Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th May 2006 22:14 UTC
PC-BSD "PC-BSD 1.1 was released today, along with a PBI update file for users running 1.0, who wish to update to 1.1. This release brings the core operating system up to the latest version of FreeBSD 6.1, adds better driver support to the kernel, and improves the speed on many systems." Update: Screenshots.
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Why BSD on desktop?
by butters on Tue 30th May 2006 16:05 UTC
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The major factors involved in choosing a desktop operating system are (in no particular order) application support, performance, stability, usability, and hardware support. It seems to me that Linux has a substantial lead or headstart in most of these areas, so I wonder why anyone would want BSD on the desktop. In particular, there are a handful of Linux distributions that are heavily inspired by the philosophy and infrastructure of FreeBSD, such as Gentoo and Arch, and should be comfortable for most stubborn BSD users.

The point is that the momentum is irreversibly on Linux's side, and it would take a major feature/functionality delta to shift favor to any of the BSDs. Combined with the shoddy track record of the FreeBSD project for the past couple years, there's just not a strong case for BSD on the desktop. Sure it's possible, and there are now some user-friendly desktop BSD distros, but the question for me always comes down to, why?

What is so much better about the FreeBSD kernel and coreutils that makes it a better desktop or a better platform for desktop development? Recent design changes have made uniprocessor performance a second-class citizen to their ugly (yet admittedly improving) SMP locking scheme. In contrast, most of the SMP locks on Linux just compile away to nothing on UP configurations.

Show me a BSD implementation of GNOME or KDE that is feature-complete, relative to the vanilla Linux installation, and I might check it out. But I just can't imagine a situation that would enable BSD on the desktop to get beyond feature parity with Linux distributions and establish a leadership role in the desktop space.

But, this is certainly interesting fodder for disto junkies, so by all means, check it out.

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