Dec
03

PC-BSD: Much Faster Than “Linux”

Larry Cafiero over at fossforce.com has recently switched over from Linux to PC-BSD/FreeBSD, and has been writing articles about the switch. Today, he published an interesting article specifically about PC-BSD, with a lot of nice things to say such as this great quotable:

Linux was fast enough on this machine. But in street racing parlance, with PC-BSD I’m burning rubber in all four gears.

If you are on the fence about PC-BSD or just curious about another person’s experience in switching over, you should definitely give this one a read.

 

Original Article: “The Devil & BSD: Leaving Linux Behind”

Current Article: “Is That Linux? No, It’s PC-BSD”

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Oct
26

Lumina Desktop 0.8.7 Released!

The Lumina desktop environment has just been updated to version 0.8.7! Pre-built packages for this version are already available on the PC-BSD “Edge” pkg repository (x11/lumina[-i18n]), and will be included in next months 11.x “development” image as well.

This version also includes a few PC-BSD specific changes, such as now we have a custom “PCBSD” compile time option which installs the pre-configured settings for PC-BSD desktop systems, and removes the need for an additional file overlay by the PC-BSD project. If you are using “pure” FreeBSD, you may also install the PC-BSD settings by enabling that compile time option when you build the port.

For the full release announcement, head over to the Lumina website!

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Sep
02

New Release Schedule for PC-BSD

The PC-BSD team has always been dedicated to bringing you the best graphical BSD desktop possible. We received some great feedback after our last release cycle that made us rethink our release schedule.

In the past, we tracked FreeBSD major releases, and also added our own quarterly updates that tended to add in a good bit of code for new features and utilities. Going forward, PC-BSD releases will track FreeBSD releases only, such as 10.2 -> 11.0 -> 11.1. Once the code base is frozen for a major release, an update can be pushed out to EDGE users who wish to act as advanced users and beta testers for the updates. During that several week testing period, if something goes wrong we’ll count on EDGE users to help report issues so that we can
quickly get those bugs fixed during the code freeze. After the several week testing period, we can release the update for PRODUCTION users, once we are confident that the kinks are worked out and EDGE users are happy.

We’re also changing the way the EDGE and PRODUCTION branches work a little bit. EDGE packages will now only be built with the ‘stable’ branch of PC-BSD code, to avoid radical changes that could break functionality to the PC-BSD tool-chain. This also allows us to focus our QA and testing on the new 3rd party packages themselves.

However, all packages that are built on FreeBSD -CURRENT will include PC-BSD’s ‘master’ branch, and are considered bleeding edge. These images will continue to be rolled monthly and are only intended for advanced users or developers who can debug and otherwise help fix issues as they arise.

The PRODUCTION package branch will be switching to a monthly update schedule instead of quarterly. The PC-BSD tool-chain will also be based upon “stable”, which will not radically change between releases. We are hoping this change will balance between the need for stability and bringing in the latest packages / security updates to end users in a timely manner.

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Aug
21

PC-BSD 10.2-RELEASE Now Available

The PC-BSD team is pleased to announce the availability of 10.2-RELEASE!

A very special thanks to all the developers, QA, and documentation teams for helping to make this release possible.

PC-BSD 10.2 Notable Changes

  • FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE base system
  • Many bugfixes and enhancements to installer to dual-boot setups
  • New CD-sized network installation media, with Wifi Configuration via GUI
  • Switched to “iocage” for jail management backend
  • Disk Manager GUI now available via installer GUI
  • Bug-fixes and improvements to Life-Preserver replications
  • Improved localization options for login manager
  • Options to Enable / Disable SSHD or IPv6 at installation
  • New “Plugins” system for AppCafe, allowing download of pre-built jail environments
  • Improvements to look-n-feel of AppCafe for package management
  • Improved fonts and better support for 4K monitor setups
  • Enterprise package repo, which only has security updates, allowing users to run a server / desktop or jail with fairly consistent package versions.
  • Firefox 40.0_1,1
  • Chromium 44.0.2403.130
  • Thunderbird 38.1.0
  • Lumina 0.8.6
  • GNOME 3.16.2

Updating

Users currently running 10.1-RELEASE can now update their system via the updater GUI or “pc-updatemanager” utility to be upgraded to 10.2-RELEASE.

Getting Media

10.2-RELEASE media (Including VM’s and network installers) can be downloaded from this URL via HTTP or Torrent.

Reporting Bugs
Found a bug in 10.2? Please report it (with as much detail as possible) to our bugs database.

Errata

We have discovered an issue on systems originally installed with PC-BSD 10.2-PRERELEASE images,
which can cause problems when trying to use freebsd-update after 08/20/2015. The main symptom of
this error is dropping to a shell prompt at boot, with errors about ‘linprocfs’. If you have experienced this,
then we have a hot-fix script now available which will bring your system up to the 10.2-RELEASE world/kernel that freebsd-update will work properly with.

NOTE: This bug only impacts systems which ran the old 10.2-PRERELEASE image. DO NOT apply this hot-fix if your system has already updated properly to 10.2-RELEASE-p4 or later. You can check by running ‘freebsd-version’.

To apply the Hot-Fix:
1) Download scrip from: http://www.pcbsd.org/~kris/pcbsd-102-hotfix-20150821.sh.
2) Run script as root: sudo sh pcbsd-102-hotfix-20150821.sh .
3) Reboot system and make sure you return to the same boot environment you were just in – just in case you already had a BE waiting for you to reboot.
4) Run the normal pc-updatemanager routines (graphical or CLI) to update the system and automatically creates a new boot environment.
5) Reboot into the new BE when prompted.

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Aug
05

PC-BSD 10.2-RC1 Now Available

The PC-BSD team is pleased to announce the availability of RC1 images for the upcoming 10.2 release. Please test these images out and report any issues found on our bug tracker: https://bugs.pcbsd.org

 

PC-BSD 10.2 Notable Changes

  • FreeBSD 10.2 base system
  • Many bugfixes and enhancements to installer to dual-boot setups
  • New CD-sized network installation media, with Wifi Configuration via GUI
  • Switched to “iocage” for jail management backend
  • Disk Manager GUI now available via installer GUI
  • Bug-fixes and improvements to Life-Preserver replications
  • Improved localization options for login manager
  • Options to Enable / Disable SSHD or IPv6 at installation
  • New “Plugins” system for AppCafe, allowing download of pre-built jail environments
  • Improvements to look-n-feel of AppCafe for package management
  • Improved fonts and better support for 4K monitor setups
  • Enterprise package repo, which only has security updates, allowing users to run a server / desktop or jail with fairly consistent package versions.
  • FireFox 39.0
  • Chromium 43.0.2357.134
  • Thunderbird 38.1.0
  • Lumina 0.8.6

 

Updating

Users currently running the EDGE package repo can now update their packages via the updater GUI or “pc-updatemanager” utility to be brought up to date with RC1. Updates for users on the 10.1.2 / PRODUCTION repo will be available once 10.2-RELEASE is announced.

 

Getting media

10.2-RC1 DVD/USB media can be downloaded from the following URL via HTTP or Torrent. http://download.pcbsd.org/iso/10.2-RELEASE/edge/amd64/

 

Reporting Bugs

Found a bug in 10.2? Please report it (with as much detail as possible) to our bugs database. https://bugs.pcbsd.org

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Aug
03

Lumina Desktop 0.8.6 Released!

Just in time for PC-BSD & FreeBSD 10.2 (coming soon), the Lumina desktop has been updated to version 0.8.6! This version contains a number of updates for non-English users (following up all the new translations which are now available), as well as a number of important bug-fixes, and support for an additional FreeDesktop specification. The PC-BSD “Edge” packages have already been updated to this version and the FreeBSD ports tree will be getting this update very soon as well.

In addition, the Lumina desktop now has its own website! While we are still working on cleaning up some of the visuals, all the information about Lumina (how to download/install it on various OS’s, a summary of the features, description of the project, screenshots, etc..) is all there and up-to-date. We are also working on a full handbook for Lumina (similar to the PC-BSD/FreeBSD handbooks) which can also be viewed directly from the website. Please check it out and let us know what you think!

 

Changes Since 0.8.5:

  1. Localizations
    • Add the ability to set system-locale overrides (used on login), allowing the user to “mix” locale settings for the various outputs.
    • Add the ability for the user to switch the locale of the current session on the fly (all locale settings changed for the current session only), and these settings will be used when launching any applications later.
    • Fix up the translation mechanisms of the Lumina interface, so everything will instantly get re-translated to the new locale.
    • More languages are now fully translated! Make sure to install the x11/lumina-i18n port or pkg to install the localizations and enable all these new features!
  2. Add support for the “Actions” extension to the XDG Desktop specifications.
    • This allows applications to set a number of various “actions” (alternate startup routines) within their XDG desktop registration file.
    • These actions are shown within Lumina as new sub-menus within the Applications menu as well as in the User button (look for the down arrow next to the application icon).
  3. Change the Lumina OSD to a different widget – allowing it to be shown much faster.
  4. Add new “_ifexists” functionality to any session options in luminaDesktop.conf. This allows the distributor to more easily setup default applications (browser, email, etc..) through an intelligent tree of options (which may or may not be installed).
  5. Bug Fixes
    • Apply a work-around for new users which fixes a bug in Fluxbox where the virtual desktop windows could still be changed/closed by various Fluxbox keyboard shortcuts. If an existing user wants to apply this fix, you need to replace your ~/.lumina/fluxbox-keys file with the new Lumina default (/usr/local/share/Lumina-DE/fluxbox-keys) – which will overwrite any custom keyboard shortcuts you had previously setup.
    • Fix some bugs in the new window detection/adjustment routines – fixing up issues with full-screen apps that change around the X session settings to suit their own temporary needs.
    • Fix a couple bugs with the automatic detection/load routines for the new QtQuick plugins.
    • Add in the “Ctrl-X” keyboard shortcut for cutting items in the Insight file manager.
    • Fix up the active re-loading of icons when the user changes the icon theme.

 

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