Installing a Unix-like Desktop Operating System ‘PC-BSD 10.1.1’ with Screenshots

PC-BSD is a open source Unix-like desktop operating system created upon the most recent release version of FreeBSD. PC-BSD purpose is to make the experience of FreeBSD easy and obtainable for the regular computer user by providing KDE, XFCE, LXDE and Mate as the graphical user interface. By default PC-BSD comes with KDE Plasma as its default desktop environment, but you can have the option to select your choice of desktop environment during installation.

PS-BSD comes with per-built support for Wine (running Windows software’s), nVidia and Inter drivers for hardware acceleration and also an optional 3D desktop interface via Kwin (KDE X Window Manager) and also it has it own package management model that enables users to install software packages offline or online from PC-BSD repository, which is different and unique for BSD operating systems.

Recently, PC-BSD project has announced the availability of PC-BSD 10.1.1. This new release comes with number of new improved features, better GPT support and number of desktop utilities have been ported to Qt 5.

This article describes the basic instructions on installing PC-BSD 10.1.1 using the graphical installer using DVD / USB method.

Installation of PC-BSD 10.1.1

1. First go the official PC-BSD site and download PC-BSD Desktop installer for your system architecture, the installer media comes in DVD/USB or OVA (VirtualBox / VMWare) format. So, select and download installer image as per your choice and proceed further for the installation.

If you’re planning to install on VirtualBox / VMWare as virtual machine, you need to download OVA images and boot your VirtualBox / VMWare application with PC-BSD Desktop installer to proceed installation.

If you’re planning to install PC-BSD Desktop on the physical system, you need to follow DVD/USB installation method as suggested in this article.

2. After downloading PC-BSD installer image, create a bootable DVD using any third party bootable software or if you’re using USB stick for this installation, you can create bootable USB stick by using Unetbootin LiveUSB Creator.

3. After making bootable DVD / USB media, insert the PC-BSD Desktop installer and boot the system using DVD or USB and make sure to set boot priority as DVD or USB in BIOS. After successful boot, you will greeted with with boot screen.

Here you will get choice to choose either the graphical or the text based installation within 15 seconds counter. If nothing selected, it will load graphical installer as by default. Here we’re using graphical installation, so choose “Graphical Install“.

PC BSD Boot Screen
PC BSD Boot Screen

4. The first initial screen show the default language as English, you can use drop-down menu to set the desired language for your installation and click next to continue.

Select PC BSD Language
Select PC BSD Language

Before moving further, make sure to check whether system hardware’s are recognized by Installer like video driver, sound driver, screen resolution or Ethernet device. Here I can see all my system hardware’s are detected properly except WiFi connection…

Check System Hardware
Check System Hardware

If you’ve DHCP server in place, you will see a system automatically sets a IP address from DHCP server, you can also assign a static IP address if you have on after installation.

Check System IP Address
Check System IP Address

Once everything seems perfect, you can click Next to Start the installation.

Start PC BSD Installation
Start PC BSD Installation

5. On the next “System Selection” screen, it allows you to select the type of installation you want. Here we will going to select “Desktop (PC-BSD)” installation, if you are planning to install this operating system as “Server” as command-line way, refer to the Server Installation Guide.

The default “Desktop (PC-BSD)” installation will only install KDE desktop environment, if you wish to have multiple desktop environments, you can choose “Customize” button and select packages.

System Selection
System Selection

6. In this “System Package Configuration” window, you will see a list of packages to be selected for installation. Select all available desktop environments, editors, Emulators, click on “Save” to make changes.

System Package Configuration
System Package Configuration

7. After making your selections, the “PC-BSD Package Selection” window will present you with the list of components that you’ve selected for this installation. You can now click the “Next” button to move to the next screen.

List of Selected Packages
List of Selected Packages

8. The “Disk Selection” window, presents the default disk configuration. If you are planning to install PC-BSD as the only operating system on your machine, you can simply click on “Next” to begin installation process or else you can click on “Customize” to create your own custom layout for your disk. But, here I am going with default selection by simply pressing “Yes” button to start installation…

Disk Selection
Disk Selection
PC BSD Installer Confirmation
PC BSD Installer Confirmation

9. Once you select “Yes“, the installation starts its process with a progress bar and messages so that you can keep the eye on the installation’s progress. The installation process will take 15 to 30 minutes time as per your package selection and speed of your hardware

PC BSD Installation Process
PC BSD Installation Process

10. Once the installation process complete, it will prompt you to save the installation configuration to a USD media. Click the “Finish” button to reboot the system and remove the installation media from the system.

PC BSD Installation Complete
PC BSD Installation Complete

11. After rebooting, on the desktop prompt, it will ask you to set your system screen resolution, if the default screen resolution is perfect for your system, click on ‘Yes‘ or else select ‘No‘ to configure screen resolution.

Set Screen Resolution
Set Screen Resolution

12. Now, here you need to set the default language for your desktop environment and follow the post installation setup after setting language.

Set Desktop Language
Set Desktop Language

13. On the next screen, set the Timezone as per your location and set the system hostname, Click “Next” to choose a root password.

Set System Timezone
Set System Timezone

14. Next, set your system root password and create a new user account for the system.

Set Root Password
Set Root Password
Create User Account
Create User Account

15. Setup is now complete, Click on Finish to complete the Post Installation steps.

Post Installation Complete
Post Installation Complete

16. After post installation process completes, you will able to select your choice of desktop environment from the login screen to login into the selected desktop environment.

Select Desktop Environment
Select Desktop Environment
Available Desktop Environments
Available Desktop Environments
PC BSD Desktop Screen
PC BSD Desktop Screen
PC BSD Control Panel
PC BSD Control Panel

That’s it! we’ve successfully installed PC-BSD with multiple desktop environments.

Conclusion

In Unix-like operating system, it’s very rare to see a good mint look like desktop environment, PC-BSD have fulfilled our need for Unix based desktop environment under open source license. PC-BSD comes with lots of packages which can be installed offline and online from PC-BSD repository. If you’ve any issues about setup, feel free to leave your comments using our comment box below.

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3 thoughts on “Installing a Unix-like Desktop Operating System ‘PC-BSD 10.1.1’ with Screenshots”

  1. I want to dual boot PC BSD with Ubuntu 14.04. Both are loaded by GRUB. Could you tell me:
    1. Is it possible or desirable to have separate partitions for boot, root, home, swap as I have done with Ubuntu 14.04. As PC BSD installs itself on a primary partition, is it necessary to have 3 primary partitions for boot, root and home and 4th for swap, which will consume all the partitions in a conventional system. In UEFI system, perhaps you can have many more partitions. Can you elucidate please. I am not a IT person. Whatever I know, I have picked up from the net ie my knowledge is not deep about computers.

    Reply

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