Its been long since I posted about the first offline friendly GNU/Linux distro which I discovered- Debian.

I have now come across two more FLOSS operating systems, which a user who lacks broadband connection can use.

The first one is PC-BSD.

http://www.pcbsd.org/

PC-BSD has a new way of packaging applications- called the PBI which stands for “Push button Installer ” or the “PC-BSD installer”. A PBI is a self contained package like Mac’s .dmg package or windows MSI(MS Installer).

In my opinion, this is a killer feature of PC-BSD which Linux distros lack.  I am planning to write an entire post about PC-BSD as it has lot of other exciting features.

##More about PBI –

http://wiki.pcbsd.org/index.php/PBI9_Format

##Where to download pbi’s

http://pbibuild64.pcbsd.org/

This makes it simple to download and transport. There  are may other desirable advantages of such method. However, here I am focusing on ease of download and use.

There is a caveat though, the size of the package increases. But disk space being cheap nowadays, this can be overlooked. [Only if you have enough disk space and you have means to download large packages from someone or somewhere 😉 ]

Note:

PC-BSD is not Linux! they are different, though they belong to the same class/family -Unix

Nevertheless they have similarities too as they use many FLOSS applications.

As of version 9.2 they have dropped 32 bit version. But still, if you want you can “convert” your FreeBSD OS to PC-BSD. Refer the wiki for how to do this.

http://wiki.pcbsd.org/index.php/Turn_FreeBSD_into_PC-BSD%C2%AE

Speaking of disk space, the other one is meant for old PCs with limited resources- SliTaz

http://www.slitaz.org/en/

As of version 4 they have the small install image(35MB!) and another disk image having all the software.  Sweet! 🙂

I have used the small image on VMs, and I was pretty impressed. It has all the “basic” tools save office software(Openoffice).

Now, I highly  recommend PC-BSD,  As the packing is dead simple and you don’t have to download large software disc. You have to download the individual packages separately.

Next is Slitaz if your machine is old or has less RAM and processing power, and you want to download a software disc which has most of the applications.

Or if you can get large AND many discs(first 3 DVD’s will suffice ) then go with Debian.

You may find downloading and maintaining Debian’s disc set heavy or too large. If yes, then the former two are your options.

A note to those who are new to FLOSS community:

Always check the reviews  and information of distros on [ http://distrowatch.com/ ] before you try out things. They track and update the changes very regularly.

A post/blog might have outdated information, so rely on the latest news.

Read the system requirement of any OS/software you are planning to use. This saves lot of frustration in case if your hardware is not supported or upto the mark.

If anything confuses you or you are unfamiliar with the new words or terminologies, then search on the web. It helps you to learn new things 🙂

Update on 14 August 2015:

Since March/April I have moved to using FreeBSD 10, it now features a nice package manager – pkg. The installation image provided(DVD1) has all the necessary packages to have a GNOME/KDE desktop. You don’t need internet unless you need some thing else which is not included on the disc.

Ok, quick steps on how to use the DVD1 for installing the applications provided on FreeBSD:

  1. Install FreeBSD, download dvd1, any other image(disc1, bootonly) provided will not have these applications.
  2. Mount the disc on /dist, create /dist as root “mkdir /dist”, it has to be /dist
  3. As root “mount -t cd9660 /dev/cd0 /dist”
  4. Check whether it was mounted by running “mount” or “df -h”
  5. Bootstrap pkg csh/tcsh ” env REPOS_DIR=/dist/packages/repos pkg bootstrap”
  6. or on sh, “export REPOS_DIR=/dist/packages/repos; pkg bootstrap”
  7. After this bootstrapping, you can install the available packages from the disc.

In case you have access to some FreeBSD machine which is connected to internet, you can use = > https://kgibran.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/downloading-freebsd-packages-for-offline-installation/

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