One of the new features coming in 9.0 is the ability to select and run multiple window managers, meaning you no longer have to like KDE to like PC-BSD
We do realize that we’re opening up a can of worms in that we’ll be discovering lots of bugs in various window managers and/or their FreeBSD implementation. This can be seen as a great opportunity to get these bugs fixed, improving the desktop experience for both FreeBSD and PC-BSD users. In order to do so, we’ll need your help, especially if you have used your favourite window manager on a non-BSD system and have noticed usability differences in the BSD implementation.
To coordinate this effort, we’ve setup a Testing forum which contains sub-forums for KDE, GNOME, XFCE, LXDE, Fluxbox, and General Testing for all other window managers. Please read the “README First” thread before posting a bug report to a forum and leave a comment if you have other helpful information that you think should be included in that README thread.
If you start a thread, you should use Thread Tools -> Subscribe to this Thread so that you will be notified of any responses to your post. Alternately, if you’re interested in keeping up with all the threads for a particular window manager, you can use Forum Tools -> Subscribe to this Forum. As you subscribe, you can choose to be notified immediately, daily, or weekly.
Our goal is to help find and fix as many bugs as possible before 9.0 is released some time next summer.
We did some testing on 3G modems at OLF and loading the u3g driver seems to do the trick (earlier versions of FreeBSD had a conflict between u3g and umass but this seems to be fixed now). You can load the driver by issuing this command as the superuser:
If you would like the driver to autoload at boot time, carefully add this line to /boot/loader.conf:
Lars Engels also provided a useful link containing an exhaustive list of APNs, usernames and passwords.
Please let us know if further configuration settings are required (i.e. which are currently not possible to do within the System Network Configuration utility) in order to get your modem to work.
One of the changes coming in 9.0 is the ability to select multiple desktop environments during installation. Kris completed the code for this late last week and was able to show it off at the PC-BSD booth during Ohio LinuxFest. Here is a preliminary screenshot:
In order to fully integrate the PC-BSD utilities into a desktop manager, the desktop manager must be XDG-compliant. At the moment, the 9.0 installer supports KDE, GNOME, XFCE, and LXDE (not shown in screenshot). In addition to selecting the desktop environment, the user can expand the selection in order to choose which components of the desktop environment will be installed.
Non-XDG-compliant window managers may be added (but won’t fully integrate) or may be made available as PBIs.
We will be looking for testers before the end of this year so we can start finding bugs and submitting bug reports for the included window managers. Leave a comment if your favourite desktop environment/window manager is not listed in this post so it can be considered for inclusion (or a PBI be made if there is not one). Stay tuned for more information on how to become a tester.
Earlier today, Karl Fischer mentioned that Tapatalk might be a useful forum feature. As described on its website, Tapatalk “is a forum app on the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and Nokia. Our app provides you super fast forum access to any vBulletin, IPBoard, phpBB or SMF forum that has activated our Tapatalk plugin”.
The forum system administrator added the plugin and has tested that it works for the iPhone and Karl is able to access the forums from Android. Please leave a comment if you have trouble accessing the PC-BSD forums from your phone and we’ll look into it. Otherwise, enjoy!
The following PBIs are now available in Software Manager:
- MESS: an acronym that stands for Multi Emulator Super System. MESS will more or less faithfully reproduce computer and console systems on a PC. MESS can currently emulate over 250 systems from the last 5 decades.
- Mixxx: software for DJ’ing. You can use wave based audio files, Ogg Vorbis and MP3 files as audio input. Mixxx can be controlled through the GUI and with external controllers including MIDI devices, joysticks and more.
Thanks to Jesse Smith for his continued working in creating PBIs.
The latest NVIDIA driver is now available through Update Manager for both 32 and 64 bit systems. From the release highlights:
- Fixed a bug that prevented XvMC from initializing in most cases.
- Added support for xorg-server video driver ABI version 8, which will be included in the upcoming xorg-server-1.9 series of releases.
- Fixed a bug that caused extremely slow rendering of OpenGL applications on X screens other than screen 0 when using a compositing manager.
- Fixed a regression introduced after 256.35 that caused stability problems on GPUs such as GeForce GT 240.
- Fixed a slow kernel virtual address space leak observed whenstarting and stopping OpenGL, CUDA, or VDPAU applications.
- Fixed a bug that left the system susceptible to hangs when running two or more VDPAU applications simultaneously.
Instructions for using the update can be found by clicking the View Details button in the System Updates tab of Update Manager.