Many Doc Changes

Here is a summary of today’s many changes to the doc structure and Handbook. has been retired as it was merely a collection of assorted links. If you’re looking for documentation, either click on the FAQS icon or the Handbook tab on the PC-BSD website.

Most of the content from the main page of the wiki has been moved into the Handbook. The following sections were integrated:

  • Using the Ports Console Jail
  • Working with FreeBSD Ports & Packages
  • Keeping PC-BSD Updated
  • Jail Management with The Warden
  • Setting up a PC-BSD Thin Client Server
  • Legacy PBI Access (deleted as no longer relevant)
  • Dual Booting
  • Reporting Bugs
  • Using the PC-SysInstall backend (scriptable installs)
  • Using the PBI Builder to make a PBI from a FreeBSD
  • PortPBI Module Builder Guide
  • PBI Request List

Several of these sections had their screenshots and text updated.

In particular, these Handbook sections had a first pass at updating their existing, out-of-date content:

There are bound to be broken links that I’ve missed, so please leave a comment as you find them. Please note that the entire Handbook is an active work in progress (changing hourly). There are some notes (IN CAPS so they stand out) on missing info and the Figures won’t be named and numbered until the content is more stable. The size of the figures will also be standardized once we figure out which size works best in a print layout.

If there is a specific section that you’re waiting to be updated (as you need that info) or if you have suggestions for sections that are missing but needed, leave a comment so they can be prioritized in the editing queue.

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Written by dru. Posted in handbook, Uncategorized

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Comments (12)

  • Mohammad Kaykanloo
    August 11, 2010 at 12:48 am |

    Thanks a lot for your valuable effort.
    good luck

    • August 11, 2010 at 5:44 am |

      You’re welcome 🙂

  • mechanic
    August 12, 2010 at 3:34 am |

    Good luck in your task – one area that needs attention is the ports/jail stuff, there are still references to the obsolete command ‘runports’ in the Handbook/wiki. This is the one area of operation specific to Free/PC-BSD and one that caused a lot of confusion to new converts!

    • August 12, 2010 at 11:29 am |

      Agreed, and not using ports jail can really mess up one’s system. It’s on the list of things to update in the Handbook. In the mean time, The Definitive Guide has an entire chapter devoted to using ports jail on 8.x.

      I’ve heard that significant changes are in the works for 9.0 to make this even easier. For example, accessing the ports/packages outside of the ports jail is currently an exercise in gymnastics…

  • mato
    August 12, 2010 at 9:46 am |

    It might be useful to keep and redirects it to where appropriate.
    For one it was used before (POLA), for two it is common at other sites too.

    • mato
      August 12, 2010 at 9:49 am |

      pc-bsd.orgBtw, it would be useful to have a redirect from too, especially since PC-BSD is written with a dash everywhere.

      • mato
        August 12, 2010 at 9:52 am |

        hm.. the mess with link above was created by wordpress, not me 🙂

        • August 12, 2010 at 11:24 am |

          I know, it happens only in comments and is REALLY irritating. I owe a beverage of choice to anyone who can help us pinpoint a solution to this.

    • August 12, 2010 at 11:22 am |

      There really wasn’t anything on that website, just 5 links, 2 of which were broken… Now it is easy to find the Handbook and FAQs (which are the documentation sources) from anywhere on the PC-BSD website.

      What is POLA?

      I am glad to hear that other sites were pointing to it! If you’re aware of any we can contact them and ask them to update their links….

  • PrzemysĹ‚aw PaweĹ‚czyk
    August 13, 2010 at 8:19 am |


    Let me start with my own suggestions and remarks having some journalistic experience with information as a whole.

    1. Suggestions for using PC-BSD

    1.1 Emphasize short points (in existing paragraphs):

    – h/w autodetection, point-and-click installation
    – immune to virus infection
    – FreeBSD stability (ekhm, not with KDE, alas…)
    – PBI software package management’s simplicity

    1.2 Remark
    a. in the Reasons for using PC-BSD chapter, “safe, secure and stable” repeats in 2nd and 3d paragraphs.

    2. General remarks

    2.1 Handbook is too long, it’s hard to hit a topic using vertical slider.

    2.2 Underline “unique features” in chapter’s title not in text:
    “PC-BSD’s unique features” (instead of present “PC-BSD’s features”)

    2.3 Change chapters’ sequence into the following one and 1) remove repetitions in contents and 2) put accents in titles differently underlining PC-BSD uniqueness:
    # 1.1 Welcome to PC-BSD
    # 1.2 Differences between PC-BSD and FreeBSD
    # 1.3 Microsoft Windows and PC-BSD
    # 1.4 PC-BSD’s goals
    # 1.5 Reasons for using PC-BSD
    # 1.6 PC-BSD’s features
    # 1.1 Welcome to PC-BSD
    # 1.3 PC-BSD and Microsoft Windows
    # 1.5 (Compelling/Sound) Reasons for using PC-BSD
    # 1.6 PC-BSD’s (unique) features
    # 1.2 Differences between PC-BSD and FreeBSD
    # 1.4 PC-BSD’s (development) goals

    2.4 Extract VirtualBox chapter to chapters’ main level or into stand-alone chapter/section (better IMHO), then


    expand on VBox usage under Linux and MS Windows more than now (e.g. that automatic selection of disk controller in VBox Storage section for PC-BSD (FreeBSD) is misleading and first user must remove all the settings and only then he will be able to select correct controller (e.g. ,etc…)

    I do not understand why BSD/Linux distribution authors pay more attention to install their system on HDD for __testing it__ and putting Windows users at risk of losing their data, than to show how to use VBox (very, very easy in installations and excellent for testing new operating system without interferences into users’ existing file systems).

    Let PC-BSD be the first to TAKE CARE of MS WINDOWS users SERIOUSLY (expose it in red:-) ).

    2.5 Put in order the KDE menu mess

    A lot of prospective users ask for other “Windows” – GNOME, XFCE, etc. I assume KDE is PC-BSD’s “sine qua none”. I think it would be a nice gesture for them (and beginning users too) to put in order the KDE menu mess.

    Create main menu with “Other” directories in every option. For example – option Internet should contained FireFox, Opera, e-mail client, IRC, “what you think it should be there”, and “Other (apps)” (with or w/o apps) where other, more complex or specific applications for more advanced users would be kept. At present KDE menu is replete with all sorts of KDE apps (looks like full gamut of KDE apps) and looks like a gutter with all things able to flow in it.

    BTW. I started to put the KDE menu mess in order according to what I wrote above but PC-BSD didn’t allow me to save new settings – didn’t I have enough permissions? I have to check it once more. More on this later, then.

    That PC-BSD documentation needs a broader revamp is beyond any doubts. Nearly Byzantine lavishness in PC-BSD docs was(is?) discouraging for potential users, the more so if it was full of repetitions.

    Think it over, as well, the idea of concise “PC-BSD Primer for Impatient Users” and general “PC-BSD Handbook”.

    My best regards,
    Przemysław Pawełczyk

  • PrzemysĹ‚aw PaweĹ‚czyk
    August 13, 2010 at 8:22 am |

    A propos WordPress.

    I have inserted three spaces in the first line of my comment, just to check what it will yield as far as WP is concerned. And – surprise(!) – I can see no attachments to Hi! 🙂


  • PrzemysĹ‚aw PaweĹ‚czyk
    August 13, 2010 at 8:28 am |

    Addendum for WordPress

    The three spaces were put into the first empty line. “Hi” is on the second line of my comment.


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