FreeBSD 12 as an alternative to the Linux desktop

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© Photo by Ian Parker on Unsplash

© Photo by Ian Parker on Unsplash

Article from Issue 223/2019
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FreeBSD is a reliable and highly secure server operating system. We look at how FreeBSD fares as a desktop system.

FreeBSD has been around since 1993 and enjoys an excellent reputation, especially in the server sector. The system is based on the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a Unix-style operating system whose origins go back to 1977. Numerous BSD variants, such as TrueOS (the former PC-BSD), Dragonfly BSD, or GhostBSD, make the scene just as confusing as the Linux world.

With the exception of TrueOS and GhostBSD, BSD derivatives don't focus on the desktop but on servers, storage appliances, routers, and firewalls. However, mainline BSD variants like FreeBSD have extensive software repositories with plenty of desktop tools if you're ready to look for them. We decided to explore the possibility of setting up a desktop system on FreeBSD.

Installation

FreeBSD is available as an ISO image for various computer architectures. Whether you are using a traditional Intel computer, a Raspberry Pi, a PowerPC system, or a Sparc workstation, you'll find a version of FreeBSD for your hardware at the project site [1].

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