Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd May 2007 21:05 UTC, submitted by Nix_User
PC-BSD LinuxHelp has reviewed PC-BSD. "PC-BSD is turning out to be an excellent alternative to other desktop operating systems. After testing and using PC-BSD for some time now, I can't but admire the sheer amount of work that is put into creating, developing and molding an OS for the lay person albeit with a strong slant towards FreeBSD. The fact that PC-BSD is able to accomplish all the tasks expected by an end user - be it using the Internet for communication, listening to music, watching movies or using it for recreation purposes holds it in good stead as a viable desktop operating systems."
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Great project
by Governa on Tue 22nd May 2007 21:57 UTC
Governa
Member since:
2006-04-09

Always loved this project but I must confess I got a bit scared when it was acquired by iXsystems last year... but what can I say, they seem to be doing an excellent job improving PC-BSD.

Its gets easier and easier to use (the PBI system still amazes me by its simplicity) and it doesn't feel like its getting cluttered at all on each new release, which is kind of rare these days.

Kudos to the developers/contributors! ;)

Edited 2007-05-22 21:59

Reply Score: 5

RE: Great project
by trenchsol on Wed 23rd May 2007 12:16 UTC in reply to "Great project"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

I am not scared of corporations. Apple has done a great job with OSX, after all. Too bad it wouldn't run on a common hardware.

Reply Score: 3

I love PC-BSD
by RedIcculus on Tue 22nd May 2007 22:24 UTC
RedIcculus
Member since:
2005-08-09

I second Governa in saying their acquisition worried me. But what did they do other than stand and deliver? Their wifi drivers are tops and the pbi packages are easy, even for beginners.

The only thing that I would suggest is wider package selection of PBI's, but I love what they have done so far.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I love PC-BSD
by Doc Pain on Tue 22nd May 2007 22:56 UTC in reply to "I love PC-BSD"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"[...] the pbi packages are easy, even for beginners."

Why "even"? :-) The PBI system is designed especially for beginners who usually have enough hard disk space not to care for duplicated dependencies and "dependency hell". PBI is a very good solution here, but keep in mind: You pay comfort with hard disk usage. But as we all know, this is no problem today.

Personally, I prefer using the pkg_add and make methods for installing applications, but PC-BSD offers the best choice: Use what you like - ports, precompiled packages, or PBI packages.

"The only thing that I would suggest is wider package selection of PBI's, but I love what they have done so far."

PC-BSD targets the usual home user who'll find nearly every application he could need preinstalled in the KDE system. I tended to miss some "strange" software in the PBI database, but that is my personal fault because I'm still using obsolete and ancient software. :-)

I'd like to comment some statements from the section "Suggestions for further improvement of PC-BSD" in the article:

"1. The three BSDs namely FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD have their own independent ports. PC-BSD team could also start maintaining its own independent ports system instead of depending on the FreeBSD ports. One disadvantage of depending on FreeBSD ports is that you have to sometimes wait a long time before the software gets updated in the ports."

You could use the precompiled packages (which is the usual way in FreeBSD). I would not recommend PC-BSD to have an own ports subsystem because it possibly would get incompatible with FreeBSD, violating the claim "PC-BSD is FreeBSD".

"2. When a user enters a root password to do system administration tasks using GUI, PC-BSD should offer to remember the root password so that the user does not have to enter it the next time he want to run a program in super user mode."

This is dangerous. Why does the author suggest this? He could have suggested PC-BSD to login as root without any password automatically, just to gain maximal comfort for the user. :-)

"Many Linux distributions such as Debian and Fedora have this feature."

I'm not sure if "Linux has" is a valid proof for a need...

"At present, if I want to install say 10 PBI's I have to enter the root password 10 times - ie. each time I execute the PBI, it asks for root password which gets really tedious."

Here, the PBI package manager could run the remove command on the installed PBI packages as a batch job, requiring only one entering of the root password.

"KDE dialog has a check box which offers to "keep the password" but it doesn't seem to have any effect."

This is strange.

"3. The PBI should have an option to install software system wide or on a per user basis. This suggestion might seem strange but in a multi-user environment, it is not possible to hand over the root password to every one."

The author seems to have an idea why there is a difference between the system user(s) and the system administrator. The last one mentioned is the person with the rights to install software. The user usually is not. But I can follow his mind, today's users are system administrators (or seem to be / should be). So it would be imaginable to have a path beneath $HOME added to the $PATH where PBI packages local to the user could be installed and executed.

"And if a user wants to try out a software by downloading the PBI, he should be allowed to install it in his home directory if he cannot enter the root password."

And he should be able to have malware and spyware installed automatically, yeah, we all know where this thoughts lead to... :-)

"4. The PBI should also support execution from the command line. This is not a must have feature but it can be convenient to execute and install a PBI package in certain situations where you have booted into console mode."

This feature could be useful where the system administrator uses SSH or a console to do maintenance operations to a system. Something like

# pbi_add k3b

could be a nice feature, I agree here.

"5. It would be nice to have a GUI front-end which allows a lay person to write custom firewall rules for PF."

There are many, just to mention the standard KDE text editor, even the X-Terminal running ee serves this purpose. People who create PF settings are usually smart enough to use these tools. :-)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: I love PC-BSD
by Chuck Norris on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE: I love PC-BSD"
Chuck Norris Member since:
2007-03-24

You seem to know a little bit about PC-BSD but not enought though...

You pay comfort with hard disk usage

No. The disk usage that additional libraries occupy is close to none. Try to install a PBI, and a package and compare. There are cases where it is the opposite (ie: the installed Apache PBI uses less space than the package).

I agree that the root password should be asked only once, with a time out such as a 15min or 13min time out. Who wants to type 10x his password in a minute?

Not letting the user install his own software because of malware is a myth. He will always be able to find some applications that can be extracted and run from his /home directory. If you search enough, you'll find them. Making it official and allowing a user to install a PBI in his own directory is a good idea. If he install malware, at least it will not have root privileges.

You can already install a PBI in text mode.

If you think using vi or ee is a solution to edit the rules of your firewall, then ask Windows users to use Notepad to edit the Windows firewall exceptions. Nice.

You shouldn't have to know the PF synthax by heart to add firewall exceptions. With such a closed mentality, the linux desktop won't go very far.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: I love PC-BSD
by Doc Pain on Wed 23rd May 2007 00:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I love PC-BSD"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"You seem to know a little bit about PC-BSD but not enought though..."

You're seeing the truth. I'm using FreeBSD as one of my main systems, but my neighbor is fine with PC-BSD, so I sometimes look "into" his system. PC-BSD is not for me, but I like the PBI concept very much.

"No. The disk usage that additional libraries occupy is close to none. Try to install a PBI, and a package and compare. There are cases where it is the opposite (ie: the installed Apache PBI uses less space than the package)."

You're right, there are cases where it's the opposite. The PBIs are composed very well. Maybe it is because of KDE that I think of the disk space occupation... :-)

"Not letting the user install his own software because of malware is a myth. He will always be able to find some applications that can be extracted and run from his /home directory."

Of course you're right, you can even install local applications with FreeBSD's pkg_add and make, just set a few $*BASE variables, and it works.

There is a security machanism: The proper system administration. In worst case, a user can damage his account, delete all his files and lose his password. But this won't affect the OS itself, the installed applications, and other users. Only if users are granted root privileges, these means of system security could be overridden.

"If you search enough, you'll find them. Making it official and allowing a user to install a PBI in his own directory is a good idea. If he install malware, at least it will not have root privileges."

I agree.

"You can already install a PBI in text mode."

"If you think using vi or ee is a solution to edit the rules of your firewall, then ask Windows users to use Notepad to edit the Windows firewall exceptions. Nice."

I don't know "Windows", so I cannot tell. :-)

The firewall should be set up by the system administrator one, in the beginning. The administrator is the one who knows which ports to open and which services to enable. The user should not need to know. But because most users today are their own system administrators, the requirement for a secure setting at install time is there. I set up my firewall years ago and I did not need to change settings until today. This could be different in experimental settings, I assume.

"You shouldn't have to know the PF synthax by heart to add firewall exceptions. With such a closed mentality, the linux desktop won't go very far."

Hmmm... take my comment above and let me add a car analogy - it's just because people like car analogies. If you want to participate in the public traffic, you need to know some things, such as how to drive the car and what the traffic rules say. You even have to prove that you know, otherwise you would not get a driving license.

So, if you need to play around with PF, you should know what you're playing with. Trial & error is not always the best solution.

But I agree with your last statement. If Linux wants to get more usage share (and oh joy oh market share), it has to be more like this "Windows"... :-) No, honestly. User friendlyness is a valid point. People get confused by text they need to read. And they do not want to learn how to do it, they just want to do it, or, to be more precise, they want their PC to do it automatically by itself. So a packet filter that does not need any user interaction (self learning system?) would be the best solution, I think.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: I love PC-BSD
by Joe User on Wed 23rd May 2007 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I love PC-BSD"
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

That's right. On Windows you don't have anything to learn, and the firewall does its job. Just install BitTorrent, launch it, the firewall will ask you if you want to allow it. Just click "Yes" or "No". That's it, no need to open a terminal-based text editor to type some PhD-level code.

Edited 2007-05-23 00:53

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: I love PC-BSD
by Doc Pain on Wed 23rd May 2007 01:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I love PC-BSD"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

I knew there would be a reply like this. :-)

That's right. On Windows you don't have anything to learn, and the firewall does its job. Just install BitTorrent, launch it, the firewall will ask you if you want to allow it. Just click "Yes" or "No"."[/i]

Tell this to the millions of "Windows" boxes working as spam senders. And most users do not want to know what their applications do (as long as they seem to do what the user wants). Some of them are serving illegal activities, such das data espionage and saboutage, just because someone clicked on "Yes" at the wrong time, not reading the text on the screen.

Remember: The usual answer is "Yes", no matter what the question is. :-)

On PC-BSD, you do not need to click anywhere, no "Yes" or "No", because the settings made at install time are fine for 99% of its users. That's it.

"That's it, no need to open a terminal-based text editor to type some PhD-level code. "

"PhD-level code", wow, you need a PhD today to be able to read, to follow instructions, to think for yourself? Wow... I really didn't know that. Maybe I'm strange because I do write "PhD-level code" without having a PhD. :-)

MICROS~1 have done some valuable work inproving "Vista's" security, but
"That's right. On Windows you don't have anything to learn, and the firewall does its job. Just install BitTorrent, launch it, the firewall will ask you if you want to allow it. Just click "Yes" or "No"."

Tell this to the millions of "Windows" boxes working as spam senders. And most users do not want to know what their applications do (as long as they seem to do what the user wants). Some of them are serving illegal activities, such das data espionage and saboutage, just because someone clicked on "Yes" at the wrong time, not reading the text on the screen.

Remember: The usual answer is "Yes", no matter what the question is. :-)

"That's it, no need to open a terminal-based text editor to type some PhD-level code. "

"PhD-level code", wow, you need a PhD today to be able to read, to follow instructions, to think for yourself? Wow... I really didn't know that. Maybe I'm strange because I do write "PhD-level code" without having a PhD. :-)

MICROS~1 have done some valuable work inproving "Vista's" security, but the usual problem resides between keyboard (or mouse) and chair. is this what "PhD-level thinkers" seem to be needed for: Limiting nonsense?

If you want something that looks like working, it is one thing. If you need something that really works, it's another thing.

PS. In most cases, learning is fun and a further advantage for an individual. But it seems one has to be a bit educated and equipped with a healthy common sense to see this... maybe I'm wrong here, but that's my opinion.

Edited 2007-05-23 01:21

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: I love PC-BSD
by Joe User on Wed 23rd May 2007 11:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I love PC-BSD"
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

PS. In most cases, learning is fun and a further advantage for an individual. But it seems one has to be a bit educated and equipped with a healthy common sense to see this... maybe I'm wrong here, but that's my opinion.

My opinion is that computing shouldn't be kept in the hands of a small group of elitist sysadmins. This is what the FOSS community is trying to do, or at least trying to convince us.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: I love PC-BSD
by Doc Pain on Wed 23rd May 2007 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I love PC-BSD"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"My opinion is that computing shouldn't be kept in the hands of a small group of elitist sysadmins. This is what the FOSS community is trying to do, or at least trying to convince us."

I'm not claiming the opposite and I'm supporting this idea, because it's completely valid. But isn't it possible to assume a minimal amount of education present, or at least the ability gain the needed means?

I don't think driving cars should be kept in the hands of a small group of elitist stunt drivers. But driving a car requires a certain education. To be more explicit, what about guns? They should not be limited to army personnal. Everybody should have a gun. No need to know anything. No? No, of course not!

Using a computer still requires some knowledge, no matter how you turn it. GUIs and applications that evolve did a great work in bringing computing power to the public. But some individuals still have strange assumptions, though. Joe User first has to understand that he is responsible for what he's doing and nobody else. If this is granted, everything else won't be any problem.

What if something does not work? Joe User assumes someone else to solve his problems. I am glad to be able to fix most problems by myself. This is because I've invested time in education and practice. If someone else can't (or simply is not willing to), he cannot complain. This is what computer technicans are usually paid for. "Why should I have to pay you for fixing my computer?!" :-)

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: I love PC-BSD
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 23rd May 2007 13:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I love PC-BSD"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

The firewall should be set up by the system administrator one, in the beginning. The administrator is the one who knows which ports to open and which services to enable. The user should not need to know. But because most users today are their own system administrators, the requirement for a secure setting at install time is there.


True, a sysadmin should just set the firewall rules and forget about it. You're thinking enterprise situations where the end user works with a sealed box. For the home user it's a little bit different situation. They usually aren't the most technically savvy people, and they usually don't read instructions. It's a great boon to them to be able to click through a GUI. Even I like having a GUI sometimes if I'm going to be experimenting with software; it's a good way to quickly change settings repeatedly. It's also nice if I'm going into a pre-configured environment like PC-BSD is.

The default PF settings for PC-BSD work for 99% of situations, it is turned on by default. There is a GUI to edit them, but it's not the easiest thing to use. It's actually more complicated then learning how to editing the PF text file. I would much prefer them to have something like Linux's Firestarter, this may be specific to Unbuntu, I don't know I don't spend that much time with linux, which allows quick control of the firewall.

Basically, a GUI Firewall editor is a luxury, and PC-BSD doesn't have a good one right now. Given that they are aiming to be a good entry level desktop OS, it's a hole in their strategy. I prefer full blown FreeBSD, but PC-BSD is a good entry point for people just needing desktop OS or wanting an introduction to the BSDs.

Reply Score: 2

1.3
by Captain Halibut on Tue 22nd May 2007 22:40 UTC
Captain Halibut
Member since:
2007-04-08

Running 1.3 since the weekend on a fairly modest amd 1800+. Looking good.

Reply Score: 2

PBI's
by airwedge1 on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:58 UTC
airwedge1
Member since:
2006-02-22

They need more PBI's, and also the existing PBI's need to be up to date. If you want to get a fully functional desktop, with all the up to date software, you still have no choice but to go back to the ports system, and then PBI's are pretty much pointless

Reply Score: 2

Nice system
by Decius on Wed 23rd May 2007 00:14 UTC
Decius
Member since:
2006-01-03

This was my intro to any BSD back at version 0.6 and I've been enjoying using it since then. Now I play around with OpenBSD too, since I appreciate the logic of the system. I am a confirmed geek, I have 15 OSes on my main computer, an old and faithful Athlon 700 with 512MB of PC133. My wife, a non-techie, uses PC-BSD as her main system on a PIII-733 with 512MB of PC133. As long as you've got 256+ MB of RAM I recommend giving this OS a shot. It's not perfect yet, I personally would prefer that root be restricted by default, and sudo be used instead, but that is just me. All in all PC-BSD provides a good experience.

Reply Score: 3

1.3.4
by netpython on Wed 23rd May 2007 03:55 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Where can you download 1.3.4 or is it upgrate only from
Download PC-BSD 1.3.01 (Khan)?

Reply Score: 2

Yet another testemonial
by nullpt on Wed 23rd May 2007 04:13 UTC
nullpt
Member since:
2006-10-20

I'm a freebsd addicted. I use it for everything.

Since my father doesn't know anything about computers he has PC-BSD 1.3.x running on his laptops and he's very happy with it. No more windows re-installations and slowdowns. He's just honestly happy about it. He uses it to browse the internet all day long (work), e-mail, general multimedia purpose, writing documents and spreadsheats, make presentations to clients, and many other stuff..

My mother also uses PC-BSD 1.3.x at home for internet surfing, some gaming, writing documents, listening to old folks tracks and watching DVD's. She's also very happy with it.

I tought that it would only take a while before they started begging for windows again but PC-BSD made it into very, very computer noob people. Language support is very good and anyone that doesn't speak english or have a American keyboard can use it with no problems!

I really recomend everyone to test PC-BSD and to install it in computer noob persons. I'm sure they'll love it!

PC-BSD is now certified for very, very computer noob usage ;)

Kudos to the PC-BSD project.

Reply Score: 5

Extended partitions ?
by flywheel on Wed 23rd May 2007 04:40 UTC
flywheel
Member since:
2005-12-28

I tried to install PC-BSD on a logical partition way back and it almost cost me my OpenSUSE, eComStation and WinXP, if it hadn't been for DfSee.

The problem back then was that the PC-BSD installer was unable to handle extended partitions properly (It just made them all into one big happy primary partition)

Has that issue been solved, will PC-BSD today handle extended partitions the right way ?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Extended partitions ?
by antik on Wed 23rd May 2007 06:44 UTC in reply to "Extended partitions ?"
antik Member since:
2006-05-19

Has that issue been solved, will PC-BSD today handle extended partitions the right way ?

No, if you are talking about extended partitions- FreeBSD/PC-BSD does not support installation on extended partitions and never will. Extended partitions is lame idea from microsoft camp and linux guys embraced this strange "standard".

You can install FreeBSD/PC-BSD into four primary partitions- that mean you may have four operating systems installed even same versions(or different) of PC-BSD on one computer. FreeBSD partitions are called "slices" and they are hosted within primary partitions or if you have only FreeBSD on computer then you even don't need any primary partitions- only slices.

That bug you referring to (converting extended partitions into primary) is fixed in 1.3.01 release- 1.3.0 was removed from site after that fix.

Incorporating OpenBSD's robust and powerful PF firewall instead of the firewall bundled with FreeBSD.

This is not quite correct- FreeBSD got PF in base system by default- only thing we changed in PC-BSD is that we enabled it in kernel with QoS features and "pfsync" as default firewall.

So far we managed to keep PC-BSD installation media on single CD ~700MB- not sure how long this will last but I like 5-10minutes clean install, couple of minutes install of OpenOffice.org, codecs, java, flash, etc. and here we got almost perfect unix workstation.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Extended partitions ?
by Oliver on Wed 23rd May 2007 07:12 UTC in reply to "Extended partitions ?"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

The Microsoft way of doing things isn't a standard, it's just a lame attempt to mangle things so they fit in their idea of an "operating system". It's lame too playing the copycat to inferior "features".

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Extended partitions ?
by tristan on Wed 23rd May 2007 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Extended partitions ?"
tristan Member since:
2006-02-01

The Microsoft way of doing things isn't a standard, it's just a lame attempt to mangle things so they fit in their idea of an "operating system". It's lame too playing the copycat to inferior "features".


I'm sorry, what?

Being able to split a hard-disk into more than four partitions is definitely a feature, and one I want and use a lot. Where it came from doesn't matter -- it's there, and it's supported well in Windows and in Linux. But not BSD.

I wanted to try PC-BSD, and in fact downloaded and burned two CDs, before I ran into this very issue -- I had cleared out an extended partition, and the installer didn't want to know.

Rubbish.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Extended partitions ?
by antik on Wed 23rd May 2007 13:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Extended partitions ?"
antik Member since:
2006-05-19

Being able to split a hard-disk into more than four partitions is definitely a feature, and one I want and use a lot. Where it came from doesn't matter -- it's there, and it's supported well in Windows and in Linux. But not BSD.

You can have 4(primary partitions)*7(slices)=28 "partitions" with FreeBSD on your hard drive. How many you can have with Windows/Linux?

I had cleared out an extended partition, and the installer didn't want to know.
That was a bug that noone encountered during beta and RC testing- now it is fixed.

Extended partitions is *LAME*- end of story.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Extended partitions ?
by OddFox on Sat 26th May 2007 01:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Extended partitions ?"
OddFox Member since:
2005-10-05

You can have 4(primary partitions)*7(slices)=28 "partitions" with FreeBSD on your hard drive. How many you can have with Windows/Linux?

I wasn't aware that there was some sort of limit on extended partitions you could have in your system. Three primary partitions, one extended and as many logicals as you can handle. I've seen people with upwards of ~60 partitions.

Extended partitions is *LAME*- end of story.

I'm not seeing enough difference between the two schemes for it to matter much to me, all I can see is the BSD camps aren't going to give up their slices anytime soon even though nobody else uses the scheme AFAIK.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Extended partitions ?
by Soulbender on Wed 23rd May 2007 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Extended partitions ?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Being able to split a hard-disk into more than four partitions is definitely a feature,"

It would have been even better if Compaq (yes, this is an abomination that MS is not responsible for) hadn't made the braindead design-decision to limit the number primary partitions to 4. Its a completely arbitrary and pointless limitation that does nothing but add unneeded complexity. That's what the previous poster was getting at.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Extended partitions ?
by adamk on Wed 23rd May 2007 14:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Extended partitions ?"
adamk Member since:
2005-07-08

Sure, it would have better if the limit wasn't in place. But, unfortunately, there are lots of users out there in the world whose computers are setup that way. And there are many users who might be interested in using PC-BSD (or any of the BSDs) but are unable to because it won't install to an extended partition.

Adam

Reply Score: 1

RE: PC-BSD
by protagonist on Wed 23rd May 2007 06:31 UTC
protagonist
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have been using PC-BSD on my IBM system, this is the conputer I use to install and try out alternatice OS's, and have really enjoyed using it. I have multiple HD's attached to the system and pressing the F12 key on boot allows me to select a HD to boot from so multiple OS's are fairly ewasy to manage.

Anyway, I have had Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Open Suise, Solaris, LinuxMint, FreeBSD, and a host of other OS's installed, wiped and something else installed in its place. The only constant has been PS-BSD installed on the second HD. It has lasted where the others have come and gone.

I have found it to be the easiest to set up and configure. It has proven to be very stable and reliable. And it has let me do one thing I have yet to accomplish with any of the Linux distros I have tried. And that is run my monitor at the native 1600x1200 resolution on the DVI connection. It took me just a few minutes to accomplish in PC-BSD and I bet I have spent many hours trying to accomplish the same in all the other OS's I have tried.

In summary, I run OS X on my old PowerMac G5 and most of the rest of my time is now spent using this OS. I am enjoying using PC-BSD as much as I did BeOS.

Reply Score: 5

My take
by DevL on Wed 23rd May 2007 07:00 UTC
DevL
Member since:
2005-07-06

Personally, I hoped that iXsystems would've turned PC-BSD into a server OS. The FLOSS world really lacks good GUI tools to manage a server.

Reply Score: 1

RE: My take
by Oliver on Wed 23rd May 2007 07:08 UTC in reply to "My take"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

A proper UNIX admin doesn't need GUI tools.

Reply Score: 5

RE: My take
by trenchsol on Wed 23rd May 2007 12:14 UTC in reply to "My take"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

I have tried one of the previous release candidates, and it had server option offered durin installation. Does it still exist ? What does it do ?

Reply Score: 1

_____________
by Edward on Wed 23rd May 2007 15:43 UTC
Edward
Member since:
2005-09-17

When a user enters a root password to do system administration tasks using GUI, PC-BSD should offer to remember the root password

I have no prob. with putting in my root pass. each time, plus wouldn't that be a security risk? Anyway, I am waiting for them to get a GUI cetral system control panel.

Reply Score: 2

Extended partitions suck? How so?
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 23rd May 2007 20:02 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

Instead of labeling extended partitions as a strange, lame, Microsoft-derived "standard" that is absolutely useless, why not actually go into detail on the facts, or at least post a couple good links? Can you come up with any good reasons as to why they suck so bad, why they only "fit in" with Windows, and why FreeBSD "slices" are so great?

Being a former Windows user who has just switched to Linux only a few years ago, I've had some experience with extended partitions in the past. These days, with a separate Windows and My Documents partition, and separare Linux /, /usr and swap partitions, and maybe a couple more for sharing between OSes, extended partitions have become more more useful than ever. I regularly have at least 6 partitions on my main drive.

From what it sounds, FreeBSD slices seem to be an alternate way of doing the same thing as extended partitions, with slight differences... the biggest probably being, instead of using a different type of partition, it uses regular primary ones and divides them instead.

Or... are you just spewing nonsense just because Microsoft made extended partitions?

Reply Score: 1

antik Member since:
2006-05-19

Or... are you just spewing nonsense just because Microsoft made extended partitions?

In terms of how the disk is used, there are only two main differences between a primary and a logical partition or volume. The first is that a primary partition can be set as bootable (active) while a logical cannot. In reality You can have up to 4 extended partitions. Many OSes (Windows) can only deal with one though. Microsoft says there can be one extended partition. So be it. Linux is ****ed as usual.

FreeBSD on x86 systems suffers from the same limitation of four primary partitions; however, in FreeBSD parlance, the 'parimary partitions' are the 'slices' 1 - 4; in addition, in FreeBSD parlance, the *working* equivalent of DOS 'extended partitions' are called 'partitions.' That is, FreeBSD 'partitions' in FreeBSD perform the same task as DOS 'extended partitions' in DOS. This difference in terminology often confuses newcomers to FreeBSD. To further confuse newcomers, DOS extended partitions, as well as primary partitions, are recognized as slices under FreeBSD. Although, FreeBSD is limited to 4 bootable FreeBSD slices, it can mount more than four slices, be they FreeBSD slices, or slices corresponding to other OS partitioning schemes. In this manner, FreeBSD is far more flexible.

Reply Score: 1

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Your explaination of FreeBSD's and PC-BSD's terminology is completely correct. Let me add and comment to:

"Although, FreeBSD is limited to 4 bootable FreeBSD slices, it can mount more than four slices, be they FreeBSD slices, or slices corresponding to other OS partitioning schemes. In this manner, FreeBSD is far more flexible."

While access to extended partitions is no problem for FreeBSD, its installation requires a primary partition because FreeBSD slices can only be primary partition. Wow, confusing! :-)

FreeBSD does allow you to hold files in partitions and slices, but it does not force you to.

A typical installation could consist of the following partitions:

/dev/ad0s1a = /
/dev/ad0s1b = swap partition
/dev/ad0s1d = /tmp
/dev/ad0s1e = /var
/dev/ad0s1f = /usr
/dev/ad0s1g = /home

According to this example, ad0s1g refers to ATA disk 0, slice 1, partition g. If you want to use a second HD for /home, you could set /dev/ad1s1 = /home (ATA disk 1, slice 1, whole device) or /dev/ad1 = /home (ATA disk 1, whole device). The same way is used to refer to USB sticks formatted as UFS (e. g. /dev/da0), but if they are of msdos format, the reference to the first slice (DOS: the first partition) is needed (e. g. /dev/da0s1). The "c" for "whole device" (e. g. /dev/ad2c) is not needed anymore. You can refer to CD drives in the same way (e. g. /dev/cd0, /dev/acd0t01), so if you record an AVI file to a CD without (!) an ISO-9660 container, you can "mplayer /dev/acd0" to play the disc, but NB most players can't play this strange format; it is possible to use this type of disc if no VCD can be created, but it is not intended to "mount /cdrom && mplayer /cdrom/movie.avi && umount /cdrom".

To repeat: Slices equal DOS partitions, partitions can be compared to logical volumes inside an DOS extended partition. Examples:

HD1 = { (prim 1) (prim 2) }
HD2 = { (prim 1) (ext 1 -lv 1- -lv 2-) }

In FreeBSD, partitions (inside a slice) are used to seperate system components.

HD1 = { (/) swap (/tmp) (/var) (/usr) }
HD2 = { /home }

This leads to advantages (easy backup, improved consistency while HDD problems occur), but disadvantages (no resizing), too. LVM (Vinum) is ready to help here.

Reply Score: 4

PC-BSD 1.4-BETA rules too!
by Arabian on Thu 24th May 2007 08:20 UTC
Arabian
Member since:
2007-01-23

PC-BSD 1.4-BETA can be downloaded from here http://dev.pcbsd.org/snapshots/ and newet snapshot should have Xorg 7.2 on it before the weekend I hope, beside it's based on FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE branch ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: PC-BSD 1.4-BETA rules too!
by Liquidator on Thu 24th May 2007 10:04 UTC in reply to "PC-BSD 1.4-BETA rules too!"
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

As its name mentions, these are not beta isos, these are snapshot releases, which means pre-alpha quality. This is meant for testers and developers. Don't expect it to work as beta software. It's wiser to wait for beta releases or the stable release.

Reply Score: 2