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View Full Version : New to FOSS, why did Mark go with Linux over FreeBSD?



qombi
January 14th, 2008, 03:53 AM
I was just curious. I am new to the FOSS but I really love all of it so far. From what I have read Freebsd seems like it would have a better chance for desktop success. This is coming from somone with a fresh perspective on the free OSs.

Freebsd for one is the complete OS not distros which provides standards making it easier to produce software for. I think software developers can be weary of Linux with all the different distros out there that a potential customer could try to install their software on and it not work. I was curious if Mark Shuttleworth looked into investing into making FreeBSD the OS of choice or was it Linux all the way?

tgalati4
January 14th, 2008, 03:59 AM
Excellent question! Don't know the answer. Perhaps he just likes Debian. Not much clue from:

http://www.ubuntu.com/community/ubuntustory

If someone has Mark's email, perhaps you could ask him personally. He does have a blog, although I don't recall seeing a rationale on it either.

Sef
January 14th, 2008, 04:00 AM
FreeBSD is under the LGPL - Lesser General Public License. It's source code is freely available, but you do not have to share any changes you make, unlike GNU/Linux, which is under the GPL (General Public License.)

DouglasAWh
January 14th, 2008, 04:00 AM
I've been working in IT (albeit a Windoze environment) for 5.5 years now and went to a magnet high school for science and mathematics and I don't know anyone that uses or has ever used FreeBSD. I mean, probably some of my friends have, but I don't know about it. Point being, if no one is using it, there's no base to build off.

qombi
January 14th, 2008, 04:03 AM
Okay thanks for the responses. I am still fuzzy on the different free licenses.

p_quarles
January 14th, 2008, 04:08 AM
FreeBSD is under the LGPL - Lesser General Public License. It's source code is freely available, but you do not have to share any changes you make, unlike GNU/Linux, which is under the GPL (General Public License.)
It's actually under the BSD License: http://www.freebsd.org/copyright/freebsd-license.html

Vadi
January 14th, 2008, 04:10 AM
I think Mark was a Debian developer.

Anyhow, Linux has a much larger user base and subsequently programs and such..

SunnyRabbiera
January 14th, 2008, 06:20 AM
Yup Mark was a debian developer.
but really BSD has some way to go, while linux is currently being accepted BSD is still in the iron age... but its getting there

Methuselah
January 14th, 2008, 06:31 AM
I'm posting this from FreeBSD.
Trust me, it's great. :)
Stable and well put together.

It's definitely not as popular and linux but on its own merits, it's a great system.
Just about all the good open source applications have been ported and quite a few linux commercial applications can run under a compatiblity layer.
That's how I achieve flash support.

One of the things I really like is the ports collection.
Over 17000 applications right at your fingertips.
'cd usr/ports/x11-wm/xfce4' then 'make install clean' and you have xfce.

It's a bit like apt except that it builds from source.
You do have the option to install binaries using 'pkg_add'.
However, not all ports have corresponding packages.

The base FreeBSD install is NOT newbie friendly though.
There is copious documentation on the website but unless you are willing to accept the learning curve, forget it.
After installation, all you get to begin with is the command line and you have to configure everything from there yourself.
However, PCBSD (www.pcbsd.org) exists as a prepackaged FreeBSD desktop system.
There is also DesktopBSD which has similar aims.

Linux has certain advantages due to its userbase but I started my 'Unix' journey with FreeBSD so I'm real fond of it.
I think Ubuntu is doing a great thing though.

[I've attached my FreeBSD desktop.
I'ts pretty much the default gnome setup.
I haven't changed the theme]

jrusso2
January 14th, 2008, 06:50 AM
FreeBSD can never be as good of a desktop as Linux. Its always behind in hardware support.

Although it runs Linux apps it does not run them all.

Methuselah
January 14th, 2008, 06:54 AM
FreeBSD can never be as good of a desktop as Linux. Its always behind in hardware support.

Although it runs Linux apps it does not run them all.


Linux can never be as good of a desktop as Windows. It's always behind in harwdare support.

Although it runs Windows apps it does not run them all.\\:D/

Lol, seriously, it's not that bad.
All you care about is that it supports the hardware you have.
If you're going to run it, you buy things that work!

jrusso2
January 14th, 2008, 06:59 AM
Linux can never be as good of a desktop as Windows. It's always behind in harwdare support.

Although it runs Windows apps it does not run them all.\\:D/

Lol, seriously, it's not that bad.
All you care about is that it supports the hardware you have.
If you're going to run it, you buy things that work!

Let them try running Freebsd desktop they will all be back

Methuselah
January 14th, 2008, 07:07 AM
I'm running one!

BTW, my current machine has Ubuntu, FreeBSD and Windows.
My webcam and TVTuner card work only in Windows.
Ubuntu tries to scan from my TVTuner card for some reason.
I might be able to make everything work on all of them but not without some effort.
Darn device manufacturers!

Once you have a FreeBSD desktop set up it's not a lot different from Linux.
There is more effort to set it up if you're starting from FreeBSD (rather than say PCBSD).
I'd definitely not recommmend it for someone who things LinuxMint is the best thing ever.

But can it make a wonderful desktop?
Sure!
And it runs faster on my machine than Ubuntu.

jrusso2
January 14th, 2008, 07:12 AM
I would love to see the average user get a freebsd box installed and running I have used Freebsd before and its great server OS

But as a desktop Linux is superior

Methuselah
January 14th, 2008, 07:18 AM
Setting up FreeBSD as a desktop system is probably no harder than setting up say Debian or ArchLinux. You just have to install a few packages. Are you going to say linux can't be used as a desktop because Debian requires some configuration?

No.

You might say there's Ubuntu which is based on Debian.
Right?

Then I say there is PCBSD which is based on FreeBSD (http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/12/26/).
It just isn't true that BSD is unusable as a desktop or that there are no ready-to-go options like Ubuntu.

Burgundavia
January 14th, 2008, 07:30 AM
FreeBSD, for all that it is great (or not, having never tried it), lacks the developer community. As such, you will lack applications, drivers, etc. All of these things make making a truly rocking OS much, much harder.

Corey

Methuselah
January 14th, 2008, 07:49 AM
Mac OSX is based on FreeBSD, just as an example.
I think its 'problems' are extremely overstated.
But this is a linux forum so you're forgiven. :)
http://desktopbsd.net/wiki/doku.php?id=doc:user_interfaces

DoktorSeven
January 14th, 2008, 08:21 AM
Actually, BSD has a ton of apps (apps made for any *nixlike system, including Linux, which means BSD gets pretty much all OSS that Linux does), and there are some very user-friendly, made-for-the-desktop BSD flavors like PCBSD (http://www.pcbsd.org/).

My first love is always Linux, but don't knock BSD until you try it.

mobileking
January 14th, 2008, 08:23 AM
it has more free control over its licence ! :guitar:........

argie
January 14th, 2008, 11:09 AM
FreeBSD can never be as good of a desktop as Linux. Its always behind in hardware support.

Although it runs Linux apps it does not run them all.

Come now, we can't do that. That's what Windows users say about Linux distros.

I'm willing to bet that its mostly the fact that Mark Shuttleworth worked for Debian once upon a time. That and the fact that the licence is GPL makes it worthwhile for Ubuntu to be made, because any improvements must be involved.

Actually, on second thoughts, ignore the licence comment. The last thing I want to start is a BSD v. GPL war.

az
January 14th, 2008, 12:13 PM
FreeBSD, for all that it is great (or not, having never tried it), lacks the developer community. As such, you will lack applications, drivers, etc. All of these things make making a truly rocking OS much, much harder.

Corey

...and that can be attributed to the license. The GPL is the most popular Free/libre open source license. The GPL defines and protects the freedom of the software. Something GPLed will always be free.

Yes, the BSD license has fewer clauses, but that translates into someone being able to hijack the software's project. I suppose upstream developers pick the GPL and GPL-like licenses because it keeps everyone on a level playing field.

Methuselah
January 14th, 2008, 12:38 PM
Actually, code under the BSD license will always be free as well.
It just doesn't mandate that derived works also be under a similar license.

But certainly, you could but your derived work under any license you want, including the GPL.

plb
January 14th, 2008, 03:28 PM
I've used FreeBSD as my desktop for 3 years and never had any sort of issue. The only reason Linux is more popular is back in 90s BSD was in court (for similiar issues that Linux was recently) so while BSD had a sort of uncertain future...Linux took over

qombi
January 14th, 2008, 04:00 PM
FreeBSD can never be as good of a desktop as Linux. Its always behind in hardware support.

Although it runs Linux apps it does not run them all.


Wouldn't that change though if it was as popular as a desktop linux? If it was as popular say linux ..or imagine windows, I bet you would see hardware support from vendors. Hard to say it could never be as good for that reason. It does hurt it though in gaining desktop support but kind of ironic If it had the hardware support it would be more popular at the same time since it does not hardware support it isn't popular enough to encourage vendors to make the support.

From most of the comments it sounds like the probable reasoning behind adopting linux as his OS of choice may be somewhere in between the fact he developed for linux and the license choice. Anyhow I think I will end up trying Freebsd in the future for myself just for th experience, and maybe OpenSolaris as well when a desktop is released. I will also continue to learn linux. Choices are nice.