The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD (Book)

PC-BSD 8.0 is almost here, and so is The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD. This book is written by Dru Lavigne and due to be published later this month, 28 February.

Since its initial release in early 2006, the PC-BSD operating system has quickly become a popular desktop for both novice and experienced computer users. Novice users are initially amazed that such an attractive looking operating system is available for free. They quickly learn that it is also easy to use, free from viruses and spyware, provides the applications they need to perform their computing tasks, and has a large selection of additional software to choose from. Advanced users appreciate that it is built on top of FreeBSD, an operating system known for its security and stability, yet it still allows them to explore and tweak the system to meet their needs.

Pre-order on amazon: The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD

PC-BSD 8.0-RC Released

Only just realised I have forgotten to mention that PC-BSD 8.0RC was released.

Notable changes are:

  • FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE-P2
  • KDE 4.3.4
  • Brand new System Installer, allows the install of PC-BSD or FreeBSD
  • Run in Live mode directly from DVD
  • Updated Software Manager, allows browsing and installing applications directly
  • Support for 3D acceleration with NVIDIA drivers on amd64

The final version of PC-BSD 8.0 is not far off.

pfSense on FLOSS (audio interview)

pfsense logo 100x100Scott Ullrich and Chris Buechler, the guys behind the pfSense project, have been interviewed by Randal Schwartz and Leo Laporte on FLOSS 101. (via)

FLOSS Weekly is a podcast covering free and open source software.

Will Backman has interviewed Randal Schwartz on BSDTalk (24 mins). They talk about Randal’s early experiences with BSD, permissive licenses, OpenBSD, OpenSolaris, perl, the BSDFund credit card, and the Floss Weekly podcast.

PC-BSD 8.0 – Last alpha version

PC-BSD LogoLast weekend brought about the latest alpha release of the upcoming PC-BSD 8.0. This is the first build based on FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE, with KDE 4.3.4, NVIDIA driver 195.22 (32-bit and 64-bit drivers included), a re-written system installer, and new artwork.

Here are some of the notable changes:

  • FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE
  • NVIDIA 195.22 drivers
  • KDE 4.3.4
  • brand new SysInstaller with new look and feel, new backend, support for a wider variety of file system layouts, ability to change and try different keyboard layouts
  • install either PC-BSD or FreeBSD from the same disk
  • Using glabel on file systems to prevent issues with device renaming
  • improved splash graphics, theme data
  • fixed KDE printer tool in system settings
  • added new tool, ‘Life Preserver’, which allows backing up the system to a remote SSH + rsync system.

The current PC-BSD alpha is now considered feature complete, with the developers starting to focus on bug fixing rather than on adding new features.

According to the release announcement, a first public beta of PC-BSD 8.0 is expected within the next two weeks.

Please help us test. Feedback can be given on the testing mailing list

PC-BSD and pfSense books

Authored by pfSense co-founder Chris Buechler and pfSense developer Jim PingleThe Definitive Guide to pfSense covers installation and basic configuration through advanced networking and firewalling of the popular open source firewall and router distribution.

This book is designed to be a friendly step-by-step guide to common networking and security tasks, plus a thorough reference of pfSense’s capabilities. The Definitive Guide to pfSense covers the following topics:

  • An introduction to pfSense and its features.
  • Hardware and system planning.
  • Installing and upgrading pfSense.
  • Using the web-based configuration interface.
  • Backup and restoration.
  • Firewalling fundamentals and defining and troubleshooting rules.
  • Port forwarding and Network Address Translation.
  • General networking and routing configuration.
  • Bridging, Virtual LANs (VLANs), and Multi-WAN.
  • Virtual Private Networks using IPsec, PPTP, and OpenVPN.
  • Traffic shaping and load balancing.
  • Wireless networking and captive portal setups.
  • Redundant firewalls and High Availability.
  • Various network related services.
  • System monitoring, logging, traffic analysis, sniffing, packet capturing, and troubleshooting.
  • Software package and third-party software installations and upgrades.

The first review of the book is out now.

Congratulations to pfSense for their 5 year anniversary.

pc-bsd logo 100x100Dru Lavigne is currently working on a book on PC-BSD: Definitive Guide to PC-BSD

I’m about 2/3 of the way through book #3 on BSD, tentatively titled “The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD”. This book will be through Apress, and I’m excited that it will include a live DVD of PC-BSD 8.0 so you can follow along as you read it. The book is designed for users new to BSD up to existing PC-BSD/FreeBSD power users. Think of it as the type of book new users can grow into while existing users can still find nuggets of “I didn’t know that”. I’ve also concentrated on the importance of community–a concept new users aren’t used to and most tech books never mention.

Here is the Table of Contents:

Released: PBI Builder 2.4

pc-bsd logo 100x100A small update to the PBI Builder software, version 2.4, has been released.

This version adds a few new variables to the module creation process, which allows developers to pick “target” ports they wish to have autopopulated and added to the resulting PBI file.

Programs under PC-BSD are completely self-contained and self-installing, in a graphical format. A PBI file also ships with all the files and libraries necessary for the installed program to function, eliminating much of the hardship of dealing with broken dependencies and system incompatibilities. PBI files also provide developers and packagers with advanced scripting and user interaction in an entirely graphical format, making the entire install procedure similar to what a user would expect from other popular graphical operating systems.

For full details, please take a look at the changelog, and the wiki page.

Main websites: