Jan
17

9.0 Snapshot is Available for Testing">Next 9.0 Snapshot is Available for Testing

Another release of the PC-BSD 9 snapshot is now available for download. This snapshot includes a bunch of bug-fixes to the GDM login manager, some new meta-pkgs, and fixes to the PBI command-line utilities.

This snapshot also includes CD images that install the LXDE desktop, as well as the USBFULL image which contains all the available desktops and meta-pkgs.

Since we’ve not begun adding 9.0 PBIs to Software Manager, some users have asked how they can get PBIs on 9, such as FireFox. This snapshot allows you to do so with a few easy command-line steps:

To view available PBIs for direct download:

# pbi_info –i

To install a PBI from the list as the superuser, such as FireFox:

# pbi_add –r firefox

To add a desktop icon for an application such as firefox, run this command as a regular user:

% pbi_icon add-desktop firefox-3.6.13-amd64

Currently there are only a few PBIs available for direct download via pbi_add and they are meant for testing purposes. However, the build servers are chugging away on other PBIs for 9, which you can manually download and install by double-clicking in the GUI, or by using the pbi_add command as root:

64bit 9.0 PBIs

32bit 9.0 PBIs

***WARNING***

This is still ALPHA quality, so expect bugs, missing features, etc. Please report any bugs by sending an email to the testing mailing list or by starting a thread in the appropriate testing forum.

Jan
14

Looking for MythTV PBI Testers

A PBI module has been created for MythTV, but we need testers to see if it works and to provide feedback on its usage. Testing this PBI will also allow feedback on whether the current webcamd drivers support TV tuner cards and to ensure that the webcam man pages are accurate regarding those cards. I suspect that MythTV on PC-BSD will be a process as we discover what hardware is supported, get some usage docs written, and fix any PBI and/or webcam glitches that are discovered along the way.

If you’d like to try out the PBI, download the one that is appropriate for your architecture.

To install, you can either double-click the downloaded PBI in sudolphin or, as the superuser, install it with the /PCBSD/Scripts/runpbi.sh /PATH/TO/PBI command.

Wikipedia indicates that you’ll also need a supported TV tuner card or a firewire connection to a digital set-top box.

We’ll be revamping the Multimedia section of the Handbook for 9.0. For now, I’ve started a placeholder for MythTV. Feel free to add the results of your tests there. You can also leave a comment here or on the pbi-dev mailing list.

Jan
10

8.2-RC1 Available for Testing">PC-BSD 8.2-RC1 Available for Testing

The PC-BSD Team is pleased to announce the availability of the first Release Candidate for PC-BSD 8.2.

Version 8.2-RC1 contains a number of enhancements, improvements, and bug fixes in response to previous 8.2 testing snapshots. Some of the notable changes are:

* Updated to FreeBSD 8.2-RC1
* Fixed issue detecting the proper video card driver
* Fixed some crashes when adding new users / groups
* Added /sbin/nologin as a shell choice in the user manager
* Let created users have a homedir of /nonexistant via the GUI
* Fix customizing desktop languages when using a () in the description

Version 8.2-RC1 of PC-BSD is available for download from our mirrors. Everyone is encouraged to test this beta and to report any bugs to the testing mailing list. Instructions for beta testers can be found in the PC-BSD Handbook.

Dec
22

Looking for Tester Who Can Dual-Boot Between Windows and PC-BSD

We’re looking for someone who can test the EasyBCD page of the Handbook. To do so, you’ll need an installation of Windows and PC-BSD.

I’ve verified that the instructions work if you check the “Install PC-BSD bootloader” in the disk setup screen during PC-BSD installation. What needs to be tested is if the Windows boot loader can still find PC-BSD if that box is not checked during the PC-BSD installation. Please leave a comment posting your results and I’ll finish up this page of the Handbook to indicate whether or not this box needs to be checked.

Dec
20

8.2-BETA1 Available for Testing">PC-BSD 8.2-BETA1 Available for Testing

The PC-BSD Team is pleased to announce the availability of PC-BSD 8.2-BETA1 which is running FreeBSD 8.2-PreRELEASE, Xorg 7.5, and KDE 4.5.4

Version 8.2 contains a number of enhancements and improvements. For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog . Some of the notable changes are:

* FreeBSD 8.2-PreRelease
* KDE 4.5.4
* Added ability to select filesystem type and to encrypt partitions during installation
* Numerous fixes and improvements to Network Manager, including 3G support and ability to enable/disable the lagg interface

Version 8.2-BETA1 of PC-BSD is available for download from our mirrors. Everyone is encouraged to test this beta and to report any bugs to the testing mailing list. Instructions for beta testers can be found in the PC-BSD Handbook.

Dec
14

Webcamd Now Has Many Man Pages

Webcamd is a port of the Video4Linux USB webcam and DVB drivers into userspace. It’s been available as a FreeBSD port since January and comes installed with PC-BSD. When Hans Petter Selasky ported these drivers he knew there “were a lot of them, probably many hundreds”. However, it was hard to quantify exactly how many existed and exactly what hardware was supported as this information is scattered throughout thousands of src files and dozens of websites and wiki pages (possibly containing incomplete or outdated information).

It took a while to research what hardware is (in theory) supported by the various drivers; in doing so, I ended up with a spreadsheet that currently contains 1396 entries. That information was used to create 46 man pages (45 driver man pages and 1 for webcamd itself) which have now been added to the port. If you already have webcamd installed and are comfortable updating FreeBSD ports, you can upgrade to the latest version of webcamd. If you’re using PC-BSD, you can wait for next month’s 8.2 release as the latest version of webcamd will be installed with it. Or, if you’re impatient and want to check out the man pages now, you can uninstall the current version and install the new version as the superuser:

pkg_delete –x webcamd && pkg_add –rf webcamd

Once you have the latest version of webcamd, try these commands to see which man pages interest you:

makewhatis /usr/local/man
apropos webcamd | more

The driver man pages contain the VendorID:ProductIDs of previously documented known devices. To determine the ID of a device, use one of the following commands on either a FreeBSD or PC-BSD system:

usbconfig dump_all_config_desc | grep vendor (if the device is an inserted USB device)

Here is an example for when I insert a USB camera:

usbconfig dump_all_config_desc | grep vendor
ugen3.3: product 0x0991 vendor 0x046d at usbus3, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=ON

I could then quickly check to see if that ID is known to be supported from the webcamd man pages:

cd /usr/local/man/man4/
gzcat * | grep “046d:0991

Since I just get my prompt back, support for this particular device isn’t currently documented, so I’ll check just the VendorID:

gzcat * | grep “046d”

This will provide an ordered list of all known to be working Logitech products. From the list, the last documented ID is 046d:08dd.

I know that the information from existing resources is out-of-date. You can help to improve the man pages by letting us know the VendorID:ProductID of any cameras that work for you and which currently aren’t listed in the man pages. Also, if you come across an ID that is supposed to work but does not, please send us the details so we can update that information in the man pages.

For now, leave a comment or send me an email with the information about the device. If it turns out to be useful to do so, we’ll throw up a wiki page where needed changes can be posted and addressed.

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