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Old 06-11-2012, 08:59 PM
Emegra Emegra is offline
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Default Throwing in the towel
Hi Everyone

Approximately 5 days ago i installed PC-BSD initially because i have a Freenas server and wanted something that would allow me to read ufs formatted drives on my PC, but after Installing I thought I'd try to see if I could use it mainstream, I use my pc mainly for geneaology research, photo and video editing, music streaming etc all my files are stored on my NAS so networking is vital for me, after what has to be the most frustrating 5 days of my life I still can't make it workable in spite of help from kind people on this forum (mainly fluca) and the pcbsd irq channel.

At the begining I spent the best part of a morning figuring out why I couldn't connect to my network only to discover the firewall was blocking it by default I had no idea how to add an exception so I had to go into the firewall settings every time I logged in to turn it off because unchecking the "enable firewall on startup" does nothing and may as well not be there, the problems didn't end there in fact at one point as I tried to boot it crashed with a message ending with "enter full pathname of shell or return for bin/shell" unfortunately for me I don't have a clue what the hell that means so a reinstallation was the only way out and I got to start all over again in fact that was only 1 of 3 reinstallations throughout this entire drama.

the last 2 days have been spent trying to get network shares mounted and stay mounted and although I finally managed to get them mounted I have to go through the whole sudo mount_smbfs thing for each drive I want to mount (5 in total) every time I log in, that is after I log into firewall manager to switch off the firewall, I've just spent another fruitless 3 hours or so trying to get shares to automount and I'm no further ahead so I'm giving up,enough is enough at least it will do what i initially installed it for so I'll keep it on a secondary hard drive collecting dust for the odd occasion it may be needed if ever

I'm sorry if this sounds like a rant I understand the problem is probably more due to my lack of knowledge than any fault with the operating system and I don't mean to appear unappreciative to the developers who created this and give it away free or the people who have tried to help me but I've reached the point where I realise I'm just wasting my time this system will never work for me but worse than that I'm wasting other peoples time namely fluca whose patience I must have been pushing to the limit, I need a system than will work for me without endless visits to the terminal typing code in a language I don't understand or editing conf files only to screw things up even worse, so maybe sometime in the future I'll try again but for now it's back to Linux Mint, thanks for all the help I've had on this forum I genuinely appreciate it sorry I failed


Many Thanks

Graeme
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:24 PM
David30 David30 is offline
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PC-BSD does need a lot more work to make it more "newbie friendly". A good example is installing PC-BSD alongside Windows (or in my case, alongside Windows and Ubuntu, to triple-boot). Ubuntu automatically partitions and sets-up the dual-booting for you - if it detects Windows. PC-BSD looks like it will need a lot more work for multi-booting and require careful attention during installation not to wipe-out Windows and/or Ubuntu!

I am optimistic that PC-BSD will be more user-friendly over time, as more new users try it. Look at how far Ubuntu has progressed to make Linux/Debian user-friendly; it's only a matter of time before PC-BSD is a very user-friendly "version" of FreeBSD.

Finally, now that Adobe's evil Flash is quickly being replaced with HTML5, this opens the doors for cross-platform open standards and now users are not being tied to Windows for everything, except for those apps that only run in Windows, so PC-BSD would make an ideal "second" computer for internet use. It's safer and faster. I'd rather people did internet banking with PC-BSD than Windows!!!!

Chin up.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:52 AM
fluca1978 fluca1978 is offline
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PCBSD, as well as FreeBSD are Unix, and Unix is not a simple operating system, or better, is an operating system that asks the user to know what to do to achieve his aim. Linux is not much different in this way. What happened is that Canonical pushed a lot of technologies around Linux to make it simpler to use. After all, there are so many things to do that often little details are left out because "the user can simply edit that configuration file".
I think PCBSD is a very good operating system, but it is far from what Linux has reached for the desktop today. The fact is that the whole world is moving towards Linux, and not other operating system, so while it is easy to find out packages for OSX (because it is commercial), it is not so easy to find packages for FreeBSD, and this means less drivers, less programs, more problems, less users.
This is my opinion. However I'll continue using PCBSD because I believe it is a very good system.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:20 PM
Emegra Emegra is offline
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Hi fluca

I understand what you're saying, it probably is a very good operating system so please don't misunderstand me I'm not giving up on PC-BSD because it a crap system (I'm not qualified to make that judgement) I'm giving up because I don't have the technical know how to use it, I know I'm not as computer literate as most others on the forum but on the other hand I'm not completely green either, I built & customised my own PCs I built my own server and installed freenas on it and configured it myself, I configured my own network I softmodded 2 old xboxs and installed xbmc on them, now I know that doesn't make me super smart (especially by the standards on this forum) but it shows if nothing else that I'm not stupid either and have some understanding of how a computer works limited though it may be yet in spite of that I'm way out of my depth with this system.

The term "user friendly" is at best a vague term what is friendly for one user may not be friendly for another unfortunately PC-BSD did not prove to be friendly to me and I dont think I asked much of it but maybe I'm just disappointed because I failed to make it work and I liked it and the community so much so just for the record I want everyone on here to know that I have nothing but the highest respect for the people who dedicate their time and expertise developing this system and those on here who give their time & expertise helping others use it

Many thanks

Graeme

Last edited by Emegra; 06-12-2012 at 02:26 PM. Reason: formatting
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:05 PM
David30 David30 is offline
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@Emegra I share some of your frustrations with PC-BSD. I believe it WILL get more user-friendly and good enough for 99% of so-called "newbies". What PC-BSD needs are two things:

1) A "brainstorm" idea website, similar to Ubuntu Brainstorm, for users' to post their ideas on how to make PC-BSD easier to use, along with other ideas for improving PC-BSD.

2) A more "fancy" name to spread awareness of what PC-BSD is. Look at fashionable devices like the iPad and iPhone and look at Ubuntu - all are successful due to a fancy name and a fashionable image. Maybe someone could suggest a new fancy name for PC-BSD? Consider that Firefox became popular for the same reason.

Top of my list of ideas for PC-BSD: an automatic partitioner if other operating systems are detected, then add GRUB2, to allow the user to boot any operating system. At the moment, it's too easy to make a mistake when using the PC-BSD installer's partitioner.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:07 PM
Emegra Emegra is offline
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Hi David

I also believe PC-BSD will become more usable to the average user given time but as fluca touched on in his last post it needs more users because more users give it more exposure more exposure gives it more support and so on but it's one thing getting people to try the system it quite another getting them to stick with it and the average PC user wont stick with it if it doesn't work for them or frustrate them to the point of distraction

You mentioned 2 things you think PC-BSD needs one I agree with the other not so much
The brainstrorm idea is good providing there is the enough developers to carry it out as for the fancy name idea, personally I'm not big on names David but a rose is a rose by any other name simply giving it a sexy name wont make it a better product, Windows is not a particularly fancy name yet it's the most popular desktop operating system on the planet it didn't get there by virtue of having a fancy name it got there because it was a product that worked and ordinary people (without a degree in computer science) could use, the same can be said of Ubuntu so i think if PC-BSD wants to attract the everyday pc user in the 21st centuary they need to get things to work out of the box with as little terminal work as possible and no editing config files etc and maybe then think up some fancy sexy name,I think BSD has the potential to be a great system I loved using it in many ways (particularly it's speed) but I don't think it's quite there yet


Graeme
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:15 AM
fluca1978 fluca1978 is offline
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I don't believe a different name will attract more users. There are a lot of other flavors of BSD with "fancy" names, like GhostBSD, MoonlightBSD but I don't see they hitting more users than PCBSD does. Moreover changing name to a project of this size and at this stage can have a drawback of making the project appearing younger than it is, and make users unable to search for the archives/error messages and so on.
The widest user base PCBSD can have for free comes from FreeBSD userbase, but after all, I don't see why who knows how to configure FreeBSD will switch to PCBSD, even if PBI is becoming much more popular and I know FreeNas and pfsense are going to adopt it as packaging mechanism.
I believe the system should have definitely a better hardware support, but this is not PCBSD affair, it is FreeBSD one.
Finally, I don't think that having a push-your-idea-here space will help the system to grow up, I'm quite afraid it will produce a lot of mess. PCBSD is a Unix system, and Unix does what it has to do because it is the better way to do it, not because the user wants to. In other words, I believe such opportunity will sooner become a place where users complain about their brilliant idea not getting pulled for the next release. If users want to express their ideas and contributions, they can do using these forums instead.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:39 AM
David30 David30 is offline
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I agree. Windows is not a fancy name, but people use it because it was already installed on desktop computers and most people know that Microsoft created the perfect monopoly, which only now is falling apart slowly, with the rise of tablet computers and smart phones.

The main point I'm seeing here is the frustration of manually editing config files. New users will be daunted by having to use the Terminal and manually editing config files! Windows assumes users don't know how to use a computer and everything can be accomplished in the GUI without ever having to use the command line or edit any files. The only exception to that would be having to edit the Windows registry, but it's very unlikely that "ordinary" users would ever have to edit the registry.

Yes I have managed to get PC-BSD installed alongside Windows 7 and Ubuntu (all 64-bit), but it required some very careful work! My desktop is GNOME because I find KDE too complex.

I think the secret to making PC-BSD more user-friendly is to put *everything* in the GUI. As a good example, instead of requiring the user to type "mixer" in the Terminal, why not put horizontal "sliders" in the sound volume settings which could do the same thing?

PC-BSD has already progressed a long way towards hiding much of the complexity, such as including Flash Player, automatically detecting and configuring hardware (even better than Windows does!) and so on. I remember when I first started using Ubuntu there were some rough edges, but now it's progressed to the point where users hardly need to use the Terminal or edit config files. Let's hope PC-BSD can achieve the same goal. I love PC-BSD.

Finally, why not design a user interface similar to LXDE with the single "bar" at the bottom of the screen, so that new users feel like they don't have to "learn" the GUI?
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:00 PM
mastroj mastroj is offline
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Originally Posted by Emegra View Post
Hi Everyone
I'm sorry if this sounds like a rant I understand the problem is probably more due to my lack of knowledge than any fault with the operating system and I don't mean to appear unappreciative to the developers who created this and give it away free or the people who have tried to help me but I've reached the point where I realise I'm just wasting my time this system will never work for me but worse than that I'm wasting other peoples time namely fluca whose patience I must have been pushing to the limit, I need a system than will work for me without endless visits to the terminal typing code in a language I don't understand or editing conf files only to screw things up even worse, so maybe sometime in the future I'll try again but for now it's back to Linux Mint, thanks for all the help I've had on this forum I genuinely appreciate it sorry I failed


Many Thanks

Graeme

@Graeme (OP).
I'm new to this forum, but not to *BSD software. I understand your frustration because I went through the same thing when learning *nix operating systems. That was a while ago, BTW. However, dude ... that last paragraph sounds like you were ready to jump off a cliff. Put a few bits of punctuation in there so the rest of us can breathe while reading! Yeah, it does sound like a rant. Sorry to say.

I think that if you spent some quality time with a hard copy of the documentation, you'd come to love *BSD software just as I have over the years. There is a reason it behaves as it does. There is a design philosophy behind it. And it makes sense once you understand those precepts.

The PCBSD "distribution" (gawd, I hate that word) has matured significantly since I've been using it. It continues to make the job of installing FreeBSD, and a host of useful utilities, seamless. And it is geared towards those who don't know *BSD or want a host operating system that "just works" out of the box. IMHO it does both very well. The upcoming release, particularly so. If you would make the effort dig just a little deeper, I think the rewards would be huge for you.

Just my $0.02 ....
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:51 PM
Emegra Emegra is offline
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Hi again
Quote "I'm new to this forum, but not to *BSD software. I understand your frustration because I went through the same thing when learning *nix operating systems. That was a while ago, BTW. However, dude ... that last paragraph sounds like you were ready to jump off a cliff. Put a few bits of punctuation in there so the rest of us can breathe while reading! Yeah, it does sound like a rant. Sorry to say".

Yeah ok I'll give you that I suppose it was a rant although in my defence I did try to tone it down and keep it in perspective, as for frustrations with *nix* systems, my first experience was when i migrated from windows to Linux and although there was a fairly steep learning curve it was nothing like this in fact I quite enjoyed it

Quiote "I think that if you spent some quality time with a hard copy of the documentation, you'd come to love *BSD software just as I have over the years. There is a reason it behaves as it does. There is a design philosophy behind it. And it makes sense once you understand those precepts."

I did look at the BSD handbook but to be honest I couldn't find anything pertaining to my problem to be honest I find it hard understanding reading from a hard copy and absorbing it, most of what i have learned about unix systems and computers in general has been by trial and error, screwing things up and fixing them again and I usually get there in the end.

Quote The PCBSD "distribution" (gawd, I hate that word) has matured significantly since I've been using it. It continues to make the job of installing FreeBSD, and a host of useful utilities, seamless. And it is geared towards those who don't know *BSD or want a host operating system that "just works" out of the box. IMHO it does both very well. The upcoming release, particularly so. If you would make the effort dig just a little deeper, I think the rewards would be huge for you."

My only experience with PC-BSD is Isotope, I've no doubt it has matured significantly over the years, installing it was easy and for the most part it worked fine out the box, when i first installed it I instantly liked it, I understand that it is not as well supported as ie most Linux distrubutions and would probably be more limited in terms of available software etc, but that didn't trouble me, I believe that will improve in time and I only wanted it to do basic things that I believe any operating system should do out of the box. but clearly I was wrong, in fact it seemed like the system was configured to make the things I was trying to do as difficult and obscure as possible, here's few examples with particular reference to this comment "And it is geared towards those who don't know *BSD or want a host operating system that "just works" out of the box"

(1) why does the firewall block network access by default, no other OS I've ever used does that and how can any average PC user new to PC-BSD be expected to understand the exceptions in the firewall manager ?

(2) why is it when I right click on a folder and select "share this folder" I get a message telling me I need to install samba and nfs when they're both listed in the services list as enabled and running, ?

(3) what is a average PC user supposed to do when the boot stops with a message "enter full pathname of shell or return for /bin/sh", ?

ok i understand these may be stupid questions to most people on this forum but to me they're a puzzle wrapped up in a riddle inside an enigma,

So to summerize none of the above is meant to be derogitory or insulting to the developers or those who support this system, it's purely my own personal opinion based on my own experience, I would have loved to have used PC-BSD and learned more as I went, but no matter how hard I tried to understand how this system worked the more confused and frustrated I became, but I accept the problems I've had attempting to use this system has most likely been due to my lack of knowledge and understanding

Graeme
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