[NBLUG/talk] Linux v. Free BSD

Scott Doty scott at ponzo.net
Mon Apr 9 10:56:23 PDT 2007

On Sun, Apr 08, 2007 at 03:29:12PM -0700, William Tracy wrote:
> >As a layman regarding Linux, I would like to know the opinions of those
> >on this list regarding the pros and cons of using Linux over Free BSD on
> >my home computer.
> The last time I tried FreeBSD as a desktop, I was not impressed.

As one who is horribly biased in favor of Linux, I gotta say:  The "free
desktop" components to a modern Linux distribution have reached a "critical
mass", where one can do non-trivial work with the thing without resorting to
a bash prompt...

I started using Linux in 1992, and selected it over 386BSD because it was
further along in its development... I don't know what the development
politics of BSD are nowadays, but at the time, I found the BSD folks to be
horribly snooty, whereas Linux would pretty much embrace any developer that
wanted to work on it, though all changes were filtered through Linus at the

I haven't regretted going with Linux, as it is a much more pragmatic
environment than other free unices.

(Incidentally, it looks like Dr. Sour Grapes is now trying a resurgence of
Minix... http://www.minix3.org/ ...)

An if you're going to want to run any MS Winderz applications, you're going
to have your best chance at using either Cedega ( http://cedega.com ), or
maybe running Windoze itself as a guest on a Xen kernel (which I don't know
if that even makes sense, but it sounds good :)

Incidentally, if you're running on some x86_64 platform (AMD64 or EM64T),
you'll discover that Linux handles 32-bit vs. 64-bit situations much more
handily than xp -- I can't speak for vista, maybe someone can chime in with
their experiences.  Personally, I'd rather run Beryl under Linux than Aero
under vista -- here's an extreme example using the water effects (which are
silly, but look pretty):


I use a 32-bit Firefox, so I can run Adobe's Flash for Linux -- and I run a
32-bit mplayer (usually) so I can use the Windoze 32-bit dll codecs. I've
lost track of the BSD's, so I'm not sure if that's possible with them,
though I do hope so...

Anyway, my $0.02.


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