DesktopBSD vs PC-BSD

Jan Stedehouder has almost finished his DesktopBSD – the first 30 days series and the following are his observations with regards to how PC-BSD and DesktopBSD compare:

Today may be a good day to at least do a formal comparison between DesktopBSD and PC-BSD. I guess it can’t be avoided. Two FreeBSD-based open source desktops with similar goals, but finding different solutions.

The similarities between PC-BSD and DesktopBSD are there of course. Both use a graphical installer to assist the new user with getting FreeBSD on his/her system and both have chosen for the KDE desktop. DesktopBSD allows to boot into a live environment before actually dedicating it to your harddrive, while PC-BSD ships with Compiz Fusion.

The default software collections are different as well. DesktopBSD has chosen for Firefox, Thunderbird and Pidgin. A choice that makes sense as these applications are well-known and used on Windows and Linux. PC-BSD seems to stick more to KDE-based programs like Konquerer, Kontact and Konversation. However, these are minor differences.

DesktopBSD sets itself apart through the DesktopBSD tools and particularly the Package Manager. This graphical frontend for the packages and ports collection provides an easy tool for installing, upgrading and managing the software on your system. Working with Package Manager shouldn’t be a problem for Linux users that have experience with similar tools (Synaptic, Adept, Portage).

For PC-BSD the PBI’s are unique. The work on the PBI Build Server is progressing and that will result in a far larger collection of packages. This should contribute to a wider adoption of PC-BSD among people who used to work under Windows, since the PBI system emulates their “double-click-and-install” experience the most.

There is no need to try to figure out which one is better. I just marvel at both developments and I can see they both provide an answer to the needs of different groups of users. I can imagine a future where the DesktopBSD tools are enhanced to allow installing and managing PBI’s for FreeBSD-based systems, even if only for PC-BSD systems.

LinuxReality Podcast: M0n0wall and pfSense

LinuxReality.com (a site with Linux related podcasts – similar to the BSD focused bsdtalk.blogspot.com) has posted a podcast (episode 84) that focuses on Linux and (network) security. In this episode Paul Asadoorian and Larry Pesce of the Pauldotcom Security Weekly Podcast are interviewed.

Amongst the many things discussed, M0n0wall and pfSense are also mentioned.

Download the podcast: MP3 or OGG

Frenzy 1.1 (BETA3) released

Frenzy logoSergei Mozhaisky has announced the third beta release of Frenzy 1.1, a portable toolkit for system and network administrators based on FreeBSD 6.2. More info on Frenzy here.

These are most important changes since the 1.0-release:

  • Base system is FreeBSD 6.2-STABLE, Xorg updated to 7.3.
  • System totally moved to unionfs file system organization, you can edit almost all files after boot.
  • Added Frenzy Extension Module support, utility for FEM creation is avaiable on FTP server.
  • Added ability to boot from ISO-file on HDD
  • Boot options with disabled ATAPI DMA or ATA DMA
  • Loader option “mode” (select console resolution)
  • Loader option “sound” (sound card auto-detection)
  • Added options for work with serial console
  • gcc removed from base system, it will be available as FEM module.
  • More than 100 applications added (among them ntfs-3g) and 18 applications removed.

You can download the ISO here.

If you come across any bugs or problems or you want feedback, just drop a message on the Frenzy Forum.

DesktopBSD added to Vietnam BSD/Linux Mirror

The Saigon Linux Group (SLG) added DesktopBSD to the Vietnam BSD/Linux Mirror.

The Vietnam BSD/Linux Mirror is the only public mirror available in Vietnam to promote open source technology within Vietnam managed by the Saigon Linux Group with the bandwidth and IP address donated by GHP Far East Co., Ltd.

The SLG hopes to continue it’s support of both BSD and Linux by offering more distributions and software on it’s servers in the new year.

Source: saigonlinux.com (05/12/2007)

iXsystems announces distribution agreement with Micro Center

After the distribution agreement with Fry’s Electronics, iXsystems has announced (10/12/2007) an agreement with Micro Center:

“iXsystems announced today a distribution agreement with Micro Center, a leading edge provider of computer products, whereby all Micro Center stores nationwide will carry PC-BSD Version 1.4, Da Vinci Edition. The agreement marks the first time that the PC-BSD operating system is made available for purchase at Micro Center.

PC-BSD is a fully functional desktop operating system based on FreeBSD 6.2-STABLE. FreeBSD is one of the most pervasive UNIX-like operating systems in the world. It is widely recognized as the most stable and secure server operating system available today.

PC-BSD will be stocked in 21 Micro Center store locations, which can be found all throughout the United States

PC-BSD will be stocked in 21 Micro Center store locations, which can be found all throughout the United States

said Theresa Garner, General Manager of FreeBSD Mall.

As a result, this historic agreement will ensure that PC-BSD, the open source desktop operating system running FreeBSD under the hood, becomes available to a mainstream market at a nationwide level.

The increasing availability of PC-BSD, especially through this agreement with Micro Center, will enable first-time users to successfully experience the superiority of this operating system firsthand,

said Kris Moore, Director of PC-BSD Software Development.

Unlike most other open source operating systems, PC-BSD’s programs are self-contained and do not have shared dependencies. As a result the installation of one program does not necessarily mean the possible disruption of another. The end result is a trouble-free user experience for both technical and non-technical users.

PC-BSD is expected to become available in all Micro Center stores nationwide by Wednesday, December 19. Micro Center has stores in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.”

Source: PR Web (10/12/2007)

DigitalUnderground TV: M0n0wall

On the <a href=”http://digitalunderground.tv/”>Digital Underground</a> (episode 4) <em>Frank Linhares</em> and <em>Mike Lazazzera</em> discuss the open source FreeBSD based M0n0wall (from minute 34:03).

Other subjecs discussed are: Windows UI Hacking, MythTV and revive an old iPod

<a href=”http://www.metacafe.com/watch/937256/digital_underground_episode_4/”>Digital Underground – Episode 4</a>

New PBI Build Server

PC-BSD is in the process implementing a new PBI build system, which automatically tracks the FreeBSD ports collection, and generates new PBIs from these ports, daily. Please watch the pcbsd.org site for more information about this new build system over the next few days.

The following PBIs have been created automatically by the server:

  1. FireFox 2.0.0.10
  2. Thunderbird 2.0.0.9
  3. Wine 0.9.48
  4. K3B 1.0.3
  5. GIMP 2.4.0
  6. KTorrent 2.2.2
  7. Kdesvn 0.13.0
  8. FileZilla 3.0.1

Minor PC-BSD update (1.4.1.1)

An online update from PC-BSD 1.4.1 -> 1.4.1.1 has been released today, as both a standalone PBI patch & Online Update. This version includes an update to the CUPS 1.3.3 package, as well as other fixes / improvements to printing support. Users may upgrade to this version via the Online Update utility in PC-BSD 1.4.1, or by downloading a patch installer on our updates page.