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Date:      Mon, 11 Sep 2006 17:55:37 -0700
From:      Ralph Ellis <>
Subject:   Re: Newbie Experience
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <000001c6d520$292f6700$0c01a8c0@DELL8400> <> <>

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On Monday 11 September 2006 2:12 pm, Anton Shterenlikht wrote:
> > >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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I think that for people who have never seen FreeBSD before, PC-BSD or 
DesktopBSD are good choices for starting points. Most of the install choices 
are made for you. Later if someone wants to do a custom install, they will 
have more familiarity with the choices or have a good FreeBSD book like 
FreeBSD 6 Unleashed which can help sort out the problems.
Ralph Ellis

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