--- Anton Shterenlikht <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> > >Needless to say, I was very disappointed. I feel
> that FreeBSD will never
> > >achieve broader acceptance (even with momentum
> building for alternative
> > >OS)
> > >among people with modest technical proficiency
> and fairly simple
> > >requirements (i.e., spreadsheets, word
> processing, presentations, email).
> > >FreeBSD has an awful "out of the box" experience.
> It's too bad, because I
> > >think FreeBSD is probably a better OS, but I'll
> never really know.
> > >Regards,
> > >
> > >
> > too bad, you experienced that, the FreeBSD
> sysinstall is not that really
> > hard, it may seem daunting at first because of its
> text mode but it is very
> > straight forward, i guess you have to read the
> handbook over and over again
> > to fully comprehend the things you missed why
> things like X is not working,
> > it will also help if you will include the error
> messages as to why you can't
> > run/install gnome or kde. imo you missed some
> dependencies that's why you're
> > having a hard time.
> When I first installed FreeBSD, circa 2003, version
> 4.9, the two reasons I chose it over Redhat and
> Debian were the simplicity of the installation and
> good manual. The install process on REdhat and
> Debian was awkward, at least for me, and I could not
> make them work on my old compaq armada laptop. In
> contrast just following the manual and choosing
> default install parameters I got Freebsd working
> fast.
> During the installation I actually learned a lot
> about unix and Freebsd, the sort of details which
> are important to know anyway.
> It is hard to find the right balance between
> simplicity and functionality. It seems the balance
> in the Freebsd install is about right.
> anton

I've only been around since FreeBSD 5.4 myself, and
found during installs that sysinstall would get
confused if you changed your mind and went backwards
through the menus to reconfigure options. it seems
like the one in 6.1 is a lot better, but maybe I just
move back and forth less...

That being said once it is installed it is a million
times easier to maintain and upgrade then any Linux
I've used. I had an old Digital 486 I had to install
Redhat 7.3 thinking I could easily update to the
latest kernel. I found I had to go through so many
dependancies to do so I finally said whatever kernel
was there was good enough. Talk about having to be a
GNU guru to get things installed correctly without
clobbering the old stuff and running into trouble... 
Of late I was using Gentoo which I found to be FreeBSD
like with its portage system, until recently when it
seems they changed many system level interface stuff
sometime after April 2006 and now I cannot seem to
update it. Even a full system rebuild has blocking
packages that boggle my mind as they were compile from
source originally...

sysinstall isn't all that bad. It could be flashier,
it could be graphical, it could be a lot of things. If
it really bothers you that much you can make yourself
a livecd system that brings up X and restores a basic
install, or cvsups whatever system you want on your
pc/sparc/whatever and builds it from source. that is
the beauty of Unix. True Unix not an emulator like
Linux. That and the fact you get an OS with a set of
base software and a compiler out of the box. Linux is
only the kernel, you have to make hundreds of
independant software packages work together to get a
system running. Each one with their own independant
configuration files, and hundreds of man pages to
read. Even the rc.d system is a separate package.

now I'm sure things have progressed with Fedora Core
where updating is nice and simple, but the shear
amount of chaos that is Linux just drives me nutz.
Sysinstall does take a few installs to get down pat,
but once you do it can be setup almost in your sleep.
You do need to get used to the differences of Unix vs
most PC OSs whereby you need to in laymens term
partition twice. A feature I love because it keeps
fstab making sense. 

Like anything you can't expect to try something
completely new without expecting to fall on your face
a few times. I wouldn't just through on scuba gear and
dive the Atlantic Ocean in search of the Titanic... I
would expect to have to read, maybe take some classes
(mess up FreeBSD bad and start over) and try in a pool
instead of the ocean a few times (use non-mission
critical machines to learn with) 

The unfortunate truth is Unix is not Microsoft
Windows, well some might consider it unfortunate...
Windows tells you what to do, what software you must
use, what drivers you must use, where you must install
things, what daemons listen to what ports and their is
little you can do to change it. Unix is just a set of
simple commands strung together in scripts and pipes
that can do whatever you want it to do. X11 is not
Unix it is a software package designed to allow
netrocentric GUI applications to talk to a screen,
keyboard and mouse. Its a monster in and of itself...
Complete with its own documentation...

Unfortunately it takes some time to learn how to work
with FreeBSD and Unix in general. Some people have
been doing it there whole professional lives and
probably still are amazed when they see a new little
trick come out of some new hackers "toolbox." There
are a few simple rules, and the rest is on you. It's
Unix's greatest strength and weakness rolled into one.
Please don't give up on FreeBSD because of one bad
experience. Take the time to mess around with it and
learn the basics and go from there. Or stick with
Linux its up to you. I will guarantee that when it
comes to upgrading the Linux box you will come back to
FreeBSD real quick...

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