Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)
Date:      Mon, 25 May 2020 14:31:23 -0400 (EDT)
From:      Doug Denault <>
To:        Polytropon <>
Cc:        Odhiambo Washington <>, User Questions <>
Subject:   Re: updating a FreeBSD workstation
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <>

Next in thread | Previous in thread | Raw E-Mail | Index | Archive | Help
On Sat, 23 May 2020, Polytropon wrote:

> On Sat, 23 May 2020 10:47:37 +0300, Odhiambo Washington wrote:
>> Look at it this way: Ardent FreeBSD guys started PC-BSD, which was quite good 
>> for the Desktop. They then changed to TrueOS (just the name) and finally 
>> decided that TrueOS is better left to be their server version and 
>> to be their Desktop version. The later is based 
>> on something called Void Linux (I am hearing about that for the first time 
>> today after your post prompted me to look for PC-BSD, TrueOS). So either head 
>> to Project Trident or just identify some Linux for the Desktop. You will have 
>> and an easier life.

I have two issues here: (1) too many of them; (2) the FreeBSD source doe not 
necessarily match a release level.

> Additionally, what about Lumina? FreeBSD was supposed to get a native desktop 
> environment that better suited the needs for working with FreeBSD (as the OS) 
> than desktops ported from Linux, which still don't really offer a consistent 
> and useful interface to FreeBSD system functions and configuration. Of course, 
> this would only cover the desktop - not any application program (like web 
> browser, office suite, vector graphics program, photo manipulation or video 
> editing tool), which are again coming from Linux, and therefore carry a lot of 
> specific dependencies where the gap of "FreeBSD vs. Linux" seems to be 
> increasing. I mentioned system functions: Lumina was supposed to offer GUI 
> interfaces to system configuration, hardware management, networking, OS and 
> application updates, diagnostics, and so on, things that most users would 
> probably expect to be integrated in a desktop.
> So I'd say, if you want a "just works", use Linux. You'll find all things 
> mentioned in an integrated form, working. Because it was made for Linux, it 
> will work on Linux.

Thanks for your thoughts. I guess I should have included it for reference but I 
use my desk top as a first look at what's gonna happen when I update the 
servers. So out-of-the-box is not my goal at all. I'm pretty old and decided 
when I was not so old I had one more OS "in me" and decided FreeBSD was it for 
reasons that made sense (at least to me :). Back in the 4.5 days it was most 
useful in un-IBMing my thinking and instincts, and becoming a reasonable unix 
sysadmin. Partly all this is because I believe FreeBSD can not give up on the 
Desktop world and remain in the server world. (See

To that end, I really believe in the thing I read somewhere (maybe Richie) that 
the Unix philosophy is "I will not stop you from doing something incredibly 
stupid, because that may stop you from doing something incredibly clever". The 
PHP project is the exact opsite of this.

> That is not a statement that suggests that it's impossible to get an excellent 
> desktop with FreeBSD (I know it - I'm using them for decades). There is even a 
> port "mkdesktop" that does most of the work for you: You select which desktop 
> you want, and the port will take care of the dependencies.
> The core problem is: "the desktop" means different things to different people. 
> What does it include? Just a GUI file manager and icons on the wallpaper? Or 
> bundled applications? And what about integration with the OS, so you can 
> configure your system? The "problem" with choice: Whatever your definition is, 
> you'll definitely find something that suits your needs. :-)

What I am doing meets my needs. I was not clear on that. In fighting with the HP 
and othe BIOS's and solving other installation problems, rare is the day I do 
not learn something useful to my server-self.

My comment was more along the line that I did not understand at all, and still 
do not I guess, understand what making the head of the ports tree being tied to 
a release level had as a goal. I was suprised at the relatively small number of 
common libraries between the ports that make interium pkg updates unlikely (for 
me). Because of the small intersection I was wondering if the 'pkg' problem 
could in fact be mitigated in the Make files. Having written all this I guess 
you nailed me, in that I am mostly complaining that I want others to solve my 
ports issue, which is largely self-imposed. I really appreciate the feedback.

Douglas Denault
Voice: 301-217-9220
   Fax: 301-217-9277

Want to link to this message? Use this URL: <>