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PCBSD is getting better and better with every release. It is becoming a nice BSD desktop-oriented distro. I am eagerly waiting for version 9 which will allow the user to choose desktop environment during install - it will not be limited to KDE!
Two things that always drove me nuts about PC-BSD...
1. Why is everything so BIG? The fonts, window decorations... everything just seems massive even at 1680x1050. Other than that glaring annoyance, the desktop is actually quite attractive.
2. The "optional add-ons" included on the DVD... they seem to change what additional programs are available upon install directly from every release, with only a few programs (Firefox, OpenOffice.org) being guaranteed across versions. Almost every time, something I like is removed... Opera and K3b are two notable examples. Yeah, K3b is listed as an optional add-on according to the release notes for 8.2, but it doesn't appear during (or after) install in my VirtualBox installation trials.
I know, I know--people will probably say "that's what the package manager/PBIDir is for." Sure, but it's really nice to be able to install optional things right from the start and IMO that is one of the (theoretical) strengths of PC-BSD: install a nice base system, and choose optional packages if desired. PC-BSD already comes on such a huge disc (DVD) image, with ~1GB left... I don't know why they're afraid to use 512MB more. Surely 512MB on top of of 3.3GB to 3.6GB won't make that much of a difference in download time of the image itself, if that is the concern.
I have 8.1 installed in virtual box and I need to test it allot more. But I like what I see and cant wait for 9.0
What I am most looking for is the new streamlined PBI format and optional desktop at install.
The list of new features can be found here
Would you mind sharing the article/forum/link you got this info from?
I'm a huge Free-BSD fan, and PC-BSD would be a great way to save install/config time for my 'not-so-critical' boxes.
I've tried it in the past and liked most of it. Only thing I'm not so fond of is KDE4.
Would this "environment selector" you talk about only include desktop environments (Gnome, Xfce, LXDE) or will there be an option to select standalone window managers as well. I've not used DEs in ages, and much prefer the speed and modularity offered by lightweight WMs. On the BSD front, I tend to rely on CWM for stacking and ScrotWM for tiling, and the occasional Openbox if I can find time to configure it to my liking.
I am also really excited about the up and coming FreeBSD/PCBSD 9 releases. I am currently happily running FreeBSD on my home server and Arch Linux on my desktop, but would love to go all BSD and am thinking of trying to make the jump with PCBSD 9.
Looking at all that is coming I cant help but think that FreeBSD 9 and PCBSD 9 could surprise a lot of Linux users.
PC-BSD development in 2011 = Gnome/KDE/LXDE/XFCE
What's cooking for FreeBSD 9?
FreeBSD Foundation Announces support of GEM, KMS, and DRI for Intel Drivers
If you want to know more I would suggest you checkout BSDTalk and freebsdnews
bsdtalk201 - PC-BSD 9 Alpha with Kris Moore and bsdtalk199 - PC-Sysinstall with John Hixson is really interesting.
And PCBSD 9-CURRENT-20110225 Snapshot is Available for Testing
http://blog.pcbsd.org/2011/02/9-current-20110225-snapshot-available... Edited 2011-02-27 15:37 UTC
How come it uses KDE 4.5 rather than the recently released 4.6?
There is only 1 ports tree, used for all the releases out there.
When a new release of FreeBSD is going to happen, the release engineering team freezes the ports tree so that no new ports get added, or major updates done. That way, they have a consistent, unchanging tree to build packages from. Those packages are then put onto the installer DVD and made available via pkg_add.
Once the release is made, then the ports tree is unfrozen, and new ports/updates can be done.
KDE 4.6 was released long after the ports tree was frozen for the 7.4 and 8.2 releases. Thus, it was not part of the tree at the time the installer CDs/DVDs were made, and thus not "included" in the release.
Now that the tree is frozen, beta/public testing of the KDE 4.6 ports has begun. If all goes well, you should see 4.6 hit the ports tree before the end of March.
Remember: just because it's not on the installer CD doesn't mean it's not available.