iXsystems releases iX-Apollo Extreme Series Workstation

iXsystems has unveiled the iX-Apollo Extreme Series, the first fully qualified PC-BSD workstation. The iX-Apollo Extreme Series ships with PC-BSD 7.x Pre-Installed and Pre-Configured. PC-BSD is a complete desktop operating system with a robust feature set including KDE 4.2.2. PC-BSD is inherently virus-resistant thereby offering stability, security and at the same time provides a comfortable user experience.

The iX-Apollo Extreme Series features the latest Intel Core i7 technology with support for up to eight logical cores. It utilizes up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, GigE LAN, 3D capable NVIDIA graphics. Additionally the iX-Apollo Extreme Series is powered by an ultra quiet 500 Watt power supply unit, which is equipped with universal input and active PFC. The power supply is also 80PLUS certified, making it efficient, eco-friendly, and less expensive to operate.

“The workstation gets more than 15,000 frames per second with effects turned off, and sees around 300 fps in Half-Life 2 with video settings maxed out. This Intel® Core™ i7 configuration is the best desktop experience I’ve had so far.  I downloaded Vavle’s Steam client and played Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike Source, and Left 4 Dead using PC-BSD.  I bought Half-Life 2 in 2004, but the Windows PC I had at the time could barely handle it. The load times alone made the game unplayable. Thanks to PC-BSD and some really nice hardware, I was finally able to enjoy the game the way it was intended,”

says James T. Nixon III, Webmaster, iXsystems.

“Aside from the amazing gaming performance, the workstation deploys desktop effects beautifully.  It sits quietly next to my television serving as a PC-BSD ‘Media Center’, making couch-computing the ‘only’ way to go!  Whether you’re writing a white paper in OpenOffice, watching movies with VLC, or enjoying the HD Flash videos on Hulu.com, PC-BSD continues to prove that anything is possible with the right hardware,”

says Ryan Hall, PC-BSD/iX-Apollo User.

Easy Jailing with The (PC-BSD) Warden

Graham from the IT Massive has put together a useful tutorial how to setup a jails in PC-BSD. The easiness and straight-forwardness is for him one of the reasons he’s using PC-BSD:

The Warden/FreeBSD Jails is one of the reasons that I use PC-BSD/FreeBSD. One possible use on the desktop would be a web application developer that wants to keep all the server programs out of the base system and possibly share access with a friend you don’t fully trust. I use The Warden for a similar role personally and I like the fact that at any point I can just stop, move or delete the jail to make the services go away.

With The Warden GUI it makes the FreeBSD jails technology more accessible to the users on the desktop and there is little reason not to use it if your setting up a server for your network. If you are a bit paranoid about security this may help you sleep at night. Overall I was impressed with the simplicity of using the software with the initial importing of the Inmate file the only issue that came up. However I would like to see a little more visual feedback in the output particularly in the creation of jails. I would be happy to recommend The Warden to other security minded friends that are starting with BSD.

Check out the howto here (theitmassive.com – 26/05/20209)

PC-BSD with XFCE window manager

PC-BSD Software has now made an XFCE PBI available. PC-BSD comes with KDE4 pre-installed, but if you prefer a lightweight window manager, this one is for you.

The Gnome window manager PBI can be downloaded here.

Another interesting PBI is the Thin Client Server. This PBI installs dhcpd and configures PC-BSD as a Thin Client Server. Clients connected to the servers NIC, will be able to network boot via DHCPD & PXE, and then be brought to a KDM login screen. For more details about this PBI, please read through our Thin Client Wiki

PC-BSD – Making FreeBSD on the Desktop a reality – Kris Moore

FreeBSD has a reputation for its rock-solid reliability, and top-notch performance in the server world, but is noticeably absent when it comes to the vast market of desktop computing.

Why is this? FreeBSD offers many, if not almost all of the same open-source packages and software that can be found in the more popular Linux desktop distributions, yet even with the speed and reliability FreeBSD offers, a relative few number of users are deploying it on their desktops. In this presentation we will take a look at some of the reasons why FreeBSD has not been as widely adopted in the desktop market as it has on the server side. Several of the desktop weaknesses of FreeBSD will be shown, along with how we are trying to fix these short-comings through a desktopcentric version of FreeBSD, known as PCBSD. We will also take a look at the package management system employed by all open-source operating systems alike, and some of the pitfalls it brings, which may hinder widespread desktop adoption.

This talk was done at AsiaBSDCon 2009

PDF summary - Direct video link


PC-BSD 7.1 Galileo – reviews

PC-BSD LogoPC-BSD 7.1 was released two weeks ago. Distrowatch had a first look, but now there are also (short) reviews on the IT Massive and ExtremeTech.

Both reviews, though not scientific but more a like personal opinion, do like PC-BSD but also point at some weak points.

The IT Massive’s summary is:

 

 I love FreeBSD and I tried really hard to like PC-BSD but I’m sorry to say that I don’t. I like the concept of the BSD desktop but I feel its still a few years behind the Linux desktop in hardware support and you’re likely going to have more luck there.

However the PC-BSD people have done good work in making BSD more accessible to normal users which is impressive. PC-BSD has some very interesting ideas for the open source desktop like the PBI install system, I would like to see more Linux distributions do something similar to PBI or what Linux Mint does. For the most part I don’t think that not using the command line would be a problem since most tasks have graphical tools.

ExtremeTech concludes:

 

A few shortcomings aside, I really like PC-BSD 7.1. It’s free, easy to install, and offers a lot of value for any computer user that is willing to look beyond the usual operating system choices. There’s plenty of software available for download and, unlike certain Linux distributions, it’s incredibly easy to install or to remove from your system.

Real diversity in choice of operating systems is something that we should all value. As much as I like Linux why should the choice just come down to Windows or Linux? Or even Mac OS X? PC-BSD is offering users yet another alternative that’s free, secure, and very stable.

I definitely think PC-BSD is worth a download….

Sources:

PC-BSD 7.1 vs. Kubuntu 9.04 Benchmarks

The well-know bench marking website Phoronix has carried out a benchmark run between Kubuntu 9.04 and PC-BSD 7.1 (20/04/2009)

Earlier this month PC-BSD 7.1 was released, which is based upon the FreeBSD 7.1 stable release, but of course with the extra packages and changes that make PC-BSD an easier to use BSD-based desktop operating system. PC-BSD 7.1 ships with X.Org 7.4 and KDE 4.2.2 installed along with many other packages when using the x86 or x64 DVD installations. Though with the Phoronix Test Suite now having enhanced support for PC-BSD, we decided to see how well PC-BSD 7.1 performs against Kubuntu 9.04.

Both systems perform almost equally (only seconds of difference), but Kubuntu scores more points in this test than PC-BSD.

I’d say that this test is not altogether “fair” as different versions of GCC and X.org have been used. This could easily have quite an impact on the results.

It would be interesting to see if Phoronix did this test again later on this year when FreeBSD 8.0 has come out.

Link
Details and graphs of the test