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.

Jun
20

PC-BSD Status Update

I wanted to take this time to give you a status update on PC-BSD / TrueOS, and the direction going forward. As many of you know, we’ve been doing builds of 9.1-RELEASE and 9-STABLE as a “Rolling-Release”. Our new plan is to issue system and package updates on the following schedule:

9.1-RELEASE
– Update PKGNG repo on or about the 1st and 15th of the month.

9-STABLE
– Update the PKGNG repo on or about the 5th and 20th of the month
– Issue a new “freebsd-update” patch on the 1st, which includes the latest –STABLE version

In addition to the rolling release, we also have some other cool new projects in the works. The first among these is our work to make ZFS the cornerstone of the PC-BSD/TrueOS experience. This will bring features such as ZFS “Boot-Environments”, including the ability to boot directly from them at the boot-loader. If you’ve not run boot-environments before, you will wonder how you survived without them. To accomplish this, we are going to be moving to the GRUB boot-loader, which now has ZFS support. The pbi-manager and Warden already have extensive ZFS support, and we will be enhancing our other utilities, such as “Life-Preserver” with ZFS features as well.

In addition to re-focusing on solely on ZFS as our default file-system, we have had to take a look at the feasibility of continuing with the i386 builds. As many of you know, ZFS is a 21st century operating system and doesn’t play nicely with the legacy i386 kernel / versions of FreeBSD. In addition over the past couple years, more and more of time-consuming issues we’ve encountered have been only on i386, partly due to the fact that most FreeBSD devs have already moved on to 64bit and also due to the quickly shrinking number of users / systems that still run i386. In order to make PC-BSD / TrueOS, secure, stable and timely, we’ve decided to drop the i386 builds going forward, and instead focus on a single 64bit architecture. This means the next editions of rolling-release and 9.2 onward will be 64bit only. If you are already on 64bit, then you won’t need to worry about anything. However if you are running i386 on your box you will need to consider moving it to the 64bit versions in the near future. If your hardware is less than 10 years old then most likely you will be able to do this without any difficulty.

For those helping us test the rolling-release now, I hope to have a new ISO + package set available in the next week or so, which includes the new GRUB boot-loader for Boot-Environments. I will post back details on how to manually setup / test this feature in the near future. Once these new features have stabilized a bit further, we will begin to issue general updates for users of the old 9.1-RELEASE from January to upgrade to 9.1 Rolling Release.


Kris Moore
PC-BSD Software
iXsystems

Apr
08

9.1 32bit users">Important Notice for PC-BSD 9.1 32bit users

A number of PC-BSD 32bit users have reported problems booting their
systems after applying the latest FreeBSD update patches. We have found the problem and will have a bugfix issued shortly. Once this bugfix is issued, you may then continue re-applying FreeBSD updates. If this has affected your system, you can fix it manually following the directions below.

NOTE: At this time it *only* seems to be hitting users of 9.1-Release on 32bit / i386.

Fixing the problem

If your system has run into this issue, and can no longer boot, you can fix it with the following steps:

1. Boot your 9.1-Release DVD / USB media to the installation screen

2. Right-click on the desktop to open “xterm”

3. Mount your PC-BSD partition:

# mount /dev/ada0s1a /mnt
(Replace “ada0s1” with the disk name / partition number)

4. Copy the original /boot/loader file
# cp /mnt/boot/loader.old /mnt/boot/loader

5. Unmount and reboot

# umount /mnt
# shutdown –r now

Followup:

A fix named “Boot-loader — beastie” fix has been issued and is being updated to the mirrors as of April 9. Once the update is installed, it is safe to do the freebsd-update.

Since it takes time to sync to all of the mirrors, be sure that it downloads and installs before running freebsd-update.

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