Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Last week iXsystems announced the release of PC-BSD 1.3. The operating system has made some progress and changed ownership since we reviewed version 1.0 last year, but it still has a way to go.
The PC-BSD 1.3 release is based on KDE 3.5.5 and FreeBSD 6.1. PC-BSD's system requirements are modest: You'll need a Pentium II or better, 256MB of RAM, 4GB of hard drive space, and a network card and sound card. I ran PC-BSD using the supplied VMware image, with 512MB of RAM, and installed it on a Pentium 4 laptop with 1GB of RAM.
PC-BSD's installer is easy to use, and requires very little user interaction. Using the basic setup routine, a user only needs to pick the type of install (server or desktop), the user's name, password, and shell, and the root password. If you choose the advanced setup, you can have additional control over disk partitioning, network setup, and firewall settings. You can also choose to encrypt the system's swap space, if you're paranoid about security.