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Unix BSD Technology

PC-BSD 8.0 Release Focuses On Desktop Use 154

Posted by kdawson
from the fresh-bits dept.
donadony writes "Last Monday PC-BSD 8.0 was released. PC-BSD is based on FreeBSD and uses KDE as its default desktop environment. PC-BSD is designed to make BSD much easier for desktop use. The 8.0 release includes support for 3D acceleration with NVIDIA drivers on amd64 and improvements in the USB subsystem. The PC-BSD team has also developed a friendly package manager system with a simple-to-use GUI tool (see the screenshots tour). For a full list of changes, refer to the changelog."
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PC-BSD 8.0 Release Focuses On Desktop Use

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  • Bad Headline (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) on Friday February 26, 2010 @11:52AM (#31286676)
    Every PC-BSD release focuses on desktop use. It's a desktop distribution.
  • Re:Wait (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Friday February 26, 2010 @12:14PM (#31287118)

    If you want to nitpick BSD has a higher market share on the Desktop then Linux does. Based on the fact that OS X is based on BSD.

  • by silverglade00 (1751552) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (00edalgrevlis)> on Friday February 26, 2010 @01:25PM (#31288374)
    It's the same ports system. They just add the capability to use a .pbi file to install a package when you don't want to bother using the ports. This is just another choice.

    You can download .pbi file, click, use application.

    You can cd /usr/ports/..., make install clean.

    You can pkg_add.

    If you like using ports, then just think of PC-BSD as getting a desktop up and running quickly without having to manually choose X and KDE during the install.

  • Re:Been testing it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Friday February 26, 2010 @01:47PM (#31288758)
    Linux, particularly the GNU/FSF types, tend to be more ideologically motivated, I find, and I think most of the hate against Free/Net/Open BSD is hate against the BSD license because it doesn't fit into their framework of how the world should be. They're the ones that are going to be on about "software freedom" and all that, rather than "this works, let's use it."

    Case in point, I mentioned above that I actually paid money for a commercial X server about 11 years ago. If BSDi BSD/OS hadn't been $1000, I'd probably have bought the "commercial" BSD, too. However, FreeBSD tended to get most of the worth while improvements rolled back from BSDi, and it only cost me like $30 to order it on CD-ROM (the dark days of dial-up and all that). My current company uses FreeBSD as the basis of our product to avoid GPL issues, as does Juniper and others. The FSF-types, of course, aren't going to be down with that and look at it as "theft" (never mind the fact that I know my company, and possibly Juniper as well, have committers on the pay roll) or something.

    I think it has to do with the fact that Linux is more readily obtained and there has been a concerted effort to recruits new users. Its sort of like the Mormon Unix, in a way. What this means in practicality is that there is a large portion of the user base that has the "zeal of the convert" -- I'm not going to say that I didn't feel that way when I was 12/13/14 years old and was first starting out, but it's a real thing. As Theo once said, 'bsd is for people who love unix; linux is for people who hate microsoft.' That's kind of a classic troll, but its kind of true, too, to an extent.

    I think that the type of people who are into BSD are generally older, have more experience in the industry, and are less ideologically driven in their OS choice than say, high school kids who saw pretty screen shots carefully crafted to look like something out of 'swordfish' or 'the matrix' an want to be 'l33t'. That's not to say that there aren't a lot of professional, neutral-minded Linux people, but then that's going to be the difference between the RHEL/CentOS-type of users and say, Mint (which I've tried and used before and I don't hate it, but let's face it -- we're not putting that on a production server any time soon).

    BSD and Linux have their places, as do Windows and MacOSX. I (obviously) prefer BSD to Linux (though I've worked as an admin on a CentOS farm before), and Mac to Windows (though I didn't really have any problems with Vista 64 Ultimate as a desktop OS, just the command line was still for crap), but I can use the other and often do, and I'm at a point in my life where just getting the work done with the minimum headache is more important than what tool i use to get it done. From what I know of Linus, he seems to be of similar mind, too.
  • Re:Why Linux? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday February 26, 2010 @01:55PM (#31288870) Journal

    While Windows has the best hardware support coverage among all operating systems

    That's not true. Linux supports a much greater set of hardware. Since we're not at the mercy of the vendor to keep their drivers updated, Linux is often able to support old hardware that new versions of Windows won't. Not to mention all the architectures Linux has been ported to.

  • Re:Why Linux? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by BitZtream (692029) on Friday February 26, 2010 @02:26PM (#31289376)

    Having a driver available and having support are two different things.

    First off ... XP which is still effectively a production OS at this point, much against MS's wishes, is almost 10 years old. At this point, if you have hardware that won't work with XP because its too old to have XP drivers, its likely that it won't work with Linux either because the hardware has probably failed due to old age. Its also highly unlikely to be useful hardware today. I have a Gravis Ultrasound that still works, and I can't use it in Win7 cause I don't have drivers ... but I don't care because the $10 onboard sound chip is about 3 times better at this point.

    FreeBSD used to have a much larger set of kernel drivers available. Then they came to a realization. Yea, we make the drivers compile and not interfere with the rest of the kernel, but no one has actually tested half this crap in years. Come to find out, a lot of the drivers didn't actually work because no one had used the new versions in the newer releases in so long that no one had noticed its been broke for years. What'd they do? Marked a bunch they knew were common as keepers, marked everything else as BROKEN and waited for someone to notice, a couple versions later, they removed all the BROKEN tagged drivers cause no one was using them.

    While you may find having a bunch of drivers available impressive for your e-penis, its not really that impressive or relevant in context.

    To say that it supports a much greater set of hardware is just stupid. It doesn't. At best, it supports what windows has supported in the past. It may occasionally support a few custom pieces of hardware made by some very Linux specific companies, but those are so rare as to be dwarfed by the same number of windows specific hardware devices released yesterday. It may have drivers for old hardware that Windows had and no long does, but its never had support for all of the devices that Windows has, not unless you consider the state of 3D hardware acceleration in Linux to be acceptable. Just for reference, its not.

    Linux may have a lot of drivers, but its STILL playing catchup with Windows, and it doesn't have all Windows drivers, so it can't possibly have a greater set of hardware support.

    Nice twisted way to make it sound impressive though.

  • Re:Why Linux? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Friday February 26, 2010 @02:39PM (#31289528)

    Linux drops support of old hardware all the time. Since drivers are handled by the kernel, if it didn't the thing would become unwieldy.

    I'd agree that the single Linux kernel has broader hardware support, but at the same time the latest version of Windows simply won't run on the older hardware Linux can. However, if you use a version of Windows that WILL run on that same hardware, the driver support for that particular class of hardware is much better with that version of Windows than Linux.

    If you look at what is not supported by any version of Windows and compare it to what isn't supported by any version of Linux, Linux doesn't look nearly as good.

    One big plus though is ARM support in Linux, but it still doesn't make up for all the extraneous hardware Linux doesn't support.

    Back on topic though, I think a PBI or DMG style package system for Linux would be a freaking godsend. I'd probably still be using it if that were the case (yeah, I CAN get non-repo repository software to work, and yeah I CAN fix it when repo dependancies break my software, but I don't WANT to, and I'm not going to deal with it).

  • by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday February 26, 2010 @02:52PM (#31289686) Homepage Journal

    POSIX is the portable OS interface, it was originally intended for Unix derivitatives, but it does not define what UNIX is. The Open Group defines what UNIX is

    POSIX:2001 and Single UNIX Specification version 3 are identical [wikipedia.org].

  • Re:Been testing it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Friday February 26, 2010 @04:14PM (#31290698)
    KDE took hold in the FreeBSD community because Qt wasn't its self "free software" until relatively recently. A lot of people seem to forget that, and that the reason that Gnome was started (as an official part of the GNU project) was due to wanting a "completely free" desktop. A lot of the big linux distributions couldn't or wouldn't include KDE or other Qt-based software back then because of it.

    KDE projects themselves were GPL/LGPL, but not being married to the license as a pre-requesite for using Qt made it more "acceptable" in the BSD world. At least that's my take on it, having watched it all gone down.

    I'll admit that I'm not crazy about the GPL but if people want to release code under it, that's their prerogative. I don't like KDE 'cause I think its ugly and unwieldy and frankly, I prefer Gnome to KDE... not that I really like Gnome much either, but oh well.

    That stuff aside, I think the issue both of us were talking about really just boils down to "damn kids, get off my lawn." Hell, I'm only 26 myself, but this is my authentic 5-digit ID. I like to think I grew out of the b.s. a long time ago.. plus, I never liked 'swordfish'.
  • Re:PBI files (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WinterSolstice (223271) on Friday February 26, 2010 @04:20PM (#31290786)

    http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/20/26/ [pcbsd.org]

    Pretty much everything that isn't included in the base install of the system. Each one is a full delta snapshot, so far as I understand it.

    Yes. This is less disk efficient, but FAR more user time efficient, which is kind of the point.

  • Re:PBI files (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WinterSolstice (223271) on Friday February 26, 2010 @05:47PM (#31291712)

    Ok, I think you missed something.

    All PBIs are a delta snapshot of a specific PC-BSD release, and then whatever that app needs to run.

    Therefore a PBI built on 8.0-RELEASE will not install on a PC-BSD 7 system. At all. It won't partially install and break things, it just won't install.

    That's the whole point of the design. It's like someone else said with the app store, or like building from ports. If your system is wrong, it stops and says "Sorry". It won't break your system. The PBI builder is designed to be version locked.

    Let's take Rhythmbox as an example. It's a Gnome App. It requires some (but not all) of the Gnome tools to run. It's a bit heftier than it would be if Gnome were installed by default, but not nearly as big as the full Gnome install. Gnome is, btw, unsupported. The PBI was created because people are allowed to create PBIs for unsupported software, as long as the ports exist :)

    By contrast, if we look at Amarok, it has just the Amarok specific stuff since KDE is part of the default install.

    Hope that makes a bit more sense?

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