HelloSystem is an interesting operating system from the person behind AppImage. It’s a desktop OS that’s designed to be elegant and simple to use. At the heart of helloSystem is FreeBSD which it’s based on. It’s intended to be a system for “mere mortals” and it’s look and feel should feel welcoming to traditional mac users. However helloSystem insists that this is more than just a theme or a clone of something that came before it. HelloSystem is a desktop operating system using the latest technologies and puts the user first giving them full control over their system.
HelloSystem uses “application bundles” to manage native applications. This offers many benefits such as;
- Easily relocation
- Can be easily deleted by moving to the “Trash”
- Easy to modify without affecting other parts of the system
- Can be duplicated to have separate instances of the same application
- Can be managed without a package manager
Click here to read more about the benefits of using application bundles.
Their latest release which was released just a few days ago is based on FreeBSD version 12.2 and has had many fixes and improvements which you can read about here. The ISO file sized has been slimmed down and now weighs in at just 1.27GB.
Booting into the ISO will take you to the live environment where you can launch the installer. Installation was quick and easy and was finished in under 10 minutes on my machine. Booting off disk for the first time you’re greeted with the welcome screen which briefly tells you about the benefits of using helloSystem. The out of the box look and feel should be instantly familiar to anyone who has used Mac OS in the past. It has a dock at the bottom of the screen where you can pin applications and a panel at the top. The top panel houses a system wide global menu as well as a search function that can be activated with Alt + Space. The desktop theme and icons are clean and nothing on this desktop looks out of place.
Some of the applications included aren’t actually fully installed and opening something like Inkscape will guide you through the installation. The only application that struggled with this was GIMP which for whatever reason didn’t want to install. Some of the applications that include simple installations are ;
- OBS Studio
HelloSystem also includes a hanfdul of of developer preview applications that launch with the warning that these apps aren’t yet fully functional. Included in this hanfdul of applications are things like a simple web browser, an application to manage your disk partitions etc.
Although this is still in it’s early ages of development the potential for helloSystem is very apparent. It does an excellent job at keeping things simple and easy to understand and looks good doing it! If you’re going to test it out for yourself I suggest reading through the documentation beforehand so you understand how this system is designed to be used.
What do you think of helloSystem? Let me know in the comments below!