Aug
03

PC-BSD Users Handbook

Thanks to everyone who left comments regarding feature and documentation suggestions. Keep these coming so we can start prioritizing and integrating your suggestions.

Spending today going through the PC-BSD Users Handbook. The plan thus far is to read it through while addressing broken links, obviously outdated information (such as version numbers) and fixing grammatical errors. After the first pass-through, I’ll have a better idea of which sections need updated material and what documentation does not yet exist.

This is where you can help out, too. Have you gone to the Handbook to find out how to do something and couldn’t find it? Have you done something cool on your PC-BSD system that you think should be added to the Handbook? Are there some new features in 8.x that you haven’t found in the Handbook yet? Let us know! We’ll definitely need help with reviewing content and writing new content.

Besides leaving a comment here, you can also interact with us in more “real-time”. If you use IRC Freenode, hop into #pcbsd. Or start a conversation in the Facebook Group or LinkedIn Group.

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Written by dru. Posted in Uncategorized

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Comments (15)

  • Niklas BSD
    August 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm |

    Screenshot
    http://​image​.bayimg​.com/​d​a​n​h​c​a​a​c​n​.​jpg
    Then maybe you know how to activate mobile broadband which Linux
    already with GUI can live booted

    • August 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm |

      Hi Niklas. I saw your post over on the LinkedIn group. Have you posted this information yet to the testing mailing list? That way there is a greater chance that someone with similar hardware can assist you in troubleshooting your PPP connection.

  • Johann Kois
    August 6, 2010 at 3:53 am |

    Hi Dru,

    as you asked for outdated information. The IRC channel #pcbsd is still claiming “Current release: 8.0″. So people are confused and keep asking “Is not 8.1 the current release?”

    Maybe you could forward this to a channel operator? Thanks.

    J. Kois


    Johann Kois
    jkois(at)FreeBSD.org
    FreeBSD Documentation Project
    FreeBSD German Documentation Project — https://​doc​.bsdgroup​.de

    • August 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm |

      Thanks, Johann and let us know if you spot anything else. I noticed that the image on the main page is still showing 8.0 and that there is a typo in the 8.1 Release Notes. We’ll be addressing these in the next day or so.

  • Randy
    August 7, 2010 at 8:03 am |

    Good looking handbook, thanks! I’ll get around to trying PC-BSD sometime soon I hope. Do you have plans to offer a pdf version of the handbook, like freebsd does?

    • August 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |

      Definitely. Our plans are to finish general cleanup then to add sections on features that are currently incomplete or missing. We can then again offer a version that can be read offline with each release (something that I miss myself…)

  • Ed (ews)
    August 9, 2010 at 8:24 am |

    It might be worth mining the forum for tips and relatively recently asked questions, because I think some of the stuff that comes up in there should be in a more ready reference form.

    I realize there is a line between one-off issues general interest topics. This leads me to a second thought: Include in the handbook some predefined links (“read about wireless networking in the freebsd handbook”) or something like “search the forums for wireless networking issues” so that if people did not find a direct answer in the pc-bsd handbook, they would have alternative sources immediately at hand. Maybe the search function could be even smarter, searching not only the pc-bsd forum, but also the freebsd forum at the same time. One nice thing about searching is that newly added forum topics would be found, maintaining a degree of currency that is not practical for the more static handbook. Monitoring usage of those links would give you feedback about areas in which people are NOT finding what they need in the handbook.

    • August 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm |

      Definitely a good idea and we’ll start doing that once we finish the initial review to see what we do have and what is missing.

      If you have some spare time, you are welcome to help us with the editing/writing. Ping me if/when you’re interested.

  • SolarCatcher
    August 9, 2010 at 8:56 am |

    Hi,

    some explanation on the encryption option in the installer would be helpful for first-time users. I had set up FreeBSD with GELI already, so I had an idea of what I was getting into…

    Especially, there could be some information on when/how the password is requested at system startup. I think most people would not want to have all partitions encrypted to find that later they have to key-in several passwords to allow mounting each partition.

    Furthermore, it seems that SWAP does not need the password/passphrase (which is o.k. but it is confusing to ask for it at install-time).

    Furthermore, there should be some warning as to the choice of the password/passphrase — for non-QWERTY users! At the time of installation one has already chosen the local keyboard but at system startup when the password is needed it is still QWERTY. Ideally, the installer should translate the password correctly for QWERTY… otherwise some warning message would be helpful.

    Lastly, it seems that the double-request of entering password/passphrase at installation does not seem to have any effect: One can happily enter two different passwords and the two are not checked against each other. This could be a bug, but for the moment this means: The user must be very careful to check that the two entries are identical.

    Thanks for the good work… and best regards
    SolarCatcher

    • August 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm |

      Hi SolarCatcher,

      Would you have some time to help us write up this section and perhaps provide some screenshots as well?

      • SolarCatcher
        August 11, 2010 at 1:18 am |

        I will try (but it will take a little while…).

        Are there any guidelines/tips for documentation writing already?

        Is Virtual Box the tool of choice for screenshots of the installation process or are there other/better tools?

        • August 11, 2010 at 5:55 am |

          Not really any tips. When you write, assume that the reader knows nothing about the topic and provide the info that would be useful for the reader to accomplish something and understand why they are doing it. Anything that is written will get reviewed by others to make sure the spelling and grammar are correct and that the content and flow are good, so don’t obsess if you’re not the world’s greatest writer. It is easier to edit existing content than to write it all from scratch.

          As for screenshots, I’ve been using ksnapshot on a newly installed 8.1. VirtualBox is a necessity for screenshots that can’t be captured on a running system, such as installation or bootup screens. If you use VirtualBox, you’ll have to clean up the image to remove the VirtualBox border (which is why I use ksnapshot when I can).

          • mato
            August 12, 2010 at 9:26 am |

            Well, I recently tried to install both PC-BSD 8.0 and 8.1 in Virtual Box but both failed at some point (either during installation or boot-up). This was on Snow Leopard.

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