Looking for 8.1 Users with Dialup or DSL Modems

If you’re using PC-BSD 8.1 and have a dialup or DSL modem, please review the Advanced Network Settings and PPPoE page of the PC-BSD Handbook as I don’t have access to a modem to test the settings. Please let us know if the device names are correct, if any required fields are missing, or if any of the text is unclear or needs more explanation. You can leave a comment here or make a wiki account and either start a discussion on the page’s Discussion tab or edit the page directly (we’ll see your edits).


Suggestions Needed for Section 4 of Handbook

We’re thinking of redesigning Section 5: Exploring PC-BSD of the Handbook. Currently, that section discusses these topics (note that the current text is several years old):

  1. 4.1 KDE Desktop
  2. Desktop
  3. Taskbar or KDE Panel
  4. System Tray
  5. Start menu
  6. File system
  7. Folder hierarchy
  8. Home Folder
  9. Mounting/Unmounting drives

We’re thinking of replacing most of this section into a “Performing Common Tasks on PC-BSD” section. If so, is any of the existing information useful (if so, we’ll keep it). Which common tasks would you like to see addressed by this section, which aren’t covered elsewhere in the Table of Contents?


Handbook is Now in Sections

The PC-BSD Users Handbook has been divided into sections and each page now allows navigation to the previous and next pages as well as back to the Table of Contents. This restructuring is more user-friendly; it also allows Handbook contributors to more easily see which content needs updating.

The goal is to have the Handbook complete by end of year so an HTML and PDF copy can be generated and included with PC-BSD 8.2 (due to be released in the January/February timeframe). If you would like to help us update the content, create a wiki account and subscribe to the docs mailing list.

If you see anything that is glaringly missing in the Table of Contents, please leave a comment.


Your Feedback on Screenshots

There’s a discussion in the comments section of the Using VirtualBox post which brings up the question of how screenshots should be handled in the Handbook. What’s your opinion? Do you find it useful if:

  • the screenshot shows the default values (what the user sees when they first access a menu or screen)
  • the screenshot shows the desired value (e.g. what the users sees after they make the demonstrated configuration change)
  • the screenshot includes a drop down menu selected (e.g. so the user sees some possible selection values)

While we’re on  the topic of screenshots, do you find an image for each possible screen and/or configuration within a screen to be helpful or distracting? Is it useful to describe in detail every possible configuration option in a particular screen, or is that distracting?

Please leave your comments and suggestions. They will help greatly in fleshing out a design that is useful to PC-BSD users (our ultimate goal for the Handbook).


Using VirtualBox

The Using VirtualBox section of the Handbook has been updated.

Leave a comment if you see anything amiss or want some more content added to this section e.g. it doesn’t answer a scenario that you have encountered using VirtualBox to install PC-BSD.


Submitting PBI Requests

How to do so has been a common topic on the #pcbsd Freenode IRC channel. We’ve  provided two ways for doing so and updated the Handbook as follows:

Submit PBI Requests

Want to request a specific application to be made available in PBI format? This is an excellent way to let PBI developers know which applications are most useful to PC-BSD users. Before requesting a PBI, please do the following:

  • check in Software Manager to see if a PBI already exists. If one does but you want to request a more recent version, please say so in your request.
  • search at Freshports to see if there is an existing FreeBSD package as it is much easier and quicker to make a PBI from an existing package. If a package does not already exist, please say so in your request.
  • check to see if a request has already been made in the PBI Requests Forum or PBI-dev Mailing list.

You can make your request one of two ways:

Whatever method you choose, please include the name of the PBI you are requesting in the thread name or email subject line. This way it is easy for PBI developers and other PC-BSD users to know which applications have already been requested.

Once a PBI developer has made a new PBI, the request will be removed from the PBI Requests Forum. Please note that it takes anywhere from 2-7 days for a new PBI to show up in Software Manager as it needs to be built and tested to make sure everything works.

If you wish to help test the resulting PBI before it has been approved, you may do so at the sites below:

If you wish to be notified whenever a new PBI is added or an existing one is upgraded to a newer version, subscribe to the Latest PBI RSS feed.

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