PC-BSD 9.2 Beta 2 is available for testing and I just installed it. This is probably the best desktop OS that is not Windows, Mac, or Linux.
The installer was already a nice easy GUI, so I didn’t expect many changes and it is still nice and easy to use, and just works.
The installer does present new features about PC-BSD 9.2, in that you can choose from a list of Desktop Managers. Before KDE was it during install and if you wanted something else, you could change it later, but now you have a nice list of GNOME, KDE, and others.
I chose KDE because I usually use KDE or Fluxbox and when I have plenty of system power, I go with KDE and this system is on a beefy VM.
I did miss seeing Firefox as an installable application during install? Not a big deal, as I will install it later…but I was used to it being there.
The install went flawlessly.
Setting up the Video Card still is a screen. It would be best to have it just work and not even have the screen at all. But it still prompts me and I still have to do it. I would like it to detect that I am on VMWare and just install the VMWare video driver for me or if I am on hardware, just install the driver I need.
There is a nice “tip” screen post login.
Branding is very important! AppCafe is probably one of the first times I have ever seen PC-BSD really do something that I consider a good brand. I have an opinion that the PC-BSD, which is 5 letters where you just say the letters name like an acronym, is a horrible brand and should be changed as soon as possible. However, AppCafe is great. It goes with the whole App Store idea that is trendy currently. Good move!
I quickly found Firefox and Chrome in the AppCafe. The search feature is great, otherwise they were under the “Web” group. I was curious as to why Firefox was still version 4.0.1 as Firefox is on 6.x now. The one downside is that I would really like Firefox to load a lot faster.
Flash…Yes, it works with a beta note: In previous versions, flash has worked perfectly, and it will in the next release too. However, turns out that this beta has a bug where you have to run a command to enable flash…oops. That is why we have betas. Expect this to work in the final release as Flash has worked out of the box now for multiple releases.
For KDE, After installation, App icons are placed in a desktop folder, that is a transparent box on the screen, giving the system a sense of “flashiness”.
A lot of the default Apps that were installed, such as K3B, a DVD/CD burning software, and a video player and music player are all there.
I am probably going to install a GNOME only version as well and give it a look.