What is the future of FreeBSD as desktop OS?

vasili111

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Is there any general plan or some general ideas about future of FreeBSD for desktop use?
What developers think about the future of FreeBSD as desktop OS? What is their future vision of FreeBSD for desktop use?
Is the desktop part important part of development of FreeBSD?
 

Oko

Daemon

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You are not going too many developers around here. AFAIC user base for UNIX workstations has been consistent for the past 40 years. Few thousands of hard code scientists and programmer who needed will be using it. For the rest of population desktop OS are dead and the future is in hand held devices. FreeBSD doesn't work on those AFAIK.
 

abishai

Aspiring Daemon

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FreeBSD on the desktop is like Linux on the desktop if your hardware supports it and required programs are available in the ports.
 

Beastie7

Aspiring Daemon

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Is there any general plan or some general ideas about future of FreeBSD for desktop use?
What developers think about the future of FreeBSD as desktop OS? What is their future vision of FreeBSD for desktop use?
Is the desktop part important part of development of FreeBSD?

A mere pipe dream. The future is the "cloud" and embedded devices.
 

NewGuy

Well-Known Member

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FreeBSD will probably remain a server-oriented OS that you can, if you want, run as a desktop. If you want to run a desktop OS that is based on FreeBSD, then you'll probably want to talk with the PC-BSD or GhostBSD developers. They're the ones who are focused on desktop development.
 

tingo

Son of Beastie

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FreeBSD as a desktop OS:
If you invest time and work, the future is now.
If you expect FreeBSD to work as a desktop OS out of the box with no effort from the user setting it up, the future will always be in the future.
 

wblock@

Beastie Himself
Developer

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Create your own future. Get involved and help make desktop FreeBSD into what it should be.
 

scottro

Daemon

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Even with Linux having so many distributions aimed at the desktop, it has a very small market share. I suspect that, given the limitations of manpower and other resources, the vast majority of FreeBSD users prefer that efforts continue towards the server end.

If you look at say, Fedora forums, you see how many people have problems due to the desktop friendliness, where things are hidden behind GUIs--which is fine for the majority, but like other GUI oriented systems, make fixing things more difficult.
 

gofer_touch

Well-Known Member

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FreeBSD is awesome, and works quite nicely as a desktop system now. 64-bit Linux compatibility is on the way for the odd application that requires specific Linux kernel features. If you want flash there is a wrapper for that, if you want high end graphics, there is a closed-source plugin for nvidia gpus.

It takes about 30 minutes post install to get a very nice, stable desktop system up and running on FreeBSD. There are quite a few tutorials out there that will walk you through. There are a variety of desktop environments pre-packaged and ready to install. If you want something even easier, there is PC-BSD which someone has already mentioned.

As far as the future, to me it looks bright. The PC-BSD guys are pushing a lot of their work into FreeBSD main and the entire BSD community benefits from these contributions. Lumina for example runs well even on DragonflyBSD.
 
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wblock@

Beastie Himself
Developer

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Be careful. That site makes many customizations. The more modifications made, the more difficult it can be to find out why something does not work on your system. It also recommends generating an xorg.conf, which is a last resort, not a first one.
 

fnoyanisi

Active Member

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I use FreeBSD as my desktop (laptop) OS and it is the only OS I am using for personal use. Given the fact that the developer community (and commercial support from giants like Intel, IBM) behind FreeBSD project is not as big as most gnu/Linux distributions or the Linux kernel itself, I do not think desktop users will be the primary target while making any design descisions for the project.

A mere pipe dream. The future is the "cloud" and embedded devices.

Agree.... Future is "cloud", "embedded", "big data", "M2M" and "IoT"..... This is what all telco vendors and operators are looking to invest in coming 2-5 years and by 2020 (when 5G is expected to be launched), there is gonna be millions of small devices around with IP connectivity.

There is an ARM project for FreeBSD, but I am not quite sure how well it is going. Linux kernel has been ported to many embedded platforms and, unfortunately, FreeBSD is not the winner here. Having said that, I would say "portability" is not the main goal of FreeBSD project anyway.

All those "small connected devices" will definitely need some centrilized servers, but to me, today's servers will be less and less relevent with introduction and dominance of distributed and M2M systems in the future. My humble opinion, FreeBSD project should also take future of developments and needs into account at some stage.

For whom who may be interested in; even 3GPP, the main specification body behind 3G and 4G technologies, has specifications for M2M communication.

Fasten your seat belts :)
 

protocelt

Daemon

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The technology landscape changes all the time. Even so, I don't see desktop or traditional server systems going anywhere anytime soon even if the market does shrink. There will be a need for both for quite some time into the future IMO. FreeBSD has a healthy future going forward. :)
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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even if the market does shrink.
I read stats about this but now I don't recall what they said. IIRC, it's not that the desktop market has shrunk as much as the mobile market has expanded. My contention is that most people don't need a desktop computer.

Think about that. How many people wouldn't have a computer at all if it weren't for games? How many only use it for a typewriter replacement and use it for nothing else?

In my case, I own two notebooks but never use them and might never replace them when they die (they're old to begin with). I code on my workstation and surf the web when I take a break but, otherwise, use my phone for everything else. And I won't be buying another iPad cause I'm pissed off when my original iPad quit working and crashes when I try to surf the web. At most, I'll watch Netflix on it but, otherwise, it's become worthless (though I loved it when it worked and wish it still did).

protocelt said:
There will be a need for both for quite some time into the future IMO. FreeBSD has a healthy future going forward.
Something somewhere has to serve up data to somewhere quickly. I can see there being a case for micro-servers placed throughout an organization or region but those can get bogged down as sharing and data grows. node.js is complained about and Go, a language with a built in server, is wonderful but I can't see that becoming a central server for any organization.

That said, I am rewriting one small web site in Go, using that server, and it works well so far but what happens should it get under a heavy load? I hope to find time to test that but I still think everything should be written in assembly :) ... or at least C.
 
W

Wozzeck

Guest


the future is in hand held devices. FreeBSD doesn't work on those AFAIK.

Perhaps could we broaden the debate. For some people "desktop" is simply used as a contrary of "server" or "retail market with convenient interface for noobs" versus "professional market". So Notebook, ultrabook, but also some tablets could be included as they use potentially the same OS than a desktop, and I am not totally sure that FreeBSD core team totally "ignore" the mobility market...

Notebook are widely used par engineers in the world to do some calculations in the field, and one of the targets of FreeBSD is also engineers, university researchers and scientific applications, not ONLY some servers in the world to power serve some pornographic content to mass population.

I don't know why so much people always ask the same question "FreeBSD for desktop". They should go to the forum of PC-BSD, because this is the matter of PC-BSD. Reading the FreeBSD documentation, it is very clear that desktop is not the priority of FreeBSD core team.

Is there any general plan or some general ideas about future of FreeBSD for desktop use?

Desktop use as I have widely defined above and not only "Desktop computer" (because in fact more and more people use notebook as traditional Desktop computer) is a real concern for FreeBSD. For that reason PC-BSD is born some years ago. The future of FreeBSD desktop is... "Lumina DE" developed by the PC-BSD team. This is a young project, but in the future this will protect the value of FreeBSD. The problem today is that too much Desktop environments get too close of Linux. Unity will be probably never ported to BSD.

We can say that FreeBSD WILL always work for desktop, this is not the problem, but FreeBSD will never reach the polish of systems targeting "retail market" as Windows, Mac OS and probably in some years Unbuntu Unity with Canonical starting to become a kind of true "commercial" unit. But we don't care, because an engineer really don't care if his system hasn't the polish of Windows, as far as he is able to do the job as simply sending a report with an email client. What is important for an engineer or a university researcher is to run some specific pieces of software with maximum performance.
 
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