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.

FreeBSD 9.1-RC2 available (and PC-BSD 9.1-RC2)

The second RC build for the FreeBSD-9.1 release cycle was released last week (due to a busy break abroad I’m posting this only now). ISO images for the amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, and powerpc64 architectures are available.

Remember, this is not the final release version, so only use for testing purposes.

The FreeBSD 9.1 Release Schedule may be of interest, though the release is slightly delayed, as well as the FreeBSD 9.1 ToDo Wiki.

Following this FreeBSD release, the PC-BSD Project has announced PC-BSD 9.1-RC2.

FreeNAS 8 Plugins

FreeNAS 8.2 and newer versions have support for plugins, i.e. extentions in the form of PC-BSD‘s PBIs (Push Button Install).

There’s some good plugin documentation available on the FreeNAS website explaining how to use the plugins, how to install the plugins jail, how to create, find, install, and configure PBIs, such as Firefly, miniDLNA and Transmission. If there’s no PBI available (yet), the page shows how you can create your own PBIs, and how to install non-PBI software using the FreeBSD ports and packages collections.

Plugin support is still a bit crude in FreeNAS 8.2, but it is looking a lot more polished in the upcoming FreeNAS 8.3.

FreeNAS 8 Plugins

FreeNAS 8.2.0 Plugins Part 1: Installing

FreeNAS 8.3.0 Plugins Part 2: Plugins Configuration

 

PC-BSD: From C*p to Critical

Michael Dexter has written up a review of PC-BSD 9.1.

He thinks PC-BSD is a great system with many window managers to choose from, has a good package manager and great jails management.

However, FreeBSD’s weak point is PC-BSD‘s: hardware support.

“It took time but PC-BSD is really shaping up nicely and teaches quite a few lessons about holistic OS design. I haven’t even explored its “Life Preserver” backup/FreeNAS option but the developers are clearly are focusing on adding the missing tools of the highest value. They are also focused on creating a complete client/server ecosystem and PC-BSD 9.1 users can look forward to expanded command line alternatives to the GUI tools. PC-BSD also has quite a few invisible features such as the unified base OS .txz it uses for jail creation that I may end up using for building BHyVe images. PC-BSD 9.0 and newer is truly worth a try and I applaud the progress its developers have made.”

PC-BSD 9.1 Review (Jupiter Broadcasting – video)

Jupiter Broadcasting has an episode reviewing PC-BSD

The PC-BSD 9.1 review starts at 39:50.

Notes and Summary

  • Your choice of Desktop Environments, Installer automatically adjusts the defaults depending on how much ram you have installed
  • Your options: KDE, Gnome, LXDE or XFCE
  • Another option is TrueOS, a console based server, FreeBSD with the CLI version of Warden, the PBI system, ZFS Boot Environments and other utilities
  • The install also offers vanilla FreeBSD Server
  • PC-BSD allows you to do a full ‘root on ZFS’ install (only recommended if you have 4 or more GB of ram), including creating many different datasets with different settings such as compression for optimal use of space
  • You have the option of the Basic Wizard, the Advanced Wizard, or the FreeBSD CLI partitioning system
  • The advanced Wizard also allows you to setup more complex ZFS mirror or RAIDZ
  • You can choose to optionally encrypt your hard disk using GELI
  • Warden is a Graphical and Command Line based manager for FreeBSD’s Jails feature
  • In FreeBSD a jail is a secondary installation of the OS files, which is then started in a chroot, and the processes, network and user/group IDs are separate
  • Allows you to manage three types of jails:
  • Traditional Jail – run internet applications in a container, if compromised, the attacker only gains access to the jail, not the host OS
  • Ports Jail – less secure version if jails, allows you to install applications from the FreeBSD ports tree without interfering with the PBI package manager in the host OS
  • Linux Jail – install Debian or Gentoo in a jail, and run your linux applications in a full linux environment
  • Warden also allows you to stop a jail, pack it up, and move it to a different physical machine
  • Warden also allows you to install meta-packages into the jails with a single click, allowing you to deploy apache+php+mysql in no time
  • Warden can back your jails storage with ZFS, allowing you to take advantage of ZFS features such as snapshots, clones (writable snapshots), revert to a previous snapshot, etc