Archive for October, 2010
The following PBIs are now available through Software Manager:
htop: an enhanced version of top, the interactive process viewer, which can display the list of processes in a tree form.
wxMaxima: a wxWidgets GUI for the computer algebra system maxima. Most of maxima functions are accessible through menus, some have dialogs. The input line has command history (up-key, down-key) and completion based on previous input (tab-key). wxMaxima provides 2d formated display of maxima output.
Thanks to Jesse Smith for creating and soundtek for requesting the htop PBI.
The following PBI is now available in Software Manager:
minitunes: just another music player, only better. Minitunes unclutters your music listening experience with a clean and innovative interface.
Thanks to Jesse Smith for creating the PBI and to kmf for requesting it.
The following PBIs have been added to Software Manager:
Synergy+: lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, without special hardware. All you need is a LAN connection. It’s intended for users with multiple computers, where each system uses its own display.
Heyu2: a text-based console program for remotely controlling lights and appliances in the home or office. Heyu uses the CM11A computer interface to send and receive X10 control signals over the AC power lines to modules which can turn On, Off, or Dim attached lamps or appliances. It can store a schedule of timed events in the CM11A memory for execution when the computer is turned off or disconnected.
Thanks to Jesse Smith for taking the time to create these PBIs and to billksun and kevin for suggesting them on the PBI Requests forum.
There was a lot of interest about the changes to the pc-sysinstall backend during Kris’ presentation at EuroBSDCon. For those of you used to FreeBSD’s sysinstall, you’ll appreciate some of the features which are available in pc-sysinstall. For those of you new to pc-sysinstall, it is a scriptable command line utility which drives the PC-BSD GUI installer (and can also be used for system administrators to script custom installs). It has been totally redesigned for PC-BSD 9 and supports modern FreeBSD filesystems (ZFS, UFS+SUJ), gpart, and geli.
The presentation was not recorded, but you can download the PDF of the paper behind the presentation. It describes the design behind the rewrite and offers several configuration examples for creating custom installations. Please note that the svn URL on the last page of the PDF will fail as pc-sysinstall was committed to FreeBSD HEAD after the paper was submitted.
If you would like to try out pc-sysinstall, you can use the following commands, run as superuser, from either a FreeBSD or a PC-BSD system:
setenv CVSROOT :pserver:email@example.com.FreeBSD.org/home/ncvs
cvs login (use password of anoncvs)
cvs checkout -A -P usr.sbin/pc-sysinstall
mkdir -p /usr/share/pc-sysinstall/backend
mkdir -p /usr/share/pc-sysinstall/conf/license
Note to PC-BSD users: PC-BSD 8.x comes with the original installer located in /usr/PCBSD/pc-sysinstall. If you run the commands listed above, you’ll find the new installer backend in /usr/share/pc-sysinstall.
more /usr/share/examples/pc-sysinstall/README is an excellent place to start as it describes each configuration possibility.
One of the new configuration icons that will be in 9.0′s PC-BSD Control Panel is called Service Manager. It is a front-end to rc.conf, allowing users to easily see which services with rc.conf knobs are currently installed; to disable or enable the startup of a service; or to start, stop, or restart a service. Here is a screenshot showing that the system services are listed first alphabetically, followed by an alphabetical list of services that were installed from FreeBSD ports/packages. In this example, cupsd is currently running and enabled at startup. Since it is highlighted, the user can stop, restart, or disable this service:
Service Manager works in PC-BSD 8.x, meaning you don’t have to wait til 9.0 to try it out. If you’d like to install the entire control panel, follow the instructions in this blog post. If you only want to install Service Manager, replace the svn command in those instructions with:
svn co svn://svn.pcbsd.org/pcbsd/current/src-qt4/pc-servicemanager/
and cd to the pc-servicemanager directory to issue your make commands.
To start just this application (rather than the whole control panel), issue this command as a regular user:
There is one known issue: some ports that provide rc scripts do not support the status directive. You will know this is the case if the port installs an rc script into /usr/local/etc/rc.d/ but the service does not appear in pc-servicemanager. We would like to locate as many of these ports as possible so that we can submit a PR to the ports bugs database so the rc script can be corrected. Let us know if you find any and we can either assist you in submitting a PR or submit one for you.
At this week’s DevSummit prior to EuroBSDCon, we had discussions on how to improve communications between end-users (who use software and discover bugs and usability problems) and ports maintainers (who port software and fix bugs). It was agreed that it isn’t always easy for users to submit their feedback and get a response back. It is equally difficult for ports maintainers to find users willing to test new ports.
In response, we’ve created two new PC-BSD forums:
- Ports Requests: where users can request ports for software that is not currently ported to FreeBSD
- Ports Testers: where ports maintainers can put out calls for testers and receive user feedback
Please read the README file in each forum before posting a new thread. If you maintain a FreeBSD port or know any ports maintainers, help us spread the word about these new resources