PC-BSD 10.3 Is Looking Great, Plus Trying The Linux Compatibility Layer

Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 6 April 2016 at 12:20 PM EDT. 6 Comments
Following this week's release of FreeBSD 10.3 has been the releases of the deskop-friendly PC-BSD 10.3 operating system along with PC-BSD's server-focused TrueOS 10.3 release. I've fired up PC-BSD 10.3 for some benchmarking and so far the experience has been going great.

Using an MSI C236A Workstation motherboard with Intel Xeon E3 "Skylake" processor, first off I was happy FreeBSD/PC-BSD 10.3 was playing nicely with this latest-generation system. In particular, the UEFI support was also working fine with PC-BSD 10.3 on this system.

Also of fun was that the GeForce GTX 960 graphics card in this system was working out fine with the proprietary FreeBSD driver and properly mode-set to 4K! No hardware issues on this modern system with PC-BSD 10.3. KDE remains the default desktop environment but the Lumina desktop seems to be coming along quite nicely as well as the PC-BSD's original desktop effort.

The rest of the FreeBSD/PC-BSD 10.3 experience so far has been going well... The only caveat to that is the Linux binary compatibility layer. While their Linux compatibility layer is supposed to be much improved in FreeBSD 10.3 and even have 64-bit support, I haven't been having much luck so far with either 32-bit or 64-bit common Linux binaries for running some Linux gaming tests between PC-BSD and Linux (similar to several years ago with FreeBSD: A Faster Platform For Linux Gaming Than Linux?). Even when installing the relevant CL6 packages to meet the dependencies, getting still presented by segmentation faults and other issues. Unfortunately unless some Phoronix readers step up and have some ideas or are able to offer some support (e.g. PayPal tips) so I can devote more time to getting it working and running said benchmarks, I'm going to have to cut my losses and move on from that idea of running some fresh FreeBSD 10.3 vs. Linux OpenGL gaming tests. Just doesn't seem to be working as nicely/easily as from a few years ago. At the very least though I'll run some other open-source benchmarks soon of PC-BSD 10.3 vs. Linux distributions.

More details on PC-BSD 10.3 here.
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Michael Larabel

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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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