Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Today’s distro has been described as the Ubuntu of the BSD world. PC-BSD is an easy to use version of FreeBSD. FreeBSD is the behemoth in the BSD world and would probably have a much larger desktop presence if the BSDs hadn’t run into copyright and other proprietary problems right around when most of the GNU toolset was complete and Linus was releasing the Linux kernel. At least, that’s what most people claim. However, given the animosity (although that’s almost too strong a word) between the Free Software Foundation and the supporters of the BSD license.
There are two BSD distros vying for the spot of easy to setup desktop. DesktopBSD is also based on FreeBSD, but the main difference is in the way programs are installed and managed. DesktopBSD is basically FreeBSD with a GUI installer and GUI package manager. I’ve not yet used DesktopBSD, but this is how they describe themselves. PC-BSD, however, uses a different concept for packages. They use PBI installers which basically are self-extracting archives that install themselves into the /Programs folder. I could be wrong, but I think this is the approach that Apple uses for program installation. As I researched this package management system I became very torn.
On the one hand, I hated PBIs instinctively from the get-go. They fly in the face of the UNIX philosophy.