For this test I downloaded the 64 bit network installation .iso and installed the OS within ESXi. I decided to try a few new features offered by the PC-BSD installer, namely ZFS and disk encryption for user data as shown in the top screenshot. When I booted the VM I was prompted to enter the passphrase I used when installing the OS:
da0 at mpt0 bus 0 scbus0 target 0 lun 0
Fixed Direct Access SCSI-2 device
da0: 320.000MB/s transfers (160.000MHz, offset 127, 16bit)
da0: Command Queueing enabled
da0: 16384MB (33554432 512 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 2088C)
Enter passphrase for da0p4:
GEOM_ELI: Device da0p4.eli created.
GEOM_ELI: Encryption: AES-XTS 128
GEOM_ELI: Crypto: software
Trying to mount root from zfs:tank0
That was cool. In addition to encryption, I need to learn more about how PC-BSD uses jails to support ports and packages. This is different compared to any other BSD I have seen.
PC-BSD is also supposed to be desktop-friendly, so I tried my "can I see a YouTube video out of the box" test. The screenshot at right shows it worked.
I should note that before I could connect remotely using SSH, I had to disable the Pf firewall. (I could also have reconfigured the firewall if I wanted it to stay active.)
Now that I have a working PC-BSD OS in my lab, I'll try to learn more about it. I'll probably wait until the RELEASE version arrives.