Feb
13

PC-BSD 11.0-CURRENT Images Now Available!

Kris just announced on the mailing list that new current images are now available! Check out the info below!

The PC-BSD project is pleased to announce the availability of our first
images based upon FreeBSD 11.0-CURRENT!

WARNING: These images are considered “bleeding-edge” and should be
treated as such.

The DVD/USB ISO files can now be downloaded from the following URL:

http://download.pcbsd.org/iso/11.0-CURRENTFEB2015/amd64/

We hope to continue rolling these -CURRENT images as a way for testers
and developers to tryout both FreeBSD and PC-BSD bleeding edge features,
often months before a planned release. These images include a full PKG
repository compiled for that months image. Users of this system will
also be able to “upgrade” when the next monthly image is published.

— Reporting Bugs —

This is a great way to test features and report bugs well before the
release cycle begins for the next major .0 release.

For bugs in PC-BSD, please report to:

https://bugs.pcbsd.org

For FreeBSD / Port / Kernel / World bugs, please report to:

https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/enter_bug.cgi

Jan
06

New Update GUI for PC-BSD / Automatic Updates

The PC-BSD team is happy to announce we’ve put the finishing touches on the new Update GUI. Users on edge will be able to download and test out the new update GUI with their next update. The new Update GUI will also enable automatic updates which will happen at boot up or every 24 hours. You will also be able to choose what parts of your system you want to update (i.e. Packages, Security, etc.). If you have any questions, concerns, or to report a bug, please feel free to create a bug report on bugs.pcbsd.org so we can quickly get back to you and help troubleshoot the issue.

snapshot1

Dec
02

Open Letter to the PC-BSD Community Regarding Upgrading to 10.1

We are aware of an issue where many of you have been experiencing some frustrating issues involving the update to PC-BSD 10.1. While we constantly strive for a stable easy going process with PC-BSD in use and in upgrading, sometimes issues appear that were not prevalent during our testing. We are working on a new upgrade patch that will hopefully solve the upgrade problem for some of you who have still not been able to successfully upgrade to 10.1. What we are planning on doing is incorporating just freebsd-update to handle this upgrade for the kernel and let the packages be installed seperately after the kernel has been upgraded.

Going forward we have some ideas on how we can improve the updating process to give a better end user experience for PC-BSD. Just one idea we’ve been thinking about is giving ourselves a little more time before letting RELEASE updates become available to the public. During the extra time period we can ask some of our more advanced users to go ahead and install the “beta” updates and provide us with feedback if issues come up that we were not able to find during our initial testing of the update. This will also let us examine many more different types of system setups.

We want to thank all of you for being avid PC-BSD supporters and want you to understand we are 100% dedicated to providing the BEST BSD based desktop operating system in the world. Going forward our goal is to provide an upgrade experience that is not only simple, but also has gone through much more rigorous testing by our dedicated community to ensure the quality everyone here is looking for.

Thanks!

-Josh

Nov
10

Need community feedback on new role system for PC-BSD

Hey everyone! We are considering a new way to install a more
customized PC-BSD experience called “Roles”. Roles would be a
installation experience for PC-BSD that would allow more flexibility
and a more focused package installation based on what you need or want
for your role. If you are a web developer maybe you need an IDE or
packages specifically focused on that. If you are wanting the best
desktop workstation experience maybe you would get an installation
with libreoffice and some other productivity apps.

We hope to also be able to bring these different roles to you in the
form of pre-made virtualbox / vmware images that are ready to be
rolled out. This would hopefully save you a little bit of time as
they’d be significantly smaller by not including a bunch of
unnecessary packages for your role. You would also be able to select
during a normal PC-BSD DVD / USB installation whether or not you want
to use a pre-defined role to setup your system.

We need your help and input to define what roles are important to you
as users and what packages you would suggest that they include. (I.E.
if you are installing a
{developer/web-designer/network-admin/consumer} workstation, what
would be the custom set of packages you need? You can contribute to
the discussion by responding on the forums, blog, or mailing lists.

Forum link: https://forums.pcbsd.org/showthread.php?t=23266

May
30

Weekly Feature Digest 30

Hey PC-BSDers!  This week we’ve been gearing up for the next release of PC-BSD version 10.0.2.   In preparation for the next release we have been fine tuning some of the new features and making sure the loose ends are tied up.   We were also able to close out a good amount of trac tickets this week and commit the fixes for 10.0.2.

In other news / updates this week:

AppCafe

  • Fix a bug where the orphan package filter was also filtering out some base apps.
  • Randomize the browser home page so that it only show 10 random “recommended” and “highlighted” applications.
  •  Add a ton more recommended/highlighted applications to the repo file.
  • Fix some minor display bugs
  • Add menu option to view the recent vulnerability information for ports through freshports.
  • Fix the sizing information for installed meta-pkgs (will show the combined sizes of the direct dependencies instead)
  • Fix the sizing information for available applications (will now show the combined size of all the packages that need to be downloaded/installed for that app)

EasyPBI

  •  Add the ability to fetch/read the pkg-plist for a given pkg.
  • Add a “bulk” module creation side to EasyPBI which allows for creating PBI modules for an entire FreeBSD category at a time (with all sorts of filters and options)
  • Make EasyPBI automatically create up to 5 desktop/menu entries for graphical applications.
  • Make the application binaries detected/usable within the module editor for creating new desktop/menu entries.

Lumina

  • Quick fix for filenames that have spaces in them
  • Quick fix for making sure that when launching an app it is in the same general system environment. This allows apps like firefox/thunderbird to see other instances of themselves and act appropriately.
  • lumina-config – Make sure the menu options actually work

Miscellaneous Fixes / improvements

  • Fixed several warden bugs relating to new jail creation / package management
  • Imported the latest ports and Gnome3 / Cinnamon for 10.0.2
  • Fixed some issues prompting for GELI password from GRUB and then mountroot
  • Fixed a critical bug with new CUPS 1.7.0 breaking foomatic-rip and associated print drivers
  • Imported the latest PEFS code into 11-CURRENT and backported it to our 10-STABLE branches
  • Fixed bugs with system update tray notifier not showing freebsd-update” notifications
  • Migrated one of my build systems to 11-CURRENT and got it setup for doing PKG/ISO builds
  • Misc other trac tickets fixed / closed in cleanup process
  • Many other cosmetic / doc bugs fixes as Dru submitted them
  • Started investigating bug with BE/GRUB failing if the first dataset is destroyed
May
15

Weekly Feature Digest 29 – PBING

We’ve been seeing a lot of confusion and questions about the PBI changes that were recently pushed out those of you running the Edge package sets, and Ken Moore was nice enough to break the changes down in this week’s PC-BSD weekly digest.

First, a little history about the PBI system.
It was initially created when the only/primary application distribution method for FreeBSD was the ports system – meaning that any FreeBSD user who wanted frequent updates to their applications needed to manually compile/install any application through the FreeBSD ports tree on a fairly regular schedule. The PBI system was designed as an alternative to provide simple application packages that could easily be downloaded and installed without the need for the user to compile any source code at all. As an added benefit, the PBI system installed these applications into a seperate container on the system – leaving all the “complicated” system configuration and integration to still be run through the FreeBSD ports system. This allowed PC-BSD to have a stable base system for a release (because the base system packages would almost never get touched/updated), while at the same time provide the ability to keep the main end-user applications up to date between releases.

Now fast-forward a bit to the PC-BSD 10 series.
At this time the FreeBSD ports system, while still existing for the “hardcore” users, has mainly been replaced by the pkgng distribution system for general system/application usage. This has provided quite a bit of confusion for PC-BSD users, because they now had two different ways to install applications, and each application on the system would behave differently depending on how that particular application was installed. To make the distibution model simpler for PC-BSD, the PBI files were already being created from pkgng packages (ensuring that there was a lot less compiling done on the build servers), and those packages were simply being collected into “fat files” with a few compatibility scripts and such thrown in for good measure.This meant that there was a lot of duplication between the pkg and PBI systems, resulting in a lot of effort to maintain compatibility between the two systems. The main problem however, was that the special PBI runtime container itself was causing all sorts of system stability issues. Since the release of PC-BSD 10.0 we have actually tried 3 or 4 different types of application runtime containers, each of which was designed to solve a critical flaw in the previous version, but always kept running into large limitations/problems with each new type of container.

At this point we decided to take a step back and refocus on what the PBI system was originally intended to do – provide a “Push Button Installer” to install and run applications while keeping things as simple as possible for the end user. With this definition for the PBI system, it makes perfect sense that the pkgng system should be chosen  as our default application installation method for a couple reasons:
1) Integration with the system environment for things like setting up and running default applications works a lot better (mimetype integration/use).
2) Startup/runtime speed. Applications installed to the base system simply startup and run a lot faster than the ones that are installed into the containers.
3) User Confusion. Lots of people simply did not understand that the “contained” application libraries/files were not installed to the normal location on the system, and that an application in a container could not easily see or use the system-installed applications.

The next-generation PBI system.
This re-implementation is designed so that it no longer uses the “PBI Containers” exclusively and instead returns to its original goal – to provide a simple interface for the end user to install/use applications of all types and in all ways. This means that it is now a system that uses the pkgng packages as it’s basis – but provides all sorts of other information/functionality that the pkgng system does not fully support yet (such as mimetype integration, desktop/menu entries, and graphical information like icons for applications). Additionally, it also provides a number of enhancements to how the user can utilize the different pkgng packages, mainly through how the packages get installed.

1) Standard pkgng installation to the base system.
This allows the user a simple interface to install/remove application on the base system while providing a number of additional safety checks to prevent random “foot-shooting”.

2) Jail management.
By running the AppCafe on the base system, you can now manage all the applications/packages in any of the running jails on your system. Combined with the Warden for creating/managing different kinds of jails, the user now has a simple way to manage and run applications that (for security reasons) should never be installed/used from the base system (such as web servers or network-facing services).

3) Application containers with plugins!
By using the “portjail” creation options in the Warden, you now have a method to safely contain a graphical application while also allowing for a system of installing/removing optional packages into that jail for plugin support without touching your base system packages (very similar to our previous container system, but with a few more layers of separation between the jail and the system).

4) Other installation methods.
Because the PBI system is now installation-method agnostic (almost), we can provide support for alternate types of installation methods (such as into specialized containers like our previous PBI versions have had). While we do not have any other installation methods included at the moment, we can add new methods relatively easy in the future if those installation methods do not break system stability.

So what does this mean for a PC-BSD user?
1) Access to thousands more applications and plugins by default through the AppCafe. The “PBI” applications will show up with things like screenshots, available plugins, nice looking icons, user ratings/tips, and more while you also have the ability to install and use the “raw packages” (which will always have the icon of a box/package) even if the nicer recommendations and information is not available for that raw package.

2) Less confusion about application installations. Since applications will always be installed/integrated into the local system by default, this will prevent a lot of confusion in people who are used to the standard FreeBSD/Linux/Unix installation methods and file locations for applications.

3) Greater flexibility for different installation methods to suite your specific needs. System installation, traditional jail installation, portjail installation, additional future types of installations, it give the user freedom to truly run the system as you need, rather than forcing you to use a particular system that might not be what you were looking for.

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