpedersen

Daemon

Thanks: 395
Messages: 1,242

This makes my 6th Thinkpad (first T400), 8th laptop and I know with 100% certainty it will run FreeBSD or OpenBSD, though it might run Solaris.
Haha, same. We should stockpile these things whilst we can. Afterall, 10 Years from now, we will only be able to obtain "regulated" locked down and tracked consumer tablets.*

Though in the future, all "open" computer hardware will be classed as illegal contraband and we will have to smuggle them between ourselves to get any (meaningful) work done :D.*

* I don't know this for a fact. But I certainly imagine Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel, NSA and all other big and "cloud" corporations will love this prospect. And unfortunately they are the ones that get to make the decisions these days.
 

Trihexagonal

Daemon

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Messages: 1,200

I hadn't planned on buying another and thought 7 was plenty, but how could I afford Not to buy it? $55 plus a $12 battery? Who knows when one of these will go to heaven and I love getting a good deal on something.

My sisters hubby dropped can of freholes or something on the plamrest of my Gateway and borked the HDD. He was going to throw it away till my sister said I might like ito have it. It's my OpenIndiana box now, I told him but he doesn't care. Wouldn't have happened on a Thinkpad. ;)

Yes, you're right. Someday it will probably all be regulated. In USA TV already watch you.
 

knightjp

Active Member

Thanks: 18
Messages: 106

My FreeBSD install went really well. But predictably.. I returned to MacOS as soon as my computer could get it running. I like Fluxbox. It had pretty much the look that I was going for. But I think that I need a good list of apps that I need to install to get Fluxbox up to the level of the standard DEs like Mate or Gnome.

Apart from Fluxbox, I need a Login Manager and settled on xdm. I like it.
What do I use as a file manager?
What is the best email client? ( I need something that can handle Exchange server)
How does it handle notifications?
I need a app launcher like D-menu or MacOS' Spotlight.

Is there a chance of getting Compiz working on Fluxbox?
 

xchris

Member

Thanks: 13
Messages: 64

What do I use as a file manager?
my favorites are caja, rox filer, xfe, mc I like caja because the installation does not bring a lot of deps, has optlion like "open terminal here", extensions and a descent find files feature
xfe is nice, but does not follow the system (gtk or qt) theming, has its own, I install "mc" (midnight commander) by default to any lx/ux installation, just is a "must" utility
 
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