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Desktop NetBSD needs your help
For those new to NetBSD the early user experience can be poor. This is
especially true when coming from a Windows/Mac/Linux background.
While basically sound, the installer asks many detailed questions and is
unintuitive. If new users persevere and install the system, they are left
with a 1980s-style text prompt, a lot of useful but unfamiliar tools, and no
way to browse the web in order to learn more. The learning curve is steep.
For more experienced users, installing a desktop to perform basic tasks like
web browsing or word processing is cumbersome. It generally involves hours
spent installing packages and editing configuration files. That can be fun
if you have nothing better to do, but most of us have busy lives.
Those are the problems, now on to the solution. Some of us have been
exchanging ideas on this topic for years, and have decided that it's time
we fixed the major problems. Hence the desktop project, the primary goal
of which is:
Given a NetBSD CD and a reasonably modern x86 computer, make it possible
to install a useful desktop system in under 15 minutes, responding to
only a few prompts in the process.
We need help with this project! If you have the time, ambition, skill and
aren't afraid to get your hands dirty, then please volunteer!
If you have insight into which areas of the system are poor, or areas in
which other systems excel, let us know!
We have created a wiki page with some information about the project. There
are already some tasks, ranging from from fun stuff like progamming to less
fun but essential stuff like e-mailing people to ask if we can use their
artwork. See here:
We have also set up a mailing list. It a majordomo list so you can subscribe
in the usual way. Note that in order to post to this list, you must be
Thanks for your time,
[Note: we have no plans to remove "expert" mode installs - this is about new
functionality. We believe this endeavour to be in the best interests of
NetBSD and its users and are committed to doing it, hence we are not
interested in debating the essential merits of the project. Thank you.]
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