Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Jun 2005 10:09 UTC, submitted by Tarun Agnani
PC-BSD A review of PC-BSD: "Now and then a new wind comes along in the ebb and flow of Linux distributions. OK, so I know PC-BSD is not Linux, but it's close enough. It's fair to say without going into technicalities and politics that BSD and Linux are cousins in the operating system world."
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Very nice, but...
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 29th Jun 2005 10:38 UTC

...I don't see it running it on my desktop any time soon.

Why?

1)Like any other BSD it screws the geometry of my HD. It is quite bad, every other OS complains or refuses to install.
2)I have no internet connection. It can be an issue even with some linux distros, but not with the mainstream ones: I have an ADSL modem.
3)I have no sound. My card is a SoundBlaster Live! 24 bit.
4) I can't access PC-BSD from within linux and vice versa.

But I do appreciate and support the effort.

Internet connections under BSD
by Badger on Wed 29th Jun 2005 11:19 UTC

The logic for maintaining internet access when switching ISPs is to use a router/modem if on (A)DSL or a cable modem plus separate router - keeps all those hack attacks out and means you only need a generic network card driver

It also removes the need to configure your internet settings every time you reinstall.

it's still 0,75
by Nostromo on Wed 29th Jun 2005 11:19 UTC

@ Anonymous Penguin:
I believe that this "BSD Distribution" may be the most promising one. (except MacOS X ;) )
The development of this project is still in quite early stages. --> 0,75

So I didn't expect too much. I am not very familiar with the BSDs, but such as the author of this article, I was positively surprised by PC-BSD. I do not want to say, that this distribution is really mature, but it shows, how the final version will be like. And that might be a great, easy to use OS.

I am sure, that many of the things you mentioned will be added to PC-BSD in the next versions until v1.0 or soon later. Especially the Hardware-Control-Center they want to integrate at version 0.9 sounds very promising.

dgh
by Anonymous on Wed 29th Jun 2005 11:20 UTC

I would like some clarification about the HD geometry problem! Is it a problem or does BSD do it "right" while every other OS just ignores it and just "does" it. In other words does BSD mess something up or does it just fix something and other OS's dont like it....???? did that make ANY sense?

I usually play with freebsd on a seperate box since I never remember to leave any primary partitions on my machine except for a windows install.... But I do remember having problems with it sharing hard drive space....

some clarification please....

FreeBSD again
by Abhay K Srivastava on Wed 29th Jun 2005 11:28 UTC

I had FreeBSD on my Laptop for 6 months, till I had switched to Gentoo and now finally to Ubuntu. I must say that FreeBSD was the fastest, or I felt so. Simply love the ports way of installing/uninstalling. Now that I have a chance to try FreeBSD again in the form of PC-BSD, I am looking forward to downloading it on weekend.
Not that I do not like ubuntu, Breezy is the the best desktop as of now, but BSD is BSD.

Abhay

The hd geometry problem
by DJP on Wed 29th Jun 2005 11:47 UTC

I've had the problems of hd geometry too. When i installed and partitioned my harddisk with freebsd, many tools like for example partition magic says your geometry is messed up and offers you to correct it. Press on ok and your partitions are really messed up.
I always use diskdrake from the mandrake setup cd to delete freebsd partitions again. Works like a charm.

uh
by Anonymous on Wed 29th Jun 2005 11:55 UTC

well partition magic can be a bit freaky itself especially if your partition table is a bit screwy, PM will finish screwing it up beyond recovery... I have seen it choke on that a couple times even with multiple linux installs...

I will never forget when I seen a instructor lose someones data when he was going to use PM to shrink the current install, save all the data to the new partition and then reinstall and he was going to do this without losing any data.... spent a whole class on it, it got retitled as "what NOT to do if you want to be positive not to lose data" too funny....

pitty....
by devnull on Wed 29th Jun 2005 12:03 UTC


The package installer is all about KDE and not about BSD.

They show how to extract firefox with ark and after that running the executable. This has nothing to do with BSD but only with KDE and Firefox. Pitty they did not show another package.

If you want real easy installs, copy CNR (click and run) from Linspire. That is the most easiest way of installing for new and unexpierenced users.


Nostromo
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 29th Jun 2005 12:21 UTC

"I believe that this "BSD Distribution" may be the most promising one. (except MacOS X ;) )
The development of this project is still in quite early stages. --> 0,75"

Yes, in fact I agree. That is why I wrote: I do appreciate and support the effort.

fd
by Anonymous on Wed 29th Jun 2005 12:21 UTC

"If you want real easy installs, copy CNR (click and run) from Linspire. That is the most easiest way of installing for new and unexpierenced users."

yea, when it WORKS! and as long as you like being tethered to a company! and you do not want any flexability for installation!

RE:
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 29th Jun 2005 12:28 UTC

"I would like some clarification about the HD geometry problem! Is it a problem or does BSD do it "right" while every other OS just ignores it and just "does" it. In other words does BSD mess something up or does it just fix something and other OS's dont like it....???? did that make ANY sense?"

Yes, what you say isn't new to me. I hope a BSD developer can explain it.

But in practical terms it can mean a lot of trouble: I had to delete PC-BSD in order to try Phaeronix linux.

re: Anonymous Penguin
by Jim on Wed 29th Jun 2005 12:43 UTC

"4) I can't access PC-BSD from within linux and vice versa."

I presume you're talking about reading the other's filesystem... if you are using ext2 or ext3 you should be able to access the Linux filesystem from within PC-BSD just fine. As for accessing the BSD filesystem from Linux... Linux has full UFS support, so I don't see why you wouldn't be able to do it.

very nice
by netpython on Wed 29th Jun 2005 12:50 UTC

Installed it on my mothers PC.She only mails and browses the web.She is very satisfied with PCBSD,her only remark is why the system isn't automatically shutdown when the option is choosen in gdm.I mean you still have to pull the power switch.

Other than that,it's the Ubuntu of the *BSD world,but better,and faster.

keep up the good work!

Jim
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 29th Jun 2005 12:50 UTC

"if you are using ext2 or ext3 you should be able to access the Linux filesystem from within PC-BSD just fine."

I use reiserfs most of the time. But I am considering dual booting with Fedora.

"As for accessing the BSD filesystem from Linux... Linux has full UFS support, so I don't see why you wouldn't be able to do it."

Thanks for this. I must see how to put it into practice.

one of the best installers I have seen
by philip on Wed 29th Jun 2005 13:08 UTC

I recently tried PC-BSD and I was very impressed.The install went without a hitch.I love freebsd but the installer was abit confusing if you didnt know what you were doing.The software installer works as advertised which kind of amazed me as well.The only thing I would change with that is maybe have it auto extract the files.Although using ark seems simple to me.I won't talk about what things look like in gnome versus kde.Just that things seem to look smoother in gnome.Probably because most of the apps are coded for gtk+.Other than that I've had this distro installed for a month and still like it alot.

So it's not meant to be a multi-user system?
by Tuishimi on Wed 29th Jun 2005 13:09 UTC

I don't think that this "/usr/local/MyPrograms/Firefox1.0.4/" was well thought out. How is this any different from using /usr/local straight up? Why add the "MyProgams" directory?

And I KNOW BSD is a multi-user system and a good one, at that! But I just don't get the extra layer here... I'd rather see it up a level, in /usr/local or maybe in $HOME/bin or $HOME/MyApplications.

Sorry, stupid nitpick, I know. Looks cool tho'! I might have to download and try it!! Maybe DragonFly can steal some of their ideas and create a nice desktop distro. ;)

fine
by Anonymous on Wed 29th Jun 2005 13:10 UTC

PC-BSD is nice . Even my sound from VIA 8237 work fine .

PC-BSD
by OSNVisitor on Wed 29th Jun 2005 13:13 UTC

I believe PC-BSD is the best alternative OS I have ever seen. Everything is easy to use, best of all is the package manager. It's great!

@devnull
by Kaj on Wed 29th Jun 2005 13:45 UTC

"The package installer is all about KDE and not about BSD.

They show how to extract firefox with ark and after that running the executable. This has nothing to do with BSD but only with KDE and Firefox. Pitty they did not show another package.
"

To the contrary, the example shows the PC-BSD package installation process for their own package format.

re: screenshots
by dean_fry on Wed 29th Jun 2005 13:54 UTC

the screenshots are still 0.7 ;)

ease of use
by netpython on Wed 29th Jun 2005 14:15 UTC

They show how to extract firefox with ark and after that running the executable. This has nothing to do with BSD but only with KDE and Firefox. Pitty they did not show another package.
"


Doesn't really matter how it's done,via KDE or BSD,the fact is the job is done intelligently.I just installed PCBSD on a spare HD bracket under a ADM64.The nforce3 onboard soundchip gets automagically detected,sure i could have done: kldload snd_ich or better yet editing /etc/modules.autoload.Still saves time and there's nothing cool about editing trivial stuff.

All the basic apps that make a decent desktop are avaible as pbi.Yet the're allways packages that aren't yet made pbi.Well by running: "cvsup /root/ports.cvsup" the latest ports-tree is downloaded.Now i wanted to install Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0.So a "whereis acroread" it's port-tree whereabouts.Simply cd'ing into the proper ports-directory and issueing a "make install" did the job.Remarkably a Linux *.rpm was downloaded,since i had turned on Linux compatible layer "ON" in "/etc/defaults/rc.conf" everything dependeant (rpm for instance ) was automagically downloaded.

What MS and a lot of others seems incapable of PCBSD has managed to pull-off in a relativ short time period.I think it's quite promising altogether.

Those .pbi
by Malbojia on Wed 29th Jun 2005 14:32 UTC

You can think of it in another way. setup.exe to your application. You need an app browse the net and download the pbi double click to install and bam done. You wanna upgrade uninstall it and grab a newer version.

I see great potential in a system like towards the desktop user.

Worked great for me
by sigma957 on Wed 29th Jun 2005 15:15 UTC

I installed PCBSD the other day. Put it on a primary partition and didn't use it's boot manager, just added it to my Debian grub menu.lst.

I've tried FreeBSD and this is just set up easier to understand. The sound worked immediately as did my cable modem. I don't like KDE, so I used combos of packages and ports and installed the current XFCE for my desktop. I still have things to learn about it, but then again, that's why I installed it!

It's a nice, working, easy to use desktop. It'll stay around for a bit on my hard drive while I learn BSD.

separate dir for each application? not good.
by nxt on Wed 29th Jun 2005 15:47 UTC

I see a few problems with installing each application into its own subdirectory.

1) $PATH will have to be changed with each package and will grow, or you won't have programs in your $PATH (which I personall would not like).

- OK, this can be solved with symlinks. fair enough

2) Disk space is being needlessly used. Disk space is cheap, but still, why make a 2-3 GB install (my typical desktop computer installs) into a 10 GB (rough estimate) install?

3) If a library has a security issues and needs to be updated, it needs to be updated for every application it uses it. Anyone remember zlib, cca. 2-3 years ago? (For those who don't, there was a security problem with it and zlib was statically linked in many programs.)

I'd rather have only one copy of each library in my system.
I also still fail to comprehend, why typing "you-favorite-package-manager install package" (or doing the equivalent action in e.g. synaptic) is considered harder then: find on web, download somewhere, navigate there, run.

Why should I do the four steps manually, when the computer can do it for me (and faster)?

uh
by Anonymous on Wed 29th Jun 2005 16:00 UTC

yep the bloat and security issues are probably the major cons to this... do the pros outweigh it??? i dont think so either... maybe tho...

also complexity - xyz is acting buggy, which xyz is it, since you have 10 programs running that all use xyz?

Good Tutorial
by Andrew Youll on Wed 29th Jun 2005 16:02 UTC

i wrote that tutorial, maily because alot of people were needlessly failing at PBI creation from Source, also PBI's created from Source seemed to be filled with considerably more un-required files, than say a Binary >>----> PBI package.

well over all i thought it was a good review, still a shame i cant get the latest release to install correctly.

It is in the early stages.
by Nicholas James on Wed 29th Jun 2005 16:49 UTC

God guys stop picking it appart. What is wrong with a dir for every app? Like linuxes put every app installed in 1 folder. The install sys. sounds cool to, just double click the .pbi & install, I am sure Mac OS X has features like this. It is not prone with viruse or flaws.

fds
by Anonymous on Wed 29th Jun 2005 17:47 UTC

god stop like telling us to stop picking it apart....
you eveen asked "What is wrong with a dir for every app? " which we asnwered before you asked... so we had our say and feel free to have yours but we brought up points that are a concern to us the same way you brought up points that you see as a benefit to you....

v mmm
by Anonymous on Wed 29th Jun 2005 18:01 UTC
BSD Partitions
by Brandybuck on Wed 29th Jun 2005 19:17 UTC

I've never had problems with BSD partitions, even when cohabitating with EXT2, FAT, NTFS partitions. They do need to be in their own primary partition (extended partitions are a Microsoft invention), so that Windows will complain at that. But it won't cause any problems. Just make sure you partition in BSD or Linux and not Windows.

All you guys having geometry problems, you aren't using "dangerously dedicated" partitions, are you? If you are, that's your problem. Unlike Windows and Linux, do NOT ignore warning messages under BSD. They are there for a reason. Read and understand them before continuing.

re: BSD Partitions
by Andrew Youll on Wed 29th Jun 2005 19:55 UTC

there were no errors of any kind, as far as i was concerned the install was perfect until i booted up and and as soon as the BSD boot strap began the screen was garbled, and in a continuous loop spewing the same random garble repeatedly

RE: 12:28:10 comment
by anonymous on Wed 29th Jun 2005 19:55 UTC

BEGIN QUOTE:************

"I would like some clarification about the HD geometry problem! Is it a problem or does BSD do it "right" while every other OS just ignores it and just "does" it. In other words does BSD mess something up or does it just fix something and other OS's dont like it....???? did that make ANY sense?"

Yes, what you say isn't new to me. I hope a BSD developer can explain it.

But in practical terms it can mean a lot of trouble: I had to delete PC-BSD in order to try Phaeronix linux.

END QUOTE:****************************************
Not yet conversant with each menu option in the FreeBSD
installer, I first format the
partition(s) to be used with (shareware) (windows /dos) (cdr) BootIt. (type 165). Then the BSD install menu(s) show a partition right off as already formatted BSD. Takes
almost every possibility of losing-other-data away.

Problem with PBI
by Anonymous on Wed 29th Jun 2005 20:17 UTC

I just dont understand the need for a new package system. FreeBSD already has a perfectly capable package/port system that provies over 13000 applications right now. If you install a PBI version of software and you then start using the ports system and install an app that has the PBI as a dependency will it know its installed? Will it try to install it again the correct way with the proper path? Will it be able to uninstall correctly? If you want to install software on FreeBSD just use whats already built in. It works.

problems with pbi?
by Rah on Wed 29th Jun 2005 21:31 UTC

no dependency problems. The os will use the two libs if i understood it correctly... That's one of the reasons the self contained .pbi format was created.

Just go to their site and read.

re: problem with PBI
by Andrew Youll on Wed 29th Jun 2005 21:32 UTC

PBI's are self contained except for the occasional Application specific entry in the /usr/local/share/[appname] directory, so its impossible to get a PBI that depends on another PBI, or even for a Ports loaded app to be dependant on a PBI.

Ports will install independantly of what the PBI has, for example; the Audacity PBI i created contains the following:

GTK+ 2.6.8
wxWidgetsGTK+ 2-2
Pango Libs
3 X11 Libs
Audacity 1.2.3_1 (iirc it was 1.2.3_1 been a while since i made it)

all of those are contained in the PBI itself, Ports does not know they are there, so will just install GTK+, wxWidgets-GTK+ and Pango again in the correct locations, when they are required.

the point is PBI's are meant to be seperate so they dont mess the system up when un-installed / installed, having ports and other PBI's depend on an existing PBI would create dependancy hell once again.

What's the security policy?
by Anonymous on Thu 30th Jun 2005 01:43 UTC

I have to say this looks great. I like the packaging philosophy. GoboLinux chose that path too. And others...starting with NeXT, up to Windows and MacOS. Face it, old hat Unix package management sucks (Debian, RedHat, traditional Unix...)

My question regards the security updates. How are they done?

bn
by Anonymous on Thu 30th Jun 2005 02:02 UTC

yes how would security updates go? instead of replacing one lib it replaces the 20 instances of the same lib.... OUCH! so instead of one exploit I automatically have 20...OUCH!

different - better in some ways, worse in others, maybe the tradeoff is worth it but stop acting like it is the solution to everything...in five years if it still works well and it is agreed that it is a better solution then please feel free to gloat then but dont gloat now and end up with egg on your face...

different is just that, only different - better or worse or neither remains to be seen....

Metadata for security updates?
by Anonymous on Thu 30th Jun 2005 02:19 UTC

Here's an idea...Suppose they had metadata (yes, XML or s-exprs for f8ck's sake) for the different libs and where they installed. Should they need a security update in all those places, the system would "know." Metadata seems to me to be a pretty good idea. It would turn this security issue into a non-issue.

but
by Anonymous on Thu 30th Jun 2005 02:39 UTC

a exploit in one lib that is located in five places is STILL five possible holes instead of one...

jailed applications
by An-tonio on Thu 30th Jun 2005 08:28 UTC

They are discussing about jailed pbi applicationsin future... this solve problemas about security hole in libs while pbi are updates.... or not ?

OS-agnosticism
by Egregius on Thu 30th Jun 2005 15:01 UTC

The problem I had with an install of FreeSBIE was that the BSDs seem to be ignorant about other OSes. When offering to make a multibootmenu it always came down to:
-FreeBSD
-??????
Even though I had 4 partitions with OSes on each.

As if it's impossible to tell wether a partition contains Windows, BeOS or Linux. One would think it's a matter of a simple check which filesystem was on the partition.

I'd rather see them go with GRUB, or LILO even.