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    The OS itself in my opinion is not ready for widespread desktop usage…

    Would I install it on my granma’s computer? Most likely not, but nor would I GNU/Linux. However, it is just right for my kind of usage (workstation on a Thinkpad Carbon Gen 3).

    OpenBSD is by far the most stable and predictable OS I am running (that includes OSX and GNU/Linux) and I am running -current. It does everything that needs being done and does it well.

    I agree with OP that one has to like configuring stuff by editing files and reading manpages on the CLI. That being said, configurations are usually pretty terse, man pages well detailed and examples in the man abundant.

    OpenBSD is a powertool for powerusers. It’s not being developed for mass market appeal and that’s actually one of its most attractive features.

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      Actually, it is exactly the system I would install on my granma’s computer: A clean OpenBSD desktop with two icons: “Internet” and “Mail”.

      She will never get a virus, break it, or fail to fake windows phone scams.

      My mother ran a Linux box for many years before jumping to a mac, and she was happy. Everything worked, nothing ever broke. It was predictable. Nowadays Linux is less predictable, especially after an upgrade, but OpenBSD is :)

      Edit: However I wouldn’t recommend OpenBSD to a “regular user” friend.

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        Actually, it is exactly the system I would install on my granma’s computer: A clean OpenBSD desktop with two icons: “Internet” and “Mail”.

        Geez, what an assumption ;), maybe grandma is a UNIX wizard and uses qutebrowser and mutt and launches them from the terminal.

        At any rate, as far as I understand from various posts (haven’t tried OpenBSD since the early 00s), “Internet” would be very slow. Moreover, she would not be able to watch Netflix, since Widevine is not supported on OpenBSD. Oh, and she probably can’t Skype with her grandchildren, etc.

        Do you non-tech beloved ones a favor and buy them an iPad. Despite the problems of Apple or Apple hardware, it is the most secure consumer platform, that gets updates for at least half a decade, and probably supports any popular application they’d want (Skype, Netflix, Youtube, Facebook, etc.).

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          An iPad would work well for some people, but for many of my older relatives, they have trouble with the touchscreen input. They can all type reasonably well, since they’re of a generation where Typing was an entire course you took in school, but find touchscreen-typing to be frustrating. As far as something similar but with a kb, not sure whether iPad+bluetooth kb, or just a MacBook would be easier.

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            An iPad would work well for some people, but for many of my older relatives, they have trouble with the touchscreen input. They can all type reasonably well, since they’re of a generation where Typing was an entire course you took in school, but find touchscreen-typing to be frustrating.

            That’s interesting and a good point. Though it does not apply to everyone. My mother is in her sixties and never used a computer until 5 years ago (well, except for a domain specific-terminal application when she worked in a library in the 90ies). Despite doing some courses, etc. she always found computers too complex. However, since my dad bought an iPad for her ~5 years ago she has been using it very actively. She is able to do everything she wants - iMessaging, sending e-mail, and browse the web. Later, she also started using a smartphone, since ‘it is just a small iPad’.

            At any rate, iPad + KB vs. MacBook would strongly depend on the person and how much they want beyond a simple media consumption device. Of course, if someone is going to compose documents on a device all day, an iPad is a bad option.

            Of course, when it comes to typing you don’t want to buy a MacBook 12”/Pro now either ;). The butterfly keyboard is terribly unreliable (my 2016 MBP’s keys are sticky all the time).

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              Sounds like my grandmother. She does almost everything through a web browser. I had her use Ubuntu briefly. She had no trouble with using it but just prefered the look and feel of Windows. So she went back. I still get malware calls on occasion.

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              On phones, touch typing sucks for me cuz I have shaky fingers. Miss the keys and have to backspace a lot. Happens less on tablet with big keys. Doesnt happen with a physical keyboard regardless of size. I think it’s the extra, tactile feedback my brain gets from raised keys.

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                I use an iPad (with a bluetooth keyboard) while on vacations as a substitute laptop. And with an SSH client program I can even do development on a remote server [1].

                [1] I may not like it that much, as the bluetooth keyboard I use is hard for me to use [2]. But I can do it.

                [2] Even the keyboards on Mac laptops suck. I generally only use IBM Model M keyboards, but taking one on vacation is a bit overkill I think.

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                Geez, what an assumption ;), maybe grandma is a UNIX wizard and uses qutebrowser and mutt and launches them from the terminal.

                Sounds like OpenBSD would work even better for your grandmother than we first thought!

                “Internet” would be very slow.

                Why would that be?

                Do you non-tech beloved ones a favor and buy them an iPad. Despite the problems of Apple or Apple hardware, it is the most secure consumer platform, that gets updates for at least half a decade, and probably supports any popular application they’d want (Skype, Netflix, Youtube, Facebook, etc.).

                Sorry but no way would I ever subject anyone I know to using an iPad. Not only is their hardware crap (overheating the moment you do anything with it), and not only is their software locked-down-to-the-point-of-unusably crap, but tablets in general are absolutely pointless devices that have no reason to exist in the home. Tablets are great if you’re an engineer that needs to have a lightweight device with a good bright screen that they can use to look at plans on site. For my mother? Why wouldn’t she just use a laptop?

                Want to make a spreadsheet of your expenses? Nope, sorry, tablet spreadsheet software is garbage. Hope you like having a keyboard pop up over whatever you’re doing every time you want to input anything. Hope you like being unable to copy a row in a single drag of the mouse like you can on desktop, instead having to apparently click, copy, and manually paste into each cell. etc. They’re just bad devices for doing anything productive with a computer, and contrary to popular belief most people want to sometimes do something productive with their computer, whether it’s making a spreadsheet of their expenses, writing a letter to the editor of their paper, making a newsletter for their knitting association, or whatever. Sure they also want to watch Netflix, but that doesn’t mean that all they want to do is watch Netflix.

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                  Why would that be?

                  https://www.tedunangst.com/flak/post/firefox-vs-rthreads

                  but tablets in general are absolutely pointless devices that have no reason to exist in the home. Tablets are great if you’re an engineer that needs to have a lightweight device with a good bright screen that they can use to look at plans on site. For my mother? Why wouldn’t she just use a laptop?

                  Both my parents and wife are completely happy iPad users. Outside work, my wife usually uses her tablet, despite having a laptop. They are safe, fast and effortless (require virtually no tech support). Interestingly, I as an engineer don’t need or want one. I had an iPad and Nexi on several occasions, but would never use them.

                  YMMV

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                  ipads serve ads and manipulate you. allowing a manipulator access to a loved one doesn’t sound like a favor, not for the loved one at least.

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                    You will have to expand on that statement. The iPad I’m using to type this does not serve any ads outside apps. Nor do I feel manipulated.

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                      ads inside apps are still ads, as are push notifications from apps. and of course ios/app developers aren’t trying to make you feel manipulated.

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                      What ads? Paid apps typically don’t show ads. Besides that Safari on iOS has a content blocking API. Install e.g. Firefox Focus, which is a Safari ad blocker (besides a privacy-focus browser), and websites in Safari are ad-free.

                      I have an iDevice (iPhone) and I never see an ad.

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                        youtube and facebook both show ads, and many facebook stories are ads even if they don’t look it. you can circumvent that on an ipad? could your grandma?

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                          What exactly does that have to do with the iPad? Facebook and Youtube are hardly specific to the iPad. Circumvention being ad-blocking? Won’t block facebook stories that are ads.

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                            the ipad has facebook and youtube apps, as /u/iswrong pointed out.

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                            Well, the comparison here is unfair. In OpenBSD they wouldn’t even have a Facebook or Youtube app. If they’d use the browser to access Facebook/Youtube in OpenBSD, there would be no difference, since Safari can also do ad blocking. Plus they would get hardware-accelerated video ;).

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                              right, BSD and Linux don’t have apps, so their utility isn’t tied to apps which show ads and manipulate you. OpenBSD has alternatives to facebook and youtube which don’t have these problems.

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                      Feels like a Chromebook would have a lot of the same advantages?

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                        What do you mean by “predictable” here? In my experience most major Linux distributions care far more about backwards compatibility between releases than OpenBSD does.

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                          Might pretend on the distro. Ubuntu is annoying about changes that break stuff or needlessly force me to learn new way to do old thing.

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                        OpenBSD feels to me similar to how Linux felt 10 years ago: precisely aimed at me. Now it feels like the ‘powers that be’ in the Linux community are only interested in targeting mobile devices and turning GNOME into macOS’s awful UI design of not letting you do anything that they didn’t think of beforehand.

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                          Why not run Gentoo or NixOS? Both give you as many configuration options as you require and neither sacrifice any speed? If you are security conscious I believe Gentoo still runs the “hardened” sources.

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                            My concerns have nothing to do with security or configuration. I currently run Gentoo.

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                        I am always surprised that people think OpenBSD is not suited for the desktop? It has got the best Gnome integration of all the BSDs AFAICT and that’s a great desktop for non programmers. The only downside I see is that by default you don’t get an auto upgradable system, so for family members I’d add the m:tier LTS support for packages and run a cron job…

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                          GNOME is not suited for the desktop.

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                            ahahhaa