Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd May 2007 21:05 UTC, submitted by Nix_User
PC-BSD LinuxHelp has reviewed PC-BSD. "PC-BSD is turning out to be an excellent alternative to other desktop operating systems. After testing and using PC-BSD for some time now, I can't but admire the sheer amount of work that is put into creating, developing and molding an OS for the lay person albeit with a strong slant towards FreeBSD. The fact that PC-BSD is able to accomplish all the tasks expected by an end user - be it using the Internet for communication, listening to music, watching movies or using it for recreation purposes holds it in good stead as a viable desktop operating systems."
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RE[2]: I love PC-BSD
by Chuck Norris on Tue 22nd May 2007 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE: I love PC-BSD"
Chuck Norris
Member since:
2007-03-24

You seem to know a little bit about PC-BSD but not enought though...

You pay comfort with hard disk usage

No. The disk usage that additional libraries occupy is close to none. Try to install a PBI, and a package and compare. There are cases where it is the opposite (ie: the installed Apache PBI uses less space than the package).

I agree that the root password should be asked only once, with a time out such as a 15min or 13min time out. Who wants to type 10x his password in a minute?

Not letting the user install his own software because of malware is a myth. He will always be able to find some applications that can be extracted and run from his /home directory. If you search enough, you'll find them. Making it official and allowing a user to install a PBI in his own directory is a good idea. If he install malware, at least it will not have root privileges.

You can already install a PBI in text mode.

If you think using vi or ee is a solution to edit the rules of your firewall, then ask Windows users to use Notepad to edit the Windows firewall exceptions. Nice.

You shouldn't have to know the PF synthax by heart to add firewall exceptions. With such a closed mentality, the linux desktop won't go very far.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: I love PC-BSD
by Doc Pain on Wed 23rd May 2007 00:29 in reply to "RE[2]: I love PC-BSD"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"You seem to know a little bit about PC-BSD but not enought though..."

You're seeing the truth. I'm using FreeBSD as one of my main systems, but my neighbor is fine with PC-BSD, so I sometimes look "into" his system. PC-BSD is not for me, but I like the PBI concept very much.

"No. The disk usage that additional libraries occupy is close to none. Try to install a PBI, and a package and compare. There are cases where it is the opposite (ie: the installed Apache PBI uses less space than the package)."

You're right, there are cases where it's the opposite. The PBIs are composed very well. Maybe it is because of KDE that I think of the disk space occupation... :-)

"Not letting the user install his own software because of malware is a myth. He will always be able to find some applications that can be extracted and run from his /home directory."

Of course you're right, you can even install local applications with FreeBSD's pkg_add and make, just set a few $*BASE variables, and it works.

There is a security machanism: The proper system administration. In worst case, a user can damage his account, delete all his files and lose his password. But this won't affect the OS itself, the installed applications, and other users. Only if users are granted root privileges, these means of system security could be overridden.

"If you search enough, you'll find them. Making it official and allowing a user to install a PBI in his own directory is a good idea. If he install malware, at least it will not have root privileges."

I agree.

"You can already install a PBI in text mode."

"If you think using vi or ee is a solution to edit the rules of your firewall, then ask Windows users to use Notepad to edit the Windows firewall exceptions. Nice."

I don't know "Windows", so I cannot tell. :-)

The firewall should be set up by the system administrator one, in the beginning. The administrator is the one who knows which ports to open and which services to enable. The user should not need to know. But because most users today are their own system administrators, the requirement for a secure setting at install time is there. I set up my firewall years ago and I did not need to change settings until today. This could be different in experimental settings, I assume.

"You shouldn't have to know the PF synthax by heart to add firewall exceptions. With such a closed mentality, the linux desktop won't go very far."

Hmmm... take my comment above and let me add a car analogy - it's just because people like car analogies. If you want to participate in the public traffic, you need to know some things, such as how to drive the car and what the traffic rules say. You even have to prove that you know, otherwise you would not get a driving license.

So, if you need to play around with PF, you should know what you're playing with. Trial & error is not always the best solution.

But I agree with your last statement. If Linux wants to get more usage share (and oh joy oh market share), it has to be more like this "Windows"... :-) No, honestly. User friendlyness is a valid point. People get confused by text they need to read. And they do not want to learn how to do it, they just want to do it, or, to be more precise, they want their PC to do it automatically by itself. So a packet filter that does not need any user interaction (self learning system?) would be the best solution, I think.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[4]: I love PC-BSD
by Joe User on Wed 23rd May 2007 00:52 in reply to "RE[3]: I love PC-BSD"
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

That's right. On Windows you don't have anything to learn, and the firewall does its job. Just install BitTorrent, launch it, the firewall will ask you if you want to allow it. Just click "Yes" or "No". That's it, no need to open a terminal-based text editor to type some PhD-level code.

Edited 2007-05-23 00:53

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: I love PC-BSD
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 23rd May 2007 13:03 in reply to "RE[3]: I love PC-BSD"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

The firewall should be set up by the system administrator one, in the beginning. The administrator is the one who knows which ports to open and which services to enable. The user should not need to know. But because most users today are their own system administrators, the requirement for a secure setting at install time is there.


True, a sysadmin should just set the firewall rules and forget about it. You're thinking enterprise situations where the end user works with a sealed box. For the home user it's a little bit different situation. They usually aren't the most technically savvy people, and they usually don't read instructions. It's a great boon to them to be able to click through a GUI. Even I like having a GUI sometimes if I'm going to be experimenting with software; it's a good way to quickly change settings repeatedly. It's also nice if I'm going into a pre-configured environment like PC-BSD is.

The default PF settings for PC-BSD work for 99% of situations, it is turned on by default. There is a GUI to edit them, but it's not the easiest thing to use. It's actually more complicated then learning how to editing the PF text file. I would much prefer them to have something like Linux's Firestarter, this may be specific to Unbuntu, I don't know I don't spend that much time with linux, which allows quick control of the firewall.

Basically, a GUI Firewall editor is a luxury, and PC-BSD doesn't have a good one right now. Given that they are aiming to be a good entry level desktop OS, it's a hole in their strategy. I prefer full blown FreeBSD, but PC-BSD is a good entry point for people just needing desktop OS or wanting an introduction to the BSDs.

Reply Parent Score: 2