Linked by karunko on Mon 23rd Jan 2012 22:08 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones VirtualBSD 9.0 is a desktop-ready FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE built around the XFCE Desktop Environment for good aesthetics and usability, and is distributed as a VMware appliance (that can also be made to work with VirtualBox) so even non techies can be up and running in minutes. The most common applications, plugins and multimedia codecs are ready since the first boot.
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RE: For display only
by karunko on Wed 25th Jan 2012 10:42 UTC in reply to "For display only"
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Interesting project, but I was disappointed to learn that it's only available as a virtual machine

Find out? What do you mean find out? It's there in the summary and there's a big warning in the download page too! ;-)

But seriously: we'd love to be able to offer an actual installation, but we're just 5 guys doing this in their spare time and we don't have the resources to do that. Not to mention that it would mean going head to head with PC-BSD...

1) Pure FreeBSD is too difficult to install and make work.

I/we think the situation has improved considerably lately, especially hardware support has become fairly good and the FreeBSD Handbook is a great starting point rather than, say, having to hunt the web high and low for the info you need. Give it a try!

Arguably, it is a learning process, learning is part of the deal, but I think that learning from scratch is too painful.

Learning to walk can be painful too: you wobble a bit, you bump your head a few times, but hey! beats crawling an all fours for the rest of your life, doesn't it? And no, I'm not trying to draw any parallels here! ;-)

4) PC-BSD is not good. There are bugs, glitches, every release fails on me for some different reason. Their USB stick image usually doesn't work. They use KDE4, which I loathe.

I think I've read that with the latest version you can use whatever desktop environment suits you -- or you can always install it if it's not there.

And their package format takes up a lot of disk space

True but, let's face it, disk space is dirt cheap this days and, arguably the trade off between ease of use and disk usage is well worth it for some people.

And for the record: we investigated using PBIs too, but in the end decided against it -- for different reasons which I am not going into here.

I had never heard of VirtualBSD, and it looks like just what I needed: ready to use and with a pretty good window manager. But, alas, it only runs as a virtual machine. It's not something I can actually migrate into and use for so long that I might eventually decide I will never leave.

Well, in principle you could and it's been done before. Transferring over the installation is the easy part, getting your stuff to work is another matter and requires at least a bit of knowledge/patience. We could even decide to provide a guide if there's enough interest. Wink, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, nudge.


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