Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 5th Oct 2007 20:49 UTC, submitted by Flatland_Spider
PC-BSD Jan Stedehouder has used PC-BSD for thirty days to see what living with it is like. On day thirty, he concludes: "Does PC-BSD have the potential to be a serious contender for the open source desktop? I answered that question with a yes, because the potential is there. The solid FreeBSD roots, the very strong and very accessible information, the friendly and mature community and the PBI system provide the foundations for that potential. I don't think it is ready now and I couldn't recommend it yet to someone in the early stages of moving away from Windows to an open source desktop. But I do think that the PC-BSD team has the right target audience in mind and is building an system and a support system that addresses it's needs."
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Some points
by zizban on Fri 5th Oct 2007 21:46 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

PC-BSD is positioned as a FreeBSD system with full compatibility. This is true as long as you keep the core system as it is and donít start installing software via packages and ports. At that point I got the impression that PC-BSD is not completely in sync with FreeBSD. I have seen too many second and third digit dependency errors that made installing software via packages or ports a hit-and-miss thing.

This is very true. I found the ports simply terrible, hit or miss or simply broken was was odd if you are to say you have full FreeBSD compatibility. The PBIs are great but so few of them with bizarre hit or miss dependencies.

The second problem was with the graphics card. The suggestion to change the aperture in the BIOS was good and the solution worked. But PC-BSD is the only OS that needs this change and I have tried quite a few. Again, not something a novice user would understand and hence not something I want to see in an operating system that caters to the desktop user.

I had this problem as well. Stock Intel i810 thing that works flawlessly with every OS I've thrown at it (even Syllable and ReactOS) yet with PC-BSD I got unusual black lines and had to settle for a lower resolution to get rid of them. Even FreeBSD handles this card fine.

PC-BSD certainly has potential but also some truly annoying bugs.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Some points
by Doc Pain on Fri 5th Oct 2007 23:11 in reply to "Some points"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"I found the ports simply terrible, hit or miss or simply broken was was odd if you are to say you have full FreeBSD compatibility."

Don't forget to update your ports before doing anything. Furthermore, using the ports is only needed if you are forced to have some options set at compile time (e. g. for mplayer: usage of codecs, OPTIMIZED_CFLAGS etc.); in any other case, precompiled packages should work fine because needed dependencies are installed by the way (e. g. pkg_add -r xmms).

On PC-BSD, using the PBIs is highly recommended. The pbidir contains almost everything the average home user might need - this is who PC-BSD is targetted at.

Due to changes of X11BASE from /usr/X11R6 to /usr/local (in order to have only one directory containing everything installed that does not belong to the OS), some ports may crash, that's true.

Ports is nicht for Gewerken by das Dummkopfen. :-)

"The PBIs are great but so few of them with bizarre hit or miss dependencies. "

The PBI packages do already contain the dependencies. So you won't encounter any problems here.

- NMI -

Regarding the article, I had an interesting read. But it's really strange how many problems the author had. My neighbor uses PC-BSD for longer time now and didn't encounter any of them. Seems it depends on how you use your system... I still liked that the author tried so many things with PC-BSD, even strange (to me) ones.

Note belonging to day 28's crash test: You can set fsck to run in the background (while boot continues), so you won't have to wait. The OS refusing to install on a defective hard disk is nothing strange. What strange expections do people have, anyway? :-)

"But, overall, I did what I would normally do on a Linux desktop or at work on a Windows desktop [...]" - yes, hitting the reset switch all the time because the computer works with ones and zeros. I'm interested in how DesktopBSD will work under this condition in his next experiment. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Some points
by netpython on Sat 6th Oct 2007 14:24 in reply to "RE: Some points"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Neither would i classify the issues the author experienced as problems. In addition i know my way around *BSD as i presume you do as well.

See from an beginners point of view operating PCBSD for a while might be just enough to come around. So in this regard couldn't it all depend on the point of view?

Personally for me PCBSD is an appetizer. It isn't that different if you compare it with most other operating systems. Once you get the hang of any OS you can eventually grow and enter the more advanced concepts. The author of the article has done a decent job reviewing imho.

Reply Parent Score: 3