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

Looking for Tester with Canon Pixma MP 270 or MP 272 Printer

We’re looking to see if the drivers from the Canon website will work on a FreeBSD or PC-BSD system. If you have one of these printers and are comfortable with using the command line, instructions can be found at this comment in this forum thread. If you can test this driver, let us know your results either on the forum or as a comment on this blog post.


Webcamd Man Pages for DVB Devices

Hans Petter Selasky has committed the new webcamd man pages which document the devices supported by the following V4L-DVB drivers: a800, af9005, af9015, anysee, au6610, b2c2, ce6230, cinergy, cxusb, dib0700, digitv, dtt200u, dtv5100, dw2102, ec168, friio, gl861, gp8psk, hdpvr, m920x, mr800, nova-t, opera1, s2255, siano, ttusb2, umt, uvc, vp702x, and vp7045. Due to the ports freeze, the package (version 0.1.20_1) was not available in time for FreeBSD/PC-BSD 8.2 release. You can get the latest man pages as follows:

1. if you have the latest version of the ports tree installed, run make deinstall && make reinstall within /usr/ports/multimedia/webcamd/ or run portmaster to upgrade webcamd.


2. grab the package from the Latest repository: fetch (for 32 bit systems) or fetch (for 64 bit systems). After fetching, run the command pkg_add webcamd* from the directory containing the fetched package. If webcamd is already installed, run pkg_delete -x webcamd first so that the new package will install.

If your device is listed but does not work or if it does work and is not listed, let us know the product name as well as its VendorID:ProductID so that we can add it to the man page (if it is missing) or figure out what the problem is if it does not work.


New KDE Build Environment

iXsystems recently donated a build environment to the FreeBSD KDE ports team. This means that the porters don’t have to compile KDE on their own systems (if you’ve ever compiled the KDE port you have an idea of how long that takes), which should speed up the porting process.

The build server is a VM running FreeBSD HEAD, allocated one core and 8 gigs of RAM from the host, which is a dual Nehalem 5520 Xeon with 32 gigs of RAM. The build environment has access to QAT’s distfile cache and a dedicated database server for the tinderbox database.


Possible Fix for Wireless Freezes

It has been a known issue for sometime that some wireless cards will freeze or panic the system on PC-BSD/FreeBSD 8.x. Some cards do this intermittently while others do it quite regularly. The problem seems to have been narrowed down to a conflict between devd and the netif startup script as it only occurs when devd is running.

Earlier this week Kris committed a fix which will show up in the next snapshots for 8.2 RC.3 and 9.0. If your wireless card is affected and you’d like to test the fix now, try adding this line to your wpa_supplicant.conf file:


Let us know if it makes a difference on your system!


More Webcamd Man Pages

I’ve finished up the latest round of webcamd man pages which cover the drivers used for DVB devices. Hans Petter Selasky has committed them and we hope to have them included when PC-BSD 8.2 is released.

If you’re impatient and would like to read through the man pages now, you can do so as follows. Assuming subversion is installed (it is by default on PC-BSD and can be installed with pkg_add -r subversion on FreeBSD), cd to a directory where you’d like to save the man page files (e.g. in your home directory or a temporary directory). Then, issue this command as one line:

svn –username anonsvn –password anonsvn checkout svn://

This will create a directory called man4 which contains the man pages. You can read a man page using nroff:

nroff -man name_of_manpage.4 | more

or, if you’re interested in searching for a vendor or product ID, use grep. In this example, I’ll search for devices with the Logitech vendor ID:

grep “046d” man4/*

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