The PC-BSD Ports Jail (video)

PC-BSD features the “Ports Jail”. In this video you will learn how to use it to install apps isolated from your system.


More information on Ports Jail and how to use it, can be found on the PC-BSD Wiki.

The FreeBSD Wiki has a helpful section on Jails too: FreeBSD Jails. The FreeBSD jail is mechanism implementing an operating system-level virtualisation that allows administrators to partition a FreeBSD-based computer system into several independent mini-systems called jails.

Introduction to PC-BSD 9 Isotope (video), gallery and reviews

The PC-BSD project is in the process of creating a series of instructional videos to help new users get familiar with the operating system, and showing some of the advanced features to those already using PC-BSD. The first video, giving an introduction, is now available.

This video demonstrates an installation and showcases some of the new and unique features in PC-BSD 9.0.


If you haven’t used PC-BSD yet and want to familiarise yourself with this excellent desktop operating system, have a look at some screenshots (techrepublic, gnuman) or read the reviews:

PC-BSD 9.0 Review

If you’d like to use FreeBSD as a desktop system, you’ll have to invest a lot of time in setting up the operating system and installing all the right packages. Obviously, this is a serious barrier for a lot of Linux users who are interested in trying out FreeBSD. PC-BSD fills in this gap by offering a completely usable and user-friendly FreeBSD desktop install with all kinds of stuff pre-configured. In a way, PC-BSD is to FreeBSD what Ubuntu is to Debian.

FreeBSD Events Updates (Scale, AsiaBSDCon, BSDCan)

A new year, a new series of FreeBSD Conferences. Mark them in your diaries if you’re planning to go.

SCALE 2012

iXsystem, FreeNAS, PC-BSD and the FreeBSD Foundation will be represented at SCALE Linux Expo 2012. The Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) is an annual Linux, Open-Source, and Free Software conference held in Los Angeles. This event will be held in Los Angeles from 20-22 Jan.

AsiaBSDCon 2012

AsiaBSDCon 2012 is a conference for users and developers on BSD based systems. The next conference will be held in Tokyo from 22-25 March. You can apply for a FreeBSD Foundation travel grant.

BSDCan 2012

BSDCan 2012 will be held 11-12 May, 2012 in Ottawa at the University of
Ottawa. It will be preceded by two days of tutorials on 9-10 May. There’s a call for papers.

PC-BSD 9.0 (Isotope Edition) available

iXsystems has announced the availability of PC-BSD 9.0 (Isotope Edition)(via).

Based upon FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE, this is the first release of PC-BSD which offers users a variety of desktop environments to choose from, such as KDE, GNOME, XFCE, LXDE and more!

Also available are pre-built VirtualBox and VMware images with integrated guest tools for rapid virtual system deployment, and native support for installing directly to OS X BootCamp partitions.

Some 9.0 highlights:

  • Based upon FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE.
  • Support for installing a variety of Window Managers, such as KDE, GNOME, XFCE, LXDE and more!
  • Improved PBI system, allows library sharing, binary diff updating, custom repositories, digital signing and more!
  • Support for “freebsd-update” via the System Update GUI.
  • New Control Panel, providing consistent configuration options across various Window Managers.
  • Improved networking utilities, including wifi quick-connect.
  • Enhanced “Life-Preserver” utility for doing off-site rsync backups of user data.
  • New VirtualBox / VMware disk images, with integrated guest tools.
  • Support for UFS+Journaling out of box.
  • New graphical boot options page.
  • Support for installation to BootCamp partitions on OS X systems.
  • And much more!

Download | Changelog | Release Notes

Check out the press release: iXsystems Announces Release of PC-BSD 9.0 Isotope Edition

PC-BSD 9.0-RC3 available

Following the release of FreeBSD 9.0-RC3, PC-BSD 9.0-RC3, a Unix-like, desktop-oriented operating system based on FreeBSD, is ready for testing.

This release contains numerous bug fixes and enhancements, and can also be downloaded as VMware and VirtualBox images.

Some of the changes and improvements are:

  • Fixed the default KDE wallpaper / desktop theme
  • Add option to skip performing system upgrades at bootup, in case the user doesn’t have the time to wait.
  • Fix bug starting the port jail from rc.d
  • Make sure we clear any KDE cache during upgrade
  • Fixed bugs installing some PBIs from AppCafe causing seg faults
  • Load ext2fs automatically
  • Default LXDE clock to AM/PM time
  • Add default openbox wallpaper / menus
  • Load the “iir” raid driver on install media
  • Add extra meta-pkg for VMware guest support
  • Reduce CPU usage while checking for system updates on the tray
  • Add new graphical boot loader enabled by default
  • Updated the handbook for 9.0
  • Speed up the download process of system upgrades
  • Add patch for GDM which corrects issues with auto-login

Via: PC-BSD 9.0-RC3 now available (PC-BSD blog)

pfSense, 7 years young. Congratulations

pfSense is Seven

The pfSense  (which stands for…) project exists 7 years this week, well, that is the age of the pfSense domain. I’m sure the project existed long before that in Chris Buechler, the project founder’s head.

Congratulations to Chris and his team for the great job they’re doing and all the work they’ve done so far. According to some update stats there are currently ca. 100,000 known live pfSense installs.

pfSense and PBI’s

Some say that PC-BSD‘s PBI package format is not needed in addition to other *BSD ways of installing software, and that it’s “un-UNIX”. I think it’s a very user-friendly, point-and-click way for installing software, and advanced users don’t need to use it.

It’s great to see that not only FreeNAS, the NAS O/S, but also pfSense will be supporting PBI packages in the future:

Moving packages to PBIs – the package system in 2.1 will switch to using the PBI package system, originally from PC-BSD, though also used by some on stock FreeBSD installs. The benefit of using PBIs is each package has all its dependencies included in the package, which eliminates the dependency messes that can happen currently, such as one package requiring a certain version of a dependent package but another requiring a different version, uninstallation of one package stomping on another package by uninstalling a dependency it requires, uninstallation of a package breaking the base system by deleting things it uses (though we already work around that one automatically), easing clean uninstall of packages, amongst other benefits. This will be a great improvement in the package system for 2.1. (source)

If you’re looking for a feature rich (BSD) firewall, why not consider pfSense?