Whats with the lack of love

I’m running OPNsense, which is BSD-based and wouldn’t mind BSD coverage.

Years back, when I first made my move to get away from Windows, I ran FreeBSD exclusively. Then I contracted the OS X bug When Steve Jobs passed, the change in Apple is surprisingly quick. After that I the move to Linux.

Crap, I just did what you complained about.

I don’t know if we have any heavy BSD users here, but I would love to see coverage of BSD added.

There’s a rapidly-declining sliding scale of popularity when it comes to distros (no matter the kernel type) in the Open Source world.

Check out this chart I made (from an older post). The stats are somewhat out of date, but the basic pattern hasn’t changed a bit:

So when you complain about the lack of coverage, or praise of some BSD distro, like say FreeBSD, you might as well be someone complaining about the lack of popularity of, say Puppy Linux, which is a niche distro with about equal popularity to FreeBSD these days.

One of the key takeaways I appreciated getting mentioned in the latest and final episode of LTT’s month-long Linux challenge (which was, for gamers, a big fail), was how distro fragmentation is doomed to keep Linux unpopular with the massive, highly-influential PC gaming crowd, because supporting all the games becomes a nightmare, when you have this plethora of distros to support.

So the OP is a vote for more fragmentation, more marginalized distros (like the BSDs) getting more appreciation, while I advocate in the opposite direction: less fragmentation is better (as in, it’s wisest to use one of the most popular Open Source Distros only - regardless of kernel type - like say from the top 10ish).

United we will stand, and divided, we will fall.


I daily drive FreeBSD and OpenBSD and have Linux for more demanding gaming needs. I started with Linux in 2015 and like most Linux users I hit a point where I was bored, I felt like I had seen and done everything and that is when I started messing with BSD operating systems. Keep in mind I used to be a BSD hater and didnt understand what the big deal was about BSD.

I personally hate the "Arch Linux users vs the world and the BSD vs Linux flame wars.

Also Distrowatch metrics literally mean nothing… Just saying

Most BSD users could care less about “Year of the Linux desktop!” and stuff like that, they just turn on their PC and get to work. Which is probably why people think there arent any, they dont really make it known that they use BSD.

My Distrowatch graph wasn’t to highlight who in particular the most popular is (although popularity invariably matters). I wanted to raise awareness around the fact that there is a long “rat tail” of mediocre distros, who, despite their best of intentions to live up to their technical ideals, fail, on a social level, to garner sufficient attention, sufficient loyalty, sufficient momentum, sufficent clout, and sufficient impact.

I’m trying to invite these adherents of mediocre distros to think more socially (because it matters so heavily, at the end of the day, as the LTT Linux challenge thoroughly demonstrated), and less technically. Why? Because I’m a jerk? No, because it turns out - much to all our diversity-loving dismay - that it’s actually a long-term survival strategy of the Open Source community to do so.

Hope is a good breakfast, but a bad supper” - Spanish Aphorism

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I have certainly noticed sincere love for FreeNAS and now TrueNAS and ZFS. The issue I’ve noticed is:

The people running a show can talk about whatever they wish. So, it boils down to their interests.

My suggestion is to send in bsd articles and announcements you’d like spoken about on the show. Also, give a listen to https://www.bsdnow.tv/

BSD Now and 2.5 Admins are two podcasts that cover BSD.

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I appreciate the interesting feedback everyone, my reason for posting this was just to say that I think its a disservice to people to pretend that Linux is “THE opensource Operating system”

Yes Linux is a great place to start, fall in love with and stay on, but its not the only option. Its like as soon as someone mentions other options like BSD or Haiku or OpenIndiana you get attacked for not drinking the Linux koolaid.

I have not noticed any such behavior here. Granted I have not heard many mention BSD, but I’m sure that any such discussion would be welcome here, even though this is a, mostly Linux-based group.


When i think of “Linux”, i’m thinking about all possible distro’s out there. For me, it’s one big bag of distro’s. With their own ups and downs yes.
I’d love to see some BSD and other related talk here, why not? That way i could learn something about these distro’s. In the past i fooled around with some of them in vm’s, but nothing, at that time, stood out to me for use as a daily driver.
So please, go ahead and enlighten us. I’d love to see some use cases, distro’s, howto’s, whatever. It’s all good to me.


That’s also how I see it.

I make some rather large sacrifices in time and convenience to gain the ethical high ground which Linux provides (and the switching costs were, I hate to say it, much higher than I thought they’d be). These sacrifices I’ve made, are as much as I’m able to get away with without my social circle around me, in real life, wanting to strangle me, pretty much. Am I willing to make yet a bunch more sacrifices in time and convenience to embrace yet more ecosystems of Open Source (BSD, Haiku, etc)? I dare not, so as to not further annoy my social circle any farther.

One who is too insistent on his own views finds few to agree with him” - Lao Tzu


The best part about BSD, at least FreeBSD, is the documentation. It’s really quite good.

While BSD is open source it also uses the BSD license and I think that some Linux people see that as a big negative. Maybe there’s a bit of a GPL superiority complex at times.

Nice quote. You might consider asking DLN about you giving a presentation about BSD live on air or pre-recorded or just an email. It is very possible that you know more than the hosts. I’d love to hear more about Haiku and BSD developments from someone keeping their ear to the ground.

Otherwise, the host from DLN who I know is invested in BSD is Noah. His attention is focused more on the Ask Noah Show these days, but he is always keeping up with BSD as someone using it in their business and personal.

First of all DLN is more about Linux, Destination Linux Network. But then I do not think anybody here would be hostile to some BSD related content.

I myself listen sometimes to BSDNow and have some interest specifically in OpenBSD and even installed it once just to mess around and will probably do so again with the recently released version of it.

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The Hyperbola Linux project is supposed to be releasing their latest edition this year, which is now a hard fork of OpenBSD with GPL code. Could be an interesting thing to try out!

The Hyperbola fork seemed interesting but to be honest what makes OpenBSD so unique is not just the security features they have enabled but also the community of people that build and maintain it. They have a strict no BS policy when it comes to development and security. Everything MUST work, no code gets merged in unless it is proven reliable.

And to be specific no one Here has been agressive, DLN as a whole is pretty family friendly.

::aggressively enters::

I’m super curious about OpenBSD and love hearing about RISC-V developments. I’ve been slowly testing the BSD waters and the research that went into these threads below was triggered by me trying to disover the best bets for BSD compatibility:

Community list of wireless devices with FOSS firmware
Community list of wireless AC/AX/AD devices with proprietary firmware
FOSS hardware sources

Time of course is the big decider, if I had more of it i’d create some BSD guides. I’ve had similar issues with OpenWRT and Alpine, what I learn there isn’t very portable so that time comes at a very high cost unless I plan to really integrate those into my life.

For now i’ve put together a minimum viable router with Fedora (just 335 packages) and i’m going to transition it to either OpenBSD or Alpine.

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All excellent threads. If your shopping around the local Best Buy you can bring a USB stick with something like NomadBSD to test on the machines for hardware compatibility.


Hahaha, wow. That is such a funny thought… anyone working at Best Buy must think you are a criminal installing ransomware.

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TBH, for me it’s always just been a matter of what I’m interested in.

Whether I’m on a show, writing an article, tweeting, or otherwise… I talk about Linux because that’s where the most exciting stuff is for me. I even talk about Windows and macOS quite frequently because they’re very common and the things they do are generally relevant to most people regardless of what their preferences are. Yet I respect BSDs, but I have almost nothing to say about them pretty much ever. As a desktop user, they’re completely uninteresting to me, unless you consider macOS.

They do great work. They make amazing things like OpenZFS a reality, on the server I absolutely adore things like TrueNAS, and they deserve tons of love. But that doesn’t always translate to popularity or coverage.

It’s rare I have anything to say, not because they’re unlovable, but because it’s rarely ever relevant to me.


Jokes on them, the ransomware is already installed, I’m actually liberating the hardware.

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