PC-BSD 7.1(“Galileo”) Alpha1

Now that KDE 4.2 is available for FreeBSD, the PC-BSD Project has released a first alpha-built of PC-BSD 7.1.

PC-BSD LogoHighlights of the build are:

  • FreeBSD 7.1-Stable
  • Xorg 7.4
  • KDE 4.2

As you will remember the PC-BSD version numbering changed last year to reflect the version of the underlying FreeBSD system. PC-BSD 7.1 is based on FreeBSD 7.1 (stable)

There were some initial problems  with the Xorg update to 7.4 which caused a new slew of problems which had to be fixed before even getting to alpha quality. It looks like Xorg 7.4 is the cause of some problems, but they should be fixed up inthe ports a bit more right now.

Download

Here’s the DVD ISO for 32bit to play with:

ftp://ftp.pcbsd.org/pub/alpha-iso/PCBSD7.1-ALPHA1-x86-DVD.iso
MD5 (PCBSD7.1-ALPHA1-x86-DVD.iso) = 1de22b5129211e745ec53bb9fceea7fd
Notes

This is ALPHA quality, expect bugs, but please report them to help us improve the software. This will require a fresh install, the upgrade
portion will be working later on, after the new System Installer is committed and included.

Should you come across any problems or bugs, please report them to the PC-BSD Testing mailinglist.

A quick review of PC-BSD 7.0

Adriaan de Groot has posted some feedback on his initial experiences with PC-BSD:

It would never do to return from FOSDEM with the same OS on my laptop as when I left; so now I have been running PC-BSD instead of OpenSolaris for a week;

For the rest I’m bouncing back and forth between “that’s really cool” and “it’s FreeBSD, of course it works.” I won’t comment on the package management system (PBI, alongside the usual FreeBSD ports) or installation (graphical, instead of the FreeBSD text-based one). Instead, it’s the KDE4 that is delivered with PC-BSD.

PC-BSD is interesting because it is a KDE4-only setup; version 7.0 comes with KDE 4.1.3. The whole point of the distro is to deliver a polished, intergrated version of FreeBSD with KDE4 on it. There was recently a question on the dot: “which distro would you recommend?” Well, there’s only one that I know of that wholeheartedly delivers KDE4 and nothing else. That’s a good kind of fixation to have (and of course, portinstall gnome2 is always a possibility; then you get a fairly pristine GNOME2 built from source).

Some of my other favourite things with KDE4 show up again as well, like the hands on the clock being weird under a combination of resizing and theme changes. SlimGlow might – just might – be my favourite theme, but it too needs a good hammering to get the gradients out (not relevant for PC-BSD, but for some thin client applications). There’s some inconsistency in the icons .. oh, wait, that’s supposed to be a satellite dish .. for network status, but that is somewhat manageable.

Anyway, this is wandering away from PC-BSD and into KDE 4.1.3 review territory, because it comes down to this: PC-BSD delivers a KDE4 experience very close to what the KDE project itself produces as source. It’s nice. I like it that way.

Read the whole review

Thanks to Edmondas for reporting this story.

Released: PC-BSD PBI Builder 2.0

Version 2.0 of the PBI Builder Software has been released today for systems running PC-BSD 7.x.

The PBI Builder is a development tool used to create PBI files from applications in the FreeBSD ports tree. This version implements PBI Schema Version 2, which drastically improves the self-containment of PBIs, and reduces the need for sym-links to be created outside of a PBIs directory structure. This improvement greatly enhances the reliability of PBI files, while at the same time preventing potential conflicts with a PBI and user-installed applications from FreeBSD ports. 

Bordeaux 1.6 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD Released

bordeaux group logoSteven Edwards of the Bordeaux Technology Group released Bordeaux 1.6 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD today.

Bordeaux 1.6 comes with added support for Google’s Chrome Web Browser, Google Earth, Google Picasa. Additionally, Cellar support has improved; you can now delete and install into an existing Cellar. There has also been many small bug fixes and tweaks on the backend to improve the speed and reliability of all the supported applications.

A .sh build available for FreeBSD users and a .pbi build for PC-BSD users. Everyone who purchased the beta is entitled to a free upgrade and we will start your six months of support with this final 1.6 build. We would also at this time like to thank all the customers who purchased the 1.6 beta build. “Thanks for the support”

The cost of Bordeaux 1.6 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.

The Bordeaux Technology Group is a software services and development company specializing in Windows compatibility software. Users of BSD 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.

Links: Bordeaugroup.com | buy Bordeaux 

Thanks to Tom Wickline (wine-reviews.net) for emailing this story.

PC-BSD Thin Client Server

The PC-BSD Team has made the Thin Client Server 0.8 beta available! This PBI allows turning any PC-BSD 7.x system into a fully-functional Thin Client Server within just a few minutes. Users are encocouraged to read the Wiki which provides more details about using and working with the TCS PBI, and to provide feedback via the mailing list.  

This is great for schools and libraries. Have a look at the FenestrosBSD project (more on this project later…)

PC-BSD 7.0.1

After much hard work and testing the PC-BSD Team is happy to announce the availability of PC-BSD 7.0.1, (i.e. the first upgrade in the 7 series, with FreeBSD 7.0 under the hood)

Version 7.0.1 contains a number of bugfixes and improvements. For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog. Some of the changes are:

  • KDE 4.1.2
  • AMD64 version
  • NTFS write support
  • Adobe Flash 9 support (Linux -flashplugin9)
  • Better WIFI support
  • Updates to the System Updater

This version of PC-BSD can be downloaded and installed as a fresh install or, alternatively, can be updated to from PC-BSD 7.0 via the System Update tool.

Many thanks for all the feedback we have received via the Forums and the Testing mailinglist.

Links: Download | Changelog | PBI packages

PC-BSD 7 review (osnews.com)

OSNews.com has a positive review of PC-BSD 7 Fibonacci. It concludes with:

“I am thoroughly convinced that PC-BSD is the perfect choice for a newcomer to the unix world. It is very straight forward and it requires very little unix knowledge. Even though I mentioned a couple of caveats (eg. Bootloader, Primary partition), I doubt a new user who is installing on a fresh system will ever come across these issues. Even if someone does run into these issues, the solutions provided in this article should give them a starting point. The PC-BSD has a friendly and helpful community, they have an active forum where you can seek help from fellow PC-BSD users. The PC-BSD team has worked really hard on this release and the results are impressive. It is ready to challenge the main stream Operating Systems (Windows, OS X and Linux). I would encourage new users to try PC-BSD without any doubts. I would definitely recommend Linux gurus to give this distribution a chance and I promise, you won’t be disappointed.”

Read the whole article here.