I got cursed up in heaps on the debian-user list, because I had the gall to assert that just installing a service shouldn't actually start it running.

I said that because I had done a full Gnome install on my PowerMac 8500. What I didn't realize ahead of time was that it was going to install gdm, the Gnome Display Manager - Gnome's version of an X11 login prompt.

Unfortunately, the X server didn't recognize my video, so I was presented with a black screen and no way to get out of X11.

I don't remember exactly how I fixed that, but I do recall that the whole process was very painful and that I had to remove gdm.

Apple doesn't have a problem providing GUI installers for Macintoshes because they have the full specs on all the video cards, and lots of engineers and QA personnel.

But Open Source developers often have incomplete specs, and are chronically lacking in coders with the needed expertise. They're often lacking in hardware to test with as well.

I can see all kinds of reason why a graphical installer would be nice - but it shouldn't be there at all unless you can count on it working reliably. The appeal of a nice installer is probably not worth the effort it would require to achieve that reliability.

Just about every day I read on the FreeBSD-Current list about ZFS failing or even crashing the whole system. There are many, many profound benefits a reliable ZFS implementation could bring to the community. That would be a better use of the community's limited resources.

Michael David Crawford

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