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PC-BSD or Ghost BSD?

Slurp

Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 67

#1
I'm moving to BSD in mid February. I want something that doesn't break in the worst moments because my time is severely limited. Actually not really suitable for such change, but I don't want to wait longer.

Up to now I looked deeply into PC-BSD because this looked like the closest thing for me. I was not perfectly happy with it because I don't think that I like how ports and packages are second class citizens in it, PBIs just don't cut it, there are too few of them and I actually see them as less elegant than ports. But I scratched off going with FreeBSD because I'd have to spend more time than I have to have it running reasonably well. Also, on several occasions I had an impression that it's fine as long as you don't modify it too much with 'too much' being far too close for my liking.

Recently 2 things changed.
Ghost BSD has an LXDE version.
I learned that PC-BSD enables bsdstats by default which I find to be a sign of outrageous disregard of user privacy. And I value my privacy.

But I have doubts. I haven't seen any review of the latest version yet, but all the other ones seemed to describe Ghost BSD as immature in various ways. I see that very few people use it; it's forum is practically empty, here it's seldom mentioned.
I'd like to hear your thoughts...is Ghost BSD ready for the prime time?
 

LateNiteTV

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 26
Messages: 391

#2
I don't have experience with PC-BSD or GhostBSD. I run pure FreeBSD and I can get a system up and running from install to full desktop experience and updated in 2 hours. It's isn't difficult at all. You can install everything via packages so you don't have to deal with compiling all your software, or you can use portmaster to install build deps as packages and compile the actual software you want from ports... which drastically cuts down port build time. There's also a great community here with a lot of knowedgable people to help you with any issues you may have.

Also, I'm sure PC-BSD and GhostBSD are great and all, but I like to know what has been done to my systems and why... I'm not a big fan of preconfigured systems.
 

NewGuy

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 71
Messages: 297

#3
I've recently used both and I'd say the obvious choice is PC-BSD. It has PBIs, it has configuration tools, it has a variety of desktop environments and it has a dedicated support team behind it. GhostBSD is basically a one-person project with a few desktop environments and a buggy installer. In short, if you're looking for anything more intense than an OS to play with in a virtual machine, GhostBSD probably isn't polished enough yet.

Don't get me wrong, I've talked with the developer of GhostBSD and he's a great guy and goes some really nice work, but he doesn't have the time/resources to put together a professional class system.

If your only concern with PC-BSD is that by default sends an anonymous packet to a stats website I'd say just disable that service before you connect to the net. It's a pretty small issue.
 

ericturgeon

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 65
Messages: 367

#4
@Slurp GhostBSD is FreeBSD With Gnome or Lxde under the hood.
The installer is quit easy. But not as Great Than PC-BSD installer.
allot of great tool is missing. GhostBSD Is far behind of PC-BSD.
But GhostBSD is a live CD DVD and USB. Im maybe the Developer of GhostBSD. But I don't use it, I use FreeBSD with i3 or lxde.
 

throAU

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 146
Messages: 910

#5
What is your usage scenario?

FreeBSD is a fine OS, but if you're wanting to do stuff like run 3d games, it's probably not well suited.

Conversely, if you want a server, it is an excellent choice...
 

UNIXgod

Daemon

Thanks: 199
Messages: 1,088

#7
I think you should avoid both PC-BSD and GHOSTBSD and run FreeBSD and set it up properly for your needs and tasks.
 

shepper

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 232
Messages: 689

#8
It would be nice if you just had to choose one or the other and it installed without a problem My experience is that the hardware I have in front of me often impacts my decision. An example would be the video card. If I want Xorg and I have a Intel NM10 chipset my option is OpenBSD to have a working xf86-video-intel driver or use vesa in FreeBSD. Same thing with the newer radeon cards. I would suggest that your choices are going to be driven more by your hardware and the software you want to install. If you look at the PC-BSD install web page it warns that newer intel video cards will hopefully have a working driver by 9.1.

If you are looking for the java plugin then FreeBSD or one of the derivatives is a better way to go. Also, if you are installing to a laptop and want wireless network management FreeBSD and it derivatives provide a wireless network gui. IMHO, you have to be very desperate to hunt for all the source packages needed to compile java and the web plugin on OpenBSD.

Lastly, you will learn more using FreeBSD and building the desktop you want. If you are pressed for time and willing to tolerate the installation of packages you will never use (aka bloat), then PC-BSD or GhostBSD are options and of the 2 PC-BSD does give the choice of KDE, Gnome 2.32, Xfce4 and LXDE desktops
 

throAU

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 146
Messages: 910

#9
ericturgeon said:
@throAU FreeBSD is great gaming platform. You can play a lot a new game on under wine.
No it's not.

When I play games, I want them to work properly (every time!), out of the box, without screwing around.

FreeBSD is great for many things, but gaming is not one of them.
 

fluca1978

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 70
Messages: 735

#10
UNIXgod said:
I think you should avoid both PC-BSD and GHOSTBSD and run FreeBSD and set it up properly for your needs and tasks.
I will give PCBSD a try, I'm using it since 5+ months and it is working fine. PCBSD is a true FreeBSD (guess GhostBSD is the same) and the only difference is that it is a few weeks late with respect to the FreeBSD main branch. I've tried GhostBSD twice but without any success.
 

Slurp

Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 67

#11
Way more feedback than I expected. :)
Thank you all.

NewGuy said:
If your only concern with PC-BSD is that by default sends an anonymous packet to a stats website I'd say just disable that service before you connect to the net. It's a pretty small issue.
The main issue is trust. It's easy to disable bsdstats, but I see no way to know if it's the only problem of this kind.

NewGuy said:
I've recently used both and I'd say the obvious choice is PC-BSD. It has PBIs
Maybe I just don't understand PBIs, but I don't view it as advantage...Coming from Windows background I see *nix package managers as one of bigger advantages that they have. I view PBIs as a step between; nice management, but bloated downloads. They claim to eliminate "much of the hardship of dealing with broken dependencies and system incompatibilities", but while I'm yet to encounter such problems on Lubuntu (I used ports and packages too little to judge), they happened to me when I was just playing with PC-BSD...Also, amount of software available as PBIs is deeply unsatisfactory ATM and I'd have to use ports / packages a lot anyway.
NewGuy said:
it has configuration tools, it has a variety of desktop environments and it has a dedicated support team behind it.
But these two do matter. I experienced their support already and can confirm that it's really good.

throAU said:
What is your usage scenario?

FreeBSD is a fine OS, but if you're wanting to do stuff like run 3d games, it's probably not well suited.

Conversely, if you want a server, it is an excellent choice...
Desktop. Internet, 2d and 3d gaming, programming, multimedia usage and manipulation.
I already verified that all games that I care about run fine under wine or natively and that there is suitable software for all my needs. Though it's often not as good as I'd like (Miranda IM, Total Commander, foobar2000...*sigh*), I can live with it.

shepper said:
It would be nice if you just had to choose one or the other and it installed without a problem My experience is that the hardware I have in front of me often impacts my decision. An example would be the video card. If I want Xorg and I have a Intel NM10 chipset my option is OpenBSD to have a working xf86-video-intel driver or use vesa in FreeBSD. Same thing with the newer radeon cards. I would suggest that your choices are going to be driven more by your hardware and the software you want to install. If you look at the PC-BSD install web page it warns that newer intel video cards will hopefully have a working driver by 9.1.
I already verified that there are good drivers for all my hardware. Except for a wifi card, but this is not a big deal, I don't need it immediately and I can buy a new one if I do later.
I run several beta and RC versions of PC-BSD on the hardware for testing purposes already and it run flawlessly.

shepper said:
Lastly, you will learn more using FreeBSD and building the desktop you want. If you are pressed for time and willing to tolerate the installation of packages you will never use (aka bloat), then PC-BSD or GhostBSD are options and of the 2 PC-BSD does give the choice of KDE, Gnome 2.32, Xfce4 and LXDE desktops
Bloat is not a problem. While I really don't like it, I am willing to trade set up time for it.

LateNiteTV said:
You can install everything via packages so you don't have to deal with compiling all your software, or you can use portmaster to install build deps as packages and compile the actual software you want from ports... which drastically cuts down port build time. There's also a great community here with a lot of knowedgable people to help you with any issues you may have.
My plan is to compile the most important ports with some brute force optimisations and then install the rest of software from packages.
LateNiteTV said:
I don't have experience with PC-BSD or GhostBSD. I run pure FreeBSD and I can get a system up and running from install to full desktop experience and updated in 2 hours. It's isn't difficult at all.
Well, when you know the stuff inside out it's always easy. :)
I've heard quite a few problem stories from people who were not idiots, just noobs...that's why I'm afraid of going with FreeBSD directly.
Still, the encouragement from several of you made me wanna try my luck with plain FreeBSD. Maybe I'll find a couple of hours this weekend. I intended to use it for GhostBSD (up to now I played with it in a VM for a short while), but well, you confirmed my doubts about it.
 

ericturgeon

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 65
Messages: 367

#12
@Slurp When I started using FreeBSD I was a noob. I had asked question here and read what needed in the FreeBSD handbook. Now i also use the Arch Linux wiki for configure some window manager on FreeBSD. When I had started GhostBSD I was not a programmer. My knowledge on operating system was bad. Today I'm not the best programmer at less I have learn to do and I still learning programing and FreeBSD system. GhostBSD is not perfect Yes I admit that! But its FreeBSD whit gnome or Lxde noting more. The first goal of GhostBSD was to be a live CD to try FreeBSD on Gnome. With time it became more than that. FreeBSD PC-BSD and GhostBSD now use the same back end installer. The only deference is the front end installer.

Whatever you use PC-BSD or GhostBSD its FreeBSD any way. If You go out side of the installed package you will have to install some. Some Package will need to be configure. And that way if you come here for help they will say go to PC-BSD or GhostBSD forum. All that to say Give Try To FreeBSD. You Will Not Deceived. FreeBSD documentation is the best and the help on this forum is very good.
 

Slurp

Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 67

#13
ericturgeon said:
@Slurp When I started using FreeBSD I was a noob. I had asked question here and read what needed in the FreeBSD handbook. Now i also use the Arch Linux wiki for configure some window manager on FreeBSD. When I had started GhostBSD I was not a programmer. My knowledge on operating system was bad. Today I'm not the best programmer at less I have learn to do and I still learning programing and FreeBSD system. GhostBSD is not perfect Yes I admit that! But its FreeBSD whit gnome or Lxde noting more. The first goal of GhostBSD was to be a live CD to try FreeBSD on Gnome. With time it became more than that. FreeBSD PC-BSD and GhostBSD now use the same back end installer. The only deference is the front end installer.
Thanks for the explanation. :)
ericturgeon said:
FreeBSD documentation is the best and the help on this forum is very good.
I know. And I love this.:)
 

GreenMeanie

Member

Thanks: 1
Messages: 32

#14
Can you get USB drives working (hot swapping)?
Can you get flash to work?


LateNiteTV said:
I don't have experience with PC-BSD or GhostBSD. I run pure FreeBSD and I can get a system up and running from install to full desktop experience and updated in 2 hours. It's isn't difficult at all. You can install everything via packages so you don't have to deal with compiling all your software, or you can use portmaster to install build deps as packages and compile the actual software you want from ports... which drastically cuts down port build time. There's also a great community here with a lot of knowedgable people to help you with any issues you may have.

Also, I'm sure PC-BSD and GhostBSD are great and all, but I like to know what has been done to my systems and why... I'm not a big fan of preconfigured systems.
 

DungeonMaster3000

New Member


Messages: 17

#15
@Slurp - I think PC-BSD is your best choice if starting out. As young, open source software goes... it's very, very good. I have high hopes for it.

The true beauty of PC-BSD is... it's FreeBSD. If you don't like how something is operating, a quick Google and you have instructions on how to change it.

For me; I’d start with PC-BSD; get familiar; then once comfortable, install FreeBSD and replicate the environment of PC-BSD (lxde, gnome, whatever) but only install what you want. It is very rewarding (you feel like god) when you first start doing this.
 

throAU

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 146
Messages: 910

#16
Having just stepped into PC-BSD after running FreeBSD since 2000 - I agree with the above post.

You can even install FreeBSD from the PC-BSD installer - to ZFS which will help you get started playing with that without having to deal with manual partitioning and manual install.
 

Slurp

Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 67

#17
Actually manual partitioning is something that I'd like to do. ^^
I'm highly dissatisfied with the defaults here.
I even explored the option of modifying PC-BSD installation scripts to make them do what I want and found the option to be viable, but probably not worthwhile for the first installation. It's undecided yet.

BTW I tried to install FreeBSD this weekend. Got just 2 hours for it, but it was insufficient to even boot the base. In this time I made 1 full install, but it didn't boot (somehow zfsboot tried to load an UFS partition. Guess that it's related to the fact that the disc had zfs before). I did like 2 minor errors that made me restart the installation early. Too bad there's no way to go back in the current installation sctipts. And in the final trial, I made a mistake and in a rush chose a Dvorak keyboard. I found it out while configuring user accounts, quite late and decided I don't have the time to continue.
Yeah, there's a long way from where I am now to having a working system with Nvidia drivers, X and Flash... Not entirely sure yet, I may do another trial the next weekend, but I think I'll go with PC-BSD after all...
 

throAU

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 146
Messages: 910

#18
You can manually partition just fine in PC-BSD. The big thing is that you can choose to create ZFS partitions in the installer.

With FreeBSD, currently you need to drop into the recovery shell and do it all from the command line.


Seriously, try installing PC-BSD, or FreeBSD with ZFS using the PC-BSD installer. I got it installed in about 30 minutes into a VM a couple of nights ago and it was relatively pain free.

Fair enough I have prior FreeBSD experience, but the installer is genuinely one of the best I've seen in Free software land, ever. IMHO.
 

michaelp

New Member


Messages: 5

#19
If you get the CD version of PC-BSD LXDE is the default. I have really fallen for PC-BSD, I think it is great. FreeBSD is fine but not for me, and that should be fine. PC-BSD is superb and easily configured. You can forget about 3d pretty much right now unless you have a nvidia but who cares about that? You want to play games, get an XBOX, that's what I use.

I personally went with PC-BSD 9.0 64bit, ZFS filesystem and Gnome 2. I made the switch from Linux Mint Debian, and I have found BSD far easier and more fun to configure. Want to turn off bluetooth you'll never ever use? Simple. I love how straightforward everything is. Linux was far more difficult to learn than BSD is. I think Linux is awesome, too, so the reason I chose to switch is merely because once a few years ago I bought FreeBSD, installed it but never used it much but it's been in the back of my mind ever since.

Find what works best for you, and that's the best OS on the planet. You'll look for reasons to love it, and overlook the lil things that take a little effort to make right.
 

fluca1978

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 70
Messages: 735

#20
michaelp said:
I personally went with PC-BSD 9.0 64bit, ZFS filesystem and Gnome 2. I made the switch from Linux Mint Debian, and I have found BSD far easier and more fun to configure. Want to turn off bluetooth you'll never ever use? Simple. I love how straightforward everything is. Linux was far more difficult to learn than BSD is. I think Linux is awesome, too, so the reason I chose to switch is merely because once a few years ago I bought FreeBSD, installed it but never used it much but it's been in the back of my mind ever since.
One of the main difference between FreeBSD and Linux is that each Linux distro changes the way of doing and manage things, while FreeBSD derivatives do not (they could add something - PBI for instance - but allow you to use the standard way - ports for instance). I think PBI is a great tool, and not surprisingly iXSystem could integrate PBI even into FreeNAS. Sounds like GhostBSD is much more a customization of FreeBSD while PCBSD is a derivative system.
 

Slurp

Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 67

#21
throAU said:
You can manually partition just fine in PC-BSD. The big thing is that you can choose to create ZFS partitions in the installer.

With FreeBSD, currently you need to drop into the recovery shell and do it all from the command line.
Last time I checked, I was unable to install PC-BSD on filesystems created with a console...did it change in one of later beta / RC versions?
It's still mentioned as a 9.1. TODO.

throAU said:
Marietje Schaake Seriously, try installing PC-BSD, or FreeBSD with ZFS using the PC-BSD installer. I got it installed in about 30 minutes into a VM a couple of nights ago and it was relatively pain free.

Fair enough I have prior FreeBSD experience, but the installer is genuinely one of the best I've seen in Free software land, ever. IMHO.
Thanks for the tip. I'm not sure, but I think I'll try it.
 

str8

New Member


Messages: 1

#22
GhostBSD

Code:
uname -r
9.1-RELEASE
uname
FreeBSD
GhostBSD is FreeBSD, portsnap grabs the same ports collection and is compatible with the packages from sysinstall and pkg_add. By all means it is just FreeBSD with some preinstalled packages and some better tuned installer.
 

blazingice

Member

Thanks: 10
Messages: 71

#23
I have been using PC-BSD for few months now. I agree with most of the positive comments mentioned here. I would like to add three more things:

  1. Warden - a great tool for managing jails
  2. Binary updates for STABLE. This is coming very soon
  3. Repository for pkgNg

In my opinion, the team is doing a great job and their rolling release is constantly bringing new features to the user. I still use FreeBSD as my home server so it is not an either/or choice.
 

adripillo

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 1
Messages: 410

#24
I will talk here this time, I have installed FreeBSD, PC-BSD and GhostBSD so many times that I lost the count. Forget GhostBSD, it will give you problems. FreeBSD and PC-BSD has more forum support.

PC-BSD is awesome, it install very nice and simple and also install your video card driver if you have one, it search and download updates and fixes all the time and install programs with no problem. Only bad thing I found that is heavy to use, I mean run some slow with effects and you can not use ports because you risk all the system, so you need to use the AppCafe to install programs.

Now FreeBSD, this after many many tries and get very crazy to some people here in forum, became my fav one. IT IS REALLY AWESOME, just takes some hours (maybe 1 or 2) to full install with desktop (Kde or Gnome), and graphic video card plus it can run as a server at same time. Is a very very fast system and also can play any free game and I know it because I do. I play Urban Terror, Savage 2, America's Army and some more and it runs awesome. Gaming, Desktop and Server in same CPU.

But if you going to start BSD family I recommend you to use PC-BSD.
 

bsdguy

New Member


Messages: 1

#25
I've tried GhostBSD and it wasn't bad at all. But the bad thing is that you can't connect to a WiFi network on your laptop. If you have a desktop that's fine. And also GhostBSD doesn't have a lot of support. So I recommend you stick with FreeBSD with a desktop environment or install PC-BSD if you don't know how to install a desktop environment. (PC-BSD comes with a built in, pre-installed KDE desktop environment.)
 
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