Feb
14

17">PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 17

The PC-BSD development team has been abuzz this week with awesome suggestions on how we can standardize the way we write PC-BSD utilities and software.  One thing we’ve begun to realize is that as more people are contributing to the project, it is ever more important to make sure that there are clear standards for development.  Even our primary developers will admit it’s easy to forget to use the same icon pack, or file menu layout when you get busy writing the main program.  Going forward you can expect these standards to impact most of the PC-BSD utilities and programs you use everyday, although in a relatively minor way.  Everything will still function the exact same, but whether or not you are using AppCafe or the Warden you can expect the file menu layout / program layout to follow the same general rules.  For more information please check out “Becoming a Developer” in the PC-BSD 10.1 wiki.  If you’d like to join the discussion you can email dev@lists.pcbsd.org.

I’ve seen some discussion lately about the life cycle of PC-BSD branches.  I sat down with Kris Moore in IRC and asked if he wouldn’t mind clarifying the release cycle for our users.   Kris answered the general rule of thumb you can use is a branch will continue to be supported for 6 months after the next branch is released.  The updates include all of the things you would expect like new PBI and security updates.  So for users of 9.2 you can expect support to continue through June of 2014.  9 Stable was a “experimental” branch and is no longer supported at this time.  Users of 9 Stable are encouraged to upgrade to 9.2 or 10.0 Release to continue to receive important updates.

You can expect to see tons of improvements coming up for PC-BSD 10.1.   One of the biggest being Kris and Yuri have been working to fix Linux jail support in the Warden.  A handful of commits went into the tree today that will address the previous problems users have been having with Linux jails.  Kris has continued to refine the Warden and PBI systems to fix some bugs that were causing major stability issues in certain scenarios.   Minor cosmetic changes are coming for most PC-BSD utilities to bring them up to the same standards outlined in the “Become a Developer” section in the PC-BSD 10.1 wiki.

That’s it for this week folks.  Lots of good things in the works so stay tuned to the blog for more important PC-BSD news!

 

Feb
07

16">PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 16

Just a quick update for you fine folks this week!  The bulk of the last week was spent fixing many smaller bugs that were still stuck in the PC-BSD trac database. Our primary goal now that 10.0 has hit release status is to fine tune the PC-BSD experience to allow for the smoothest experience possible. Users are encouraged to submit even the most trivial bugs during this “fine tuning phase”.

Among the programs that received updates the Warden received a patch fixing some issues with warnings, creating jails, and fixing user interface inconsistencies. Also the Package Manager received updates to fix some issues with how it interacts with pkgng.  This should eliminate some of the minor inconsistencies some of you were seeing that was leading to communication issues between the two. Package manager and the User manager also received minor improvements to fix issues relating to their user interface.

Big news this week for the PBI format. Kris has confirmed that a patch has been implemented for the way PBI’s are being built that will shrink the size of PBI’s by approximately 50%. The patch has just been implemented and is currently in a testing phase, but stay tuned to the blog for more updates on how and when this patch will begin benefiting you in the very near future!

Thats it for this week folks.  As always thanks for being loyal PC-BSD users!

Jan
24

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

For those of you waiting for PC-BSD 10 to become a reality, the wait is almost over.  The PC-BSD team announced last Thursday that the project is now in 10.0 Release Candidate 5 (p4), and is available for mass consumption.  There are a couple of important things to remember when upgrading to the latest RC.  Kris announced that all users upgrading from RC4 or previous versions, will unfortunately have to upgrade all of their packages and PBI’s due to a recent ABI change in FreeBSD.  For more information on how this will impact you and what you can do to have a smooth transition, please see the PC-BSD 10.0 RC5 release notes here.

Also due to the ABI change and the inability to use our previously approved PBI’s for PC-BSD 10.0 RC5, PBI’s had to be completely rebuilt and re-approved for use in the version 10.0 AppCafe.  The PC-BSD team was able to get nearly 500 PBI’s rebuilt and re approved at the end of Friday the 24th, but there are still many more that will begin to show up in the AppCafe very soon.

 

Builds have started for final release, so keep your eyes peeled for the official release announcement over the next couple of weeks.  We do not have an exact date at this moment for when  the build will be finished so please wait patiently and allow us to finish testing to make sure that PC-BSD 10.0 release will be the best and most stable version yet.

  • Joe Maloney has been working tirelessly to get Gnome 3 into PC-BSD, and has been a huge help getting this Behemoth DE into a usable state.  Anyone who is interested in using / testing gnome 3 (it is still unsupported at this time) make sure to thank Joe for all the hard work he’s been putting in.
  • PBI’s have undergone even more detailed optimization further increasing their startup times.
  •  More tweaks and optimizations have been committed to PCDM, Firewall Manager, and ATI Hybrid graphics laptops.
Jan
17

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

PC-BSD 10.0 is hurtling towards the finish line, and the big news this week of course is that the PC-BSD 10.0 RC-4 image is now live!  If you want to be on the cutting edge of PC-BSD development please follow the link here and download the latest version of PC-BSD version 10.0 RC-4.  Please be aware this is still an early RC image and is not an official release.

We are aware a small number of users reported that Grub is behaving slowly during RC2 and RC3 initial startups, and at the time I was able to duplicate the issue on two of my test machines.  I have not been able to duplicate the issue with RC4.  If anyone is still experiencing slow Grub boot times it is imperative you download the test grub text image @ http://web.pcbsd.org/~kris/PCBSD-10.0-RC4-grubtext.iso , and see if this helps and / or fixes your problem.  Also it is beneficial to enable debug mode in your grub.cfg file and report anything that may look like it’s choking the system.  This is the last critical issue we are looking into for PC-BSD 10.0 Release, and we’d love to track this down and get it taken care of.

NOTE:  This is only for testing and booting purposes and is not appropriate to install from.  Much of the PC-BSD image has been removed.

The wine PBI is now available in the AppCafe for PC-BSD version 10.0. I’ve tested the wine PBI with a number of different windows programs, and it appears to be functioning normally. Wine has a couple of kinks that will hopefully get ironed out over the course of the next couple of months, but for now it is usable.  A couple things to remember if you want to use wine: The icons wine creates currently do not display the correct icons for the program, and would not execute the programs in my testing in KDE.  I had to browse to the appropriate program directory and execute the program through wine’s run command.  I have also been told that running the programs from the command line + wine also works just fine.

Remember: if you want to have a stable system, wine can lead to a number of freezes and or crashes especially with improper settings.  This does not mean PC-BSD has a bug.

PC-BSD 9.2 Release systems will now be able to upgrade to PC-BSD version 10.0 Release and keep their PBI library.  Kris has designed an upgrade feature that will allow PC-BSD to uninstall the user’s 9.2 PBIs (while keeping the PBI’s settings) during the update, and then reinstall the correct 10.0 PBI’s after the system update.

That’s it for this week folks.   Catch you later!

–Josh

 

 

Dec
27

12/27/13">Weekly Feature Digest 12/27/13

Just a short update today to let you all know what the low down is!

PC-BSD version 10.0 Release Candidate 2 is now live!  Please note this is a beta-test release and NOT an official release.  For more information on RC2 please visit the following blog page: http://blog.pcbsd.org/2013/12/pc-bsd-100-rc2-available/ .   PC-BSD 10.0 Release RC2 can be downloaded from http://​iso​.cdn​.pcbsd​.org/.

Quick Note:  Please report any bugs found @ trac​.pcbsd​.org.  The window is closing to get bug reports in before official release and we need to try to get any “major” or higher priority bugs knocked out before then.

Kris has reported today that he is in the final stages of getting virtualbox working on PC-BSD 10.0.  He has fixed many of the seg fault issues that we were seeing from previous versions and will be looking to have these packages ready in the next week or so hopefully by RC3.

AMD KMS support appears to be improving based on my first interactions with the new 10.0 release RC2 image.  I’ve noticed much less graphical distortion, and better stability all around.

Tons of bugfixes and stability improvements went in today so big thanks to everyone involved for knocking those out.  We are still aware of the issue with the FreeBSD bootloader not functioning, but rest assured Kris is putting in every effort to get this resolved for you quickly.

That’s it for this week folks!

Best Regards,

Josh

Dec
20

12/20/13">PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 12/20/13

In the words of Dr. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory TV Show), “i’m not insane…my mother had me tested”.  That’s the way i’m sure many of the devs felt at the end of this week.  While fending off the impending insanity caused by lack-of-flash-itis, the reason for our package issues with version 10.0 finally have started to come into focus.  For more information on the package / pkgng debacle please see this blog post: http://​blog​.pcbsd​.org/​2013​/​12​/​e​n​d​-​o​f​-​t​h​e​-​p​k​g​-​w​o​es/.  Though we typically just recommend users just upgrade to new package sets, I personally opted to do a complete reinstall of 10.0 Beta P6.  The primary issue myself and many other developers kept running into was issues with the centOS linux compatibility layer that was just too buggy to make good use of at this time.

In other similar news PC-BSD is likely to begin starting a new version naming system to help differentiate the different types of releases and hopefully offer a little more clarity to users that may be less than familiar with the conventional FreeBSD naming system.  Along with the new naming system a new package release schedule will also be added to help users maintain more stability by not having to update their packages every couple of weeks.  Stay tuned for more information on this as it develops.

Flash is now working in both firefox and chromium as well as many other internet browsers.  The new PBI’s have been approved and include the fixes to make sure flash works with all the recent changes in version PC-BSD 10.0.  For Chromium look for the version of 31 ending in .63.  For Firefox look for version 25_01.  I’m not sure if the issue is widespread but there was an additional step needed to make flash work in firefox on one of my primary test systems.  If flash is working in other browsers, but not firefox run the command nspluginwrapper –v –a –i.  For some reason flashpluginctl on / off was not running the script as it was supposed to.  From most mainstream testing this looks to be a fairly minor and isolated issue.

PBI’s continue to be added to the PC-BSD AppCafe as well as tons of new compatibility updates for current 10.0 PBI’s.   Total PBI’s ready for PC-BSD’s 10.0 release are now in excess of 720.   PC-BSD version 9.2 has also been receiving tons of PBI updates so make sure to check those out as well!

Special thanks to Ken and Kris both as well for all the bug fixes you guys have committed this week (and for listening to my non-stop rants on why flash is so important).  The schedule has been insane, but the light at the end of the tunnel is near.

As we go into the new year soon we’d like to tell everyone thank you and wish you the best during the holidays.  I will now leave you with a bit of holiday cheer for all of who have or will experience that inevitable holiday computer failure.

Best Regards and Happy Holidays,

–Josh

On the twelfth day I left it, my PC gave to me:

Twelve programs stalling;
Eleven chips a-smoking;
Ten ports a-jamming;
Nine jails a-frying;
Eight times i’m crying;
Seven blown partitions;
Six bad controllers;
Five seeeeeeg faults; (singer should hold out seg just FYI)
Four bad blocks;
Three bad controllers;
Two faulty pools;
And a burnt-out CPU fan.

 

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