PC-BSD and ownCloud

Kris has an article on pages 1417 of the September issue of BSDMag on how to setup a private cloud using ownCloud and Warden. The magazine is available for free download.

If you are already testing the upcoming 9.1, instructions for using ownCloud on Warden or TrueOS have been added to this section of the Handbook.

This issue of BSDMag also has an article on What’s New in PC-BSD 9.1, on pages 1013.


9.1 Feature: Sound Configuration and Hardware Compatibility GUIs">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​=​17651 (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​=​17652 and copy it to /usr/local/share/sounds/

9.1 Feature: Linux Jails">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">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.


9-STABLE 20120622 Now Available for Testing">9-STABLE 20120622 Now Available for Testing

Kris has announced the availability of the next testing snapshot:

The next 20120622 snapshot in the PC-BSD 9-STABLE branch has just been released for i386 and amd64 architectures.

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.

Changes since the previous Snapshot:

  • FreeBSD 9-STABLE from 06-15-2012.
  • KDE 4.8.3.
  • Fixed a bug creating a /root ZFS dataset on the Server install.
  • Fixed a crash in install GUI if using custom pkg set, and going back steps.
  • Exclude /etc/pam.d and /usr/local/etc/pam.d from being overwritten during upgrades.
  • Fixed an upgrade bug, causing some files to not get overwritten properly.
  • Change detection for wifi when showing tray application.
  • Set default volume to 100:100 on first boot.
  • Fix displaying static IP addresses in GUI.
  • Improve network restart functionality, should now properly add default route, and fix issue with losing connectivity after restarting with a static IP.
  • Visually improve the AppCafe homescreen layout.
  • Add default configurations for i3 / windowlab WM’s.
  • Add new service manager GUI to warden, allows enabling, and starting / stopping services inside a jail.
  • Add ability to cleanup thinclient installation.
  • Improve the install image to not use MFS root, instead operates 100% identical to early stages of FreeBSD installer.
  • Shrink memory requirements of installation, can now install with UFS on systems with ~256MB of RAM.
  • Add initial support to Warden CLI for creating Linux jails

Highlights for the upcoming 9.1:

  • 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.
  • Support for creating PXE boot server for remote desktop and installation.
  • ZFS beadm support
  • And much more!


Users running previous snapshots may update now via the online updater. You will first need to apply the “Update Manager” 20120622 update, then the snapshot 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 snapshot will appear.

Note: The AMD64 snapshot appears as 20120621 on the mirrors, but it is the same as the 20120622 i386 version.


The DVD & USB images are available via the PC-BSD mirrors. You may select the mirror and files from this URL.


Contest: Name the PC-BSD Server Edition

One of the cool new features coming in PC-BSD 9.1 is the ability to install a FreeBSD server (including ZFS, multiple boot environments using ZFS snapshots, and encryption) that includes the command line versions of all of the PC-BSD utilities. You can try a preview version in the latest snapshot or read up on its features in the draft of this section of the 9.1 Guide.

While we could simply call it the “PC-BSD Server Edition”, we’re pretty sure someone can come up with a more creative name than that. For that reason, we’re launching a naming contest. Can you think of a descriptive yet cool sounding name? If so, see the contest details here. The contest opens tomorrow at 11:00 PST and closes at 23:59 PST on June 26th.

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