Open Source Desktop: Ubuntu Linux vs. PC-BSD, What’s the Difference?

by on August 24, 2007 · 11 comments· LAST UPDATED August 24, 2007

in , ,

This is an interesting review on PC-BSD and to be honest it looks like a decent alternative to desktop Linux.

I’ve already written about Linux vs FreeBSD on server with lots of interesting commentary from both FreeBSD and Linux fan boys users. I'm using Linux desktop since 1999 and I will never go back to Windows. Many of my friends and coworkers owns Mac OS X but I don't have any plan to jump into it either. However Dru Lavigne offers another alternative PC-BSD ~ the other open source Unix descendant:

Ubuntu is known as Linux for Human Beings, because it's driven by the philosophy that "software should be available free of charge, software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities, and people should have the freedom to customize and alter their software in whatever way they see fit" (Ubuntu Documentation).

PC-BSD, on the other hand, "has been designed with the casual computer user in mind. Installing the system is simply a matter of a few clicks and a few minutes for the installation process to finish. Hardware such as video, sound, network, and other devices will be auto-detected and available at the first system startup. Home users will immediately feel comfortable with PC-BSD's desktop interface, with KDE 3.5 running under the hood. Software installation has also been designed to be as painless as possible, simply double-click and software will be installed...

=> Linux vs. BSD, What's the Difference? [linuxdevcenter.com]

There's an old saying that goes, if it's not broken, don't fix it! My main concern is hardware compatibility especially wireless card. What do you think? Are you going for a test drive?

TwitterFacebookGoogle+PDF versionFound an error/typo on this page? Help us!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tobi August 24, 2007 at 10:56 am

You could also give DesktopBSD a try…

Reply

2 RoHaN August 24, 2007 at 1:14 pm

Good Brother!..

Keep it upp…

Thx!

Reply

3 Jonathan Arnold August 24, 2007 at 2:36 pm

Funny, I just posted over on LinuxBrainDump.org the reasons why I moved from PC-BSD to Linux. There were just far too many big and small gotchas for me to continue, after 3 months of full time PC-BSD usage (and years of FreeBSD experience).

Reply

4 nixCraft August 24, 2007 at 3:58 pm

@Tobi, thanks ill check it out …

@RoHaN, No problem.

@Jonathan, nice article. Hardware is the main issue, IMHO.

Appreciate all of your posts!

Reply

5 Brian August 24, 2007 at 6:25 pm

I’ve tried PC-BSD before, and as you mentioned, hardware compatability was a bit of a hurdle for me. However, even if the hardware issues were sorted out, I don’t think I’ll move to it because I already have a hard enough time using a relatively obscure OS like Linux, let alone trying to convince people to support BSD.

Reply

6 JL June 8, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Ubuntu rocks. Plain rocks. Good day to you.

Reply

7 John Phoenix August 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Since this review is 4 years old now I thought I’d share some good news. I am a Windows user who must use Windows for games, thus i will never leave Windows. A few years ago i started testing out various Linux Distros. many of them I like way better than Ubuntu like PCLinux or Mepis. I never really thought of BSD before because it was to a Windows user, even more Unix based than Linux was.. YUCK !

I have now come to the conclusion any Linux distro is the same under the hood with all the same facelifts for each one.. Desktop Environments. Once you find the DE you like and configure it to your taste, nothing else matters. The differences between an RPM or Deb based system are minimal as they will all install and run your favorite programs. One never needs to use a terminal or console for commands anymore, you can do it all with handy GUI’s (for most normal users) In this respect they are all good desktop OS’s and can suit anyone’s needs. Now the major differences lie in the developers attitudes towards OS philosophy for instance some don’t like the way Canonical’s Ubuntu’s developer, is going..

But I got bored with the sameness. Apple’s Mac OSX brought a fresh change the short time used one but I’m a PC guy and we can’t have Snow Leopard on PC hardware that we didn’t buy from Apple. Today’s Mac is based on BSD I heard so I started looking into BSD. As always I wanted a good desktop experience and my searching led me to PC-BSD. Yes, PC-BSD does still use all of those popular Desktop Environments, so getting around the system is easy. It’s operation has some similarities to Mac OSX that I like as well as being able to run most Linux programs, especially all the popular ones. I can even make it look like a Mac if I wanted to. PC-BSD has thousands of applications designed for it that Linux doesn’t have. Today’s PC-BSD has great hardware support as it is based on FreeBSD but optimized for the desktop user. I have found OS Love all over again. Now for me my OS’s of choice are Windows, PC-BSD then Linux last. I encourage anyone to check out PC-BSD today, you won’t be disappointed.

Reply

8 erickdcastro May 7, 2012 at 5:52 am

I’ve tried to install PC-BSD into a computer with several hard disks (3 hard disk) with an operating system in each HD.
The thing is that PC-BSD 9 installs very well but the pc-sysinstall wizard does’t installed the boot loader in order to boot the another OS in the diferent hard disk.

When i reboot my PC only appeared the previous menu with the old operating systems and I have not saw an option to boot the PC-BSD.

Can you helpme to solve that issue?

Reply

9 John Phoenix May 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm

erickdcastro,

If one of those systems is Windows (or I should say your primary system is Windows) you could try a program called EasyBCD. It will help you set up a boot loader for any OS on any partition in your system. It’s easy to use and free. I use it for Windows, PC-BSD and Linux OS all on different partitions. This app doesn’t mess up your Master Boot Record. Otherwise you would have to look into boot loader helper applications for your primary system.. which ever system you normally run a boot loader from. I have never tried this with different hard drives each with it’s own system, only with one hard drive with separate partitions but if your main OS is able to see all drives, it should work. It might be helpful to know what OS’s you have on each hard drive and what your primary OS is.

Hope this helps.

Reply

10 erickdcastro May 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Thanks John this is my case, Windows is my primary OS with EasyBCD I’ve fix the problem.
Now I’ve PC-BSD Running on my PC

Reply

11 jaiho October 22, 2014 at 10:39 am

Hey friends,

After years of using linux, I’m thinking of switching to BSDs due to the systemd+gnome3 fiasco.

I want a true unix which I can be used with my desktop and server. I don’t want to something imposed on me. So if any of you have experience migrating from Linux to BSD please share.

I’m thinking of using PC-BSD or GhostBSD as my desktop and freebsd 10.1 as my server os.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Tagged as: , , , , , ,

Previous post:

Next post: