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DistroWatch.com: NomadBSD


Last Update: 2018-07-18 23:50 UTC

NomadBSD is a 64-bit live system for USB flash drives, based on FreeBSD. Together with automatic hardware detection and setup, it is configured to be used as a desktop system that works out of the box, but can also be used for data recovery.

Popularity (hits per day): 12 months: 290 (22), 6 months: 182 (44), 3 months: 230 (31), 4 weeks: 210 (32), 1 week: 228 (31)

Average visitor rating: 7/10 from 3 review(s).

NomadBSD Summary
Distribution NomadBSD
Home Page http://nomadbsd.org/
Mailing Lists --
User Forums --
Alternative User Forums
Documentation --
Screenshots http://nomadbsd.org/screenshots.html DistroWatch Gallery
Download Mirrors http://nomadbsd.org/download.html
Bug Tracker
Related Websites https://www.freebsd.org/
Reviews 1.1: DistroWatch
Where To Buy OSDisc.com (sponsored link)

Table Notes and Explanations

(Please refer to the table below.)
  • Select view: Major packages only (52) All tracked packages (226)
  • To compare the software in this project to the software available in other distributions, please see our Compare Packages page.
  • Notes: In case where multiple versions of a package are shipped with a distribution, only the default version appears in the table. For indication about the GNOME version, please check the "nautilus" and "gnome-shell" packages. The Apache web server is listed as "httpd" and the Linux kernel is listed as "linux". The KDE desktop is represented by the "plasma-desktop" package and the Xfce desktop by the "xfdesktop" package.
  • Colour scheme: green text = latest stable version, red text = development or beta version. The function determining beta versions is not 100% reliable due to a wide variety of versioning schemes.
Linux Media
Linux Mint 19.1$5.95
Ubuntu 18.10$5.95
Debian 9.6.0$5.95
openSUSE 15.0$5.95
Manjaro 18.0$5.95
Fedora 29$5.95
MX Linux 18$5.95
USB Flash Drives
Linux Mint 19.1 16GB$14.95
Ubuntu 18.10 16GB$14.95
Fedora 29 16GB$14.95

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Feature 1.1
Release Date 2018-07-07
End Of Life  
Price (US$) Free
Image Size (MB) 2000-2000
Free Download IMG
Installation Text
Default Desktop Openbox
Package Management pkg
Release Model Fixed
Office Suite LibreOffice
Processor Architecture x86_64
Init Software RC
Journaled File Systems UFS, ZFS
Multilingual Yes
Asian Language Support  
Full Package List 1.1
Package 1.1
abiword (3.0.2) --
alsa-lib (1.1.8) 1.1.2
ati-driver (18.30) --
bash (5.0) 4.4
bind (9.13.5) --
chromium (71.0.3578.98) --
cups (2.2.10) 2.2.8
dhcp (4.4.1) --
e2fsprogs (1.44.5) 1.44.2
firefox (64.0.2) 61.0
freetype (2.9.1) 2.9.1
gcc (8.2.0) --
gimp (2.10.8) --
glibc (2.28) --
gnome-shell (3.30.2) --
gnucash (3.4) --
gnumeric (1.12.44) --
grub (2.02) --
gtk+ (3.24.3) 2.24.32
httpd (2.4.37) --
inkscape (0.92.3) --
k3b (18.12.1) --
kmod (25) --
krita (4.1.7) --
libreoffice (6.1.4) 6.0.5
linux (4.20.3) --
Package 1.1
lxpanel (0.9.3) --
mariadb (10.3.12) --
mate-desktop (1.20.4) --
mesa (18.3.2) 18.1.2
mysql (8.0.13) --
nautilus (3.30.5) --
NVIDIA (415.27) --
openbox (3.6.1) 3.6
openjdk (11.0.1) --
openssh (7.9p1) --
openssl (1.1.1a) --
perl (5.28.1) --
php (7.3.1) --
plasma-desktop (5.14.5) --
postfix (3.3.2) --
postgresql (11.1) --
Python (3.7.2) --
qt (5.12.0) 5.10.1
samba (4.9.4) --
systemd (240) --
thunderbird (60.4.0) 52.9.0
vim (8.1) 8.1
vlc (3.0.6) 2.2.8
xfdesktop (4.12.4) --
xorg-server (1.20.3) 1.18.4

Reader Ratings
Reader supplied reviews for NomadBSD

Average rating
from 3 review(s)

What are your thoughts on NomadBSD?
Please include a few pros and a few cons, along with your overall impression of the operating system.
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Rating:    out of 10

Comments (maximum 2,040 characters):

Past reviews - sort by:

Version: 1.1
Rating: 10
Date: 2018-08-29
Votes: 5

The download package (2 gig) needs to be unpacked and installed on a USB stick with the simple instructions contained on the NomadBSD download page. The only hurdle to installing the 3.2 gig UFS partition image and boot setup to the disk is being confident with using "dd" and identifying the USB stick to copy the image to.

Boot the computer and select F12 to select the USB stick to boot from.

First boot finishes with a script that sets up a number of items and whether you want an encrypted home directory for user "nomad". You end up with a nice desktop to work from, right click gives you the menu. This is a desktop configured FreeBSD system that uses all the standard FreeBSD package manager and update mechanisms - brilliant!!!

I found the 3.2 gig partition too limiting so using gpart FreeBSD utility explained here: https://www.freebsd.org/doc/handbook/disks-growing.html I installed to a spare USB HDD I had and enlarged the partition to give me more room to install what I wanted. Gpart is standard with NomadBSD so presumably you can install it to a laptop HDD in the same way and have a full laptop setup pre-configured.

Don't forget, this is 64 bit only on a UFS file system.

Loved it - a great system out of the box with capability to build what you like from it.

Was this review helpful? Yes No
Version: 1.1
Rating: 1
Date: 2018-08-14
Votes: 0

I tried once only to have a problem when applying the initial setup settings to the usb stick. EGAD but when that happens you have to rewrite the image to usb again because now it refused to boot.
Rewrote to usb and tried once again. It is unable to write any changes to the usb stick. Perhaps it is trying to use EFI on my legacy computer? I don't know..
I am out of patience and my rating would be a zero if it were possible

Was this review helpful? Yes No
Version: 1.1
Rating: 10
Date: 2018-07-24
Votes: 10

This is a very ambitious project, indeed. There are a ton of GNU/Linux distros floating around, but I had yet to find any FreeBSD spins with persistent data. This was the answer to my prayers. NomadBSD is loaded with a plethora of useful and highly practical programs pre-installed, and will now become a daily driver for me, carried on my Swiss Army Knife's keyring. If you're tired of distro hopping from one Debian-based distro with different wallpaper to another, have always been curious about FreeBSD (but didn't know where to begin), or are just up for a really cool OS that you can take with you, then give this one a go. 10/10.

Was this review helpful? Yes No

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