PC-BSD 7 review (osnews.com)

OSNews.com has a positive review of PC-BSD 7 Fibonacci. It concludes with:

“I am thoroughly convinced that PC-BSD is the perfect choice for a newcomer to the unix world. It is very straight forward and it requires very little unix knowledge. Even though I mentioned a couple of caveats (eg. Bootloader, Primary partition), I doubt a new user who is installing on a fresh system will ever come across these issues. Even if someone does run into these issues, the solutions provided in this article should give them a starting point. The PC-BSD has a friendly and helpful community, they have an active forum where you can seek help from fellow PC-BSD users. The PC-BSD team has worked really hard on this release and the results are impressive. It is ready to challenge the main stream Operating Systems (Windows, OS X and Linux). I would encourage new users to try PC-BSD without any doubts. I would definitely recommend Linux gurus to give this distribution a chance and I promise, you won’t be disappointed.”

Read the whole article here.

Review of FreeBSD 7

This article is slightly dated – I presume it was written about 3-4 months ago, as it’s referring to the pending release of FreeBSD 7.0 in December, but it was put on freesoftwaremagazine.org only yesterday (05/03).

Still an interesting read. The article deals with the ULE scheduler, improved performance, DTrace and finstall (FreeBSD new installer)

FreeBSD has come a long way and has created great technical solutions to tough problems. The new scheduler will offer performance gains for years to come. New architectures are being added frequently, including Sun Microsystems Niagra processors, Apple Mac Books (and Mac-mini), and even an initial port to the Xbox platform.

The future is bright for FreeBSD and I’m certainly looking forward to the pending 7.0 release and beyond. The 7.1 release will see the ULE scheduler enabled by default and should also see the inclusion of the new installer into the mainstream releases. The multi-processor scalability will continue with the next goal of linear scalability on sixteen cores. There are now more than seventeen thousand ports and, with the new and improved performance, FreeBSD makes a formidable desktop and server operating system.

Full article can be found here.

First look at FreeBSD 7.0

FreeBSD LogoIn case you’ve not seen the “First look at FreeBSD 7.0″ article on distrowatch: The author used FreeBSD attempted to set up a FBSD 4.x system up a few years ago, and was quite disillusioned.

After configuring the X window and launching KDE, I was greeted with something that only a computing masochist could find enjoyable – no mouse or sound, unsightly jagged fonts, lack of a graphical package manager and other configuration tools… It took hours of searching and following “geeky” documentation before I was able to load the correct kernel modules for the USB mouse, install prettier fonts and set up anti-aliasing – all by editing obscure configuration files in Vim. Needless to say, the first impressions weren’t good. Despite an obviously elegant system with a large number of packages available for installation, the tedium of setting it up as a desktop system was discouraging, to say the least.

He was surprised to see how FreeBSD has improved and transformed over the years to a much more friendlier system and concludes with:

So would FreeBSD 7.0 make a decent desktop system? I haven’t run it long enough to be able to answer the question, but from my initial testing I would be perfectly happy to give it a more intensive try. It certainly looks like a nicely crafted system, with extreme attention to detail – at least when it comes to the kernel and userland. The new package management utilities and improvements in security handling are also impressive. But don’t expect to insert the FreeBSD CD and boot into a gorgeous graphical environment – that’s not what the FreeBSD development team had set out to achieve. Luckily, with projects like PC-BSD or DesktopBSD, one can have the best of both worlds – the speed, stability and reliability of BSD, combined with an intuitive installer, package management and system configuration tools of the Linux world. If you don’t fall into the “geek” category of computer users, you can always trust the two above-mentioned projects to deliver the goods.

Read the whole review here.

Has anybody else, among you, my readers, upgraded to / installed to FreeBSD 7.0 yet? It would be nice to hear from you.

7 Linux/BSD firewalls reviewed (incl pfSense & m0n0wall)

Wayne Richardson reviewed in total 7 different Linux and BSD firewalls back in Nov 2007 (ClarckConnect, Endian, Gibraltar, IPCop, m0n0wall, pfSense, SmoothWall) and compared them on basis of the following categories: setup, web-gui, extensibility and speed.

Since this is a FreeBSD blog I’ll just quote (with his kind permission) what he wrote about pfSense and m0n0wall. If you’re interested in the whole article and want to see how the BSD firewalls compare to Linux firewall, please refer to Wayne’s article.

pfSense was named the best firewall with a 95% pass rate; m0nowall received a 77% mark and was the smallest of the bunch.
Continue reading

DesktopBSD 1.6 reviewed

raiden.net has a pretty nice review of the latest version of DesktopBSD, 1.6

DesktopBSD logoDesktopBSD, a derivative of Freebsd designed for desktop use, has come a long way since its early inception back in late 2005. Originally created as a way to bring the power of Freebsd as a desktop OS to new users, it has now blossomed into a desktop experience even the most hardened geek, or greenest novice can love. Back in April of last year we reviewed version 1.3 and gave it great marks overall, but with some need for improvement. So how does version 1.6 stack up against its predecessor? Has it improved any? Let’s find out.

…. cont.

and he concludes the article with:

So how do I rate DesktopBSD 1.6? I’d say it’s a lot better than previous versions. It strikes just the right balance between being friendly to the new user, and yet powerful and geek enough to satisfy the more seasoned user. The developers did a good job this time around and I think they should pat themselves on the back. There’s still room for improvement, but isn’t that true with any distro? But it’s not improvements to make it good, or even great. It’s already great. The next step up will be to make it exceptional. A hard rung to climb, but not if you’re determined to be the best there is out there, and DesktopBSD is easily on its way towards that goal!

The review can be read in its entirety here.

Review of “The Book of PF”

Dru Lavigne has reviewedThe Book of PF – A No-Nonsense Guide to the OpenBSD Firewall“. Peter N.M. Hansteen, the writer, has written this book as an expanded follow-up to his very popular online PF tutorial. PF (Packet Filter) is a robust packet filter that originated in OpenBSD and that has been ported to FreeBSD.

Dru concludes here short review with:

All in all, this book is very readable and a must-have resource for anyone who deals with firewall configurations. If you’ve heard good things about PF and have been thinking of giving it a go, this book is definitely for you. Start at the beginning and before you know it you’ll be through the book and quite the PF guru. Even if you’re already a PF guru, this is still a good book to keep on the shelf to refer to in thorny situations or to lend to colleagues.

Check the book details and other reviews here on Amazon. Recommended Buy.