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Re: Competition

As the newbie here, I'd like to chip in a little.

On 08/25/2011 08:52 AM, Aleksej Saushev wrote:
As it stands today it feels like NetBSD is geared more toward the
experienced Unix user. Installing NetBSD for the first time can be kind
of daunting and documentation can be hard to get at. The amount of
advocacy doesn't matter if a possible user decides to try NetBSD and
then gives up because he can't install it.

I don't remember such having impression. The ability to read documentation
is essential in IT, you can't work around it. The reason you don't hear
of installation problems with MS Windows or MacOS is not because they
are trivial to install, it is because they come pre-installed.

I did not think NetBSD was harder to install than FreeBSD or OpenBSD. It's nice that FreeBSD and OpenBSD setup networking during the install, but all in all I still found NetBSD a bit easier than the others.

I didn't have any trouble finding or reading the NetBSD manual. The manual was easy to find, and it was written in a nice "tutorial" style that I found very accessible (much more than, say, OpenBSD). I think very highly of NetBSD's documentation.

That said, I would welcome a desktop-oriented installer for NetBSD that also gave you X11, pkgin, a choice GUI (e.g. Gnome, Xfce, twm, etc) and a selection of desktop applications (Gimp, LibreOffice, etc). I don't mean that you have to clone Ubuntu; just just use pkgsrc to install the software you already have.

In other words, I am not talking about a desktop for grandma, I am talking about a desktop for an intelligent Unix user who is not primarily a sysadmin. A scientist for example, like me.

I think that what I'm trying to say is that if the project wants to get
a bit more main stream to "compete", then I think you have to both work
at advocacy and on delivering what the potential user wants. You also
have to define a direction, a goal. For me, as an outsider, I see NetBSD
as a solid server OS, an OS for embedded systems and also an OS for
enthusiasts and programmers who want to work on something in their free
time with mostly clean design and a good code base. As far as I know it
has never been geared towards the casual user.

Rule no. 1: there's no "casual user." It is use case what matters.
Those whom you thought of as "casual users" suggest such a diversity of
use cases, that sometimes you can rule out all operating systems but one.
Sometimes it can be NetBSD.

Indeed. I think it is right for NetBSD to not try to be Ubuntu (though I like Ubuntu). NetBSD is NetBSD, but it can still be a desktop BSD.

I'm not overweight, I'm undertall.

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