Will Backman has just posted his interview with Ken Moore about the new Lumina desktop environment on the bsdtalk website. The podcast is only 28 minutes long and goes into some of the history/motivation/philosophy of the project.
As we are getting ready for PC-BSD 10.0.3, I wanted to share a little preview of what to expect with the Lumina desktop environment as you move from version 0.4.0 to 0.6.2.
To give you a quick summary, pretty much everything has been updated/refined, with several new utilities written specifically for Lumina. The major new utility is the “Insight” file manager: with ZFS snapshot integration, multimedia player, and image slideshow viewer capabilities built right in by default. It also has a new snapshot utility and the desktop configuration utility has been completely rewritten. I am going to be listing more details about all the updates between the versions below, but for those of you who are not interested in the details, you can just take a look at some screenshots instead….
==== FULL UPDATE DETAILS ====
(Moving from 0.4.0 to 0.6.2)
– A desktop plugin system has been implemented, with two plugins available at the moment (a calandar plugin, and an application launcher plugin).
– The panel plugin system has been refined quite a bit, with transparency support for the panel itself and automatic plugin resizing for example.
– A new panel plugin has been added: the system dashboard. This plugin allows control over the audio volume, screen brightness, and current workspace, while also displaying the current battery status (if applicable) and containing a button to let the user log out (or shutdown/restart the system).
– The user button panel plugin has been re-implemented as well, and incorporating the functionality of the desktopbar plugin. Now the user has quick access to files/application in the ~/Desktop folder, as well as the ability to add/remove shortcuts to system applications in the desktop folder with one click.
– New backgrounds wallpapers and project logo (courtesy of iXsystems).
NOTE: Users of the older versions of the Lumina desktop will have their configuration files returned to the defaults after logging in to the new version for the first time.
The new file manager (lumina-fm, also called “Insight”):
– Browse the system and allow the bookmarking of favorite directories
– Simple multimedia player to allow playing/previewing multimedia files
– Image slideshow viewer for previewing image files
– Full ZFS file/directory restore functionality if ZFS snapshots are available
– Menu shortcuts to quickly browse attached/mounted devices
– Tabbing support for browsing multiple directories at once
– Standard file/directory management (copy/paste/delete/create)
– Supported multimedia and image formats are auto-detected on start, so if a particular file is not recognized, you just need to install the appropriate library or plugin on your system to provide support (none required by default).
The new screenshot utility (lumina-screenshot):
– Simple utility to create/save screenshots on the system.
– Can capture the entire system, or individual windows.
– Can delay the image capture for a few seconds as necessary
– Automatically assigned to the “Print Screen” keyboard shortcut by default, but also listed in the application registry under utilities.
The configuration utility (lumina-config):
– Competely new implementation
– Configure desktop appearance (background image, add desktop plugins)
– Configure panels (location, color/transparency, size, manage plugins, up to 2 panels supported per screen)
– Configure right-click menu plugins
– Manage/set global keyboard shortcuts (including shortcuts for adjusting audio volume or screen brightness)
– Manage/set default applications for the system by categories or individually
– Manage session options (enable numlock on log in, play audio chimes)
– Manage/set applications/files to be launched on log in
– Manage window system options (appearance, mouse focus policy, window placement policy, number of workspaces)
The application/file opener utility (lumina-open):
– Update the overall appearance of the application selector window.
– Fully support registered mime-types on the system now, and recommend those applications as appropriate.
Hey everyone! After a brief hiatus from feature updates we are back! We’ve switched from Fridays to Mondays and rather than trying to get an update out every week we aren’t on a specific schedule. We will continue to push out these feature updates when we have some cool new features come out we think you’ll want to know about.
The Warden and PBI_add backend (CLI) management tools have received some exciting new features we’d like to tell you about. You can now create jails on the fly when adding a new PBI to your application library. For instance say you’re adding a PBI using the “pbi_add” command and you want to install the PBI into a new jail that you haven’t created yet. You would specify: “sudo pbi_add -J apache” without the quotes to create a default named jail with the PBI apache installed directly into it. The -J being the new flag that specifies the creation of the new jail.
There’s also a new option now to do a bulk jail creation. By simply using the new –bulk and –ip4pool flag you can easily roll out your preset number of jails quickly and efficiently. To use this cool new feature just type: “warden create <jailname> –bulk 5 –ip4pool 192.168.0.2″ and voila you’ve got 5 brand spanking new jails created in no time starting at IP address 192.168.0.2 .
The PC-BSD team is now hanging out in IRC! Get involved in the conversation and come visit us on Freenode in channel #pcbsd. We look forward to seeing you there!
The PC-BSD team is pleased to announce the availability of the next PC-BSD quarterly update, version 10.0.2!
This update includes a number of important bug fixes as well as newer packages and desktops, such as KDE 4.12.5, Cinnamon 2.2.13, Gnome 3.12.2, and more. This release also includes an alpha release of the new Lumina desktop which is being developed on PC-BSD. For more details and updating instructions, refer to the notes below.
- KDE 4.12.5
- Cinnamon 2.2.13
- Gnome 3.12.2
- Alpha release of Lumina desktop
- Revamped AppCafe and PBI subsystems, integrated fully with FreeBSD’s PKGNG
- AppCafe support for application screenshots, 5-Star rating system and comments integrated with our Wiki
- Unified various UI elements and keyboard shortcuts
- Integrated package cleanup functionality into AppCafe / PBI system
- Updated Control Panel UI with additional view options and asynchronous item reading
- Improved UI notification between applications and tray notification systems
- Added PulseAudio as default audio backend for all packages which can support it
- Added full-disk encryption options with GELI, which does *not* require a separate un-encrypted /boot partition
- Support for automatic boot-environment creation before doing any upgrades or updates to the system or packages
- Boot-environment support for full-disk encrypted installations
- Added support for adding snapshot “Comments”
- Options to set L2Arc / ZIL devices during installation
- Many other bugfixes and improvements to Life-Preserver, Warden and more
A more detailed list of changes can be found in What’s New in 10.0.2.
Desktop users already running 10.0 can update via Control Panel -> Package Manager -> Updates. Server users can update via the “pc-updatemanager” command-line utility.
If package updating fails due to conflict errors, please be sure to apply all system updates first before trying again.
After updating and rebooting, please run the AppCafe once to begin the conversion process from the old style PBIs to 10.0.2 packages.
10.0.2 DVD/USB media can be downloaded from here.
Found a bug in 10.0.2? Please report it (in as much detail as possible) to our Trac Database.
The next 10.0.2-PRERELEASE ISO is now available for testing and can be downloaded from
If you have a spare system or virtual machine, consider testing this image. If you find any bugs, report them at https://trac.pcbsd.org so we can take a look at fixing them before 10.0.2 is released later this month.
NOTE: if you plan to use AppCafe in this image, go to Configure -> Repository Settings and change it to “Edge”. Do this before attempting to upgrade within AppCafe; otherwise, if you reboot or logout, you will not be able to successfully log back in again.
PC-BSD has long been very flexible about how you can install software. You have PBI’s, packages, and ports available with just a couple clicks or via a couple of simple terminal commands. For a long time the PBI format has served as an excellent solution for people who may need an offline package install, or just simply prefer the ease and simplicity the PBI format has to offer especially via the AppCafe. Perhaps the “Achilles’ Heel” of this situation is that we have also been severely limited on the amount of software that the AppCafe has to offer as packages had to first be converted into the PBI format.
This week we are announcing a radical change that we think will benefit all PC-BSD users in ways that were previously unthinkable. The PC-BSD team has begun work during the last couple of weeks redesigning our PC-BSD utilities (AppCafe, Update Center) to work with our pkgng software repository that we are currently building to contain detailed information about all the software available through packages and PBIs. What this means for you is that in the near future PC-BSD will have a much broader software pool to pull from, and will not be limited anymore by only having a small subset of PBI’s. You will now be able to install packages and PBI’s in one place, while also being able to update and manage both in one place.
You may be asking yourself “why the change?”. Over the last several months we have noticed a considerable amount of our time has been going into compatibility and fixes for PBIs. So much time in fact that other important development had to be postponed and / or sidelined while we worked on bringing PBIs up to speed. We are hoping by adopting appcafe and the PBI format to work in tandem with pkgng, that we will be able to refocus our efforts on other important endeavours.
We will have more information available soon as development continues on how you can get involved with testing out the new features and submitting ideas to help the project along. Let us know what you think about the changes. Are we headed in the right direction? Do you have ideas related to the redesign that you’d like to contribute? Let us know!
Much larger software library. Instead of 800 available appcafe applications think more like 10000+
Detailed information on all the software available including packages in one place
Ability to search and filter your results to show
Improved compatibility across desktop environments
New rating system is being developed for grading the quality of packages in the AppCafe library