> FreeBSD is different, because the complete OS is developed and
> managed by the project, including ports. There is basically no
> need for a distro maker, because FreeBSD _is_ the distro itself
> (call it the _canonical_ distro, because nothing prevents you
> from changing stuff and forking off a commercial version, let's
> call it non-canonical "distro").

I understand basically FreeBSD has better consistency and quality because it
is a single project where everything comes together. This fits the general
"feel" I have experienced while working with it. I was just wondering why
Linux (+GNU stuff) got so much attention with commercial vendors while
FreeBSD might provide a better starting point instead. The question came to
me when my company was initially thinking about that customized distro, I
started wondering things like "(why) are we the only ones thinking about

> A Linux distro vendor basically collects components from disparate
> sources (kernel, gnu, libraries etc...) and assembles a OS. There is
> no central entity which provides an integrated view of a Linux OS, so
> there is a need for distro makers.

Hm... granted, collecting and connecting the components is one thing that is
not necessary with FreeBSD. BUT it comes across more as an operating
environment made by IT experts *for* IT experts. The reason why we wanted to
create a "distro" instead of just burning the ISOs from FTP was mainly
because there was a lot that needed to be done with configuration stuff in
order to become usable for our customers. (Then again, we have very special
and controlled requirements, so it was acceptable to reduce on the "general
purpose" side.)

When I started wondering about commercial distros for *end users* I had this
image of those friendly Linux installers in mind that enable even Windows
users to make the switch. On the other side, you might argue that FreeBSD is
not intended for this user group. But then again, why not? FreeBSD has so
far worked on any system I installed it on, it worked with any USB devices
that I could find, it has so far been a really cool experience. I cannot say
that of Linux, even the friendly distros like SuSE occasionally just crash
and reboot when I connect my USB camera. So why not...

> Ports are great, because you could even include diffs to the
> kernel (you have a custom kernel?) and misc. config and
> infrastructure files that make up the system. Turn that port
> into a package, and have the package system handle the
> transmogrification of an official FreeBSD snapshot into
> your own custom version.
> Good luck!

Thanks again for the tons of advice, that was very very kind of you!

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