• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

When will FreeBSD be ready to noobs for desktop use?

asifnaz

Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 39

#1
I am an average PC user and have some experience of Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. I am really fascinated by Freebsd FreeBSD and always wanted to use it as a desktop OS. As it does not come with GUI installer, I come here and ask how to install freebsd FreeBSD with GUI DE (like gnome). I am asked to read handbook which is a bit beyond my skills. I wish freebsd FreeBSD was as easy to install as Linux (ubuntu).

I will really appriciate if somebody could help me to install freebsd FreeBSD with gnome (any link to how-to etc).

Thank you.
 

vertexSymphony

Member

Thanks: 13
Messages: 79

#2
Probably never, it's not in the FreeBSD target to aim at desktops when the system actually comes like, for example, Arch ... All clean from all kind of non-base software and it's more oriented towards servers.
I don't say it's possible to use it as desktop (In fact, I use it as desktop), but it requires proper "tuning" to be functional, and that's where PC-BSD comes in → A FreeBSD system tuned for desktop.

You probably should be using that.

Regards, Alex.
 

asifnaz

Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 39

#3
Is PCBSD is a freebsd FreeBSD variant. It uses KDE but I would like to use gnome.

Any suggestion?
 

Dru

Active Member

Thanks: 14
Messages: 186

#5
When FreeBSD will be ready to noobs for desktop use ?
Hopefully never.

This is one thing I like about FreeBSD, it doesn't hold your hand, and an added plus, that slightly keeps the people who dont want to learn away. A noob can install and run FreeBSD fine, but it requires effort.

There are people who just want to install something for the hell of it, they will bother people with questions, to which they could have learned the answer themselves, if they had read, but they just want to install something, cause they think its cool, screw time involved, or learning.

As far as FreeBSD as a desktop.....there is none better.
 

LateNiteTV

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 24
Messages: 391

#6
I really don't understand why any noob can't get FreeBSD up and running as a desktop. When I made the switch from Windows to linux about 12 years ago, I used Linux for about a week then went to FreeBSD. I had FreeBSD up and running and doing everything I needed it to as a desktop in a couple hours. Read the handbook... FreeBSD is pretty damn simple.
 

stepulka

New Member


Messages: 4

#7
I am really like FreeBSD isn't ready for noobs users. This was my first point of escaping from Linux...because Linux is changing to click-click style (Ubuntu). They want make windows, yes, they make, but very bad. Eveything didn't work good, forums are full. How-to work only one time, second time not. There exists Archlinux, Gentoo or Slackware, but the don't save that. Documentation on Linux is poor. I am happy with FreeBSD style, simplicity, performance and documentation(I am very amazed how many man pages there are). Thanks for that, you are doing it good :).
 

jkois@

New Member
Developer

Thanks: 1
Messages: 1

#8
asifnaz said:
is PCbsd is a freebsd variant ..? . It uses KDE but I would like to use gnome .

any suggestion..?
Beginning with version 9.0 PC-BSD (http://www.pcbsd.org) will support multiple desktop environment out of the box. KDE4 will still be there, but it is not mandatory anymore. You can also use (for example) GNOME, XFCE, LXDE or Fluxbox.

PC-BSD is still FreeBSD on the inside. Although it comes with a couple of "desktop extensions" (for example a working X server or GNOME in your case - without having to install it via ports).

PC-BSD 9.0 will be released soon. Usually only a couple of days after FreeBSD 9.0 is released (as this is the base for it).
 

vermaden

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 902
Messages: 2,578

#9
asifnaz said:
When Freebsd will be ready to noobs for desktop use ?
It already is, its just called PC-BSD (which has FreeBSD under the hood).
 

fonz

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 366
Messages: 2,562

#10
asifnaz said:
I am asked to read handbook which is a bit beyond my skills . I wish freebsd was as easy to install as Linux (ubuntu)
As you probably already figured out from the previous responses: the focus of FreeBSD is on technical quality (reliability, security and performance), not so much user experience. That doesn't mean we're entirely indifferent to newbie-friendliness, nor that FreeBSD isn't suitable for the desktop (in fact, it's pretty much the only thing I use these days, including as desktop OS on my netbook), but it just isn't a priority. FreeBSD is primarily intended for server use by the more experienced. Knowledgeable users can also make it work as a desktop system, but that requires some effort on their part.

If you're looking for something that combines the technical quality of FreeBSD with the ease of use/installing of, say, Ubuntu (which may be a total mess under the bonnet, but at least it's easy to drive), I recommend that you check out PC-BSD or one of the other forks such as GhostBSD. As a matter of fact, the latter was developed by people who regularly post on this forum, e.g. Eric Turgeon. And it appears to be using Gnome rather than KDE (I like neither, but to each his own).

Hope this helps,

Fonz
 

xibo

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 78
Messages: 389

#11
Hopefully never.
I am really like FreeBSD isn't ready for noobs users.
I don't get how not being easy to get started with can be considered advantageous.
If so, why not use the elite-ary linux-from-scratch? Virtually any linux or GNU feature not either used by millions or especially shiny severely lacks documentation forcing you to analyze the code and/or playing around so the learning phase takes a lot larger, plus of cause that knowledge isn't useful for a long time as the devs might decide their monolithic and bloated applications are too bothersome to maintain and replace them by (once again monolithic and bloated) rewrites that aren't compatible on neither API nor command line parameter level.

IMO FreeBSD is easy to use, or at least I had no issues when getting started with it. Also, getting started with OpenBSD was easy too before of that. Actually I was surprised back then (maybe exactly because I was coming from linux/gnu) that so many things worked "out of the box" and how good the FAQ/handbook actually covers the basics.

Linux/gnu isn't any easier to use then FreeBSD (or OpenBSD, or even NetBSD), in fact it's harder. But when people first use linux/gnu, they usually have "extensive" experience with Microsoft Windows, and also have little "advanced" usage in mind. There are fairly large projects within the gnu world that try to imitate (parts of) Windows OS and that results in these people feeling familiar with the system that somehow looks and feels like (but under it's cover is very different to) the Windows OS they are used to. So additionally, it should be considered how much time people required to get that used with Windows OS. If it was considered to be so straightforward that everything is self-explanatory, Microsoft wouldn't ship "Getting started" and "Installation" leaflets with Windows copies, so if it was not required for someone to read those obtained that knowledge was obtained somehow else (most usually by seeing it being used by other people), and that time needs to be considered too.
 

renice

Member

Thanks: 6
Messages: 41

#12
asifnaz said:
but I would like to use gnome.

Any suggestion?
A first contact point could be the FreeBSD GNOME Project site: http://www.freebsd.org/gnome/

If you have experience with Linux as you mentioned, you should't have much problems to install FreeBSD (assuming that many new lecture to expanding skills isn't unpleasent thing to you).
 

asifnaz

Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 39

#14
Thank you all for your response . I will install FreeBSD on one of my spare computers . If I need help I will ask here . For now I will not look for ready made solutions like GhostBSD or PCBSD .

I appreciate your time
 

SirDice

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator

Thanks: 5,507
Messages: 25,688

#15
FreeBSD will be ready when Linux for the desktop finally happens. Think about it, it's not the underlying OS that's the issue here. It's everything else surrounding it like Gnome, KDE or whatever desktop environment will be next. Since Linux and FreeBSD share those it'll happen at around the same time.
 

stepulka

New Member


Messages: 4

#16
xibo said:
I don't get how not being easy to get started with can be considered advantageous.
If so, why not use the elite-ary linux-from-scratch? Virtually any linux or GNU feature not either used by millions or especially shiny severely lacks documentation forcing you to analyze the code and/or playing around so the learning phase takes a lot larger, plus of cause that knowledge isn't useful for a long time as the devs might decide their monolithic and bloated applications are too bothersome to maintain and replace them by (once again monolithic and bloated) rewrites that aren't compatible on neither API nor command line parameter level.

IMO FreeBSD is easy to use, or at least I had no issues when getting started with it. Also, getting started with OpenBSD was easy too before of that. Actually I was surprised back then (maybe exactly because I was coming from linux/gnu) that so many things worked "out of the box" and how good the FAQ/handbook actually covers the basics.

Linux/gnu isn't any easier to use then FreeBSD (or OpenBSD, or even NetBSD), in fact it's harder. But when people first use linux/gnu, they usually have "extensive" experience with Microsoft Windows, and also have little "advanced" usage in mind. There are fairly large projects within the gnu world that try to imitate (parts of) Windows OS and that results in these people feeling familiar with the system that somehow looks and feels like (but under it's cover is very different to) the Windows OS they are used to. So additionally, it should be considered how much time people required to get that used with Windows OS. If it was considered to be so straightforward that everything is self-explanatory, Microsoft wouldn't ship "Getting started" and "Installation" leaflets with Windows copies, so if it was not required for someone to read those obtained that knowledge was obtained somehow else (most usually by seeing it being used by other people), and that time needs to be considered too.
Don't worry, I used Linux 2-3 years, Archlinux, Slackware, Debian, Gentoo etc.. I am not a noob, I just use FreeBSD, because is nearer to original Unix, especially Berkley Unix. I have some experiences with Linux, so it wasn't hard switch. I like Linux, i like Ubuntu, but now, when I am on FreeBSD, I realize and regret, why I didn't start with BSD some day before.
 

fluca1978

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 70
Messages: 735

#17
asifnaz said:
Is PCBSD is a freebsd FreeBSD variant. It uses KDE but I would like to use gnome.

Any suggestion?
PCBSD will support multiple desktops, even Gnome, starting from release 9.

The way I see this is that FreeBSD, along with other *BSD, are a little scaring for the average user. The average user do not like terminals and shells, they like icons, menus and animations. Moreover there are more hardware issues with commodity peripherals than those with Linux, nowdays, so I think Linux will be a choice for the average-user-desktop for long time.This does not mean FreeBSD is not good enough, I personally think it is much more better than OSX, Windows (of course) and the majority of Linux around the world. Moreover I don't think FreeBSD on the desktop will happen when Linux happens, and in fact I believe that Gnome is an example of how bad portability can be for a desktop that claims to be OS independent.
 

adamk

Daemon

Thanks: 265
Messages: 1,622

#18
SirDice said:
FreeBSD will be ready when Linux for the desktop finally happens. Think about it, it's not the underlying OS that's the issue here. It's everything else surrounding it like Gnome, KDE or whatever desktop environment will be next. Since Linux and FreeBSD share those it'll happen at around the same time.
To be fair, things like the underlying OS can certainly be an issue, especially when it comes to hardware support.
 

SirDice

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator

Thanks: 5,507
Messages: 25,688

#19
adamk said:
To be fair, things like the underlying OS can certainly be an issue, especially when it comes to hardware support.
True but from a user's perspective this is hardly relevant. If the hardware works the underlying OS is just not an issue. Most windows users wouldn't touch a command prompt with a ten foot pole. They also couldn't care less about drivers as long as it works.

But things like creating and managing documents etc. is an issue for them. And it's here where things could use a lot of improvement.
 

adamk

Daemon

Thanks: 265
Messages: 1,622

#20
SirDice said:
True but from a user's perspective this is hardly relevant. If the hardware works the underlying OS is just not an issue. Most windows users wouldn't touch a command prompt with a ten foot pole. They also couldn't care less about drivers as long as it works.
That's kind of my point... The fact is, any piece of hardware you buy now is more likely to work properly with linux than FreeBSD. Don't get me wrong, FreeBSD isn't that bad at hardware support, but it's still behind when it comes to certain things like GPUs and wireless chips. For example, on ##freebsd last night someone asked about what driver to use with an HD6970. The only available one is vesa, which is likely highly relevant to that users decision on whether or not to stick with FreeBSD.

Adam
 

fluca1978

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 70
Messages: 735

#21
SirDice said:
True but from a user's perspective this is hardly relevant. If the hardware works the underlying OS is just not an issue. Most windows users wouldn't touch a command prompt with a ten foot pole. They also couldn't care less about drivers as long as it works.

But things like creating and managing documents etc. is an issue for them. And it's here where things could use a lot of improvement.
Agree, but this sounds the way of working of Apple: provide hardware with support by the OS. OpenSolaris did the same with Toshiba, I think it will be very good for any OS to have an hardware partner to provide desktop systems as well as workstations (iXsystems for servers come into my mind).
 

vertexSymphony

Member

Thanks: 13
Messages: 79

#22
SirDice said:
True but from a user's perspective this is hardly relevant. If the hardware works the underlying OS is just not an issue. Most windows users wouldn't touch a command prompt with a ten foot pole. They also couldn't care less about drivers as long as it works.

But things like creating and managing documents etc. is an issue for them. And it's here where things could use a lot of improvement.
Aha, and stuff like KMS,GEM and such is not an OS issue? Because yes, you talked about add-on projects determining the future of both OSes in the desktop, but the base system has to provide the needed things for those projects to work properly.

Now this is the part where everyone throws the ball to another person
 

xibo

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 78
Messages: 389

#23
(Most) Desktop users ("Noobs" or not) don't care about KMS, GEM or TTM. They care about whether or not they get nifty effects in KDE and about frame rates in games (or more probably wine), the details on how the OS manages to do that is "good to know", not "required to know".

People using nvidia graphics hardware don't need to bother about whether or not FreeBSD can KMS. If FreeBSD had a working implementation before the freedesktop folks and intel dropped support for everything else, most FreeBSD users today wouldn't even know what KMS is supposed to be, like the linux and Windows OS users don't know. After all, people don't need to know about CAM or BIO (and maybe not even GEOM) when using filesystems, either.
 

ph0enix

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 5
Messages: 325

#24
stepulka said:
I just use FreeBSD, because is nearer to original Unix, especially Berkley Unix.
Really? Why?
I use FreeBSD because it's a great OS and I couldn't care less about it being more or less like AT&T Unix, System V or whatever.
 

vertexSymphony

Member

Thanks: 13
Messages: 79

#25
xibo said:
(Most) Desktop users ("Noobs" or not) don't care about KMS, GEM or TTM. They care about whether or not they get nifty effects in KDE and about frame rates in games (or more probably wine), the details on how the OS manages to do that is "good to know", not "required to know".

People using nvidia graphics hardware don't need to bother about whether or not FreeBSD can KMS. If FreeBSD had a working implementation before the freedesktop folks and intel dropped support for everything else, most FreeBSD users today wouldn't even know what KMS is supposed to be, like the linux and Windows OS users don't know. After all, people don't need to know about CAM or BIO (and maybe not even GEOM) when using filesystems, either.
Not only desktop effects, anything else that requires proper or basic acceleration.
And usually they don't care or know about these things, until their hardware is not giving what is supposed to give.

And yeah, here you played the well-expected "throw the ball" .... unfortunately.
I love FreeBSD and the *BSD community in general, but one of the things I dislike *A LOT* in the community is that issues are ALWAYS another person's fault ... ALWAYS

Regards, Alex.