FreeBSD 8.2 is scheduled to be released towards the end of January, meaning PC-BSD 8.2 will be released shortly thereafter. We’ve started a TODO list for PC-BSD 8.2 and expect this release to be mostly bug fixes and the most recent versions of KDE and the other software that comes with the PC-BSD operating system. Note that most of the new features coming in 9.0 (e.g. multiple desktops, new control panel, new PBI format, etc.) will not be in 8.2. However, Kris will backport the bug fixes that have been made to the System Network Configuration tool and the Disk partitioning screen of the installer so users can take advantage of those changes in 8.2.
There are several ways you can help with this release. We expect to have beta snapshots available in early December and will announce them when they are ready for download. If you have a spare system or virtual machine, install a beta version and let us know if you come across any problems. We’ll have full instructions for reporting bugs when the beta releases are announced.
Another way you can help is with the Handbook. Starting in 8.2, we plan to include a “release” of the Handbook with the operating system. We also hope to start on translated versions. While work has been steady on the Handbook, there are still many sections that need to be written and proofed for readability and usability. From the Handbook’s preface:
This is the wiki area for the collaborative editing of the PC-BSD Users Handbook. The Handbook grows into a useful resource when users (meaning you!) contribute to it. You don’t have to write large sections of the Handbook in order to be a contributor. You also don’t need to have a lot of time on your hands. You simply have to create a login account in order to assist with any of the following tasks:
* proofread existing pages and fix any typos, grammos, or unclearly worded sections.
* add to sections containing missing, outdated, or incomplete content.
* update any screenshots that are out of date.
* every page has a Discussion tab. You can use this if you would like to suggest further information that should appear in that section of the Handbook.
* create a new section for content that is not yet covered in the Handbook. If you are not sure where to do this, ask on a semi-related Discussion tab.
We are emailed whenever edits are made and will contact you for clarification if an edit is unclear. You can also be notified when specified pages are edited–simply click the “my preferences” or “my watchlist” links whenever you are logged into the wiki.
Beginning with PC-BSD 8.2, the contents of the wiki will be generated into a “released” version of the Handbook that will be included with that PC-BSD release as well as made available in HTML and PDF formats. Once the Handbook is released, the wiki version will be updated to include changes being made to the next version of PC-BSD. This means that, over time, separate Handbooks will be available for each release. For those familiar with FreeBSD terminology, consider the wiki version of the Handbook to be “CURRENT” or “HEAD”.
Let us know if you are interested in translating the Handbook. We will “freeze” the Handbook during the RC phase of a release to give time for translation work.
The feature story in this week’s edition of DistroWatch is a review, written by Jesse Smith, of the PC-BSD version of Bordeaux. From the review:
The Bordeaux Technology Group is a company specializing in compatibility software. Specifically, they work at making it as easy as possible to run Windows programs on the UNIX family of operating systems. Their Bordeaux tool is built to run on Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, OpenIndiana and Mac OS X. Bordeaux is, at its heart, a customized build of Wine. They take a recent version of Wine, add some special tools and test their build for compatibility against a group of popular Windows software. They then sell this bundle (along with support) for about US$20 — 25, much less than the typical cost of a Windows license. A few weeks ago I had a chance to chat with Tom, a member of the Bordeaux Technology Group, and he was kind enough to give me a copy of Bordeaux (PC-BSD edition) to test-drive.
A PC-BSD user mentioned on IRC that the pcbsd.fr website was out of date–he noticed when he tried to download 8.1 and ended up with 7.1 instead.
It took a bit of time, but we found the current webmaster who has since updated the pcbsd.fr website. If you notice any content that was missed, please leave a comment so it can be fixed. Also, if you have some time and would like to assist with translating or proofing translations, let us know and we’ll put you in touch with the webmaster.
If so, we need your help!
We’ve setup a wiki area in order to collect information on missing wireless drivers or existing drivers with missing functionality. If you have already struggled with your wireless and know that your device is not supported, take a minute to make sure that it is listed in the appropriate table.
We also need your help spreading the word so that we can get as many drivers as possible created and fixed in time for 9.0. Please tweet, blog, FB, etc. so that other users and developers are aware of this resource. If you’re a developer working on the driver, please put a note indicating this in the comment section for the device/driver. You can also add text (or create a new table) when your driver is ready for testing–we’ll help you spread the word so that the driver can be tested by as many users as possible.
If you’re using PC-BSD 8.1 and have a dialup or DSL modem, please review the Advanced Network Settings and PPPoE page of the PC-BSD Handbook as I don’t have access to a modem to test the settings. Please let us know if the device names are correct, if any required fields are missing, or if any of the text is unclear or needs more explanation. You can leave a comment here or make a wiki account and either start a discussion on the page’s Discussion tab or edit the page directly (we’ll see your edits).
We’ve discovered a bug that prevents a newly installed system from booting if you uncheck both the “Install PC-BSD bootloader” and the “Partition with GPT for full disk install” check boxes in the Disk selection screen of the alpha snapshot. The error will not occur if either (or both) of these boxes are checked. This bug has been fixed for the next alpha snapshot; for now, check at least one of those boxes if you are testing the current snapshot.