1. 17
  1.  

  2. 5

    I’m excited to see what comes of this. The BSDs are some of my favorite free software projects but at the moment Linux is the more practical choice for a consumer desktop IMO.

    Alpine, Void, Devuan, Adelie, Salix, and Project Trident are a cluster of exciting projects trying to achieve grandparent-usability while avoiding to a degree unnecessary complexity. It will be interesting to see how these projects evolve and if something emerges which is merely a fringe project in the arena of desktop operating systems, rather than a barely existing one.

    1. 4

      What new things does Devuan bring in terms of user accessibility? I’ve not heard it brought up in this context before.

      1. 1

        It doesn’t, did it seem like I said it does?

      2. 3

        While I do think BSDs can be suited for day to day desktop usage, I don’t think Trident (and previously TrueOS/PC-BSD) has ever really been. There have been a lot of shifts into different directions, but when one listens in to the BSD community people there never seemed to be all that happy about it being sold as FreeBSD on the desktop.

        And I don’t say it that lightly. I really think they also did a lot of cool stuff. From OpenRC on FreeBSD to sndio for everything they smoothed out some rough edges (even when it’s not 100% their work). Also their community is a great example of being both friendly and welcoming.

        I also have to admit that I don’t really know the reason. A commonly mentioned reason is too broad of a focus though. Converting everything to OpenRC and create a new desktop environments are not bad ideas per se, but maybe a bit much when the overall goal is to essentially be a desktop oriented FreeBSD “distribution” (as in being clearly based off FreeBSD, but with some not really typical differences, like OpenRC).

        Nevertheless I don’t think it’s wrong to say that most development on FreeBSD currently happens outside the realm of desktop usage. However, you can still just a better supported laptop and use it for every day tasks, without running into more issues than let’s say Ubuntu or Arch Linux. As usually there’s strengths and weaknesses which can change quite quickly. In the end the only way to find out if it suits you is to try it out.

        1. 2

          How is Alpine trying to achieve “grandparent-usability”? It’s pretty much an embedded/server distro. And Devuan is a project explicitly for those who don’t want evolution.

          1. 1

            You’re right about Alpine. I don’t see how the point about evolution is relevant.

        2. 3

          BTW, Void Linux was created by someone who was originally a very active NetBSD developer. They’ve resigned (of course!), and, at one points, they’ve also completely disappeared from under Void Linux as well. (It seems like they’re back to being active within Void Linux right now.)

          1. 4

            There was the joke when that happened, that Void was so minimal, it’s developers dissolved into thin air.

            1. 3

              Why “of course”? Genuinely curious, as an outsider.

              1. 3

                I’m guessing because being an active NetBSD developer and leader of a linux distribution are both rather time consuming projects.

                1. 1

                  Ahh, I didn’t get that he tried to do both the things simultaneously. Thanks!