Solved Why no basic applications on FreeBSD?

lcquerido

New Member


Messages: 5

#1
It's no longer when I used my first Caldera Linux :) and on install the S.O, I were questioned by what install. Tehre was some things like Window Managers, games and ohters packages. In most actual Linux distros, we have a some usefull applications like Libreoffice, Gimp and etc. So, why the main install system of FreeBSD is so basic? Using the same example of my firt doubt, Why a important package like Xorg is not installed full for default, since is a very important layer interface over kernell and windows?

Thanks!
 

ekingston

Active Member

Thanks: 53
Messages: 186

#2
FreeBSD is an operating system that is primarily used as a server OS. As such, I believe the designers have decided to keep the base to a core OS that you can use to build what you want.

Useful applications like Libreoffice and Gimp are only useful if what you want to build is a desktop OS.

My primary use of FreeBSD at home is to run a media server. I don't want either Libreoffice or Gimp installed. In fact, I don't even want a GUI to start up by default. I want Plexmediaserver, ffmpeg and the like.

Many Linux distributions seam to be focused on being a Windows desktop replacement. That is a worthy goal. It's just not what I believe to be the goal of FreeBSD at this time.
 

ShelLuser

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 1,377
Messages: 2,934

#3
So, why the main install system of FreeBSD is so basic?
Because FreeBSD is a full blown OS. If you get the source code for FreeBSD you don't merely get a single kernel, but you'll get the full system. Kernel, bootloader, and all included utilities. There are many of us who build this system from source in order to upgrade the system, which is one of the reasons why it's preferred that the base OS doesn't contain tons of extra unneeded stuff.

And I say unneeded because installing software only takes one command. You want the X environment? Couldn't be easier: # pkg install xorg. Want KDE on top of this? Follow up with # pkg install kde5.

FreeBSD uses a completely different mentality than Linux, it actually follows the Unix philosophy quite closely which states that (short version): "Write programs to do one thing, and do it well". FreeBSD is an operating system, consisting of several individual programs of course, which does one thing very well: booting your PC, providing several services without any unwanted hassle. Even if your graphics card isn't supported by X then you can still run FreeBSD.

The most important aspect here though is that FreeBSD, as an OS, is completely separated from anything you install on top of it. So unlike with Linux you cannot disrupt your OS by removing the wrong packages. As a result of that you can have an OS which is decently optimized for your environment.

For example: there are many Linux environments out there which have full support for wireless networks installed, merely because a package dependency dictated as much. Thats's the kind of nonsense which you won't encounter here.

Yet as a direct result it also requires that you actually need to get a basic understanding of how things work before you get to use it to its full potential. Don't expect the handholding which you get on Linux.

A good place to start, in my opinion, is the FreeBSD handbook which explains all of these concepts.
 

puretone

Member

Thanks: 8
Messages: 23

#5
Tehre was some things like Window Managers, games and ohters packages. In most actual Linux distros, we have a some usefull applications like Libreoffice, Gimp and etc. So, why the main install system of FreeBSD is so basic? Using the same example of my firt doubt, Why a important package like Xorg is not installed full for default, since is a very important layer interface over kernell and windows?
FreeBSD has 30000+ packages available...
A fresh FreeBSD install is basic because it has to be. FreeBSD is not specifically designed to be a desktop/workstation OS. FreeBSD *can* work perfectly fine as a desktop/workstation, it will require a lot of software to be installed to do so, much of which has nothing to do with the server-focused OS that FreeBSD is. Windows & Linux are bloated to the point of being seriously obese, with an enormous amount of additional software installed that hardly anybody ever uses completely. In short: FreeBSD follows the mantra of "install only what you need", cut out the useless crap you don't need.
Installing the necessary packages to run a desktop environment for FreeBSD, Xorg + extra videocard drivers + a desktop environment + filemanager + text editor/office + web browser + some eyecandy (icons, fonts, themes etc) takes about 10 to 15 minutes or less.
 

Maelstorm

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 121
Messages: 311

#6
As others have said, FreeBSD is a full Unix operating system. You get not only the kernel, but the utilities, shells, and other such things. Most people (like me) use it as a server platform. On one machine, I have it configured as a DNS/DCHP server with a firewall and NAT. On another machine, I have MySQL, Apache, PHP, and a few other things installed, and that's the development machine and web server. It all depends on what you want to use it for. Based on the applications that you are asking about, you are looking for a desktop OS, which you can do as well.
 
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