State of accessibility on BSD systems

Gregory Nowak greg at
Sun Sep 21 19:50:34 EDT 2008

Hash: SHA1

On Sun, Sep 21, 2008 at 02:33:23AM -0700, Tony Baechler wrote:
> Getting back to BSD installation, I can't comment on anything but  
> FreeBSD but it uses a text installer so perhaps it would be possible to  
> install via an emulator such as Bochs with a curses interface.

Unless things have changed since the last time I used bochs (which
isn't likely, given the goal of bochs), it's very slow. If you don't
want to put freebsd/netbsd on a physical box, use something like
qemu/vmware/virtualbox/one of those programs. The only draw back here
would be the lack of guest additions, but you can still run without
them. As for your comment about freebsd having an installer with a
text interface, and therefore being possible to install on bochs,
because it has a curses interface, I don't follow your line of
reasoning here. The interface used by an emulator, and the interface
of a install program for a specific os have nothing to do with each
other. That's like saying you can dump coal in a car, because it
burns, and so does gas, or is there something else you were getting at here?

> NetBSD  
> claims to run on anything including the Vax so I'm sure it has a text  
> installer that could run in an emulator.

Yes, when I compared the list of architectures supported by nebsd, and
by linux the last time I ran netbsd, it was certainly true that netbsd
ran on lots more archs, and I wouldn't be surprised if it still
does. Again, regarding your comment on the text installer, see above.

> If I try BSD again, I think I  
> would go with NetBSD just because it seems to be more historical  
> regarding older BSD software and does run on platforms which I've  
> certainly never heard of, far more than Linux.

The thing that turned me off netbsd was that you had to build
everything from source, other than the base system, which you could
get as binaries. At the time, I was running it on a 133 MHz pentium,
with 64 megs of RAM, so you can imagine how long it took to build
stuff on it, especially if you wanted to customize the netbsd kernel
to your hardware, which I did, just for the experience. Another thing
that turned me off netbsd is the lack of dependency tracking when
installing software, this was true even for the binary base
system. What I'll say to those using gnu/linux who want to try out
netbsd is that if you've used gentoo, and like it, then you'll
probably fall in love with netbsd as well. However, if you've used
gentoo, and don't like it, then I'd say the chances are high you won't
like netbsd either.

> Either way, there is no  
> chance in the near future that Speakup will run on BSD because Speakup  
> is a set of Linux kernel modules.



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