27 April 2016

7 Questions for 7 Answers... Eric Turgeon from GhostBSD project

Today we are interviewing Eric Turgeon, the leader and founder of GhostBSD.
The latest release "GhostBSD 10.1" was launched on September 2015, with the codename "Ève". The distribution gets its base on FreeBSD and, at the moment is available with two desktop environments; Mate and XFCE. This is a smooth, ready-to-use and user friendly operating system, with a more simplified FreeBSD.

This interview was conducted on April 27, 2016


Please, give a brief introduction of yourself.

I am a full time Inventory Controller Specialist for Kent Building supply Distribution Centre, a husband and father of one son. I am also a founder member of the church Église Cité De La Grâce and the founder/leader of the GhostBSD project. I am a weight lifter and I do like downhill biking, my favourite sport is rugby. I am a BSD license and copyfree license advocate. I am a Canadian living in NB Dieppe and I speak French and English.


What led you to start the GhostBSD project?

Before I started to using FreeBSD, I was an Ubuntu user curious about real Unix and hacking software. I did found Eric S Raymond paper on How to be a hacker(http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html). On that paper I have seen BSD Unixes mention and I was curious about BSD. I have made some research and installed FreeBSD and did found that was not really user friendly I did some more research and I tried out PCBSD, I was a Gnome user I did like what PCBSD an what they was trying to achieve, but KDE was not my DE, from there I wanted to start my own FreeBSD Distribution this when I started GhostBSD as a Gnome Alternative to PCBSD which was KDE only at that time.


GhostBSD it's based on FreeBSD. Why not based on distribution with a Linux Kernel? ( Of course, the name would be different )

There is to mush Linux Distribution, and personally the GPL licence is a turn off, I do prefer to base my work one robust and stable OS like FreeBSD and since I started to use FreeBSD I did lost the interest of using Linux, and there is no challenge to do a Linux distribution because everything already exist like Network Manager, Software Manager, etc...


GhostBSD is available with two lightweight desktop environments, XFCE and Mate. Why not focus in only one?

I do only Focus on MATE, XFCE is maintain by other developer/contributor, if people want to see back Gnome, Cinnamon and other Desktop they need to step up and help. My main focus is to build a set of graphical tool that does not exist on FreeBSD, like Networkmgr which look like Linux Network Manager.


GhostBSD 10.1 Ève was released on September 2015, what are the goals for 2016?

We was suppose to release 10.2, but since we got lot of things to finish and FreeBSD 10.3 was coming, I decided to wait for 10.3 and release GhostBSD 10.3 instead of 10.2. We should be able to release GhostBSD 11 before the end of 2016. We are working in collaboration with DesktopBSD our graphical installer to get it ready to be use by DesktopBSD. Joe Maloney took the the development of DesktopBSD in hand, Ovidiu and I want to see DesktopBSD back up, we do what we can to help and also Joe have great idea and I think DesktopBSD will be a great addition to the FreeBSD family. With all shared knowledge from DesktopBSD and GhostBSD lots of things getting done in both camp. We should be able to roll up our own pkg repository soon and I would try to switch or website from HostGator to Digital Ocean VPS running FreeBSD.


Financial support is one of the main issues for an operating system project. Do you agree?

Yes, this is so true and there is no significant income for us to have full time development, therefor GhostBSD Development is by free time only. I would like to be able to work on it full time, but I can't. Because of that I can understand why Ubuntu have Amazon enable by default for their search. We don't charge for GhostBSD because we don't see the point of it, but in the same time this is affecting the development. I always say that if everyone who download GhostBSD was giving 1$ we would be able to have a full time development.


What is your favourite desktop operating system? ( trick question )

GhostBSD of course is my favourite that what I use daily when I am home, but my second favourite would be Mac OSX.


My sincere thanks to Eric Turgeon, for give us credit and, taking his time to answering this questions.

About Eric Turgeon

Eric Turgeon
Founder and leader of GhostBSD project

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