Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Jun 2007 18:35 UTC, submitted by troy.unrau
PC-BSD "PC-BSD is not a Linux distribution, but rather it could be considered among the first major FreeBSD-based distributions to live outside of the official FreeBSD. Like most distributions, it has implemented certain features in a way that attempts to distinguish it from the competition, and I will focus mostly on these differences. This test drive is intended to give an overview of what PC-BSD is and why one would consider using it."
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RE[2]: Not a fan
by Doc Pain on Tue 19th Jun 2007 23:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Not a fan"
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

"the purpose for this distro is to be able to be used simply by the average user. what you did takes skill and an above average level of understanding of your system."

No, it just requires the user to be able (and wanting) to read instructions from the excellent FreeBSD documentation (i. e. the handbook). Installing and configuring a "real" FreeBSD is some work, I agree, but it's not as hard as you may think. Of course, it does require basic knowledge.

"most people want to just have something work, not have to work at it. I think PC-BSD has succeeded in that area"

I think so, too. PC-BSD does not aim at professional users who want to tweak their system to maximal speed and usability. The target is Joe Q. Sixpack who wants to click on the pretty pictures.

My neighbor uses PC-BSD for more than a year now - happily. For me, too, because I do not have to do any "free support". :-)

PC-BSD's preconfiguration and preloaded applications do fit the average home user's needs. It's a solution that's welcome there. One of the best arguments is the easy to use PBI package installation system (allthough "pkg_add -r xmms" is faster than clicking around, downloading and clicking again - useful for automated procedures). Another advantage is that you can use the PBI system together with the classical methods of precompiled packages (pkg_add) and the ports collection (make install). Furthermore, beneath all this KDE, there's a FreeBSD, which allows you to edit configuration files if you want to have your result very fast and without searching through dialog boxes.

Personally, I prefer a "real" FreeBSD where I usually use pkg_add to install software; the ports are used when special tweaking at compile time is needed (e. g. mplayer due to various options). If I would have to use PC-BSD, I first had to customize the CLI subsystem (which is no fun to use by default!), the console mode, then uninstall KDE and install everything I need. So, PC-BSD definitely is not designed for me, but it has its target audience.

As it has been mentioned before, a minimum kernel makes your system run faster. It requires you to know exactly what hardware you have. Of course, you can load kld modules along with the GENERIC kernel, but know that it includes much hardware that you usually do not have installed. The same is true for some applications that are build with a certain -O optimization. (NB: Do not -O2 or -O3 building kernel and world.)

Final note as always: Use the right tool for every task.

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