Saturday, November 04, 2006

TrueBSD review

I heard yesterday of a new FreeBSD based Operating system called TrueBSD, after having a look around the website I decided to download the iso and have a look.
I was really impressed with this little system, especially as it was the first stable release. TrueBSD is a LiveCD OS, based on FreeBSD. There are many handy applications on it, and a very nicely configured xfce4 window manager (although there are others available). The system felt light and easy to use. There was no effort involved in having a play around. Especially after reading the TrueBSD Handbook.

When you first boot the system you will see the familiar FreeBSD styled boot menu, and boot messages. After logging in with the username root and a blank password you end up with a lovely green prompt, and instructions on where to find the handbook, and a configure command.
From reading the Handbook before downloading the system I knew that by using the following commands I could quickly configure and run the X-server, which is where I wanted to have a look around;

# /sysutils/xconf
# startx
I was introduced to a lovely xfce4 system, with a really professional look. I was Really impressed with the fact that the screen resolution preferences were open, ready for me to use. I loved being able to adjust this setting without having to spend 10 Minutes searching for it's location, all the while squinting my eyes at the screen.

After having a look at a few of the applications available I wanted to use an Internet based tool, only to discover that I didn't have Internet access. I decided to give the `trueconf' tool a spin. So I opened a terminal and typed in:
# /sysutils/trueconf
an easy to understand and use menu opened and I chose my selection from it, and it configured my network perfectly.

I was shocked at some of the applications, as they seemed to big to run from a CD yet I had no problems at all. In fact everything that I opened ran very smoothly and quickly, especially considering that this is a LiveCD.

You can also run TrueBSD from a hard-disk there is the option to install the system. I like this it means that if I wanted a FreeBSD based system running on my system with heaps of preconfigured software than it would not be a hassle.

I was a little disappointed that there was more than one of some types of programs, I very much live by the philosophy; 'one piece of software for one job'. Yet I understand that often this can keep many more people happy.

Overall though this is a friendly and easy to use system, I liked it and will most certainly keeping my eye on this project. If you would like to have a look around TrueBSD I would suggest having a quick read of the TrueBSD Handbook (It is only short) and then downloading and trying TrueBSD for yourself.
Have Fun!