30 Days with PC-BSD and DesktopBSD

Jan Stedehouder used PC-BSD for thirty days to see what living with it is like. On day thirty, he concludes:

Does PC-BSD have the potential to be a serious contender for the open source desktop? I answered that question with a yes, because the potential is there. The solid FreeBSD roots, the very strong and very accessible information, the friendly and mature community and the PBI system provide the foundations for that potential. I don’t think it is ready now and I couldn’t recommend it yet to someone in the early stages of moving away from Windows to an open source desktop. But I do think that the PC-BSD team has the right target audience in mind and is building an system and a support system that addresses it’s needs.

He has now finished that journey and he’s going to do the same with DesktopBSD from Nov 1st.

Check his website for the daily updates.

Joe Sixpack goes BSD

Marti van Lin has started using

Marti van Lin has started using PC-BSD and is sharing his experience on his blog:

BSD has the reputation of being the most geeky OS, simply because it’ s rarely used by average users. The reason is that the average think its too complicated, which IMHO is far from the truth. The only thing with any OS is, that if you want to use all of its power, it takes some learning curve, no exclusions.

Once upon a time GNU/Linux was considered a strictly Geek OS to, but times have changed. BSD however remained to be as such. Well, not quite!

He then deals with

  • Installation (straight forward)
  • First boot, the Ooooooh wow! effect (Nvidia, Geforce, X)
  • Eyecandy for lusers (Compiz-Fusion, Superkaramba)
  • PBI: the package system (installing PBIs)

and concludes the article with:

PC-BSD is an extremely user friendly and secure BSD, based on the rock solid FreeBSD 6.2 stable core, with a easy to use package management system, a friendly installation GUI and great hardware recognition. It is easy enough for average users and interesting enough for advanced users. It’ s a easy pathway to the world of BSD *a must have*!

Read the whole article here

PC-BSD and is sharing his

href=”http://osgeex.blogspot.com/2007/09/joe-sixpack-goes-bsd.html”>experience on his blog:

BSD has the reputation of being the most geeky

OS, simply because it’ s rarely used by average users. The reason is that the average think its too complicated, which IMHO is far from the truth. The only

thing with any OS is, that if you want to use all of its power, it takes some learning curve, no exclusions.

Once upon a time GNU/Linux was considered a

strictly Geek OS to, but times have changed. BSD however remained to be as such. Well, not quite!

He then deals with

  • Installation (straight forward)
  • First boot, the Ooooooh wow! effect (Nvidia, Geforce, X)
  • Eyecandy for lusers(Compiz-Fusion, Superkaramba)
  • PBI: the package system (installing PBIs)

and concludes the article with:

PC-BSD is an

extremely user friendly and secure BSD, based on the rock solid FreeBSD 6.2 stable core, with a easy to use package management system, a friendly

installation GUI and great hardware recognition. It is easy enough for average users and interesting enough for advanced users. It’ s a easy pathway to the

world of BSD *a must have*!

Read the whole article here

Flash on FreeBSD/PC-BSD/DBSD

Previously we reported Matteo’s suggestion on how to get Flash and YouTube/Google Video to work on FreeBSD, but now that gnash-0.8.1 is in the ports tree (and hence avilable for FreeBSD, PC-BSD and DesktopBSD), the greasemonkey+mplayer hack is no longer needed to watch these videos.

It seems like Flash it getting better on the BSD desktop (Gnash, swfDec, Adobe Flash) but unfortunately this is only Flash 7. According to this post Gnash still needs a lot of working on. Youtube videos work, but anything more complicated code-wise (eg. Flash games) make Gnash crash.

CNN for instance and a lot of other popular websites use Flash 9, so there’s still a problem for *BSD users. Or not…?

There’s now a PBI available for PCBSD 1.4 of the Windows version of Firefox with Flash 9 (using Wine) which can be downloaded here or here.

However, Gnash, swfDec or the Flash 9 PBI are little hacks in order to get Adobe Flash working on the BSD Desktop. What we want from you, Adobe, is either a BSD Flash version of an open source version of Flash so we can make it work ourselves.

Win4BSD 1.1 in ports

Win4BSD

Win4BSD is a PC emulator that runs Windows as a guest at nearly native speed under FreeBSD. It is based on QEMU, a partially open, partially closed source emulator package. However, Win4BSD offers many advantages, including much greater speed, ease of use, more seamless integration with the host OS, and “grabless” mouse transition between the host and Windows guest.

Win4BSD is the latest port of a product that has previously been known as Win4lin and SCO Merge.

This port downloads, extracts and installs the contents of the Win4BSD package. It will work with or without a Win4BSD license. If you do not have a license, Win4BSD will function for a 3 week trial period.

You can download packages (.iso, .tbz, pbi) and user guide from ftp://ftp.win4bsd.com/pub/releases/1.1/

Install Win4BDS in:

  • FreeBSD: as root /usr/ports/emulators && make install clean
  • PC-BSD: same as FreeBSD or download the PBI
  • DesktopBSD: same as FreeBSD or install with the PackageManager

I use Win4BSD on my PC-BSD system for a few Windows (only) programs and I must say that the speed is reasonably fast and the package as a whole is quite stable; it only crashes occasionally. Recommended, if you can afford $29.99 and want to use *BSD as your primary OS.

PC-BSD 1.4: An Initial Look

This is a review on Cthulhu Linux Blog

This is a release I’ve been waiting for quite a while; it’s a nifty front-end installer for FreeBSD 6.2 (the latest and greatest version of FreeBSD) that takes all the hassle out of installing a Unix-like system, with the added benefit of being completely dummy-proof in adding apps with a series of push-button installers (pbi’s) that package all the dependencies/support files in a single package, much like the installers for Windows programs (exe?) or Mac OS X (dmg) do–no chance of getting caught in a Linux dependency hell (though increasingly rare, it does happen).

Initially I was going to install this in VirtualBox, as I had the ISO files (CDs one and two) but was too lazy to burn them to CD; VirtualBox refused to cooperate, so I ended up installing the system to an old Compaq laptop, maxed out with 1 Gb of ram and a 120 Gb HDD.

The installation process took around 30 minutes total, and that was only because I chose to add some additional items from the second CD–the initial base install took a total of 17 minutes: first asking me identify my timezone/keyboard layout/language on one screen, then root password/user name/Real name/user password/shell account (I chose bash, as that’s what is used with most Linux distros, and the one I’m familiar with); this was followed by a disk partition screen, where I chose ‘use the whole disk’–though the option to use only a sub-section was available under ‘advanced options’.

Read the rest of the review here

PC-BSD 1.4 – changelog (Flash, Wifi etc)

PC-BSD 1.4 (da Vinci) includes many exciting new features and software, such as:

  • Wireless connection GUI (WIFI)
  • 3D desktop support via Compiz Fusion (optional)
  • Support for Adobe Flash 7 for native BSD browsers. (Konq, Opera, FireFox) (watch Youtube, Google Video etc)
  • KDE 3.5.7
  • FreeBSD 6.2
  • Xorg 7.2
  • Official Nvidia drivers included
  • New GUI tools & utilities
  • Better scanner (SANE) and printer support (CUPS)
  • Support for gaming (WINE) – e.g. World of Warcraft (WoW) can be installed with a few clicks!
  • There’s now also a FirefoxWine PBI available that’s able to show Flash 9 video’s (CNN etc etc)
  • Optional Components, and much more

For more information:
* Changelog: http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/28/11/
* Release Notes: http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/27/11/

PC-BSD 1.4 (Da Vinci) Released

PC-BSD logoiXsystems announced today the release of PC-BSD Da Vinci Edition. PC-BSD is a fully-functional desktop operating system based on FreeBSD 6.2-STABLE. FreeBSD is one of the most used UNIX-like operating systems in the world. It is widely renowned as the most stable and secure server operating system. PC-BSD has a Push-Button Installer (PBI) wizard developed exclusively for PC-BSD that lets users download and install many applications in a self-extracting and self-installing format. There are hundreds of popular software titles already available in PBI format and developers are constantly adding to the growing list.

Highlights of the Da Vinci release of PC-BSD include an easy to use GUI for configuring video and desktop settings as well as an updated base system running KDE window manager version 3.5.7. Other features include out-of-the-box support for Flash 7 in native BSD browsers, official NVIDIA drivers to simplify activating hardware acceleration, optional 3D desktop using Compiz Fusion (a slick new 3D Desktop Manager), and a new graphical wireless configuration tool to easily establish a wireless connection with supported network adapters. Da Vinci also features massive improvements to WINE, an open source project that facilitates the running of Windows-based applications on UNIX-like operating systems.

For years we had heard complaints that there was no ‘go-to’ place for assistance with FreeBSD related technical issues. We are pleased to now be the primary resource for PC-BSD and FreeBSD technical support
While PC-BSD is geared to the desktop user, it is also suitable for use as a server operating system. According to Carla Schroder, FreeBSD system administrator and author of the Linux Cookbook,

PC-BSD serves as a great introduction to FreeBSD for network and server administrators.

PC-BSD supports the existing FreeBSD binary package management tool, a method to download and install pre-packaged binary applications. PC-BSD also supports the FreeBSD ports collection, a framework for installing more than 17,000 applications by downloading and compiling software from source with a single command.

ixsystemslogo.jpgiXsystems, corporate sponsor of the PC-BSD project, currently offers 9×5 desktop support for PC-BSD and 24×7 server support for FreeBSD.

For years we had heard complaints that there was no ‘go-to’ place for assistance with FreeBSD related technical issues. We are pleased to now be the primary resource for PC-BSD and FreeBSD technical support

says Matt Olander, Chief Technical Officer for iXsystems.