PC-BSD Status Update – the future

PC-BSD LogoKris, the PC-BSD founder and lead developer, has set out his plan on the PC-BSD Developers mailinglist for the upcoming version(s) of PC-BSD.

In a nutshell:

  • PKGNG repos will be updated at a set day in the month
  • PC-BSD will come with the GRUB bootloader
  • ZFS is going to be the cornerstone of PC-BSD
  • PC-BSD is going to be release as 64bit only (drops i386 platform)

make ZFS the cornerstone of the PC-BSD/TrueOS experience. This will bring features such as ZFS “Boot-Environments”, including the ability to boot directly
from them at the boot-loader. […] Re-focusing on solely on ZFS as our default file-system […]

… we’ve decided to drop the i386 builds going forward, and instead
focus on a single 64bit architecture.

I understand Kris reasons for moving on (ZFS, 64bit only), but I can see that a number of current PC-BSD users with slower and/or i386 systems will feel left behind.

Will this affect you?


  1. Charles Rapenne says

    I think that i386 should be dropped for PC-BSD. This system targets desktop users, I think that if your computer is too old to be incompatible with 64 bits, then it shouldn’t be suitable for software like LibreOffice or even Firefox (web experience should be baaad).

    If you have an old computer and that you don’t use libreoffice or heavy programs, then, just install freebsd or something else. You have to go forward sometimes, by breaking things and make a real change.

  2. Olivier says

    I also agree with their decision – maybe because I’m an amd64 user. PC-BSD is already based on FreeBSD and focused on high end desktops. There is a full desktop environment (KDE) so it’s already not appropriate for really low end computers. For the computers where PC-BSD won’t be able to run, there will still be FreeBSD.

    I hope there will be a good ZFS and boot environments integration. Don’t forget that it’s not recommended to have a ZFS on i386. I think that’s where their will to drop i386 support comes.

    I’d be much much disappointed if FreeBSD was to leave i386 support !

  3. Frank Leonhardt says

    It would be a pity to drop the i386/32-bit as people still use it (check the FreeBSD questions list). Having a 4Gb RAM address limit is meaningless if you don’t have that much RAM, and 32-bit code is more compact. Likewise, the 64-bit sector threshold that stops gmirror working on drives beyond 2Tb (512-byte/sector) is the only reason many will have to go to ZFS right now.

    In some parts of the world, 32-bit is the only option and I think it’d be a shame for FreeBSD to freeze them out. I don’t really want to have to direct people to Ubuntu as the only option.

    For the sake of balance in this comment, I will concede that 32-bit is really dead. Microsoft says so.

  4. martynjy says

    I am a Linux user who WAS showing a keen interest in BSD until now. I have a 32-bit desktop with 150Gb HDD and 3Gb RAM which does me just fine.

    I know that 32-bit will EVENTUALLY become obsolete but there are still plenty of people like me with such machines and have no reason to upgrade until they break. Until the day they have all broken they are still there, so it seems a bit silly and maybe elitist to dismiss people this way. It certainly seems an odd way to promote BSD.

    The Linux world has no problem catering for both 32-bit and 64-bit so even when my box does die and I replace it with a 64-bit box I think I will stick with Linux.

  5. Ben says

    I agree with martynjy said.

    BSD is still not mature and as popular as linux (eg Mint)…it is silly to drop 32bit installation at this moment. It is quite contradict to bsd common claim that even “öld” machine can be fitted.

    linus community sure will laugh at bsd, as already people quote bsd is stupid cheap whore. Hope this will not come true


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *