BSDs in Linuxland and Best Rolling Distros

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 08, 2015

OpenBSD and PC-BSD got the review treatment today at and, proving Linux isn't the only game in town. Several rolling distribution topics arose as well with Dedoimedo fighting Netrunner 2015.11 from destroying a laptop and Jesse Afolabi looking at the best user-friendly distributions based on Arch. Elsewhere, the Mint 17.3 screenshots sprang up faster than a boot-up screen and Curtis Franklin Jr. put together a slideshow on 10 distros perfect for gifts.

PC-BSD is the Linux Mint of free BSDs, an easy-to-use desktop system. Today Joshua Allen Holm briefs readers on the nature of free BSDs before diving in. The installer, Allen said, isn't perfect making "a good, but not great, first impression." He thought the software selection was good, but didn't really like the "roles" model of categorizing. After install, the interface is familiar and clean. The package management is tidy and attractive supporting three grades of update schedules: "Enterprise, Production, and Edge." That as well as other system configurations can be found in the PC-BSD control center and Allen thinks the PC-BSD handbook "does a good job as striking a balance between concise and thorough." PC-BSD is the place to start your adventures into free BSDs.

For something more secure but less "friendly," Jesse Smith today reviewed OpenBSD 5.8 in Distrowatch Weekly. "OpenBSD is so often trusted for security oriented tasks like running firewalls." After putting it through his tests, Smith concluded:

OpenBSD may be very secure, but I think what sets the operating system apart are its documentation and clean system design. It is so easy to find things and understand the configuration of an OpenBSD system. The file system is organized in a clean and orderly manner. In short, I was happy with OpenBSD 5.8. This feels like a solid release from the OpenBSD project and I was quite happy using it.

Back in Linuxville, rolling releases got a lot of attention today. Jesse Afolabi examined three Arch-based offerings and weighs the pros and cons. Apricity OS is a "brand new simplistic distribution that takes a different approach to what the look and feel of an Operating system should be." Old friends Manjaro and Antergos round out his article.

Dedoimedo was not impressed with Netrunner Rolling 2015.11. He had issue after issue, reproduceable. While Netrunner is a pretty distribution, everything goes "downhill" if the network connection is spotty - which it was in Netrunner for Dedoimedo. The installer was buggy as well, so not too many complements for them there. He ended up with a non-bootable install and a borked bootloader. D concluded, "Having a rolling distro is pointless if you roll into a disaster," giving it a 0 out of 10.

Bunsen Linux is a fork or offshoot of the defunct Crunchbang project, based on rolling-release Arch. "BunsenLabs Linux is based on Debian Jessie and continues to run a highly configurable Openbox window manager as the desktop environment. If you have a tendency to uninstall applications you never use in your current OS, you are a good candidate to try out this minimalistic computing platform." Jack M. Germain didn't care for the appearance of the distro, but he like the functionality. He concluded, "BunsenLabs Linux is a successful reinvention of the defunct CrunchBang Linux distro. The latest RC1 version of the 8.2 edition is a polished and functional OS."

Elsewhere, Dominique Leuenberger posted a brief on the latest from the Tumbleweed project.

In other interesting tidbits:

* Part five in the Linux desktop customisation series: MATE

* 10 Linux Distros Perfect For Holiday Gift-Giving (slideshow alert)

* 7 Great Geeky Christmas Present Ideas

* Deepin Linux Control Center in Practice

* Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon screenshots, as well as More Cinnamon, and MATE.