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

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Sun Jan 31 09:31:18 AEST 2021

On Sat, Jan 30, 2021 at 04:22:49PM -0700, Warner Losh wrote:
> 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...

I speak from experience of trying to install FreeBSD on a netflix server
a couple of years back.  It wasn't pleasant and it seems pretty identical
to the installer I used decades ago.

> > > > 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...

It's 20 years past the time for that re-evaluation.  Seriously, Linux
distros have been installing in X for at least 20 years, I think maybe
more.  If they can do it....

> > > > 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?

Nope, it's not remotely stuck.  I get it, you like FreeBSD.  That's fine
but be honest about where it is.  How many of the developers with a commit
bit actually run FreeBSD on their desktop and laptops?  As their daily

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