You might have heard about FreeBSD which is ultimately derived from UNIX back in the days. It is not Linux even though it is similar in many ways because Linux was designed to follow UNIX principles. Seeing is believing, so check out the video of the install and some apps as well!
Nowadays if you want some of that BSD on your personal desktop – how to go about? Well there is a full package called TrueOS, formerly know as PC-BSD. It is based on FreeBSD with the Lumina desktop and some more changes under the hood like LibreSSL.
So let’s give it a try on my Lenovo ThinkPad T410. I have to mention that the install failed on my T430s and my X40 machines, so this was the last attempt and it did work this time. You can download the latest version 18.3 img file from trueos.org and use rufus software to burn it on a USB stick and boot from it.
On the upside:
- Free and open source FreeBSD variant ready to go
- Install works on some real hardware, but it seems that Intel GPUs are troublesome
- App-manager with free apps including DOOM!
- Very stable (no crashes except faulty video drivers during install)
- WiFi & audio work right out of the box
- ZFS comes by default if you care about advanced file systems
- Less direct driver and app support than Linux, in particular Intel video driver hang system if chosen during install and generic VESA drivers are slow and do not support full resolution
- No advanced power management, so the laptop was running hot all the time
Thanks for reading! You can check out more of this blog or my YouTube channel.