helloSystem Wants To Be The "macOS of BSDs" With A Polished Desktop Experience

Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 9 February 2021 at 07:41 AM EST. 80 Comments
While it was a sad blow when PC-BSD/TrueOS stopped pursuing its desktop ambitions as what was arguably the leading BSD desktop operating system out there with a nice end-user experience, since then we have seen efforts like MidnightBSD, GhostBSD, and others fill the avoid with continuing to enhance the out-of-the-box BSD desktop system. A new entrant that is quite interesting is helloSystem that aims to be a "macOS of BSDs" for a polished desktop experience.

This weekend during the virtual FOSDEM 2021 conference, which I believe was the first time I've heard of helloSystem. The helloSystem project shares similar design goals to that of macOS in being something that "just works", doesn't need much configuration, and works well out-of-the-box on the desktop. The helloSystem OS is powered by a FreeBSD base. Even the helloSystem desktop has been configured to look like an early MacOS X desktop.

The helloSystem developers aren't looking to create a "1:1 replica" of macOS but rather something that is consistent with the user experience philosophy of macOS. This just isn't working to re-package existing software but they are also creating desktop applications specifically for helloSystem, many of which are being written in PyQt.

The helloSystem project was started by Simon Peter, the developer known for starting AppImage, starting the PureDarwin project, and more.

For those wanting to learn more about helloSystem can find the project centered on GitHub. The initial helloSystem 0.1 release happened in late November while this past week saw helloSystem 0.4 ship. The helloSystem OS is currently riding FreeBSD 12.2 and continues adding more of their own original applications. ISO downloads are available here. Given their work already and Simon Peter's involvement, this looks like it will be a very interesting desktop BSD project to follow.
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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 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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