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Welcome to PC-BSD and many thanks for your interest.

Early in 2005, Kris Moore, the founder of PC-BSD, presented the first beta version of PC-BSD, an easy-to-use FreeBSD-based operating system pre-configured for desktop use. Since then, PC-BSD has matured into a polished, feature-rich, free-of-charge, open source operating system that anyone can use, from the beginner to the advanced user alike.

PC-BSD is essentially a customized installation of FreeBSD, and not a forked-derivative. PC-BSD is based on FreeBSD's latest STABLE-branch. Since the underlying FreeBSD system has been kept intact, you have a fully functional FreeBSD system under the hood. PC-BSD is basically FreeBSD with a nice installer, some pre-configuration, kernel tweaks, PBI package management, pre-installed packages and some handy graphical utilities to make PC-BSD suitable for desktop use. As a user of PC-BSD, you don’t have to worry about configuring your system, but rather to simply install it and start using it.

The main difference between PC-BSD and FreeBSD is that PC-BSD is geared towards desktop use, while FreeBSD has been created with server use in mind. Other differences include:

  • PC-BSD pre-configures a desktop environment during installation
  • PC-BSD is installed by a graphical installer rather than a text based installer
  • PC-BSD installs a number of pre-installed applications
  • PC-BSD uses the unique PBI (Push Button Installer) package system and also supports FreeBSD's packages and ports systems
  • PC-BSD’s kernel has been recompiled with some configuration tweaks to better suit it for desktop use
  • PC-BSD comes pre-configured with a number of automatic scripts to perform tasks such as connecting digital cameras or USB memory sticks

PC-BSD started off as an independent project, but since October, 2006 PC-BSD is (financially) backed and supported by the enterprise-class hardware solutions provider iXsystems.

The rest of this section discusses:

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