probsd org wrote:
I'm a long time proponent of FreeBSD as a server. For a long time I've
really wanted a FreeBSD system as a desktop. So, I decided to install the
FreeBSD 6.2 and compile xorg, gnome, mozilla, etc... to give it a whirl.
For anyone reading this, who wants the same thing. DO NOT DO IT. Nothing works. java is borked, mozilla and firefox
are borked, gnome is ify.... ugh.
Just dont do it. As a server, I highly recommend it... but it
isn't ready for the desktop.


I don't want to offend, but I may. For starters, I'm not sure if that what you were trying to do or not. Basically, it sounds like just another person who gave up before finding what the rest of us see as Nirvana. Whatever, here's my mini-rant:

Since when is the FreeBSD Project responsible for the software of Sun Microsystems and the Mozilla Foundation? (And, incidentally, I've not had too many issues with FireFox, Mozilla, or Java. My Flash is borked ATM, but I'm not blaming Macromedia or the FreeBSD project, I'm just waiting until I have time to sort it out again).

I think the key words above are "give it a whirl". That's not what you do. You make a conscious decision to jettison some other option in favor of FreeBSD on the desktop, and then you do it. It's somewhat demanding. It sometimes takes a while to get right. It even requires revisiting now and again. My parents aren't quite up to the task, for example.

Is it worth it? I think it is for me, now (2 years later). Many people will tell their 'old' hardware "hasta la Vista" ;-) in the next several months, but I won't. If I want new hardware, I'll get it, but not because my software says I have to. Furthermore, I have had many of their so-called "advanced features" on my desktop computers for a long time, and I didn't have to contribute to the Gates foundation for any of them.

And I've got other desktop machines in my office (and some of my clients' offices) with no MSFT tax on them either. And if I want another desktop made from junk I buy from Ebay or find in my closets, I'll have it, and a combination of software that will most likely work on it. I don't have to give substantial portions of my income to hardware vendors, because I have access to a system that will still work on a Pentium II, if I desire to use one.

FreeBSD configuration isn't "fire and forget" for servers (although its daily operation very well *could* be), so why should it be that way with a graphical interface? If anything, "RTFM" is much more important when attempting to create a GUI environment. Problem is, FreeBSD isn't responsible for the majority of the GUI software, so you end up with a bit of "hodgepodge research" to do. The FreeBSD Handbook has some information on basic configuration, but for the million+one combinations that people want as a desktop, you kinda have to search for your answers. (Linux experience might be handy there, heh.)


I'm not calling you names or attempting to insult you in any way. I wish you luck with whatever OS you use on your desktop. For the sake of humanity, I hope it's a Free OS.

Gee, the script found a good quote for the .sig:

Kevin Kinsey

Maryann's Law:
        You can always find what you're not looking for.
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