9.1-BETA1 Now Available

BETA1 images for the upcoming PC-BSD 9.1 are now available for the i386 and amd64 architectures!

This beta provides both users and developers a means to test out new features in the upcoming PC-BSD 9.1 release. This snapshot may contain buggy code and features, so users are encouraged to run it only on non-critical systems.

Changes since the previous snapshot:

  • FreeBSD 9.1-BETA1
  • KDE 4.8.4
  • Support for Warden to create Linux Jails (Debian & Gentoo support included)
  • Fixed a bug with mouse cursor fonts changing over some tray apps
  • Correct some bugs with mouse not being detected after display wizard
  • Add new “TrueOS” server option, alongside FreeBSD Vanilla.
  • Display detected video resolution / driver on confirmation screen
  • Add new IPv4 / IPv6 validation to address fields
  • Fix bugs exporting / importing jails via Warden
  • Add new Hardware Compatibility Check GUI, which is available during install and via Control Panel
  • Add new Sound Configuration GUI, which lets user select and test different sound devices
  • Add NVIDIA legacy drivers for cards older than 8-10 years (32bit only)
  • Added option to “mount/clone” jail snapshots via the Warden

Highlights for the upcoming 9.1-Release:

  • FreeBSD 9.1
  • KDE 4.8.4
  • New system installer! Greatly simplified for desktop and server installs.
  • New “PC-BSD Server” installation option. Includes command-line utilities like pbi-manager, warden, metapkgmanager and more.
  • Support for ZFS mirror / raidz(1,2,3) during installation.
  • Support for SWAP on ZFS, allowing entire disk ZFS installation.
  • Support for setting additional ZFS data-set options, such as compression, noexec, etc.
  • Warden jail management integrated into system. Allows creating jails via GUI, adding packages and other administration.
  • Support for Warden to create Linux Jails
  • New “Sound Configuration GUI”
  • New “Hardware compatibility” GUI
  • First boot setup wizard allows OEM installs to be easily performed.
  • New Bluetooth paring tray / GUI utilities.
  • New AppCafe improvements and preferences
  • Improvements to wifi utility
  • Fixed bug causing untranslated strings to show up empty.
  • Numerous bug-fixes to PC-BSD related utilities
  • Support for creating PXE boot server for remote desktop and installation.
  • ZFS beadm support
  • And much more!


Users running previous snapshots may upgrade now via the online updater. You will first need to apply the “Update Manager” 20120718 update, then the beta1 update will appear.

If you wish to update from 9.0 to this snapshot you may do so by editing the /usr/local/share/pcbsd/pc-updatemanager/conf/sysupdate.conf file and changing the PATCHSET: variable to pcbsdtest.

After changing this variable, you may run the updater utility, to download a new update manager. Once this update manager is installed, the online update to the beta will appear.


9.1 Feature: Sound Configuration and Hardware Compatibility GUIs

While PC-BSD is pretty good at detecting the sound card and the default audio device, occasionally a user needs to use sysctl to change the default audio device.

Beginning with 9.1, two GUIs have been added to Control Panel to assist in configuring sound from any logged in desktop. The first is a Hardware Compatibility GUI which provides a quick indication if that system’s video card, sound card, and wireless device are compatible with PC-BSD. This GUI is also displayed as the installer starts, meaning that you can tell ahead of time if these devices will be supported. An example can be seen here.

The Sound Configuration icon can be used to view the detected audio inputs and to change the default. Instructions for using it are here.

If you would like to try these before BETA1, use the instructions in New Features for the Impatient. You will also need to download:

  • http:// ​trac​.pcbsd​.org/​b​r​o​w​s​e​r​/​p​c​b​s​d​/​c​u​r​r​e​n​t​/​o​v​e​r​l ​a​y​s​/​d​e​s​k​t​o​p​-​o​v​e​r​l​a​y​/​u​s​r​/​l​o​c​a​l​/​e​t​c​/​s​u ​d​o​e​r​s​?​r​e​v​=​1​7​651 (download link is at bottom of page) and copy it to /usr/local/etc/sudoers.
  • http:// ​trac​.pcbsd​.org/​b​r​o​w​s​e​r​/​p​c​b​s​d​/​c​u​r​r​e​n​t​/​o​v​e​r​l ​a​y​s​/​d​e​s​k​t​o​p​-​o​v​e​r​l​a​y​/​u​s​r​/​l​o​c​a​l​/​s​h​a​r​e​/ ​s​o​u​n​d​s​/​t​e​s​t​s​o​u​n​d​.​o​g​g​?​r​e​v​=​1​7​652 and copy it to /usr/local/share/sounds/

Translators: PC-BSD 9.1 Code Freeze

Kris has just announced the PC-BSD 9.1 code freeze. This means that all of the menu strings are frozen, allowing translators to finish their localizations in time for 9.1-RELEASE.

You can view the status of localizations here.

If you would like to assist with a translation, instructions for getting started are here.


9.1 Feature: Linux Jails

PC-BSD’s jail management GUI, Warden®, has been completely redesigned for 9.1. It now supports the management of three types of jails:

Traditional Jail: FreeBSD jail used to install and run network services such as a web server or a database which is accessible to other systems on a network or over the Internet.

Ports Jail: allows you to safely install software using FreeBSD packages or ports (without touching the packages that came with the OS) while providing access to that software from your PC-BSD system.

Linux Jail: allows you to install a Linux operating system within a jail.

Yup, that’s right, you can install Linux (at this time, Debian Squeeze) into a FreeBSD jail. And, since a jail uses the filesystem of the host, if the PC-BSD system is formatted with ZFS, a Linux jail can take advantage of ZFS features such as snapshots. Details can be found in the Warden® section of the upcoming 9.1 Users Guide.

If you’d like to try out this feature before BETA1 is available, use the instructions in New Features for the Impatient. If /usr/local/share/warden/linux-installs/debian-6-squeeze does not exist on your system, you can download it from here (download link at bottom of page). You will also need to install the debootstrap utility using pkg_add -r debootstrap.


9.1 Feature: Multiple Boot Environments

If you’re using ZFS (or looking for a reason to do so), one of the new features in 9.1 is support for multiple boot environments. Imagine the following scenarios:

  • you upgrade your operating system, hate it, and wish you could go back to the old version
  • you upgrade some software which breaks something else
  • you want to perform some tests without permanently affecting the files on your current operating system

Multiple boot environments make those scenarios do-able in two easy to use commands. Before making changes to your system, simply use the beadm create command to create a copy of the current filesystem. Do your stuff. To go back to what the system used to look like, use the beadm activate command to instruct the system to boot into the copy of the previous boot environment and reboot. It really is as easy as that!

Documentation for multiple boot environments can be found in this page of the upcoming 9.1 PC-BSD Users Handbook. This feature became available with the 9-STABLE 20120622 snapshot and will also be in the upcoming BETA1.


New Features for the Impatient

FreeBSD/PC-BSD 9.1 are due out by the end of the summer and we are getting close to issuing the first BETA for 9.1. In anticipation of code freeze, Kris is busy getting in the last of the features. Over the next few weeks, we’ll highlight some of the cooler features coming in 9.1.

For those of you who would like to try out the features before BETA1 is released, instructions for building an updated control panel are provided below for both PC-BSD and FreeBSD systems. These have been tested on 9.0.

For PC-BSD, in System Manager -> System Packages make sure that Development -> Development-Qt and Development-VCS are installed. You’ll also need to install system source in System Manager -> Tasks.

For FreeBSD, make sure that you have /usr/src/sys and the following packages are installed:


Once the dependent software is installed, become the superuser, cd to a directory suitable for downloading the PC-BSD src, and run these commands:

svn co svn://svn.pcbsd.org/pcbsd/current/src-qt4
cd src-qt4/libpcbsd/
qmake-qt4 *.pro
make install
cd ..
qmake-qt4 *.pro
make install

Some icons also rely on updated scripts which can be built using these commands from the original download directory:

svn co svn://svn.pcbsd.org/pcbsd/current/src-sh
cd src-sh
make install

On a PC-BSD system, Control Panel will be updated and available from the GUI. On a FreeBSD system, you can start Control Panel by typing pc-controlpanel from an X session. You can also start individual control panel icons using the commands listed in /usr/local/bin/pc-*.

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