Similar to my m0n0wall vs pfSense; similarities & differences post, I thought I’d also post a “PC-BSD vs DesktopBSD; similarities & differences” overview since I get so much trafic from people trying to find out what the similarities and differences are.
A common misconception about DesktopBSD is that it is intended as a rival to PC-BSD as a BSD-based desktop distribution. Neither the DesktopBSD nor the PC-BSD project intend to rival each other; the two projects are completely independent with distinctive features and goals. PC-BSD has introduced a new package management (PBI) that lets you easily install packages, whereas DesktopBSD has developed a graphical utility that makes installing standard FreeBSD packages and ports easy. Let’s have a look at the similarities and the differences.
- Both based on FreeBSD (Stable) + come with the KDE desktop interface. Neither of the projects has the intention to fork FreeBSD. Instead, all FreeBSD releases are tracked.
- Both geared towards desktop use
- Easy to administer BSD desktops for the casual user
- Graphical and easy installation
- Nvidia drivers included; automated detection and configuration of supported cards.
- is backed by iXsystems with professional support and a paid developer
- offers a different/optional packaging method to install binary packages (PBIs) with a simple click & run interface. This installation method is in addition to the standard FreeBSD installation methods (ports and packages(pkg))
- Supports Adobe Flash7 & 9
- is a volunteer project and has a slow release cycle
- looks to streamline the whole FreeBSD installation and configuration process with added, easy to use, GUI tools
- has created the DesktopBSD Package Manager, a graphical tool for managing, installing and updating standard FreeBSD packages and the FBSD ports system.
- has their own package building infrastructure, so up-to-date binary packages for many desktop-related ports are always available
- is available for the AMD64 platform