PC-BSD has moderate hardware requirements and commonly uses less resources than its commercial counterparts. Before installing PC-BSD on your computer, make sure you meet the minimum requirements.
Minimum System Requirements
At a bare minimum, you need to have the following computer hardware in order to install PC-BSD:
- Pentium II or higher
- 512 MB RAM
- 10GB of free hard drive space
- Network card
- Sound card
Recommended System requirements
The following are the minimum recommended requirements. The faster your computer hardware, the better your computing experience:
- Pentium 4 or higher
- 1024 MB of RAM
- 20GB of free hard drive space (if you will be installing KDE, GNOME, or lots of software)
- Network card
- Sound card
- NVIDIA 3D accelerated video card
You can never have too much RAM, so install as much as you can afford. To play modern video games, you should use a fast CPU. If you want to create a collection of tunes and movies on your computer, you will want a large hard disk drive which can be internal or external.
PC-BSD should install on any system containing a 32-bit (also called i386) or 64-bit (also called amd64) processor. Despite the amd64 name, a 64-bit processor does not need to be manufactured by AMD in order to be supported. The FreeBSD Hardware Notes list the i386 and amd64 processors known to work.
At this time, NVIDIA cards are fully supported. As of 9.1, Intel cards are also well supported.
Until FreeBSD finishes its TTM work, ATI/Radeon cards will be poorly supported. If you have one of these cards, you will need to choose the 2D version of the driver, and if that does not work, you will need to resort to using the Vesa driver.
While most hardware "just works" with PC-BSD, it is possible that you'll run across a piece of hardware that does not. If you do, you can help improve hardware support for all PC-BSD users by reporting the problem so that it can be addressed by the developers. It should be remembered that PC-BSD is really FreeBSD, meaning that any hardware that works on FreeBSD will work on PC-BSD.
If you wish to check your hardware before installing PC-BSD, a good place to start is the FreeBSD 9.0 Hardware Notes. Another good resource is to run PC-BSD in Live Mode; that way you can test your various devices before committing to an install.
If you are experiencing problems with a device, start with a web search for the term "FreeBSD" plus the type and model of the hardware. This will let you know if there is a known issue with the device. If there are many search results, concentrate on the most recent ones as often hardware that used to be problematic has since been fixed or the missing driver will be available in an upcoming release of FreeBSD.
Currently there are some known issues with wireless devices and the developers that are fixing these problems are looking for testers. More information is available on the Wireless Testing page.
If your KVM switch does not allow switching between systems, enabling ACPI may correct the problem.
If you experience problems with a device that should work but does not or you can not find any existing problem reports for your hardware, please take a few moments to report the problem. Instructions on where to send your report and suggestions for what information should be included in your report can be found on the Become a Beta Tester page.