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FreeSBIE 1.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
2 22900 12-04-2004
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.0

Description: FreeSBIE is a LiveCD based on the FreeBSD Operating system, or even easier, a FreeBSD-based operating system that works directly from a CD, without touching your hard drive.

Another goal is to have no configuration.
Keywords: FreeSBIE is live CD based off FreeBSD 5.2.1

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Old 07-17-2004, 05:10 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: OpenBSD, Debian, FreeBSD
Posts: 1,450

Rep: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 7

Pros: Lots of programs for 1 CD and was extremely usable.
Cons: Fails to be completely configuration free and other minor issues.

I downloaded this iso after seeing a comment on it. I had little success with the live cd that comes with FreeBSD in the past (in all fairness that was two Major releases ago) and wondered if things had changed.

EDIT: This CD does not come with FreeBSD and is not part of the distribution of that operating system. It is a seperate project. I still have not tried the current live cd for FreeBSD.

The cd boots and runs through the process very smoothly. Although, the last two steps of the booting process are dedicated to selecting your keyboard layout and language. This is understandable -- there is no easy way to guess this from the hardware -- but not desirable in my opinion. The next snafu was that I had static ip addresses in the house. I had to follow several instructions to kill dhclient and then manually setup the network. This was not unfamiliar to me but also fell short of no-configuration.

Later, I turned my DHCP server back on and this network setup breezed right on through. Except for the keyboard, this CD almost does meet the no configuration goal on a network with DHCP. I started X and was suprized to see a colorful screen with many applications to choose from. This distro used xfce -- which just happens to be my window manager of choice -- so I was very at home.

Sound was setup and in no time at all I was streaming some Grateful Dead into xmms and surfing the web. Everything worked wonderfully.

Some other minor issues. Apparently the iso had all the menus in Italian... I might have downloaded the wrong image but that was the only one on the main site. The menus aren't something I even looked at until many hours of playing around. I never got my usb printer (Lexmark) to work with cups. First, the online configuration tool doesn't like blank passwords... and even after I fixed that the program still rejected my input. After much trying I discovered that I didn't even have the correct .ppd file and gave up. It wasn't important just trying out the limits of the disk.

Overall I was very pleasantly suprized. I have found a new tool to show the power of *nix to all my friends who don't want to try it for fear of breaking windows. But this is more than something you use just to show the possibilities... it was very usable in and of itself. If you can't install *nix on a computer but you want to use it... this is a good option. I hope that those few issues are fixed in a future release.

I would also like to note: Users of FreeBSD can create a custom release and avoid all the pitfalls I mentioned -- it's in the ports tree. Although rolling-your-own is beyond the scope of this review nor would it be available to those who would benefit most from this distro.
Old 12-04-2004, 06:49 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2004
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9


I'm not much of a haxor so my review won't be all that technical.

I've used a few live cds before, but they were always linux distros. Having ever successfully installed bsd, I haven't been able to try it. Now that I can run freesbie, I've found it to be quite nifty, as live cds often are.

When I run a live cd I look for pretty basic stuff - web broweser, web connectivity (the linux 2.4 kernel never had the adequate drivers to get me connected on my Dell Laptop), an IM client, and IRC client, office sute and games (having games is always a plus, but when there are no games on a live cd, it's understandable, and I never let a lack of games count against a live cd).

I found that, upon booting, I was connected to the web (through broadband) firefox browser, gaim, xchat, openoffice, and plenty of other fun stuff. No games though.

This was also my first time trying XFCE. I have used fluxbox before, and I liked it, but i was interested to try xfce. I like it, personally.

So, I give this live cd a good review, because it's got everything I look for in a live cd, plus the (generally, afaik) good reputation of a BSD base system.


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