Before you say it, I know: this site is titled omg! linux and not omg! BSD – despite this I’m gonna ask you to waive this post through.
See, I’m kinda hard-wired to be interested in alternative operating systems. I’ve been that way ever since I discovered Linux in 2007. The fact you could run something OTHER than Windows on a PC? It was BIG news to me.
I know, I was a late bloomer 😉
helloSystem (sic) is an interesting FreeBSD-based ‘distro’ (for want of a better word) that is open source (yay) and draws unapologetic inspiration from the early era of Mac OS X (as it was known back then, referred to as ‘macOS‘ today).
I wrote about helloSystem on omg! ubuntu a few years back. That article will give a solid grounding on the what and why of the project. This post (the one you are reading) is an overview of what’s new and improved in the latest version, released at the weekend.
And there’s a fair bit.
helloSystem 0.8 is based on FreeBSD 13.1. The ISO image comes with VirtualBox Guest Additions preinstalled and enabled. This allows features like resizing the screen, copy & paste to work via host and guest system. MIDI controllers connected by USB are available to ALSA MIDI apps.
The UI of helloSystem 0.8 gets a number of buffs too. The Filer file manager app can now show app icons for AppImages, thumbnails for MP3 files, and covers for EPUB; there’s a ‘force quit’ app in the System menu; and the Dock application is no longer enabled by default.
Some other Filer updates: copy files by dragging them to the disk icon on the desktop; trash files by dragging them in to the Trash icon; and drag files over a folder to ‘spring-load’ it open.
When you launch an application that is already running application all open windows from that application are brought to the front instead; detailed date info is shown when clicking the time applet; and search in Menu now roots through sub-menus too.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, GPU acceleration is enabled for WebEngine based browsers such as Falkon (which comes pre-installed).
Download helloSystem 0.8
In all, these are solid updates to helloSystem, which remains a promising and unique BSD-based operating system. Though it’s not ready for daily-driver usage, development continues to refine and hone the effort.