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Interview With the PC-BSD Team 130

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the user-friendly-depends-so-much-on-the-user dept.
GeekyBodhi writes "FOSSEngineer.com has an interview with a couple of guys from the PC-BSD development team after the distro recently released their first stable version 1.0. PC-BSD is built on top of FreeBSD and aims to dumb down installation and daily usage, enabling a non-technical user to run it as his primary desktop. The guys talk about their pre-release journey, features unique to PC-BSD and why a minimal installation system is a good thing."
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Interview With the PC-BSD Team

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  • Re:Nuff said. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jfern (115937) on Monday May 08, 2006 @08:57PM (#15289802)
    Unlike Mac OS X, PC BSD is open source and free.

    Now if they could get this to run all Linux apps, that would be awesome.
  • Re:*BSD is Dying (Score:5, Interesting)

    by laffer1 (701823) <luke@foolishgame ... minus physicist> on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:39PM (#15290059) Homepage Journal
    Its only dying in your mind.

    Here are the facts:

    There are currently 4 bsd projects that i'm aware of. They include FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD and DragonFlyBSD. In addition to these projects which each develop their own kernel and userland, there are linux style distros PC-BSD and DesktopBSD which do not develop their own kernel or low level userland. (they add gui shit) These two track freebsd progress as well as other projects like frenzy that do live cds.

    I'm also in the process of starting a BSD project based on FreeBSD 6.x which is a fork like dragonfly was. My project is aimed at developing a desktop friendly bsd from the ground up. Another words, I want to make a BSD install with x11, a window manager and basic applications as well as reasonable defaults for desktop users. Its not like PC-BSD and DesktopBSD since I will be modifying the userland and kernel. I also don't plan on using KDE like they do as KDE users are covered by their efforts. BSD on the desktop is important in part because Macs have gone up in price during the intel switch. Plus if I accomplish my goals, apple may benefit from the source anyway. Finally, I plan on leaving as much BSD licensed as possible. The other projects prefer GPL.

    I don't have a website up yet, but the uri will be http://www.midnightbsd.org/ [midnightbsd.org] (MidnightBSD)
  • dpkg blues (Score:4, Interesting)

    by adolfojp (730818) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:43PM (#15290085)
    I love PC-BSD's self contained software installer above all. It brings the simplicity and elegance of Windows and Mac software installation to the nix world.

    Package managers like Synaptic don't make too much sense to me. They are great as long as every computer that you manage has a broadband connection. There are many people in the world, especially in developing nations, that can not afford that luxury. I'd much rather keep copies of software on CDs to distribute instead of having to connect every computer to a fat pipe whenever I want to install a software package. Yes, I understand that you can configure removable media as a source, but the process in not intuitive and you have to make sure that every dependency is available on the CD to begin with.

    If PC-BSD were to release a GNOME centric version of its software I would switch all of my machines in a heartbeat.
  • by Eivind Eklund (5161) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @04:29AM (#15291604) Journal
    I'm a FreeBSD developer, and I'd guess the PC-BSD guys have taken a very good route. Working with this kind of thing inside FreeBSD is fairly difficult, due to the inertia of the FreeBSD project. That inertia is both a good and a bad thing - it allows the project to function fairly smoothly in a lot of other ways. It's not good for doing desktop improvements, unfortunately - too many people to consult with.

    Playing that on the sideline and possibly adopting it into FreeBSD later (if both teams feel comfortable with it) seems a very good way to actually get this done.

    Eivind.

  • Re:Why oh why (Score:3, Interesting)

    by roard (661272) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @07:28AM (#15292166) Homepage
    FreeBSD is faster. It just is. Its the fastest OS I've ever used, and unlike Linux, doesn't ever seem sluggish under heavy load

    I must say I agree here :-)

    I never used bsd until a couple of weeks ago, when I ended up without a laptop, and a friend lend me an old one (celeron 1ghz, 128mb ram). As a long time debian user, I started by installing the last touted "desktop os" based on debian: ubuntu. Everything worked as usual and was recognized, but.. it was sluggish (those pesky 128Mb were the cause more than the celeron, I believe). Still, I was outraged: I started linux on a p166+ with 24Mb of ram, and it was faster (or at least in my memory) to use, even after ditching gnome and installing window maker + gnustep apps.

    Then, on a whim, I installed OpenBSD 3.9, just to test -- why did I never try bsd before in all those years, after all ? Well,.. it felt even slower -- probably because of X11 though. But I liked OpenBSD a lot -- very neat, excellent docs, and it just felt "clean".

    So I installed FreeBSD 6. And. Wow. That's friggin FAST :-) even on this machine. I even recompiled the kernel to change the scheduler, and now it's even more responsive under X11 (although it _seems_ things are slightly slower to start, but the trade off is good on this machine).

    So count me in the *BSD supporters now -- although apt is wonderful, pkg/ports are quite ok. And I like how it feels like unix again ;-)

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