As a long time user of Linux OSes of many flavors I have never really gotten into the whole realm of the BSD ecosystem but today I thought what the heck, throw it on a Virtual Machine and take it for a test drive. The latest image is available from http://www.freebsd.org/releases/ just as with all FOSS software the OS only costs you bandwidth. I chose to grab the 64bit edition and configure a Virtual Machine with 4 GB of RAM.
The download and installation went smoothly with no hiccups or challenges as can be expected from a mature distribution like this. As I mentioned I configured the Virtual Machine with 4GB of RAM and gave it 10GB of HDD space. All of my hardware was found without problem or incident during the install and I was more than pleasantly surprised at the look and feel of the OS.
FreeBSD 9.0 has been released with many new features. Some of the highlights:
- A new installer, bsdinstall(8) has been added and is the installer used by the ISO images provided as part of this release
- The Fast Filesystem now supports softupdates journaling
- ZFS updated to version 28
- Updated ATA/SATA drivers support AHCI, moved into updated CAM framework
- Highly Available Storage (HAST) framework
- Kernel support for Capsicum Capability Mode, an experimental set of features for sandboxing support
- User-level DTrace
- The TCP/IP stack now supports pluggable congestion control framework and five congestion control algorithm implementations available
- NFS subsystem updated, new implementation supports NFSv4 in addition to NFSv3 and NFSv2
- High Performance SSH (HPN-SSH)
- Flattened device tree (FDT), simplifying FreeBSD configuration for embedded platforms
- The powerpc architecture now supports Sony Playstation 3
- The LLVM compiler infrastructure and clang have been imported
- Gnome version 2.32.1, KDE version 4.7.3
As far as what it looks like…well, I did not find any effective Screenshots out on the web and with how easy it was to build a quick VM of this OS I suggest to just download the beast, follow the install instructions and play.
I don’t see it becoming my daily OS but for messing around with, the heart of OSX from Apple is still very much alive.
This will also be a new feature hear at Krispy’s Rants, every Sunday I will give my 2 cents about a new OS that I tested. Next Sunday…the frustration I feel with Windows 8 and why I really think this will be the make or break OS for Microsoft. If they can not displace Apple on tablets…we may just see an end to the giant that was the king of the Desktop!
Cheers and Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out on the Interwebz.
Chris J Powell