Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 18th May 2006 08:23 UTC
PC-BSD "PC-BSD aims to be an easy to use desktop operating system, based on FreeBSD. As many Linux users, I have little or no knowledge about FreeBSD. I heard many rumors about it. I read about it and about its history. I even tried it a little while ago and, although I appreciated some aspects of it, I came to the conclusion that it wasn't ready for the desktop. So when I read the announcement of PC-BSD being released, I decided to have a look at it." Read the review at LinuxForums.
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Interesting product, poor review
by BryanFeeney on Thu 18th May 2006 09:13 UTC
BryanFeeney
Member since:
2005-07-06

That's the first review where I heard someone complain about MP3 support working out of the box! The artistic commentary seemed a bit unnecessary too: personally I hate branded backgrounds. Frankly it all seemed fairly subtle and well done.

It's a pity he didn't check to see if the PBI's were statically linked, it would have been an easy job, it just involves running ldd on the program and seeing what comes out. Five minute's research showed that it was a variant of what Klik:// provides: the application isn't statically linked, but a copy of every library on which it relies is bundled, and it's all installed in a special application folder.

The good news is that this means the core system libraries can very old or very new and the application will still work. The downside is that if a vulnerability turns up in something like zlib you're going to have to re-install half the software on your machine instead of downloading a single zlib patch. Further, lots of space will be lost on your system due to duplicated libraries, and downloads will be very slow.

Still though, it's an excellent way to get Windows users in particular interested in the Unix thing, though personally I think Ubuntu's way of doing things may have the edge.

Edited 2006-05-18 09:14

Reply Score: 5

RE: Interesting product, poor review
by g__t on Thu 18th May 2006 10:50 UTC in reply to "Interesting product, poor review"
g__t Member since:
2006-01-04

"The downside is that if a vulnerability turns up in something like zlib you're going to have to re-install half the software on your machine instead of downloading a single zlib patch."
The optimal situation, IMHO, would be having a package maneger like PBI, that copy all the library needed for the software in the software specific path* but at the same time a separate engine for full system update that track all libraries installed for each program and, while updating the system, parse that (may be a simple textfile) list to see if there is some other copies of the libraries that could be updated and ask for the user to check the programs for what the library should be updated.
i.e. an update for library x is ready, the system is updated and application a, b and c have their own library x, each one with his own version; the user may chose to update a but not to upgrade b because it's known to be broken with that certain update and to not update c because the author of c warned that used a modified x library to obtain *whatever* in order to make c better.
In this way installation, maintenance and parallel versioning (for developers) are easier but the flexibility and power of the Unix-style pervasive library control for updates and installation are not lost.

* it make sense to:
certify every bit is as the developer tested;
making trivial to maintain different version of something as needed;
avoid something installed may alter some other thing during upgrade, new installation, updates etc

Reply Score: 1

Wait and see
by kill on Thu 18th May 2006 09:29 UTC
kill
Member since:
2005-11-03

"...and the fact that PC-BSD chose PBI instead of developing easy to use frontends to the Ports Collection and the Package Management" --- my sentiments exactly. So it is still wait and see for me for a BSD desktop because of the above reason plus PC-BSD chose fbsd6.0 rather than wait for 6.1 and DesktopBSD is still based on 5.x branch.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wait and see
by Mediv on Thu 18th May 2006 09:41 UTC in reply to "Wait and see"
Mediv Member since:
2006-05-10

"So it is still wait and see for me for a BSD desktop because of the above reason plus PC-BSD chose fbsd6.0 rather than wait for 6.1 and DesktopBSD is still based on 5.x branch."

It is real that DesktopBSD is based on the 5.x branch. But if it just is a matter of using FreeBSD port system instead of PBI, one should know DesktopBSD is ready for that and provides a nice GUI.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wait and see
by Daniel Seuffert on Thu 18th May 2006 13:41 UTC in reply to "Wait and see"
Daniel Seuffert Member since:
2005-08-02

The next version of DesktopBSD will be based on FreeBSD 6.1 soon.

You can upgrade DesktopBSD 1.0 (RELENG_5 as of 05.02.2006) to 6.1, RELENG_6 or RELENG_6_1 etc. anytime.

And you can install FreeBSD 6.1 and use the DesktopBSD tools (see http://www.freshports.org/sysutils/desktopbsd-tools/ ).

BSD is about freedom of choice ;-)

HTH, Daniel

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Wait and see
by Mediv on Fri 19th May 2006 07:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Wait and see"
Mediv Member since:
2006-05-10

"And you can install FreeBSD 6.1 and use the DesktopBSD tools (see http://www.freshports.org/sysutils/desktopbsd-tools/ ). "

I've just gotten this idea: for those who prefer PC-BSD but want to have tools for the port management system instead of PBI, it is surely possible to install DesktopBSD tools in PC-BSD!

Why not, as these tools are present in FreeBSD ports?

Of course, in order to do that, one will have to know a bit of CLI and of FreeBSD port system. But I am sure someone will create a tool to allow newbie installing DesktopBSD tools in PC-BSD one day or another. :-)

Warning: I dit not try to do that, it is just an idea.

Edited 2006-05-19 07:28

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Wait and see
by Daniel Seuffert on Fri 19th May 2006 09:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wait and see"
Daniel Seuffert Member since:
2005-08-02

Hi Mediv,

there's already a pbi for DesktopBSD-tools, please see:

http://www.pbidir.com/packages.php?code=149

As far as I can see in a second these are not all the tools. I don't know if that works without flaws, sorry, but you may want to test it.

Maybe there is a howto somewhere but I had no time to check that.

Please don't forget to have a look at:
http://desktopbsd.net/wiki/doku.php?id=doc:desktopbsd_tools_in_free...

Best regards, Daniel

Reply Score: 1

PCBSD has impressed me
by atezun on Thu 18th May 2006 09:50 UTC
atezun
Member since:
2005-07-06

I recently switched to PCBSD after getting sick of "GPLnauts" (not intending to flame) in Linux. I must say I was quite impressed, it's a little rough in places, but I must say I've never been able to install the nvidia driver as easy as the PCBSD team made it (notable exception of Kororaa, but we all know how that's turned out). I've always been intrigued by FreeBSD, but frankly haven't had a machine with the horsepower to handle compiling most things. PCBSD allows me to take the jump into FreeBSD one step at a time.

Reply Score: 3

RE: PCBSD has impressed me
by dark child on Thu 18th May 2006 10:26 UTC in reply to "PCBSD has impressed me"
dark child Member since:
2005-12-09


I must say I was quite impressed, it's a little rough in places, but I must say I've never been able to install the nvidia driver as easy as the PCBSD team made it (notable exception of Kororaa, but we all know how that's turned out).


I agree with you that its generally very easy to install the nvidia drivers on the BSDs, but this simplicity is also available in many Linux distros. For example in Suse, you can install nvidia drivers with a few clicks in YAST. On Gentoo you can use a single command (emerge nvidia-kernel) and in Arch, you do something similar using pacman.


I've always been intrigued by FreeBSD, but frankly haven't had a machine with the horsepower to handle compiling most things.


You can use FeeBSD with binary packages only, although using ports means that you have the latest and greatest packages if you wish.

Reply Score: 3

Proprietary software.
by zeev on Thu 18th May 2006 10:52 UTC
zeev
Member since:
2005-07-06

He wrote:

"Proprietary software should be easy to install but not installed by default. For instance, PC-BSD supports MP3 by default. For me, this is a problem."

For me (and for most people), the problem is when MP3 is not installed by default.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Proprietary software.
by Adurbe on Thu 18th May 2006 10:57 UTC in reply to "Proprietary software."
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

plays MP3 out of the box?!

what next? a system that works without tweeking for hours?!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Proprietary software.
by Gnomonic on Thu 18th May 2006 12:36 UTC in reply to "Proprietary software."
Gnomonic Member since:
2005-08-17

I think, that there is some kind of misunderstanding. I do not know how PC-BSD handles mp3s, but supporting mp3s out-of-the-box is not a proprietary thing. There are several Free Software implementations of mp3.

The reason for mp3s not being included in most Free distro's is the mp3 patent, which only applies in certain countries, albeit rather large countries.

Reply Score: 3

Why is it a problem?
by hraq on Thu 18th May 2006 11:00 UTC
hraq
Member since:
2005-07-06

The author said: " For instance, PC-BSD supports MP3 by default. For me, this is a problem."

I don't understand why is this a problem? I suppose it would be rather an advantage!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why is it a problem?
by Aaron1 on Thu 18th May 2006 12:13 UTC in reply to "Why is it a problem?"
Aaron1 Member since:
2006-01-19

It's also too bad he has a problem with yellow flowers. Another part that didn't make sense:

The name of the CD is "FreeSBIE". This probably makes sense as PC-BSD is based on FreeSBIE and FreeBSD, but this is a sign indicating somehow that attention to details is lacking, and I was a bit disappointed to see that.

How does the name of the CD relate to a lack of attention to details?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Why is it a problem?
by naelurec on Thu 18th May 2006 15:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Why is it a problem?"
naelurec Member since:
2006-02-15

Ideally the name of a CD should be related to what is on the CD. FreeSBIE is a separate project (FreeBSD Live CD). Ideally the CD would be named PCBSD or PCBSD10 or similar.

As far as the flowers -- I agree with the reviewer. It does not tie in with any other marketing (ie website, pbidir, etc..). The colors for PCBSD appear to be red/grey/black .. no yellow to be found!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Why is it a problem?
by Ronald Vos on Thu 18th May 2006 17:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Why is it a problem?"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

How does the name of the CD relate to a lack of attention to details?

Because forgetting to rename the cd from FREESBIE to PCBSD qualifies as lack of attention to details.

Reply Score: 1

I like BSD
by aGNUstic on Thu 18th May 2006 12:38 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

I am a Linux user who likes the BSD series of operating systems. I also have no problem with the yellow flowers on the desktop.

Reply Score: 1

I like PBI
by Nycran on Thu 18th May 2006 12:56 UTC
Nycran
Member since:
2006-02-06

I played with PC BSD a little while ago and I thought the PBI installer was very good, in fact, I prefered it to YAST for installation of new programs. It was just so simple to use.

The ports collection can very easily be installed and used on PC BSD, in fact, there's a UI option to do it. I used ports to install apache, mysql and postgres.

Overall I liked PC BSD but I thought it lacked a little bit of polish in some areas (good font and flash player integration for example was lacking) Furthermore, during the update from RC1 to RC2, the process broke and when I tried to reboot the whole OS was dead. This was a deal breaker for me.

Reply Score: 1

Meh
by lopisaur on Thu 18th May 2006 13:36 UTC
lopisaur
Member since:
2006-02-27

Just a few rants about this "review" (I'm in a lousy mood this morning):
- "The boot menu offers a few options. It probably allows to boot an already installed image, or to perform a text mode installation. I decided to go with the default choice." The guy could at least read the boot menu.
- Are there any grassy hills on Microsoft's website?
- People that don't know what language their keyboard's layed out for probably have no business installing an OS.
- I never heard the term "mono-user"...
- I know this point about the ports collection has been made a million times, but what's so difficult about cd /usr/ports/APPNAME, make install clean? I know it's not something you'd expect a novice to be able to do, but a serious reviewer should at least look into the fact that ports DO work in PC-BSD, not "suppose" they do.
- At least his final sentence is nice, although PC-BSD is not supposed to be the same animal as FreeBSD (at least not on the outside).

Reply Score: 3

MP3 Support
by Rocinante on Thu 18th May 2006 14:54 UTC
Rocinante
Member since:
2005-11-18

I understand from a FOSS-supporter's standpoint the possible legal implications of having mp3 support and other codec support, but I don't understand what the big deal is in supplying the support out of the box if all of these codecs are FREE implementations of those same exact codecs. If they're open codecs that do nothing more than the same thing that the proprietary version is supposed to, there shouldn't be an issue. That's like saying, "I don't want to use an open alternative to (for example's sake) Limewire pro, a pay-to-keep program, even though the open implementation is *open*."

Reply Score: 2