PC-BSD is the Ubuntu of the free BSD world. It features an easy install (similar to Anaconda), with a nice default system, and usually gives no reason to fiddle under the bonnet. Version 9.0 is currently in development and Beta 2 was recently released.
PC-BSD is a complete desktop operating system, which has been designed with the "casual" computer user in mind. It offers the stability and security that only a BSD-based operating system can bring, while at the same time providing a comfortable user experience, allowing you to get the most out of your computing time. With PC-BSD you can spend less time working to fix viruses or spyware and instead have the computer work for you.
PC-BSD ships as an install DVD or a much smaller live DVD. This release is said to include the most recent changes found in FreeBSD 9.0-BETA2. Some of the newest goodies include the NVIDIA driver at install, KDE 4.6.5, and a draft of the new PC-BSD 9 handbook. FreeBSD 9.0 will bring things like USB 3.0 support, Userland DTrace, and 4K sector drive support.
AppCafe (PC-BSD tool for installing and removing software) seems to be receiving lots of love. Some of improvement listed are:
* Added sanity checks to check if user is able to install applications
* Added warning when no meta files can be found
* Show total and current MB of downloads in AppCafe
* Add support for showing HTML formatted descriptions
Relatedly, the PBI manager will be able to resume downloading meta-data if system shutdown interrupts process before finished. The Control Center got a bit of a facelift with new icons and the whole system got a new font configuration.
This beta has quite a few issues. Some like the AppCafe that crashes within seconds and a Flash configuration (I assume installer) that wouldn’t even start. I couldn’t boot the live DVD while my SSD drives were detected by the bios. Then I couldn’t mount my USB stick or any partition on my SATA drive. All this was while just trying to boot it, take a screenshot of something interesting, and save it to something. But it’ll get better, there’s a long way to go before final.
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