Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Personal Computing - BSD Style

Filed under
Reviews
BSD
-s

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 ...you 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:
other=/dev/hda1
table=/dev/hda
label=PC-BSD

        

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

Software: MapSCII, Notelab, Pageclip, Wine

  • MapSCII – The World Map In Your Terminal
    I just stumbled upon an interesting utility. The World map in the Terminal! Yes, It is so cool. Say hello to MapSCII, a Braille and ASCII world map renderer for your xterm-compatible terminals. It supports GNU/Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. I thought it is a just another project hosted on GitHub. But I was wrong! It is really impressive what they did there. We can use our mouse pointer to drag and zoom in and out a location anywhere in the world map.
  • Notelab – A Digital Note Taking App for Linux
    This post is on an app that brings the power of digital note-taking to PC users across the platform spectrum. If note-taking with a stylus then you would like this one, and in fact, I couldn’t have given Notelab (an open source Java-based application,) a better introduction. The team of creatives has done a good job already.
  • Pageclip – A Server for Your HTML Forms
    Data collection is important to statisticians who need to analyze the data and deduce useful information; developers who need to get feedback from users on how enjoyable their products are to use; teachers who need to carry out census of students and whatever complaints they have, etc. The list goes on. Seeing how convenient it can be to use services that are cloud-based wouldn’t it be nice if you could collect form data in the cloud as easily as creating a new HTML document? Well, Pageclip has come to the rescue.
  • Wine 3.0 Release Lets You Run Windows Applications on Linux More Effectively
    The Wine team has announced the release of Wine 3.0. This comes after one year of development and comes with 6000 individual changes with a number of improvements and new features. ‘This release represents a year of development effort and over 6,000 individual changes. It contains a large number of improvements’. The free and open source compatibility layer, Wine lets you run Windows applications on Linux and macOS. The Wine 3.0 release has as major highlights Direct3D 10 and 11 changes, Direct3D command stream, graphics driver for Android and improved support for DirectWrite and Direct2D.

today's howtos

GNOME: Themes, GTK and More

  • 5 of the Best Linux Dark Themes that Are Easy on the Eyes
    There are several reasons people opt for dark themes on their computers. Some find them easy on the eye while others prefer them because of their medical condition. Programmers, especially, like dark themes because they reduce glare on the eyes. If you are a Linux user and a dark theme lover, you are in luck. Here are five of the best dark themes for Linux. Check them out!
  • GNOME Rolls Out The GTK Text Input Protocol For Wayland
    GNOME developers have been working on a new Wayland protocol, the "gtk_text_input" protocol, which now is implemented in their Mutter compositor. Separate from the zwp_text_input protocol, the gtk_text_input protocol is designed for representing text input and input methods associated with a seat and enter/leave events. This GNOME-catered protocol for Mutter is outlined via this commit with their protocol specification living in-tree to Mutter given its GNOME focus.
  • Wine, Mozilla, GNOME and DragonFly BSD
    While GNOME is moving to remove desktop icon support in version 3.28, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will continue to ship with an older version of Nautilus (3.26) in an effort to keep this age-old practice alive, at least for its upcoming LTS release. In more GNOME-related news, version 3.28 of the Photos application will include a number of enhancements to its photo-editing arsenal, such as shadows and highlight editing, the ability to alter crop orientation, added support for zoom gestures and more. For a complete list, visit the project's roadmap.

Red Hat and Fedora

  • Red Hat Satellite: Patch Management Overview and Analysis
    We review Red Hat Satellite, a patch management solution for enterprise Linux systems.
  • Analysts Expect Red Hat Inc (RHT) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $761.96 Million
  • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) Shares Move -0.17%
  • A Modularity rethink for Fedora
    We have covered the Fedora Modularity initiative a time or two over the years but, just as the modular "product" started rolling out, Fedora went back to the drawing board. There were a number of fundamental problems with Modularity as it was to be delivered in the Fedora 27 server edition, so a classic version of the distribution was released instead. But Modularity is far from dead; there is a new plan afoot to deliver it for Fedora 28, which is due in May. The problem that Modularity seeks to solve is that different users of the distribution have differing needs for stability versus tracking the bleeding edge. The pain is most often felt in the fast-moving web development world, where frameworks and applications move far more quickly than Fedora as a whole can—even if it could, moving that quickly would be problematic for other types of users. So Modularity was meant to be a way for Fedora users to pick and choose which "modules" (a cohesive set of packages supporting a particular version of, say, Node.js, Django, a web server, or a database management system) are included in their tailored instance of Fedora. The Tumbleweed snapshots feature of the openSUSE rolling distribution is targeted at solving much the same problem. Modularity would also facilitate installing multiple different versions of modules so that different applications could each use the versions of the web framework, database, and web server that the application supports. It is, in some ways, an attempt to give users the best of both worlds: the stability of a Fedora release with the availability of modules of older and newer packages, some of which would be supported beyond the typical 13-month lifecycle of a Fedora release. The trick is in how to get there.