May
02

27 — Software System Redesign">Weekly Feature Digest 27 — Software System Redesign

PC-BSD has long been very flexible about how you can install software. You have PBI’s, packages, and ports available with just a couple clicks or via a couple of simple terminal commands. For a long time the PBI format has served as an excellent solution for people who may need an offline package install, or just simply prefer the ease and simplicity the PBI format has to offer especially via the AppCafe. Perhaps the “Achilles’ Heel” of this situation is that we have also been severely limited on the amount of software that the AppCafe has to offer as packages had to first be converted into the PBI format.

This week we are announcing a radical change that we think will benefit all PC-BSD users in ways that were previously unthinkable. The PC-BSD team has begun work during the last couple of weeks redesigning our PC-BSD utilities (AppCafe, Update Center) to work with our pkgng software repository that we are currently building to contain detailed information about all the software available through packages and PBIs. What this means for you is that in the near future PC-BSD will have a much broader software pool to pull from, and will not be limited anymore by only having a small subset of PBI’s. You will now be able to install packages and PBI’s in one place, while also being able to update and manage both in one place.

You may be asking yourself “why the change?”. Over the last several months we have noticed a considerable amount of our time has been going into compatibility and fixes for PBIs. So much time in fact that other important development had to be postponed and / or sidelined while we worked on bringing PBIs up to speed. We are hoping by adopting appcafe and the PBI format to work in tandem with pkgng, that we will be able to refocus our efforts on other important endeavours.

We will have more information available soon as development continues on how you can get involved with testing out the new features and submitting ideas to help the project along. Let us know what you think about the changes. Are we headed in the right direction? Do you have ideas related to the redesign that you’d like to contribute? Let us know!

Key Features:

Much larger software library. Instead of 800 available appcafe applications think more like 10000+
Detailed information on all the software available including packages in one place
Ability to search and filter your results to show
Improved compatibility across desktop environments
New rating system is being developed for grading the quality of packages in the AppCafe library

Mar
14

21 — PCBSD 10.0.1 Released!">PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 21 — PCBSD 10.0.1 Released!

PC-BSD 10.0.1 Has been released! Check out the release notes from Kris below. Kris is currently out in the field attending AsiaBSDCon so make sure to stop by the FreeBSD booth if you’re in the area and show your support! Work has continued this week on the development of the new PC-BSD mixer although our primary goal this week was to get a bunch of trac tickets fixed, closed, or assigned to someone to take care of them. Thanks as always and enjoy the new updates!

- Josh

———————————————

The first PC-BSD 10.0 quarterly update is upon us, and 10.0.1 is now
available.

This update includes a number of important bugfixes, as well as newer
packages and desktops, such as KDE 4.12.2, Cinnamon 2.0 and more. For
more details and updating instructions, refer to the notes below.

Changes
———————————————

* KDE 4.12.2
* Cinnamon 2.0
* Samba 4.1.4
* Stability improvements to PBI subsystems
* Updated GRUB loader, fixing issues related to slow / hanging startup
* Updated AppCafe UI
* Updates to Life-Preserver, including “Classic” backup mode and
automatic snapshots
* Updated control panel with desktop settings buttons
* PulseAudio 5.0 integration
* Improved Video display auto-detection
* Bugfixes to mouse auto-detection
* Improved LDAP / AD support for login manager
* Misc other bugfixes

Updating
———————————————

Desktop users already running 10.0 can update via Control Panel ->
Package Manager -> Updates.
Server users can update via the “pc-updatemanager” utility.

If package updating fails due to conflict errors, please be sure to
apply all system updates first before trying again.

Installing
———————————————

10.0.1 DVD/USB media can be downloaded from the following URL:

http://​www​.pcbsd​.org/​e​n​/​d​o​w​n​l​o​a​d​.​h​tml

Reporting Bugs
———————————————

Found a bug in 10.0.1? Please report it (in as much detail as possible)
to our Trac Database.

https://​trac​.pcbsd​.org

Feb
21

18">PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 18

Big news this week!   Kris has finished re-writing the code for handling how PC-BSD handles major updates.  The general consensus was that there were still many users out there that were having difficulty when upgrading to a new version (i.e 9.2 > 10).  For more information on the new PC-BSD update system, check out the article here.  To view Kris’ address to the testing mailing list click here.  Our goal is and has always been to have a reliable system to push out updates, and we think you will all be very pleased with the results!

Basic guidelines for PC-BSD utilities are continuing to evolve and we want your input!  If you have ideas for the development team on what should become standard practice we want to hear from you.  You can join the discussion on the the PC-BSD developer mailing list if you’d like to submit your ideas.  To check out Guidelines for PC-BSD utilities visit the PC-BSD 10.1 wiki’s “Become a Developer” section @ http://​wiki​.pcbsd​.org/​i​n​d​e​x​.​p​h​p​/​B​e​c​o​m​e​_​a​_​D​e​v​e​l​o​p​e​r​/​10.1

A moderate batch of fixes for trac tickets were committed this week addressing minor issues with the warden.  Appcafe has also received a big update to it’s user interface allowing for a smoother experience for users.  If you want to give the 2 newest versions of these programs a try grab the PC-BSD source and let us know what you think!

That’s it for this week!  See you all next time!

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.
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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