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A Script Making It Easier Turning A FreeBSD Install Into A Working Desktop

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  • #11
    I sometimes run FreeBSD desktop machines - basically, it works fine and I'm just used to the OS. It's not quite as polished and integrated as a modern Linux desktop (since some of the DE functionality has not been ported over to use the equivalent BSD interfaces), but it's also more comfortably conservative: No weird surprises from whatever Cool New Thing has migrated in from Redhat (or Canonical) this week.

    If you, like me, mostly want a place where you can work in a text editor with a working browser (and sound and networking and an accelerated composited desktop), it's fine, almost boring. I'd suggest Linux on a laptop, though - or OpenBSD, they have apparently put in a surprising amount of work there.

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    • #12
      Banks run Fortran? That's a new one. Besides, (modern) C++ has yet to catch up with (modern) Fortran if you make heavy use of N-dimensional arrays. In C++ you're left to pick one external library among a gazillion or roll your own, either way making you API incompatible with every other, unless you pass raw pointers and strides/shape information as arguments (aka. "C-style" -- the very thing one wanted to avoid)...

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      • #13
        Originally posted by dnebdal View Post
        I sometimes run FreeBSD desktop machines - basically, it works fine and I'm just used to the OS. It's not quite as polished and integrated as a modern Linux desktop (since some of the DE functionality has not been ported over to use the equivalent BSD interfaces), but it's also more comfortably conservative: No weird surprises from whatever Cool New Thing has migrated in from Redhat (or Canonical) this week.

        If you, like me, mostly want a place where you can work in a text editor with a working browser (and sound and networking and an accelerated composited desktop), it's fine, almost boring. I'd suggest Linux on a laptop, though - or OpenBSD, they have apparently put in a surprising amount of work there.
        Well, Xfce exists for that exact reason.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by msotirov View Post
          Pardon my French but who gives a crap about FreeBSD or any Unix at this stage? Besides banks running 40 year old Fortran codebases that is. I'm genuinely curious.
          You know that Linux is a clone of UNIX right? All those programs, ls, awk, sed, cat, etc... are basically following the UNIX design. The UNIX design will outlive all current operating systems, including Linux.

          As for a specific UNIX implementation, you use OpenSSH right? That is developed by one UNIX in particular called OpenBSD. Without it you would either have RSH (insecure) or you will be paying for access to commercial implementations.

          Also, most banks run Linux these days. However games consoles (Switch, PS3, PS4) all use FreeBSD (possibly due to the less restrictive licensing rather than technical merit).

          Not caring about UNIX in this day and age is still quite naive. "Commercial UNIX" (such as AIX, Solaris) on the other hand possibly wont be in this world much longer. Which is a shame because we can learn a lot from them but their "owners" are old fashioned people and will unlikely open-source them so the world can benefit.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
            However games consoles (Switch, PS3, PS4) all use FreeBSD (possibly due to the less restrictive licensing rather than technical merit).
            That's the answer I was looking for. Thanks.

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            • #16
              its not hard to install mate on freebsd, its literally 2 commands and a reboot... https://fusion809.github.io/mate-freebsd/ (says its for 11.0 but they are still valid)

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              • #17
                Originally posted by msotirov View Post
                Pardon my French but who gives a crap about FreeBSD or any Unix at this stage? Besides banks running 40 year old Fortran codebases that is. I'm genuinely curious.
                Believe it or not, FreeBSD is actually in pretty good shape and modern and usable for many things. Of those things however, desktops it is not. Mainly driver support lags far behind linux.

                While all major graphics cards are supported on linux, only nVidia has official support on FreeBSD, and FOSS support is sketchy, and essentially copied from old versions of linux. driver support for misc hardware is nowhere near extensive either.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by GI_Jack View Post
                  support is sketchy, and essentially copied from old versions of linux. driver support for misc hardware is nowhere near extensive either.
                  Certainly "multimedia" things like video drivers, FreeBSD is possibly lacking but I notice with networking related things, even wifi, FreeBSD often has the better support which is then borrowed by Linux. This is certainly true with OpenBSD where they will re-engineer a driver rather than use the binary blob, and thus sometimes end up with a slightly better end result.

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                  • #19
                    Project Trident seems still active...

                    https://project-trident.org/

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
                      Wait. GNOME on FreeBSD?
                      Yup, deemed impossible by many haters because GNOME is supposedly tied to systemd, but here you go.

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