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 ;).

 

Jul
27

9.2-BETA1 Released">Rolling-Release and 9.2-BETA1 Released

Kris has announced the availability of the next rolling release and the first beta for the upcoming PC-BSD 9.2:

The PC-BSD team is pleased to announce that new images for PC-BSD 9.1-RELEASE (Isotope Infusion) and PC-BSD 9-STABLE (Based upon FreeBSD 9.2-BETA1) are now available! These releases are among the first in our new “Rolling-Release” model, and will allow you to easily keep your system updated with bi-monthly package set updates along side your regular PBI updates. In addition the images now include support for creating and booting from ZFS boot-environments. Due to the nature of implementing ZFS boot-environments, users on previous installs of 9.1-RELEASE will need to perform a re-installation in order to take advantage of these ZFS features. With the upcoming release of 9.2, currently in BETA, existing users may opt to wait for its release in order to migrate to the newer version. Many additional new features are also listed in the notes below.

DVD and USB images are now available for download.

Highlights for 9.1-RELEASE:

* FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE

* Bootable ZFS Boot Environments
– Using GRUB2, any new ZFS boot-environments created via the “beadm” command will be added to the boot-loader and available at boot-time

* PNGNG support
– In addition to PBIs and the AppCafe, system admins and power users will now have access to a full PKGNG repository with frequent updates

* Switched over to CDN for downloads
– No more having to hunt for a closest mirror, downloads will automatically pull from our CDN service hosted by ScaleEngine

* New version of AppCafe
– New streamlining and PBI management functionality

* GitHub Migration
– All PC-BSD / TrueOS sources are now available via GitHub (https://​github​.com/​p​c​bsd and https://​github​.com/​t​r​u​eos)

* Warden Updates
– Support for setting various jail options via the GUI
– Option to create jail “templates” based upon different versions of FreeBSD
– Support for VIMAGE jails
– Jails without any IPV4 or IPV6 address assigned

* Graphical PKGNG manager
– GUI supports basic or advanced mode, which allows full package management / upgrades

* Home directory encryption
– PEFS based encryption, allows users to encrypt their home-directory contents with their login password, which is only unencrypted while logged in

* Boot times improved substantially

Highlights for 9-STABLE:

* FreeBSD/TrueOS 9-STABLE (Running 9.2-BETA1)

* Binary “freebsd-update” server implemented for –STABLE, allowing monthly updates to a newer –STABLE release without re-compiling

* All the features listed for 9.1-RELEASE above also apply to 9-STABLE

Get Involved:

Want to help out the PC-BSD project? Found a bug you need to report? You can do so by joining us on our Forums! PC-BSD welcomes new contributors, testers, or simply feedback on how a particular piece of hardware works with BSD.

Jul
05

PC-BSD Now Uses a CDN

Kris has announced that the PC-BSD project has moved over to a CDN (content delivery network) service for its network backbone. The CDN will replace the existing system of mirrors the project used for many years. It also means that users will no longer have to pick a mirror close to their geographical location in order to get decent download speeds when downloading PC-BSD, updates, and software. It will also prevent failed updates because the selected mirror is out of date or offline.

Once your system is configured to use the CDN, the CDN will transparently provide the fastest possible download. How to configure the system depends upon whether you are running 9.1-RELEASE or a rolling release:

For 9.1-RELEASE Users:

To make the switch, use Update Manager to install and apply the CDN patch. Alternately, TrueOS users can run the command pc-updatemanager check. The update will automatically configure the system to use the new CDN.

For Rolling Release Users:

Due to some recent breakage in PKGNG, run pkg upgrade twice from the command line. The first run will upgrade you to pkg-1.1.3_1 or later. The second run will upgrade the system packages to the latest set which has
CDN support.

If you run into any problems, let us know. We would particularly like feedback on speeds and availability so we can let our CDN provider know.

A big thanks to Allan Jude from ScaleEngine for configuring and hosting the CDN.

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