Linux Jails in PC-BSD

Patrick Allen has an article on “Linux Jails in PC-BSD” in the December issue of BSD Magazine. The article starts on page 8 and the magazine is available for free download.


Automating the Deployment of FreeBSD and PC-BSD Systems

Kris has an article entitled “ Automating the Deployment of FreeBSD and PC-BSD Systems” on pages 1013 of the November issue of BSD Magazine. A PDF of this magazine is available for free download.

The article demonstrates how to use the pc-sysinstall backend to automate the deployment of FreeBSD servers and PC-BSD desktops using a PXE boot environment.


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.

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