BSD began as the Berkeley Software Distribution(s) in the late 1970′s. BSD, Unix, Minix, Linux and, for all I know one or two more, are related closely enough that they’re often collectively referred to as "nix" or "*nix" operating systems. I’ve tried several "flavors" of BSD in the past which wouldn’t work for me (probably due to my deficient level of knowledge) but my luck changed with the most recent version of PC-BSD. I’m constantly on the lookout for a distro that runs well on older hardware and BSD has a reputation for being miserly with system resources. I’m happy to say that PC-BSD lives up to that reputation and is a very impressive operating system. I had trouble installing it, because it’s installation routine has little in common with the various Linux distros I’m familiar with, but by carefully reading the instructions on the page I was able to sort it out and, once installed on a 550 MHz P3 Compaq desktop which has 256 MHz of RAM, it was fast, stable, very nice looking and loaded with popular Open Source software. I’ve previously written about how pleased I was with KateOS on the same hardware; PC-BSD is very comparable in speed and performance and has a little more going for it than KateOS. First off, PC-BSD comes with KDE which is my personal favorite desktop environment whereas KateOS comes with Xfce. In general, KDE is more resource hungry than Xfce which adds some significance to the fact that PC-BSD is easily as fast as KateOS on the same hardware. Using KDE also means that PC-BSD comes with digiKam, my personal favorite Open Source image editor. On the other hand, KateOS runs beautifully on my 500 MHz, P3, IBM, Thinkpad where PC-BSD won’t run at all.
Two years ago I couldn’t find a Linux distro which I liked on older hardware; now I have choices. This is good.