TrueOS Doesn’t Want to Be ‘BSD for Desktop’ Anymore

There are some really big changes on the horizon for TrueOS. Today, we will take a look at what is going on in the world of desktop BSD.

The Announcement

TrueOS: Core Operating System BSD

The team behind TrueOS announced that they would be changing the focus of the project. Up until this point, TrueOS has made it easy to install BSD with a graphical user interface out of the box. However, it will now become “a cutting-edge operating system that keeps all of the stability that you know and love from ZFS (OpenZFS) and FreeBSD, and adds additional features to create a fresh, innovative operating system. Our goal is to create a core-centric operating system that is modular, functional, and perfect for do-it-yourselfers and advanced users alike.”

Essentially, TrueOs will become a downstream fork of FreeBSD. They will integrate newer software into the system, such as OpenRC and LibreSSL. They hope to stick to a 6-month release cycle.

The goal is to make TrueOS so it can be used as the base for other projects to build on. The graphical part will be missing to make it more distro-agnostic.

[irp posts=”27379″ name=”Interview with MidnightBSD Founder and Lead Dev Lucas Holt”]

What about Desktop Users?

If you read my review of TrueOS and are interested in trying a desktop BSD or already use TrueOS, never fear (which is good advice for life too). All of the desktop elements of TrueOS will be spun off into Project Trident. Currently, the Project Trident website is very light on details. It seems as though they are still figuring out the logistics of the spin-off.

If you currently have TrueOS, you don’t have to worry about moving. The TrueOS team said that “there will be migration paths available for those that would like to move to other FreeBSD-based distributions like Project Trident or GhostBSD.”

[irp posts=”25675″ name=”Interview with FreeDOS Founder and Lead Dev Jim Hall”]


When I first read the announcement, I was frankly a little worried. Changing names can be a bad idea. Customers will be used to one name, but if the product name changes they could lose track of the project very easily. TrueOS already went through a name change. When the project was started in 2006 it was named PC-BSD, but in 2016 the name was changed to TrueOS. It kinds of reminds me of the ArchMerge and Arcolinux saga.

That being said, I think this will be a good thing for desktop users of BSD. One of the common criticisms that I heard about PC-BSD and TrueOS is that it wasn’t very polished. Separating the two parts of the project will help sharpen the focus of the respective developers. The TrueOS team will be able to add newer features to the slow-moving FreeBSD base and the Project Trident team will be able to improve user’s desktop experience.

I wish both teams well. Remember, people, when someone works on open source, we all benefit even if the work is done on something we don’t use.

What are your thoughts about the future of TrueOS and Project Trident? Please let us know in the comments below.

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  • That’s why i love Linus Torvalds.
    I had been using PC-BSD instead OpenSUSE (also Linus favorite one) because of ZFS and BtrFS seems to be what Linux should have at day 1. For users (backup state before something goes bad after install, upgrade etc). I managed to install modem witch is different than in Linux, managed to configure my deskop to what i wanted using MATE and KDE as backup plan. I managed to use Ports and all that stuff but then TrueOS happened. Not only destroying Qt codebase of their Control Panel stuff but also letting brother Ken, Kriss Moore to make his own GUI – instead joining LXQt team.. and aft iXsystems FreeNAS and all that stuff gave them money and so they managed to force their way. Now it’s over and hopefully new project will DIE quick painfull dead. DesktopBSD, GhostBSD all those BSD’s were hurt by briliant BSD installer helping set audio, wifi out of the box witch is not easy on FreeBSD although it’s installer is also easy. AppCaffe was buggy sometimes it removed more programs than should if remove one of them but hopefully ZFS snapshot resolve this problem. Booting was terible lack of hibernation but i managed to use it on laptop always connected. And YouTube videos were working on it smooth better than on Linux – cause gpu drivers included and preconfigured PC-BSD.

    Hope this project to die, specially because there is already FreeBSD that could be base, no need to fork it! Ken, Kriss.. they want to have their own business based on others work instead. THere is also FreeNAS, NAS4Free and all that stuff. They could join to those projects instead, put their codebase forever. Instead another Zoombie will came out. Wish this project to be forgoten forever.

    • Totally agree why the heck do you need to fork it when FreeBSD has decades of work put into it, just contribute to it. I just got Gnome running on FreeBSD 11.2 using the article I found the the BSD foundation, it isn’t difficult, took 20 minutes. FreeBSD will be the only OS standing after IBM and Microsoft gobble everyone up.

  • Far…. Really Far from impressed …. Compared to other Distro’s … Mint, Ubuntu, SUSE, Elementary, Solus… all Head and Shoulders over True OS.

  • Really like the solid feel, zfs file system and speed if TrueOs/Freebase. However I ended switching back to Debian Testing on my MacBook Pro due to my inability to get WiFi with Broadcom B43 working.
    Worked out of the box after installing ParrotOs Studio 4.1 which us based on rolling release of Debian Testing. Fast, slick and no problems to date whatsoever. I do miss Freebase underpinnings on desktop though.