Submit Your Hardware Compatibility Information

The PC-BSD team will be launching a new webstore designed to take the hassle out of knowing which hardware works well with PC-BSD. A wiki page has been created where users can add the models of the motherboards, video cards, network cards, wifi cards, and laptops they have found to work great with PC-BSD. When adding to the wiki, only add hardware that you have verified works as-is with no problem.

To add to the hardware list, create a wiki account so that you can login and edit the page. Since this list will get rather large, please add your entry alphabetically.


Call for Testers: GEM/KMS Snapshot

A testing snapshot that integrates the new DRM/GEM/KMS work is now available to testers.

DANGER: this snapshot should be considered alpha quality and for testing purposes only!

This snapshot is meant to provide testers the opportunity to provide feedback regarding Intel, ATI and NVIDIA video cards which currently are not fully supported using the existing FreeBSD Xorg drivers. Please report any issues you find to the FreeBSD X11 mailing list so that the FreeBSDD Xorg porting team can address them.

As an added bonus, this snapshot contains the shiny new 9.1 installer. Feedback on the installer should be sent to the PC-BSD testing mailing list. Currently, the new installer is totally undocumented, but that should change over the next few weeks.


New PCBSD Hardware at ISC

ISC hosts portions of the PC-BSD infrastructure. Due to increased growth in the number of users using PC-BSD, the old infrastructure at ISC has been completely replaced. This should result in faster download times and updates for PC-BSD users.

For those of you interested in the technical details, the frontend box is a 6 core Xeon 5647 running at 2.93ghz, with an additional open CPU socket. This box has 48GB of RAM, and is running FreeBSD 9.0-RC3 on a pair of 1TB SATA disks in a ZFS mirror. This box provides trac/svn/rsync/ftp services to the outside world, and also runs an internal PostgresQL server for trac.

The backend box is a TrueNAS storage server connected via redundant point to point 10gigE to the front end box. NFS exports a RAIDZ of 4 2TB SATA drives with SSD L2ARC. This box a has a single quad core Westmere, with an empty CPU socket in case expansion is needed, running at 2.4ghz and 48GB of RAM.

Both machines have redundant hot swap power, hot swap drives, as well as LOM (lights out management) provided via dedicated IPMI.

The old hardware is being donated to ISC.


270.41.06 (55-2011)">Driver Update: Nvidia 270.41.06 (55-2011)

The latest NVIDIA driver is now available as an update in Software Manager. If you’re using NVIDIA, apply the update and reboot. When the bootup starts, select option7 — run display setup wizard at the boot-splash screen, and you will then be able to select the new driver. If you’re not using NVIDIA, you can right-click the update in Software Manager and select “Ignore this update” so that you won’t be notified again of this update.

This driver fixes several bugs and adds support for more GPUs. Details are at the NVIDIA website.


Looking for CPULimit Testers

LimitCPU is a Linux program to throttle the CPU cycles used by other applications. LimitCPU will monitor a process and make sure its CPU usage stays at or below a given percentage. This can be used to make sure your system has plenty of CPU cycles available for other tasks. It can also be used to keep laptops cool in the face of CPU-hungry processes and for limiting virtual machines. It is based on an earlier project known as CPUlimit.

Jesse Smith is working to make CPUlimit more compatible with FreeBSD and PC-BSD. He has committed a FreeBSD port (sysutils/cpulimit) and would like to fine-tune it a bit and gather more feedback from BSD users as some of the code which is used to check the CPU cycles is Linux specific. He wants to make sure that the port properly detects and throttles CPU usage on a wide variety of systems.

If you have time to test the port, please send your feedback to Jesse at the email address listed here.


9 Snapshot Includes Control Panel and MythTV Improvements">Latest 9 Snapshot Includes Control Panel and MythTV Improvements

Kris has just announced that the next testing snapshot is available. Some of the changes will be of interest to MythTV and multiple window manager users:

The next snapshot for PC-BSD 9-CURRENT is now available for download.

Snapshot instructions and general information on providing testing feedback are available here.

This snapshot includes the following changes:

  • Update to Control-panel allows it to detect the current window manager and display the configuration tools provided by that desktop environment. Included is a CLI de-info script to get current desktop as well as a list of all installed desktop environments. Thanks to Yuri Momotiuk for this cool feature.
  • Added several new MythTV plugins and related ports as well as an icon for MythTV initial setup. We’re looking for MythTV users to test these changes and help with documenting MythTV usage in the Handbook.
  • Fixed some typos in pbi-manager man pages.
  • Corrected some incorrect wallpaper re-sizing on the installer.
  • Updated nvidia driver to 270.41.06 which adds support for several GPUs.
  • Fixed nvidia driver not loading kernel module at boot.
  • Allow user mounting of mmcsd(4) MMC and SD memory cards.
  • Added uhidd (USB human interface devices) to the base-system.
  • Fixes to the network manager for setting up IPv6 gateway / DNS.
  • Fixed bugs in the System Manager checking out ports / system source.
  • Added patch for pc-sysinstall which improves wiping backup GPT partition tables.
  • Fixed issue with optional components, source / ports not being installed from DVD
  • Updated the default beastie.4th boot-splash menu to boot quicker, and more easily halt the countdown

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