Hello PC-BSD community! I'm new here.
After weeks of attempting a custom install of FreeBSD in my spare time I gave up with the hope that PC-BSD 9 was what was going to save me.
I had expectations! I knew that I was installing a seasoned OS on a seasoned business-class laptop that has been around for few years (ThinkPad x200t) and that my out-of-the-box experience should be smooth sailing (like it was on Ubuntu).
But, I wasn't expecting miracles:
I knew that some of my buttons and touch screen would need further configuration and that my fingerprint reader wasn't going to work. I was OK with that.
Turns out that most things do not work. It was a bit ridiculous:
* No sound (with a lucky hunch I found out that headphones work)
* Wont automount or even recognize external USB hard drives
* A third to a half of KDE applications do not work (ether wont start, will hang, or will crash right after boot). (I am writing this with Leafpad because "KDEInit could not launch '/usr/local/bin/kword'.")
* Installer doesn't communicate or doesn't recognize problems that have occurred -- for example: I requested VirtualBox (among others) to be installed among other things - tough cookies! Actually this is my 5th install! I suspected that installer was screwing up after my second load of PC-BSD 9 when the first time installation took 16 hours and the second time it was only three. Of course I blamed my hardware first, knowing that everything worked fine on Ubuntu and Windows, I still decided to swap RAM and plop in an SSD HD. Third reload pretty much proved that PC-BSD installer doesn't care too much about it's job when it started silently omiting things I selected. I was lucky to have GNOME on my second reinstall (I'm using a DVD media), but I didn't get it back until my fifth reinstall. Other things never installed or errored out in the way that I was notified.
* Everything that I expected not to work - doesn't
* The only good surprises came when I found out that the YouTube videos worked perfectly, and unlike in Ubuntu I had what looked like a 'real' desktop. Also ZFS worked fine after I found out that "|\|" characters didn't play well with the encryption (it would have been nice for the installer to tell me this).
Overall, first boot experience was bad. This is in stark contrast with first Windows or the first Ubuntu experience on this machine (where things just worked). Biggest problems, after I was able to get sound out of my headphones (but not the speakers), was the fact that external drives wouldn't show up and that the KDE install was bugging out.
This is my honest review of PC-BSD 9 on a ThinkPad X200t.
Thank you for reading.
P.S. I should mention that I've been around FreeBSD since v4, but haven't been able to put necessary time into it to make it my everyday desktop. I absolutely love the operating system. This is why I'm not on Ubuntu
I am hoping that after few years with PC-BSD I will be able to go back to FreeBSD.