It's been quite some time since I've played in the BSD world.  Setting up a BSD desktop used to be quite a chore configuring X to work properly let alone getting the drivers to recognize all my devices.

I recently installed PC-BSD ( a derivative of FreeBSD ) and the experience was very similar to any modern Linux distro install.  I was rather impressed by the fact that they had an LXDE environment as a choice of desktop.  I normally use Gnome 2 ( I'm not fond of Gnome 3 at all ) and found that LXDE was rather quick and responsive.  The other desktop option available is KDE.

The CD .iso download contains a bare minimum of apps to install.  However, the PBI ( Push-Button Installer ) makes installing additional programs a breeze.  If you haven't checked out BSD in a while then now might be a good time to play around with PC-BSD.
Posted on 2012-10-19 19:29:10 by p1ranha

I normally use Gnome 2 ( I'm not fond of Gnome 3 at all )


I'm still waiting for the FreeBSD port of Gnome 3.
Posted on 2012-10-20 07:06:58 by Scali
Do you actually use Gnome 3 ( not just experimented ) and do you prefer it over Gnome 2?  For me it just feels counter-productive - or maybe it's just simply that I don't like a "cell-phone" interface on my desktop PC.  IMHO there seemed to be an increase in mouse movements required and holding down the Alt key to expose certain menu options like shutdown is a poor design.  Extensions are a cool but implementaton appears flawed.

I'm all for choice in desktop environments.  However there is quite a backlash in the Linux community regarding Gnome 3 ( and Ubuntu's Unity for that matter ).  Linus has even chimed in regarding his extreme displeasure: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/linus-torvalds-finds-gnome-3-4-to-be-a-total-user-experience-design-failure/11127.

Numerous articles and blogs debate the merits of such shells.  I'm sure there exists a direct correlation with the criticisms of the Windows Metro UI somewhere.  I guess the question boils down to: Are we simply resisting the change/progress which is the future of computing or are these new shells simply half-baked solutions to a problem that doesn't exist?
Posted on 2012-10-20 09:20:30 by p1ranha

Do you actually use Gnome 3 ( not just experimented ) and do you prefer it over Gnome 2?


No, what I meant to say is: I'm waiting for FreeBSD to release a port of Gnome 3 so I can experiment with it.
I've gone back and forth between KDE and Gnome a few times over the years, but eventually I settled on Gnome 2. So I'd like to give Gnome 3 a try.
Then again, perhaps it's taking the FreeBSD team so long to port it because they don't really feel like Gnome 3 is worth supporting anyway.


I'm all for choice in desktop environments.


In general, I'm not. I think in terms of user interfaces, having a single widespread interface has a lot of benefits to both end-users and developers.


However there is quite a backlash in the Linux community regarding Gnome 3 ( and Ubuntu's Unity for that matter ).  Linus has even chimed in regarding his extreme displeasure: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/linus-torvalds-finds-gnome-3-4-to-be-a-total-user-experience-design-failure/11127.


Yes, which is why I'm somewhat curious about Gnome 3 myself. Just not curious enough to spend time in a linux distribution for it, so I'll wait until it's available for FreeBSD... it's just that it's starting to take rather long now.


Numerous articles and blogs debate the merits of such shells.  I'm sure there exists a direct correlation with the criticisms of the Windows Metro UI somewhere.  I guess the question boils down to: Are we simply resisting the change/progress which is the future of computing or are these new shells simply half-baked solutions to a problem that doesn't exist?


As usual, the answer is probably somewhere in the middle. I have given the Windows 8 interface a few quick test runs in a VM (mainly to see VS2012 and to test my code in Win8), and honestly, I don't quite see what the fuss is about. A single press of the Windows key will swap between desktop and metro screen. And the desktop still works the same as it always did, aside from the start menu missing from the taskbar.
I've heard from some multihead desktop users that they were actually quite fond of the new Metro menu: They can have the Metro menu on one screen, and the desktop on the others, allowing for easy navigation to common apps/functionality. I haven't tried it myself, but I can somewhat imagine the added value of a start menu that is always open and available directly.
Perhaps that will be a possible future? Having a small (touch)screen as your permanent menu, and another screen as your desktop. Perhaps your smartphone or tablet can dock to your desktop to act as this menu.
Posted on 2012-10-20 09:47:18 by Scali