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Date:      Sun, 10 Sep 2006 17:06:20 -0500
From:      Derek Ragona <>
To:        Bob Walker <>,
Subject:   Re: Newbie Experience
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <000001c6d520$292f6700$0c01a8c0@DELL8400>
References:  <000001c6d520$292f6700$0c01a8c0@DELL8400>

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You are correct that FreeBSD is closer with roots to UNIX.

You would have done better to post here first and get some pointers on 
installation.  The basic install is usually easy on supported hardware.  X 
and and GUI like gnome, kde, etc are NOT part of the OS.  Unlike other OS's 
there is no GUI tied to FreeBSD.  So most X window managers will work.  But 
you should have done a little more research on X and whether your hardware 
is supported.

A couple of the best parts of FreeBSD is the rich ports collection, support 
for even running the OS on "dated" hardware, and the flexibility of the OS.


At 04:29 PM 9/10/2006, Bob Walker wrote:
>I have always wanted to better understand Unix, and so I finally made the
>decision to switch some of my office PCs over to either a Unix or Linux
>system. With office suites like OpenOffice, I felt that I would be able to
>transition away from Windows with minimal disruption to my business. So, I
>downloaded the .iso images from FreeBSD, Suse, and Fedora. I initially
>favored FreeBSD, since it seemed to have the closest lineage to "pure" Unix,
>and that was important to me, but after many, many attempts to install both
>the OS and Gnome desktop environment, I threw up my hands.
>In brief, the installation process is just awful. After multiple attempts on
>an admittedly older machine (Pentium II 266Mhz, 256KB ram, 30GB hard drive,
>S3 Virge graphics card), I was able to get the FreeBSD OS installed, but
>could not configure Gnome or KDE properly. The documentation is sketchy at
>best. I had to learn about X11, Xorg, XFree86, and all of the gory history
>of X before I could even begin to use ee and know to edit the /etc/rc.conf
>file. The installation process did not recognize my graphics card or
>Ethernet connection, and all I could get was a crude 600x800 display. And
>DesktopBSD was even worse.
>I then repartitioned my drive and sequentially installed Fedora Core 5 amd
>then Suse 10.1. Both were EASY to install, Fedora in particular recognized
>all of my peripherals, and I was up and running with it in about two hours.
>Conversely, FreeBSD took me multiple days and has still left me bewildered.
>Needless to say, I was very disappointed. I feel that FreeBSD will never
>achieve broader acceptance (even with momentum building for alternative OS)
>among people with modest technical proficiency and fairly simple
>requirements (i.e., spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, email).
>FreeBSD has an awful "out of the box" experience. It's too bad, because I
>think FreeBSD is probably a better OS, but I'll never really know. Regards,
>Bob Walker
>Surveys & Forecasts, LLC
>2323 North Street
>Fairfield, CT 06824-1738
>T +
>F +1.203.549.0635
>M +1.203.685.8860
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