The PC-BSD team has always been dedicated to bringing you the best graphical BSD desktop possible. We received some great feedback after our last release cycle that made us rethink our release schedule.
In the past, we tracked FreeBSD major releases, and also added our own quarterly updates that tended to add in a good bit of code for new features and utilities. Going forward, PC-BSD releases will track FreeBSD releases only, such as 10.2 -> 11.0 -> 11.1. Once the code base is frozen for a major release, an update can be pushed out to EDGE users who wish to act as advanced users and beta testers for the updates. During that several week testing period, if something goes wrong we’ll count on EDGE users to help report issues so that we can
quickly get those bugs fixed during the code freeze. After the several week testing period, we can release the update for PRODUCTION users, once we are confident that the kinks are worked out and EDGE users are happy.
We’re also changing the way the EDGE and PRODUCTION branches work a little bit. EDGE packages will now only be built with the ‘stable’ branch of PC-BSD code, to avoid radical changes that could break functionality to the PC-BSD tool-chain. This also allows us to focus our QA and testing on the new 3rd party packages themselves.
However, all packages that are built on FreeBSD -CURRENT will include PC-BSD’s ‘master’ branch, and are considered bleeding edge. These images will continue to be rolled monthly and are only intended for advanced users or developers who can debug and otherwise help fix issues as they arise.
The PRODUCTION package branch will be switching to a monthly update schedule instead of quarterly. The PC-BSD tool-chain will also be based upon “stable”, which will not radically change between releases. We are hoping this change will balance between the need for stability and bringing in the latest packages / security updates to end users in a timely manner.
Some of you may have heard the speculation surrounding the last couple weeks of development here at the PC-BSD project, and I’d like to go ahead and address those rumors in today’s post. We know there has been a large amount of misinformation circulating so we recommend that all of our users please read the following explanation so the information is clear.
For the last couple of months we have been beating our heads against the wall trying to find a way to put us on par with the best Linux distros out there such as Ubuntu. During a phone meeting on Monday between Kris, Dru, Ken and myself (Josh), we began tossing around ideas on how we can make that happen. One of the ideas that was presented was making Lumina DE the only supported desktop environment in PC-BSD and by doing so focus all of our development time exclusively on it. Ken Moore argued that if we could create a desktop environment that everyone loved, and “Unify” the user experience, that no one would have any reason ever to use anything else because it was the best. Although we did toss the idea around for a while we thought that might be a little bit of an issue with a few of our users that like to use other crappy desktop environments.
After an hour of spirited back and forth debate, many good ideas were presented. As we all took a moment during our video call to think about the ideas that were just discussed, I interrupted the awkward silence and told the rest of the group about an idea I had been thinking about for a few days. “What if we could do something even better than Unify the user experience…What if we could make the system boot extremely fast”. I explained that if we could hard code a “boot shim” so to speak into the kernel, that we could be the fastest booting unix-like distribution out there. We all looked at each other and started to realize this was the “holy grail” so to speak that we had been looking for. After perusing the internet for about 3 and a half minutes we found out there was already a Linux solution available.
We hammered out the details and now want to present you with our new “Everything Manager” the new SystemBS-D. Most of you are familiar with how we can port different types of Linux software and run them through our emulation layer. Using the same emulation magic we have taken what one kid that lives on my street called “the best piece of software ever. The end.”, and ported it over to PC-BSD. SystemBS-D not only makes your system boot faster, but it can basically manage everything on your system as well. Sure it still crashes a lot and it has trouble displaying log files, but we’re working on that. In a discussion with Kris Moore he stated “SystemBS-D may be unstable, but it DID make the system boot super fast. I feel like that’s a pretty good trade.”
Taking cues from other popular software companies we have also thought about integrating a really cool storefront into PC-BSD and making people look at it before they can go to their desktop. We could also consider locking down the user’s system with “grub-lock” so no other operating systems could be installed on it… oops I meant “secure” the user’s system.
We look forward to hearing your feedback on these new developments.
P.S. if you thought any of this was real look at the date on your computer. Happy 1st!
Check out Luke Wolf’s take on the future of PC-BSD and its rapid feature development at the link below:
Kris just announced on the mailing list that new current images are now available! Check out the info below!
The PC-BSD project is pleased to announce the availability of our first
images based upon FreeBSD 11.0-CURRENT!
WARNING: These images are considered “bleeding-edge” and should be
treated as such.
The DVD/USB ISO files can now be downloaded from the following URL:
We hope to continue rolling these -CURRENT images as a way for testers
and developers to tryout both FreeBSD and PC-BSD bleeding edge features,
often months before a planned release. These images include a full PKG
repository compiled for that months image. Users of this system will
also be able to “upgrade” when the next monthly image is published.
— Reporting Bugs —
This is a great way to test features and report bugs well before the
release cycle begins for the next major .0 release.
For bugs in PC-BSD, please report to:
For FreeBSD / Port / Kernel / World bugs, please report to:
ITwire.com just published a new interview with Kris! Check it out at the link below!