NorthEast LinuxFest will be held March 16–17 at the Science Center at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Registration is free for this event.
There will be a BSD booth in the expo area that will be giving out PC-BSD DVDs, FreeNAS CDs as well as other cool swag. Donations will be accepted for the FreeBSD Foundation.
The BSDA certification exam will also be available during this event.
Kris has announced the availability of the first rolling release upgrade on the testing mailing list. Check that list’s archives before applying the upgrade to be aware of any found bugs. If you find a bug, post the details to the list.
Anybody who want to help us out testing a system update from the original 9.1 -> 9.1-RollingRelease can now do so!
To start the process on your system edit the file:
Change the line:
After this is done you can just run the update manager gui, or pc-updatemanager command to apply the update as normal.
Please let us know any feedback you have with the patch, so we can bugfix and improve it.
Once the desktop is re-installed, there is a bug in the online update tray notifier which isn’t showing if new packages are available. I’m currently investigating.
Kris has announced the availabiity of the first rolling release:
As a few of you have already noticed, we have some new ISOs now up on the mirrors.
These are the first images built of PC-BSD Rolling Release, based upon FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE, which use PKGNG as the backend for keeping your desktop and base-system packages up to date. You are welcome to download and give them a spin if you want to help us beta-test them.
They include updated packages from about 2 weeks ago, which includes KDE 4.9.5 among others. Our build server is still finishing up building the entire package repository and I hope to have all ~20,000 pkgng packages online in another week or so, with weekly updates after that. The weekly updates will include all the latest PC-BSD / TrueOS utilities, so you can expect to see much more frequent bug fixes & enhancements.
For users running on the original PC-BSD / TrueOS 9.1 release, I also have an online system update in the works. This update will convert your existing install to PKGNG and allow you to start tracking the rolling release, the same as if you installed a fresh copy from our new ISOs. Once I’ve finished a bit more testing & bugfixing with it, I will post back with details on how to try it out. I’m hopeful it will be sometime next week.
Lastly, I also wanted to let you know that with this change, it will be possible convert an existing “FreeBSD” 9.1-Release into a PC-BSD or TrueOS system. I’ve started writing instructions on this PC-BSD wiki page with details.
Last but not least, we have some new hardware coming in soon which I will quickly get working on building a PC-BSD –STABLE release, and then –CURRENT. More details as they arrive
Happy testing, and please post your feedback to the testing mailing list so we can get to work quashing bugs.
Kris has an article in the February issue of BSD Magazine entitled “What’s around the Corner: A Look at Upcoming PC-BSD Changes”. This article describes the reasons for and the design of the upcoming rolling release model. BSD Magazine is free to download as a PDF. The article starts on page 8.
There will be a FreeBSD booth in the exhibition area of SCALE, to be held at the Hilton LAX in Los Angeles, CA. Exhibition hours are Saturday, February 23 from 10:00–17:30 p.m and Sunday, February 24 from 10:00–16:00. Registration is required for this event, with a nominal fee for the expo area and a slightly higher fee for the entire conference.
Kris Moore will give a presentation on Network Booting and Deployment of FreeBSD and PC-BSD at 15:00 on Sunday.
We’ll be giving out copies of PC-BSD and FreeNAS as well as some cool swag at the FreeBSD booth. We can also accept donations for the FreeBSD Foundation. If you are in the Los Angeles area, drop by and say hi!
Greetings! With EasyPBI 2.0 now available in the FreeBSD ports tree and as a PBI in the AppCafe, I was asked to highlight some of the new features in EasyPBI 2.0, and why you should want to start using it now.
The first new feature that comes to mind is relatively minor, but saves a fair amount of time if you use EasyPBI with any regularity. This is the ability to check when the last time you updated your system ports tree was, and to use portsnap (or svn if appropriate) to update it to the current version. This is easily available from the “System → Get FreeBSD Ports” menu option.
The second new feature is more of a significant overhaul rather than a brand new feature, and that is making the module editor a complete front-end to editing PBI modules. Previously, the editor allowed the user to view and change the most common options for PBI’s, and trying to use smart defaults for the rest. Now, while still recommending smart defaults, it makes all the settings and options for the module available to the user. The is extremely useful for loading modules from other people, as you can now see everything that the module has inside it, with nothing being “hidden” from EasyPBI inside any of the configuration files. This is easily shown with the new “Scripts” tab in the module editor that lets you read through or edit any custom installation scripts that might be in the module. Another example of this is the new functionality in the “XDG Entries” tab that lets you view/edit any of the desktop/menu entries without having to guess what is inside based upon the file name as with the previous versions. Oh, EasyPBI is also able to set up MIME type file associations for menu entries now, making that whole process very simple and no longer requiring that the user know how to write XML files for the different MIME types.
The last new feature that I want to highlight is one that will not be used very often, but has some very powerful possibilities associated with it. This feature is the ability to package non-port programs in the PBI format. What this option does is basically shift the burden of compiling the program and all its dependencies onto the user instead of using the FreeBSD ports framework. To make this work, the user will first have to setup a directory on his system in the exact format that he wants it to have inside the PBI (with lib/ bin/ share/ etc/ sub-directories as appropriate), as if the program got installed into this directory instead of on the base system. Once that is ready, you can then point EasyPBI at that directory, give it a version number and other program information, then have it all be packaged up as a PBI. This will require a bit more “advanced” usage since you will have to setup external-links and desktop/menu entries for the application yourself (since EasyPBI relies on the FreeBSD ports framework for recommendations), but this ability has a lot of very powerful implications. For instance, it should now allow program developers who wish to distribute special closed-source versions of their software to still make use of the PBI format for simple installations and consistent runtime dependencies by their clients. While this next example was not what the PBI format was originally designed for, I could also see this also being used by device manufacturers to release additional closed-source drivers or FreeBSD kernel modules for their devices. This would provide a simple way to distribute and install these drivers without requiring the system users to have extensive knowledge of the FreeBSD system structure or go through the pain of compiling and loading kernel modules on their own.
These are just some of the new features of EasyPBI 2.0 that I think users will appreciate the most. If you have some “killer” feature that you would like to see in the upcoming versions of EasyPBI, please let me know! I can be found on the PC-BSD PBI developers mailing list, or you can send me an email directly.
 ken (at) pcbsd (dot) org