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.
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