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Last Update: 2023-03-11 14:43 UTC

helloSystem is a FreeBSD-based, desktop-oriented operating system. The project seeks to provide a macOS-style desktop interface and layout while using open source software.

Popularity (hits per day): 12 months: 160 (58), 6 months: 109 (117), 3 months: 73 (162), 4 weeks: 137 (49), 1 week: 128 (48)

Average visitor rating: 4.2/10 from 5 review(s).

helloSystem Summary
Distribution helloSystem
Home Page https://github.com/helloSystem/hello
Mailing Lists --
User Forums https://github.com/helloSystem/hello/discussions/
Alternative User Forums
Documentation https://hellosystem.github.io/docs/
Screenshots DistroWatch Gallery
Download Mirrors https://github.com/helloSystem/ISO/releases
Bug Tracker https://github.com/helloSystem/hello/issues
Related Websites --
Reviews 0.8.x: DistroWatch
Where To Buy or Try

Recent Related News and Releases
  Releases announcements with download links and checksums:
 • 2023-03-11: BSD Release: helloSystem 0.8.1
 • More hellosystem releases...

Table Notes and Explanations

(Please refer to the table below.)
  • Select view:
  • 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.
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Feature 0.8.1
Release Date 2023-03-11
End Of Life  
Price (US$) Free
Image Size (MB) 640-950
Free Download IMG,ISO
Installation Graphical
Default Desktop KDE Plasma
Package Management TXZ (pkg)
Release Model Fixed
Office Suite --
Processor Architecture x86_64
Init Software RC
Journaled File Systems UFS, ZFS
Multilingual Yes
Asian Language Support  
Full Package List 0.8.1
Package 0.8.1
abiword (3.0.5) --
alsa-lib (1.2.9) 1.2.2
amdgpu (23.0.0) --
bash (5.2.15) --
bind (9.18.15) --
chromium (114.0.5735.106) --
cups (2.4.4) 2.4.2
dhcp (4.4.3-P1) --
e2fsprogs (1.47.0) --
firefox (114.0.1) --
freetype (2.13.0) 2.12.1
gcc (13.1.0) --
gimp (2.10.34) --
glibc (2.37) --
gnome-shell (44.2) --
gnucash (5.1) --
gnumeric (1.12.55) --
grub (2.06) --
gtk (4.10.4) 3.24.34
httpd (2.4.57) --
inkscape (1.2.2) --
k3b (23.04.2) --
kmod (30) --
krita (5.1.5) --
libreoffice (7.5.4) --
linux (6.3.7) --
Package 0.8.1
lxpanel (0.10.1) --
mariadb (11.1.1) --
mate-desktop (1.26.1) --
mesa (23.1.2) 22.3.3
mysql (8.0.33) --
nautilus (44.2.1) --
NVIDIA (530.41.03) --
openbox (3.6.1) --
openjdk (20.0.1) --
openssh (9.3p1) --
openssl (3.1.1) --
perl (5.36.1) --
php (8.2.7) --
plasma-desktop (5.27.5) --
postfix (3.8.1) --
postgresql (15.3) --
Python (3.11.4) 3
qt (6.5.1) 5.15.7
samba (4.18.3) --
systemd (253.5) --
thunderbird (102.12.0) --
vim (9.0) --
vlc (3.0.18) --
wayland (1.22.0) 1.21.0
xfdesktop (4.18.1) --
xorg-server (21.1.8) 21.1.4

Reader Ratings
Reader supplied reviews for helloSystem

Average rating
from 5 review(s)

What are your thoughts on helloSystem?
Please include a few pros and a few cons, along with your overall impression of the operating system.
Our FAQ page has tips on writing a good mini-review.


Rating:    out of 10

Your review (minimum 250 words):

Past reviews - sort by:

Version: 0.8.1
Rating: 8
Date: 2023-04-19
Votes: 0

This project has so much promise!

I keep this installed on my secondary computer - it’s not ready as a daily driver, nor does it claim to be. While aesthetically very pleasing, there are some rough edges. The main issues I run into are in fact FreeBSD issues that I get also on GhostBSD with the Linuxulator - trying to run Linux applications. For example, SublimeText is not fully functional, and has to be restarted after installing plugins. The VSCode menu doesn’t work in the global menu, so I have to use the window menu.

I first installed this due to the promise of a creator oriented system. It’s a long way off from that goal, mainly due to a misbehaving Linuxulator - again, all FreeBSD issues. It appears some work is being done on that aspect, I’m looking forward to both that and the possibility of being able to use AppImage on FreeBSD which has a notoriously limited repository.

Was this review helpful? Yes No
Version: 0.8.1
Rating: 1
Date: 2023-03-18
Votes: 0

Having waited 8 minutes for the system to boot on a machine that Xubuntu Linux boots in 45 seconds I began to feel lumpy.

Badly stymied setting up internet connexion (couldn't).

No 'dock' down the bottom.

Awfully sorry, but that is as far as I got before I reverted to Xubuntu.

Until the boot time is significantly reduced and WiFi connexion is as easy as it is in Debian derivatives
I am not coming back.

This is a great shame as I have been wanting to experiment with a UNIX sort of system for years, and, to date,
never found one that is easy to set up and get started with.

Of course, the main problem may be that the HELP system is not up to scratch: even if I only looked for internet connexion setup . . .

Was this review helpful? Yes No
Version: 0.8.1
Rating: 1
Date: 2023-03-12
Votes: 2

At its current stage, helloSystem is close to unusable. There is zero progress towards the declared lofty goals of binary compatibility with macOS and offers little else. It's not in some kind of awkward development state. The project's entire premise is deeply flawed.

Something I'm missing from all reviews of helloSystem this far is that the macOS lookalike desktop is a mess. It is an affront to anyone who has spent any time with macOS. It betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the design goals of the macOS desktop.

Design is not what it looks like, it's how it works. As is, there is nothing but a shallow skin on top of X. This skin does not serve any purpose except looking like an absurd bizarro world distortion executed by someone lacking taste and sensibility. There's simply no point to it. One would be better off using Gnome, XFCE or one of the other purpose-built, coherent desktop environments. This is unlikely to ever change, as X is not only officially deprecated, it's fundamentally unsuited for cloning anything even resembling macOS.

Combined with the stated goal of eventually being able to run macOS software on this FrankenOS, one has to wonder how realistic even a fraction of those goals are. To ever get any traction, you'd have to start at creating a new window manager, a new desktop environment similar to Aqua, somehow find a way to use launchd and plist files and translate untold numbers of system calls. Ultimately, you'd have to bend FreeBSD into Darwin and then build alternatives to everything else macOS from scratch. Even if you eventually succeeded, decades later, you'd still lack the integration features that make macOS so relatively smooth and valuable to end users.

ReactOS is the closest comparison, an attempt to do a clean-room implementation of Windows. The fact that after 25 years of development there's still no stable release should give an indication regarding to what kind of work is involved in reaching binary compatibility with a distinct operating system.

In my opinion, helloSystem is the worst of all worlds. It looks bad, works so-so, solves nothing and messes up a lot. The project's goals are overambitious and its execution severely lacking. Not only is it no alternative to macOS, it's not an alternative to anything.

Was this review helpful? Yes No

See all 5 reader reviews of helloSystem...

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