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Date:      Sat, 30 Mar 2013 11:02:13 +0100
From:      Polytropon <freebsd@edvax.de>
To:        Quartz <quartz@sneakertech.com>
Cc:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org, Jeff Belyea <jbelyea5@gmail.com>
Subject:   Re:
Message-ID:  <20130330110213.ec533547.freebsd@edvax.de>
In-Reply-To: <51564F42.5030404@sneakertech.com>
References:  <CAPZObWAYQFBMvp4gVtt5TJ9kf2KGsmv12B9DC+2KSFhyCAzXRg@mail.gmail.com> <5154D66D.5090407@sneakertech.com> <20130329101210.ff3c4391.freebsd@edvax.de> <51564F42.5030404@sneakertech.com>

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On Fri, 29 Mar 2013 22:34:42 -0400, Quartz wrote:
> 
> > Personally I'm using FreeBSD _exclusively_ (!) on the desktop
> > since version 4.0, and I haven't missed _any_ "common desktopy
> > thing" that is required for my daily work.
> 
> I was referring to general intent when I wrote that. For example, bsd 
> has poor support for things like sleep/suspend/hibernate.

Okay, that is something I would not have suggested with "desktop"
in the first place. Of course the support in regards of ACPI is
limited. This is primarily because manufacturers don't seem to
agree how to standardize things, and instead rely on closed-source
drivers which are only developed for "Windows" (which is a
financial decision, so fully valid for them). I've been lucky
to only own hardware with good support, I may say IBM / Lenovo
laptops, T and R series, various models, offer this functionality
in a usable manner (with acpi_ibm.ko support).

What would be considered the same "circle of problems" is when
you have a laptop and a docking station, and you remove it
while running, or you put it on the station, and now you
expect network to "switch over", like audio and PS/2 keyboard,
and maybe the screen too... but in some cases, all you get is
a system freeze (to prevent worse things).

If you select a good laptop model before purchasing it, or if
you have the chance to do some testing prior to the purchase,
you might be lucky that everything works. In the past, when
APM has been fully functional, it has been abolished by ACPI.
I fear if "everything" ACPI-related should work perfectly, it
will be obsoleted by OEM-specific UEFI implementations. :-(

So when you are in the happy situation of "not having bought
the hardware yet", do some inquiries and investigation. If
you have already purchased a device, _try_ something else,
and keep in mind that the manufacturer disagrees with what
you're doing. :-)



> While desktops 
> and laptops would certainly take advantage of those things, severs 
> generally don't, so fixing it has traditionally been low priority. In 
> contrast, linux has that working out of the box on almost all hardware. 
> Likewise in my experience a number of other home-use things like laptop 
> wifi are generally better supported under linux.

I can agree with that, it's also my observation. Still it seems
to depend on what Linux distribution you use, as they usually
don't provide a "one distro for all kinds of system", so there
are server distros, desktop distros and laptop distros (or
variations of one distro). Trial & error is possible due to the
fact that many of them offer a bootable system that can be used
to check support and functionality.



> A similar situation exists for software, especially non-business 
> software and oddball utilities. On bsd you can usually find something to 
> do what you need, but you'll often be limited to one or two choices, 
> whereas with linux you might have half a dozen. (Whether all these 
> packages are GOOD or not is a separate issue :)

I don't see the issue you're claiming. On FreeBSD, you can run
(almost) all the Linux programs, so no problem here. :-)

What you might find is that more and more software is developed
for Linux "exclusively", taking advantage of "Linuxisms" that
are not portable, so porting them to other systems like the BSDs
is much more work, or maybe even impossible. In the Linux world,
infrastructures chance often, they are different between the
many distributions, be it system bootstrapping, package management,
preferred (and supported) desktop environments and so on.

For example, I've been running Linux and even "Windows" games
on my FreeBSD home desktop without any problem (and I'm talking
about 3D-intensive shooters here). There basically was no work
I needed to invest to "cross a border".



> I'm not saying that bsd *can't* be used for a home desktop, it certainly 
> can, but it was never aimed at the grandma+laptop market and the 
> hardware support and software selection reflects that.

This is the case where PC-BSD comes into play. With the availability
of live system CDs or USB media, it's not hard to simply try out
things without damaging some installed "Windows" - a feature that
emphasizes how non-invasive Linux and BSD treats their users.



> But I don't hold 
> that against bsd. You can't be all things to all people, bsd is very 
> good for servers and linux is good for home use, and they each have 
> their place.

In the end, all of them are just tools. The usefulness of a tool
highly depends on the task you want to apply it to. :-)




-- 
Polytropon
Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...



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