Call for Testers: Upcoming LibreOffice Port with Localizations

Many PC-BSD users have been looking for localized versions of the LibreOffice PBI (which, like the underlying FreeBSD port, is currently only available in English). The FreeBSD LibreOffice porting team is working on the next version of the port which will be localized.

Baptiste Daroussin from the porting team describes the current state of the upcoming port in this mailing list post.

If you are comfortable compiling FreeBSD ports, have been looking for an excuse to try compiling with clang, and would like to assist with the testing of the upcoming port, read that mailing list post first as it contains technical details that you will need to get started. Note that the provided Makefiles are already configured to use clang, meaning that you can type make as usual.


9.1 Installer Documentation">Initial 9.1 Installer Documentation

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.


Call for Testers: GEM/KMS Snapshot

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.


Call for Testers: Bluetooth Manager

PC-BSD 9.1 will include a new GUI for managing bluetooth devices.

If you would like to assist in testing this GUI, you can compile and install the code on your PC-BSD 9.0 system as follows:

First, make sure that these two development packages are showing as installed in Control Panel -> System Manager -> System Packages -> Development:

  • Development-VCS
  • Development-Qt

As superuser, download the source and compile the Bluetooth Manager and Tray applications:

svn co svn://
cd src-qt4/libpcbsd
qmake-qt4 *.pro
make && make install
cd ../pc-bluetoothmanager
qmake-qt4 *.pro
make && make install
cd ../pc-bluetoothtray
qmake-qt4 *.pro
make && make install

When finished, leave the superuser account and start the Bluetooth Manager:

pc-su pc-bluetoothmanager (will prompt for superuser password)

Alternately, place the Bluetooth Manager in the system tray:

pc-su pc-bluetoothtray (will prompt for superuser password)

Note that the Bluetooth Tray currently activates on right-click, but nothing activates on left-click as of yet.

If you try it out, let us know if you encounter any errors or need additional functionality. Feedback can be sent to the testing mailing list.


1 to RC2">Upgrading from RC1 to RC2

Several users have noted on the testing mailing list that KDE is inaccessible after upgrading from RC1 to RC2. It turns out that the KDE 4.6.x cache is incompatible with the newer 4.7.x cache. Fortunately, the fix is an easy one:

Log in using another window manager (Fluxbox will be available in the login screen even if your only installed window manager is KDE), become the superuser, and run the following command:

rm –rf /var/tmp/kdecache-*

You should now be able to login to KDE.

The configuration files also changed in this version of KDE so the PC-BSD desktop wallpaper and icons will be missing. This has been fixed for RC3.


9.0-RC2 now Available">PC-BSD 9.0-RC2 now Available

Kris has announced the availability of RC2. From the announcement:

The second release candidate for the upcoming PC-BSD 9.0 is now available for download. This release includes the latest FreeBSD 9.0-RC2 base, along with numerous bug fixes and enhancements.


Notable changes in this release, in no particular order:

  • Improve username checks in installer to only allow valid chars
  • Add button for xvkbd virtual-keyboard usage during installation, install can now be done entirely via touch-screen
  • VirtualBox mouse-pointer integration works by default after selecting vboxvideo in display wizard
  • Improve update-manager to not fail on soft errors
  • In services tool, sort by name by default and enable user-sorting via headers
  • Fix mime issues causing false identification of office documents as .zip files
  • Set default language to en_US.UTF-8 which fixes mouting some removable media
  • Set the default mirror server on first boot to the fastest available
  • Save users proxy / pbi configuration across upgrades
  • Fix bug in AppCafe to show PBIs not associated with a particular repo
  • Added FVWM and FVWM-Crystal as desktop options: note these will be PC-BSD themed (desktop and menu items) in RC3
  • Prompt for a desktop in LIVE mode
  • Add Koffice-kde4 as optional meta-pkg for KDE4
  • Make pbi-manager more “sudo” friendly
  • Added optional meta-pkg for Compiz
  • Enable DynamicPM on ATI video
  • Add “switcher2” utility for changing gtk theme
  • Add –R option to “pbi_add” which fetches PBI install file without installing or removing it
  • Add xscreensaver to base system to fix issues in XFCE4 & others

Known Issues:

The default KDE wallpaper / desktop is broken with the update to 4.7.3. This will be fixed for RC3.

Reporting Bugs:

Since this is a pre-release, please assist us by reporting and fixing bugs. Users are encouraged to discuss their findings on the
testers mailing list, or via the PC-BSD Forums.

There are a greater variety of ways to install PC-BSD in the 9.x series. When providing feedback please indicate which install media you are using and in which window manager the error occurs.

Help the Project, Donate Today!