Author Topic: NomadBSD OS - running from a usb flash drive  (Read 232 times)

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Offline ssfc72

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NomadBSD OS - running from a usb flash drive
« on: September 20, 2020, 06:12:38 am »
I came across this YouTube video of the above OS.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM0oou1KYY8
NomadBSD website -  https://nomadbsd.org/

I was impressed at how quickly the OS ran from a usb flash drive and the default desktop image of sand dunes was quite pleasing to my eye.
The YouTube video mentions that NomadBSD is meant to be run from a usb flashdrive but it can also be installed to a hard drive.
The usb flash drive of NomadBSD is a persistent install so that means any changes you make to the NomadBSD system or any documents, etc that you create will be saved to the flashdrive, so make sure your flashdrive has some extra capacity to save these things. Greater than 5 GB is required.
Also, Tom mentioned to me that he was interested in trying a BSD based OS, so I thought I would give it a try.


The YouTube video showed that a usb 3.0 flash drive was being used and the NomadBSD website also recommended to use a usb 3.0 flash drive. You can use usb 2.0 but the NomadBSD would probably be a little slower to operate. I have a usb 3.0 flash drive, so that is what I used.

The NomadBSD download file is a .lzma compressed file. It holds the .img file.
On my Mint 19 notebook computer, Mint was able to uncompress the lzma file.
I used the balenaEtcher program to install the .img file to the usb flashdrive as a bootable image.

The NomadBSD flashdrive booted up fine on my Dell Inspiron notebook computer, that has an Intel 7 cpu.
It took a very long time for the flash drive to get through the setup and get to the desktop display.

The setup went fine but it stopped at the video setup with a menu with 2 choices. The default was to do an automatic detection of the video card and the 2nd choice was to do a manual video install.
I thought it came up with this menu because it couldn't detect the video card, so I chose a manual video setup, which worked fine (the manual video install does not give you any video acceleration).
I have since found out that there was no issue with the video card being detected. The video setup menu is just a normal step and you just go ahead and choose the default auto detection and it will probably do your computer video setup without problem.

So, once I got the nice desktop image of the sand dunes and the various icons on the bottom of the desktop showing, I found the trackpad to work fine on the notebook computer.
However, I did not see any icon on the desktop showing the wifi.  I went to the main menu (right click on the desktop) and found the wifi network manager.
The network manager showed my wifi network but after putting in my password, there was no way I could figure out how to get connected to my wifi network.
So much for using NomadBSD on my Dell Inspiron notebook computer.

I then tried the NomadBSD bootable flash drive on my Dell XPS computer.
The NomadBSD booted up fine on the XPS and the video autodetect setup worked fine for setting up the computer video.
Again, I was unable to get the wifi to connect to my wifi after I put in the wifi password. :-(

So, I went to my old HP pavilion notebook computer and booted up the NomadBSD from the bootable flashdrive.
No problem booting up and when I clicked on the Firefox browser icon, Firefox booted up and was connected to the internet. Yeh!!
Since the flashdrive install on the usb flashdrive was persistent, my wifi password was obviously saved from my previous use of the NomadBSD flashdrive.

I brought up the YouTube website using Firefox and the videos played fine.

So I am posting this review from my NomadBSD usb flashdrive, using on old HP Pavilion notebook computer. :-)



Mint 19.1 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MX Linux)
Cellphone ZTE Axon 7 Mini, PCMobile pay as you go

Offline fox

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Re: NomadBSD OS - running from a usb flash drive
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2020, 02:54:04 pm »
Cool - good for you, Bill! Finally someone in our club who tried a BSD! I wonder if Nomad couldn't detect the wifi cards in the Dells. One thing you might try is to put in a wifi usb dongle (I seem to recall that you have one of these) and see if that one works.
Ubuntu 20.10 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: NomadBSD OS - running from a usb flash drive
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2020, 02:57:32 pm »
Thanks for the review, Bill. I enjoyed reading it and makes we want to give it a shot some time even though I'm still an operating system bigot. :)

I think someone did a review of another BSD spin-off once. PC BSD? I'll have to do a search.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: NomadBSD OS - running from a usb flash drive
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2020, 03:00:29 pm »
Okay, here we go. Looks like PC-BSD which is now True OS was looked at it. If you go to the main page of the forum, you can do a search for 'BSD'. If you do a search within a board (e.g. Distributions, General Discussion), you only get the results within that board. So go to the main page to get a search of everything.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline buster

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Re: NomadBSD OS - running from a usb flash drive
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2020, 03:00:54 pm »
Did it feel just like a Linux OS, and did it feel comfortable? Would you be inclined to use it?
"With all due respect John I am head of IT and I have it on good authority if you type 'Google' into Google you can break the internet, so please no one try it, even for a joke." ( Jen on 'The IT Crowd' )

Offline ssfc72

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Re: NomadBSD OS - running from a usb flash drive
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2020, 06:56:16 am »
My very brief experience with NomadBSD was that it was just like a Linux OS.
I have to test it out a bit more, before I would know if I would make use of it.

My initial reason for trying NomadBSD was because it was a BSD OS and this OS I have never tried before. Also NomadBSD was meant to be used on a usb flash drive and it had persistence, so you can add programs to your desktop and docs, videos music etc and they would be saved to the flashdrive.
Installed on a flashdrive, makes this OS a nice tool, to take different computers and be able to boot it up from those computers.
Mint 19.1 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MX Linux)
Cellphone ZTE Axon 7 Mini, PCMobile pay as you go

Offline ssfc72

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Re: NomadBSD OS - running from a usb flash drive
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2020, 07:51:49 am »
I have played a bit more with NomadBSD and I am quite impressed.
It comes with a lot of useful programs pre installed.  Libreoffice, VLC, KeepassX, Audacity, Xsane, Firefox etc.
The package manager is called OctoPkg.  I found the Opera web browser, there. It installed fine and was placed in the Network Menu which is were Firefox is found.
Opera worked well. It is a very old version of Opera but it works ok.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 08:17:24 am by ssfc72 »
Mint 19.1 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MX Linux)
Cellphone ZTE Axon 7 Mini, PCMobile pay as you go

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: NomadBSD OS - running from a usb flash drive
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2020, 05:43:05 pm »
I didn't know they had all those packages for the BSDs but then again, I remember that OpenBSD could run Linux programs so maybe it's just using those programs.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata