First look at FreeBSD 7.0

FreeBSD LogoIn case you’ve not seen the “First look at FreeBSD 7.0″ article on distrowatch: The author used FreeBSD attempted to set up a FBSD 4.x system up a few years ago, and was quite disillusioned.

After configuring the X window and launching KDE, I was greeted with something that only a computing masochist could find enjoyable – no mouse or sound, unsightly jagged fonts, lack of a graphical package manager and other configuration tools… It took hours of searching and following “geeky” documentation before I was able to load the correct kernel modules for the USB mouse, install prettier fonts and set up anti-aliasing – all by editing obscure configuration files in Vim. Needless to say, the first impressions weren’t good. Despite an obviously elegant system with a large number of packages available for installation, the tedium of setting it up as a desktop system was discouraging, to say the least.

He was surprised to see how FreeBSD has improved and transformed over the years to a much more friendlier system and concludes with:

So would FreeBSD 7.0 make a decent desktop system? I haven’t run it long enough to be able to answer the question, but from my initial testing I would be perfectly happy to give it a more intensive try. It certainly looks like a nicely crafted system, with extreme attention to detail – at least when it comes to the kernel and userland. The new package management utilities and improvements in security handling are also impressive. But don’t expect to insert the FreeBSD CD and boot into a gorgeous graphical environment – that’s not what the FreeBSD development team had set out to achieve. Luckily, with projects like PC-BSD or DesktopBSD, one can have the best of both worlds – the speed, stability and reliability of BSD, combined with an intuitive installer, package management and system configuration tools of the Linux world. If you don’t fall into the “geek” category of computer users, you can always trust the two above-mentioned projects to deliver the goods.

Read the whole review here.

Has anybody else, among you, my readers, upgraded to / installed to FreeBSD 7.0 yet? It would be nice to hear from you.


  1. tnerel says

    Yeah, I’ve

    upgraded one of my home servers from 6.3-STABLE to 7.0-STABLE on Monday, and my laptop (same versions) today.

    While on the server machine all went well, I

    had a bit of “fun” with the laptop: some hiccups playing files in xine and amarok (using xine engine) – fortunately rebuilding ports did the trick. I also

    have an impression that compiling software have more negative impact on system performance than it had with 6.X.

  2. Eric says


    your most likely going to have to recompile your kernel to make SCHED_ULE your process scheduler instead of SCHED_4BSD :) …. unless you already tried


    Have fun !! It’s actually quite easy.

  3. therek says

    That’s therek

    actually (tnerel was a typo that went unnoticed until too late :))

    No, I have not tried SCHED_ULE. I prefer running GENERIC kernel whenever possible. As I

    said it’s an impression, but if it’ll start bugging me I’ll give ULE a try. Thanks for the tip Eric.

  4. Eric says


    great, I too had a very odd system until I dove into the kernel recompilation as well, I’m by no means a pro, just familiar ;) I had a very jerky mouse and

    while compiling my system was a little too unresponsive. But after I switched schedulers, everything started going more than perfect. I could compile 8

    ports without a jerky mouse on my 2.2 GHz 512 MB RAM system, and before that it was sorta screwy. So I’d definitely recommend the procedure, since it

    solved my situation that sounds horribly similar to yours :)


  5. therek says

    You’ve done it!

    Now I’m running 7.0 with SCHED_ULE instead of SCHED_4BSD, and must admit that the system performs much better during compilation. Just wondering what’s the

    reason of this, cause the 4BSD scheduler worked quite well with 6.X kernel.

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