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, not a forked derivative. Since the underlying FreeBSD system has been kept intact, you have a fully functional FreeBSD system under the hood. PC-BSD is basically a pre-configured FreeBSD with a graphical installer, graphical 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, instead you can simply install 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 at least one desktop manager during installation
- PC-BSD is installed by a graphical installer rather than a text based installer
- The PC-BSD installer supports additional features such as configuring ZFS and encryption during installation
- PC-BSD provides a graphical software management system
- PC-BSD’s rc.conf and sysctl.conf have been tweaked for a desktop environment
- 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: