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

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Sun Jan 31 09:22:49 AEST 2021

On Sat, Jan 30, 2021 at 4:19 PM Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 31, 2021 at 10:11:19AM +1100, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> > > 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.
> Um, my mother could install any Linux system today and 10-20 years ago.
> There is not the slightest chance that she could install FreeBSD.

I find that hard to believe. The defaults just work on the vast majority of
systems, even if the interface is text-based and not a fancy GUI...

> > The FreeBSD installer *does* install X if you select it.
> Linux installers start in X.  No "select it" required.

Yea. Once upon a  time, this was super dangerous. These days it's kinda

> > > FreeBSD is stuck in the 1990's in terms of user interface.
> >
> > You're still talking about the installer, aren't you?
> Yup.  If FreeBSD wants anyone to use it, fix that installer.  99.99%
> of people would give up after seeing that, you'd never get them to
> userland.

No argument there...  Part of the problem is that, up until relatively
lately, the whole X experience sucked really badly on FreeBSD. Now that it
doesn't suck, it's time for a re-evaluation...

> > > 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.
> Try xubuntu, that's what I use.  Pretty light weight UI but all the
> parts are there and it doesn't change much.

But yet it's not stuck?

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