FreeBSD 7.2 Released – And Reviewed [Updated]

Hello folks!

Right, so I decided, I’d do a review as one of my first posts, as FreeBSD 7.2 was released today.

General Release Information

The main changes in this release are:

  • Support for fully transparent use of superpages for application memory
  • Support for multiple IPv4 and IPv6 addresses for jails
  • Csup(1) now supports CVSMode to fetch a complete CVS repository
  • Gnome updated to 2.26, KDE updated to 4.2.2
  • Sparc64 now supports UltraSparc-III processors

You can see full announcement Here.

What I’ll be reviewing..

  • Installation
  • General usability
  • Package management
  • Gnome 2.26
  • KDE 4.2.2

So really, it’ll be more like a review of just 7.x in general. I’m keeping this review simple, as I’m better with Linux than BSD and rarely use BSD. But don’t worry, that will not affect my review. If you feel I’m being unfair to BSD and not giving it an honest review, drop me a comment about that. and I may or may not re-review FreeBSD. I do not have a Sparc Machine avaliable so I cannot test the new sparc bits, I will be reviewing i386.

The review
Ok! It’s almost 7AM Here in the UK. Just downed the ISO, and extracted it from a .gz. Time to install :).

So starting out, put the disk in it loads. Great 🙂 But Will it installed? Yes it will 🙂

I do like the installer, it’s clean it’s simple, and it works. I selected the standard installer. So far it’s working great, the graphics mess up a little bit at points, but nothing too serious.

Although it is not as fast as some other installers I have used on Linux (Arch for example), it is a great little installer. You get your standard options such as selecting packages, and most other things you’ll ever need. 🙂 So really there isn’t much to say about an installer, but what I can say is, it’s so far so good 🙂

It’s now installed, up and running. I’ve on purpose “forgot” to install gnome or KDE. So I’ve logged in as root, checked net connectivity (by pinging google). Alls seems good 🙂

Now For package management. So I just ran “pkg_add -r gnome” It failed, cannot find package gnome. So tried “pkg_add -r kde” that one seems to be working. Not quite sure why gnome did not work. I will try again later.

Package Management is quite simple, and it’s “Just working” no if’s or buts, no Are you sure’s or anything like that, nope it just goes off and does it. Which is great! That’s what I like.

However, when installing packages it gives you a lot of Notes and other bits and pieces, which is ok if your sitting by your machine, but if you sod off to go grab a cup of coffee or a beer. Your going to miss those notices, like I am right now by writing this instead of watching it, the problem is, (Correct me if I’m wrong) you cannot scroll up in CLI. so if you miss a message, it’s long gone.  Which is not particularly handy. Where as if I were to be using RHEL with yum, it would leave any notes at the bottom. so it’s the last message it gives you before “Complete”.

I’m not particularly a fan of KDE, as recently with the 4.x series they have been doing poorly. I’ve yet to fully check out 4.2.x so hopefully if this FreeBSD finishes the packages and installs them properly I’ll also get to tinker with KDE 4.2 a bit more. As so I’ve heard 4.2 was supposed to fix a whole array of bugs, but whether or not that is true, is a whole different story. But I’ve also spoke to someone who says it’s not good, so either way I’ll be able to find out today what the real deal is.

Back to the pkg_add, it seems to have frozen on me, due to I think my net flicked on and off, and now, it just froze, so I’ve had to reset it, and is now starting all over again 🙂 Not good. Should be able to resume a failed download or retry, not completely lock up.

Also, It’s now almost 9AM, this has been installing KDE, since around 7:30AM. This package manager sure does take it’s time.

Ok KDE Is installed! 09:22AM 😮

Now that took some time 🙂 It took so long, I’ve now found my self with music going (Bruce Dickinson), and playing Burnout Paradise on PS3 (Offline) xD. I forgot to install xorg. So now installing that. This may take some time 🙂

My rating on speed of the package manager? 5 out of 10. It’s ok, it’s not the best I’ve seen, but it’s not the worst I’ve seen. Improvement to it would be able to reset a download if it failed, ability to tell me how many it’s going to download, and how many it is downloading and the speed it is downloading at, also try to speed it up a bit. So developers, if your reading this, note that down 😀 Bare in mind, I am on a very fast download speed, so generally downloading should not be slow for me.

Ok, so KDE is up and running with Startx. But Seems to have installed as 3.5?!

And as well as that, it’s completely locked up. After a reset button, it now locks up with the Desktop. Looks Great! But no keyboard or mouse input.

But I’m afraid I’ve ran out of time with this one, it’s now 10:18am. So I’ve now powered off the BSD Box.

Ok, So I’ve re-installed, this time with all the GUI’s and bits and bob’s as last time, I’m pretty sure was a bad install. Either that, or I simply broke it after install :p I apologize to anyone who was put off due to the mess up yesterday, if you was, please continue reading this updated section.

Hopefully this time, I’ll be more successful at reviewing those last two parts. Which would be Gnome (Which I skipped last time) and a bit more on KDE.

I will also update the score below.

Ok, so now I’m booted up logged in on Gnome with FreeBSD. This thing is using a whopping……….. 64.7MB of Ram….. Wow not bad considering it’s got a GUI and all that going. Nice job 🙂

Gnome on FreeBSD is pretty basic really, kind of what you want you know? Instead of being bloated with tons of other things, it’s just what it is. Although it would be cool to have The Devil FreeBSD Logo as a background.

I just spotted something I’ve never even seen before, called “Network Tools” I’m surprised I’ve never come across this before seems to be a nice little utility.

Also, they seem to have picked a perfect version of Gnome. 🙂 Thumbs up from me with Gnome.

Onto KDE (Again)

Last time I messed up by running the command wrongly, instead of installing KDE 4.2.2 I installed 3.5.x – xD.

But For some strange reason, every time I try to run KDE… it locks up 😦 But for this reason, I cannot use it. Looks pretty cool.. But it doesn’t exactly do much. I’m giving KDE a total fail on this one, as I just simply cannot get it to work.

Overview & Final Result [Updated]

Overall, I like this FreeBSD, it’s nice, it’s simple, and it works. Some bits can take long, and others just completely lock up if not properly configured.

Due to a few hiccups with this release, It can’t get a perfect 10. However. It can get a…

Ok, after some re-testing, I’m knocking the score up by one. I was going to give it a 9. But due to KDE Completely locking up on me and not working at all. I can only give it an 8. Sorry folks, But I cannot give something which just simply does not work points.


I will try to update this review soon, and try to check out the gnome. but in the mean time, I will have to leave this review as is.


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