Linked by Uri Sharf on Mon 2nd May 2005 20:23 UTC
PC-BSD PC-BSD is a new FreeBSD 5.3 distribution, with a graphical installer and KDE 3.4 as its desktop. A new beta version was just released, and though I can't say I have much experience with FreeBSD, or any *BSD for that matter, I was curious enough to try it. And I'm glad I did. From a desktop user's point of view, completely oblivious to the many virtues and sound foundation of all things BSD, all I really ever wanted was an OS that is solid, easy to install and, well ... fun to work with.
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package manager
by anon on Mon 2nd May 2005 21:53 UTC

Wow... if anyone's missed it:

The PC-BSD package manager doesn't use pkg_add, or the ports system, or even RPM. Instead we've developed more of a straight-up installer approach. Software packages are installed into their own separate directories, complete with libraries and all. The goal is to have installed programs be entirely self contained, so that if the lib's on the system change, the package will be unaffected. Each package is installed into its own subdirectory under "/usr/local/MyPrograms/". The PC-BSD installer takes care of making links, setting up binaries to find their required libraries, creating icons, etc. Removing the app is also managed by PC-BSD. The directory is simply removed, along with any relevant icons / links created.

This approach is something major OS's all learned to master very early on, (I.E. Windows , Mac ) but the *nix world still struggles with. Many systems and distributions install packages and libraries all over the system, creating a tangled web of dependencies, where one wrong move could render many other programs inoperable. This can make installing or upgrading programs very difficult, unless a specific RPM or binary has been created for your exact distribution, which sometimes are in short supply.

We hope by adopting this approach, casual users will be able to simply download and install programs, without having to worry about what may end up broken or malfunctioning as a result.