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.
Before 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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