DesktopBSD brought back to live

desktopbsd logo 100x100The DesktopBSD project is in the process of being revived. EchoD has brought the website and the forums back to live.

DesktopBSD 1.7 was released back in 2009 and Peter Hofer announced that would be the last release baked up by himself. Some German deve;opers took over the project, but nothing came to fruition and the website went offline.

Let’s see  what the new developers have in stock and when DesktopBSD 2.0 will be out.

DesktopBSD – a new start

This is good news for the FreeBSD world, FreeBSD advocacy and the FreeBSD project in general, and current DesktopBSD users in particular:

According to the DesktopBSD website development of this KDE-based and FreeBSD based, user-friendly system will be restarted / continued by a group of developers:

Since the 5/20/2010 the development was taken up by DesktopBSD by a small German developer group again. The small team existing of four people and stands under the direction of Daniel Hilbert.

Furthermore this website is reworked. Hence, it can come now and then for disturbances on single sides. We ask you this fact to excuse.

Advancement of the DesktopBSD Project

DesktopBSD 1.7 – last and final version

desktopbsd logo 100x100Peter Hofer, founder of DesktopBSD,  has announced on the mailinglist DesktopBSD 1.7. This new release comes with FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE-p3 as base system and KDE 3.5.10 as desktop environment and includes a large number of pre-installed applications. The easy-to-use graphical installer and utilities allow for a simple installation and configuration process.

Notable changes include:

  • FreeBSD 7.2 as stable and secure base system
  • KDE 3.5.10 as mature and easy-to-use desktop environment
  • 3.1.1 as feature-rich office suite
  • Pre-installed Java SE 6 environment
  • X.Org release 7.4 with extensive graphics hardware support
  • Large number of enhancements and fixes

Release notes are available and ISO images of the installation media can be downloaded using FTP, HTTP or BitTorrent from the download page.

Please note that DesktopBSD will not be maintained any more by Peter:

This is the last and final release of the DesktopBSD project I find myself having less and less time to spare lately and no longer desire to keep developing and maintaining this project. However, because DesktopBSD is based entirely on FreeBSD, further support for the operating system and availability of up-to-date software is ensured.

The future of the DesktopBSD project

desktopbsd logo 100x100A few months ago we were wondering what was happening with DesktopBSD (DesktopBSD; what’s happened). Peter Hofer, the founder of the project, has now put an update on the DBSD Forums:

Still, as some may have noticed, I have been able to work on some smaller improvements within the last few months. I now have the impression that everything is in order for a release 1.7, also considering that FreeBSD 7.2 has been released this week and should make a stable base system.

Therefore, I would like to release 1.7 as soon as I have some time on my hands. I would appreciate any comments on the recent snapshots (both i386 and amd64) from May 2nd. You can get them from here, as always:

Please understand that there is no room for larger changes such as KDE 4, new features or major bugfixes (unless critical).

Many thanks to Fernando for emailing this story.

DesktopBSD; what’s happened?

It’s been quiet around DesktopBSD the last few months. It’s been a looooong time since the last stable release, and many months since the last publicly available snapshot. There aren’t any blog updates and the subdomain is dead.

The forums are quite quiet; not as busy as they used to be.

I emailed Peter Hofer, the founder of the project,  but have not heard from him since. Others are complaining about this too.

Anybody aware of what’s happening with DesktopBSD? Please let us know in the comments.

DesktopBSD Live USB stick

Fusselbaer has posted some instructions on how to set up DesktopBSD running live from a USB memory stick.

The instructions are in German and can’t unfortunately be automatically translated with Google Translate since the link is https. The steps and commands are easy to follow, but if you’re not altogether sure, copy the (part of the) text and paste it in Google Translate.

I’ve not tried it but I assume this can easily be adapted to make PC-BSD and FreeBSD live USB sticks.

Firefox 3 for FreeBSD

firefox logoMozilla Firefox 3 is now available for FreeBSD.

Firefox is an award winning, free, open-source web browser for many platforms and is based on the Mozilla codebase. It is small, fast and easy to use, and offers many advanced features:

  • Popup Blocking
  • Tabbed Browsing
  • Live Bookmarks (ie. RSS)
  • Extensions
  • Theme
  • FastFind
  • Improved Security

To install Firefox3 from the commandline in FreeBSD, PC-BSD or DesktopBSD enter:

portsnap fetch extract (if this is the first time you're using portsnap)
portsnap fetch update
cd /usr/ports/www/firefox3 && make install clean

CrossOver Games announced

CodeWeavers, the makers of CrossOver Office, have announced a new product: CrossOver Games

CodeweaversNow gamers can play the games they want, on whatever platform they want! With CrossOver Games, you can run many popular Windows games on your Intel OS X Mac or Linux PC (or FreeBSD, PC-BSD and DesktopBSD, GvE) Whatever your tastes — first-person shooters, fantasy, strategy, MMORPGs — CrossOver Games provides the capability to run many popular games titles. CrossOver comes with an easy to use, single click interface, which makes installing your games simple and fast. Once installed, your game integrates seamlessly into your Desktop. Just click and run! Best of all, you do it all easily and affordably, without needing a Microsoft operating system license.

CrossOver Games is built on the latest versions of Wine, based on contributions from both CodeWeavers and the open-source Wine community… Unlike other CrossOver products, which are aimed primarily at office productivity applications (and hence maximum stability), CrossOver Games aims to bring you the latest, greatest, bleeding edge improvements in Wine technology. This means that the newest games run faster and better under CrossOver than under other versions of CrossOver, or other version of free Wine, for that matter.

Jeremy White from CodeWeavers has made the announcement that an experimental build of CrossOver Games is now available for PC-BSD users. However, this unsupported edition should also work on FreeBSD or DesktopBSD, allowing users to play Windows games on their desktop.

The FreeBSD version of CrossOver Games can be downloaded here (registration required).


  • Remember this is an experimental build!
  • If you are on FreeBSD 6.x, you will need to apply a system patch from to enable wine to function properly. Users of FreeBSD 7.0 and higher do not need this patch

DesktopBSD 1.7 – Development snapshot

The first development build of DesktopBSD 1.7, an operating system based on the recently released FreeBSD 7.0, was announced and ready for downloading & testing.

First, remember it’s an early snapshot, so there will be certainly some problems! But apart from that it’s DesktopBSD based on FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE. I did a first test, there are some minor quirks with the mounting tool and the scheduler is SCHED_4BSD, so it has got a performance drop, especially on uniprocessor systems. The first preview version will follow soon with SCHED_ULE activated and some other useful add-ons. So if you’re eager to test, you’re welcome, but remember it’s an early test! You can download the snapshot at the usual servers and we have pre-built packages for FreeBSD 7 on the server.

Release announcement | DesktopBSD-1.7-i386-SNAPSHOT.iso