Author Archive

Jan
17

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

PC-BSD 10.0 is hurtling towards the finish line, and the big news this week of course is that the PC-BSD 10.0 RC-4 image is now live!  If you want to be on the cutting edge of PC-BSD development please follow the link here and download the latest version of PC-BSD version 10.0 RC-4.  Please be aware this is still an early RC image and is not an official release.

We are aware a small number of users reported that Grub is behaving slowly during RC2 and RC3 initial startups, and at the time I was able to duplicate the issue on two of my test machines.  I have not been able to duplicate the issue with RC4.  If anyone is still experiencing slow Grub boot times it is imperative you download the test grub text image @ http://web.pcbsd.org/~kris/PCBSD-10.0-RC4-grubtext.iso , and see if this helps and / or fixes your problem.  Also it is beneficial to enable debug mode in your grub.cfg file and report anything that may look like it’s choking the system.  This is the last critical issue we are looking into for PC-BSD 10.0 Release, and we’d love to track this down and get it taken care of.

NOTE:  This is only for testing and booting purposes and is not appropriate to install from.  Much of the PC-BSD image has been removed.

The wine PBI is now available in the AppCafe for PC-BSD version 10.0. I’ve tested the wine PBI with a number of different windows programs, and it appears to be functioning normally. Wine has a couple of kinks that will hopefully get ironed out over the course of the next couple of months, but for now it is usable.  A couple things to remember if you want to use wine: The icons wine creates currently do not display the correct icons for the program, and would not execute the programs in my testing in KDE.  I had to browse to the appropriate program directory and execute the program through wine’s run command.  I have also been told that running the programs from the command line + wine also works just fine.

Remember: if you want to have a stable system, wine can lead to a number of freezes and or crashes especially with improper settings.  This does not mean PC-BSD has a bug.

PC-BSD 9.2 Release systems will now be able to upgrade to PC-BSD version 10.0 Release and keep their PBI library.  Kris has designed an upgrade feature that will allow PC-BSD to uninstall the user’s 9.2 PBIs (while keeping the PBI’s settings) during the update, and then reinstall the correct 10.0 PBI’s after the system update.

That’s it for this week folks.   Catch you later!

–Josh

 

 

Jan
10

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

Bug fixes, code freezes, and PBI speed increases!  There’s lots of exciting news this week in PC-BSD so let’s have a look.

PC-BSD 10.0 Release has entered into the “code freeze” phase of development.   In order to increase stability and focus on prioritizing bug fixing, major feature changes under the hood should no longer be committed for 10.0 Release.  Trac ticket owners are encouraged to finish and submit your cosmetic / general bug fixes as soon as possible.

PC-BSD release candidate 4 (p3) is currently being built and is expected to be finished sometime over the weekend.  Please click here to check and see if the latest image is currently available.  If it is not available please check again later.

The PC-BSD update system has received quite a bit of new stability improvements in the form of additional code.  Users can expect to see an improvement in the form of less errors during updates and an overall smoother update transition between builds.

Here’s a quick recap of some other awesome new features / bug fixes that have been committed over the last week.  Please test and report any problems as quickly as possible so we can make sure 10.0 Release will be ready to roll (no pun intended) when the time comes.

  • Most recent package set for 9.2 is currently being uploaded
  • Improved Nvidia video card detection routines
  •   The PBI format received a substantial upgrade over the course of the week allowing for PBI load times to be reduced in some cases up to 40%.
  • A fix has been implemented for the virtualbox driver
  • New wine PBI’s have just finished testing, and should be available in the next couple of days
  • Fixes have been committed for missing shortcut keys in the PC-BSD installer
  • Keyboard layout issues have been resolved for multiple desktop environments
  • Auto-mount detection has been improved for multiple desktop environments

That’s it for this week folks.  Please keep us informed if you have problems that are persisting in the newest Release Candidate image.

Best Regards,

–Josh

 

Jan
03

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

2013 is gone, and a new PC-BSD image is here.  We are now in 10.0 Release Candidate 3 (p2) and are moving very quickly towards final release.  There is still some fine tuning that we are working on, so keep those bug reports coming.  There are some awesome new key features / support features that have been added so let’s have a look at what’s new in PC-BSD land.

The guys and gals at the PC-BSD project continue to push the envelope on cutting edge features.  This week a new detection routine was finished that will offer simple detection on ATI Hybrid Graphics enabled laptop computers.  The new detection system was tested on a Samsung NP350 that would stall during installation because X was not able to detect either graphics card properly during the installation and first start-up respectively.  Now if the first video card fails X detection, a message will be displayed that it could not be started.  It will then try the next one.  More research and development is needed to see if we can apply this same fix to laptops using Nvidia as well.

For any of our testers out there that want to stay as cutting edge as possible and also assist in the current development in PC-BSD 10 Release, please go ahead and upgrade to the newest image by clicking here.  We are in a time crunch now, but we want to make sure we find any major / critical bugs and get them squashed ASAP.  Also I am still looking for testers to help us isolate any issues with the HPLIP package when installed while other printers (i.e brother, epson, etc) are installed as well.   The goal is too possibly add more printer support to PC-BSD, however please understand this is something for down the road and will not be a quick fix.  If you need more specific information about our goals with this side project please send me an e-mail at joshms@pcbsd.org.

New logic has been added to handling disk detection during PC-BSD installation.  There was an issue in the gui install as well as text install where the 4k sector size option was causing an installation failure.  If you were experiencing this issue and would like to test out PC-BSD 10.0 please go ahead and download the latest image and give it a go.

Special shout out to our Indonesian translation team for translating PC-BSD entirely into Indonesian Bahasa.  Thanks for the hard work, and…record time for a translation to be completed.  When I said “run with it” I didn’t actually know you were going to be able to finish it in 5 days.  We went from having around 20% translated a few days ago to completely localized now, and we couldn’t be happier at the potential for reaching an entirely new market for us.

Due to the state of upstream support for Linux jails in FreeBSD we are re-classifying Linux jails as unsupported / experimental.  The decision comes after frequent breaks in the way jails are handling the linux scripts and also the inability to handle advanced linux programs.  We are hoping this is something that we can again start supporting in 10.1, but currently it is just too darned clunky to be called a supported feature.  One thing Kris also mentioned to me in passing was that Linux jails were never meant to be pushed as far as they are sometimes pushed.  We will continue to monitor the state of progress on this upstream and keep you informed on any information that comes our way.

That’s it for this week.  You crazy kids stay out of trouble.

- Josh

 

Dec
27

12/27/13">Weekly Feature Digest 12/27/13

Just a short update today to let you all know what the low down is!

PC-BSD version 10.0 Release Candidate 2 is now live!  Please note this is a beta-test release and NOT an official release.  For more information on RC2 please visit the following blog page: http://blog.pcbsd.org/2013/12/pc-bsd-100-rc2-available/ .   PC-BSD 10.0 Release RC2 can be downloaded from http://​iso​.cdn​.pcbsd​.org/.

Quick Note:  Please report any bugs found @ trac​.pcbsd​.org.  The window is closing to get bug reports in before official release and we need to try to get any “major” or higher priority bugs knocked out before then.

Kris has reported today that he is in the final stages of getting virtualbox working on PC-BSD 10.0.  He has fixed many of the seg fault issues that we were seeing from previous versions and will be looking to have these packages ready in the next week or so hopefully by RC3.

AMD KMS support appears to be improving based on my first interactions with the new 10.0 release RC2 image.  I’ve noticed much less graphical distortion, and better stability all around.

Tons of bugfixes and stability improvements went in today so big thanks to everyone involved for knocking those out.  We are still aware of the issue with the FreeBSD bootloader not functioning, but rest assured Kris is putting in every effort to get this resolved for you quickly.

That’s it for this week folks!

Best Regards,

Josh

Dec
20

12/20/13">PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 12/20/13

In the words of Dr. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory TV Show), “i’m not insane…my mother had me tested”.  That’s the way i’m sure many of the devs felt at the end of this week.  While fending off the impending insanity caused by lack-of-flash-itis, the reason for our package issues with version 10.0 finally have started to come into focus.  For more information on the package / pkgng debacle please see this blog post: http://​blog​.pcbsd​.org/​2013​/​12​/​e​n​d​-​o​f​-​t​h​e​-​p​k​g​-​w​o​es/.  Though we typically just recommend users just upgrade to new package sets, I personally opted to do a complete reinstall of 10.0 Beta P6.  The primary issue myself and many other developers kept running into was issues with the centOS linux compatibility layer that was just too buggy to make good use of at this time.

In other similar news PC-BSD is likely to begin starting a new version naming system to help differentiate the different types of releases and hopefully offer a little more clarity to users that may be less than familiar with the conventional FreeBSD naming system.  Along with the new naming system a new package release schedule will also be added to help users maintain more stability by not having to update their packages every couple of weeks.  Stay tuned for more information on this as it develops.

Flash is now working in both firefox and chromium as well as many other internet browsers.  The new PBI’s have been approved and include the fixes to make sure flash works with all the recent changes in version PC-BSD 10.0.  For Chromium look for the version of 31 ending in .63.  For Firefox look for version 25_01.  I’m not sure if the issue is widespread but there was an additional step needed to make flash work in firefox on one of my primary test systems.  If flash is working in other browsers, but not firefox run the command nspluginwrapper –v –a –i.  For some reason flashpluginctl on / off was not running the script as it was supposed to.  From most mainstream testing this looks to be a fairly minor and isolated issue.

PBI’s continue to be added to the PC-BSD AppCafe as well as tons of new compatibility updates for current 10.0 PBI’s.   Total PBI’s ready for PC-BSD’s 10.0 release are now in excess of 720.   PC-BSD version 9.2 has also been receiving tons of PBI updates so make sure to check those out as well!

Special thanks to Ken and Kris both as well for all the bug fixes you guys have committed this week (and for listening to my non-stop rants on why flash is so important).  The schedule has been insane, but the light at the end of the tunnel is near.

As we go into the new year soon we’d like to tell everyone thank you and wish you the best during the holidays.  I will now leave you with a bit of holiday cheer for all of who have or will experience that inevitable holiday computer failure.

Best Regards and Happy Holidays,

–Josh

On the twelfth day I left it, my PC gave to me:

Twelve programs stalling;
Eleven chips a-smoking;
Ten ports a-jamming;
Nine jails a-frying;
Eight times i’m crying;
Seven blown partitions;
Six bad controllers;
Five seeeeeeg faults; (singer should hold out seg just FYI)
Four bad blocks;
Three bad controllers;
Two faulty pools;
And a burnt-out CPU fan.

 

Dec
06

12/6/13">PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 12/6/13

It’s finally here!!  Earlier this week the PC-BSD team released a new test image for version 10.0.  Some of the exciting highlights were the addition of mate / gnome3/ cinnamon into the installer and package manager.   The linux compatibility layer has also been upgraded to the Linux Centos 6 compatibility layer which will be fantastic for the long run, but right now you may notice your internet browsers are not handling video properly in version 10.0.  We have new PBI’s on the way that should solve this problem and get your Youtube watching experience back up and running…I mean who wants to live in a world without Justin Bieber…am I right…??  OK put your hands down people that wasn’t a literal question!   Anyways I digress!  here is what’s going on in the PC-BSD universe this week.

We are trying to collect information on how all of you feel about the ease of use of installing a printer on PC-BSD.  We want to know the Good, the bad, and the ugly of your printer installation experience, including if you are having trouble finding a driver for your particular model of printer.   To participate in our poll for the next 2 weeks please go to: http://​forums​.pcbsd​.org/​s​h​o​w​t​h​r​e​a​d​.​p​h​p​?​t​=​21460

I am looking for users that are willing to test functionality of HPLIP (in package manager under drivers) while using non-HP printers.  More specifically if you have any brand of printer besides HP i’m looking for users that will add this package and see if it breaks or conflicts with your current printer’s setup.  Understand this is strictly volunteer and advanced users are recommended in case of any potential breakage.  PLEASE NOTE:  There is a known issue I ran into with Mate and the HPLIP package.  DO NOT install HPLIP right now while running mate or it will nuke your taskbar leaving you helpless to accomplish anything.  We are looking into a fix on this and hope to have one shortly.

We are well aware of the bugs corresponding to users with Grub as their boot manager for versions of 9.0 and 10.0.  While we believe we have isolated the issue we are still tracking down the root cause of the problem.  If you are experiencing problems with Grub please go to: http://​trac​.pcbsd​.org/​t​i​c​k​e​t​/​748 and add any thoughts or diagnostic information that might help us locate the problem.

On a similar note some of you will be glad to know that the ability to pick between the FreeBSD bootloader or the Grub boot loader has now been added back into the installer for version 10.0.  This may be especially helpful on systems that Grub is whining about booting from.

Many 10.0 PBI’s are finishing building over the weekend so you should see a pretty big influx of new PBI’s in the appcafe soon.  We will be systematically testing and working our way through them starting early next week.  EasyPBI is also receiving a big update for version 10, so some functionality may be missing or altogether not working for the time being.  Ken is planning on the updates being finished in the next week to be fully compatible with the 10.0 PBI system.

That’s it for this week folks.  Thanks for being a part of the PC-BSD community, and tune in next week for more exciting PC-BSD news!

P.S.  Just kidding on the date before the edit…Just wanted to make sure everyone was paying attention ;).

 

Help the Project, Donate Today!