Apr
18

26 — The Lumina Project and preload">Weekly Feature Digest 26 — The Lumina Project and preload

This week the PC-BSD team has ported over preload, which is an adaptive readahead daemon. It monitors applications that users run, and by analyzing this data, predicts what applications users might run, and fetches those applications and their dependencies to speed up program load times. You can look for preload in the next few days in edge packages and grab it for testing on your own system.

There is an early alpha version of the Lumina desktop environment that has been committed to ports / packages. Lumina is a lightweight, stable, fast-running desktop environment that has been developed by Ken Moore specifically for PC-BSD. Currently it builds and runs, but lacks many other features as it is still in very early development. Grab it from the edge packageset and let us know what you think, and how we can also improve it to better suit you as a user!

Other updates this week:

* Fixed some bugs in ZFS replication causing snapshot operations to take
far longer than necessary
* Fixed an issue with dconf creating files with incorrect permissions
causing browsers to fail
* Added Lumina desktop ports / packages to our build system
* PC-BSD Hindi translation 100% complete
* improvements to the update center app
* Update PCDM so that it will use “pw” to create a user’s home directory if it is missing but the login credentials were valid. This should solve one of the last reported issues with PCDM and Active Directory users.
* Bugfix for pc-mounttray so that it properly ignores the active FreeBSD swap partition as well.
* Another small batch of 10.x PBI updates/approvals.

Apr
09

OpenSSL Security Update

Many users have asked us about the recent OpenSSL Heartbleed bug.  This only applies to users of PC-BSD 10.0, users of 9.x and earlier will not be effected.

A patch has gone out this morning to correct the issue, which includes the following FreeBSD security advisories:

http://​www​.freebsd​.org/​s​e​c​u​r​i​t​y​/​a​d​v​i​s​o​r​i​e​s​/​F​r​e​e​B​S​D​-​S​A​-​14​:​06​.​o​p​e​n​s​s​l​.​asc
http://​www​.freebsd​.org/​s​e​c​u​r​i​t​y​/​a​d​v​i​s​o​r​i​e​s​/​F​r​e​e​B​S​D​-​S​A​-​14​:​05​.​n​f​s​s​e​r​v​e​r​.​asc

By running the graphical “System Updater” you can apply the bug fixes, or via “freebsd-update” at the command-prompt. After applying this fix, please reboot and the systems version should now show 10.0-RELEASE–p9

Feb
28

19">PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 19

Changes to PBI’s

As many of you know there was an issue with PBI’s causing them to freeze at random times during use. Kris went into full-blown hermit programmer mode to track down the issue and you’ll be glad to know a fix was committed that addresses this issue. Kris said of the fix: “it’s faster, cleaner, and allows proper access to all of the filesystem data. It can even be used by FreeBSD users who want to run different sets of packages in a location other than /usr/local”. To test out the new changes you will want to rebuild the pbi-manager backend. For those of you that may not know the pbi-manager utility is a backend that you never see, but is always there managing system interactions when running PBI’s. Follow the instructions below to grab the pc-bsd source and rebuild the pbi-manager to apply the fix.

1. Open a new terminal and paste: git clone https://​github​.com/​p​c​b​s​d​/​p​c​b​s​d​.​git
This will create a directory for the PC-BSD source code

2. type: cd pcbsd/src-sh/pbi-manager/
This will browse directly to the pbi-manager source directory

3. type: sudo make install

4. Restart your system

And you’ve done it! Don’t forget to reset your system! PBI’s will not work until the system is reset. For more information, questions, or thoughts please post below.

Changes to Life Preserver

Life preserver has been updated to bring in some exciting new changes. New automatic snapshot schedules have been added along with new replication schedule options that will allow users more flexibility and control over their Life Preserver snapshot schedules (i.e. Hourly, 30 minutes, 10 minutes). New code has been added to allow the user to change the pop-up notification policy (all, only errors, none). A minor bug was also fixed that was causing non-error messages in the “Message” dialog.

Unifying PC-BSD Utility Chain

Work is continuing on standardizing the PC-BSD utility chain. More information has been added @ (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). The changes will also bring in some new keyboard accessibility through hot keys and shortcut keys. There are currently several opportunities available to help update the tool chain, so if you’d like to lend a hand please let us know!

Important changes to Appcafe and PCDM (Release Notes)

AppCafe -

* Finish overhaul of the UI
* Add ability to email the port maintainer
* Add right-click action shortcuts for individual applications
* Add new browser home page with recommended applications
* Move the category browser to a seperate page
* Add ability to install custom PBI’s from your system via File->Add PBI (no internet/repository required)
* General improvements/bugfixes to the backend functions

PCDM -

* Fix backend detection of LDAP/Active Directory users (still needs verification/testing by people with this special type of setup)
* Add option to show an auto-login delay (in which time the user can cancel the auto-login if necessary)
* Add option to disable showing the system users and require that the username also have to be typed in.

Login Manager Configuration Utility (pc-dmconf)
* Update to reflect the new PCDM configuration options
* Fix a bug where a blank auto-login username could be set

Jan
10

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

Bug fixes, code freezes, and PBI speed increases!  There’s lots of exciting news this week in PC-BSD so let’s have a look.

PC-BSD 10.0 Release has entered into the “code freeze” phase of development.   In order to increase stability and focus on prioritizing bug fixing, major feature changes under the hood should no longer be committed for 10.0 Release.  Trac ticket owners are encouraged to finish and submit your cosmetic / general bug fixes as soon as possible.

PC-BSD release candidate 4 (p3) is currently being built and is expected to be finished sometime over the weekend.  Please click here to check and see if the latest image is currently available.  If it is not available please check again later.

The PC-BSD update system has received quite a bit of new stability improvements in the form of additional code.  Users can expect to see an improvement in the form of less errors during updates and an overall smoother update transition between builds.

Here’s a quick recap of some other awesome new features / bug fixes that have been committed over the last week.  Please test and report any problems as quickly as possible so we can make sure 10.0 Release will be ready to roll (no pun intended) when the time comes.

  • Most recent package set for 9.2 is currently being uploaded
  • Improved Nvidia video card detection routines
  •   The PBI format received a substantial upgrade over the course of the week allowing for PBI load times to be reduced in some cases up to 40%.
  • A fix has been implemented for the virtualbox driver
  • New wine PBI’s have just finished testing, and should be available in the next couple of days
  • Fixes have been committed for missing shortcut keys in the PC-BSD installer
  • Keyboard layout issues have been resolved for multiple desktop environments
  • Auto-mount detection has been improved for multiple desktop environments

That’s it for this week folks.  Please keep us informed if you have problems that are persisting in the newest Release Candidate image.

Best Regards,

–Josh

 

Jan
03

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

2013 is gone, and a new PC-BSD image is here.  We are now in 10.0 Release Candidate 3 (p2) and are moving very quickly towards final release.  There is still some fine tuning that we are working on, so keep those bug reports coming.  There are some awesome new key features / support features that have been added so let’s have a look at what’s new in PC-BSD land.

The guys and gals at the PC-BSD project continue to push the envelope on cutting edge features.  This week a new detection routine was finished that will offer simple detection on ATI Hybrid Graphics enabled laptop computers.  The new detection system was tested on a Samsung NP350 that would stall during installation because X was not able to detect either graphics card properly during the installation and first start-up respectively.  Now if the first video card fails X detection, a message will be displayed that it could not be started.  It will then try the next one.  More research and development is needed to see if we can apply this same fix to laptops using Nvidia as well.

For any of our testers out there that want to stay as cutting edge as possible and also assist in the current development in PC-BSD 10 Release, please go ahead and upgrade to the newest image by clicking here.  We are in a time crunch now, but we want to make sure we find any major / critical bugs and get them squashed ASAP.  Also I am still looking for testers to help us isolate any issues with the HPLIP package when installed while other printers (i.e brother, epson, etc) are installed as well.   The goal is too possibly add more printer support to PC-BSD, however please understand this is something for down the road and will not be a quick fix.  If you need more specific information about our goals with this side project please send me an e-mail at joshms@pcbsd.org.

New logic has been added to handling disk detection during PC-BSD installation.  There was an issue in the gui install as well as text install where the 4k sector size option was causing an installation failure.  If you were experiencing this issue and would like to test out PC-BSD 10.0 please go ahead and download the latest image and give it a go.

Special shout out to our Indonesian translation team for translating PC-BSD entirely into Indonesian Bahasa.  Thanks for the hard work, and…record time for a translation to be completed.  When I said “run with it” I didn’t actually know you were going to be able to finish it in 5 days.  We went from having around 20% translated a few days ago to completely localized now, and we couldn’t be happier at the potential for reaching an entirely new market for us.

Due to the state of upstream support for Linux jails in FreeBSD we are re-classifying Linux jails as unsupported / experimental.  The decision comes after frequent breaks in the way jails are handling the linux scripts and also the inability to handle advanced linux programs.  We are hoping this is something that we can again start supporting in 10.1, but currently it is just too darned clunky to be called a supported feature.  One thing Kris also mentioned to me in passing was that Linux jails were never meant to be pushed as far as they are sometimes pushed.  We will continue to monitor the state of progress on this upstream and keep you informed on any information that comes our way.

That’s it for this week.  You crazy kids stay out of trouble.

- Josh

 

Dec
06

12/6/13">PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 12/6/13

It’s finally here!!  Earlier this week the PC-BSD team released a new test image for version 10.0.  Some of the exciting highlights were the addition of mate / gnome3/ cinnamon into the installer and package manager.   The linux compatibility layer has also been upgraded to the Linux Centos 6 compatibility layer which will be fantastic for the long run, but right now you may notice your internet browsers are not handling video properly in version 10.0.  We have new PBI’s on the way that should solve this problem and get your Youtube watching experience back up and running…I mean who wants to live in a world without Justin Bieber…am I right…??  OK put your hands down people that wasn’t a literal question!   Anyways I digress!  here is what’s going on in the PC-BSD universe this week.

We are trying to collect information on how all of you feel about the ease of use of installing a printer on PC-BSD.  We want to know the Good, the bad, and the ugly of your printer installation experience, including if you are having trouble finding a driver for your particular model of printer.   To participate in our poll for the next 2 weeks please go to: http://​forums​.pcbsd​.org/​s​h​o​w​t​h​r​e​a​d​.​p​h​p​?​t​=​21460

I am looking for users that are willing to test functionality of HPLIP (in package manager under drivers) while using non-HP printers.  More specifically if you have any brand of printer besides HP i’m looking for users that will add this package and see if it breaks or conflicts with your current printer’s setup.  Understand this is strictly volunteer and advanced users are recommended in case of any potential breakage.  PLEASE NOTE:  There is a known issue I ran into with Mate and the HPLIP package.  DO NOT install HPLIP right now while running mate or it will nuke your taskbar leaving you helpless to accomplish anything.  We are looking into a fix on this and hope to have one shortly.

We are well aware of the bugs corresponding to users with Grub as their boot manager for versions of 9.0 and 10.0.  While we believe we have isolated the issue we are still tracking down the root cause of the problem.  If you are experiencing problems with Grub please go to: http://​trac​.pcbsd​.org/​t​i​c​k​e​t​/​748 and add any thoughts or diagnostic information that might help us locate the problem.

On a similar note some of you will be glad to know that the ability to pick between the FreeBSD bootloader or the Grub boot loader has now been added back into the installer for version 10.0.  This may be especially helpful on systems that Grub is whining about booting from.

Many 10.0 PBI’s are finishing building over the weekend so you should see a pretty big influx of new PBI’s in the appcafe soon.  We will be systematically testing and working our way through them starting early next week.  EasyPBI is also receiving a big update for version 10, so some functionality may be missing or altogether not working for the time being.  Ken is planning on the updates being finished in the next week to be fully compatible with the 10.0 PBI system.

That’s it for this week folks.  Thanks for being a part of the PC-BSD community, and tune in next week for more exciting PC-BSD news!

P.S.  Just kidding on the date before the edit…Just wanted to make sure everyone was paying attention ;).

 

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