Please Let Me Know When You Have A Live CD With GUI

Polytropon freebsd at
Tue Apr 8 05:14:11 UTC 2014

On Mon, 7 Apr 2014 21:17:26 -0700 (PDT), Mel Thompson wrote:
> Dear FreeBSD:
> I'm a decades-long Mac user who is eternally grateful for
> your providing the basic world-structure for my favorite OS.
> Of course, I'd rather just go around MAC and use FreeBSD most
> of the time. I started doing computer jobs, computer testing,
> and computer experimentation, part-time, way back since Fortran
> punch cards and BASIC and Database III, in the 1980s. Heck, I
> even remember using a Wang Terminal with timeshare systems.

So you have sufficient _basic_ knowledge and the ability
to read and to learn. This will set you above many of
our today's "modern experts". :-)

Sounds familiar? :-)

> I was a distro-freak who would wipe my hard drive clean ten
> times a night and try ten different distros, going to bed at
> dawn, loving all those experiments, everything from Damn Small
> Linux to massively-bloated versions of Debian. And, although I
> vowed not to, I spent years fiddling with line-commands in
> virtual terminals. Sometimes, at jobs, there were literally
> rows of printers, CPUs and monitors. I was one of the first
> beta testers of Windows 95, having survived strange years on
> the bizarre Windows 3.1 system. And, it goes without saying,
> I was a clerical worker who did DOS-based Word Perfect and
> even Word Star, (if any living soul could remember such a thing).

Yes. Scary thing, isn't it? :-)

> I mention all this just to give you some perspective on the
> main issue I want to bring up to you: If a person of my background
> still can't get any version of FreeBSD installed on what are,
> admittedly, the old and outdated computers I can afford to
> maintain, it seems then that, in spite of many errors I am
> sure I am making, that the process of installing FreeBSD is
> still somehow not user friendly.

I'm running computer hardware here myself which others would
try to donate to a museum. Many systems run FreeBSD, some old
versions, some recent versions. In most cases, there is _no_
technical issue that prevents running it. Of course it's
primarily x86 technology I'm talking about, as my non-x86
systems usually run other operating systems, such as Solaris.

Could you try to explain _what_ you tried installing FreeBSD?
Describe the system, the installation media you used, what
steps you performed, "how far you got" and maybe specific
error messages you've encountered.

Generally speaking, installing FreeBSD only requires you to
follow the screen: read, understand, decide, act. There's
also The FreeBSD Handbook available on the web, which is
a great resource for step-by-step installation guides and

> For that matter, forget installing: I've never been able to
> get a Live CD, which should require not installing, and
> should be complete on its own, to boot into a Graphical User
> Interface. A kind of terminal-line-command-prompt is the best
> I ever got.

If you're considering old computers and simply want to try
FreeBSD in a non-recent version, try FreeSBIE. The 1.1 and 2.0
ISO images (for CD media) still run fine. I sometimes even
use them in modern PCs for diagnostics or recovery.

Also have a look at PC-BSD which offers FreeBSD with a
preinstalled and preconfigured GUI. It also comes with
a GUI-based installer.

> [...] still, I am hoping one day that one of my computers
> will boot into a graphical desktop environment of FreeBSD,
> since I regard it as a "Father OS" to Mac, which, as you
> might guess, changed my world in many ways.

My computers are doing this since FreeBSD 4.0. :-)

The oldest x86 system I had was a Pentium with 150 MHz. It's
still running today, except it's been "downgraded" to a file
server for internal purposes. Another desktop system, based
on a Pentium II with 300 MHz, still happily runs FreeBSD 5
and the XFCE environment with an impressive set of applications.
My current home system, used for programming, gaming, media
and web, also boots into X. There should be no problem for
you to find cheap hardware that does a good job. FreeBSD's
power is that you can use it to get a GUI system on almost

> Let me know if such a product is ever developed, as I should
> eagerly await it's arrival.

As I said, try FreeSBIE and PC-BSD. Here are a few links to
important resources:

> Too, part of the fault is mine because I have quirky machines
> like Aopen mini-computers and Mac Minis which are quirky anyway.

That shoudln't be a big problem. I'm using "discount hardware"
here too, no need to pay big bucks on shiny stuff that does
the same. :-)

However, running FreeBSD on Macs is possible, but not trivial.
It's often easier to use Linux for that specific task.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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