PC-BSD 1.4 – changelog (Flash, Wifi etc)

PC-BSD 1.4 (da Vinci) includes many exciting new features and software, such as:

  • Wireless connection GUI (WIFI)
  • 3D desktop support via Compiz Fusion (optional)
  • Support for Adobe Flash 7 for native BSD browsers. (Konq, Opera, FireFox) (watch Youtube, Google Video etc)
  • KDE 3.5.7
  • FreeBSD 6.2
  • Xorg 7.2
  • Official Nvidia drivers included
  • New GUI tools & utilities
  • Better scanner (SANE) and printer support (CUPS)
  • Support for gaming (WINE) – e.g. World of Warcraft (WoW) can be installed with a few clicks!
  • There’s now also a FirefoxWine PBI available that’s able to show Flash 9 video’s (CNN etc etc)
  • Optional Components, and much more

For more information:
* Changelog: http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/28/11/
* Release Notes: http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/27/11/

PC-BSD 1.4 (Da Vinci) Released

PC-BSD logoiXsystems announced today the release of PC-BSD Da Vinci Edition. PC-BSD is a fully-functional desktop operating system based on FreeBSD 6.2-STABLE. FreeBSD is one of the most used UNIX-like operating systems in the world. It is widely renowned as the most stable and secure server operating system. PC-BSD has a Push-Button Installer (PBI) wizard developed exclusively for PC-BSD that lets users download and install many applications in a self-extracting and self-installing format. There are hundreds of popular software titles already available in PBI format and developers are constantly adding to the growing list.

Highlights of the Da Vinci release of PC-BSD include an easy to use GUI for configuring video and desktop settings as well as an updated base system running KDE window manager version 3.5.7. Other features include out-of-the-box support for Flash 7 in native BSD browsers, official NVIDIA drivers to simplify activating hardware acceleration, optional 3D desktop using Compiz Fusion (a slick new 3D Desktop Manager), and a new graphical wireless configuration tool to easily establish a wireless connection with supported network adapters. Da Vinci also features massive improvements to WINE, an open source project that facilitates the running of Windows-based applications on UNIX-like operating systems.

For years we had heard complaints that there was no ‘go-to’ place for assistance with FreeBSD related technical issues. We are pleased to now be the primary resource for PC-BSD and FreeBSD technical support
While PC-BSD is geared to the desktop user, it is also suitable for use as a server operating system. According to Carla Schroder, FreeBSD system administrator and author of the Linux Cookbook,

PC-BSD serves as a great introduction to FreeBSD for network and server administrators.

PC-BSD supports the existing FreeBSD binary package management tool, a method to download and install pre-packaged binary applications. PC-BSD also supports the FreeBSD ports collection, a framework for installing more than 17,000 applications by downloading and compiling software from source with a single command.

ixsystemslogo.jpgiXsystems, corporate sponsor of the PC-BSD project, currently offers 9×5 desktop support for PC-BSD and 24×7 server support for FreeBSD.

For years we had heard complaints that there was no ‘go-to’ place for assistance with FreeBSD related technical issues. We are pleased to now be the primary resource for PC-BSD and FreeBSD technical support

says Matt Olander, Chief Technical Officer for iXsystems.

PC-BSD 1.4RC released

PC-BSD 1.4RC has been released!

Changelog:

  • Fixed many reported bugs from 1.4BETA in the following tools:

- Network Manager
- Xorg Configuration GUI
- Custom partition via Installer
- Xorg configuration now auto-detects DPI

  • Included i18n support with latest translations from Pootle as of 8-28-07
  • Fixed PC-BSD specific tools to now use native languages properly
  • Added HPLIP to support a wider variety of HP hardware (Enabled via services Tool)
  • Added new KDM theme for a nicer login window
  • Fixed bugs with optional packages on CD 2
  • Updated Wine system patches to current versions as of 8-25-07
  • Fixed XML menuing system so Wine apps don’t appear in “lost+found” anymore
  • Fixed up support for PPPoE backend, improving config file generation via GUI
  • Fixed numerous bugs with “upgrading” an existing PC-BSD installation.

- Upgrading now preserves all sym-links created by PBIs
- Upgrading is now faster, and doesn’t need to compress the user home dirs
- Upgrading now properly saves kmenu icons and updates for any new ones.

Mirrors are still syncing at the moment – please check the PC-BSD website for the announcement and the download links

PC-BSD meets software piracy?

I have been a fan of PC-BSD for sometime now; however, it was after discovering this page that had me disturbed. Using PC-BSD’s awesome packaging methods, the webmaster of this site has apparently packaged some applications that might cause some licensing concerns. Not in violation of the GPL, as this is the BSD license in force here. No, rather the fact that we are seeing potential piracy, or at the very least, an over zealous user distributing ‘trial’ versions of Photoshop and MS Office ’97.

No Piracy After All? My discovery of this resource actually started with some Q&A regarding video codec playback for PC-BSD, which led me to stumbling on the link above. After further investigation, I discovered something that led me to believe that perhaps, there was no issue of piracy going on at all. In actuality, the scripts offered here for MS Office and Photoshop may simply be ‘installer’ PBIs instead of the full versions of the applications themselves? It certainly appears so, PC-BSD even provide users with the graphics needed to create their own PBI packages for closed source software installation.

What is even more interesting is how much much flexibility PC-BSD’ers have with their application selection than those using Linux. Rather than relying on WINE for your Windows applications, some creative users have been using the PBI packaging format to make getting those critical applications like Dreamweaver on your BSD box just that much quicker.

Is PC-BSD worth a look for beginners? With the PC-BSD 1.3.01 released and the Beta release already out for version 1.4, it may be worth looking into PC-BSD, even if your last experience was not a great one. If it was me, I would try out the Beta release, as many improvements have been made there.

For those who are generally happy their current OS, but are dying to know what is up with the the packages regarding Photoshop and MS Office, you might consider taking the Live CD for a test drive instead. I believe software installations are possible from there as well.

PC-BSD: A viable option for Windows users. I don’t think there is really any question about it, PC-BSD may actually make more sense for casual Windows users than Ubuntu Linux. And because of its very loose BSD licensing, you should not find yourself getting caught up in GPL crunch. And living in a world like Windows where closed and open source software is able to play together is pretty fantastic. Think about it, an OS where you can install IE 6 without WINE. It’s pretty wild, to say the least.

There are still a few things I enjoy more with Ubuntu than PC-BSD, but with their new Beta ready to try, I’m going to be taking the ISO for a test drive on Virtual Box later this week. The point I want each of you to understand is not to jump to conclusions as I did. When I first discovered that www.pbis.in was hosting what appeared to be proprietary software that was not legal to freely distribute, I assumed the worst. In the end, I discovered that installing closed source apps, often times designed for Windows, could easily be installed on another Unix variant. And the assumption of piracy being the motivating force behind the logos posted on random websites was for little more than doing something that these software developers should have been doing in the first place – getting their applications onto other platforms, legally.

Source: OSWeekly – column written by Matt Hartley