PC-SYSINSTALL – A new system installer backend for PC-BSD and FreeBSD

This presentation was done by Kris Moore, founder of the PC-BSD Project at AsiaBSDCon 2010.

Abstract: The sysinstall tool has been the default system installer for FreeBSD for more than a decade now. While is it has proven itself to be reliable and resilient over the years, it doesn’t support many of the new features that FreeBSD offers, as well as being un-intuitive for desktop users, who expect an easy to use graphical front-end to perform their installation. To solve these two problems the “pc-sysinstall” backend was created and now is in usage for PC-BSD 8.0. This new installer backend provides much of the same functionality as sysinstall, while offering many new features such as support for ZFS, Encryption, mirroring, scriptable installs and the ability to work with different front-ends, such as a QT based GUI. The backend also supports installing regular FreeBSD, which allows server administrators to quickly perform an installation using the new disk features it offers.


Bordeaux 2.0.4 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD Released

The Bordeaux Technology Group released Bordeaux 2.0.4 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD yesterday.

Bordeaux 2.0.4 is a maintenance release that fixes a number of small bugs. With this release the Bordeux UI changed from a GTKDialog to a GTKWindow, the “OK” button has also been re-named to “Install”.

The Wine bundle has been upgraded from 1.1.36 to 1.1.41, the latest winetricks release is included, and support for the new Steam UI has been added.

The Bordeaux UI changes come from our working agreement with StormOS.

With version 2.0.0 and onward Bordeau’s own Wine build are bundled and many tools and libraries that Wine depends upon. With this release comes Wine 1.1.41, Cabextract, Mozilla Gecko, Unzip, Wget and other support libraries and tools.

The cost of Bordeaux 2.0.4 is $20.00. Anyone who has purchased Bordeaux in the past six months is entitled to a free upgrade. Bordeaux comes with six months of upgrades and support and of course a 30-day money back guarantee.

Supported Applications/Games:

  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Microsoft Office 2000
  • Microsoft Office 97
  • Microsoft Office Visio 2003
  • Microsoft Office Project 2003
  • Adobe Photoshop 6
  • Adobe Image Ready 3
  • Adobe Photoshop 7
  • Adobe Image Ready 7
  • Adobe Photoshop CS
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
  • Steam and Steam based Games
  • Apple QuickTime 6.5.2 Player
  • IrfaView 4.25 (Image files only)
  • Winetricks support

The Bordeaux Technology Group is a software services and development company specializing in Windows compatibility software. Users of Linux, FreeBSD, PC-BSD, Solaris, OpenSolaris and Mac OSX systems from time to time find themselves in the need to run specialized Windows software. The Bordeaux suite enables access to these programs and data in a seamless and low cost manner without requiring licensing of Microsoft Technology. The Bordeaux Group also provides migration services and support for alternative operating systems specializing in Windows compatibility.

More info

FreeBSD 8.1 Release Date: 9 July 2010

Ken Smith wrote to the freebsd-stable mailing list that FreeBSD 8.1 is scheduled to be released on 9 July 2010:

For those of you who are wondering when 8.1-RELEASE might arrive, we have discussed it and come up with the initial target schedule.
The highlights are:

Freeze		May 24th, 2010
BETA1		May 28th, 2010
RC1		June 11th, 2010
RC2		June 25th, 2010
RELEASE		July 9th, 2010

As usual, that's subject to change but it's at least our current target.

As most of you will know, PC-BSD’s release cycle is closely linked to FreeBSD’s, so we will see PC-BSD 8.1 arrive (shortly) after that date.

According to the PC-BSD 8.1 todo list, most items are  implemented, and we are always looking for testers;

The next 8-Stable PC-BSD snapshot is now available at the usual place:

ftp://ftp.pcbsd.org/pub/snapshots/8/

This version fixes numerous issues with partitioning, switches us to using gpart for pretty much everything, and also adds the ability to delete slices / create new slices on MBR setups. It also has some enhancements to the PC-BSD boot-loader splash screen, which allows us to set a variety of boot options.

We need volunteers to test the further improved PC-BSD Installer.

The PC-BSD 8.0 installer is so good that some use it now to install FreeBSD:

So today, I need to install FreeBSD clean in a VM for testing. I thought, I am going to use the PCBSD 8 install disk because it is faster.
I am sorry, but I am a Sysinstall hater.
Thanks PC-BSD for the much faster installer. (source)

(Free)BSD quick news and links (week 16)

Welcome to the (Free)BSD leftovers for week 6. In this post we have a mix of news snippets, quick links, howto’s, links ’n software/package updates. Just a round up of those little things I saved up this week. Previous weeks’ roundups can be found here.

FreeBSD News

  1. FreeBSD & Google Summer of Code 2010
    FreeBSD Project is participating in Google’s Summer of Code programme for a sixth year. Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply for a grant to spend the summer improving the FreeBSD operating system! More information available on the FreeBSD Summer of code page.
    Students may now apply to participate at http://socghop.appspot.com/. Before applying you may wish to discuss your project ideas on the freebsd-hackers mailing list or on the #freebsd-soc IRC channel on EFNet. Project ideas can be found at: http://www.freebsd.org/projects/summerofcode.html
  2. Have you ever expressed your gratitude to a FreeBSD developer?
    You like FreeBSD and/or operating systems based on it, but have you have ever dropped that developer that maintains/implemented the feature that’s so important to you a note, saying “thank you”?
    Brandon Gooch, a system administrator at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, recently wrote the FreeBSD Foundation to express his gratitude towards FreeBSD developers in general and the recent wireless work in particular.


FreeBSD 9 developments (via):

  1. UFS journalling committed
    Jeff Roberson has committed soft-updates journalling to 9-CURRENT. It enables a small file system journal which works in combination with soft-updates to eliminate boot fsck’s. It is different from most other implementations of file system journalling in that it doesn’t journal raw blocks but sort of meta-data about meta-data
  2. GEOM disk IO scheduler framework
    A GEOM IO scheduler framework has been committed! The framework allows for multiple IO schedulers to be installed on top of GEOM providers (usually disk drives). As a consequence, potentially different schedulers can be installed on different drives. The work was done by Luigi Rizzo and Fabio Checconi.
  3. FreeBSD PowerPC 9.0 snapshot available (for testing)


FreeBSD Ports

  1. Can the current Ports directory and building of it be improved?
    “There has been some discussion lately about if and how to “revamp” the ports system to make it more usable by general users. (…) Unfortunately there has been very little feedback from users themselves – which is probably a mistake, but also – there was very little feedback from the population (not a particularily small one) that is the cross-section of users and developers. Some ideas were presented, but at the end it all started revolving around banding the gaps and smaller improvements that will, I think, be practically invisible to the end-users.”
    Ivan Voras has noted down his ideas in this post: of ports and of men.


Releases

  1. m0n0wall
    m0n0wall 1.32 is out, and it finally fixes the annoying Ethernet link state bug on ALIX boards (and others that use VIA network chips). Some more work has been done on IPv6 support, the DNS forwarder and the hardware monitor.
  2. NanoBSD
    NanoBSD on ALIX in iX 05/2010. This article  ago will appear on page 146 of ix magazine (DE) issue 05/2010


Websites / Social Media

  1. PC-BSD
    As far as i’m aware this page is not officially supported by PC-BSD  / iXsystems, but there is a Facebook PC-BSD page. There’s already quite a popular and active Facebook PC-BSD Group.
  2. iXsystems website
    As of this week iXsystems has a new website. I like the new version as it’s a lot cleaner and makes finding the right server easier. iXsystems is the corporate sponsor behind PC-BSD and FreeNAS.


Guides & Howto’s

  1. Setting up a headless torrent daemon in FreeBSD
    “I have FreeBSD running as a home server for a while now. One of the things I wanted the server to take care of is downloading torrents, so I could shut down my PC whenever I am downloading stuff. With transmission-daemon (net-p2p/transmission-daemon from ports) this is really simple.”  (tweakblogs.net)
  2. Run FreeNAS in Windows for Network Serving and Sharing
    Many of the popular servers are open source and usually are more widely supported for Linux and other Unix-like systems. However, most can be run right inside Windows. This is especially great for temporary solutions or for new or amateur administrators (serverwatch.com)


(Free)BSD Events

  1. Solution Linux 2010
    Last month   “Solutions Linux” took place in Paris, one of the major professional open source events in France. Here are some pictures of the BSD booths : http://www.bebik.net/cgi-bin/album.pl?album=2010SL
  2. A new BSDA Certification session will be held in Nantes, France on 1 June 2010 at BSDay Nantes. Check the BSD Certification calendar for events near you.
  3. BSD Professional Certification Exam Update
    A short progress report on what’s happening with the BSD


New FreeBSD Committers

Over the last few weeks a few more people have been given commit rights. It’s always good to see more people join the FreeBSD project.

  1. Ports
  • Sahil Tandon
  • Rene Ladan
  • Giuseppe Pilichi
  • Bernhard Fröhlich
  1. Source Code
  • Randi Harper
  • Ryan Stone
  • Ana Kukec


BSD / Unix Family News

  1. DragonFly BSD 2.6: towards a free clustering operating system
    This article gives in introduction into the background and history of DragonFlyBSD, its HAMMER filesystem, new features etc
    “The ultimate goal of DragonFly BSD is to allow programs to run across multiple machines as if they are running on one system. The operating system is still far from that goal, but Dillon has done a great deal of rewriting in nearly every subsystem of the kernel to lay the foundations for future work. Much of the rationale behind the design goals is explained on the project’s web site. It’s an interesting read, because it shows how they want to tackle an ambitious vision with a realistic plan…” continues (lwn.net)
  2. DragonFly BSD 2.6.1 with new swapcache released
    DragonFly BSD, the FreeBSD fork, has been updated to version 2.6.1 and incorporates a added a number of new features whilst updating the components of the clustering oriented operating system. A new swapcache has been incorporated which allows the swap space to also retain clean filesystem data and meta-data rather than just memory. (more)
  3. Why OpenBSD’s Release Process Works
    “Twelve years ago OpenBSD developers started engineering a release process that has resulted in quality software being delivered on a consistent 6 month schedule — 25 times in a row, exactly on the date promised, and with no critical bugs. This on-time delivery process is very different from how corporations manage their product releases and much more in tune with how volunteer driven communities are supposed to function. Theo de Raadt explains in this presentation how the OpenBSD release process is managed (video) and why it has been such a success”  (via)

  4. AIX 7.1 is coming
    IBM plans to deliver the next version of the AIX® operating system, AIX 7, and new releases of PowerVM™ and PowerHA SystemMirror for AIX. These new offerings are designed to help companies reduce cost, improve service and lower the risk of deploying and migrating applications to AIX on Power® Systems.The new capabilities planned for AIX 7 are designed to expand the scalability, reliability and manageability of AIX and the applications running on AIX. Key features will provide greater vertical scalability of up to 1024 threads or 256 cores in a single partition, a clustering infrastructure designed to provide highly availability applications with PowerHA SystemMirror and to simplify management of scale-out workloads. Additional AIX 7 will include new management capabilities based on IBM Systems Director that are designed to simplify the management of AIX system configuration. Finally AIX 7 will support the ability to run AIX 5.2 inside of a Workload Partition to allow consolidation of old workloads on new systems (source & more)
  5. IBM Prunes Low-Cost AIX Rev
    IBM has radically improved the bang for the buck on its Power7-based Power Systems 701 and 702 blade servers this week, and is expected to soon deliver similarly priced entry rack and tower servers. And now it has a new, lower-cost AIX 6.1 Express Edition that will match the less expensive hardware and therefore help Big Blue’s AIX platform better compete against Windows, Linux, HP-UX, and Solaris alternatives. The new AIX Express Edition takes the special low-cost pricing that was available only on JS series blade servers and now makes it available across the Power Systems line, including logical partitions on the largest Power 595 (and before too long Power 595) servers.

PC-BSD 8-Stable testing snapshots

Kris Moore announced bi-weekly snapshots for PC-BSD 8-Stable

Our first PC-BSD 8-Stable snapshot is now ready for testing / inspection on i386 & amd64:

In the upcoming months I’m going to try and get out a stable snapshot on a bi-weekly basis or so. This will let us do advanced testing on new features of PC-BSD, as well as try the latest ports tree and FreeBSD base system to locate and fix bugs relating to them all.

Please feel free to give them a whirl, and report back with any issues found. If you want to take a look at features we are working onand their status please refer to the wiki page.

Read / subscribe to the PC-BSD Testing Mailing list

(Free)BSD quick news and links

FreeBSD

  • Returning committer: Niels Heinen (ports) (07/03/2010)
  • New committer: Neel Natu (src) (03/03/2010)

PC-BSD

1. Quick Poll – which pages would you like to see  printed from Dru’s latest book in the upcoming BSD Magazine issue?

2. How does PC-BSD 8.0 compare with Kubuntu 9.10?   This is probably comparing apples with pears, but for those liking comparison reviews, check PC-BSD 8.0 vs. Kubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks

In a majority of the tests, Kubuntu 9.10 performed better than PC-BSD 8.0, but the tests we used in this article are just a subset of what is available to run on both platforms via the Phoronix Test Suite so for those deciding between running PC-BSD / FreeBSD it is important to run the tests relevant to you and also consider the other features at hand for both free software operating systems.

3. PC-BSD’s graphical firewall manager

PC-BSD is a desktop-oriented, FreeBSD-based distribution with KDE as the default desktop environment. The version due to be released shortly is PC-BSD 8. Because it the only BSD-based desktop distribution that’s in a position to compete with the best Linux desktop distributions, I’ll be publishing a number of articles over the next few weeks to introduce those not yet familiar with it to some of its management tools. This post takes a look at the graphical firewall manager.

OpenBSD

OpenSSH 5.4 released

Damien Miller (djm@) posted to announce@ with the announcement of OpenSSH 5.4. Some highlights of this release are the disabling of protocol 1 by default, certificate authentication, a new ‘netcat mode’, many changes on the sftp front (both client and server) and a collection of assorted bugfixes. The new release can already be found on a large number of mirrors and of course on www.openssh.com.

Please read on for the full release announcement

Taking a look at PC-BSD 8.0 (Distrowatch)

After having tried and reviewed FreeBSD 8, Jesse Smith has now taken PC-BSD 8 for a spin, and he’s overall very pleased with the speed, ease-of-use and the hardware support for his desktop PC. He is also very impressed with the PC-BSD Installer and its Package Manager.

He concludes his review with:

While on the topic of other operating systems, it’s hard for me, as a long-time Linux user, not to constantly compare PC-BSD to the penguin. Usually, these comparisons turn out favourably for PC-BSD. For example, PC-BSD runs faster on my systems than most of the full-sized Linux distributions and it generally used less memory. My notebook has an Intel video card and it’s a card that has tripped up some of the more popular distros, but PC-BSD handled it without any problems. Likewise, sound worked on both of my machines without any tweaking, a feat Linux isn’t always able to match. Some people might not like the PBI self-contained packaging approach, but the OS supports more traditional forms of package management, ensuring PBI files do not have to be used.

After using PC-BSD for a week, I’m very impressed with the project. With the exception of some of my notebook’s hardware, I ran into no serious problems. Fortunately the live DVD makes it easy to test hardware before committing to installation. The installer is a work of art, the package manager is easy to use, even for less experienced users. The desktop is attractive, stable and responsive on my machines. The documentation, which builds on the FreeBSD Handbook, is first class and the system’s defaults are reasonable. Having popular codecs and Flash pre-installed is a nice touch and makes PC-BSD ready-to-go straight out of the box. In my opinion, this operating system isn’t quite as user-friendly as Mandriva Linux or Linux Mint, but it’s not far behind and, on my hardware, it performs faster. In my eyes, PC-BSD is ready for The Desktop.

Full review: Taking a look at PC-BSD 8.0 (distrowatch.org)

PC-BSD 8.0 in blogosphere

PC-BSD 8.0 was released last week. Version 8.0 of this desktop-friendly and user-friendly FreeBSD version seems to be liked, mentioned and welcomed on many websites. The announcement made it even on the BSD-undriendly Slashdot.

Some other sites: