iXsystems Unveils PC-BSD Workstation

A known and usual problem with alternative operating systems is getting them on normal users’ desktops. OEMs won’t take you seriously until you gain massive traction, and even then your chances are still pretty low. So, iXsystems, PC-BSD‘s parent company, decided to take matters into its own hands, and has unveiled a PC-BSD workstation, with a PC-BSD laptop under way.

PC-BSD is a rather unique “distribution” of FreeBSD, geared completely towards everyday use. It has several good qualities, but the one that stands out is probably its PBI package management system, which works with Windows-like installers which install the software in self-contained directories. My experiences with PC-BSD confirm that PBI is one heck of a decent system.

Anyway, iXsystems acquired PC-BSD almost three years ago (it’s been three years?), and this move has enabled PC-BSD to gain a serious foot in the door at larger companies. For instance, they have a redistribution agreements with Opera and Adobe concerning Flash, and also agreements with Fry’s getting PC-BSD 1.4 on the shelves, and a similar deal at Micro Center.

Since iXsystems is primarily a server/storage/etc. hardware company, the step from that to bringing desktop and laptop machines to market with PC-BSD pre-installed seems rather natural. The PC-BSD desktop, named iX-Apollo Extreme, is completely certified for PC-BSD (and consequently FreeBSD). “The iX-Apollo Extreme Series features the latest Intel Core i7 technology utilizing up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, GigE LAN, 3D capable nVidia graphics and a whisper quiet chassis design with a high efficiency power supply,” the company states. PC-BSD 7.x will come pre-installed and pre-configured.

A PC-BSD laptop is also in the works, but this one requires a little more time before it can be put out there on the market. We’ve almost finished the work necessary to release a solid BSD-based laptop,” Matt Olander writes, “Once we’ve got the NIC driver ported and tested, we’ll have more info on the site and make this unit available for online purchase.”

Pretty exciting news for the PC-BSD people. It seems like the acquisition just keeps on bringing a lot of good to the PC-BSD world.


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