[TUHS] FreeBSD behind the times? (was: Favorite unix design principles?)

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Sun Jan 31 09:11:19 AEST 2021

On Saturday, 30 January 2021 at 14:28:54 -0800, Larry McVoy wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 30, 2021 at 04:28:26PM -0500, Clem Cole wrote:
>> If I could get the day-2-day
>> applications that I need to work on FreeBSD, I suspect I would be there in
>> a heartbeat.
> I dunno about that.  I tried out FreeBSD a couple of years ago when
> Netflix was flirting with me.  The installer hasn't seen any loving in
> 30 years it would seem.  The disk setup tool sucks just as bad as it
> did back in 1988.

You could be right there, for some value of 1988 (FreeBSD came into
being in 1992).  The tools work without being good.  But how often do
you use them?  I've been using FreeBSD since the beginning, and I
can't recall when I last used the disk partitioning tool, though I'm
sure that when I did I overrode a lot of (all?) the suggestions.

> I remember when Linux was this bad in the .90ish releases.  A long
> time ago.  Now their install is painless, it's every bit as good as
> Windows and maybe better.

FWIW, I find Microsoft "Windows" installation terminally confusing
(that's what you were talking about, right?).  And I've run into
serious problems with various Linux installations too.  That doesn't
make the FreeBSD tools better, but maybe it relativizes it.

> And it got that way fast, I remember doing an install on some
> machine around 1998 or 1999, I didn't have a mouse plugged in, no
> worries, you could just move around with the keyboard.  X11 came up
> as part of the install, the entire install was graphical and
> seamless.

The FreeBSD installer *does* install X if you select it.

> FreeBSD is stuck in the 1990's in terms of user interface.

You're still talking about the installer, aren't you?  The normal user
interface is via the shell, which hasn't changed, and for a good

> They've done some good stuff in the kernel but it's not an end user
> system,

There I have to agree with you.  A little TLC would go a long way.
But I hope that you're not advocating the "change your GUI with your
underwear" attitude that Microsoft, Apple and many Linux distros
have.  One of the reasons I don't use Linux is because every time I
try, the interface has changed.

Sent from my desktop computer.
Finger grog at lemis.com for PGP public key.
See complete headers for address and phone numbers.
This message is digitally signed.  If your Microsoft mail program
reports problems, please read http://lemis.com/broken-MUA
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 163 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://minnie.tuhs.org/pipermail/tuhs/attachments/20210131/41166829/attachment.sig>

More information about the TUHS mailing list