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    So, over the span of about a week, I tested out the latest offerings:

    I’m a bit confused. What’s the point of trying any OS for less than a week? That’s hardly enough to get comfortable with an OS (or programming language or database, etc.) Given that evidently four operating systems have been tested over the span of a week that leaves even less time for each of them.

    It reminds me of Linux distribution reviews stopping right after installation maybe listing the the applications on the desktop or the default wallpaper as the last thing essentially. Even though at least this article didn’t do this which is a delight.

    Of course one is free to write about whatever, but I’m really unsure about the goal here. Also given that it wasn’t mentioned which BSD had which characteristic to prevent flame wars from what I read in genuinely curious about the overall goal of it. Or was it just creative writing, in which case it feels a bit off topic.

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      I think the article achieved it’s goals:

      The primary goal was to build as much of my C++ code that I could. The secondary goal was to try to rig up an X environment that looks and works like what I tend to use on my normal workstation: fluxbox, urxvt, bash, a couple of specific (and ancient) Dock/Wharf/Slit/whatever widgets, and so on.

      and the approach of using VM’s to for a week to see if you can create an environment that suits your needs, seems like a good starting place. As a long time OpenBSD user it was interesting to see the issues around installation, that generally I no longer think about as I know how to get what I want from the system.

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        I meant it more from the reader’s perspective or even more from the lobste.rs perspective. That’s what I meant with “free to write about whatever”. I am totally fine with the article, but not sure what the intention was. It’s barely a review giving that it’s neither per OS, nor does really tell much about actually using any system, still it kinda came across like one.

        If you found it interesting that’s great. Just was curious if I missed the point of why this was submitted.

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          It was interesting to me, but I check Rachel’s writing on a regular basis.

          She wasn’t trying to provide a review of the desktop environment or the like, because at this point she configures her environment to be basically the same on whatever Unix she’s on. The only meaningful reviews to be done would be detailed discussions of select vs kpoll and the like, but those don’t give a useful overall impression. Her task—compile a specific set of software she cares about—is well posed and provides a real exercise of the system for her purposes: what issues come up when you try to compile your software on it?

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        What’s the point of trying any OS for less than a week?

        That’s more time than most people give software when it’s not working in the way they want to, even more if they just want to be productive instead of tinkering around. So I think this is a very unfair claim.

        I just tried to setup a netbsd VM for some OS specific build configurations. Turns out I probably did something wrong somewhere and now I can’t SSH into the box. But meanwhile my CI for netbsd turned green, so it’s the end of my time investment for a netbsd VM (and journey into *BSD). That was about ~5 minutes.

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          I still don’t understand. Have you been productive after your first five minutes of Windows, Linux or macOS? Did everything worked like you wanted it to in the first five minutes?

          Of course to try something is a different use case and I assume you did not end up writing an article about NetBSD in the end.

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            I’d find it pretty weird if you come from Linux and aren’t productive on FreeBSD or OpenBSD (any issues with stuff that are simply not supported or need some porting of your own) very quickly. The case could be made for OSX, but if you look at my i3 setup you’d have to dig a little to find out which Linux distro it is or which BSD.. I think the article perfectly describes this. You expect a vaguely POSIS/unixy system and once you made it through the installer and the package manager man page you should be able to do some things. And it worked, for the most part. I think that’s great.

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        I’m a simple man, I see dragonfly bsd, I upvote. Even though the article doesn’t explicitly mention what the issues with Dragonfly are. Anyone has a clue what issue is with what bsd?

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          The auto disk partitioning is surely OpenBSD. Probably also the VMware one. Oh, and the disk image versus iso image is most probably also OpenBSD :)

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          There were certainly some valid criticisms and observations for someone not really interested in having full control over their environment. I also think that’s an underserved group for most of the BSD’s.

          since this was basically a quick first impressions type test drive it would have been interesting to give NomadBSD, MightnightBSD, GhostBSD etc a spin, they seem to be built specifically to give the end-user an opinionated version of what a desktop should look like on BSD. i’d love to see more projects like this for the other BSD’s too as I think it’s a great on-ramp for new users.

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            In any such writing, the original goals of the operating system are also very important, since the design and architecture revolves around those goals. Keeping them in perspective generally helps formulate a better understanding of the OS and supposed quirks. It may also cut down the time spent on evaluation, since the expectations are set and disappointment is to a lesser degree.

            For example, OpenBSD is clearly built by the developers for themselves, as opposed to the user community.

            It was an amusing piece of creating writing though.