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DesktopBSD 1.0 Final Released 182

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the devilishly-good-desktops dept.
Don Church writes "DesktopBSD is reporting that the 1.0 Final of DesktopBSD was released today for both 32-bit and 64-bit x86 architectures. This cutting edge FreeBSD derivative now includes KDE 3.5.1 and a host of tools designed to make the BSD experience more palatable to novices. The DVD release even includes Amarok, Firefox and other popular software ready to go. They are offering downloads via several mirrors or the official torrent."
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DesktopBSD 1.0 Final Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    From here [desktopbsd.net]...

    Hardware requirements and support

    DesktopBSD is running on any decent i386, AMD64 or EM64T computer. We recommend at least 4 GB of disk space and 256 MB memory for installation, maybe less is possible.

    If you want to know if a specific hardware component is supported, please see the FreeBSD Hardware Notes for i386 or AMD64/EM64T.


    Most people have a hard time remembering if their CPU is made by Pentium or made by Intel. They won't have a clue whether it's i386 or AMD64.
    • The sort of people who don't know the difference between Pentium and Intel probably aren't going to be installing this anyway, made for novices or not.
    • Most people have a hard time remembering if their CPU is made by Pentium or made by Intel. They won't have a clue whether it's i386 or AMD64

      This is true, however:

      If you want to know if a specific hardware component is supported..

      If you're concerned about a particular piece of hardware, then you probably know what CPU you're running. Your point is moot.
    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @05:33PM (#15020967) Homepage Journal
      You think this is bad? Microsoft says Vista will need a "modern" CPU [microsoft.com]. That means it should run on a Power Macintosh G5 right? Well, if you click on that link you get to this [microsoft.com], which in turn gives you links to Intel [intel.com], AMD [amd.com], and VIA [via.com.tw] CPU thingies. And what are these CPUs that, say, Intel (I think it says "Intel inside" on my Dell, but doesn't that mean I have a Dell CPU?) has? Well, on "Desktop" [intel.com] platforms (another link) it says I need a "Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 600 sequence with HT Technology and Intel® Extended Memory 64 Technology."

      I don't know about you but all this stuff about HT Technology and stuff is very confusing. Do I have that?

      This just proves that Vista is unready for the desktop. I guess that's why they cancelled it. Har har! Har har. Har, har. *sigh*

      Seriously, what exactly is DesktopBSD's website supposed to say? The thing you quote seems reasonable to me, anyone who doesn't understand it is unlikely to find any way of wording it useful anyway, unless it was worded in such a way that'd make it useless to an actual computer professional.

      It's not like they'll be installing it. They'll be asking us to do it, as usual.

    • That's no problem. The first installation CD could be a Knoppix CD to boot with, go Google hunting, and print out a report on the hardware so you can see if it can hope to boot the target OS.

      Don't laugh too hard. I regularly do this with Windows hardware to find and pre-download drivers for it that are not part of the basic OS install, especially the network drivers for newer chipsets, and to run tests for hardware trouble.
  • Review & screenshots (Score:3, Informative)

    by MyNymWasTaken (879908) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @05:21PM (#15020865)
    DesktopBSD review [gnuman.com]

    DesktopBSD is a distribution that is geared towards being a friendly and easyDesktopBSD intro BSD operating system based on FreeBSD. BSD is some might say is a closer relative to Unix than Linux is. BSD is more geared towards servers and workstations but, not DesktopBSD. DesktopBSD is supposed to be aimed towards user friendliness that people might not even find in a user friendly Linux distribution such as Xandros or Linspire, but is quite powerful enough that you can adapt DesktopBSD to your liking.

    Installation of DesktopBSD is quite easy with its graphical interface. It gives you the option of what you want to choose when installing, whether you have another operating system installed say, Windows or Linux and you don't want to overwrite it or ruin the way it boots from your computer.

    [...]


    RC3 screenshots [osdir.com]
    • One thing to say...

      About fucking time! Good on the team (can't see the site, /.'d still) but I know I'm a going to be moving away from my Linux installation GUI's, and finally to the BSD desktop (Can't convince users to install BSD as a desktop OS, and now I can :) )... Good work team!
      • Thank you for your kind comment. We wish you a lot of fun, please visit our forum after the slashdotting and give us feedback if you want. We apologize for the inconvenience, our server is under extreme high load. Best regards, Daniel Seuffert
  • torrent (Score:5, Informative)

    by Graham_Hodgson (688052) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @05:23PM (#15020885) Journal
  • MirrorDot and Corel Casche are out as the page is giving a database error and they snapped that. Maybe it will be up later.

    Nothing to see here (for now).
  • It's dead, Jim... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @05:33PM (#15020970)
    Mirrordot cache: http://mirrordot.org/stories/e7cd62fa4b24ca2788721 1c05d686136/index.html [mirrordot.org]

    And Coral Cache:
    http://www.desktopbsd.net.nyud.net:8080/index.php? id=43&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=15&tx_ttnews%5BbackPi d%5D=55&cHash=cddb1e432f [nyud.net]

    When will slashcode be modified to automatically use the cached pages? Harumph! </SARCASM>

    Muwahahaha
  • by teslatug (543527) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @05:47PM (#15021080)
    FreeBSD could still beat Linux to the desktop just because it's standardised on what comes with it, and you could release packages for it a lot more easily. What's lacking is hardware support (which is even more miserable than linux), and desktop performance. If they worked on desktop performance, I think they could easily get drivers by porting them from Linux. I wouldn't mind running FreeBSD on my laptop if only they'd get the performance right. I have actually dual booted FreeBSD and Linux on the same box, both running the same version of KDE, and FreeBSD is just dog slow compared to Linux, which isn't that fast to begin with. Sure KDE can be a hog, but it's either more of a hog on FreeBSD or FreeBSD just doesn't pay attention to a desktop user's needs.
    • Maybe KDE is an exception here (I think there is this preloaded shared libraries which seems to help, is it disabled in the FreeBSD port?), but generally FreeBSD is not slower than Linux on the desktop.

      Under some load and disk-I/O I think that FreeBSD remains much more responsive than Linux.
      • by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @07:15PM (#15021792) Journal
        Are you sure that applies to FBSD 5.x and above?

        I used to be a FBSD fanatic. 5.0 turned me off and 6.0 made me leave. Its I/O and threading is slower than 4.x and its much less stable not to mention my hardware worked fine with 4.x but has issued with 5.x and higher. Strange indeed?

        Linux has improved with low latency timers in the kernel which make it alot faster than earlier versions. Version 2.4 and FBSD 4.x it was a no brainer on which was faster and that was FBSD. But times are changing.

        I still have hope in the dragonflyBSD project.

    • freebsd% top -Ctn
      last pid: 98440; load averages: 0.13, 0.25, 0.21 up 19+03:57:19 23:10:45
      91 processes: 91 sleeping

      Mem: 236M Active, 107M Inact, 100M Wired, 46M Cache, 60M Buf, 2696K Free
      Swap: 1025M Total, 1025M Free

      PID USERNAME THR PRI NICE SIZE RES STATE C TIME CPU COMMAND
      63699 spinjaunt 5 20 0 50048K 32604K kserel 1 77:43 6.74% knode
      87187 spinjaunt 4 20 -76 34332K 10800K kserel 0 54:02 0.00% artsd
      90628 spinjaunt 4 20 0 108M 81940K kserel 1 52:46 0.00% amarokapp
      37428 spinja

    • I dual boot Linux and FreeBSD on my laptop. I use Gnome with both and don't notice any difference in performance. In fact, one of the things I like about FreeBSD is the faster boot time; it is my OS of choice for old laptops for that very reason.
    • FreeBSD could still beat Linux to the desktop...[but] what's lacking is hardware support (which is even more miserable than linux), and desktop performance...

      Hm. Wanna run that by me again?

    • Sure KDE can be a hog, but it's either more of a hog on FreeBSD or FreeBSD just doesn't pay attention to a desktop user's needs.

      I recently switched my work desktop from FreeBSD to Gentoo because of a harddrive failure and the need to try something different. I think you're at least partially right: KDE "felt" much more responsive under Linux than FreeBSD, even under the same hardware, compiled with the same compiler version, and using similar CFLAGS.

      However, I think that's partly because FreeBSD has traditionally been optimized for throughput instead of interactivity. On idle systems, Linux seems to respond more quickly to user input. However, the FreeBSD system seemed to stand up better to high loads than Linux ("how on earth did my load average get up to 10? It's been there for how long?") without becoming jerky or noticeably less responsive.

      I have zero real evidence to support this idea, but personal observation makes me think I'm basically right. Maybe you were seeing the same low-load behavior but didn't notice the corresponding high-load advantage?

      • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @03:04AM (#15024326) Homepage Journal
        However, the FreeBSD system seemed to stand up better to high loads than Linux

        Not sure about FreeBSD, but I have noticed that NetBSD performs better than Linux when resources are scarce. I tried redhat, and then NetBSD on a very old laptop which I got second hand. NetBSD was more responsive under heavy load.

        I put this down to history. BSD had to function on very slow computers in the 80's before linux was written, so the kernel is written with different assumptions about resources.

      • by the chao goes mu (700713) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @01:07PM (#15027091)
        Regarding throughput, I know in terms of network this is true. BSD reaps closed sockets almost immediately while Linux (and Solaris, the other OS with which I am familiar enough to comment) tend to wait a long-ish time before cleaning up old sockets. This can lead to real problems in machines handling messaging and other, similar tasks, where there are huge number of rapid, small data packets coming from a large number of sources. Guess it isn't exaclty a "throughput" optimiziation after all, more that BSD is better as a server. Which means this is completely off-topic. Nevermind.
      • by Eivind Eklund (5161) on Friday March 31, 2006 @06:12AM (#15032716) Journal
        Your assumption is correct - we've generally optimized for throughput on large loads. Traditionally, our #1 benchmark has been "How fast can this make world?", meaning a full build of the entire system. Benchmarking systems was able to measure this at an accuracy of better than +- 0.1%. That's pretty damn good: To get that kind of accuracy required GPS clocks (accurate to better than 1ppm), cache preloading, and extreme temperature control of the machine.

        I can't say how things are going right at the moment (I've been mostly offline from the FreeBSD development process for a couple of years), but when I "left" there was a number of things going on that should improve this: Preemtable kernel, pluggable schedulers, etc.

        I think the ULE scheduler would give you more of the same performance curve as Linux, and it might be more suitable for desktop work. In general, I've found FreeBSD's performance fine for my personal desktop needs - it's been snappy enough, and my only issues have been when web browsers or similar eat enormous amounts of RAM and I/O capacity. I've not tested Linux for desktops for a good many years, so I don't have direct experience to say how it compares in practice.

        Eivind (FreeBSD developer "in exile").

    • I think they could easily get drivers by porting them from Linux


      No. Linux drivers are typically licensed under the GPL, which is incompatible with BSD, so porting will be largely impossible.


      Maybe you should understand what you're talking about before posting. Oh, wait, this is /.

      • Uh, there is plenty of GPL licensed software in FreeBSD. I don't know, maybe you've never head of Xorg or Samba for example.
        • You chose a GPL package (Samba) available through the third-party ports system, and another (X.org) released under the MIT license to demonstrate that FreeBSD is widely GPLed?
          • Samba is available during the install, xorg I guess is a bad example, but parts of it are licensed under the GPL. Besides, the OP made it sound like if it was GPL it was incompatible with BSD, which is not the case. Ok, since we are being pedantic, how about these from the base system: awk, bc, cpio, cvs, diff, gcc, gdb, groff, less, ncurses, patch, texinfo, tar I'm sure there are others.
            • Samba is available during the install

              ...as a precompiled port ("package") from the third-party ports system.

              Ok, since we are being pedantic, how about these from the base system: awk, bc, cpio, cvs, diff, gcc, gdb, groff, less, ncurses, patch, texinfo, tar I'm sure there are others.

              I didn't say that they don't use any GPL/GNU stuff (although tar is actually their own), just that there's no more of it in the base system than necessary. OpenBSD is actively replacing GPL code with BSD to excise the las

              • OpenBSD is actively replacing GPL code with BSD to excise the last parts (although I seriously doubt we'll see another BSD-licensed C compiler).

                Perhaps if they weren't so intent on wasting time, they could be exciting enough to get funding!

                Seriously, I think the BSD community's devotion to its license is notable, but they're never going to make any progress at all if they're so fanatically opposed to the GPL. Since the GPL doesn't affect normal users at all (rather, just the people that want to take a

                • Since the GPL doesn't affect normal users at all (rather, just the people that want to take and not give back) [...]

                  Linking to a library is a pretty weird definition of "taking without giving back".

        • Uh, there is plenty of GPL licensed software in FreeBSD.

          And it's all carefully sectioned off so it can't infect the BSD code.

          You *do* understand what using GPLed code in the FreeBSD kernel would mean, right ?

    • FreeBSD is just dog slow compared to Linux

      Well I'd be curious to know the specs of the box you've testes FreeBSD on, because I run FreeBSD 6.0 on a Pentium I 133 MHz with 32 MB of RAM and it runs like a charm. No Gnome or KDE tho, just a lightweight window manager (blackbox). Maybe your performance issues have to do with that?

  • PC-BSD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Snowgen (586732) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @05:58PM (#15021168) Homepage

    I wonder how this differs from PC-BSD [pcbsd.org].

    They managed to ship earlier despite a later start. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

    • My own rather inadequate trial and comparison story here: http://therandymon.com/content/view/87/79/ [therandymon.com]. I had bad luck with Desktop BSD's hardware support, which gave me trouble with a network card more than one Linux distro has choked on too, for some reason. Overall I am impressed with the BSDs and intend to keep trying them out. It's impressive from a Linux user's point of view how everything fits so well together and is so well integrated. After years of Linux' organized chaos, it's a nice change. I
    • Re:PC-BSD (Score:2, Interesting)

      by KwKSilver (857599)
      Actually, DesktopBSD started somewhat earlier. I've tried both & both have their good and bad points. PC-BSD is currently using the FreeBSD 6.0 kernel, so they are "ahead" there, if that counts, DtBSD is now using FreeBSD kernel 5.5--however, it has support for AMD-64 and EMT-64 CPU's, which seems to be quite a way off for PC-BSD.

      The most obvious difference to me is in the installation of added software beyond their base systems. Dt-BSD uses a graphic frontend to the ports. I've had mixed resu
  • by shrapnull (780217) * on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @06:11PM (#15021281)
    Before we get into the usual banter about BSD, Netcraft, or whatever they've confirmed recently, I have to say that I use BSD more now then ever.

    It would never have dawned on me to bother with trying BSD as a desktop until I had some extra cash in the account and setup a system for network monitoring and packet scanning. With the bulk of the load being network-based, I figured this might as well be my desktop system too to garner more bang for the buck. This, mind you, after having used GNU/Linux and Windows for years and relegating BSD to beige server boxen only.

    That was a about a year ago. Today every PC I own runs FreeBSD as the primary desktop.

    It's not without it's issues when you install from the standard FreeBSD disks. I had to compile OOOrg from ports using flags (with cups, kde), and I had to install the linuxflashplayer-wrapper and tinker with it for a while to get it running...so yes, there are dozens of "little" things that keep this from desktop adoption.

    If a distribution such as DesktopBSD can create prepackaged desktop installations with a preconfigured flash-player, OOOrg, etc...I don't see why many people wouldn't at least try it out. The package management from a desktop user perspective has been great (I prefer it over apt, yum or portage), I have no failed installations due to -cpio bad magic, checksig errors (when I know the keys are installed), etc...

    Be prepared though, with this install you get a basic desktop. There is still much work to be done, but this is a nice start from a group of guys I can totally relate to.
  • BSD now ships a more recent cut of KDE than Gentoo does. Wow. Never thought I'd see that.
    • Huh? I read the summary and thought to my self, self, aren't you lucky, you just emerged KDE 3.5.2 last night. have yourself a little pat on the back just for being so bloody bleeding-edge. :)
  • So do I go with Linux [slashdot.org] or Desktop BSD? I'm leaning toward Ubuntu simply because there is more support.

    Don't troll this, you damn trolls!

    • So do I go with Linux or Desktop BSD?

      What's your goal? An old saying is that "Linux is for people who hate Windows, but FreeBSD is for people who love Unix". From a novice perspective, there's some amount of truth to that. More browser plugins work out-of-the-box under Linux, and you'll get more video game ports. FreeBSD definitely has its own charms, though, and if you want to learn how to administer a Unix system, you could definitely do worse.

      Both are good. I prefer FreeBSD, but that's just me.

      • This is a tough one. I ran FreeBSD for awhile.

        Pros of *BSD:
        • Much cleaner filesystem. I REALLY liked the way the system is laid out.
        • It was very nice to have one system, not wonder how *.deb is different from *.rpm or *.tgz, or really how to get one to play CLEANLY with my systems packaging system.

        Con of *BSD:

        • Did not seem to have the same number of packages as GNU/Linux

        OK, now I haven't run *BSD for about 4 years. On a purely gut level, I REALLY prefer the GNU license to frickin' BSD. But that was/is the

        • Pros of *BSD:
          • It was very nice to have one system, not wonder how *.deb is different from *.rpm or *.tgz, or really how to get one to play CLEANLY with my systems packaging system.

          In all fairness, Linux is just as consistent intra-platform as *BSD. FreeBSD has ports. NetBSD has pkgsrc. OpenBSD has (incompatible, I think) ports.

          Con of *BSD:

          • Did not seem to have the same number of packages as GNU/Linux

          FreeBSD has something like 15,000 ports available for installation. Gentoo seems to have aroun

        • But I do feel that strongly about the license.

          Why? It isn't your code, it's BSD's code. From a user's perspective there are no differences between the BSD and GPL licenses. Since you are not the developer of the code, it shouldn't make any difference to you at all.

          I myself don't particularly like the GPL, but it doesn't stop me from using GPL licensed software. I may not develop GPL software because of this, but it won't stop me from using it. I am not so bigoted as that.
          • I am not so bigoted as that.

            Them's fightin' words. :) I don't feel a religous passion about it, but I do feel somewhat strongly about it. Strong enough that it made me change back. Not a big deal. I'm not telling the BSD people to become GPL people or anything. I think that the GPL goes further in helping the world (a little grand, but you get the idea) than the BSD license does.

            And you're right, it's not my code. I'm barely a coder. I do enjoy poking around other peoples code on rainy weekends. And
    • I suggest Slackware ( http://www.slackware.com/ [slackware.com]). While its popularity has declined over the last decade, it's a wonderful distro with a reputation for being somewhat minimalistic (and behind the times, although I would beg to differ). If you're new it's better to get your hands as dirty as you can, in my most humble opinion.

      I've used Slack off and on for about ten years now (since 3.0), and tried various other distros both on real hardware and virtual. I always come back to Slack [tm].

      Incidently, I'v
    • So do I go with Linux or Desktop BSD? I'm leaning toward Ubuntu simply because there is more support.


      You should go with Linux From Scratch [linuxfromscratch.org], not only is it easier than those two arcane OSes, it's fresher too (made from scratch with the freshes t ingredients)!
      Don't troll this, you damn trolls!

      Oh shit, I suppose I should have read that before posting.
      • "Made from scratch from the freshest ingredients" is a problem. It often implies the rash you get when various software components haven't been tested in combination. And you'd better believe that compiler changes affect kernels and components, and that subtle changes in the use of internationalization can break lots of shell scripts, etc. Ask anyone who had to deal with the OpenSSH "privsep" feature when it came to operating systems other than OpenBSD.
        • "Made from scratch from the freshest ingredients" is a problem. It often implies the rash you get when various software components haven't been tested in combination.


          Which illustrates perfectly why they call it "Open Sores Software". ;)
    • I'll preface this by saying that I've never used a BSD as a desktop OS, although I've used it pretty extensively through a remote shell. What OS to go with really depends on what your goals are. If you want to ditch Windows as a desktop OS, but maintain most of the same stuff you're doing, particularly including games, you're probably going to want to go with Linux. If your ultimate aim is server administration ... pick whatever you want. I wouldn't even bother putting a GUI on it. In fact it'll be a more e
    • Go with both. You don't have to dual boot, you can triple boot. It's not like you're spending money on them or anything.

      p.s. Unlike Windows and Linux, BSD systems want their own primary partition to boot from. So when you're partitioning your drive, make sure you've got a primary, not extended, partition for DesktopBSD.
  • I've been running FreeBSD on my desktop for 7 or 8 years now. It's just fine. The main problem has been the usual thing on hacker desktops: managing the dependencies between the 100-200 miscellaneous third-party packages that you end up with (all the GUI stuff, docproj with LaTeX, Apache with some modules, perl plus a couple of dozen perl modules, ditto python, ditto ruby, ditto PHP, ditto SQL, etc). The ports collection (together with the port management tools such as portupgrade) has been very good at
  • Will they be releasing a version for the AlphaStation? I have this nice machine here and would like to run that on it...
  • They forgot to include the performance!

After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.

Working...