What should I choose between OpenBSD, FreeBSD and PCBSD?

Rajaa Chowdhury September 16, 2012

I want to try a flavour of BSD Unix on my PC. I found three projects : OpenBSD, FreeBSD and PCBSD. I am confused which one to follow and adapt. Can you advice?

  1. MA
    September 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Congratulations :-) FreeBSD is better than anything else you can get. OS-X is based on FBSD 5.x, we're currently at 9.0.

    Linux is an attempt to mimic FBSD, but FBSD is way, way, way more stable and better designed (everybody can build for the 1001 Linux-forks, if you want to build for FBSD your work has to go through the approval of the FBSD core development team. Almost everything Linux can run under FBSD, but virtually nothing FBSD can run under Linux. FBSD is developed by the brightest people in IT, not by John Do who has read 'how to program for Linux in 24 hrs and releases his (how sincerely attempted) work to some distro.

    Need to forget mentioning MS Windows of course :-) (Even 'though I run it on 2 machines, and to be honest, W7-64 is not bad, certainly not, although it can not even dare to compare with FBSD).

    Your first try? PC-BSD. It will save you the hasle of installing a GUI yourself (which isn't difficult at all, but then again: if you want to 'feel' FBSD go with the excellent job the people of PC-BSD have done (and make sure to donate 20 or more dollars, they are providing for free what would take you many days, and even ordering 60-70 dollar books on Amazon, in order to understand how to build a FBSD system yourself ((I know, because I've been there, untill PC-BSD came along...:-)). And mind you, Dru Lavigne (the 'godmother of BSD' :-) has even joined the PC-BSD project. That, in it self, should prove any point I tried to make in the above :-))

    Download PC-BSD, install without a hassle, be surprised, and don't forget to donate to both PC-BSD and FreeBSD.org. Don't forget some of the brightest people on this earth are working on FBSD and PCBSD. We might not be able to have them pay off their houses by our donations, but for sure we can donate for some extremely earned beers, as MS, Apple and the Linux-crews don't even come close/in the shadow of what the *BSD people do and so generously give to us for free. The true heros of operating systems are the*BSD people :-)


    A BSD fan and W7-64 user

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      September 17, 2012 at 12:24 am

      I did install Isotope last year on my PC for month and yes to be honest, as pointed out, was impressed by the OS. However, I cannot hold that statement true with the number and choice of applications available through Isotope, specially to what is get on Linux platform. Great OS but very few applications available as compared to other OS. The project team should think of porting more applications on the BSD platform.

      I may be wrong here as am no developer, I am just a wayward user of computers. :) So do correct me, if I am wrong in terms of the application support available on the BSD platform.

      • MA
        September 17, 2012 at 10:11 am

        `You didn't look in the right direction :-) There are, the last time I counted, about 16.000 apps for you to install through the FBSD ports/packages system, and on top of that, like I wrote, almost every Linux program will run on *BSD. PC-BSD uses the *.pbi's to make it even more easy to install these programs, by making sort of '*.exe/installers'. They have to make that for 16.000 packages, and that is of course undoable. So install them yourself, because they are there for you to enjoy :-)

        • Rajaa Chowdhury
          September 18, 2012 at 8:40 am

          Sure, I would again give it a shot. Thanks for the advice. :)

  2. Quinn Haine
    September 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    I'd suggest that you start with PC-BSD. It tends to have better hardware support. As the previous commenter pointed out, if your hardware is pretty common, FreeBSD should be fine.

  3. Bruce Epper
    September 16, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Go with FreeBSD unless there is a specific reason regarding your hardware for you to select PCBSD. PCBSD tends to work better with a wider range of hardware, but if you have a fairly standard setup FreeBSD should work without a problem. The reason I would opt for FreeBSD is that there seems to be better support (more information and faster responses) on the net for that platform than the other two.

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