Author Archives: Josh Smith

Weekly Feature Digest 26 — The Lumina Project and preload

This week the PC-BSD team has ported over preload, which is an adaptive readahead daemon. It monitors applications that users run, and by analyzing this data, predicts what applications users might run, and fetches those applications and their dependencies to speed up program load times. You can look for preload in the next few days in edge packages and grab it for testing on your own system.

There is an early alpha version of the Lumina desktop environment that has been committed to ports / packages. Lumina is a lightweight, stable, fast-running desktop environment that has been developed by Ken Moore specifically for PC-BSD. Currently it builds and runs, but lacks many other features as it is still in very early development. Grab it from the edge packageset and let us know what you think, and how we can also improve it to better suit you as a user!

Other updates this week:

* Fixed some bugs in ZFS replication causing snapshot operations to take
far longer than necessary
* Fixed an issue with dconf creating files with incorrect permissions
causing browsers to fail
* Added Lumina desktop ports / packages to our build system
* PC-BSD Hindi translation 100% complete
* improvements to the update center app
* Update PCDM so that it will use “pw” to create a user’s home directory if it is missing but the login credentials were valid. This should solve one of the last reported issues with PCDM and Active Directory users.
* Bugfix for pc-mounttray so that it properly ignores the active FreeBSD swap partition as well.
* Another small batch of 10.x PBI updates/approvals.

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 25

Most of you have already heard of the Heartbleed vulnerability, the flaw in OpenSSL encryption. For any of you that may not be aware (which is probably precious few), the Heartbleed vulnerability is basically a flaw that may allow a malicious user to gain access to information that is supposed to be kept safe through OpenSSL. The good news is that the FreeBSD project and PC-BSD have both released fixes that will apply to versions 10.x. If you are currently running a machine with PC-BSD 9.x you are using an earlier version of openSSL that does not have the vulnerability, so no action is necessary to protect yourself from this. If you are running PC-BSD version 10.x make sure to use the “system updater” to apply the security patch to openSSL. After applying the fix reboot your computer and you should be good to go.

Kris has finished a new PBI run-time that will fix a number of stability issues users may have been experiencing while using PBI’s. The fix has also subsequently helped speed up load times for some of the larger PBI’s that may have been hanging or taking a long time to load.

Update Center is moving foward, and has received some fine-tuning this week to help bring it into PC-BSD as the one-stop utility for managing updates. We’d like to add a special thanks to the author Yuri for primary design and layout for the update center. Ken will also be working to help smooth out GUI design elements and help with integrating it fully into PC-BSD.

Other Updates / Bug Fixes:

* Updated openssl packages for 10.0 PRODUCTION/EDGE
* Patched issue with KRDC using FreeRDP version in ports
* A new 9.2 server has been spun up and building PBIs for 9.2 again. (Server failed earlier this week)
* Started work on PBI runtime for Linux compat applications
* Another large chunk of work on Lumina
* Bugfixes for pc-mixer (showing the proper icons)
* Life-Preserver bugfixes
* Large update to the available 10.x PBIs. All updates are finished, a few new applications were also added.
* Bugfixes on a number of PBI’s (waiting on rebuilds to test/approve the new fixed apps)
* Hindi translation project now about 75% complete

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 24

Another week bites the dust and we’ve got some fantastic new features heading your way. Just a quick update this week so let’s get right to it. The FreeBSD mailing list has put a call out to the community to know if you are interested in having some custom DirectX patches applied to wine. You can view the e-mail here if it interests you. If you’d like to respond directly to the e-mail list you can do so @ [email protected]

New Features:

* Tons of new PBI updates for 10.0
* Committed the new PBI runtime implementation for 10.x
* Fixed some edge cases with new runtime and particular apps
* Added support for running 32bit apps in new PBI runtime
* Patched RTLD and pushed out freebsd-update to prepare systems
* Added improved callback functionality for PBIs to run system commands
* Added umplayer as the new out-of-box default CD audio / DVD video player
* Merged latest FreeBSD ports and Gnome3 / Cinnamon ports
* Added options to set exec= and suid= options on ZFS datasets to installer
* Added “vagrant” development environment utility to PC-BSD base system
* Began builds of EDGE packages with all the above fixes

Bug Fixes:

* Fixed issue with missing English dictionary in KDE text-processing apps
* Fixed bug with Life-Preserver which was pruning snapshots too
aggressively with replication enabled
* Don’t provide localization option to FAT mounting routine for english locales
* Clean up the usage of ntfslabel to make sure that extra outputs don’t get included in the name for Win8 NTFS devices.

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 23

Hey PC-BSDers! This week we’re coming at you with some pretty sweet updates to PC-BSD. The mount tray has seen some significant improvement and is now able to mount most audio / dvd formats without a problem. Also windows partition types are now showing up correctly on my test system after building the new mount tray from source. The mount tray will also prompt you to open your disc with a program and will offer you correct suggestions based on the proper package / PBI. Ultimately the mount tray will most likely replace the built in mounting systems in the desktop environments. This is still a little ways off in the future, but the direction we are heading in.

We heard that there were some users that were experiencing problems upgrading and believe we have found the guilty party. I was able to duplicate the same package upgrade problem that was causing updates to 10.0.1 to fail, and asked Allan over at Scale Engine to give us a hand. Allan was able to track down the issue to a faulty distribution server that was interrupting connections and preventing the upgrades randomly. This server has been removed from service at this time and further work is going into preventing this from happening again in the future.

Work has begun to localize PC-BSD into the Hindi language. We’d like to give a shout out to the newest member of our translation team Simran. Thanks for your help and we are excited at the prospect for even more people to be able to use PC-BSD. Our estimated date of completion is 3 weeks from now. If you have an interest in this language please help us spread the word!

Other News / Projects for this week:

* Merged latest ports and gnome3 patches into ‘master’
* Merged in latest VirtualBox versions
* Wrote a userland replacement for the FUSE module to execute PBIs in a faster and less unstable manner (about 90% complete)
* Kicked off new –STABLE builds
* Update 9.x PBI’s
* Add new XDG-compatibility classes in libpcbsd (scanning/listing/filtering system applications)
* New Utility: pc-systemflag (shell) — pc-systemflag is used to set a flag/message on the system for cross-application communication
* Rewrite the pc-systemupdatertray utility to use the new SystemFlagWatcher. Is much simpler and more streamlined now.
* Add system flag usage to pc-softwaremanager for PBI update availability
* Add system flag usage to the pbi-manager (“pbi_update –check-all” usage only)
* Add system flag usage to pc-updatemanager (for all package and system updates/checks)

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 22

The week is finally almost over and we’re back for another update on PC-BSD! The majority was spent squashing bugs and performing minor updates to PC-BSD utilities (as well as recovering from the Jet lag from AsiaBSDcon for Kris and Dru)! To check out pictures from the big event have a look at IXsystem’s facebook page here. For a list of some of the changes and updates this week have a look below.

Bug Fixes
* Fixed missing RDP support for krdc
* Fixed issue installing src / ports for server installs
* Enabled “lz4” compression on root FS by default
* Disabled some FUSE file-cache functionality in PBIFS
* Investigated issues with calls to “vflush” causing fuse to never finish unmounting
* Imported latest stable/10 and started builds
* Imported latest gnome3 / cinnamon changes
* Finished building next Edge package set
* Finished GUI updates and changes to bring them up to our new / current standards
* Added accessibility / shortcut keys for PC-BSD utilities

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 21 — PCBSD 10.0.1 Released!

PC-BSD 10.0.1 Has been released! Check out the release notes from Kris below. Kris is currently out in the field attending AsiaBSDCon so make sure to stop by the FreeBSD booth if you’re in the area and show your support! Work has continued this week on the development of the new PC-BSD mixer although our primary goal this week was to get a bunch of trac tickets fixed, closed, or assigned to someone to take care of them. Thanks as always and enjoy the new updates!

- Josh

———————————————

The first PC-BSD 10.0 quarterly update is upon us, and 10.0.1 is now
available.

This update includes a number of important bugfixes, as well as newer
packages and desktops, such as KDE 4.12.2, Cinnamon 2.0 and more. For
more details and updating instructions, refer to the notes below.

Changes
———————————————

* KDE 4.12.2
* Cinnamon 2.0
* Samba 4.1.4
* Stability improvements to PBI subsystems
* Updated GRUB loader, fixing issues related to slow / hanging startup
* Updated AppCafe UI
* Updates to Life-Preserver, including “Classic” backup mode and
automatic snapshots
* Updated control panel with desktop settings buttons
* PulseAudio 5.0 integration
* Improved Video display auto-detection
* Bugfixes to mouse auto-detection
* Improved LDAP / AD support for login manager
* Misc other bugfixes

Updating
———————————————

Desktop users already running 10.0 can update via Control Panel ->
Package Manager -> Updates.
Server users can update via the “pc-updatemanager” utility.

If package updating fails due to conflict errors, please be sure to
apply all system updates first before trying again.

Installing
———————————————

10.0.1 DVD/USB media can be downloaded from the following URL:

http://www.pcbsd.org/en/download.html

Reporting Bugs
———————————————

Found a bug in 10.0.1? Please report it (in as much detail as possible)
to our Trac Database.

https://trac.pcbsd.org

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 20

New Sound Management

Work has began to fully port pulse audio into PC-BSD for 10.1, and we are quite pleased so far with the results.   Kris has been making headway this week getting pulse audio and it’s related utilities working.  In the meantime Ken has been working on an all new utility pc-mixer.  pc-mixer is a complete front-end to the FreeBSD “mixer” utility that will allow users a simple to use GUI and volume control for every day tasks.  There will also be an advanced tab allowing for more specific audio setups and control.

Other News

*New PBIs for 9.x versions and 10.x versions were released this week, so be sure to check out the AppCafe and see what’s new.

*Gnome 3 and Cinnamon 2.0 desktops have received updates this week.  These desktops are not 100% fully supported yet and as    such we can not make any guarantee on functionality.

*Grub 2.02 has been fully ported over and updated to GRUB 2.02-prerelease.

*Lastly The PC-BSD ports tree has been frozen in preparation for our quarterly package update.

Improvements for Life-Preserver
* Add new “Classic” backup dialog for custom exclusions and status updates
* Fix bug with restoring a file/dir into a missing directory on the main system.
* Clean up the restore tab

Bug Fixes
* Bugfixes to the FUSE “pbifs” file-system
* Fix bug showing HPLIP drivers in the main CUPS Manager.
* Fix seg-fault crash in EasyPBI when removing a non-selected item.

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 19

Changes to PBI’s

As many of you know there was an issue with PBI’s causing them to freeze at random times during use. Kris went into full-blown hermit programmer mode to track down the issue and you’ll be glad to know a fix was committed that addresses this issue. Kris said of the fix: “it’s faster, cleaner, and allows proper access to all of the filesystem data. It can even be used by FreeBSD users who want to run different sets of packages in a location other than /usr/local”. To test out the new changes you will want to rebuild the pbi-manager backend. For those of you that may not know the pbi-manager utility is a backend that you never see, but is always there managing system interactions when running PBI’s. Follow the instructions below to grab the pc-bsd source and rebuild the pbi-manager to apply the fix.

1. Open a new terminal and paste: git clone https://github.com/pcbsd/pcbsd.git
This will create a directory for the PC-BSD source code

2. type: cd pcbsd/src-sh/pbi-manager/
This will browse directly to the pbi-manager source directory

3. type: sudo make install

4. Restart your system

And you’ve done it! Don’t forget to reset your system! PBI’s will not work until the system is reset. For more information, questions, or thoughts please post below.

Changes to Life Preserver

Life preserver has been updated to bring in some exciting new changes. New automatic snapshot schedules have been added along with new replication schedule options that will allow users more flexibility and control over their Life Preserver snapshot schedules (i.e. Hourly, 30 minutes, 10 minutes). New code has been added to allow the user to change the pop-up notification policy (all, only errors, none). A minor bug was also fixed that was causing non-error messages in the “Message” dialog.

Unifying PC-BSD Utility Chain

Work is continuing on standardizing the PC-BSD utility chain. More information has been added @ (http://wiki.pcbsd.org/index.php/Become_a_Developer/10.1). The changes will also bring in some new keyboard accessibility through hot keys and shortcut keys. There are currently several opportunities available to help update the tool chain, so if you’d like to lend a hand please let us know!

Important changes to Appcafe and PCDM (Release Notes)

AppCafe -

* Finish overhaul of the UI
* Add ability to email the port maintainer
* Add right-click action shortcuts for individual applications
* Add new browser home page with recommended applications
* Move the category browser to a seperate page
* Add ability to install custom PBI’s from your system via File->Add PBI (no internet/repository required)
* General improvements/bugfixes to the backend functions

PCDM -

* Fix backend detection of LDAP/Active Directory users (still needs verification/testing by people with this special type of setup)
* Add option to show an auto-login delay (in which time the user can cancel the auto-login if necessary)
* Add option to disable showing the system users and require that the username also have to be typed in.

Login Manager Configuration Utility (pc-dmconf)
* Update to reflect the new PCDM configuration options
* Fix a bug where a blank auto-login username could be set

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 18

Big news this week!   Kris has finished re-writing the code for handling how PC-BSD handles major updates.  The general consensus was that there were still many users out there that were having difficulty when upgrading to a new version (i.e 9.2 > 10).  For more information on the new PC-BSD update system, check out the article here.  To view Kris’ address to the testing mailing list click here.  Our goal is and has always been to have a reliable system to push out updates, and we think you will all be very pleased with the results!

Basic guidelines for PC-BSD utilities are continuing to evolve and we want your input!  If you have ideas for the development team on what should become standard practice we want to hear from you.  You can join the discussion on the the PC-BSD developer mailing list if you’d like to submit your ideas.  To check out Guidelines for PC-BSD utilities visit the PC-BSD 10.1 wiki’s “Become a Developer” section @ http://wiki.pcbsd.org/index.php/Become_a_Developer/10.1

A moderate batch of fixes for trac tickets were committed this week addressing minor issues with the warden.  Appcafe has also received a big update to it’s user interface allowing for a smoother experience for users.  If you want to give the 2 newest versions of these programs a try grab the PC-BSD source and let us know what you think!

That’s it for this week!  See you all next time!

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 17

The PC-BSD development team has been abuzz this week with awesome suggestions on how we can standardize the way we write PC-BSD utilities and software.  One thing we’ve begun to realize is that as more people are contributing to the project, it is ever more important to make sure that there are clear standards for development.  Even our primary developers will admit it’s easy to forget to use the same icon pack, or file menu layout when you get busy writing the main program.  Going forward you can expect these standards to impact most of the PC-BSD utilities and programs you use everyday, although in a relatively minor way.  Everything will still function the exact same, but whether or not you are using AppCafe or the Warden you can expect the file menu layout / program layout to follow the same general rules.  For more information please check out “Becoming a Developer� in the PC-BSD 10.1 wiki.  If you’d like to join the discussion you can email [email protected]

I’ve seen some discussion lately about the life cycle of PC-BSD branches.  I sat down with Kris Moore in IRC and asked if he wouldn’t mind clarifying the release cycle for our users.   Kris answered the general rule of thumb you can use is a branch will continue to be supported for 6 months after the next branch is released.  The updates include all of the things you would expect like new PBI and security updates.  So for users of 9.2 you can expect support to continue through June of 2014.  9 Stable was a “experimental� branch and is no longer supported at this time.  Users of 9 Stable are encouraged to upgrade to 9.2 or 10.0 Release to continue to receive important updates.

You can expect to see tons of improvements coming up for PC-BSD 10.1.   One of the biggest being Kris and Yuri have been working to fix Linux jail support in the Warden.  A handful of commits went into the tree today that will address the previous problems users have been having with Linux jails.  Kris has continued to refine the Warden and PBI systems to fix some bugs that were causing major stability issues in certain scenarios.   Minor cosmetic changes are coming for most PC-BSD utilities to bring them up to the same standards outlined in the “Become a Developer� section in the PC-BSD 10.1 wiki.

That’s it for this week folks.  Lots of good things in the works so stay tuned to the blog for more important PC-BSD news!

 

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 16

Just a quick update for you fine folks this week!  The bulk of the last week was spent fixing many smaller bugs that were still stuck in the PC-BSD trac database. Our primary goal now that 10.0 has hit release status is to fine tune the PC-BSD experience to allow for the smoothest experience possible. Users are encouraged to submit even the most trivial bugs during this “fine tuning phase�.

Among the programs that received updates the Warden received a patch fixing some issues with warnings, creating jails, and fixing user interface inconsistencies. Also the Package Manager received updates to fix some issues with how it interacts with pkgng.  This should eliminate some of the minor inconsistencies some of you were seeing that was leading to communication issues between the two. Package manager and the User manager also received minor improvements to fix issues relating to their user interface.

Big news this week for the PBI format. Kris has confirmed that a patch has been implemented for the way PBI’s are being built that will shrink the size of PBI’s by approximately 50%. The patch has just been implemented and is currently in a testing phase, but stay tuned to the blog for more updates on how and when this patch will begin benefiting you in the very near future!

Thats it for this week folks.  As always thanks for being loyal PC-BSD users!

whoami? I’m PC-BSD 10.0! — Weekly Feature Digest 15

The PC-BSD team has announced version 10.0 Joule Edition is now in official release status and is available for mass distribution. If you’ve used PC-BSD in the past you haven’t seen anything yet! PC-BSD 10.0’s feature rich front end runs beautifully without sacrificing the stability we all know and love from FreeBSD’s base system. This week we’re going to look back and highlight some of best new features now available in PC-BSD Version 10.0 — Joule Edition.

AMD / ATI graphics are now officially supported under PC-BSD. Although in the past AMD Radeon users have suffered from lack-of-driver-itis, those days are passed and a new age is upon us. I’m currently running PC-BSD on 3 different types of AMD graphics based systems and the performance is arguably better than some of my nvidia based test systems (sorry Nvidia fanboys :D). I was even more surprised when ATI hybrid graphics worked out of the box on my Samsung NP-350 Notebook computer.  Especially considering this laptop was designed for…Windows 8…*BARF*

0131142101a

You will notice there are a couple of quirks to be aware of with the new Radeon drivers that we are currently aware of. Firstly the CTRL F keys do not bring up the console. This is being actively remedied by FreeBSD and we expect there will be a fix committed in the near future. Also KDE support for Radeon is there, but i’ve noticed that I experience random freeze ups from time to time on any of my Radeon systems. Using any other desktop environment seemed to fix the issue for me.

More of your favorite Desktop Environments! We’ve now added Gnome 3, Cinnamon, and mate to the list of desktops available under PC-BSD 10.0. Mate has officially replaced Gnome 2 in version 10.0, but Gnome 3 and Cinnamon will remain as “unsupported� desktops currently until further development and additional testing are done to bring them up to speed in PC-BSD. That being said feel free to report issues with these desktops with the understanding that they are currently in a “beta� stage and are offered without any guarantee. For best results with your PC-BSD experience use supported desktops!

The Grub and FreeBSD boot loaders have both received updated support to work with PC-BSD version 10.0. Have your choice now during installation for whatever boot loader works best for you. As we continue to work with the Grub boot loader our support is evolving simultaneously to give you even better compatibility.

In other news this week if any users are still using RC’s 1–5 please update to PC-BSD 10.0 — Release before reporting bugs so we can make sure we aren’t duplicating tickets for issues that have already been submitted and /or resolved.

Special thanks to the entire PC-BSD team including our testers, committers, and administrators. Without you guys this release wouldn’t be what it is today and we sincerely thank you all for your dedication in making PC-BSD Joule Edition a success.

Best Regards,

Josh

 

 

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

For those of you waiting for PC-BSD 10 to become a reality, the wait is almost over.  The PC-BSD team announced last Thursday that the project is now in 10.0 Release Candidate 5 (p4), and is available for mass consumption.  There are a couple of important things to remember when upgrading to the latest RC.  Kris announced that all users upgrading from RC4 or previous versions, will unfortunately have to upgrade all of their packages and PBI’s due to a recent ABI change in FreeBSD.  For more information on how this will impact you and what you can do to have a smooth transition, please see the PC-BSD 10.0 RC5 release notes here.

Also due to the ABI change and the inability to use our previously approved PBI’s for PC-BSD 10.0 RC5, PBI’s had to be completely rebuilt and re-approved for use in the version 10.0 AppCafe.  The PC-BSD team was able to get nearly 500 PBI’s rebuilt and re approved at the end of Friday the 24th, but there are still many more that will begin to show up in the AppCafe very soon.

 

Builds have started for final release, so keep your eyes peeled for the official release announcement over the next couple of weeks.  We do not have an exact date at this moment for when  the build will be finished so please wait patiently and allow us to finish testing to make sure that PC-BSD 10.0 release will be the best and most stable version yet.

  • Joe Maloney has been working tirelessly to get Gnome 3 into PC-BSD, and has been a huge help getting this Behemoth DE into a usable state.  Anyone who is interested in using / testing gnome 3 (it is still unsupported at this time) make sure to thank Joe for all the hard work he’s been putting in.
  • PBI’s have undergone even more detailed optimization further increasing their startup times.
  •  More tweaks and optimizations have been committed to PCDM, Firewall Manager, and ATI Hybrid graphics laptops.

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

PC-BSD 10.0 is hurtling towards the finish line, and the big news this week of course is that the PC-BSD 10.0 RC-4 image is now live!  If you want to be on the cutting edge of PC-BSD development please follow the link here and download the latest version of PC-BSD version 10.0 RC-4.  Please be aware this is still an early RC image and is not an official release.

We are aware a small number of users reported that Grub is behaving slowly during RC2 and RC3 initial startups, and at the time I was able to duplicate the issue on two of my test machines.  I have not been able to duplicate the issue with RC4.  If anyone is still experiencing slow Grub boot times it is imperative you download the test grub text image @ http://web.pcbsd.org/~kris/PCBSD-10.0-RC4-grubtext.iso , and see if this helps and / or fixes your problem.  Also it is beneficial to enable debug mode in your grub.cfg file and report anything that may look like it’s choking the system.  This is the last critical issue we are looking into for PC-BSD 10.0 Release, and we’d love to track this down and get it taken care of.

NOTE:  This is only for testing and booting purposes and is not appropriate to install from.  Much of the PC-BSD image has been removed.

The wine PBI is now available in the AppCafe for PC-BSD version 10.0. I’ve tested the wine PBI with a number of different windows programs, and it appears to be functioning normally. Wine has a couple of kinks that will hopefully get ironed out over the course of the next couple of months, but for now it is usable.  A couple things to remember if you want to use wine: The icons wine creates currently do not display the correct icons for the program, and would not execute the programs in my testing in KDE.  I had to browse to the appropriate program directory and execute the program through wine’s run command.  I have also been told that running the programs from the command line + wine also works just fine.

Remember: if you want to have a stable system, wine can lead to a number of freezes and or crashes especially with improper settings.  This does not mean PC-BSD has a bug.

PC-BSD 9.2 Release systems will now be able to upgrade to PC-BSD version 10.0 Release and keep their PBI library.  Kris has designed an upgrade feature that will allow PC-BSD to uninstall the user’s 9.2 PBIs (while keeping the PBI’s settings) during the update, and then reinstall the correct 10.0 PBI’s after the system update.

That’s it for this week folks.   Catch you later!

–Josh

 

 

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

Bug fixes, code freezes, and PBI speed increases!  There’s lots of exciting news this week in PC-BSD so let’s have a look.

PC-BSD 10.0 Release has entered into the “code freeze� phase of development.   In order to increase stability and focus on prioritizing bug fixing, major feature changes under the hood should no longer be committed for 10.0 Release.  Trac ticket owners are encouraged to finish and submit your cosmetic / general bug fixes as soon as possible.

PC-BSD release candidate 4 (p3) is currently being built and is expected to be finished sometime over the weekend.  Please click here to check and see if the latest image is currently available.  If it is not available please check again later.

The PC-BSD update system has received quite a bit of new stability improvements in the form of additional code.  Users can expect to see an improvement in the form of less errors during updates and an overall smoother update transition between builds.

Here’s a quick recap of some other awesome new features / bug fixes that have been committed over the last week.  Please test and report any problems as quickly as possible so we can make sure 10.0 Release will be ready to roll (no pun intended) when the time comes.

  • Most recent package set for 9.2 is currently being uploaded
  • Improved Nvidia video card detection routines
  •   The PBI format received a substantial upgrade over the course of the week allowing for PBI load times to be reduced in some cases up to 40%.
  • A fix has been implemented for the virtualbox driver
  • New wine PBI’s have just finished testing, and should be available in the next couple of days
  • Fixes have been committed for missing shortcut keys in the PC-BSD installer
  • Keyboard layout issues have been resolved for multiple desktop environments
  • Auto-mount detection has been improved for multiple desktop environments

That’s it for this week folks.  Please keep us informed if you have problems that are persisting in the newest Release Candidate image.

Best Regards,

–Josh

 

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest

2013 is gone, and a new PC-BSD image is here.  We are now in 10.0 Release Candidate 3 (p2) and are moving very quickly towards final release.  There is still some fine tuning that we are working on, so keep those bug reports coming.  There are some awesome new key features / support features that have been added so let’s have a look at what’s new in PC-BSD land.

The guys and gals at the PC-BSD project continue to push the envelope on cutting edge features.  This week a new detection routine was finished that will offer simple detection on ATI Hybrid Graphics enabled laptop computers.  The new detection system was tested on a Samsung NP350 that would stall during installation because X was not able to detect either graphics card properly during the installation and first start-up respectively.  Now if the first video card fails X detection, a message will be displayed that it could not be started.  It will then try the next one.  More research and development is needed to see if we can apply this same fix to laptops using Nvidia as well.

For any of our testers out there that want to stay as cutting edge as possible and also assist in the current development in PC-BSD 10 Release, please go ahead and upgrade to the newest image by clicking here.  We are in a time crunch now, but we want to make sure we find any major / critical bugs and get them squashed ASAP.  Also I am still looking for testers to help us isolate any issues with the HPLIP package when installed while other printers (i.e brother, epson, etc) are installed as well.   The goal is too possibly add more printer support to PC-BSD, however please understand this is something for down the road and will not be a quick fix.  If you need more specific information about our goals with this side project please send me an e-mail at [email protected]

New logic has been added to handling disk detection during PC-BSD installation.  There was an issue in the gui install as well as text install where the 4k sector size option was causing an installation failure.  If you were experiencing this issue and would like to test out PC-BSD 10.0 please go ahead and download the latest image and give it a go.

Special shout out to our Indonesian translation team for translating PC-BSD entirely into Indonesian Bahasa.  Thanks for the hard work, and…record time for a translation to be completed.  When I said “run with it� I didn’t actually know you were going to be able to finish it in 5 days.  We went from having around 20% translated a few days ago to completely localized now, and we couldn’t be happier at the potential for reaching an entirely new market for us.

Due to the state of upstream support for Linux jails in FreeBSD we are re-classifying Linux jails as unsupported / experimental.  The decision comes after frequent breaks in the way jails are handling the linux scripts and also the inability to handle advanced linux programs.  We are hoping this is something that we can again start supporting in 10.1, but currently it is just too darned clunky to be called a supported feature.  One thing Kris also mentioned to me in passing was that Linux jails were never meant to be pushed as far as they are sometimes pushed.  We will continue to monitor the state of progress on this upstream and keep you informed on any information that comes our way.

That’s it for this week.  You crazy kids stay out of trouble.

- Josh

 

Weekly Feature Digest 12/27/13

Just a short update today to let you all know what the low down is!

PC-BSD version 10.0 Release Candidate 2 is now live!  Please note this is a beta-test release and NOT an official release.  For more information on RC2 please visit the following blog page: http://blog.pcbsd.org/2013/12/pc-bsd-10–0-rc2-available/ .   PC-BSD 10.0 Release RC2 can be downloaded from http://iso.cdn.pcbsd.org/.

Quick Note:  Please report any bugs found @ trac.pcbsd.org.  The window is closing to get bug reports in before official release and we need to try to get any “major� or higher priority bugs knocked out before then.

Kris has reported today that he is in the final stages of getting virtualbox working on PC-BSD 10.0.  He has fixed many of the seg fault issues that we were seeing from previous versions and will be looking to have these packages ready in the next week or so hopefully by RC3.

AMD KMS support appears to be improving based on my first interactions with the new 10.0 release RC2 image.  I’ve noticed much less graphical distortion, and better stability all around.

Tons of bugfixes and stability improvements went in today so big thanks to everyone involved for knocking those out.  We are still aware of the issue with the FreeBSD bootloader not functioning, but rest assured Kris is putting in every effort to get this resolved for you quickly.

That’s it for this week folks!

Best Regards,

Josh

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 12/20/13

In the words of Dr. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory TV Show), “i’m not insane…my mother had me tested�.  That’s the way i’m sure many of the devs felt at the end of this week.  While fending off the impending insanity caused by lack-of-flash-itis, the reason for our package issues with version 10.0 finally have started to come into focus.  For more information on the package / pkgng debacle please see this blog post: http://blog.pcbsd.org/2013/12/end-of-the-pkg-woes/.  Though we typically just recommend users just upgrade to new package sets, I personally opted to do a complete reinstall of 10.0 Beta P6.  The primary issue myself and many other developers kept running into was issues with the centOS linux compatibility layer that was just too buggy to make good use of at this time.

In other similar news PC-BSD is likely to begin starting a new version naming system to help differentiate the different types of releases and hopefully offer a little more clarity to users that may be less than familiar with the conventional FreeBSD naming system.  Along with the new naming system a new package release schedule will also be added to help users maintain more stability by not having to update their packages every couple of weeks.  Stay tuned for more information on this as it develops.

Flash is now working in both firefox and chromium as well as many other internet browsers.  The new PBI’s have been approved and include the fixes to make sure flash works with all the recent changes in version PC-BSD 10.0.  For Chromium look for the version of 31 ending in .63.  For Firefox look for version 25_01.  I’m not sure if the issue is widespread but there was an additional step needed to make flash work in firefox on one of my primary test systems.  If flash is working in other browsers, but not firefox run the command nspluginwrapper –v –a –i.  For some reason flashpluginctl on / off was not running the script as it was supposed to.  From most mainstream testing this looks to be a fairly minor and isolated issue.

PBI’s continue to be added to the PC-BSD AppCafe as well as tons of new compatibility updates for current 10.0 PBI’s.   Total PBI’s ready for PC-BSD’s 10.0 release are now in excess of 720.   PC-BSD version 9.2 has also been receiving tons of PBI updates so make sure to check those out as well!

Special thanks to Ken and Kris both as well for all the bug fixes you guys have committed this week (and for listening to my non-stop rants on why flash is so important).  The schedule has been insane, but the light at the end of the tunnel is near.

As we go into the new year soon we’d like to tell everyone thank you and wish you the best during the holidays.  I will now leave you with a bit of holiday cheer for all of who have or will experience that inevitable holiday computer failure.

Best Regards and Happy Holidays,

–Josh

On the twelfth day I left it, my PC gave to me:

Twelve programs stalling;
Eleven chips a-smoking;
Ten ports a-jamming;
Nine jails a-frying;
Eight times i’m crying;
Seven blown partitions;
Six bad controllers;
Five seeeeeeg faults; (singer should hold out seg just FYI)
Four bad blocks;
Three bad controllers;
Two faulty pools;
And a burnt-out CPU fan.

 

PC-BSD Weekly Feature Digest 12/6/13

It’s finally here!!  Earlier this week the PC-BSD team released a new test image for version 10.0.  Some of the exciting highlights were the addition of mate / gnome3/ cinnamon into the installer and package manager.   The linux compatibility layer has also been upgraded to the Linux Centos 6 compatibility layer which will be fantastic for the long run, but right now you may notice your internet browsers are not handling video properly in version 10.0.  We have new PBI’s on the way that should solve this problem and get your Youtube watching experience back up and running…I mean who wants to live in a world without Justin Bieber…am I right…??  OK put your hands down people that wasn’t a literal question!   Anyways I digress!  here is what’s going on in the PC-BSD universe this week.

We are trying to collect information on how all of you feel about the ease of use of installing a printer on PC-BSD.  We want to know the Good, the bad, and the ugly of your printer installation experience, including if you are having trouble finding a driver for your particular model of printer.   To participate in our poll for the next 2 weeks please go to: http://forums.pcbsd.org/showthread.php?t=21460

I am looking for users that are willing to test functionality of HPLIP (in package manager under drivers) while using non-HP printers.  More specifically if you have any brand of printer besides HP i’m looking for users that will add this package and see if it breaks or conflicts with your current printer’s setup.  Understand this is strictly volunteer and advanced users are recommended in case of any potential breakage.  PLEASE NOTE:  There is a known issue I ran into with Mate and the HPLIP package.  DO NOT install HPLIP right now while running mate or it will nuke your taskbar leaving you helpless to accomplish anything.  We are looking into a fix on this and hope to have one shortly.

We are well aware of the bugs corresponding to users with Grub as their boot manager for versions of 9.0 and 10.0.  While we believe we have isolated the issue we are still tracking down the root cause of the problem.  If you are experiencing problems with Grub please go to: http://trac.pcbsd.org/ticket/748 and add any thoughts or diagnostic information that might help us locate the problem.

On a similar note some of you will be glad to know that the ability to pick between the FreeBSD bootloader or the Grub boot loader has now been added back into the installer for version 10.0.  This may be especially helpful on systems that Grub is whining about booting from.

Many 10.0 PBI’s are finishing building over the weekend so you should see a pretty big influx of new PBI’s in the appcafe soon.  We will be systematically testing and working our way through them starting early next week.  EasyPBI is also receiving a big update for version 10, so some functionality may be missing or altogether not working for the time being.  Ken is planning on the updates being finished in the next week to be fully compatible with the 10.0 PBI system.

That’s it for this week folks.  Thanks for being a part of the PC-BSD community, and tune in next week for more exciting PC-BSD news!

P.S.  Just kidding on the date before the edit…Just wanted to make sure everyone was paying attention ;) .