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Date:      Mon, 11 Sep 2006 22:12:41 +0100
From:      Anton Shterenlikht <mexas@bristol.ac.uk>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: Newbie Experience
Message-ID:  <20060911211241.GA2211@mech-aslap33.men.bris.ac.uk>
In-Reply-To: <a25afc300609111014g767be5e7s37eaf2be923d64d6@mail.gmail.com>
References:  <000001c6d520$292f6700$0c01a8c0@DELL8400> <a25afc300609111014g767be5e7s37eaf2be923d64d6@mail.gmail.com>

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> >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,
> >
> >
> too bad, you experienced that, the FreeBSD sysinstall is not that really
> hard, it may seem daunting at first because of its text mode but it is very
> straight forward, i guess you have to read the handbook over and over again
> to fully comprehend the things you missed why things like X is not working,
> it will also help if you will include the error messages as to why you can't
> run/install gnome or kde. imo you missed some dependencies that's why you're
> having a hard time.

When I first installed FreeBSD, circa 2003, version 4.9, the two reasons I chose it over Redhat and Debian were the simplicity of the installation and good manual. The install process on REdhat and Debian was awkward, at least for me, and I could not make them work on my old compaq armada laptop. In contrast just following the manual and choosing default install parameters I got Freebsd working fast.

During the installation I actually learned a lot about unix and Freebsd, the sort of details which are important to know anyway.

It is hard to find the right balance between simplicity and functionality. It seems the balance in the Freebsd install is about right.

anton




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