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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

By Gary Sims on October 07, 2008 (9:00:00 AM)

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FreeBSD is a Unix-like open source operating system that can trace its ancestry back to the original Unix. It's well known and well respected in the server marketplace, but until recently FreeBSD lacked an easy-to-use desktop version. In 2005 the PC-BSD project was started to provide just that. This month PC-BSD version 7 was released. I downloaded and installed it to see how it squares up to user-friendly Linux distributions like Ubuntu. I came away a little disappointed.

PC-BSD offers the stability and security of FreeBSD but pitches itself as "a complete desktop operating system, which has been designed with the 'casual' computer user in mind," so from the start my expectations were high. I downloaded the CD ISOs (three in total; a single DVD version is also available) and booted a test machine. The installation is straightforward and the PC-BSD guide gives detailed installation instructions if you get stuck anywhere.

The installer handles all the normal tasks, including getting the user details and passwords, disk partitioning, and package selection. In PC-BSD the default shell is csh and not bash, as is common on Linux. Also, Firefox and OpenOffice.org are not installed by default and need to be added from the system components screen. The installer is quite flexible and also allows you to install a server version with the GUI disabled, and you can configure autologin of the first defined user for easy access at startup.

PC-BSD uses the relatively new KDE 4.1 along with some specially designed PC-BSD themes. KDE 4.1 includes several desktop widgets, and PC-BSD uses the Folder View widget by default to show files on the desktop. I don't know if it is a bug in KDE or a problem with the driver for my graphics card (a GeForce 6800LE) but the files in this widget would appear only when I moved my mouse over them, and then they would fade away. At first I thought this was the intended functionality, but I found a video on You Tube demonstrating how the Folder View widget should work, so I guess I was just unlucky. I disabled it and my desktop started to make sense again.

PC-BSD comes with all the tools you need for Internet, office, and multimedia tasks. For Web browsing there is Firefox 3, Opera 9.52, and KDE's Konqueror. KDE provides the other Internet tools including Kopete for instant messaging and KMail and KNode for email and RSS news respectively. On the office side there is OpenOffice.org 2.4.1 and KDE applications such as the Kontact personal information manager. For multimedia files PC-BSD uses KMplayer, and I was able to play MP3 and DivX (MP4) files without any problems because PC-BSD ships with a collection of freely downloadable Windows codecs that PC-BSD uses for multimedia playback. CD/DVD burning is handled by K3b.

If the software you want isn't included on the CDs, PC-BSD has a software repository from which you can download open source and commercial software. To make software installation easy, PC-BSD uses Push-Button Installer technology, which ships software packages with all the files and libraries necessary for the installed program to function, eliminating much of the hardship of dealing with broken dependencies and system incompatibilities.

The installation media doesn't contain Mozilla's Thunderbird, so I went to the software repository to download it. Double-clicking on the downloaded .PBI file brought up a simple installer, and Thunderbird was installed in less than a minute. The software repository has hundreds of additional software packages available, including games, chat/IM applications (including Skype), development tools (including Java), P2P programs (including several BitTorrent clients), and graphics programs (including the GIMP 2.4.6).

Under the hood

If you ignore the desktop theme, on the surface PC-BSD looks like a Linux distribution running KDE 4.1. But underneath the user interface, PC-BSD is a very different beast. Where as Linux was written from scratch to emulate or be compatible with Unix, PC-BSD's FreeBSD underpinning has grown from Unix. PC-BSD is also licensed under the BSD license, which is different from the GPL in that is doesn't force developers to resubmit their modifications back to the BSD community. This has both positive and negative aspects, but one plus point is that FreeBSD now contains experimental support for Sun's ZFS, which is licensed under a GPL-incompatible license and as such won't be making its way into the mainstream Linux kernel anytime soon.

There are other technical and philosophical differences between FreeBSD and Linux, including the naming of devices (on Linux eth0 is the first Ethernet network card for any chipset, but on FreeBSD each device is named after its driver -- for example, you'd see rl0 for a RealTek network interface) and the philosophy of code development and inclusion in the main source tree. Although an official Linux source tree exists, the majority of Linux distributions use their own tweaked source tree, while PC-BSD uses the standard FreeBSD sources.

Unfortunately my time with PC-BSD wasn't all full of smiles. I generally start my testing of an OS release using a virtual machine. I tried PC-BSD under three different virtual machine solutions (VMware, VirtualBox, and Parallels) and couldn't get it to install on any of them. Under one the installer wouldn't start, in another the installer crashed halfway through, and in the third PC-BSD installed but would not boot. Maybe the fault was with the VM programs, so next I tried to install PC-BSD on a Pentium II machine that met the minimum requirements. Here again the installer didn't start. Finally I went to a Pentium 4 machine with 768MB of memory and I managed to get it to install. But my woes didn't stop there. While trying to test the multimedia capabilities of PC-BSD I inserted a flash disk into a USB port. PC-BSD wouldn't read it. I then tried another stick and the system froze.

Conclusion

I had high expectations of PC-BSD, as much is said of FreeBSD's stability and security, and having used FreeNAS, which is based on FreeBSD, I knew that FreeBSD has lots to offer. The idea of a desktop-orientated version of FreeBSD with easy-to-install software packages sounded useful. But on the whole PC-BSD failed to impress me. On the plus side, the Push Button Installation works as advertised and the ability to play MP3 and DivX files out of the box is something that many Linux distributions lack. But having struggled to install it, along with the KDE widget glitch and experiencing a system freeze, I feel that PC-BSD still needs some work.

Gary Sims has a degree in Business Information Systems from a British university. He worked for 10 years as a software engineer and is now a freelance Linux consultant and writer.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.253.237.51] on October 07, 2008 11:08 AM
I believe the freeze you experienced was a kernel panic that got triggered upon removing the USB stick. Generally, FreeBSD does do that when a file system that is currently mounted disappears without first being properly unmounted. Not completely sure, would have to see the logs first.

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Re: PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 194.202.213.254] on October 08, 2008 03:41 PM
God almighty , is that bug still there? You used to be able to lock up a FreeBSD system just by removing a mounted floppy disk and attempting to access it. It may well actually be a kernel panic not a crash but to the average user it makes little odds - the system locks up. Its disgraceful that they still haven't sorted this issue in 2008.

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Re(1): PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.17.13.44] on October 11, 2008 01:57 AM
FreeBSD's USB Insertion/Removal Panic: A Little History

Several people seem to believe that this problem is a) minor, b) fixed, or
c) somehow misrepresented by the article's author. So, here are a few items
from the history of FreeBSD's surprisingly persistent collection of USB
device insertion/removal panic reports.

With a server OS in a controlled environment, most USB devices and their
problems can be simply ignored. A desktop OS is a different ballgame, as the
freezeups start to loom larger for desktop users of many and varied random
USB devices.

This list is from the Current FreeBSD Problem Reports, shown here in reverse
chronological order. For more detail, see
http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr-summary.cgi?&category=usb&sort=none

This doesn't include any closed PRs. Of the 37 reports, 32 are classed as
open with no checking yet performed (o), 0 as analyzed (a), 0 as more
feedback needed (f), 2 as patched but with issues still open (p), and 2 as
suspended for lack of information or resources (s).


1. ("serious problem") [usb] [panic]
o 2008/08/14 usb/126519 usb
panic when plugging in an iphone

2. ("non-critical problem")
o 2008/07/11 usb/125510 usb
repeated plug and unplug of USB mass storage devices leads to stall, panics

3. ("serious problem") [panic]
o 2008/07/09 usb/125450 usb
Removing USB flash card while being accessed causes kernel panic, even without device mounted

4. ("serious problem") [panic]
o 2008/06/25 usb/124980 usb
kernel panic on detaching unmounted umass device

5. ("serious problem") [panic]
o 2008/06/18 usb/124708 usb
Kernel panic on USB KVM reattach

6. ("serious problem")
o 2008/05/15 usb/123714 usb
Panic when hald-storage-probe runs with umass device inserted

7. ("serious problem")
o 2008/05/14 usb/123690 usb
Panic on USB device insertion when usb loaded as a module

8. ("serious problem")
o 2008/02/18 usb/120786 usb
Kernel panic when forced umount of a dettached USB Harddisk

9. ("non-critical problem") [umass]
o 2007/11/17 usb/118098 usb
6th gen iPod causes problems when disconnecting, even after umount

10. ("serious problem") [umass] [panic]
o 2007/11/10 usb/117955 usb
inserting minolta dimage a2 crashes OS

11. ("serious problem") [reboot]
o 2007/10/31 usb/117712 usb
unexpected reboot after mount USB flash drive

12. ("serious problem") [umass] [panic]
o 2007/10/18 usb/117313 usb
panic on usb camera insertion

13. ("serious problem") [libusb] [patch] [panic]
o 2007/07/05 usb/114310 usb
USB hub attachment panics kernel during libusb device scan

14. ("serious problem") [panic]
o 2007/05/13 usb/112631 usb
Problem with SONY DSC-S80 camera on umount

15. ("serious problem") [uhid] [panic]
o 2007/04/17 usb/111753 usb
Replicable system panic involving UHID driver
"This has been around for most (all?) of 6.X but I've only just managed
to isolate the cause somewhat." ... "the simple fact I (as a non-root user)
am able to panic the machine is obviously not correct."

16. ("non-critical problem") [panic]
s 2007/01/25 usb/108344 usb
kernel with atausb panics when unplugging USB Flash

17. ("non-critical problem") [panic]
o 2006/11/10 usb/105361 usb
Kernel panic during unmounting mass storage (Creative mp3 player)

18. ("serious problem") [umass] [hang]
o 2006/10/11 usb/104292 usb
system lockup on forced umount of usb-storage device

19. ("serious problem") [uhub] [panic]
o 2006/09/08 usb/103025 usb
wrong detection of USB device for FreeBSD 6.1 and AMD LX-800 and CS-5536 chipset, followed by panic

20. ("non-critical problem") [panic]
o 2006/09/07 usb/102976 usb
Casio Exilim Digital Camera causes panic on insertion

21. ("serious problem") [umass] [panic]
o 2006/08/10 usb/101752 usb
6.1-RELEASE kernel panic on usb device insertion

22. ("non-critical problem") [umass] [hang]
o 2006/05/12 usb/97175 usb
USB cardreader hangs system

23. ("serious problem") [panic]
o 2006/03/24 usb/94897 usb
Kernel Panic when cleanly unmounting USB disk

24. ("serious problem") [panic]
o 2006/01/22 usb/92171 usb
panic unplugging Vodafone Mobile Connect (UMTS) 3G/GPRS Datacard

25. ("serious problem") [umass] [panic]
o 2005/12/20 usb/90700 usb
Kernel panic on connect/mount/use umass device

26. ("serious problem") [umass] [panic]
o 2005/12/05 usb/89954 usb
USB Disk driver race condition?
"ocaisionally, plugging in the usb flash
reader (and I think sometimes a usb hard drive, but I hot plug
that so much less that I can't remember) causes a kernel panic"

27. ("serious problem") [usb] [reboot]
s 2005/07/30 usb/84336 usb
instant system reboot when unmounting a powered off/unplugged+replugged USB
device

28. ("serious problem") [umass] [panic]
s 2005/06/23 usb/82569 usb
USB mass storage plug/unplug causes system panic

29. ("serious problem") [modules] [panic]
o 2005/05/09 usb/80829 usb
possible panic when loading USB-modules

30. ("serious problem") [ohci]
o 2005/03/27 usb/79269 usb
USB ohci da0 plug/unplug causes crashes and lockups.

31. ("serious problem") [udbp] [reboot]
o 2005/06/22 usb/82520 usb
Reboot when USL101 connected

32. ("serious problem") [quirk] [patch]
p 2005/02/23 usb/77940 imp
insertion of usb keyboard panics system

33. ("serious problem") [ucom] [panic]
o 2005/02/09 usb/77294 usb
ucom + ulpcom panic

34. ("serious problem") [umass] [panic]
o 2005/02/06 usb/77184 usb
kernel panic on USB device disconnect, even if not detected

35. ("serious problem") [panic]
o 2004/10/30 usb/73307 usb
Kernel panics on USB disconnect

36. ("serious problem") [umass] [panic] USB
o 2004/03/01 usb/63621 usb
MemoryStick Reader stalls/crashes system

37. ("serious problem") [umass] [panic]
p 2002/12/10 usb/46176 imp
umass causes kernel panic if device removed before umount

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Johannes Truschnigg on October 07, 2008 11:24 AM
I personally consider it noteworthy that not all of the FreeBSD/PC-BSD distribution is licensed under the modified BSD License - you'll find a multitude of licenses in the package. The very much talked about ZFS filesystem, for example, is licensed under Sun Microsystem's CDDL, and you'll find a lot of other parts in the FreeBSD core distro that are not under BSDL, either (but at least distributed along with the rest, royalty-free); there are even some proprietary BLOBs in there. Of course, all the other software you mentioned that's not "officially" part of FreeBSD also comes under a load of varying licenses, down to the C compiler the project uses (which is GCC, by the way).

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.1.51] on October 07, 2008 11:59 AM
Sadly, my experience was similar, but in a different way. I can't even get through the installation process because as much as I try and select the Dvorak keyboard layout. It never seems to stick. So I sat there with a QWERTY layout print out and went through the installation process slowly. Once I got into the OS and had finished installing it. I tried setting my keyboard layout to Dvorak though the GUI and the command line. Both times didn't work.

So, basically I can't even use the OS at this stage. Sadly, because it looks good and I have always wanted to try BSD based OS's just for something different.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.24.173.138] on October 07, 2008 12:50 PM
I got it up and running on a fairly generic Pentium D/ECS945/1gb/Nvidia7300 system. Problems ranged from not being able to log out or shut down without killing the xserver via keystroke, to having awful, blocky fonts no amount of tweaking could help.

The system was not quick, either. I'm not working away on a RC of Mint for 64-bit with great joy. Sure would like to realize KDE4's promise, but it ain't there yet.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.203.48.101] on October 07, 2008 01:16 PM
Suppose you start with vanilla FreeBSD and put this together yourself. It may not be as friendly to install but does the reliability and consistency of use go up? I ask because I'm accustomed to doing this with Debian and Debian derivatives. I install just a basic system then add KDE and so-forth on an ala-carte basis.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.115.14.118] on October 07, 2008 01:20 PM
well, you could try Desktop BSD as well :)

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.177.155.222] on October 07, 2008 02:57 PM
I was not too impressed either by PC-BSD 7.0. It was mostly slower than my Ubuntu partitions, and now I'm used to Gnome, switching to KDE4 felt like I was back to Windows without the hability of having every program available and working out-of-the-box (which is how PC-BSD was advertised more or less). My mike wouldn't work with Skype and I knew that issue from previous linux headaches: been there, done this.

On the whole I don't see why I should leave Ubuntu (or Kubuntu with KDE4 I also tested) provided I'm not a security freak obsessed with the idea only the best from freeBSD is good for me.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Rambo Tribble on October 07, 2008 03:51 PM
For better or for worse, the momentum, the mindshare, and the media all accrue to Linux. Any other Unix variant is going to have a hard time competing with that.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 189.152.85.11] on October 07, 2008 05:17 PM
I think: if the deadline could not be meet then don't release it. I see no purpose to release an alfa quality software as if it were final versions.
My other complain is that PC-BSD is minded for english language people only. pbdir repos are almost empty too.
Yes, i know is free, thank you.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.26.133.154] on October 07, 2008 05:51 PM
Been using FreeBSD 7.0 since it's release, I find it VERY stable and useable (using KDE 3.5.9). My experience with KDE 4.1 (On Kubuntu) makes me think the problems are more with KDE than BSD.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.17.13.44] on October 07, 2008 07:07 PM
PC-BSD's crashing problems aren't new with 7.0. It has nothing to do with not properly unmounting the USB stick. You can carefully and properly do everything, and PC-BSD still can and will periodically crash when removing a USB stick that it doesn't like. This is true even with the older v1.5.x release that has had many upgrades and bug fixes. This fatal problem has gone unfixed for at least a year or more. It makes PC-BSD unusable for use where any but a carefully controlled list of known-compatible USB devices could possibly be connected to it. And unfortunately, there's no such list.

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Re: PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 91.21.85.202] on October 09, 2008 03:56 PM
thats utter nonsense - they will for example exchange the usb stack in freebsd because of such known problems. You could for example query the freebsd pr database and the plethora of similar prs would proof you wrong at once.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.146.64.20] on October 07, 2008 08:30 PM
It saddens me to read all these negative reviews because I think pc-bsd is a terrific piece of work! Very slick and simple to install, it auto-detected all my devices - sound, graphics, etc out of the box and configured everything with minimal work on my part. The KDE 4.1 desktop is pretty damn gorgeous, albeit with a few forgivable bugs that will no doubt get fixed in due course. I'm running on a recent pc with 2GB memory so perhaps people are having problems with older hardware, but on a modern machine it all works beutifully. I really think pc-bsd should be applauded and certainly gives ubuntu a run for its money. A very nice distribution and well worth a try!

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Re: PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 194.202.213.254] on October 08, 2008 03:45 PM
A total system lockup is not a "forgivable bug"! Can you imagine the howls of derision if the latest version of Windows totally locked just from pulling out a USB stick?? Why should BSD get away with such shoddy behaviour??

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.213.231.8] on October 07, 2008 09:00 PM
Hi,

I think PC-BSD is a great project, but I also had several difficulties when trying to install it under Virtualbox. I used the DVD-iso when installing. I had several kernel-panics, but after tweaking the Virtualbox, I finally managed to install PC-BSD. Then, when I tried to run it and log in, then I couldn't get past the log in screen. After logging in, the log-in-screen just reappeared. After one hour of trying different log-ons and boot-options, I gave up. Sorry.

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Re: PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 97.106.101.181] on October 29, 2008 01:53 PM
I could not get past the login screen either. The fix was to use fewer bits on the display. So try using lowest bits. Also try different resolutions. Using Radeon 9600 here. Note to ASUS A7N8X-e users. You MUST disable the firewire in the BIOS or the install hangs after looking at the IDEs. Why? Who TF knows! PC-BSD needs a good FAQ to at least let us install 7.0. Try installing FreeBSD with the CD's if you really want to be driven out of your ever lovin' mind changing Cd 1, cd2, cd1 FOREVER. Also I go to ebay and search for something using Firefox 3.0, then I check the box to goto completed listings. CRASH-O-ROONIE! Now WTF is THAT? PBI Software installer is not coming up automatically as it should! Why TF do I have to spend my time fixing ugly fonts in the year 2008? It's slow, Why TF is it slow. WTF is it DOING! We need some kind of debugger to monitor and find what is slowing it down. It could be looking for non-existent hardware but how are we to know?

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.210.68.21] on October 08, 2008 12:48 AM
If you want the best BSD experience available, where everything just works, tons of software available, and easy to use (even for newbs), then get a Mac! :)

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Re: PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.9.45.29] on October 08, 2008 03:02 AM
If you want the best BSD experience available, where everything just works, tons of software available, and easy to use (even for newbs), then get a Mac! :)

I agree!
all these BSD clones for Desktop should just keep working together instead of creating millions of distros.
As well as for linux.. the bigger the team the more work the better!

BSD for Servers
Linux for workstation/servers
Mac for home
Windows for gamers

something like that lol

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.44.131.131] on October 08, 2008 01:17 PM
Wanted to like PC-BSD so much because of the PBI system but my experience was awful!

5 attempts to install... Crazy 6GB required before you install anything useful... Awful performance (KDE using 30% CPU when idle)... Total lock-ups when running Opera...

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 207.255.124.152] on October 09, 2008 01:39 AM
I tied up my computer for about 12 hours downloading the dbd iso. Burned it to a disk and booted up. I got as far as the choice menu and promptly got a message that APCI had failed and there was no such file or folder. then a pile of garbage and annother message that dtx? had halted. The os is of no use if it can't go past the first minute of the install.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.166.8.34] on October 09, 2008 12:44 PM
Downloaded, installed, and tried out. Everything seem to work good. Could not boot into my linux install afterwards. Had no freezing. System seem to be stable. Developers still have a little work to do. As far as a Mac goes, if its closed source, (which Mac and MS are), stability cannot be taken for granted, plus the cost out weights the benefits.

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Re: PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Benjamin Huot on October 09, 2008 08:34 PM
Do you do graphic design? I am still waiting for Gimp to pick up some of the basic features (layer styles, cut out shapes) of Photoshop Elements and I still can do much more with Toon Boom Studio Express than I can with Inkscape (like animation). And I find TeX Shop much easier to use than Kile. I am in the process of switching to Linux fully, but for the mean time I am still waiting for the stability system wise and the applications to adopt some features. But I was happy to see Gimp handle a 1 GB (uncompressed) graphics file which Photoshop Elements chocked on. And I still can't find any Mac binaries for latex2rtf which does a better job of getting the structure into OpenOffice.org than htlatex. It would also be nice to have Scribus to handle 25 pages of vector images without taking 30 seconds to save every time and the ability to predictably undo the last action.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.73.224.122] on October 09, 2008 08:06 PM
I also have had mixed results for PC-BSD. It installed quickly and easily on my desktop computer (athlon 64 processor). I tried the PBI downloads and they worked perfectly which really was great. The problem started when I added my printers. I added two printers and they worked immediately afterwards. The problem occurred after I shut down the system and came back to them the next day. The printers were mixed up. I tried to print to my laser printer, the job went to my inkjet but it used the laser drivers. And the opposite happened when I tried printing to the inkjet printer. So I uninstalled and installed the printers again. Same results. On top of this, I could not shut down normally again. The computer always hung up and did not shut down normally. I am not sure the problem was with KDE or PC-BSD but it did not work for me and I will have to go back to MEPIS or MINT until a clean and usable alternative exists.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.35.188.5] on October 09, 2008 11:32 PM
Come on. This isn't a fair review. It's reminiscent of the some of the first reviews of Linux written by Windows users (this doesn't work, that doesn't work, etc.). As with all free unix offerings, a little technical know-how and a sense of adventure is all that's needed.

I've been using PC-BSD since it first arrived on the scene, and like Linux, it's only getting better and more user-friendly. And by the way, it installed via Parallels just fine for me in about 20 minutes.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.212.40.178] on October 10, 2008 09:54 AM
I got it to pc-bsd 7 to install under VMware server on a Vista64 system, and I know nothing about computers. I even got VMware tools to install... which I couldn't do with any of the other 'nixes that I've tried.

I've got to say that I'm pretty pleased thus far. Now, if I can find a 64 version...

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Rishi Chopra on October 12, 2008 10:12 PM
Previous versions have been distributed as both CDs and VMware images; I just checked and the newest release is no different:

http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/21/11/#vmware

There are probably special considerations for installing to a VM; as such, you're better off starting with their VM and then converting the image if VMware is not your cup of tea...

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 190.40.240.189] on October 17, 2008 08:36 PM
is not different?, in that sense...
I see that the system changes are very much
www.pcbsd.org

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Just use FreeBSD

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.233.231.65] on October 18, 2008 08:16 AM
PC-BSD is just FreeBSD with a coat on. I have been using Linux Debian and FreeBSD on my desktop systems for about 5-10 years and I love both.

I consider PC-BSD a poor solution and have always preferred running a clean FreeBSD system. PC-BSD haven't got anything to offer that a clean FreeBSD system doesn't except for those stupid PDI's.

People who are used to running apt-get or yum will find the BSD equivalent pkg_add almost just as useful.

You can do a apt-get install pidgin on Debian, a yum install pidgin on Fedora and pkg_add -r pidgin on FreeBSD.

Please don't judge FreeBSD on the basis of PC-BSD. In my opinion the project are doing more damage than good to the reputation of FreeBSD.

FreeBSD is not more difficult to install than any Linux distribution. It doesn't have a graphical installer, sure, but it doesn't really need one. The text based installer is very easy and straight forward to use.

If you run applications from the ports system, you will have all the latest software on a very stable system.

I have been running the same FreeBSD installation for years on one desktop. I have upgraded it as one should, and I have not even once experienced a single problem with it.

I love Debian GNU/Linux, FreeBSD and OpenBSD.

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Neither of the issues is a PC-BSD issue

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.1.69] on October 25, 2008 11:26 PM
The two problems mentioned are not issues related to PC-BSD itself.

The graphics issue in KDE4 is caused by nVidia binary driver bugs which have still not yet been fixed. This bug can be seen on Linux and FreeBSD as well, as well as with other applications that use OpenGL in a similar way (issues exist that plague compiz, for example). You can mitigate it by turning off the OpenGL effects in KDE4.

The USB issue is not surprising. This is because FreeBSD's USB support just isn't all that hot according to a number of folks who are in the know. It's being worked on by the FreeBSD core developers.

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PC-BSD 7 is a mixed bag

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 77.49.247.212] on October 28, 2008 03:46 PM
so in all, this OS just sucks for desktop use....

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