The old and new of BSD installers
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ntDuring the past week, FreeBSD has hit its 9.0 release and PC-BSD followed soon after with its FreeBSD-based 9.0 release.
ntFreeBSD takes the tried and tested method of having a text-based installer. Although this release contained a new installer called bsdinstall, it is very similar to the older sysinstall process.
ntThis will be the only time I will say that I prefer the FreeBSD install to the PC-BSD installer, but ASCII art Beastie is a winner over PC-BSD’s boot screen that follows.
ntScreenshots: Chris Duckett/TechRepublic
ntCaptions: Chris Duckett/TechRepublic
PC-BSD boot loader
ntThe lack of ASCII art makes the PC-BSD installation media boot loader much less interesting. But this is remedied once the installation is complete.
FreeBSD installer welcome
ntWelcome to the FreeBSD text installer. I hope blue is a thing for you, because you are about to see a lot of it.
PC-BSD installer welcome
ntBy contrast, the PC-BSD installer shows a beautiful X-based process. This is still BSD, but not as you remember it.
PC-BSD or FreeBSD?
ntHere’s an added bonus from PC-BSD. Since it is FreeBSD based, there is no trouble to installing FreeBSD server from the same installation media.
ntThis is how FreeBSD displays which distribution components to install.
ntBy contrast, PC-BSD presents it in a better manner (oddly reminiscent of old Linux installers) and provides much more software to install. Installing an X server and desktop environment must be completed post-installation with FreeBSD.
ntIt’s blue, again.
ntPC-BSD allows a selection of ZFS filesystem.
ntFreeBSD allows a selection of which services to start from within the installer.
ntPC-BSD moves user creation into the installer, and it’s not bad except for the fact that the installer demands a Full Name of the user.
ntText installer or not, watching a progress bar slowly tick over is boring in anyone’s language.
ntDespite the pretty colours, watching a graphical progress bar is equally boring.