Kris Moore has announced the availability of the next 9.0 testing snapshot:
A new snapshot of 9-CURRENT has just been released, and is now available for download from our FTP server.
Major changes since the last snapshot:
* Fixed bug relating to booting without using the “Stamp MBR” option
* Added additional window-managers to “unsupported” category
* Added ability to enable / disable the lagg network device
* Switched to the “GDM” desktop login manager
* Added ability to add/remove/create repositories of PBIs via pbi_* commands
* Added new pbid daemon, which tracks repository indexes / manages file merging in the background automatically.
* Numerous other bugfixes across the board.
For a list of major differences between 8.x and 9, take a look at our previous announcement.
As usual, please report bugs found back to the mailing list so we can work on fixing them. The more details the better. The Handbook also has instructions for how to become a good beta tester.
A new snapshot for 8-STABLE is in the works, which will become version 8.2 early next year. We’ll make an announcement when that snapshot is online and available for testing.
A security patch is available in Update Manager that addresses the recent OpenSSL vulnerabilities described in FreeBSD security advisory 10:10.openssl. Once the patch is installed, you will need to reboot your system in order to apply it. Instructions for applying a system patch are in the Handbook.
Does your wireless device use the iwi(4) driver? Bernhard Schmidt is working on some patches to resolve some of the known issues with this driver and is looking for testers. If you’re interested in helping out, follow the instructions on the iwi wiki. If you need help getting started, you’re always welcome to join us on #pcbsd on IRC freenode. We can help you write up your bug report or help you review your findings before sending them off to Bernhard.
The following PBI is now available through Software Manager:
nip2: a graphical user interface for VIPS. VIPS is a free image processing system. It is good with large images (images larger than the amount of RAM you have available), with many CPUs, for working with colour, and for general research & development.
Thanks to Jesse Smith for creating the PBI and to P202 for requesting the PBI.
The ndisgen(8) utility can be used to convert an existing Windows network driver to a FreeBSD kernel loadable module. This can allow you to access network devices for which a FreeBSD driver doesn’t currently exist (typically wireless drivers). The utility has been around for a while and typically works well on 32 bit systems. However, users on 64 bit systems often experience kernel panics or drivers that load but don’t do anything.
Paul Mahol is working on improvements to ndisgen and is looking for testers so that it can be tested on as much hardware as possible before the improvements are committed to the FreeBSD repository. If you have a network device without a FreeBSD driver, you can help (and possibly get yourself a working driver!) by doing the following:
As the superuser, use the download link on the NDISulator page to download either the .tgz or .zip file.
Update: on 9.0, use this download link instead.
Uncompress that file to /tmp, then:
Download an XP or Windows 2003 driver for your device and make note of the locations of the .inf and .sys files that came with the download. Make sure you download and use the files that match your architecture (32 or 64 bit). Run the interactive script and input the paths to those files when prompted:
Once the conversion is complete, the script will indicate the name of the kernel module (it will end in a .ko extension) which was created in your current directory. After exiting the script, try to load the driver:
cp driver_name.ko /boot/modules
If all went well, the network device should now be accessible using ndis(4) as described in the FreeBSD Handbook. When you are finished, don’t forget to:
If things went well, take a moment to double-check that your device is mentioned in Table 1 of the Wireless Testing page and add it if it is not.
If all did not go well, head over to the Ndisulator Wiki. Take a minute to read its content (it’s short and sweet), especially the Making useful bug reports page. If you don’t have a github login, you can create one here so that you can submit your bug report here.
John R Davis Jr has written a review on his recent experiences with PC-BSD:
I recently have been experimenting with various Distributions; CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, etc… I am constantly installing distribution after distribution in my attempt to find the “perfect” distro for me. I am actually contemplating reviewing, or at least attempting to, review every Linux/BSD distro out there but that’s a story for another time and place. So I fired up my Firefox while I was running Fedora 13 and went to Distrowatch.com. After looking at the top distributions over the past 30 days, and ruling out the usual suspects, I remembered that I had met some of the folks involved with PC-BSD at the 2009 Ohio Linux Fest. I remembered how PC-BSD, at the time, seemed to be a very interesting product and had a very courteous representation. I located PC-BSD (number 35) and went out on a limb and decided to attempt to install PC-BSD. I went to pcbsd.org, downloaded the .iso, burnt it to a disk using k3b, and installed it on my Lenovo ThinkPad L412 (review coming soon).
The first boot into the installer was painless and what I would consider fairly easy to navigate….
You can read the rest of the review on his blog.