PC-BSD 10.1.2
[64bit DVD]

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PC-BSD® is a user friendly desktop Operating System based on FreeBSD, a free Unix-like operating system descended from Research Unix via Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD).  It is safe to say that a good portion of the Internet we know today grew into existence running on FreeBSD. PC-BSD makes the FreeBSD experience easy and achievable for the average "casual" computer user.

PC-BSD 10.1.2 Notable Changes:

  •  New PersonaCrypt Utility
    • Allows moving all of users $HOME directory to an encrypted USB Drive. This drive can be connected at login, and used across different systems
    • Stealth Mode — Allows login to a blank $HOME directory, which is encrypted with a one-time GELI key. This $HOME directory is then discarded at logout, or rendered unreadable after a reboot
  • Tor mode — Switch firewall to running transparent proxy, blocking all traffic except what is routed through Tor.
  • Migrated to IPFW firewall for enabling VIMAGE in 10.2
  • Added sound configuration via the first boot utility
  • Support for encrypted iSCSI backups via Life-Preserver, including support for bare-metal restores via installer media
  • New HTML handbook, updated via normal package updates
  • Media Center support allowing direct login to Kodi and PlexHomeTheater for the 10ft user experience
  • Switch to new AppCafe interface, with remote support via web-browser
  • Improvements to Online Updater, along with GRUB nested menus for Boot-Environments
  • Migrate all ports to using LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL
  • Switch from NTPD to OpenNTPD
  • Lumina desktop 0.8.4
  • Chromium 42.0.2311.135
  • Firefox 38.0
  • NVIDIA Driver 346.47
  • Pkg 1.5.2

www.On-Disk.com took PC-BSD® 10 for a test drive, and was impressed!

www.On-Disk.com has a long history with FreeBSD.  Our original website ran on a FreeBSD server in our basement.  The custom disc burning software we use ran on what we called "the burn monsters", full height towers running FreeBSD with six optical drives capable of burning different optical media, from different sources, at the same time.  I even used FreeBSD as my desktop development box.

As time went on and I began creating specialty USB Flash Drives everything was eventually moved over to custom Linux setups which were required for the new drives.  Eventually my Linux expertise far outgrew my BSD experience and I haven't seriously considered a FreeBSD desktop system for quite some time...until now. 

I found the PC-BSD installer to be really nice.  I especially like the hardware compatibility check and network setup options available by clicking on the icons at the bottom of the install screen.  Others include an on-screen keyboard, a help display for the various screens, localization selection, and an emergency shell which nobody is really ever going to use but is included as a throwback from the FreeBSD installer.

There is also an option to load a configuration file from a USB Flash Drive, which is an excellent option if you are going to install PC-BSD on several machines and want them to all be the same without needing to go through an elaborate customization on each computer.  After going through the initial setup, you have the option to save the setup configuration to USB so you can use it for other installations.

PC-BSD uses the ZFS file system.  ZFS is a combined file system and logical volume manager designed by Sun Microsystems that is incredibly reliable while supporting high storage capacities, and a lot of other cool stuff. Read more on wikipedia. ZFS is at least on par with EXT4 and Btrfs as far as desktop performance is concerned.

One really nice feature of the Setup process is the ability to select additional, or alternate, desktops and software to install with using a nice graphical point-and-click interface.  This, along with the ability to easily clone installs, makes the PC-BSD installer my personal favorite for a purely desktop installation, with Oracle's Unbreakable Linux installer still taking first place among desktop/server or plain server installations.

First Boot:
After the first boot you'll be asked to select an administrative root password, and be given the opportunity to setup a system user.  It was a straight forward process with no special bells or whistles, nor any hoops or land mines.

If you installed the default KDE desktop you'll find the PC-BSD handbook right there on the desktop where you would expect such a thing.  To this day I'm astounded at the number of Linux releases (and others) with user guides or handbooks that don't make them available on the desktop, but instead just set the browser opening page to their homepage...which is the first thing nearly every one changes the moment they get online.  Besides KDE, you'll also have a nice alternative Fluxbox desktop which you can select from the session option when loggin in.  Fluxbox is very light and fast, but some may find it somewhat lacking in features.

Software Management:
The BSDs have always taken a hit from Linux lovers on the software management side. While FreeBSD had a great package management system in sysinstall, and an excellent ports build system, few cared enough, or were up to the task, of learning how to use them.  PC-BSD has taken all that was spectacular about these systems, added in the new pkg management options, and squeezed out what they call the AppCafe.  It does all the normal stuff any Linux or Solaris user would expect in a package manager, and a whole lot more.

When installing applications using AppCafe, you can install applications normally, or in a jail.  The best part is that it'll even create a jail for you, or you can install into an existing jail if you've already set one up! PC-BSD even has a graphical application which greatly simplifies the creation and management of jails called "Warden". The ability to easily create jails, and to install software into them directly was a real deal-maker for me because I test a lot of crazy stuff without knowing what might go wrong...often resulting in a re-install.

If that weren't enough, AppCafe also lets you view compile build flags, find similar applications, view screenshots, and even see installable plugins by clicking on various tabs within the same window.  Instead of wondering what goes with what, or what other options might be, you'll be able to see it up front and make more informed selections without doing a lot of extra research.

And finally, you can click on the user rating stars to rate an application or the user tips button to see tips others may have left, or add your own tips about installing or using a piece of software.  This is a really nice way for the community to assist each other without resorting to dredging through online forums.

The speed, or lack of it, of AppCafe is on par with graphical yum software management apps, which is not nearly as fast as a gui running apt-get such as Ubuntu or Debian, but the extra time waiting for it to do it's thing is offset nicely by the many conveniences it brings to the table. For thosw who prefer the command line, the underlying package manager pkg can be used just like yum or apt-get.  Just type man pkg into a terminal window for details.

VirtualBox Note: I didn't experience issues when running AppCafe on the laptop install, but had problems under VirtualBox.  I solved it by changing the properties of the icon (right click on it and select properties), changing pc-su pc-softwaremanager to pc-su "xterm -e appcafe" then press the ok button.  Now when you launch AppCafe it opens with a terminal window which prevents the Qt library error, and lets you see what AppCafe is doing. I searched for others having this same problem, but because I couldn't find a single reported instance of this hiccup, I'm fairly certain this is a virtualbox issue, not PC-BSD.

The Desktop(s):
As many of you know, I like to change up my desktop quite often, so I used the package manager called AppCafe to install the MATE desktop, Xfce desktop environment, IceWM, and Lumina, a lightweight, BSD licensed, standards-compliant desktop environment based upon Qt and Fluxbox that is developed on PC-BSD.  There's also an extensive list of window managers that can be installed, some of which I've never tried before.  This is another area where BSD shines...you can use virtually every window manager or desktop environment ever created.

Each of the desktops I installed worked fine. They performed about like you'd expect under Linux. I also installed a few that aren't available, or not easily installed under linux.  I already mentioned Lumina which is a work in progress, but is fully functional. I found it to be a step above minimal, fitting into that space between minimal and bloat.  The pre-packaged Equinox Desktop Environment (EDE) is also nicely done.  This is a very light/fast desktop setup with a Windows 98ish feel to it.  And I can't run BSD without installing the original Afterstep, the desktop that sucked me away from Microsoft Windows for good back in the late 1990's.  Each desktop was carefuly packaged for PC-BSD and integrated nicely into the system.  So many times alternative desktops are neglected, but the PC-BSD crew does a great job of preparing each to fit nicely into place.

Desktop Applications:
PC-BSD has most common open source applications available.  I installed Firefox along with it's java and media plugins (flash was already installed).  Thunderbird is also available as is LibreOffice.  At this point there was just about everything I needed, but was also nicely surprised to find stable and development versions of skype were available.

PC-BSD, like all of the BDSs, relies upon a Linux compatibility layer for some things like Flash Player which Adobe inc. has never released for BSD. Because of this, web browsing isn't as snappy as on PC-BSD as it is on Linux.  Fortunately the overall speed, and rich features, of the operating system helps offset this so it's not so annoying.  Flash Player and the Linux compatibility layer come pre-installed on PC-BSD.

Everything worked as expected.  My only real disappointment was a missing Dropbox client, however spideroak is available.  Another option is running the Windows version under Wine.

I wouldn't hesitate to use PC-BSD full time on the desktop.  The features it brings to the table are truly inviting and, in my opinion, far outweigh the drawbacks.


System Requirements:
PC-BSD requires 64 bit PC, or VirtualBox setup with at least 1.5GB of memory, a 1Ghz or faster CPU, and a DVD drive.



Many items are available on a variety of media.  Below is more information about these options:

Notice: We only ship top quality Kingston USB Flash devices.

In addition to optical CD/DVDs, USB Flash Drives are very popular.  They can be used in nearly any computer built since 1999, and are very useful on newer netbooks and computers without optical drives.

There are currently two major types of USB Flash Drives we currently use.  The standard USB 2.0 drives from Kingston shown on the left, and the next generation USB 3.0 Flash Drives from Kingston shown below on the right.
Both types of drives can be used in any USB port from the early 1.1 specifications of the late 1990s through to the latest USB 3.0 specifications that came out in 2010.  The only practical difference between the two is their speed when plugged into a USB 3.0 port, which allows the Kingston USB 3.0 Drives to save and read data 5-6 times faster than the Kingston USB 2.0 Flash Drives.

The Mobility Kit, shown here on the left, consists of a small "Micro" SD Card which inserts into a small USB Flash Drive adapter, or standard SD adapter. This allows it to also be used as a standard SD Card, or USB 2.0 Flash Drive. This is a great option if you want to be able to use it in the widest variety of computers and hand-held devices, or if you just want a nearly invisible USB Flash Drive that doesn't stick out.

When ordering flash media it is strongly recommended to select either the Priority Mail or Express Mail delivery option.  Although you are allowed to select first class mail at checkout time, we will not replace any items lost in the Postal System.  In most instances undelivered orders are returned to us and we can contact the customer, let them know, and arrange re-shipment, but not always. Priority and Express Mail packages can be tracked Online so if something goes wrong we can track them down.

Flash Drives and Media Kits are ordered from Distribution on Mondays and Thursdays, with shipments generally taking three days to arrive. Please allow up to a week for these items to be processed, pre-tested, and shipped to you from www.On-Disk.com.

32 Bit, and x86 refer to Intel, and Intel Compatible, computers. These include computers using Intel, AMD, and VIA processors.

64 bit, x86_64, and AMD64 designations refer to a 64-bit extension to the existing x86 architecture. A 64 Bit Intel, or Intel Compatible, computer can run either a standard 32 bit operating system, or a 64 bit optimized version.

The performance gain from using a 64 bit operating system is virtually imperceptible in most instances. Where we could possibly notice a difference would be when the computer is under a heavy load such as when running high-end applications which may require massive system resources, or a highly over-tasked Internet Server. This is because the majority of the performance gain is due to the road the internal data travels on being twice as wide as on 32 Bit hardware, as well as newer/faster hardware that supports it. In normal computing environments, very little performance increase can be attributed to the CPUs enhanced 64 bit instruction set itself.

One remaining drawback to using a 64 bit operating system is that there are still instances where hardware support or software may not be available.

PowerPC, often abbreviated as PPC, was used by Apple's Macintosh lines from 1994 to 2006 (before Apple's transition to Intel). If you have an older Apple, or Apple Compatible, computer from this time period look for products offering PPC options.


The computer type option on software pages (not operating systems) is fairly easy to select. Just match the computer type with the operating system installed on your computer. If you are not sure if you have a 32 or 64 bit installation use one of the methods below:

  • Microsoft has a guide for Windows 2000 and newer versions: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;827218 All older versions of Windows are all 32 bit.

  • Under Linux run uname -a in a terminal window.

  • Computers without a working operating system: Pay attention to the display when the computer is turned on, it will normally show one of the designations listed above. Otherwise you may need to press whatever key it tells you to use to enter the BIOS (AKA startup options). Once in the BIOS the type of CPU should be displayed.

Basic Shipping Info:

Orders ship out twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. They are processed in the order in which they are received, not based upon the shipping option selected during checkout.

Please Remember, every item is custom made for you after you place your order. It's not like purchasing a copy of Mirosoft Windows at a retail shop where all they need to do is put it in a box and ship it to you.

We do not work weekends or holidays.  We are a small family business, with the emphasis on family.

Basic Shipping Costs:

(note: Orders of 3 or more items will be slightly more. Their actual cost is shown during checkout.)

  • USPS First-Class Mail to US addresses - $2.37US for 1 disc in basic package, $2.66 for 2 discs. Delivery for most addresses is within 4 business days. Military and outlying possessions may be longer.

  • First Class Mail International to Canada - $2.37US for 1 disc in basic package, $2.66 for 2 discs. Most orders will arrive within 7 business days, but a minimum of two weeks should be allowed for shipping.

  • First Class Mail International to anywhere else in the World - $3.60US for 1 disc in basic package, $3.85 for 2 discs. Most orders will arrive within 2 weeks, but consideration should be given to the distance, Customs and the postal service in your country.

Flash Drive Shipping:

Flash Drives,  SD Cards, and CF Cards are ordered from distribution weekly, and normally ship from www.On-Disk.com in anywhere from 1-7 days.

When ordering flash media it is strongly recommended to select either the Priority Mail or Express Mail delivery option.  Although you are allowed to select first class mail at checkout time, we will not replace any items lost in the Postal System.  In most instances undelivered orders are returned to us and we can contact the customer, let them know and arrange re-shipment, but not always. Priority and Express Mail packages can be tracked Online so if something goes wrong we can track them down.

Returns and Exchanges:

Every order placed at www.On-Disk.com is a custom made product.  We make it specifically for you after you order it.  With this in mind, once the media has been created it can not be returned, exchanged or canceled. Certain exceptions can be made depending upon the circumstances.  This is left up to the sole discretion of www.On-Disk.com

Replacement Guarantee:

If a disk or other media arrives at your location and is un-readable due to shipping damage or quality of the burn and or data load, we will replace the damaged items. If the damage is due to shipping, we may ask that you return the items to us in it's original packaging so that we can asses our shipping procedures to ensure disks arrive at their location safely. If it's not apparent that un-readable media was damaged in shipping it may be returned in any appropriate media packaging.

There is no Replacement Guarantee for free Quick Ship discs, or other free promotional or courtesy items we may periodically offer throughout the year. We simply don't have the manpower to help troubleshoot or re-send free disc products.

21-Day Limit:

You must notify us within 21 days (3 weeks) from the ship-to date if there are any problems with your order. There will be no refunds or replacements made after 21 days.

If you're not sure what the ship date is, you'll find it within your order history. Simply visit the "My Account" link at the top of this page.

Help Ordering:

If you need help ordering please contact us so that we may assist.

More Information:

If you need more information about a product please contact the product Developer.  Their homepage information will be linked to from the Developer box in the menu on the left.

In some instances items are added to our catalog per customer request.  In such instances there will be no Developer Info box showing in the menu on the left, and any product information included in the listing was found on the product developers website, which you may want to visit for updated information. These Custom Requested listings are not maintained or updated by www.On-Disk.com.

Technical Support Options:

No-cost technical advice and support is available for nearly any piece of software, including operating systems. In many instances you will also have support available locally. The key is to know these options exist, and have enough basic information to be able to find them.
Whether looking for assistance with a computer operating system, or software running on the computer, there are outstanding free options available.
The first place we can begin seeking help is Online.
Most operating system and software developers have Online forums in place specifically to assist you. These Online support forums allow you live and on-demand access to a wide range of technical guidance from industry experts. You can usually find support forums by visiting the developer's website. In some cases you can just do an internet search for the item you are needing help with, followed by the word "forum" to find relevant information. In most instances, for the products we have available, a link is provided for you under the "Support" tab on the listing page for that particular item.
The advantage of support forums is in the numbers and expertise...your situation can be viewed by many people, and only one needs to know the answer for you to find a solution. Online support forums are also followed, in most instances, by those who actually write the piece of software, or have a hand in developing the operating system. These folks are the "real-deal", not just an hourly paid employee on the other end of a phone somewhere.
Nearly every Linux, BSD, and Open Solaris distribution has a user forum to help with any problems that may come up. There are also several very good general content forums such as :http://www.linuxquestions.org and the Nixcraft Linux Tech Support Forum - great places to get help with just about every operating system other than Microsoft Windows, as well as applications that run on them. For the more technically adventurous there are forums such as The UNIX and Linux Forums and http://www.unixforum.co.uk/.
MAC users have the great MAC OSX support forum available to them, as well as the Apple Discussions, and MAC Forums.

And don't feel left out if you use Microsoft Windows, you have Online support forums at your disposal as well, but you do need to be on the lookout for forums created just to sell you antivirus or spyware solutions. The most reputable is the Microsoft Forums. For assistance with a non-microsoft product under Windows you may sometimes get better results at other locations such as the Tech Support Forums.
Another great place to get free technical support is through local user groups. Since the early days of computing groups of people have been getting together to explore all the geeky things they can do with their computers. In the past few years the number of user groups, and members of existing groups, has exploded fueled by the growing popularity of Linux and and open source software.
There are several types of computer user groups, and to find ones that meet near you. A quick internet search can help find a group near you. For instance a simple search like linux user group gives excellent results. I selected Linux User Group (also known as LUG) because from my experience a Linux user group can, and usually will, assist with just about any computer or gadget related problem you might have. LUGs normally have regular meetings which everyone is welcome to attend, as well as "Install Fests" periodically throughout the year. An install fest is an event where they will even install your Linux selection onto your computer for you, as well as give you advice on which distribution may best suit your circumstances.
Although it's great to have face to face conversations with the people who are helping you, the majority of assistance members give each other usually takes place on a mailing list, which offers real-time answers to questions. Using the mailing list for support can be a great lifeline if you happen to live some distance from the nearest group and can't attend regular meetings.

Product Licensing:

Product Licensing terms are set by the individual software developers.  Please see the Developer's homepage for complete licensing information.  Their Developer's homepage is linked to from the Developer info box in the menu on the left.

In some instances items are added to our catalog per customer request.  In such instances there will be no Developer Info box showing in the menu on the left, and any product information included in the listing was found on the product developers website, which you may want to visit for updated information. Licensing terms of all Custom Requested items appearing in our catalog allow for re-distribution under their terms which we must honor.

Disclaimer (CYA)::



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