On Thu, 9 Apr 2009 09:16:12 +0200, Jonathan McKeown <j.mcke...@ru.ac.za> wrote:
> Yes - have a look at <http://www.pbidir.com/>. I installed PC-BSD on a spare 
> machine to investigate it. The first three ports/metaports I tried to install 
> after completing the base setup were emacs, TeTeX and the Psi Jabber/XMPP 
> client. None of those was available, and after seeing how few prebuilt 
> packages there were in all categories, I gave up.

The "problem" with PC-BSD is that it concentrates on the "average
desktop user", read: the usual KDE user. That's why they have lots
of KDE stuff available and applications for common productivity
uses, as well as multimedia.

You made the "mistake" to choose software that is "non-standard".
So teTeX? What's this? Who uses teTeX? Go use KOffice, man! :-)

I could say something similar about emacs and psi.

On PC-BSD, you can always use pkg_add or the ports collection, but
it may cause problems to do so. Allthough it's possible, it's
adviced to use the PBI installer.

> My personal view is that PC-BSD gives the end user an impressive and 
> reasonably slick computer-as-appliance with some ability to customise and 
> still stay ``on the path''. For people who need that, PC-BSD is what they 
> need.

That seems to bei their goal, yes. My neighbor uses it for some years
now and he's completely happy with it. In fact, he isn't interested
in FreeBSD, nor does he have fundamental UNIX knowledge, but he likes
KDE and the fact that he has not "Windows" on his machine (with all
the advantages this fact implies).

> My feeling, though, is that anyone who finds themselves wanting to 
> install a bunch of stuff from outside the PBI system (in other words, from 
> ports, which are still there under the hood of PC-BSD) will soon want to 
> switch to mainstream FreeBSD.

Take a look at DesktopBSD (their tools are even in the ports collection).
They stick to the ports and packages, but added some GUI stuff for
installation and administration, without doing a "compatibility break"
as PC-BSD does.

> As such PC-BSD has the potential to be an 
> effective ``gateway drug''(!)

In fact, it has.

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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