Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Why Linux? - I 1/2 ~ Why *BSD & OpenSolaris?

Why do experienced Linux users want to shift to {Open,Free,Net}BSD or OpenSolaris? They're non-intuitive to Linux users, have in general crappy hardware support (except for the wireless drivers in *BSD), and take up a lot of work setting up and getting used to. I'm not talking about "trying out" new stuff, thats an understandable thing, everyone likes to do that. I do it all the time. I'm talking about shifting to another OS.
You might say "same applies to people who shift from Windows to Linux". And you're right! To a certain extent.
Windows to Linux is an exception for reasons which I'll be introducing later; probably towards the end of this series of posts. All I'll say is that its related to "choice".

We have Ubuntu - A distro any newbie can use. And since any n00b can use Ubuntu, long time users of Ubuntu no longer feel "special", people who use Linux have normally been people with a desire to be "different". And they are no longer "different". So they shift to something a bit more unusual; say Gentoo, Slackware, or, for the truly masochistic, LFS (Linux From Scratch). What about those who've been using Gentoo all along? They don't want to get closer to all those Linux n00bs, they go one step higher. They shift to *BSD or OpenSolaris.

Yes Naresh, I'm looking at you. Gentoo traitor. :P


Johnny Tent said...

Are you trying to bore people off your blog?

nareshov said...

I disagree with the hardware support part. *BSDs might have a limited range of hardware support but are in no way "crappy".

Even with the "time taken to set up" part. If you compare gentoo and freebsd, for example, a standard freebsd installation takes at least 10 minutes lesser time that it takes for a gentoo stage3 installation.

I don't buy your hypothesis on why ubuntu users move to harder distros like slackware or gentoo. Most do it when they've had it with ubuntu for good and need more flexibility. (According to me, ubuntu is easy only with the install, later it's hell).

Talking about those who've been gentoo-ing all the time. Most stick to gentoo if they've maintained their systems with time or know how to do it when the need arises. Those who can't give up and take drastic steps such as move to ubuntu. I've come across at least 3 long-time gentoo users in the campus who've switched to ubuntu solely do the lack of time/patience. (Mandu, Manub, z@p#0d)

Talking about gentoo users who "shift" to BSD or OpenSolaris - they have their own reasons which they wouldn't like to share :P (this is a minority and I'm sure they have their reasons for why they're doing it - try asking if they shifted their personal boxes to BSD/Solaris :P)