Online / 6 & 7 February 2021


hello... again?

Simplicity, elegance, and usability for the desktop

Can we make an open source system that is welcoming to switchers from the Mac? Something that “just works” as intended, without the need to fiddle around much to get to a working desktop that does its job and otherwise gets out of your way? Say "hello" to helloSystem, a desktop system for creators with focus on simplicity, elegance, and usability.

Presentation and Live walktrough of a running helloSystem desktop.

helloSystem is FreeBSD preconfigured as a desktop operating system. Its design follows the “Less, but better” philosophy. It is intended as a system for “mere mortals”, welcoming to switchers from a world in which a global menu bar exists, the Command key is used rather than Control, and applications are contained in .app bundles.

helloSystem aims at providing a "it just works" out-of-the-box user experience in which a non-technical user can just use the system without ever opening the terminal, without having to configure anything, and without ever seeing white text on a black background scroll by during system boot.One objective for helloSystem is to be both easy to use for “mere mortals” yet powerful under the hood for advanced users, a combination that had been skillfully mastered in the first releases of Mac OS X. So the question is, can we take this objective of being easy but powerful but take it even further than Apple ever did?


Simon Peter