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December 10th, 2015

PC-BSD 11.0-Current Images Ready, and Let’s Read Some Mail

Larry the BSD Guy

Parsing the developments from the BSD side of things this week for consumption by the general public is a little trickier than it is across the street on the Linux side, however with a little juggling (and an important note from iXsystems to come tomorrow in the weekly FOSS roundup), we’ll take a look at the new images ready for your testing and feedback. Also, I’ll answer some questions which arose in last week’s comments.

BSD logoBefore I do that, though, it bears noting that Susan Linton over at Ostatic.com has picked up the BSD ball and run with it in a recent item on that site. Of special note is this morsel: “PC-BSD is the Linux Mint of free BSDs, an easy-to-use desktop system.” Why it wasn’t referred to as the “vowel-laden-and-overbearing-Linux-distro of free BSD” is a mystery, but I’ll take Linux Mint any day. Also, extra points to Susan for putting the “f” in lower case in “free BSD” to emphasize “BSD which is free” as opposed to FreeBSD, which would have caused some confusion.

Meanwhile back at the topic at hand, from the yeah-the-mailing-list-folks-know-already department: The PC-BSD 11.0-CURRENT December 2015 images are ready, just in time for the holidays.

Among the features are the latest experimental Haswell video support, to test; switching from GRUB to FreeBSD loader by default; simplifying the GUI installer, so packages which are included as part of the “default” install can be safely removed or changed in post-installation (personal note: Yay!); and AppCafe updates, among others.

You know the drill. Take a look, if you have the inclination, and get those bug reports in.

You ask, I answer: In what can best be described as a “spirited” discussion in the comments from last week’s Larry the BSD Guy post, there were a couple of questions which deserve answers and comments which deserve responses.

A note from archuser says, “You should try open solaris sometime.” I should. I should note, as I’ve mentioned before as a former 32-bit guy in a 64-bit world (but not anymore, obviously, since PC-BSD comes only in 64-bit), that I still have a Sun Ultra 10 right next to my left knee, connected to a monitor, which stands alone and which I still fiddle with from time to time. It runs Solaris 9, which is SunOS 5.9 for those of you keeping score at home. I have it for sentimental reasons, though I understand the Sun mice are highly sought-after items. No, you can’t have it.

MarKov asks if there’s a PC-BSD live version to try. I think the short answer here is “no,” because if memory serves I think the ISO from PC-BSD is an install-only. However, if you want to try a version of BSD as a live USB/CD/DVD, you can try either GhostBSD, which I tried and particularly liked, or DragonFlyBSD, both of which have live versions you can test-drive before taking the plunge.

Guruguru points out correctly that I’m saying that putting GNU atop Linux or BSD makes them indistinguishable from each other; an astute observation which deserves a two-word reply: “Yeah. And…?” Does GNU deserve to be part of the name GNU/Linux? My opinion on this has been pretty clear on this issue in the past, your mileage (and opinion) may vary, and we’re really not having this discussion here. Sorry.

Bruce Byfield, the George Orwell of FOSS and a friend whom I’ve both sparred with on these pages and elsewhere and for whom I’ve also gone to the mat (as he has done for me likewise) on a variety of FOSS issues, questions my reasons for using BSD on a daily basis, and I appreciate that, but he thanks us, too, for adding coverage around BSD news and commentary. You’re welcome, Bruce.

Mike S. wishes Xfce could be “prettier.” One of the hurdles, as I mentioned, is getting the same themes onto PC-BSD that I had on Korora. It’s definitely on me to learn this part of it.

One more thing: I’m wondering if it’s me, or my hardware (or a combination thereof), but is anyone else finding Firefox slow and buggy on PC-BSD, while Chromium kicks significant butt?

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Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

8 comments to PC-BSD 11.0-Current Images Ready, and Let’s Read Some Mail

  • Lizzi

    there is no linuxmint equivalkent of bsd. I have a 6520g a-6 laptop thats about 5 yrs old i guess and pc-bsd neither recognizes my wifi nor starts the ethernet connectionh by default. Most recently i tried it again just to be sure and it surely doesnt work. Also this time i tried getting help with it as i dont recall all the steps and cant find my posts from before and no one was willing to offer help in the forums. Not even you Mr Larry the bsd guy. Also whats the name of the latest release?

  • Lizzi

    The most recent images you say? It’s still version 10 Joule. How long have they been offering this same version?

  • Lizzi

    Also, the latest release I see from their website in August 19 2015 so yup that is definitely in time for the holidays…

  • Larry Cafiero

    Lizzi — You might want to think about how unbecoming trolling is. And I wish I could be more friendly with my response, but you might want to rethink your attitude in responding to posts, here and elsewhere, in the future.

    First, the link in the article actually does takes you to Version 11.0:

    http://download.pcbsd.org/iso/11.0-CURRENTDEC2015/amd64/

    Friendly tip: You might want to post the correct link in comments when making points in the future. And I’m sincerely sorry you missed it in the article.

    The comparison that PC-BSD is the BSD equivalent of Linux’s Linux Mint is fairly accurate — both are user friendly. Because you’re personally having problems with it when many others aren’t having problems hardly invalidates that comparison.

    I am still learning BSD because I’m new to it, so I doubt I would be much help in forums or IRC. If I have an answer to any question, I’ll answer it. But if you’re looking to me for an answer, you may have a long wait.

    Good luck and have a nice life.

  • CFWhitman

    I’ve never really used a BSD (I built a machine once a long time ago, but didn’t really do much with it; as I recall Debian stable was at 2.2 at the time).

    However, I have noticed odd performance differences in Chrome/Chromium on different distributions of Linux. I sometimes use Chromium (or Chrome) to get better video performance in the browser on very low spec hardware (read: old). However, when I tried installing Chrome in Salix, which is a good distribution for low spec hardware, depending on which desktop you choose, it’s video playback was worse than in Firefox. I thought it was strange, but that’s the way it was. Since Chrome seemed to work fine in general, I don’t think this is related to the fact that I had to install an RPM in a distribution without native RPM support, but who knows.

  • Lizzi

    Well Im just gonna write a pouty lipped article about how mean all of you bsd guys are and start using windows 10 and pretend thats news worthy.

  • Eddie G.

    @Lizzi: That’s actually funny. Thanks for making me laugh a bit today!