Juraj Sipos contacted me earlier this week about a project he has been working on and now available for downloading: MaheshaBSD

What is MaheshaBSD

MaheshaBSD is a Live CD/DVD/USB version of FreeBSD based on FreeBSD 8.0 RELEASE (i386) with the IceWM window manager.

What does Mahesha mean or who is (s)he?

Mahesha is one of the 1008 names of Lord Shiva -‘ Supreme god’ of the universe who stands above all ‘gods’. I use this name deliberately, as I think that BSD code stands supreme above all operating systems. Shiva’s weapon is the same as the FreeBSD’s one – the trident.

Purpose of MaheshaBSD

The purpose MaheshaBSD is to bring (Free)BSD closer to those users who are scared of Unix and consider BSD harder than Linux. BSD systems are not so difficult to understand if you can recognize how control (of the world) works.

You may  ask why MaheshaBSD was created. Well, according to Juraj it is not there to compete with PC-BSD and DesktopBSD. He says:

“It has the same goal as PC-BSD or DesktopBSD – that is, to open horizons of the (Free)BSD world to users not yet familiar with (Free)BSD. The MaheshaBSD’s purpose is to bring FreeBSD closer to users but keep FreeBSD untouched. (…)

PC-BSD and DesktopBSD require at least half an hour of time for basic installation and 2 or 3 more for installation of software that users may need. Some users may spend even days learning how to configure the system.”

DesktopBSD had a live CD, but the project is dead now, and PC-BSD has a live DVD version as of version 8.0 and has had vmware images for a long time for people to test-drive it. People have been and are able to test DesktopBSD and PC-BSD.

Goals of MaheshaBSD

MaheshaBSD has four goals:

  1. It will boot from a CD or a USB stick and users may immediately start browsing the Internet with a possibility to watch youtube videos, write documents, watch films, be anonymous (TOR), or listen to music.
  2. To easily (without need for an installation) demonstrate the power of FreeBSD both on a CD and USB medium.
  3. To bring some useful system utilities to people – like TestDisk (which will recover lost partitions), PhotoRec (which will undelete files), Clamav (Antivirus), NTFS RW functionality (ntfs-3g), and many other things, too.
  4. To be modular and easy. This distribution is deliberately kept small – no distro can satisfy thousands of users’ needs

If you like to try a(nother) FreeBSD Live CD, you may want to give this one a try. I have not had a chance to try MaheshaBSD yet, so I can’t say anything about its speed, ease of use  etc, but IceWM is not for me really.

It’s good to see new BSD initiatives, but one should remember that FreeBSD’s strength (apart from technical reasons) is  in its unity of the user community and its dedicated developers. We don’t really want to end up like Linux with 1001 different ‘distros’, some of which only differ by a few included programs. Let’s see how MaheshaBSD will develop in the future.


MaheshaBSD | Screenshots | Download (hosted by RootBSD)