2 PC-BSD Articles in May Issue of BSDMag">2 PC-BSD Articles in May Issue of BSDMag

The May issue of BSDMag (available for free download here) has two articles about PC-BSD.

Kris Moore has an article “A Fresh Look for the Warden for PC-BSD 9.1″ on pp. 69. Warden is a GUI tool for managing FreeBSD jails and has been rewritten for 9.1. New features include the ability to add multiple jails, the ability to create FreeBSD jails or ports jails (which use nullfs to allow you to safely install and run apps on your PC-BSD system), and the ability to export and import jails.

Jesse Smith has an article “Introducing EasyPBI–Making PBI Modules With a Few Mouse Clicks” on pp. 1819. EasyPBI allows one to convert an existing FreeBSD port into a PC-BSD PBI with an easy-to-use GUI.


Update on PC-BSD Localization

Kris sent the following update to the translations mailing list regarding menu localizations:

I wanted to give you a quick status update on some of the changes for Translations in the 9-STABLE snapshots, and eventually PC-BSD 9.1.

First, all languages which are available in Pootle will now be selectable for installation. Should a string not be fully translated, the default English string will be displayed instead. This will allow you to begin testing any/all languages in the upcoming snapshots.

Second, I have removed the “pbimeta.po” file from the translation process. This file had been getting so large, that it was becoming quite unreasonable to expect our translators to tackle it. This means in Pootle now you will see a more accurate representation of the translations progress. I’m currently investigating alternative methods of translating the AppCafe application descriptions.

Third and lastly, I’ve implemented some cleanup functionality into the scripts which sync the strings into Pootle. As a string is modified or removed from our subversion tree, the old string will now be automatically purged from the Pootle database, keeping the number of strings for translation at a manageable amount.

Thanks for all the work you’ve done to translate PC-BSD into other languages! Let us know on the translations mailing list if you have any questions, or run into problems going forward.


9-STABLE-20120418 Testing Snapshot Available">9-STABLE-20120418 Testing Snapshot Available

Kris has just announced the availability of the first testing snapshot for the upcoming 9.1 release. This snapshot can be downloaded from here.

NOTE: This snapshot is only available for 64-bit systems. Also, if you need the new GEM/KMS support provided in the previous snapshot, do not install this new snapshot on your main system as that support has been removed, pending its commital to FreeBSD. If you need that support and would like to test the new snapshot, test it in a virtual environment.

The wiki is gradually being updated with the new installer and Warden information and those sections will change over the next few days to match the capabilities of this snapshot.

From the announcement:

The PC-BSD team is pleased to make available the first public 9-STABLE snapshot for 64bit systems!

This snapshot 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.


  • FreeBSD 9-STABLE from 4-11-2012
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • There is a bug installing to boot-camp partitions which will be fixed in next snapshot.
  • The warden rc.d script is not enabled by default. Add ‘warden_enable=“YES“‘ to /etc/rc.conf to enable.
  • The i386 image was not built for this snapshot, however it will available in the upcoming weeks.
  • The installer will not correctly start on systems with < 512MB of ram, which will be fixed in upcoming snapshots.
  • This snapshot does NOT contain the upcoming Intel GEM/KMS video driver support. This will be available in a future snapshot.

Interview with Kris Moore

As part of their Developer’s Corner series, iXsystems has posted an interview with lead PC-BSD developer, Kris Moore. The interview hints at some of the exciting features being developed for 9.1.

Speaking of exciting features, we expect the next testing snapshot to be ready in a week or so. This snapshot will include the changes to Warden which will make it easier than ever to manage jails on a PC-BSD system.


9.1 Installer Documentation">Initial 9.1 Installer Documentation

For those of you trying out the 9.0-STABLE-20120225 testing snapshot, or who are curious about the revamped installer for 9.1, Chapters 3, 4, and 5 of the PC-BSD Handbook have been updated with the new screenshots and functionality. Some sections are still being tested or aren’t yet fully implemented and will contain a comment to that effect in ALL CAPS.

I particularly like the new FreeBSD setup wizard; that and the ability to configure ZFS and encryption during installation makes it my new FreeBSD installer of choice.

Some of the new installer features will be refined between now and 9.1-RELEASE and the documentation will be updated accordingly. We will be releasing regular testing snapshots between now and 9.1 to give testers ample time to test new features as they are implemented. It is expected that the next testing snapshot will contain bug fixes from the last snapshot, the new gdm GUI configuration tool, and the changes to Warden that Kris is currently coding.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for the new installer, please send them to the PC-BSD testing mailing list.


Call for Testers: Bluetooth Manager

PC-BSD 9.1 will include a new GUI for managing bluetooth devices.

If you would like to assist in testing this GUI, you can compile and install the code on your PC-BSD 9.0 system as follows:

First, make sure that these two development packages are showing as installed in Control Panel -> System Manager -> System Packages -> Development:

  • Development-VCS
  • Development-Qt

As superuser, download the source and compile the Bluetooth Manager and Tray applications:

svn co svn://
cd src-qt4/libpcbsd
qmake-qt4 *.pro
make && make install
cd ../pc-bluetoothmanager
qmake-qt4 *.pro
make && make install
cd ../pc-bluetoothtray
qmake-qt4 *.pro
make && make install

When finished, leave the superuser account and start the Bluetooth Manager:

pc-su pc-bluetoothmanager (will prompt for superuser password)

Alternately, place the Bluetooth Manager in the system tray:

pc-su pc-bluetoothtray (will prompt for superuser password)

Note that the Bluetooth Tray currently activates on right-click, but nothing activates on left-click as of yet.

If you try it out, let us know if you encounter any errors or need additional functionality. Feedback can be sent to the testing mailing list.

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