Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Personal Computing - BSD Style

Filed under

A milestone was reached on April 29 and I couldn't let it pass without a look. I'm speaking of the release of PC-BSD 1.0, their very first stable release. Almost a year ago Tuxmachines tested 0.6 of PC-BSD, considered a beta release, and was quite impressed then as I recall. I saw .7, .8, .9 and increments get released, but I just had to revisit the user-friendly bsd again on this wonderful occasion. How did PC-BSD stack up on this their "new era of stability and simplicity?"

It all starts with a boot of the cd. The first image is a boot screen giving several choices for booting the system with extras of Escape to bootloader prompt, boot FreeBSD with usb keyboard, or Reboot. I just went with the default and hit <enter>. Next, one sees a beautiful silent splash screen featuring a close-up of pretty yellow flowers. It states one could Press Any Key to view startup details, but escape seems to be the only one that worked for me - or perhaps it was a question of timing. In any case, eventually one is brought to another screen with choices. They are: Start graphical install, Reset X to default VESA driver, Change Resolution to 800x600, System Utilities, and Reboot.


Choosing to start the graphical install guessed it, starts the graphical install. Here begins a great looking professional quality install process. It looks nice, but it is also really easy. It asks where to install and then begins. My choices were limited to the primary partitions on my disk, but I had two blank ones at the beginning of this newest harddrive in the Master position. I simply chose hda1 (in linux speak) and let it install. The actuall system install was quite fast, taking about 15 minutes and then one is asked for a root password, to setup a user, and where to install the bootloader. You can choose to skip installing a boot loader with PC-BSD, and I did. Instead, I took a lesson learned from FreeBSD and edited my everyday lilo.conf as follows:


When setting up an user account, you are given the opportunity to select auto-login and X start if desired. I did and upon boot I was taken straight to a 1024x768 KDE 3.5.2 desktop. Sound was auto detected and setup as I was greeted by the default kde login sound as well as a really beautiful wallpaper. The wallpaper is a landscape of a lush green valley with a field of those same pretty yellow flowers all in front of a majestic mountain range. Other than a slightly customized panel and menu, the rest seems your basic default KDE.



On the desktop are two icons other than Trash. One opens the PC-BSD wiki in the default browser, Konqueror. This is an online documentation site with links to some other handy tools such as an user forum. The other icon is even more exciting. Again it opens up a browser, but where it takes you is an online repository of software. From this varying list, one can download software, and easily install onto their system. Installing is as easy as clicking the file. It reminded me of my windows days actually. Click the pbi file downloaded, an installation wizard opens and installs the software. Some of the applications available are kmplayer, firefox, opera, OpenOffice, java, and a coupla kde themes. I tested several packages and all went really well.


There is also an update application. Although at this time, there were no updates, so testing was limited.

My final thoughts: I found PC-BSD to be even better than the last time. It's prettier, easier, and more complete. Installation was smooth, hardware detection was good and performance was great. The system was stable and all applications tested worked fine. The only probably I had was finding the Flash browser plugin in their repository. If you've been wanting to try a BSD clone, you couldn't go wrong with PC-BSD. Again this time as with the last, I'm very impressed with all the work that has obviously gone into this system to make it so easy for anyone to have a BSD. I believe they have met their goals and then some.

PC-BSD Homepage.

Download or Purchase PC-BSD.

PC-BSD Screenshots.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Education in crisis
    Today it is no longer sufficient to cover Microsoft and Cisco certifications only. A well-prepared IT professional needs to know about Linux too. Linux is the power behind the cloud, open source and the Internet of things.
  • Windows 10 Accurate Linux Theme Released for Almost All Major Desktops
    It took the Linux community a while, but they finally managed to put together a very good Windows 10 theme that works on most of the famous desktop environment.
  • Gammu 1.36.7
    Yesterday, Gammu 1.36.7 has been released.
  • gtrends 1.3.0 now on CRAN: Google Trends in R
    Sometime earlier last year, I started to help Philippe Massicotte with his gtrendsR package---which was then still "hiding" in relatively obscurity on BitBucket. I was able to assist with a few things related to internal data handling as well as package setup and package builds--but the package is really largely Philippe's. But then we both got busy, and it wasn't until this summer at the excellent useR! 2015 conference that we met and concluded that we really should finish the package. And we both remained busy...
  • Gigabyte GA-H110M-A: A Sub-$60 Intel Skylake Motherboard
  • AMD A10-8700P "Carrizo" Linux Laptop Testing
    The first of two laptops ordered so far is the Toshiba Satellite L55D-C5269. For $449 USD, this laptop provides a 15.6-inch display, AMD A10-8700P APU, 8GB of DDR3L memory, and 1TB SATA HDD. The most interesting part of that for the forthcoming tests is the A10-8700P -- a Carrizo APU. The A10-8700P is a Carrizo APU with two Excavator CPU modules and Radeon R7 graphics with six compute cores.
  • Mir Gains EGL_KHR_fence_sync Support To Fix Graphics Corruption
  • AMD Crimson Driver Downgrades Performance on Linux
  • New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 19 Syllepsis
    Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 19 Syllepsis”, the nineteenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features building and siege engine capture, a new pathfinder, visual replay and more!
  • Hatred, A highly violent game, is coming soon to Linux
    Hatred is one of the most controversial games that has been published on Steam, is also coming to the Linux platforms sometime in the near future as developers have managed to run it on Ubuntu successfully.
  • Qt testing packages for Fedora and Epel on copr
    We’re ( kde-sig ) trying slowly improve the quality of Fedora KDE and Qt, and is a lot of work. Some of the members even got to new jobs reducing the time to deal as “life” happens, which makes the work harder. Rex Dieter, our fearless ( and reasonable ) leader do a fantastic 100 people work, but still, we have enough to 100+n persons. So anything that can reduce the test time and the burden on the process are a necessary solution. Some can arg that rawhide is a test place, and they are right, but is for a devel future, not for a soon to be stable set of packages. And we’re hardly see people using rawhide on production aside us in some very very very restricted cases and most of all, in virtual machines, not bare metal. Then we can go to the -testing repo, which leads to Fedora buildsystem, that not helps much as every new package submitted need rely of someone say’s ok to testing stage or worst, wait minimum 7 days until reach the servers. And is not testing per se, as if we wait for 7 days without anyone really tested the package and reach the stable with a bad version, so we’re be double screwed.
  • This Week in Solus – Install #12
  • Kwort 4.3 released
    New version of Kwort available, this one is 4.3. Get it while it's hot! :-)
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed Receives Wireshark 2.0, Leap 42.1 Updates Machinery
    Just a few moments ago, November 27, the openSUSE Project, through Douglas DeMaio, announced the latest updates to the openSUSE Tumbleweed and openSUSE Leap 42.1 GNU/Linux operating systems.

today's howtos

Leftovers: GNOME Software

Red Hat and Fedora