How to dual boot Linux (CrunchBang Linux) and PC-BSD 10 with ZFS file system

This tutorial from The Geeky Linux shows us how to get PC-BSD and Crunchbang Linux to dual boot together.

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This is a tutorial which shows how to dual boot Linux and PC-BSD 10. PC-BSD 10 uses ZFS as the file system and grub for the boot manager. I was able to successfully dual boot PC-BSD and CrunchBang Linux in my laptop.

I was able to achieve this after lots of trial and error methods. I have not found a valid guide in the internet to do it. All the tutorials were outdated or at least not working for me. I have spend a lot of time in the pc-bsd/freebsd irc channels and finally able to achieve this after trying out different suggestions from the irc members. Thanks to them all for the guidance.

If you want to dual boot PC-BSD, first install the Linux os (in this case, CrunchBang Linux) and then install PC-BSD 10. This is because most of the Linux OS won’t be able to detect ZFS (the default file system in PC-BSD 10). But PC-BSD grub will be able to detect EXT4 the default file system in most of the Linux distros. If you are looking for a tutorial for PC-BSD with UFS and Linux, you can find lot of guides in the interwebs. My guide only applies to PC-BSD with ZFS file system.

1. Install Crunch Bang Linux
2. Copy the relevant part from the Crunch Bang Linux grub menu.  You can get it from the configuration file  /boot/grub/grub.cfg . There will be lot of unwanted details in this menu but we will only need the one starts after the line “### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###” in this file .

For example, below given is the relevant part from my Crunch Bang Linux grub configuration :

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Comparative Introduction To FreeBSD For Linux Users

FreeBSD user anismaj explains FreeBSD to users of Linux that are looking to make the switch, or try out something new.

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BSD was originally derived from UNIX and currently, there are various number of Unix-like operating systems descended from the BSD. While, FreeBSD is the most widely used open source Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD distribution). As it is implicitly said it is a free and open source Unix-like-operating system and a public server platform. FreeBSD source code is generally released under a permissive BSD license. It is true that it has similarities with Linux but we cannot deny that they differs in other points.

The remainder of this article is organized as follows: the description of FreeBSD will be treated in our first section.  The similarities between FreeBSD and Linux will be briefly described in the second section. While their differences will be discussed in the third section. And a comparison of their features will be summarized in our last section.

FreeBSD description


  • The first version of FreeBSD was released in 1993, while its first CD-ROM distributed was FreeBSD1.0 on December 1993. Then, FreeBSD 2.1.0 was released in 1995 which gained the satisfaction of all users. Actually, many IT companies use FreeBSD and are satisfied where we can list those companies: IBM, Nokia, NetApp and Juniper Networks.


  • Concerning its license, FreeBSD is released under various source licenses. Its newest code called Kernel is released under the two-clause BSD license, offering the possibility to use and redistribute FreeBSD with absolute freedom. Other codes are released three- and four-clause BSD license and some others are released under GPL and CDDL.


  • One of the important feature of FreeBSD, we can mention the various categories of its users. In fact, it is possible to use FreeBSD as a mail server, web server, FTP server and as a router due to the significant set of server-related software accompanied with it. Furthermore, ARM, PowerPC and MIPS are supported by FreeBSD so it is possible to use x86 and s86-64.

FreeBSD and Linux similarities

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A Prediction: 2020 the year of PC-BSD on the desktop

kde_logo_3d_by_ilnannyLuke Wolf, a developer of KDE, foreshadows the future of PC-BSD as being a dominant open-source platform within 5 years. He mentions its offerings as a desktop system, compared with the Linux desktop share.

I am going to make a prediction right now that FreeBSD is going to take off in a big way on or before 2020, perhaps even to the point where it threatens Linux Desktop share.
This is of course a bold claim, however before you automatically dismiss me, consider this: where was LLVM/CLang 5 years ago? Now today it’s almost a foregone conclusion that it’s the future, to the point where RMS thinks there’s a conspiracy against GNU by the LLVM folks.

Alright so change happens and those we might consider untouchable can in fact be dethroned. Hasn’t FreeBSD had more than enough chance that it’s unlikely for the status quo to be disrupted though? I would agree, but for two things: PC-BSD, and the KMS linux-shim.

First off what is this KMS shim? It’s an adapter between a BSD kernel and the linux Kernel Mode Setting drivers, this is important because instead of having to port the Intel and AMD drivers over to how a BSD thinks they should be written, they will be able to just take the drivers as they are, thus reducing maintenance burden and allowing BSDs to have up to date graphics drivers (as opposed to the current state of being at ~ Linux 3.8 equivalence). As someone who uses all-AMD hardware this is kind of important, but this will more or less permanently solve the graphics hardware compatibility issue.

Now with the hardware compatibility issues out of the way, what is so special about PC-BSD?

The answer is that unlike Linux distributions, it’s not stagnant, and it’s truly focused on being a desktop offering. Consider this: In the past 10 years has the distribution you run changed significantly in what it offers over other distributions? I think you’ll find the answer is largely no. I do have to give a shout out to openSUSE for the OBS, but otherwise I’ve used my desktop in the same exact way that I have always used it within the continuity of distribution X,Y, or Z since I started using them. Distributions simply aren’t focused on desktop features, they’re leaving it up to the DEs to do so.

PC-BSD on the other hand in fitting with the BSD mindset of holistic solutions is focused on developing desktop features and is moving rapidly to implement them. Check out for a feel of their direction.

Already PC-BSD sets itself apart with power-user features like being able to easily install a package with it’s dependencies into a jail, integration with FreeNAS using ZFS as a backup solution, and 100% OS encryption, as well as niceties such as utilizing a Solaris idea called Bootable Environments where updates don’t touch the running system instead it creates a new snapshot and installs the updates there, and you boot into this new snapshot the next time you reboot, with capability to go back to an older snapshot in case an update borked your system but also preventing say KDE Applications from stopping running after you ran an update that touched the KDE version number (In theory openSUSE should be able to modify Snapper to do something similar as an option). Quite frankly, to me this is a breath of fresh air.

PC-BSD’s offering is only going to become stronger as time goes on, while I fear Linux desktop distros in 5 years will be much the same as they are now. The development of Really Neat Features ™ on top of the advantages that FreeBSD itself provides (better documentation, source and binaries as first class citizens, etc…) has convinced me that I should switch to it when my hardware is finally adequately supported (FreeBSD 11?), but what about other people? The FreeBSD and PC-BSD crowds are actually working on that problem, raising awareness at conventions and on the internet, thus doing the much needed footwork to effect a change.

With a large enough desktop feature gap, and appropriate marketing I have a strong feeling that PC-BSD will pose a serious threat to Linux desktop distributions within the next 5 years, what happens then? Who knows?

if you want to try out PC-BSD it’s available here In my opinion they’re still in a relatively rough state right now, and here there be dragons and all that, but with enough polish it’s going to become a real gem.

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Linux vs. BSD: Which Should You Use?

Here’s another Linux vs BSD comparison, by user Danny Stieben of MakeUseOf.

At MakeUseOf, we cover Linux quite a bit as the “alternative” to Windows and Mac OS X. However, those aren’t the only three operating systems out there — there’s also the BSD family of Unix-like operating systems, which are technically speaking different from Linux.

In the name of fair competition, it’s time that we gave BSD operating systems some recognition as well. And there’s no better way to do that than to compare them against Linux. What’s different about BSD operating systems, and should you be running it instead of Linux? How does Linux and the best BSD desktop OS, PC-BSD, compare on the desktop?

Find out how the two compare:

Comparison: Gentoo Vs FreeBSD, Tweak Tweak Little Star

User Liron of iWillFolo wrote this comparison between Gentoo and FreeBSD. The author discusses both advantages and disadvantages of each software’s installation process, tools, optimization & customization features, available packages, as well as community & other resources.

Gentoo Vs FreeBSD

Gentoo and FreeBSD are both Unix / Unix-like operating systems which have many features in common, for instance, both enable tweaking the system out of the box. However they also have a fair share of differences as well. Following is a comparison of the two.

The following comparison will not cover each and every aspect / tiny detail of both OSs, rather, it will focus on notable features each holds and compare them one another.

If you’d like to get to know more aspects of each OS, perhaps the following pages would be a good place to start: 5 Reasons why use Gentoo-Linux, A Look Into: FreeBSD 10.1.

Read the full review here:

How-to: FreeBSD vs Linux performance?

Stuck making a choice between FreeBSD and Linux? Find out what users of both operating systems have say:

FreeBSD vs Linux performance?

I know that FreeBSD is famous for being highly stable, secure and of course open source. So I am going to try it on one of my servers. However, I am wondering what are the pros and cons of Using FreeBSD instead of Ubuntu or other Linux flavors? I am specially interested to know about the difference in php/mysql performance between the two, given the hardware is the same and one uses the optimal server configurations.


Answer [by larsks]: FreeBSD vs Linux performance?

The best way to answer question is to load Linux, run some performance tests, and then load FreeBSD and run the same suite of tests. If you get better performance from one or the other, stick with that.bsdnix

“However, I am wondering what are the pros and cons of Using FreeBSD instead of Ubuntu or other Linux flavors?”

You’re not really going to get a good answer to this question. The truth is that both are fine solutions (both are “highly stable, secure and of course open source”) and depending on your personal tastes, hardware configuration, and specific tasks you’re trying to accomplish, one may be better than the other.

Read more users’ answers to the question here:

Get started with FreeBSD: A brief intro for Linux users

This article by Paul Venezia,, shows us how to get started on FreeBSD, for the Linux user.

equations on chalkboard 87173350Among the legions of Linux users and admins, there seems to be a sort of passive curiosity about FreeBSD and other *BSDs. Like commuters on a packed train, they gaze out at a less crowded, vaguely mysterious train heading in a slightly different direction and wonder what traveling on that train might be like — for a moment. The few who cross over find themselves in a place that is equal parts familiar and foreign. And the strange parts can be scary.

For those who’ve known only Linux, FreeBSD has places of darkness and confusion. But if you know what they are going in, it’s easy enough to get past them. I’ve been a BSD guy since the heady days of BSDi and SunOS, so let me give you a brief introduction. You might be surprised at how much you like it.

Read the full article here:

Linux vs FreeBSD – a comprehensive comparison

bsdnixIn this article by the Brio Team, Linux and FreeBSD are compared in terms of its developers, security, licensing, and compatibility with hardware and software. The author also explains which one may be a better fit for a specific user. In addition, it discusses the UNIX element of each kernel.

For most users, the difference between Linux and FreeBSD is not something significant, as the two operating systems frequently share even the same applications. Both of these Operating Systems are UNIX like, in their form and function; while they are developed mainly for non-commercial interests. However, on taking a closer look one can uncover more differences between the two.

Check out the full article here:

PC-BSD vs. Ubuntu

PC-BSD Logoubuntu_logo_black-orangeThis article by Make Tech Easier discusses the pros and cons of both PC-BSD and Ubuntu as an open-source desktop operating system. The two operating systems are compared by the ease of use as a desktop, starting with the installation process, desktop environment, and ending with application support and installation.

To read the full article with graphics, check out the following link:

Benchmarks: FreeBSD, Oracle Linux, UFS and ZFS

Some love benchmarks, others hate them, especially when ‘apples’ are compare with ‘pears’, when Linux is benchmarked against FreeBSD.

For what it’s worth there are some new benchmarks on

When looking at the FreeBSD vs Oracle Linux benchmarks, keep in mind that both operating systems are quite different kernels, FreeBSD 9 is an RC and that it’s easy to tweak some settings in FreeBSD to make it a lot faster.