GhostBSD: A FreeBSD desktop that uses GNOME

Hey all,

I was recently made aware of a new distribution of FreeBSD called GhostBSD. One of the focuses of GhostBSD is to provide a FreeBSD-based desktop that uses GNOME.

I’ll be honest, I like KDE over GNOME and probably always will, but my opinion is not your opinion, and I have heard plenty of opinions amongst FreeBSD users that GNOME is preferred by them. So this is going to be a good thing for those of you who prefer GNOME.

They have released their first amd64 version, which I downloaded and installed to my VMWare environment. Here is a screen shot.

See larger image.

I was pleased to find that it was a Live CD, as well, until I realized that it was a Live CD only. There are such a large number of people who have asked about a FreeBSD distro that focus on the desktop using GNOME, that I was actually disappointed to find out that it does not install to the hard drive. However, if this distribution becomes popular, I am sure that the distribution could eventually include an installer.

It downloads and fits on one CD (not DVD) and so the download was rather quick for me.

I installed to my VMWare environment, however, the keyboard didn’t work. Maybe the i386 version would work. It might be worth detecting why this didn’t work and submitting a bug to GhostBSD. It would also be cool if they provided a version that had vmware-tools installed. I am not sure if I could install vmware-tools to a Live CD and if I did, it would probably only be installed until I rebooted.

Great work GhostBSD team. As FreeSBIE is discontinued according to Distrowatch, I will definitely replace my Live CD version of FreeBSD and GhostBSD may be an excellent option.


  1. AnilG says:

    Yeah, I'm keen to try out GhostBSD too and I like their choice of default search engine

    I did try to install on a USB which is how I want to use it. My hardware is OLD so I had to use Plop boot manager on a CD. Things jammed up and I didn't get started.

    I'll try again in due course. Possibly on different hardware. I think I may have just got the boot manager wrong.

  2. Johninlex says:


    Thanks for the great review. Just to let you know we are working on a GUI installer of sysinstall. As of GhostBSD 1.5 it has been installable VIA a command line, which was one of the improvements to 1.5. You should really check out the 2.0 and let us know what you think about it.

    FYI 2.0 right is only a live cd/dvd.

    GhostBSD Team Member

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