Sunday, July 24, 2005

FreeBSD Installation Made Easy

There is a discussion today on /. regarding FreeBSD. FreeBSD is an Open Source operating system released under a BSD License that has the reputation of being a solid, reliable, and secure operating system. I have always wanted to explore FreeBSD but was disappointed with the installation process, and never got very far with it at all. Then along came FreeSBIE--a FreeBSD LiveCD. That was interesting to check out but running it from the CD was less then ideal and it still didn't quench my desire for an installed FreeBSD system (perhaps their latest version has a CD to HDD install script a la Knoppix. I don't know). The next big leap for me in obtaining the object of my quest came along in the form of a project called PC-BSD with it's stated goal being, " be an easy to install and use desktop OS, which is built on the FreeBSD operating system." [emphasis added]

Perfect! This was just what I was looking for! I went to their download page and I was on my way. (Bittorrent is the best thing to happen to the internet since Netscape arrived on the scene.)

The installation was a snap and I soon had my FreeBSD OS running on my AMD64. This was awesome! Unfortunately... I had to nuke the partition it was sitting on not too much later because I needed the disk space for some other silly project. My exploration into FreeBSD did not get very far. That's ok because it's time to try again and it just so happens that:
  1. A new release has just been issued (0.7.8)
  2. A very useful guide has been posted on installing & configuring PC-BSD
If you are familiar with installing GNU/Linux, installing PC-BSD will not be a problem but the guide is still handy because of the configuration descriptions it includes.

Once installed you have the option of installing other PC-BSD built software packages or using the official FreeBSD ports. Ease of installation, ease of use, easy to update. What more could I want?

You can get the latest version of PC-BSD from mirrors listed on their download page or via the PC-BSD Bittorrent Server.

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