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.
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. 6–9. 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. 18–19. EasyPBI allows one to convert an existing FreeBSD port into a PC-BSD PBI with an easy-to-use GUI.
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.
From the press release:
The most recent edition of PC-BSD updates the suggestion list of the search bar with DuckDuckGo to provide users with a discreet, clutter-free search option. Additionally, DuckDuckGo offers many benefits including the ability to use shortcuts to directly search many websites and instant answers that provide topic summaries from a variety of web sources.
PC-BSD users concerned with security can be confident in the knowledge that requests submitted through DuckDuckGo will remain confidential. “We are pleased to make DuckDuckGo available to PC-BSD users, providing a reliable, yet completely anonymous search experience,” says Kris Moore, Director of PC-BSD Software Development at iXsystems.
“We are delighted to partner with PC-BSD,” says Gabriel Weinberg, DuckDuckGo’s founder and CEO. “DuckDuckGo and PC-BSD have a shared philosophy on the value of open source and choice.”
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.
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.