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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Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

Your explaination of FreeBSD's and PC-BSD's terminology is completely correct. Let me add and comment to:

"Although, FreeBSD is limited to 4 bootable FreeBSD slices, it can mount more than four slices, be they FreeBSD slices, or slices corresponding to other OS partitioning schemes. In this manner, FreeBSD is far more flexible."

While access to extended partitions is no problem for FreeBSD, its installation requires a primary partition because FreeBSD slices can only be primary partition. Wow, confusing! :-)

FreeBSD does allow you to hold files in partitions and slices, but it does not force you to.

A typical installation could consist of the following partitions:

/dev/ad0s1a = /
/dev/ad0s1b = swap partition
/dev/ad0s1d = /tmp
/dev/ad0s1e = /var
/dev/ad0s1f = /usr
/dev/ad0s1g = /home

According to this example, ad0s1g refers to ATA disk 0, slice 1, partition g. If you want to use a second HD for /home, you could set /dev/ad1s1 = /home (ATA disk 1, slice 1, whole device) or /dev/ad1 = /home (ATA disk 1, whole device). The same way is used to refer to USB sticks formatted as UFS (e. g. /dev/da0), but if they are of msdos format, the reference to the first slice (DOS: the first partition) is needed (e. g. /dev/da0s1). The "c" for "whole device" (e. g. /dev/ad2c) is not needed anymore. You can refer to CD drives in the same way (e. g. /dev/cd0, /dev/acd0t01), so if you record an AVI file to a CD without (!) an ISO-9660 container, you can "mplayer /dev/acd0" to play the disc, but NB most players can't play this strange format; it is possible to use this type of disc if no VCD can be created, but it is not intended to "mount /cdrom && mplayer /cdrom/movie.avi && umount /cdrom".

To repeat: Slices equal DOS partitions, partitions can be compared to logical volumes inside an DOS extended partition. Examples:

HD1 = { (prim 1) (prim 2) }
HD2 = { (prim 1) (ext 1 -lv 1- -lv 2-) }

In FreeBSD, partitions (inside a slice) are used to seperate system components.

HD1 = { (/) swap (/tmp) (/var) (/usr) }
HD2 = { /home }

This leads to advantages (easy backup, improved consistency while HDD problems occur), but disadvantages (no resizing), too. LVM (Vinum) is ready to help here.

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