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Date:      Thu, 09 Aug 2007 12:09:22 -0500
From:      Paul Schmehl <>
To:        Latitude <>,
Subject:   Re: Convince me, please!
Message-ID:  <99AEF7CC0DB4D26C9D523E95@paul-schmehls-powerbook59.local>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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--On August 8, 2007 11:22:26 PM -0500 Latitude <>=20

> I'm interested in changing over to FreeBSD from Windows, but I'll have
> to say, you guys don't really present a forceful argument to Windows
> users of how easy the switch may be.  I get knee-deep in FreeBSD jargon
> the second I get to your webpage. I need to see an overwhelming argument
> that FreeBSD is a perfectly acceptable alternative for home desktop
> users who have previously known only Windows.
I didn't see anyone who simply answered your questions, so here's my=20
attempt to do so.

You're not going to get an "overwhelming argument" from FreeBSDers because =

that's not how we work.  If you want to try it out, be our guest.  If you=20
find it frustrating and give up, none of us are going to be heartbroken by =

your failure.  If you're patient, and you ask enough questions, someone=20
here can solve every problem you run in to.

> For instance, if I download and install FreeBSD, will I instantly have a
> desktop windowing environment that I can navigate in while I figure out
> what's going on?

No.  In fact, if you don't read the documentation first (and Windows users =

seldom do), you will probably never get a desktop windowing environment.=20
You must configure your desktop environment before it will work.  You must =

also configure it so it starts up by default.

> Will I have a browser and way to setup an internet
> connection right off the bat?

Depending upon which window manager you choose, you may not have a=20
browser.  Depending upon what sort of internet connection you have, you=20
may never get connected.  *Especially* if you don't first read the=20
documentation carefully and print it out so you have it handy during the=20
install phase.

>  How will I migrate files from other
> operating systems?
You can mount almost any filesystem on the planet, so moving files to=20
FreeBSD is a snap.  But you'd better read the documentation first, or=20
you'll never figure it out.

> I understand you guys have been around for a while, but you don't seem
> to understand the monumental "fear" involved in switching operating
> systems.  You need to address those concerns head on from the start.

No, we don't.  The idea behind FreeBSD is that you are the owner and=20
operator.  That means you make all the decisions and you must understand=20
how to implement them.

>  I
> need to see several screenshots of apps that I can use as alternatives
> to what I have.
Not everything that's available on Windows *has* an alternative on=20
FreeBSD.  Do you homework.  Read the documentation.  Don't expect others=20
to spoon-feed you because it's not going to happen.

Paul Schmehl (
Senior Information Security Analyst
The University of Texas at Dallas


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