Popular Free *BSDs in Full Development
Three well-known BSD clones are in their latest developmental cycles and have recently released test versions. FreeBSD is closing in on version 7.4 with a RC2, GhostBSD just released their 2.0 Beta 2, and PC-BSD 8.2 has seen its second release candidate as well.
FreeBSD 7.4, scheduled for final release on January 24, just saw its second release candidate on January 23 about two weeks behind schedule. The RC2 announcement acknowledges the delay and confirms that final will also be delayed. In addition, a third release candidate is expected around January 30. Issues with KDE and GNOME meta-packages and other bugs were cited as the reason for delays. Development of version 8.2 is running about a week behind schedule as well.
FreeBSD 7.4 will feature KDE 3.5.10 and GNOME 2.32.1. Other popular software includes Pidgin 2.7.7, GIMP 2.6.11, MySQL 5.1.54, Firefox 3.6.13, GCC 4.3.4, Xfce 4.6.2, and Xorg X Server 1.7.5. Download mirrors are listed here.
FreeBSD sits at about number 15 in Distrowatch's Page Hit Ranking.
GhostBSD 2.0 Beta 2
GhostBSD is a live CD aimed at improving the FreeBSD users' GNOME desktop experience. Version 1.0 was released in March 2010, 1.5 in July, and 2.0 is now in development. GhostBSD 2.0 Beta 2 was released January 21.
GhostBSD is based on FreeBSD and this release brings improved speed and performance, updated look and feel, and lots of bug fixes including one ugly graphic issue. Some software on GhostBSD includes Gnome 2.32, Rhythmbox 0.12.8, Pidgin 2.7.9, Firefox 3.6.13, Thunderbird 3.0.11, and Xorg X Server 1.7.5. Download links are available here.
GhostBSD sits at about number 54 in Distrowatch's Page Hit Ranking.
PC-BSD 8.2 RC2
PC-BSD is one of the most popular free BSD clones, and is certainly believed to be the most friendly. It aims to be an extremely easy-to-use desktop system and rivals any Linux distribution in that area. Its developers released the second release candidate for upcoming 8.2 on January 20, the last testing release before final.
PC-BSD 2.0 RC2 ships with KDE 4.5.4, Xorg X Server 1.75, and NVIDIA 260.19.29. Other popular software like Firefox 3.6.13, Pidgin 2.7.7, and OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 are made available at install. Downloads are available here.
PC-BSD sits at about number 25 in Distrowatch's Page Hit Ranking.