Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 4th Feb 2006 17:50 UTC, submitted by anonymous
PC-BSD LinuxHelp reviews PC-BSD, the (100% compatible) variant of FreeBSD aimed at the desktop, and concludes: "All in all, PC-BSD is an OS which has a bright future in the desktop market provided the developers provide more variety of software or at least equivalent to those found in the FreeBSD ports." Screenshots included to keep our younger readers happy.
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RE: That is nice.
by molnarcs on Sun 5th Feb 2006 00:02 UTC in reply to "That is nice."
molnarcs
Member since:
2005-09-10

Well, the installer is no more unfriendly than Kubuntu's - you just have to read the handbook before you go ahead. The system itself - the underlying FreeBSD - is a much much more simple system than linux. I found it easier to learn as a newbie (or rather, I was at your experience level, between a newbie and an intermediate user when I switched from Mandrake). Everything makes sense, and everything is simple. For instance, I struggled with iptables for weeks, then struggled with a frontend (shorewall) for days before I gave up. In freebsd, to configure the firewall, was to read the docs (pf's docs actually) and write up a ruleset - in english. It took 1/10 times the effort to learn a lot more about PF than it took me to learn iptables. In fact, configuring PF is so simple, that it puts even the graphical frontends available for linux to shame.

The same thing is true for ... well, everything. It took half a day not to be able to figure out (and I'm used to reading man pages) how to disable modules in kubuntu (I wanted to get rid of agpgart, and use nvidia's). apropos modules showed me that additional modules should be specified in /etc/modules - which was not there in kubuntu. I had modules.conf, which was longer than all system config files taken together on freebsd. Wasn't exactly reader friendly either. I figured linux uses some hardware detection to autoload some modules - but how can you tell it not to? Then there are those runlevels - if I contrast that with my simple rc.conf in freebsd, even the graphical config utility in kubuntu seemed more complex.

Anyhow, there is a myth that freebsd, because its true unix (whatever that means) must be more difficult than linux. Well, it is not - it is not a quick replacement for windows either (that's where PC-BSD comes into the picture) - but it is much more approachable for ordinary people, because the excellent documentation, the human readable config files, the general simplicity of the system, and - importantly - the clarity (everything is at the place you would expect it - there is a very clear system layout). I would go as far as to say that FreeBSD is a unix like os for newbies (those newbies at least that are interested in the unix part as well ;) ) - much more so than linux.

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