My 10 Minute Experience With PC-BSD 10.0
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 28 January 2014 at 04:10 PM EST. 13 Comments
With FreeBSD 10.0 having been released and the final release of the PC-BSD 10.0 coming this week, I decided to try out the PC-BSD 10.0-RC5 ahead of the final release. While I intended to run some benchmarks of FreeBSD/PC-BSD 10.0 against its predecessor and compared to Linux distributions, this initial PC-BSD 10.0 encounter was cut short after about ten minutes.

FreeBSD 10 has many exciting features and improvements that have been talked about for months and I've been quite anxious to try out the updated BSD operating system from which PC-BSD 10.0 is closely derived. I had tried testing an earlier PC-BSD 10.0 development release a couple months back, but that was held up by the USB mouse not working on the test system at the time. In my most recent PC-BSD 10.0 attempt today, the USB mouse worked! But I was stopped by another issue.

PC-BSD 10.0 ships as a hybrid ISO so it can be either burned to a CD or copied to a USB drive. DD'ing the PC-BSD 10.0 RC5 image to a Corsair Flash Voyager worked great and it booted fine on an Intel Core i5 "Haswell" system with SanDisk SSD, 8GB of DDR3 memory, and HD Graphics 4600 without any problems. The installer immediately appeared and it was off to another usual PC-BSD install experience... One of my reasons for liking to run tests from PC-BSD is that it's desktop-friendly, a straightforward graphical installer that takes not much time, and all around feels more polished when running the desktop and saves precious time for running benchmarks.

PC-BSD 10.0 installed and the reboot happened... FreeBSD/PC-BSD still doesn't have any nice graphical boot screen like Plymouth on Linux or even the old RHGB. The boot process is also still very slow compared to most Linux distributions on the same Intel Core i5 Haswell hardware.

Now came time to the first-boot configuration to setup user accounts, etc. Easy as always with PC-BSD.

After the last step of creating the user account, the display lost its signal and within some seconds this Intel system simply turned off. When turning it back on, it's back to the first-boot setup that was already completed, and then again the system ends up turning itself off. This Haswell system doesn't want to run PC-BSD 10 it seems. Unfortunately it's not easy to VT switch from the setup screen to better diagnose the problem since KMS drivers currently break the console in FreeBSD. Only a few minutes were spent with this issue before abandoning this and moving onward to other open-source benchmarking and hardware reviews.

Once PC-BSD 10.0 is officially released I will try out the latest version to see if it goes better otherwise will try to run some PC-BSD 10.0 vs. Linux benchmarks on some other systems.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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