I installed PC-BSD today. It took about 30 minutes.
It blows my mind.
It probably won’t blow your mind if you’re used to Windows XP and Apple’s OS X. Those are operating systems where things tend to work immediately. They’re also operating systems where you can reasonably expect that when you’re done installing your OS, you’ll actually be able to do something with it.
With Linux and FreeBSD, that’s not always true.
Even with some of the better distributions of Linux, I’ve often found myself configuring X-windows late into the night. FreeBSD has at times not even had X-windows included in the initial distribution. Thus I’d end up:
1. Installing FreeBSD
2. Installing X
3. Installing a Desktop Environment (GNOME or KDE)
4. Modifying things
5. Flailing hopelessly as I tried to make standard amenities like Flash, Java, and sound work.
With PC-BSD, it went like this:
1. Install PC-BSD
2. Download and install the Nvidia display drivers, sound driver, Java, and Flash.
And they all just work.
I’m currently listening to music via Mplayer, something that I’d gotten to work previously, but I’d had massive problems getting the sound to work and no motivation to spend the time (since it working easily on my mac and on XP).
Particularly amusing for me is that I’m actually using Flash 8. I don’t think that I’ve ever before used a current version of Flash on FreeBSD. It’s almost always been Flash from the previous version (at best).
Of course, not everything is perfect. For example, I found that some video and sound get messed up, but still, it’s far better than before.