PC-BSD 9.1 Rolling Release

PC-BSD LogoKris, lead developer of the PC-BSD project, mentioned a couple of weeks ago (http://goo.gl/Atzu5) that he was planning a rolling release for PC-BSD. Generally this was well received within the PC-BSD community.

Kris has now uploaded a first ISO to test the rolling release with feedback from those interested to try this. In his announcement he mentions that PC-BSD is now kept up-to-date with PKGNG and that it is now also possible to convert a FreeBSD server to PC-BSD or TrueOS:

“As a few of you have already noticed, we have some new ISOs now up on the mirrors:

http://mirrors.isc.org/pub/pcbsd/9.1-RELEASE/

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 ~20k 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 the PC-BSD wiki page with details:

http://wiki.pcbsd.org/index.php/Turn_FreeBSD_into_PC-BSD%C2%AE

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 list so we can get to work quashing bugs.”

Great job, Kris. Will need to give this a whirl.

PC-BSD Status Update and Future Plans

PC-BSD LogoKris Moore has laid out his plans for the future of PC-BSD, especially around PC-BSD moving to rolling releases.

First of all, I want to let you know, that I’ve personally not been satisfied with the frequency of PC-BSD releases and updates. With us tracking the upstream FreeBSD releases, it has really tied our hands getting new releases out to the public. The past couple of releases had a delay of almost a year between them, which is WAY too long in my opinion. To further compound the problem, our build system wasn’t designed to do frequent updates of packages and our utilities, which made getting updates out to the community a long and tedious process. This is all going to change. What we are looking at going to now is more of a “Rolling-Release” model, first for our utilities & system packages, and eventually for the FreeBSD base itself.

Read the whole post: Status update and future plans

Making computing easier: PC-BSD 9.1

pc-bsd logo 100x100Distrowatch has favourable review of recently released PC-BSD 9.1:

…”Nothing is perfect and PC-BSD does have an Achilles’ heel, specifically hardware compatibility. As much as I enjoyed the polish and the features and the wonderful ease of use, I suspect hardware support will be the make or break issue for most people. On my desktop machine I could get PC-BSD working, but only with reduced resolution and video performance. On my laptop things basically worked well, but it took a little tinkering to get my wireless card up and running. When running the operating system in a virtual machine I installed the VirtualBox guest additions, but couldn’t get PC-BSD to display its desktop at full resolution. Luckily hardware support with PC-BSD is not a trial and error process, the hardware compatibility tool takes the surprises out of testing the distribution, even when running from the plain installation media.

I definitely recommend trying PC-BSD. This new release has really taken a step forward in usability and features compared to where the project was even a year ago. I would say 9.1 brings to the table a level of ease of use and trouble-free administration only found in a few of the top ranking Linux distributions. It is well worth the time to test drive this latest release.”

You can read the review in its entirety here: Making computing easier: PC-BSD 9.1.

If you’re not going to install PC-BSD 9.1 but are curious what it looks like, have a look at the screenshots on Chris Haney’s website.

Happy 2013 and miscelaneous news

Happy 2013 to all regular readers and the occasional visitor. It’s been a while since this site was updated, but this was due to work and holidays.

Hopefully we’ll see FreeBSD 10 released this year and the use of FreeBSD increased.

Followers of the FreeBSD Central Google+ page will have had regular updates over the last few weeks. Please subscribe to that page and stay even more up-to-date with all that’s happening the FreeBSD Community.

In case you missed it, there have been some releases and the FreeBSD Foundation successfully completed its fund raising drive.

  • FreeBSD releases 9.1 and blows through fundraising target [The H]
  • FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE Announcement [FreeBSD]
  • The PC-BSD Team announces the availablilty of PC-BSD 9.1 [PC-BSD Blog]
  • EuroBSDCon 2012 presentations available online [Youtube]
  •  FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE now available on all VPS and Dedicated Server packages [RootBSD]

PC-BSD 9.1 RC3 available for testing

According to a PC-BSD blog post, RC3 images for the upcoming PC-BSD 9.1 are now available for i386 and amd64 architectures.

Notable changes since the previous release candidate:

  • PC-BSD handbook has been updated for 9.1
  • Fixed bug where some keyboard layouts were not being displayed
  • Multiple functionality and stability improvements for EasyPBI
  • Multiple functionality and stability improvements for TrueOS
  • New functionality improvements including better detection added to the mount-tray
  • Fixed bug where default mount points were not being set correctly using ZFS mirror/raidz mode
  • Fixed bug where update manager was not displaying the proper error text when failing
  • Added new ability to create ZFS datasets for jail environments
  • Added UK wireless channel 12 support
  • Fixed bug where Linux jails were not importing properly
  • Mirrors are now auto detected and set based upon location
  • Automatic ZFS 4K blocksize enabled by default
  • System manager should now show the correct dialog for “default”
    auto-detected mirrors.

If you come across any issues or bugs, please let the team know via the testing mailinglist.

FreeBSD Events Update (MeetBSD, KyivBSD)

We have a quick FreeBSD related events update: one that’s upcoming(MeetBSD) and one that has taken place already (KyivBSD).

MeetBSD California 2012

MeetBSD California will be held this upcoming weekend, November 3-4 at Yahoo! in Santa Clara, CA.

Josh Paetzel will be presenting “FreeNAS: Storage for Open Source” and Kris Moore will be presenting “The Warden – FreeBSD and Linux Jail Management

KyivBSD 2012

KyivBSD 2012 took place in September. Andrei has written up a summary (EN – Google Translate) of the day. Another conference took place that same weekend which had an effect on the number of visitors. The page contains links to the videos and presentation summaries.