PC-BSD Status Update

I wanted to take this time to give you a status update on PC-BSD / TrueOS, and the direction going forward. As many of you know, we’ve been doing builds of 9.1-RELEASE and 9-STABLE as a “Rolling-Release”. Our new plan is to issue system and package updates on the following schedule:

– Update PKGNG repo on or about the 1st and 15th of the month.

– Update the PKGNG repo on or about the 5th and 20th of the month
– Issue a new “freebsd-update” patch on the 1st, which includes the latest -STABLE version

In addition to the rolling release, we also have some other cool new projects in the works. The first among these is our work to make ZFS the cornerstone of the PC-BSD/TrueOS experience. This will bring features such as ZFS “Boot-Environments”, including the ability to boot directly from them at the boot-loader. If you’ve not run boot-environments before, you will wonder how you survived without them. To accomplish this, we are going to be moving to the GRUB boot-loader, which now has ZFS support. The pbi-manager and Warden already have extensive ZFS support, and we will be enhancing our other utilities, such as “Life-Preserver” with ZFS features as well.

In addition to re-focusing on solely on ZFS as our default file-system, we have had to take a look at the feasibility of continuing with the i386 builds. As many of you know, ZFS is a 21st century operating system and doesn’t play nicely with the legacy i386 kernel / versions of FreeBSD. In addition over the past couple years, more and more of time-consuming issues we’ve encountered have been only on i386, partly due to the fact that most FreeBSD devs have already moved on to 64bit and also due to the quickly shrinking number of users / systems that still run i386. In order to make PC-BSD / TrueOS, secure, stable and timely, we’ve decided to drop the i386 builds going forward, and instead focus on a single 64bit architecture. This means the next editions of rolling-release and 9.2 onward will be 64bit only. If you are already on 64bit, then you won’t need to worry about anything. However if you are running i386 on your box you will need to consider moving it to the 64bit versions in the near future. If your hardware is less than 10 years old then most likely you will be able to do this without any difficulty.

For those helping us test the rolling-release now, I hope to have a new ISO + package set available in the next week or so, which includes the new GRUB boot-loader for Boot-Environments. I will post back details on how to manually setup / test this feature in the near future. Once these new features have stabilized a bit further, we will begin to issue general updates for users of the old 9.1-RELEASE from January to upgrade to 9.1 Rolling Release.

Kris Moore
PC-BSD Software

Share This Post:
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • LinkedIn
  • Slashdot

Written by Kris Moore. Posted in Uncategorized

Trackback from your site.

Comments (49)

  • June 20, 2013 at 8:00 am |

    Sounds awesome Kris, Thanks a lot to you and everyone else at PC-BSD, FreeBSD and iXsystems. 🙂

  • June 20, 2013 at 8:38 am |

    This sounds good. It’s nice to know the planned release schedule for the pkgng repos. Also, great idea on switching to GRUB to utilize ZFS features; for those of us who want a ZFS based desktop system, PC-BSD is definitely the place to be!

    • lkm
      September 29, 2013 at 8:58 pm |

      zfs requires learning a whole new concept.

      try using a partition editor on your disk after using zfs. most partition managers (like gparted etc) dont support zfs resizing etc.

      most commandline utilities haven’t yet got equivelent commands for zfs.

      it is a very big deal. – it will bring most users back to knowing nothing at a beginner level concerning backups, system admin, file systems, disk management. and users wont even be able to use most of the tools that they are used to using.

  • June 20, 2013 at 8:44 am |

    what will happen if a package is found vulnerable one day after repository update?

    Also, 64-bit applications usually use more ram compared to 32-bit which is a problem when running in a virtual machines.

  • hughetorrance
    June 20, 2013 at 9:39 am |

    I was going to ask if PC-BSD is still a live distro but I will just check it out and find out that way. LOL

  • yerlan
    June 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm |

    Hey, don’t keep it too long.
    Choose an up-to-date DE that plays nicely with BSD, put latest Firefox and release already.
    Users don’t like to wait too long.

    • June 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm |

      Patience is a virtue Yerlan. 🙂 iXsystems and the PC-BSD and FreeBSD teams provide us with this great OS for Free, so they can take all the time that they want to. I will wait patiently and always be Thankful to everyone. 🙂

      Off topic:
      We just started using FreeNAS and it rocks! 🙂

  • […] PCBSD moving forward with Rolling Release of 9-STABLE […]

  • nemysis
    June 21, 2013 at 9:23 am |

    Thanks for the Status Update and awesome PC-BSD.

    Thanks for the information. Will you incorporate boot0cfg along with grub and UFS+SUJ choice during install as an option?

  • nkhughes
    June 21, 2013 at 11:40 am |

    Aaarggghhh!!! Just my luck – I’ve spent the last few days setting up an i386 VirtualBox VM with PC-BSD 9.1 (my first encounter with this version of BSD). It runs my most common applications and gets swapped between a 64-bit MacBook Pro running OSX 10.6 and a 32-bit Windows 7 netbook.

    Eventually I’d like nearly all of my stuff to be on PC-BSD and then I’d flip things over and run PC-BSD on the hardware and virtualize Windows, etc. for the few platform-specific apps I still require.

    Now I’m stuck with no more i386 support – what are my options. Build another PC-BSD VM (64-bit) and manually copy all my settings and email, etc. over? Or can I delay the inevitable and fall back to 32-bit FreeBSD ports/packages?

  • Eric Wayte
    June 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm |

    I run PC-BSD on a 2009 Asus eee netbook (1005HA) and its Atom N280 CPU is 32-bit. It looks like I will have to switch to something else…

  • priyadarshan
    June 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm |

    Thank you so mcuh for this update, for offering a rolling release, and for PCBSD. The best desktop AND server OS in the world. Thank you.

  • Brice
    June 22, 2013 at 10:10 am |

    Speaking of ZFS features, will you integrate a “Time slider” to Nautilus ? This was a great feature the regretted OpenSolaris introduced a few years ago, helping users to easily restore past versions of their files. Since OpenSolaris was open-source, it might be possible to re-use the code for this feature.

  • June 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm |

    […] El siguiente artículo es una traducción del siguiente  sitio http://blog.pcbsd.org/2013/06/pc-bsd-status-update/ […]

  • carstenmattner
    June 23, 2013 at 2:29 am |

    Is it a good idea to use GRUB if you take its GPL license into account? FreeBSD is removing the GPL licensed bits like compiler toolchain from the core for a reason.

    • ArchBSD
      June 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm |

      Good question. Well FreeBSD indeed is getting rid of the GPL code but that is related only to the base system. Maybe one day they’ll work on the bootloader too, have a similar one to GRUB. In my encounter with BTX it wasn’t too friendly. Just my 2 cents. I might be wrong, still need to explore the OS a bit more.

      • June 24, 2013 at 9:31 am |

        GRUB isn’t going into the base-system, its just a package, same as KDE and other GPL’d things. However, if this encourages development of a BSD licensed boot-loader then great 😉

        • ArchBSD
          June 24, 2013 at 11:08 am |

          Hi Kris. Are you going to use GRUB 1 or 2? Thanks.

          • June 24, 2013 at 11:33 am |

            It’s grub 2.0, since that has all the nifty ZFS bits in it 🙂

        • carstenmattner
          June 24, 2013 at 11:46 am |

          Yeah but even in the linux world syslinux is gaining traction amidst GRUB2’s user facing issues with the new config file structure. You say it won’t be in base but you can see the bootloader in use to be part of an install’s core/base. Just sayin’.

  • Sam
    June 24, 2013 at 9:56 am |

    When the net Rolling Release on DVD media?

    At ftp://ftp.pcbsd.org/pub/ ocne can find only the 04/06/2013 version.


    • John
      June 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm |

      The latest rolling release is up now…

      3961850 KB

  • Alexandre
    June 24, 2013 at 10:38 am |

    With the death of x86 compatibility, I have no reason to use PC-BSD going forward. It’s a shame as it was my favorite distribution of BSD.

  • carstenmattner
    June 24, 2013 at 11:48 am |

    Can we have minimal install media that’s less than 700mb as a means to support capable machines with poor BIOS that don’t boot from usb?

  • chris bell
    June 24, 2013 at 1:46 pm |

    I cant afford a 64bit system so i guess PC-BSD will have to go and ill have to ressort to Ubuntu or similar

    hey a free OS for rich people only thats the way to go

    • June 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm |

      Rich people? You know 64bit is about 10 years old right? Heck, the systems I throw away are 64bit even. Check ebay if you want a dirt cheap old amd64 system, a lot of the old Intel P4’s are even 64bit capable.

      • mato
        August 9, 2013 at 5:31 am |

        And what about UFS SU+J ? Will it be available or ZFS only ? Because even if a machine is 64b capable, it may not have enough RAM and we know ZFS requires a lot of RAM.
        While I agree that 64b is future, there are many reasons why people still prefer 32b. And while ZFS has very nice feature set, I am sure there is still place for UFS. Taking those options away from your users simply means they will have to turn to alternatives.
        IMHO, it’s a bit premature decision and should be postponed. Just my two cents.

  • ArchBSD
    June 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm |

    He’s trolling! It gets to the point of ridiculousness with the 32bit – 64bit issue. It’s 2013 for Pete’s sakes!

  • chris bell
    June 25, 2013 at 7:57 am |

    10 yrs ago we dint have much PCs in this country I live in Nicaragua many pcs we have are what USA throw away, when people still earn $25 a week and have children to keep, no schooling, water every 2 days, electricity out for 8hrs a day. I have p4 which isnt 64bit,

    try getting out of your rich countries before you condem peope as ridiculous trolls

  • tony
    June 25, 2013 at 11:23 am |

    Guess I missed the bit where someone owed you an OS eh?! Jesus, for someone with very little money, you certainly come across like a grade A spoilt brat. It’s not as though there aren’t a million other free 32bit operating systems out there…
    For my part I’m just exceedlingly grateful that people are kind enough to work so hard on something they give away for free, and hope to one day be able to pay the favour forward. Keep up the awesome work PC-BSD team.

  • Ryan Hoopes
    June 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm |

    I got onto PC-BSD pretty recently, and I think it’s great. I got an old 32-bit Intel but hopefully I can upgrade at some point and join you guys. It’s been fun.

  • […] but this week has been a busy week for me. In the miscellaneous news section, the news about PC-BSD moves of leaving i386 architecture behind from their future work caught my […]

  • Joseph Mulloy
    June 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm |

    “ZFS is a 21st century operating system”

    Shouldn’t that say filesystem?

  • chris bell
    June 29, 2013 at 7:32 am |

    @ tony Guess I missed the bit where someone owed you an OS eh?! Jesus, for someone with very little money, you certainly come across like a grade A spoilt brat. It’s not as though there aren’t a million other free 32bit operating systems out there…

    Did I say anyone owed me anything i said i have to move on to a different OS because i am not rich enough to buy a new PC…. i hardly can sound spoiled when others on here can throw away better pcs than what i wil probably ever own.
    and maybe in our cuture we dont kss ass and say how gratefulwe are every time we can..

  • Matthias Shalom
    June 29, 2013 at 10:34 am |

    Chakra GNU/Linux drive this Way since a Year. Successfully. I agree with this Decision and write this Text from a Pentium M ^_^

  • bruno
    June 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm |

    @chris you don’t need to buy a new computer just a processor and a motherboard! But when you do it be very cautious about graphic card compability ram etc. I should mention that i upgraded a few years ago a computer with an amd sempron (20 euros) + motherboard (asus m2n 60 euros)! The rest i got from my old computer. Well but that only happens because i got some interest in how stuff works!

    regards Bruno

  • Travis Campbell
    July 3, 2013 at 11:41 pm |

    @ Chris Bell

    You do not need to move on, sure everything is/has moved on to 64-bit, but that does not mean that older releases are no longer maintained.

    If you are on a fairly recent 32bit release, and everything is working for you, then there should be no reason to worry about upgrading. At least not anytime soon.

    As I read it, they are not going to produce anymore 32bit releases, but they should still provide support for older releases for some time.. which means you should still get bug fixes and security patches, possibly even a new feature or two..

  • nkhughes
    July 4, 2013 at 12:54 am |

    @Travis Campbell

    Not sure about that – my new installation cannot set up a warden jail because the i386 system install sets it needs have already been removed from the mirror. And the SeaMonkey PBI is still on 2.17 for 32-bit, but 2.17.1 for 64-bit.

    As a newcomer to PC-BSD my impression (please correct me if I’m wrong) is that 32-bit is already being removed.

  • Marchman
    July 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm |

    I only have one 64 bit machine and many other 32 bit that work really well. I think it is better that PC-BSD focus their attention to the newer technologies. As for my 32 bit computers I have a FreeBSD disk and I will just roll my own on them. Problem solved. I am the one running the older hardware.

  • julian
    July 5, 2013 at 9:59 pm |

    how do I find out if my PCBSD system is on rolling release or the old stable branch? (or is there no choice?).


    • July 8, 2013 at 7:52 am |

      If its using the new “pkgng” system, its on a rolling-release. Check with “pkg info”, it should give you long list of packages if so.

  • July 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm |

    HI i thing it is right. Thanks for you share a good lesson. Visit my web islam

  • Thinkpad
    October 10, 2013 at 11:01 am |

    64bit will not run on a Thinkpad X41. Bad.

  • mohmad
    October 21, 2013 at 5:32 pm |

    Please I want to get the latest 32-bit version
    My Computer somewhat old and does not contain Graphics Accelerator,,

    You are trying to install version 9.2 available but it is very, very slow, and you need an advanced computer and has a great potential and this is not available I currently have,

    What do I do,

    Thank you

  • dri
    October 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm |

    ….and also due to the quickly shrinking number of users / systems that still run i386?.

    He who published those words in eset Post, is a big lie ,now the world has a market share of 32 bits by 90%.

    We want to use PCBSD on 32bit system.

  • J
    May 14, 2015 at 7:31 pm |

    It was nice to see the great effort your team did to integrate all the graphical utilities in a simple install.
    Although I used PC-BSD several times during the last decade and more often during the last 2 years; I am now force to abandon it because the lack of support for 32 bit architectures.
    Most people abandon Windows systems because they force people to change hardware every 2 years and the systems keep on growing with useless additions.
    FreeBSD is great because it can still be installed in a minimal box (I have boxes from 1997 still working great). But now even a 3 years old notebook is not good enough for PC-BSD; what a pitty!!! as this is the only machine in which I had PC-BSD.
    Are you trying to follow Microsoft? Please consider the environmental damage cause by forced migrations to newer PCs.

    I hope you reconsider support for 32bit architectures or that at least you extend the life of older versions.

Leave a comment


Please leave these two fields as-is:

Help the Project, Donate Today!